What could he do about it but lose more sleep?
I wish you could hear yourself talking.
They could function without him.
I had let so much gas out of my balloon that I could not rise again, and in a few minutes the earth closed over my head.
How could he find out?
How could she blame him?
I never thought I could do it.
The doctor thought I could not live.
If anything could take her mind off the worry of surrogacy, he could.
"Could we fly with them?" asked Dorothy.
I could not be induced to tell where the key was.
But not a trace could they find of the tiny creature they sought.
He could not resist looking at them once more.
All this was so terrible and unreal that he could not understand it at all, and so had good reason to be afraid.
I could not understand, and was vexed.
"Maybe we could get a van," Carmen suggested.
How could I have looked him in the face?
Edward could spell nearly all the words in his primer, and he could read quite well.
It seemed as if no one saw that coming because, frankly, no one could conceive of it happening.
Could you start a fire, honey?
No one could deny that Alex was a devoted husband and father.
She could have asked, but that might tip her hand.
Alex helped the man get the luggage into the trunk and then hurried to assist Carmen into the car before the man could touch her.
Besides, after he inherited, he could always put someone in charge of the estate.
She could count his ribs easily where they showed through the skin of his body, and his head was long and seemed altogether too big for him, as if it did not fit.
The sudden rush into space confused them so that they could not think.
Oh, I guess Zeb could fight if he had to.
Bad science fiction plots, speculating on futures which could not really happen, are the worst examples of this.
But what could have happened?
But if you could trust him this way and there was no electricity, would it still be love?
How could he do such a thing to his own children?
As they approached a large building, a lot of whooping and yelling could be heard.
It was almost as if he were shutting Felipa off before she could reveal something.
From their elevated position they could overlook the entire valley, but not a single moving object could they see.
Only they could fail to see it, the prince continued, evidently thinking of the campaign of 1807 which seemed to him so recent.
We could say he has excellent taste.
The school was more than a mile from their home, and the children trotted along as fast as their short legs could carry them.
Black figures flitted about before the fire, and through the incessant crackling of the flames talking and shouting could be heard.
Princess Mary could not quite make out what he had said, but from his look it was clear that he had uttered a tender caressing word such as he had never used to her before.
With so many people at their house, it was fortunate that the weather was warm and dry so they could utilize the courtyard for the children.
No, so I could get over it.
Actually, I could make guesses, but they might well be spectacularly wrong and a guy doesn't want that haunting him ten years from now.
Pierre stood rather far off and could not hear all that the Emperor said.
But he was kind and gentle only to those of his regiment, to Timokhin and the like--people quite new to him, belonging to a different world and who could not know and understand his past.
Ours? said many voices, and the men were in such haste to clear out that the prince could hardly stop them.
How could they make a man commander-in-chief who cannot mount a horse, who drops asleep at a council, and has the very worst morals!
Then he again opened his eyes and said something none of them could understand for a long time, till at last Tikhon understood and repeated it.
No doubt he didn't like being reminded that her dream could only be achieved by unnatural methods.
Señor Medena was watching Alex, but from the corner of her eye Carmen could see Alex was looking out the window.
Could I ride one?
I knew because he proved to me that I could trust him with my heart and soul - the way you trust your mother and father.
Still, it could be a lot worse.
How could anyone fall asleep that fast?
How could he do such a thing in front of Jonathan... and where was Jonathan?
"Yes. I couldn't find a better friend than Alex, could I?" she said.
Alex wouldn't lie, but if he was given enough time to think about it, he could certainly evade the issue.
She turned around so he could unzip it - which he did without hesitation.
She pushed him back, speaking as firmly as she could without talking loud enough for the children to hear.
A spiked drink might seem harmless, but if a person was taking certain prescription drugs, it could be dangerous.
What could you give them here that you couldn't give them at home?
How long this state of things continued Dorothy could not even guess, she was so greatly bewildered.
"If that is so," said the boy, "how could he do that wonderful trick with the nine tiny piglets?"
"I could eat something," said Dorothy.
But they were in great numbers, and the Champion could not shout much because he had to save his breath for fighting.
Looking through this opening they could see the Valley of Voe lying far below them, the cottages seeming like toy houses from that distance.
In the open space between the clouds and the black, bubbling sea far beneath, could be seen an occasional strange bird winging its way swiftly through the air.
"I do not want money," returned the braided man, "for I could not spend it in this deserted place if I had it.
I could not help it.
On peering out all they could see was rolling banks of clouds, so thick that they obscured all else.
So, if we had the wings, and could escape the Gargoyles, we might fly to that rock and be saved.
Sometimes they had to climb over heaps of loose rock, where Jim could scarcely drag the buggy.
"I could if I happened to be a real wizard," returned the master sadly.
Of course; how else could I see it?
But don't try to make out I'm too innocent to eat a fat piglet if I could do it and not be found out.
The kitten could not have eaten your piglet--for here it is!
Instead of keeping still, so I could eat him comfortably, he trembled so with fear that he fell off the table into a big vase that was standing on the floor.
He ran home as fast as he could, blowing the whistle as he ran.
His life was such that no man could ever say, "Ben Franklin has wronged me."
He knew where the old North Church stood, but he could not see much in the darkness.
The moon rose, and by its light he could see the dim form of the church tower, far away.
They could not see the speeding horse, but they heard the clatter of its hoofs far down the road, and they understood the cry, "Up! up! and defend yourselves!"
Then they took their guns, their axes, anything they could find, and hurried out.
He could see a green open space just beyond; and then the woods seemed to be thicker and darker.
He could hear its footsteps.
He could hear its heavy breathing.
He could see its shadow as he peeped out through the clusters of leaves.
They could be seen very plainly, for here the ground was quite muddy.
She lay hidden among some rocks, and nothing could make her stir.
It was very dark there, and he could not see anything.
They could not give him any help.
The only place I could put you would be in the barn.
Then I could go to many strange lands and see many wonderful things.
He could not bear to see her grief.
There was once a painter whose name was Zeuxis. He could paint pictures so life-like that they were mistaken for the real things which they represented.
The wreaths were so nearly alike that none of those who were with the king could point out any difference.
He was not old enough to be a soldier, but he could be a scout--and a good scout he was.
He soon learned all that his teacher could teach; for he was bright and quick, and had a good memory.
The people whom they met gazed at them and wondered who they could be.
But still they would whisper, and he could not prevent it.
Could it be possible that he would receive that thrashing?
I could not bear to see her punished.
Books were very scarce and very precious, and only a few men could read them.
In those times there were even some kings who could not read.
If you could only read, you might learn that story and enjoy it.
He was a very little boy, but before he was three years old he could read quite well.
It is said that he could speak and write forty languages.
He therefore gave him many beautiful gifts and everything that could please a prince.
Sarcas himself could not have served the king half so well.
They could do nothing but give up all their goods and money.
He groped around in the dim light, but could not find any way of escape.
There was no place where he could set his foot to climb out.
The frightened fox scampered away as fast as it could; and Aristomenes followed, clinging to its tail.
They could not believe it.
The two noble women were willing to do all that they could to save their city.
At last, he could hold out no longer.
Rome was saved; but Coriolanus could never return to his home, his mother, his wife and children.
He spoke of the birds as his little brothers of the air, and he could never bear to see them harmed.
At Christmas time he scattered crumbs of bread under the trees, so that the tiny creatures could feast and be happy.
As the slaves stood before him he asked each one to tell what kind of work he could do.
One was a fine gardener; another could take care of horses; a third was a good cook; a fourth could manage a household.
They saw that all these fables taught some great truth, and they wondered how Aesop could have thought of them.
It grew so dark that the people could not see their way along the streets.
He began to see how foolish he had been; he thought how terrible it would be to live there without one friend, without one person to whom he could speak.
There were pigs and goats on the island, and plenty of fish could be caught from the shore.
He tried to make signals to them; he called as loudly as he could; but he was neither seen nor heard, and the ships came no nearer.
"Oh, I wish I could be a sailor!" he said.
He could not think of anything else.
The poor child was so tired after his night's work that he could not keep awake.
He could not hold out much longer.
The rod was bent in the middle so that it could be turned as with a crank.
He took something like an oarlock from his pocket and fastened it to the stern of the boat; then with a paddle which worked in this oarlock one of the boys could guide the boat while the other turned the paddle wheels.
Almost anybody could rig up an old boat like that.
He kept on, planning and thinking and working, until at last he succeeded in making a boat with paddle wheels that could be run by steam.
The poor man could do nothing but dress himself and go sorrowing on his way.
It was so close to the sea that those who lived in it could hear the waves forever beating against the shore.
It was a place where good people, and timid, helpless people could find shelter in time of war.
At first he was so bewildered that he could not answer.
He lived in a splendid palace where there was everything that could give delight.
The children were hungry and could hardly wait for their father to come.
Then I thought of our own warm little house, and how snug we could make him until he came to his senses again.
Before Mrs. Jacquot could open it, some one called out, "Is this the house of Jacquot, the charcoal man?"
They talked and wrangled a long time and could not agree.
Chilon was so busy that the messengers had to wait several days before they could see him.
Could you have foreseen that the advent of a technology called "air conditioning" in homes would alter the social fabric of the nation?
So isn't it just possible that it could end ignorance, disease, poverty, hunger, and war?
Could we make a car that can go 300 mph?
If I had an even faster computer than I have today, I could come up with really interesting questions to ask it.
I say "could" because I doubt they have all those databases loaded yet, but you get the idea.
You could start looking around for lines that connect things we didn't previously think were connected.
A person could dedicate his life to understanding just one suggestion and never even get close.
No human could ever do this, for in these purely computational matters, machines are vastly superior to us, and always will be.
Imagine what you could do with the combined learning of a quadrillion life experiences.
You could learn from their success and you could learn from their failure.
We could learn and remember.
You could see which restaurants were rated the highest on Yelp, which ones certain reviewers liked, and so on.
The idea was that it would be great to make machines that behaved like us and, through that, we could harness their abilities.
Could you patent the sun?
An illness with no serious effects on humans, cowpox caused lesions on cows' udders which then could spread to dairymaids' hands.
Jenner reasoned that the pox contracted by dairymaids could be used to impart immunity to others.
When the ancients could not find these solutions, it was not for a lack of intelligence but for a lack of technology.
Had they had the technology of our day, I wonder what they could have accomplished.
I think it is likely that the answers to almost all our medical problems could be found in the data we may already be collecting.
Then that person might choose to publish those results and others could verify them.
You could begin studying something you have noticed anecdotally in your own life.
You could say, "When I eat corn dogs, I get a headache" and start studying that.
That issue alone could fill an entire chapter.
Life existed at a scale smaller than the eye could see.
But no one had any idea of the mechanism by which this could be achieved.
Then, people could start reporting all their medical issues—headaches, halitosis, heart disease—and we will begin to see commonalities between genes and conditions we do not generally regard as genetic.
So even if no new goods were created tomorrow, we could still vastly increase the wealth of the world by allocating existing goods differently.
Could you have imagined a store like this if you lived a century ago?
The Internet solves for this in a way no library ever could. 7.
This could not be done without the Internet. 8.
This is unprecedented in the history of commerce and could not be done without the Internet. 9.
This could not be done without the Internet. 9.
This could not be done without the Internet. 10.
For instance, I could hand carve bird calls and then advertise them only to people who are looking at online content about hand-carved bird calls or who search the Internet for information about hand-carved bird calls.
This could not be done without the Internet.
Instead, we are surrounded by things we could not create ourselves.
Not in one hundred lifetimes could I make a car.
I could not in one hundred lifetimes make a working electric lamp, even knowing what I know now.
But if each of ten people specialized on just one-tenth of the task, they could together make 48,000, an increase in per-person productivity from one pin a day to 4,800 pins per day.
You could power generators that could light up a stadium.
But think about how it could play out: If energy truly were free and unlimited, you could, for instance, power tractors everywhere in the world.
Everyone knows water evaporates, rises, then falls to the earth as rain—but no one can even guess how much energy could be captured from this if we only knew how.
An energy crop could be a permanent forest of trees that convert sunlight to liquid fuel and deliver the fuel directly through their roots to a network of underground pipelines.
If these two advances could be combined, we would have a supply of solar energy that was cheap, abundant, and environmentally benign.
Here is what I think he meant: If you could see a theoretical possibility for something in physics—"something that might be true"—then given enough time, you eventually could achieve it in reality.
If you could see a way it might be possible, then it must be possible.
And like our example with energy, technology and human innovation could make other things that are now scarce—or that we think of now as scarce—not so at all.
One person with a horse and a cotton gin could process as much as fifty people without the gin.
You could finance the entire government and its (hopefully) noble agenda, by this method alone.
And you could feel good about it; after all, you would be increasing efficiency, not merely acting as a leech to the system.
If jump ropes or board games or ice cream turn out to have positive externalities—that is, if they help society—a subsidy could lower the prices of these items.
Machines could, in theory, do all kinds of jobs in the world.
Any task that could be done a machine is, by definition, dehumanizing to a human being.
If every job that could be done by a machine was done by a machine tomorrow, the standard of living of virtually everyone on the planet would rise.
What if machines did all the things they could in theory do?
What if everyone had a job only a person could do?
The next chapter will explore how far this can go, how many of our daily tasks machines could assume.
First, imagine all the jobs they could do inside us.
And the principle at work in this technology could lead to a cure for other autoimmune diseases such as multiple sclerosis and rheumatoid arthritis.
I could no more make a paperclip than I could make a Boeing 747.
Let that sink in: By dividing work up among people so they could specialize, we went from bows and arrows to Apollo moon missions.
Certainly the labor component of assembling the Mercedes could fall to nearly zero.
That could be true, but I don't think so, for reasons laid out in the chapter on scarcity.
Everything would be better made because the best way to make a thing could be multiplied across all occurrences of the thing.
Then, as a nation grows wealthier, tax rates could fall in terms of percentages because the nation is making so much more money.
In fact, your children, their children, and their children forever could live off that interest.
Once technology allowed for the recording and sale of records, their income shot way up—they could use technology to magnify their ability.
Bill Gates could make his billions because computers, with the right software, could vastly increase productivity.
Well, wealth would expand dramatically, and the people who had those jobs before could get new and better jobs, such as managing the army of manure-toting robots.
Now they could find what really satisfies them and do that.
We control the temperature of our surroundings, eat food from around the world, and own possessions no king could have imagined.
We live in a place and time where we own thousands of things we could not have made.
I reasoned that if I could show how poverty will end, then of course hunger would end as well—how many rich people do you hear about going hungry?
Even at the retail price, we could feed all the world's hungry for a billion dollars a day or $365 billion a year.
Stakman had determined that immunity to these diseases, or at least resistance, could be bred into crops.
All he could do was cross strains of wheat, much in the same fashion as Gregor Mendel did in the 1800s.
What if the farmer could give every stalk of corn individual attention and water and fertilize each one exactly when it was needed?
What if you could do agriculture perfectly on a per-grape basis, each grape getting individual attention?
We did our own canning, especially pickles, and I picked berries every summer so my mom could make jelly.
Thus we had genetic modifications in plants that could have occurred in nature but probably wouldn't have.
This change could have occurred in nature; given enough monkeys and typewriters, it would eventually occur in nature.
But again, this could happen in nature, so it is hard to see how we can object to this.
This couldn't happen in nature (or, more precisely, could in theory, but is extremely unlikely).
UNICEF has said a program that gives children two large doses a year of vitamin A could all but eliminate VAD, although more frequent, smaller doses would be better.
Who could be against children not going blind?
In Africa, most genetically engineered crops that could grow well there are not welcome.
GMO could make this a crop that Africa could easily use to feed itself, gain food independence, and maybe even export.
Wouldn't that be something: Plants that would convert nitrogen from the atmosphere directly into ammonia they could use or plants that gave off the odor of other plants that pests avoid?
Different techniques could be applied to different plants side by side to constantly be refining agricultural processes.
In the United States, you could do it via the tax code, with government only acting as an income redistribution agent but not as a food distributor.
I do not think Americans would tolerate widespread, untreated hunger in this nation as long as it could afford otherwise.
If you knew someone who was a good business partner, was fun to hang out with, but let one of his children starve to death so that he could enjoy a higher standard of living, what would be your opinion of this person?
We could decide today to end it—by, well, simply deciding to.
The following chapter catalogs the difficulties inherent in trying to end war, which in the past brought misery and destruction and in the future could bring annihilation.
They were lined up as far as the eye could see on the Apian Way, the main road through Rome, as a warning to other slaves who might consider rebellion.
During World War II, when General Patton got sacked for slapping a soldier whom he regarded as cowardly, the Germans couldn't believe it: Their officers could have soldiers shot without trial!
In the past, when the power of the state was absolute in many parts of the world, it was harder to argue that every person on the planet had rights no monarch or state could violate.
You could have the libertarian state, the green state, the clothing-optional state, the state with free public housing for all, the state where puns are outlawed, the state with a two-drink minimum, the fiercely pro-business state—even a state that guarantees free speech but requires that you sing your speech like a show tune.
As long as these states were to share a currency, a military, provide for interstate trade, and have a single foreign policy, they could retain the economic advantages of being a large nation while maximizing individual liberty and self-determination.
As recently as the early twentieth century, relatively few careers existed in which young men of drive and ambition could distinguish themselves and leave a mark on the world.
In the past, war could increase your financial position, both as a nation (through spoils) and a soldier (through plunder).
American makers of plowshares could, with time and as required, make swords as well.
If you made a product the military could use, government contracts came a-flowin'.
If you did not, you could retool and make something the military could buy.
Unless one can somehow imagine NATO countries going to war with each other, such as Belgium invading the United Kingdom, it is hard to see how "world wars" could escalate outside of NATO member countries.
We could go on here and talk about other military powers and alliances, but the simple fact is that large countries are less willing to risk war in defense of small ones.
The weak group could fight and lose, or comply with whatever the strong group demanded.
Under Hollywood's production code at the time, movies could not include nudity, criminal activity, or offensive language, or depict illegal drug use, venereal disease, or childbirth.
Governments in the past could lie with impunity.
O'Neill observed that scrutiny of government had become so intense that officials never could have gotten away with that—and he was writing in the late 1980s.
Fast-forward a couple of decades, and the Internet has done vastly more than O'Neill could have imagined to promote open information about government.
The article also describes a second project where a group of young entrepreneurs who look as if they could be in a garage band are fitting deceptively innocent-looking hardware into a prototype 'Internet in a suitcase.'
Oddly, it could, however, join the military and go fight in a war overseas.
More people using passports to travel internationally will increase understanding and help reduce touch points that could lead to war.
In an era when cameras were cumbersome and the number of channels on TV could be counted on one hand with enough fingers left over to snap, very little video of any kind was seen.
Augustine said this could not be the case because he could neither hear Ambrose nor see his lips moving.
As we approached the end of the flawless narrative, one of us would invariably ask sardonically (but never sarcastically), "What could possibly go wrong?"
From those adventures, though, I did learn (the hard way) to think ahead about what could possibly go wrong.
Yes, a comet slamming into the planet or some galactic cataclysm could wipe us all out.
Certainly this could happen, although the odds are remote.
Such an attack could escalate into a widespread conflict, although I doubt it.
Having said all of that, government should certainly be watched with a suspicious eye, for it could conceivably delay or derail our ascent to the next golden age.
They could put all their competitors out of business.
Indeed, my friends and relatives sometimes doubted whether I could be taught.
It was the most comical shapeless thing, this improvised doll, with no nose, mouth, ears or eyes--nothing that even the imagination of a child could convert into a face.
When we arrived in Baltimore, Dr. Chisholm received us kindly: but he could do nothing.
This she did by repeating to me as far as possible, verbatim, what she heard, and by showing me how I could take part in the conversation.
But it was a long time before I ventured to take the initiative, and still longer before I could find something appropriate to say at the right time.
As soon as I could spell a few words my teacher gave me slips of cardboard on which were printed words in raised letters.
She introduced dry technicalities of science little by little, making every subject so real that I could not help remembering what she taught.
She made raised maps in clay, so that I could feel the mountain ridges and valleys, and follow with my fingers the devious course of rivers.
The illustrative strings and the orange stick representing the poles seemed so real that even to this day the mere mention of temperate zone suggests a series of twine circles; and I believe that if any one should set about it he could convince me that white bears actually climb the North Pole.
My friends did all they could to excite my curiosity by hints and half-spelled sentences which they pretended to break off in the nick of time.
Miss Sullivan and I kept up a game of guessing which taught me more about the use of language than any set lessons could have done.
I found surprises, not in the stocking only, but on the table, on all the chairs, at the door, on the very window-sill; indeed, I could hardly walk without stumbling on a bit of Christmas wrapped up in tissue paper.
I knew I could not see; but it did not seem possible that all the eager, loving children who gathered round me and joined heartily in my frolics were also blind.
I could not quite convince myself that there was much world left, for I regarded Boston as the beginning and the end of creation.
I could touch it, and perhaps that made the coming of the Pilgrims and their toils and great deeds seem more real to me.
I could never stay long enough on the shore.
The men slept in the hall outside our door, and I could feel the deep breathing of the dogs and the hunters as they lay on their improvised beds.
I could also feel the stamping of the horses, which they had ridden out from town and hitched under the trees, where they stood all night, neighing loudly, impatient to be off.
A snowy night closed upon the world, and in the morning one could scarcely recognize a feature of the landscape.
But it must not be supposed that I could really talk in this short time.
Miss Fuller and Miss Sullivan could understand me, but most people would not have understood one word in a hundred.
I could not be despondent while I anticipated the delight of talking to my mother and reading her responses from her lips.
When I had made speech my own, I could not wait to go home.
At dinner it was read to the assembled family, who were surprised that I could write so well.
But I do not understand how he ever thought a blind and deaf child of eleven could have invented them.
It shows me that I could express my appreciation of beautiful and poetic ideas in clear and animated language.
Indeed, I could scarcely think what I was saying, or what was being said to me.
An impish fear clutched my hand, so that I could not write any more that day.
I could not read her lips easily; so my progress was much slower than in German.
So long as we felt his loving presence and knew that he took a watchful interest in our work, fraught with so many difficulties, we could not be discouraged.
This was the nearest approach I could get to Harvard and to the fulfillment of my childish declaration.
For a while, indeed, I had to copy my Latin in braille, so that I could recite with the other girls.
I could not make notes in class or write exercises; but I wrote all my compositions and translations at home on my typewriter.
But, though everybody was kind and ready to help us, there was only one hand that could turn drudgery into pleasure.
I wondered more and more, while Burke's masterly speech rolled on in mighty surges of eloquence, how it was that King George and his ministers could have turned a deaf ear to his warning prophecy of our victory and their humiliation.
I could not follow with my eyes the geometrical figures drawn on the blackboard, and my only means of getting a clear idea of them was to make them on a cushion with straight and curved wires, which had bent and pointed ends.
The geometrical diagrams were particularly vexing because I could not see the relation of the different parts to one another, even on the cushion.
Mr. Vining was a stranger to me, and could not communicate with me, except by writing braille.
But on the night before the algebra examination, while I was struggling over some very complicated examples, I could not tell the combinations of bracket, brace and radical.
Besides, I could not see what I wrote on my typewriter.
The struggle for admission to college was ended, and I could now enter Radcliffe whenever I pleased.
Without it, I doubt if I could go to college.
I think that was all; but I read them over and over, until the words were so worn and pressed I could scarcely make them out.
I loved "Little Women" because it gave me a sense of kinship with girls and boys who could see and hear.
One could have traveled round the word many times while I trudged my weary way through the labyrinthine mazes of grammars and dictionaries, or fell into those dreadful pitfalls called examinations, set by schools and colleges for the confusion of those who seek after knowledge.
I began to read the Bible long before I could understand it.
Could there be anything more dramatic than the scene in which Esther stands before her wicked lord?
I could see, absolutely see, the dagger and Lady Macbeth's little white hand--the dreadful stain was as real to me as to the grief-stricken queen.
I felt vaguely that they could not be good even if they wished to, because no one seemed willing to help them or to give them a fair chance.
I should think the wonderful rhythmical flow of lines and curves could be more subtly felt than seen.
Mr. Jefferson let me touch his face so that I could imagine how he looked on waking from that strange sleep of twenty years, and he showed me how poor old Rip staggered to his feet.
He asked me to indicate as far as I could the gestures and action that should go with the lines.
Of course, I have no sense whatever of dramatic action, and could make only random guesses; but with masterful art he suited the action to the word.
I was only just learning to speak, and had previously repeated her name until I could say it perfectly.
My spirit could not reach up to his, but he gave me a real sense of joy in life, and I never left him without carrying away a fine thought that grew in beauty and depth of meaning as I grew.
He was delighted that I could pronounce the words so well, and said that he had no difficulty in understanding me.
I could not keep pace with all these literary folk as they glanced from subject to subject and entered into deep dispute, or made conversation sparkle with epigrams and happy witticisms.
When they went to Holland they did not know anyone; and they could not know what the people were talking about because they did not know Dutch.
I wish you could be here to play three little squirrels, and two gentle doves, and to make a pretty nest for a dear little robin.
Are you very glad that you could make so many happy?
Do you think the lovely moon was glad that I could speak to her?
I was very, very sad to part with all of my friends in Boston, but I was so eager to see my baby sister I could hardly wait for the train to take me home.
It has followed me across the ocean and found me in this magnificent great city which I should like to tell you all about if I could take time for it and make my letter long enough.
I wish I could see your little sister.
Perhaps people would be better in a great many ways, for they could not fight as they do now.
How I wish I could see you this lovely morning, and tell you all that has happened since I left home!
And my darling little sister, how I wish I could give her a hundred kisses!
How I wish I could see my own donkey and my dear Lioness!
You could not read Braille; for it is written in dots, not at all like ordinary letters.
Teacher's eyes have been hurting her so that she could not write to any one, and I have been trying to fulfil a promise which I made last summer.
It was some time before I could plan it to suit me.
Would not it be lovely if Mrs. Pratt could meet us there?
A lady seemed surprised that I loved flowers when I could not see their beautiful colors, and when I assured her I did love them, she said, "no doubt you feel the colors with your fingers."
The hotel was so near the river that I could feel it rushing past by putting my hand on the window.
I should be willing to work night and day if it could only be accomplished.
The two distinguished authors were very gentle and kind, and I could not tell which of them I loved best.
I only wish you could have seen and heard him!
I might have seen Mrs. Wiggin, the sweet author of "Birds' Christmas Carol," but she had a dangerous cough and could not come.
The last act affected us most deeply, and we all wept, wondering how the executioner could have the heart to tear the King from his loving wife's arms.
I do wish you could come and see for yourself what a beautiful school it is!
They were the entrance examinations for Harvard College; so I feel pleased to think I could pass them.
All the time I was preparing for the great ordeal, I could not suppress an inward fear and trembling lest I should fail, and now it is an unspeakable relief to know that I have passed the examinations with credit.
I do think I could work all day long without feeling tired if they would let me.
My teacher and other friends think I could ride a Columbia tandem in the country with perfect safety.
I ride with a divided skirt, and so does my teacher; but it would be easier for her to mount a man's wheel than for me; so, if it could be arranged to have the ladies' seat behind, I think it would be better....
I cannot help wishing sometimes that I could have some of the fun that other girls have.
Would a college at Havana not be the noblest and most enduring monument that could be raised to the brave men of the "Maine," as well as a source of infinite good to all concerned?
I feel as if I ought to give up the idea of going to college altogether: for not all the knowledge in the world could make me happy, if obtained at such a cost.
How could they--they can see and hear, and I suppose they could not understand matters from my point of view....
She said I had already shown the world that I could do the college work, by passing all my examinations successfully, in spite of many obstacles.
Her arguments seemed so wise and practical, that I could not but yield.
Mr. Vining was a perfect stranger to me, and could not communicate with me except by writing in braille.
The Proctor also was a stranger, and did not attempt to communicate with me in any way; and, as they were both unfamiliar with my speech, they could not readily understand what I said to them.
In the German class Miss Sullivan interpreted to me as well as she could what the teacher said.
We could hear the yells of the boys and the cheers of the lookers-on as plainly in our room as if we had been on the field.
Dr. Greer read so slowly, that my teacher could tell me every word.
They were very kind; but I could not help feeling that they spoke more from a business than a humanitarian point of view.
Still I could not shut my eyes to the force and weight of their arguments, and I saw plainly that I must abandon--'s scheme as impracticable.
I considered this suggestion carefully, then I told Mr. Rhoades that I should be proud and glad to have wise friends to whom I could always turn for advice in all important matters.
I had had misgivings on this point; but I could not see how we were to help it.
At the same time Dr. Bell added that I could rest content and fight my way through Radcliffe in competition with seeing and hearing girls, while the great desire of my heart was being fulfilled.
She could not even walk and had very little use of her hands.
She could only understand Miss Rhoades when she talked about the simplest things.
The latter wished to send her some books; but she could not find anything simple enough for her!
This little boy could speak two or three languages before he lost his hearing through sickness, and he is now only about five years old.
The blind alone could not support it, but it would not take very much money to make up the additional expense.
He had just constructed a boat that could be propelled by a kite with the wind in its favor, and one day he tried experiments to see if he could steer the kite against the wind.
Without it I do not see how I could go to college.
She cannot sing and she cannot play the piano, although, as some early experiments show, she could learn mechanically to beat out a tune on the keys.
Laura Bridgman could tell minute shades of difference in the size of thread, and made beautiful lace.
Teachers of the deaf proved a priori that what Miss Sullivan had done could not be, and some discredit was reflected on her statements, because they were surrounded by the vague eloquence of Mr. Anagnos.
Although Miss Sullivan is still rather amused than distressed when some one, even one of her friends, makes mistakes in published articles about her and Miss Keller, still she sees that Miss Keller's book should include all the information that the teacher could at present furnish.
I tried with all my might to control the eagerness that made me tremble so that I could hardly walk.
She ran downstairs with it and could not be induced to return to my room all day.
I very soon made up my mind that I could do nothing with Helen in the midst of the family, who have always allowed her to do exactly as she pleased.
I had an idea that I could win the love and confidence of my little pupil by the same means that I should use if she could see and hear.
I told her that in my opinion the child ought to be separated from the family for a few weeks at least--that she must learn to depend on and obey me before I could make any headway.
She devoted herself to her dolls the first evening, and when it was bedtime she undressed very quietly, but when she felt me get into bed with her, she jumped out on the other side, and nothing that I could do would induce her to get in again.
Mr. Wilson, a teacher at Florence, and a friend of the Kellers', studied at Harvard the summer before and went to the Perkins Institution to learn if anything could be done for his friend's child.
He says the gentleman was not particularly interested, but said he would see if anything could be done.
Last week she made her doll an apron, and it was done as well as any child of her age could do it.
If she wanted to indicate something large, she spread the fingers of both hands as wide as she could, and brought them together, as if to clasp a big ball.
The other day a friend brought her a new doll from Memphis, and I thought I would see if I could make Helen understand that she must not break it.
If she could see and hear, I suppose she would get rid of her superfluous energy in ways which would not, perhaps, tax her brain so much, although I suspect that the ordinary child takes his play pretty seriously.
She enjoys punching holes in paper with the stiletto, and I supposed it was because she could examine the result of her work; but we watched her one day, and I was much surprised to find that she imagined she was writing a letter.
I told her that she could call the egg the cradle of life.
She was much pleased with the letter, and after she had asked all the questions she could think of, she took it to her mother, who was sewing in the hall, and read it to her.
It seems as if a child who could see and hear until her nineteenth month must retain some of her first impressions, though ever so faintly.
I told her that I could see things with my eyes, and that she could see them with her fingers.
Very soon she learned the difference between ON and IN, though it was some time before she could use these words in sentences of her own.
Indeed, she was much displeased because I could not find her name in the book.
Just then I had no sentences in raised letters which she could understand; but she would sit for hours feeling each word in her book.
Her mother and I cut up several sheets of printed words so that she could arrange them into sentences.
She learned it gladly when she discovered that she could herself read what she had written; and this still affords her constant pleasure.
The circus people were much interested in Helen, and did everything they could to make her first circus a memorable event.
One of the leopards licked her hands, and the man in charge of the giraffes lifted her up in his arms so that she could feel their ears and see how tall they were.
She has made me repeat the story of little Red Riding Hood so often that I believe I could say it backward.
The exercises began at nine, and it was one o'clock before we could leave.
Captain Keller took my hand, but could not speak.
After talking about the various things that carpenters make, she asked me, "Did carpenter make me?" and before I could answer, she spelled quickly, "No, no, photographer made me in Sheffield."
I can't believe that the colour-impressions she received during the year and a half she could see and hear are entirely lost.
The Sunday-school was in session when we arrived, and I wish you could have seen the sensation Helen's entrance caused.
When the communion service began, she smelt the wine, and sniffed so loud that every one in the church could hear.
Dr. Keller distributed the extracts from the report that Mr. Anagnos sent me, and he could have disposed of a thousand if he had had them.
He had never heard of "talking-gloves"; but I explained that she had seen a glove on which the alphabet was printed, and evidently thought they could be bought.
I told him he could buy some gloves if he wished, and that I would have the alphabet stamped on them.
She examined one stone after another, and seemed pleased when she could decipher a name.
She will handle the baby as tenderly as the most careful nurse could desire.
There was a hopeless look in the dull eye that I could not help noticing, and then, as I was thinking where I had seen that horse before, she looked full at me and said, 'Black Beauty, is that you?'
"It was poor Ginger," was all she could say at first.
I could see the way Ginger looked; all her beauty gone, her beautiful arched neck drooping, all the spirit gone out of her flashing eyes, all the playfulness gone out of her manner.
I never knew before that there could be such a change in anything.
After a time I became discouraged, and told her I was afraid she could not make it stand, but that I would build it for her; but she did not approve of this plan.
I was compelled to evade her question, for I could not explain to her the mystery of a self-existent being.
When she referred to our conversation again, it was to ask, "Why did not Jesus go away, so that His enemies could not find Him?"
When told of the instance in which Jesus raised the dead, she was much perplexed, saying, "I did not know life could come back into the dead body!"
"But," said Helen, quickly, "I think God could make some more worlds as well as He made this one."
She had been living in a world she could not realize.
"Oh, please read us the rest, even if we won't understand it," they pleaded, delighted with the rhythm, and the beauty which they felt, even though they could not have explained it.
It is true that a teacher with ten times Miss Sullivan's genius could not have made a pupil so remarkable as Helen Keller out of a child born dull and mentally deficient.
How far she could receive communications is hard to determine, but she knew much that was going on around her.
I explained to her that some deaf children were taught to speak, but that they could see their teachers' mouths, and that that was a very great assistance to them.
But she interrupted me to say she was very sure she could feel my mouth very well.
I knew that Laura Bridgman had shown the same intuitive desire to produce sounds, and had even learned to pronounce a few simple words, which she took great delight in using, and I did not doubt that Helen could accomplish as much as this.
It must be remembered that speech contributed in no way to her fundamental education, though without the ability to speak she could hardly have gone to higher schools and to college.
I also discuss the political situation with my dear father, and we decide the most perplexing questions quite as satisfactorily to ourselves as if I could see and hear.
It brings me into closer and tenderer relationship with those I love, and makes it possible for me to enjoy the sweet companionship of a great many persons from whom I should be entirely cut off if I could not talk.
No teacher could have made Helen Keller sensitive to the beauties of language and to the finer interplay of thought which demands expression in melodious word groupings.
In mentioning a visit to Lexington, Mass., she writes: As we rode along we could see the forest monarchs bend their proud forms to listen to the little children of the woodlands whispering their secrets.
Careful examination was made of the books in raised print in the library of the Perkins Institution to learn if any extracts from this volume could be found there; but nothing was discovered.
Well, one day King Frost was trying to think of some good that he could do with his treasure; and suddenly he concluded to send some of it to his kind neighbour, Santa Claus, to buy presents of food and clothing for the poor, that they might not suffer so much when King Winter went near their homes.
The fairies promised obedience and soon started on their journey, dragging the great glass jars and vases along, as well as they could, and now and then grumbling a little at having such hard work to do, for they were idle fairies, and liked play better than work.
Nothing could be more beautiful than the architecture of this ice-palace.
The fairies promised obedience, and were off in a twinkling, dragging the heavy jars and vases along after them as well as they could, now and then grumbling a little at having such a hard task, for they were idle fairies and loved to play better than to work.
I never thought that people could make such mistakes.
I hasten to assure you that Helen could not have received any idea of the story from any of her relations or friends here, none of whom can communicate with her readily enough to impress her with the details of a story of that character.
She could not remember that any one had ever read to her any stories about King Frost, but said she had talked with her teacher about Jack Frost and the wonderful things he did.
She could not keep back her tears, and the chief cause of her pain seemed to be the fear lest people should doubt her truthfulness.
So the master of words is master of thoughts which the words create, and says things greater than he could otherwise know.
You forget that death comes to the rich and the poor alike, and comes once for all; but remember, Acheron could not be bribed by gold to ferry the crafty Prometheus back to the sunlit world.
As if you could kill time without injuring eternity.
I sometimes try my acquaintances by such tests as this--Who could wear a patch, or two extra seams only, over the knee?
You could sit up as late as you pleased, and, whenever you got up, go abroad without any landlord or house-lord dogging you for rent.
Or I could refer you to Ireland, which is marked as one of the white or enlightened spots on the map.
How could youths better learn to live than by at once trying the experiment of living?
Well, there I might live, I said; and there I did live, for an hour, a summer and a winter life; saw how I could let the years run off, buffet the winter through, and see the spring come in.
I was as much affected by the faint hum of a mosquito making its invisible and unimaginable tour through my apartment at earliest dawn, when I was sitting with door and windows open, as I could be by any trumpet that ever sang of fame.
I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived.
For my part, I could easily do without the post-office.
What the Roman and Grecian multitude could not hear, after the lapse of ages a few scholars read, and a few scholars only are still reading it.
There were times when I could not afford to sacrifice the bloom of the present moment to any work, whether of the head or hands.
I see these men every day go about their business with more or less courage and content, doing more even than they suspect, and perchance better employed than they could have consciously devised.
The note of this once wild Indian pheasant is certainly the most remarkable of any bird's, and if they could be naturalized without being domesticated, it would soon become the most famous sound in our woods, surpassing the clangor of the goose and the hooting of the owl; and then imagine the cackling of the hens to fill the pauses when their lords' clarions rested!
I could always tell if visitors had called in my absence, either by the bended twigs or grass, or the print of their shoes, and generally of what sex or age or quality they were by some slight trace left, as a flower dropped, or a bunch of grass plucked and thrown away, even as far off as the railroad, half a mile distant, or by the lingering odor of a cigar or pipe.
I one evening overtook one of my townsmen, who has accumulated what is called "a handsome property"--though I never got a fair view of it--on the Walden road, driving a pair of cattle to market, who inquired of me how I could bring my mind to give up so many of the comforts of life.
In my house we were so near that we could not begin to hear--we could not speak low enough to be heard; as when you throw two stones into calm water so near that they break each other's undulations.
As for lodging, it is true they were but poorly entertained, though what they found an inconvenience was no doubt intended for an honor; but as far as eating was concerned, I do not see how the Indians could have done better.
They had nothing to eat themselves, and they were wiser than to think that apologies could supply the place of food to their guests; so they drew their belts tighter and said nothing about it.
Frequently he would leave his dinner in the bushes, when his dog had caught a woodchuck by the way, and go back a mile and a half to dress it and leave it in the cellar of the house where he boarded, after deliberating first for half an hour whether he could not sink it in the pond safely till nightfall--loving to dwell long upon these themes.
If working every day were not my trade, I could get all the meat I should want by hunting-pigeons, woodchucks, rabbits, partridges--by gosh!
I could get all I should want for a week in one day.
He cut his trees level and close to the ground, that the sprouts which came up afterward might be more vigorous and a sled might slide over the stumps; and instead of leaving a whole tree to support his corded wood, he would pare it away to a slender stake or splinter which you could break off with your hand at last.
He was so simply and naturally humble--if he can be called humble who never aspires--that humility was no distinct quality in him, nor could he conceive of it.
Could he do without factories?
Could he dispense with tea and coffee?
He could defend many institutions better than any philosopher, because, in describing them as they concerned him, he gave the true reason for their prevalence, and speculation had not suggested to him any other.
By George, I could talk all day!
I could not but notice some of the peculiarities of my visitors.
But sometimes it was a really noble and inspiring strain that reached these woods, and the trumpet that sings of fame, and I felt as if I could spit a Mexican with a good relish--for why should we always stand for trifles?--and looked round for a woodchuck or a skunk to exercise my chivalry upon.
Sometimes I bolted suddenly, and nobody could tell my whereabouts, for I did not stand much about gracefulness, and never hesitated at a gap in a fence.
I have heard of many going astray even in the village streets, when the darkness was so thick that you could cut it with a knife, as the saying is.
Making another hole directly over it with an ice chisel which I had, and cutting down the longest birch which I could find in the neighborhood with my knife, I made a slip-noose, which I attached to its end, and, letting it down carefully, passed it over the knob of the handle, and drew it by a line along the birch, and so pulled the axe out again.
They are similar to those found in rivers; but as there are no suckers nor lampreys here, I know not by what fish they could be made.
Though I passed over it as gently as possible, the slight undulations produced by my boat extended almost as far as I could see, and gave a ribbed appearance to the reflections.
When I first paddled a boat on Walden, it was completely surrounded by thick and lofty pine and oak woods, and in some of its coves grape-vines had run over the trees next the water and formed bowers under which a boat could pass.
As near as he could remember, it stood twelve or fifteen rods from the shore, where the water was thirty or forty feet deep.
His father, eighty years old, could not remember when it was not there.
Yet, for my part, I was never unusually squeamish; I could sometimes eat a fried rat with a good relish, if it were necessary.
If I knew so wise a man as could teach me purity I would go to seek him forthwith.
Why has man just these species of animals for his neighbors; as if nothing but a mouse could have filled this crevice?
It could readily ascend the sides of the room by short impulses, like a squirrel, which it resembled in its motions.
I had dug out the spring and made a well of clear gray water, where I could dip up a pailful without roiling it, and thither I went for this purpose almost every day in midsummer, when the pond was warmest.
Or I heard the peep of the young when I could not see the parent bird.
He manoeuvred so cunningly that I could not get within half a dozen rods of him.
He led me at once to the widest part of the pond, and could not be driven from it.
I could commonly hear the splash of the water when he came up, and so also detected him.
Though the sky was by this time overcast, the pond was so smooth that I could see where he broke the surface when I did not hear him.
When compelled to rise they would sometimes circle round and round and over the pond at a considerable height, from which they could easily see to other ponds and the river, like black motes in the sky; and, when I thought they had gone off thither long since, they would settle down by a slanting flight of a quarter of a mile on to a distant part which was left free; but what beside safety they got by sailing in the middle of Walden I do not know, unless they love its water for the same reason that I do.
My dwelling was small, and I could hardly entertain an echo in it; but it seemed larger for being a single apartment and remote from neighbors.
One day when I came to the same place forty-eight hours afterward, I found that those large bubbles were still perfect, though an inch more of ice had formed, as I could see distinctly by the seam in the edge of a cake.
Neither could I do without them.
As my driver prophesied when I was plowing, they warmed me twice--once while I was splitting them, and again when they were on the fire, so that no fuel could give out more heat.
But my house occupied so sunny and sheltered a position, and its roof was so low, that I could afford to let the fire go out in the middle of almost any winter day.
But I could no longer sit and look into the fire, and the pertinent words of a poet recurred to me with new force.
He was a man of manners, like one who had seen the world, and was capable of more civil speech than you could well attend to.
One black chicken which the administrator could not catch, black as night and as silent, not even croaking, awaiting Reynard, still went to roost in the next apartment.
When the farmers could not get to the woods and swamps with their teams, and were obliged to cut down the shade trees before their houses, and, when the crust was harder, cut off the trees in the swamps, ten feet from the ground, as it appeared the next spring.
He could hear me when I moved and cronched the snow with my feet, but could not plainly see me.
When I crossed Flint's Pond, after it was covered with snow, though I had often paddled about and skated over it, it was so unexpectedly wide and so strange that I could think of nothing but Baffin's Bay.
Walden, being like the rest usually bare of snow, or with only shallow and interrupted drifts on it, was my yard where I could walk freely when the snow was nearly two feet deep on a level elsewhere and the villagers were confined to their streets.
They tell me that if the fox would remain in the bosom of the frozen earth he would be safe, or if he would run in a straight line away no foxhound could overtake him; but, having left his pursuers far behind, he stops to rest and listen till they come up, and when he runs he circles round to his old haunts, where the hunters await him.
The hunter who told me this could remember one Sam Nutting, who used to hunt bears on Fair Haven Ledges, and exchange their skins for rum in Concord village; who told him, even, that he had seen a moose there.
I fathomed it easily with a cod-line and a stone weighing about a pound and a half, and could tell accurately when the stone left the bottom, by having to pull so much harder before the water got underneath to help me.
A factory-owner, hearing what depth I had found, thought that it could not be true, for, judging from his acquaintance with dams, sand would not lie at so steep an angle.
William Gilpin, who is so admirable in all that relates to landscapes, and usually so correct, standing at the head of Loch Fyne, in Scotland, which he describes as "a bay of salt water, sixty or seventy fathoms deep, four miles in breadth," and about fifty miles long, surrounded by mountains, observes, "If we could have seen it immediately after the diluvian crash, or whatever convulsion of nature occasioned it, before the waters gushed in, what a horrid chasm must it have appeared!
As I sounded through the ice I could determine the shape of the bottom with greater accuracy than is possible in surveying harbors which do not freeze over, and I was surprised at its general regularity.
In order to see how nearly I could guess, with this experience, at the deepest point in a pond, by observing the outlines of a surface and the character of its shores alone, I made a plan of White Pond, which contains about forty-one acres, and, like this, has no island in it, nor any visible inlet or outlet; and as the line of greatest breadth fell very near the line of least breadth, where two opposite capes approached each other and two opposite bays receded, I ventured to mark a point a short distance from the latter line, but still on the line of greatest length, as the deepest.
They told me that in a good day they could get out a thousand tons, which was the yield of about one acre.
If I could ever find the twig he sits upon!
For a week I heard the circling, groping clangor of some solitary goose in the foggy mornings, seeking its companion, and still peopling the woods with the sound of a larger life than they could sustain.
The sulphur-like pollen of the pitch pine soon covered the pond and the stones and rotten wood along the shore, so that you could have collected a barrelful.
Perhaps it seemed to me that I had several more lives to live, and could not spare any more time for that one.
As if Nature could support but one order of understandings, could not sustain birds as well as quadrupeds, flying as well as creeping things, and hush and whoa, which Bright can understand, were the best English.
The material was pure, and his art was pure; how could the result be other than wonderful?
They talked to me of the age of the wine and the fame of the vintage; but I thought of an older, a newer, and purer wine, of a more glorious vintage, which they had not got, and could not buy.
As they could not reach me, they had resolved to punish my body; just as boys, if they cannot come at some person against whom they have a spite, will abuse his dog.
As near as I could discover, he had probably gone to bed in a barn when drunk, and smoked his pipe there; and so a barn was burnt.
I pumped my fellow-prisoner as dry as I could, for fear I should never see him again; but at length he showed me which was my bed, and left me to blow out the lamp.
Placing the bottle on the window sill where he could reach it easily, Dolokhov climbed carefully and slowly through the window and lowered his legs.
"It was all they could do to rescue the poor man," continued the visitor.
She leaned against her mother and burst into such a loud, ringing fit of laughter that even the prim visitor could not help joining in.
I never could understand how Nataly made up her mind to marry that unlicked bear!
But before Pierre--who at that moment imagined himself to be Napoleon in person and to have just effected the dangerous crossing of the Straits of Dover and captured London--could pronounce Pitt's sentence, he saw a well-built and handsome young officer entering his room.
For a long time Pierre could not understand, but when he did, he jumped up from the sofa, seized Boris under the elbow in his quick, clumsy way, and, blushing far more than Boris, began to speak with a feeling of mingled shame and vexation.
Do you suppose I... who could think?...
I could not have done it myself, I should not have had the courage, but it's splendid.
She turned away and gave her hand to the count, who could hardly keep from laughing.
The countess tried to frown, but could not.
Sonya tried to lift her head to answer but could not, and hid her face still deeper in the bed.
Sonya could not continue, and again hid her face in her hands and in the feather bed.
I don't quite remember how, but don't you remember that it could all be arranged and how nice it all was?
But his partner could not and did not want to dance well.
The other couples could not attract a moment's attention to their own evolutions and did not even try to do so.
Prince Vasili looked questioningly at the princess, but could not make out whether she was considering what he had just said or whether she was simply looking at him.
"Who sacrificed everything for him," chimed in the princess, who would again have risen had not the prince still held her fast, "though he never could appreciate it.
But neither Anna Mikhaylovna nor the footman nor the coachman, who could not help seeing these people, took any notice of them.
Pierre could not make out what it was all about, and still less what "watching over his interests" meant, but he decided that all these things had to be.
He could not walk well on tiptoe and his whole body jerked at each step.
All were silently crossing themselves, and the reading of the church service, the subdued chanting of deep bass voices, and in the intervals sighs and the shuffling of feet were the only sounds that could be heard.
She evidently felt unable to look at him without laughing, but could not resist looking at him: so to be out of temptation she slipped quietly behind one of the columns.
The sick man was so surrounded by doctors, princesses, and servants that Pierre could no longer see the reddish-yellow face with its gray mane-- which, though he saw other faces as well, he had not lost sight of for a single moment during the whole service.
When Pierre came up the count was gazing straight at him, but with a look the significance of which could not be understood by mortal man.
She led him into the dark drawing room and Pierre was glad no one could see his face.
Though in the new reign he was free to return to the capitals, he still continued to live in the country, remarking that anyone who wanted to see him could come the hundred miles from Moscow to Bald Hills, while he himself needed no one and nothing.
I never could understand the fondness some people have for confusing their minds by dwelling on mystical books that merely awaken their doubts and excite their imagination, giving them a bent for exaggeration quite contrary to Christian simplicity.
At the appointed hour the prince, powdered and shaven, entered the dining room.
Princess Mary could not understand the boldness of her brother's criticism and was about to reply, when the expected footsteps were heard coming from the study.
He listened, refraining from a reply, and involuntarily wondered how this old man, living alone in the country for so many years, could know and discuss so minutely and acutely all the recent European military and political events.
But even if one might, what feeling except veneration could such a man as my father evoke?
She tried to say something but could not.
It was an autumn night, so dark that the coachman could not see the carriage pole.
Looking at their boots he several times shook his head sadly, pointing them out to the Austrian general with an expression which seemed to say that he was not blaming anyone, but could not help noticing what a bad state of things it was.
Nesvitski could hardly keep from laughter provoked by a swarthy hussar officer who walked beside him.
The hussar at that moment noticed the face of the red-nosed captain and his drawn-in stomach, and mimicked his expression and pose with such exactitude that Nesvitski could not help laughing.
"A cup of vodka for the men from me," he added so that the soldiers could hear.
The soldiers' voices could be heard on every side.
He feared that Bonaparte's genius might outweigh all the courage of the Russian troops, and at the same time could not admit the idea of his hero being disgraced.
*(2) Only a hobbledehoy could amuse himself in this way, he added in Russian--but pronouncing the word with a French accent--having noticed that Zherkov could still hear him.
If we could only get to fighting soon.
He could not draw breath.
He could not finish, and ran out of the room.
The wide expanse that opened out before the heights on which the Russian batteries stood guarding the bridge was at times veiled by a diaphanous curtain of slanting rain, and then, suddenly spread out in the sunlight, far-distant objects could be clearly seen glittering as though freshly varnished.
Down below, the little town could be seen with its white, red-roofed houses, its cathedral, and its bridge, on both sides of which streamed jostling masses of Russian troops.
The turrets of a convent stood out beyond a wild virgin pine forest, and far away on the other side of the Enns the enemy's horse patrols could be discerned.
On the opposite side the enemy could be seen by the naked eye, and from their battery a milk-white cloud arose.
Then came the distant report of a shot, and our troops could be seen hurrying to the crossing.
Each time Prince Nesvitski tried to move on, soldiers and carts pushed him back again and pressed him against the railings, and all he could do was to smile.
It was calm, and at intervals the bugle calls and the shouts of the enemy could be heard from the hill.
After his dismissal from headquarters Zherkov had not remained in the regiment, saying he was not such a fool as to slave at the front when he could get more rewards by doing nothing on the staff, and had succeeded in attaching himself as an orderly officer to Prince Bagration.
After him the stout Nesvitski came galloping up on a Cossack horse that could scarcely carry his weight.
You said the bridge would be burned, but who would it burn, I could not know by the holy spirit!
"True enough," answered Nesvitski; "two smart fellows could have done the job just as well."
Despite his apparently delicate build Prince Andrew could endure physical fatigue far better than many very muscular men, and on the night of the battle, having arrived at Krems excited but not weary, with dispatches from Dokhturov to Kutuzov, he was sent immediately with a special dispatch to Brunn.
I could not have a more welcome visitor, said Bilibin as he came out to meet Prince Andrew.
Bilibin liked conversation as he liked work, only when it could be made elegantly witty.
After the fatigues and impressions of the journey, his reception, and especially after having dined, Bolkonski felt that he could not take in the full significance of the words he heard.
He was evidently distressed, and breathed painfully, but could not restrain the wild laughter that convulsed his usually impassive features.
Prince Andrew could not understand.
Listening to Bilibin he was already imagining how on reaching the army he would give an opinion at the war council which would be the only one that could save the army, and how he alone would be entrusted with the executing of the plan.
I know nothing except that it was all I could do to get here.
Kutuzov with his transport had still to march for some days before he could reach Znaim.
From there the French could already be seen.
At Grunth also some apprehension and alarm could be felt, but the nearer Prince Andrew came to the French lines the more confident was the appearance of our troops.
Our front line and that of the enemy were far apart on the right and left flanks, but in the center where the men with a flag of truce had passed that morning, the lines were so near together that the men could see one another's faces and speak to one another.
Having ridden round the whole line from right flank to left, Prince Andrew made his way up to the battery from which the staff officer had told him the whole field could be seen.
Just facing it, on the crest of the opposite hill, the village of Schon Grabern could be seen, and in three places to left and right the French troops amid the smoke of their campfires, the greater part of whom were evidently in the village itself and behind the hill.
The French line was wider than ours, and it was plain that they could easily outflank us on both sides.
In that case the dragoons could successfully make a flank counterattack.
Suddenly, however, he was struck by a voice coming from the shed, and its tone was so sincere that he could not but listen.
Prince Andrew gazed with anxious curiosity at that impassive face and wished he could tell what, if anything, this man was thinking and feeling at that moment.
As he approached, a ringing shot issued from it deafening him and his suite, and in the smoke that suddenly surrounded the gun they could see the gunners who had seized it straining to roll it quickly back to its former position.
It seemed to Prince Andrew that the officer's remark was just and that really no answer could be made to it.
Prince Bagration, having reached the highest point of our right flank, began riding downhill to where the roll of musketry was heard but where on account of the smoke nothing could be seen.
The nearer they got to the hollow the less they could see but the more they felt the nearness of the actual battlefield.
He spoke as if those bullets could not kill him, and his half-closed eyes gave still more persuasiveness to his words.
One could already see the soldiers' shaggy caps, distinguish the officers from the men, and see the standard flapping against its staff.
Prince Andrew, walking beside Bagration, could clearly distinguish their bandoliers, red epaulets, and even their faces.
He was seized by panic and could not go where it was dangerous.
Having reached the left flank, instead of going to the front where the firing was, he began to look for the general and his staff where they could not possibly be, and so did not deliver the order.
Before him, on the right, Rostov saw the front lines of his hussars and still farther ahead a dark line which he could not see distinctly but took to be the enemy.
Shots could be heard, but some way off.
Blood was flowing from his head; he struggled but could not rise.
"Where, on which side, was now the line that had so sharply divided the two armies?" he asked himself and could not answer.
The foremost Frenchman, the one with the hooked nose, was already so close that the expression of his face could be seen.
He could run no more.
Though the commander was occupied in giving instructions to Major Ekonomov, he could not help taking notice of the soldier.
Though he thought of everything, considered everything, and did everything the best of officers could do in his position, he was in a state akin to feverish delirium or drunkenness.
It was all that they could do to get the guns up the rise aided by the infantry, and having reached the village of Gruntersdorf they halted.
It had grown so dark that one could not distinguish the uniforms ten paces off, and the firing had begun to subside.
They all rushed out of the village again, but Tushin's guns could not move, and the artillerymen, Tushin, and the cadet exchanged silent glances as they awaited their fate.
Nothing could be seen.
Drowsiness was irresistibly mastering him, but he kept awake by an excruciating pain in his arm, for which he could find no satisfactory position.
Tushin's large, kind, intelligent eyes were fixed with sympathy and commiseration on Rostov, who saw that Tushin with his whole heart wished to help him but could not.
Could one possibly make out amid all that confusion what did or did not happen?
But when he came across a man of position his instinct immediately told him that this man could be useful, and without any premeditation Prince Vasili took the first opportunity to gain his confidence, flatter him, become intimate with him, and finally make his request.
She could not refrain from weeping at these words.
Touched that this statuesque princess could so change, Pierre took her hand and begged her forgiveness, without knowing what for.
It seemed so natural to Pierre that everyone should like him, and it would have seemed so unnatural had anyone disliked him, that he could not but believe in the sincerity of those around him.
No one has ever complained yet of being too much loved; and besides, you are free, you could throw it up tomorrow.
Even if Anna Pavlovna did not say so, he could see that she wished to and only refrained out of regard for his modesty.
When he read that sentence, Pierre felt for the first time that some link which other people recognized had grown up between himself and Helene, and that thought both alarmed him, as if some obligation were being imposed on him which he could not fulfill, and pleased him as an entertaining supposition.
And at that moment Pierre felt that Helene not only could, but must, be his wife, and that it could not be otherwise.
When he got home he could not sleep for a long time for thinking of what had happened.
At one end of the table, the old chamberlain was heard assuring an old baroness that he loved her passionately, at which she laughed; at the other could be heard the story of the misfortunes of some Mary Viktorovna or other.
Poor Vyazmitinov could not get any farther!
But much as all the rest laughed, talked, and joked, much as they enjoyed their Rhine wine, saute, and ices, and however they avoided looking at the young couple, and heedless and unobservant as they seemed of them, one could feel by the occasional glances they gave that the story about Sergey Kuzmich, the laughter, and the food were all a pretense, and that the whole attention of that company was directed to-- Pierre and Helene.
Now he felt that it was inevitable, but he could not make up his mind to take the final step.
Prince Vasili gave him a look of stern inquiry, as though what Pierre had just said was so strange that one could not take it in.
"Something special is always said in such cases," he thought, but could not remember what it was that people say.
What she found hardest to bear was to know that on such occasions she ought to behave like Mademoiselle Bourienne, but could not.
Princess Mary's self-esteem was wounded by the fact that the arrival of a suitor agitated her, and still more so by both her companions' not having the least conception that it could be otherwise.
They forgot that the frightened face and the figure could not be altered, and that however they might change the setting and adornment of that face, it would still remain piteous and plain.
Could the joy of love, of earthly love for a man, be for her?
What could all that matter in comparison with the will of God, without Whose care not a hair of man's head can fall?
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.
She still could not see him.
It was evident that he could be silent in this way for a very long time.
The question was whether he could ever bring himself to part from his daughter and give her to a husband.
"Is it possible that Amelie" (Mademoiselle Bourienne) "thinks I could be jealous of her, and not value her pure affection and devotion to me?"
She could not lie either on her face or on her side.
It was untrue to be sure, but still it was terrible, and she could not help thinking of it.
She could not understand it.
And, oh God, how passionately she must love him if she could so far forget herself!
She believed it could be, but did not understand it.
As twenty years before, it seemed impossible that the little creature who lived somewhere under her heart would ever cry, suck her breast, and begin to speak, so now she could not believe that that little creature could be this strong, brave man, this model son and officer that, judging by this letter, he now was.
He could not tell them simply that everyone went at a trot and that he fell off his horse and sprained his arm and then ran as hard as he could from a Frenchman into the wood.
To this Prince Andrew answered with a smile that he could give no opinion on such an important government order, and Berg laughed gaily.
Commanded by the Emperor himself they could not fail to vanquish anyone, be it whom it might: so thought Rostov and most of the officers after the review.
The day after the review, Boris, in his best uniform and with his comrade Berg's best wishes for success, rode to Olmutz to see Bolkonski, wishing to profit by his friendliness and obtain for himself the best post he could--preferably that of adjutant to some important personage, a position in the army which seemed to him most attractive.
"Yes, I was thinking"--for some reason Boris could not help blushing-- "of asking the commander-in-chief.
This combination of Austrian precision with Russian valor--what more could be wished for?
But what was most amusing," he continued, with a sudden, good-natured laugh, "was that we could not think how to address the reply!
On the way home, Prince Andrew could not refrain from asking Kutuzov, who was sitting silently beside him, what he thought of tomorrow's battle.
At last Bagration's orderly came with the news that the prince could not attend.
Langeron's objections were valid but it was obvious that their chief aim was to show General Weyrother--who had read his dispositions with as much self-confidence as if he were addressing school children--that he had to do, not with fools, but with men who could teach him something in military matters.
"If he could attack us, he would have done so today," said he.
An enormous space, with our army's campfires dimly glowing in the fog, could be seen behind him; in front of him was misty darkness.
On this knoll there was a white patch that Rostov could not at all make out: was it a glade in the wood lit up by the moon, or some unmelted snow, or some white houses?
Rostov could hear the sound of French words but could not distinguish them.
The din of many voices was too great; all he could hear was: "ahahah!" and "rrrr!"
The shouting grew still louder and merged into a general roar that only an army of several thousand men could produce.
The officers were hurriedly drinking tea and breakfasting, the soldiers, munching biscuit and beating a tattoo with their feet to warm themselves, gathering round the fires throwing into the flames the remains of sheds, chairs, tables, wheels, tubs, and everything that they did not want or could not carry away with them.
The fog had grown so dense that though it was growing light they could not see ten paces ahead.
The whole French army, and even Napoleon himself with his staff, were not on the far side of the streams and hollows of Sokolnitz and Schlappanitz beyond which we intended to take up our position and begin the action, but were on this side, so close to our own forces that Napoleon with the naked eye could distinguish a mounted man from one on foot.
The locality and the position of our troops were known to him as far as they could be known to anyone in our army.
His own strategic plan, which obviously could not now be carried out, was forgotten.
To the left down below in the mist, the musketry fire of unseen forces could be heard.
He could not look calmly at the standards of the passing battalions.
In front, far off on the farther shore of that sea of mist, some wooded hills were discernible, and it was there the enemy probably was, for something could be descried.
He beckoned to one of his white adjutants and asked some question--"Most likely he is asking at what o'clock they started," thought Prince Andrew, watching his old acquaintance with a smile he could not repress as he recalled his reception at Brunn.
He could see puffs of musketry smoke that seemed to chase one another down the hillsides, and clouds of cannon smoke rolling, spreading, and mingling with one another.
He could also, by the gleam of bayonets visible through the smoke, make out moving masses of infantry and narrow lines of artillery with green caissons.
Rostov could already see their faces and heard the command: "Charge!" shouted by an officer who was urging his thoroughbred to full speed.
Rostov, fearing to be crushed or swept into the attack on the French, galloped along the front as hard as his horse could go, but still was not in time to avoid them.
He could see nothing more, for immediately afterwards cannon began firing from somewhere and smoke enveloped everything.
Suddenly he heard musket fire quite close in front of him and behind our troops, where he could never have expected the enemy to be.
The idea of defeat and flight could not enter Rostov's head.
Rostov kept asking everyone he could stop, but got no answer from anyone.
The wounded crept together in twos and threes and one could hear their distressing screams and groans, sometimes feigned--or so it seemed to Rostov.
No one whom Rostov asked could tell him where the Emperor or Kutuzov was.
Not one of the innumerable speeches addressed to the Emperor that he had composed in his imagination could he now recall.
Looking into Napoleon's eyes Prince Andrew thought of the insignificance of greatness, the unimportance of life which no one could understand, and the still greater unimportance of death, the meaning of which no one alive could understand or explain.
Prokofy, the footman, who was so strong that he could lift the back of the carriage from behind, sat plaiting slippers out of cloth selvedges.
He could not distinguish which was Papa, which Natasha, and which Petya.
But now steps were heard at the door, steps so rapid that they could hardly be his mother's.
She could not lift her face, but only pressed it to the cold braiding of his hussar's jacket.
They hardly gave one another time to ask questions and give replies concerning a thousand little matters which could not interest anyone but themselves.
See! she said, but could not maintain herself on her toes any longer.
The dinner, both the Lenten and the other fare, was splendid, yet he could not feel quite at ease till the end of the meal.
Young Rostov's ecstatic voice could be heard above the three hundred others.
It was thawing and misty; at forty paces' distance nothing could be seen.
It was evident that the affair so lightly begun could no longer be averted but was taking its course independently of men's will.
"Plea..." began Dolokhov, but could not at first pronounce the word.
He lay down on the sofa meaning to fall asleep and forget all that had happened to him, but could not do so.
Such a storm of feelings, thoughts, and memories suddenly arose within him that he could not fall asleep, nor even remain in one place, but had to jump up and pace the room with rapid steps.
Often seeing the success she had with young and old men and women Pierre could not understand why he did not love her.
He could not imagine how he could speak to her now.
Pierre turned over heavily on the ottoman and opened his mouth, but could not reply.
And how could you believe he was my lover?
He was suffering physically at that moment, there was a weight on his chest and he could not breathe.
Princess Mary could not lift her head, she was weeping.
Still lower, beyond the turn of the staircase, one could hear the footstep of someone in thick felt boots, and a voice that seemed familiar to Princess Mary was saying something.
Then suddenly a terrible shriek--it could not be hers, she could not scream like that--came from the bedroom.
"Ah, what have you done to me?" it still seemed to say, and Prince Andrew felt that something gave way in his soul and that he was guilty of a sin he could neither remedy nor forget.
He could not weep.
As a result he could not go to the country with the rest of the family, but was kept all summer in Moscow by his new duties.
He was pointedly attentive to Sonya and looked at her in such a way that not only could she not bear his glances without coloring, but even the old countess and Natasha blushed when they saw his looks.
"Yes, my Sonya could not have done otherwise!" thought Nicholas.
That evening, proud of Dolokhov's proposal, her refusal, and her explanation with Nicholas, Sonya twirled about before she left home so that the maid could hardly get her hair plaited, and she was transparently radiant with impulsive joy.
Nicholas could not refuse Iogel and asked Sonya to dance.
But before he had thought of anything, Dolokhov, looking straight in his face, said slowly and deliberately so that everyone could hear:
And strange to say Nicholas felt that he could not help taking up a card, putting a small stake on it, and beginning to play.
On the previous Sunday the old count had given his son two thousand rubles, and though he always disliked speaking of money difficulties had told Nicholas that this was all he could let him have till May, and asked him to be more economical this time.
He had lost more than he could pay.
He knew what a shock he would inflict on his father and mother by the news of this loss, he knew what a relief it would be to escape it all, and felt that Dolokhov knew that he could save him from all this shame and sorrow, but wanted now to play with him as a cat does with a mouse.
Nicholas tried to say "Yes," but could not: and he nearly burst into sobs.
"It can't be helped It happens to everyone!" said the son, with a bold, free, and easy tone, while in his soul he regarded himself as a worthless scoundrel whose whole life could not atone for his crime.
Natasha could not remain calm, seeing him in such a plight.
After Denisov's departure, Rostov spent another fortnight in Moscow, without going out of the house, waiting for the money his father could not at once raise, and he spent most of his time in the girls' room.
Without changing his careless attitude, Pierre looked at them over his spectacles unable to understand what they wanted or how they could go on living without having solved the problems that so absorbed him.
It was as if the thread of the chief screw which held his life together were stripped, so that the screw could not get in or out, but went on turning uselessly in the same place.
As if that money could add a hair's breadth to happiness or peace of mind.
God could not have put into her heart an impulse that was against His will.
Pierre could not and did not wish to break this silence.
"He exists, but to understand Him is hard," the Mason began again, looking not at Pierre but straight before him, and turning the leaves of his book with his old hands which from excitement he could not keep still.
If it were a man whose existence thou didst doubt I could bring him to thee, could take him by the hand and show him to thee.
But this man knows the truth and, if he wished to, could disclose it to me.
Pierre could not go on.
For a long time he could not utter a word, so that the Rhetor had to repeat his question.
This chamber with what you see therein should already have suggested to your heart, if it is sincere, more than words could do.
Pierre quickly took out his purse and watch, but could not manage for some time to get the wedding ring off his fat finger.
Pierre glanced at the serious faces of those around, remembered all he had already gone through, and realized that he could not stop halfway.
As to the first pair of gloves, a man's, he said that Pierre could not know their meaning but must keep them.
He made friends with and sought the acquaintance of only those above him in position and who could therefore be of use to him.
"You absolutely must come and see me," she said in a tone that implied that, for certain considerations he could not know of, this was absolutely necessary.
It was not what he had read that vexed him, but the fact that the life out there in which he had now no part could perturb him.
He drew the curtain aside and for some time his frightened, restless eyes could not find the baby.
Temptations to Pierre's greatest weakness-- the one to which he had confessed when admitted to the Lodge--were so strong that he could not resist them.
As is usually the case with people meeting after a prolonged separation, it was long before their conversation could settle on anything.
It was as if Prince Andrew would have liked to sympathize with what Pierre was saying, but could not.
What evil and error are there in it, if people were dying of disease without help while material assistance could so easily be rendered, and I supplied them with a doctor, a hospital, and an asylum for the aged?
Just as I could not stand his terrible physical labor but should die of it in a week, so he could not stand my physical idleness, but would grow fat and die.
I should be thankful to do nothing, but here on the one hand the local nobility have done me the honor to choose me to be their marshal; it was all I could do to get out of it.
They could not understand that I have not the necessary qualifications for it--the kind of good-natured, fussy shallowness necessary for the position.
Nor could I, and it cannot be seen if one looks on our life here as the end of everything.
She evidently felt frightened and ashamed to have accepted charity in a house where such things could be said, and was at the same time sorry to have now to forgo the charity of this house.
As no transports could arrive, the men dispersed about the abandoned and deserted villages, searching for potatoes, but found few even of these.
Rostov took the joke as an insult, flared up, and said such unpleasant things to the officer that it was all Denisov could do to prevent a duel.
The roof was so constructed that one could stand up in the middle of the trench and could even sit up on the beds if one drew close to the table.
He could hear that Lavrushka--that sly, bold orderly of Denisov's--was talking, as well as the quartermaster.
Denisov could not speak and gasped for breath.
The smell was so strong there that Rostov held his nose and had to pause and collect his strength before he could go on.
As if you could come at a wrong time! said Boris, and he led him into the room where the supper table was laid and introduced him to his guests, explaining that he was not a civilian, but an hussar officer, and an old friend of his.
When he and Boris were alone, Rostov felt for the first time that he could not look Boris in the face without a sense of awkwardness.
He could not himself go to the general in attendance as he was in mufti and had come to Tilsit without permission to do so, and Boris, even had he wished to, could not have done so on the following day.
If only I were to hand the letter direct to him and tell him all... could they really arrest me for my civilian clothes?
It could be no one else.
On approaching Alexander he raised his hat, and as he did so, Rostov, with his cavalryman's eye, could not help noticing that Napoleon did not sit well or firmly in the saddle.
In his mind, a painful process was going on which he could not bring to a conclusion.
He feared to give way to his thoughts, yet could not get rid of them.
In the forest it was almost hot, no wind could be felt.
She was evidently leaning right out, for the rustle of her dress and even her breathing could be heard.
He could not now understand how he could ever even have doubted the necessity of taking an active share in life, just as a month before he had not understood how the idea of leaving the quiet country could ever enter his head.
"If it were hot," Prince Andrew would reply at such times very dryly to his sister, "he could go out in his smock, but as it is cold he must wear warm clothes, which were designed for that purpose.
It was evident that the thought could never occur to him which to Prince Andrew seemed so natural, namely, that it is after all impossible to express all one thinks; and that he had never felt the doubt, "Is not all I think and believe nonsense?"
He liked to dine and drink well, and though he considered it immoral and humiliating could not resist the temptations of the bachelor circles in which he moved.
Even those members who seemed to be on his side understood him in their own way with limitations and alterations he could not agree to, as what he always wanted most was to convey his thought to others just as he himself understood it.
I told him everything as best I could, and told him what I had proposed to our Petersburg lodge, of the bad reception I had encountered, and of my rupture with the Brothers.
I could not be eloquent, nor could I frankly mention my doubts to the Brothers and to the Grand Master.
I stepped on it, but it bent and gave way and I began to clamber up a fence which I could scarcely reach with my hands.
It seemed as if I chattered incessantly with other people and suddenly remembered that this could not please him, and I wished to come close to him and embrace him.
But as soon as I drew near I saw that his face had changed and grown young, and he was quietly telling me something about the teaching of our order, but so softly that I could not hear it.
And looking at those drawings I dreamed I felt that I was doing wrong, but could not tear myself away from them.
Though some skeptics smiled when told of Berg's merits, it could not be denied that he was a painstaking and brave officer, on excellent terms with his superiors, and a moral young man with a brilliant career before him and an assured position in society.
He did not know at all how much he had, what his debts amounted to, or what dowry he could give Vera.
But he went with the firm intention of letting her and her parents feel that the childish relations between himself and Natasha could not be binding either on her or on him.
It seemed to him that he ought to have an explanation with Natasha and tell her that the old times must be forgotten, that in spite of everything... she could not be his wife, that he had no means, and they would never let her marry him.
It was a long time before she could sleep.
She kept thinking that no one could understand all that she understood and all there was in her.
No, how could she?
"I'll arrange it," and she rushed forward so that the maids who were tacking up her skirt could not move fast enough and a piece of gauze was torn off.
Natasha looked in the mirrors and could not distinguish her reflection from the others.
Prince Andrew, as one closely connected with Speranski and participating in the work of the legislative commission, could give reliable information about that sitting, concerning which various rumors were current.
But either from fatigue or want of sleep he was ill-disposed for work and could get nothing done.
He tried several times to join in the conversation, but his remarks were tossed aside each time like a cork thrown out of the water, and he could not jest with them.
Then he vividly pictured to himself Bogucharovo, his occupations in the country, his journey to Ryazan; he remembered the peasants and Dron the village elder, and mentally applying to them the Personal Rights he had divided into paragraphs, he felt astonished that he could have spent so much time on such useless work.
The old count's hospitality and good nature, which struck one especially in Petersburg as a pleasant surprise, were such that Prince Andrew could not refuse to stay to dinner.
He went to bed from habit, but soon realized that he could not sleep.
Unfortunately she could not grant my request, but I hope, Count, I shall be more fortunate with you, he said with a smile.
Only Countess Helene, considering the society of such people as the Bergs beneath her, could be cruel enough to refuse such an invitation.
Berg explained so clearly why he wanted to collect at his house a small but select company, and why this would give him pleasure, and why though he grudged spending money on cards or anything harmful, he was prepared to run into some expense for the sake of good society--that Pierre could not refuse, and promised to come.
Berg, closely buttoned up in his new uniform, sat beside his wife explaining to her that one always could and should be acquainted with people above one, because only then does one get satisfaction from acquaintances.
Berg and Vera could not repress their smiles of satisfaction at the sight of all this movement in their drawing room, at the sound of the disconnected talk, the rustling of dresses, and the bowing and scraping.
Could she be constant in her attachments?
Could she, like other women" (Vera meant herself), "love a man once for all and remain true to him forever?
She felt that he wanted to say something to her but could not bring himself to do so.
And could we ever have thought!...
He could not comprehend how anyone could wish to alter his life or introduce anything new into it, when his own life was already ending.
Pierre did not come either and Natasha, not knowing that Prince Andrew had gone to see his father, could not explain his absence to herself.
But however much they left her in peace she could not now be at peace, and immediately felt this.
Before the countess could answer, Prince Andrew entered the room with an agitated and serious face.
He could talk about rural economy with the count, fashions with the countess and Natasha, and about albums and fancywork with Sonya.
When Prince Andrew spoke (he could tell a story very well), Natasha listened to him with pride; when she spoke she noticed with fear and joy that he gazed attentively and scrutinizingly at her.
Could he be to blame toward her, or could her father, whom she knew loved her in spite of it all, be unjust?
Could he be to blame toward her, or could her father, whom she knew loved her in spite of it all, be unjust?
Then, at the moment of our loss, these thoughts could not occur to me; I should then have dismissed them with horror, but now they are very clear and certain.
Secondly because, as far as I know, that girl is not the kind of girl who could please Prince Andrew.
The whine of a straggling hound could be heard.
Rostov, having finally settled with "Uncle" where they should set on the hounds, and having shown Natasha where she was to stand--a spot where nothing could possibly run out--went round above the ravine.
After the cry of the hounds came the deep tones of the wolf call from Daniel's hunting horn; the pack joined the first three hounds and they could be heard in full cry, with that peculiar lift in the note that indicates that they are after a wolf.
He was galloping round by the bushes while the field was coming up on both sides, all trying to head the wolf, but it vanished into the wood before they could do so.
The height of happiness was reached--and so simply, without warning, or noise, or display, that Rostov could not believe his eyes and remained in doubt for over a second.
Nicholas could already see not far in front of him the wood where the wolf would certainly escape should she reach it.
But the wolf jumped up more quickly than anyone could have expected and, gnashing her teeth, flew at the yellowish borzoi, which, with a piercing yelp, fell with its head on the ground, bleeding from a gash in its side.
That instant, when Nicholas saw the wolf struggling in the gully with the dogs, while from under them could be seen her gray hair and outstretched hind leg and her frightened choking head, with her ears laid back (Karay was pinning her by the throat), was the happiest moment of his life.
Nicholas standing in a fallow field could see all his whips.
For myself, I can tell you, Count, I enjoy riding in company such as this... what could be better?
But before the whip could reply, the hare, scenting the frost coming next morning, was unable to rest and leaped up.
"Once she had missed it and turned it away, any mongrel could take it," Ilagin was saying at the same time, breathless from his gallop and his excitement.
You see it's damp weather, and you could rest, and the little countess could be driven home in a trap.
Leading from the study was a passage in which a partition with ragged curtains could be seen.
"Uncle" too was in high spirits and far from being offended by the brother's and sister's laughter (it could never enter his head that they might be laughing at his way of life) he himself joined in the merriment.
How could one help understanding?
He accompanied them on foot as far as the bridge that could not be crossed, so that they had to go round by the ford, and he sent huntsmen to ride in front with lanterns.
They could not see the horses, but only heard them splashing through the unseen mud.
They had not as many visitors as before, but the old habits of life without which the count and countess could not conceive of existence remained unchanged.
There was still the hunting establishment which Nicholas had enlarged.
From her feminine point of view she could see only one solution, namely, for Nicholas to marry a rich heiress.
She said she could lie down in her grave peacefully if that were accomplished.
I wonder how Mamma could speak so to me.
Though she blamed herself for it, she could not refrain from grumbling at and worrying Sonya, often pulling her up without reason, addressing her stiffly as "my dear," and using the formal "you" instead of the intimate "thou" in speaking to her.
Natasha was still as much in love with her betrothed, found the same comfort in that love, and was still as ready to throw herself into all the pleasures of life as before; but at the end of the fourth month of their separation she began to have fits of depression which she could not master.
She could not see people unconcernedly, but had to send them on some errand.
She sat awhile, wondering what the meaning of it all having happened before could be, and without solving this problem, or at all regretting not having done so, she again passed in fancy to the time when she was with him and he was looking at her with a lover's eyes.
"Idiot!" she screamed at her brother and, running to a chair, threw herself on it, sobbing so violently that she could not stop for a long time.
It was so light that he could see the moonlight reflected from the metal harness disks and from the eyes of the horses, who looked round in alarm at the noisy party under the shadow of the porch roof.
From that sleigh one could hear the shouts, laughter, and voices of the mummers.
How could she say such a thing!
After that, I could not make out what there was; something blue and red...
Nicholas replied that he could not go back on his word, and his father, sighing and evidently disconcerted, very soon became silent and went in to the countess.
Self- sacrifice was her most cherished idea but in this case she could not see what she ought to sacrifice, or for whom.
She could not help loving the countess and the whole Rostov family, but neither could she help loving Nicholas and knowing that his happiness depended on that love.
The countess, with a coldness her son had never seen in her before, replied that he was of age, that Prince Andrew was marrying without his father's consent, and he could do the same, but that she would never receive that intriguer as her daughter.
Sonya was unhappy at the separation from Nicholas and still more so on account of the hostile tone the countess could not help adopting toward her.
She could not write, because she could not conceive the possibility of expressing sincerely in a letter even a thousandth part of what she expressed by voice, smile, and glance.
He could not have believed it!
For a long time he could not reconcile himself to the idea that he was one of those same retired Moscow gentlemen-in-waiting he had so despised seven years before.
After admitting the doctor, Princess Mary sat down with a book in the drawing room near the door through which she could hear all that passed in the study.
With her, he said, he could not have a moment's peace and could not die quietly.
But he could not restrain himself and with the virulence of which only one who loves is capable, evidently suffering himself, he shook his fists at her and screamed:
Boris had realized this the week before when the commander-in-chief in his presence invited Rostopchin to dinner on St. Nicholas' Day, and Rostopchin had replied that he could not come:
Then there is only one thing left--to go away, but where could I go?
I only wish I could spare my brother the first moments.
But who could help loving her?
She knew that for the Penza estates and Nizhegorod forests she could demand this, and she received what she demanded.
Natasha remained silent, from shyness Marya Dmitrievna supposed, but really because she disliked anyone interfering in what touched her love of Prince Andrew, which seemed to her so apart from all human affairs that no one could understand it.
When the count returned, Natasha was impolitely pleased and hastened to get away: at that moment she hated the stiff, elderly princess, who could place her in such an embarrassing position and had spent half an hour with her without once mentioning Prince Andrew.
Natasha did not want to go, but could not refuse Marya Dmitrievna's kind offer which was intended expressly for her.
She's a woman one could easily fall in love with.
She could not follow the opera nor even listen to the music; she saw only the painted cardboard and the queerly dressed men and women who moved, spoke, and sang so strangely in that brilliant light.
She could say what she did not think--especially what was flattering--quite simply and naturally.
Ought I to put it right? she asked herself, and she could not refrain from turning round.
She felt agitated and tormented, and the cause of this was Kuragin whom she could not help watching.
How could I let him?
Only to the old countess at night in bed could Natasha have told all she was feeling.
Still less could he be accused of ambition.
She could no longer think of him by herself calmly and continuously as she had done before.
He said this at a moment when she alone could hear him.
Natasha lifted her frightened eyes to him, but there was such confident tenderness in his affectionate look and smile that she could not, whilst looking at him, say what she had to say.
She so wanted a word from him that would explain to her what had happened and to which she could find no answer.
"Else how could all this have happened?" thought she.
If, after that, I could return his smile when saying good-by, if I was able to let it come to that, it means that I loved him from the first.
It means that he is kind, noble, and splendid, and I could not help loving him.
If the old man came round it would be all the better to visit him in Moscow or at Bald Hills later on; and if not, the wedding, against his wishes, could only be arranged at Otradnoe.
Whatever her father's feelings might be, she begged Natasha to believe that she could not help loving her as the one chosen by her brother, for whose happiness she was ready to sacrifice everything.
Princess Mary went on to ask Natasha to fix a time when she could see her again.
What more could she write after all that had happened the evening before?
"Why could that not be as well?" she sometimes asked herself in complete bewilderment.
Only so could I be completely happy; but now I have to choose, and I can't be happy without either of them.
Yes, she loved him, or else how could that have happened which had happened?
And how could she have a love letter from him in her hand?
Then he went on to say that he knew her parents would not give her to him--for this there were secret reasons he could reveal only to her--but that if she loved him she need only say the word yes, and no human power could hinder their bliss.
How could it go so far?
And how could she let Kuragin go to such lengths?
She could not do such a thing!
Natasha looked at Sonya with wide-open eyes as if she could not grasp the question.
As soon as I saw him I felt he was my master and I his slave, and that I could not help loving him.
How could you let him go so far? she went on, with a horror and disgust she could hardly conceal.
That Prince Andrew's deeply loved affianced wife--the same Natasha Rostova who used to be so charming--should give up Bolkonski for that fool Anatole who was already secretly married (as Pierre knew), and should be so in love with him as to agree to run away with him, was something Pierre could not conceive and could not imagine.
He could not reconcile the charming impression he had of Natasha, whom he had known from a child, with this new conception of her baseness, folly, and cruelty.
He could not marry--he is married!
You could at least take back your words.
Pierre saw the distracted count, and Sonya, who had a tear-stained face, but he could not see Natasha.
She did not understand how he could ask such a question.
"He could not marry, for he was married already," said Pierre.
I said that a fallen woman should be forgiven, but I didn't say I could forgive her.
Looking at them Pierre realized what contempt and animosity they all felt for the Rostovs, and that it was impossible in their presence even to mention the name of her who could give up Prince Andrew for anyone else.
Without each of these causes nothing could have happened.
All the time Boris was going through the figures of the mazurka, he was worried by the question of what news Balashev had brought and how he could find it out before others.
The reasons on which the Duc de Bassano based his refusal to deliver them to him would never have led me to suppose that that could serve as a pretext for aggression.
The colonel respectfully informed His Majesty of Balashev's mission, whose name he could not pronounce.
He could not utter them, though he wished to do so.
If you gave me Petersburg and Moscow I could not accept such conditions.
But he had begun talking, and the more he talked the less could he control his words.
I give you my word of honor," said Napoleon, forgetting that his word of honor could carry no weight--"I give you my word of honor that I have five hundred and thirty thousand men this side of the Vistula.
Balashev bowed his head with an air indicating that he would like to make his bow and leave, and only listened because he could not help hearing what was said to him.
Not only could he no longer think the thoughts that had first come to him as he lay gazing at the sky on the field of Austerlitz and had later enlarged upon with Pierre, and which had filled his solitude at Bogucharovo and then in Switzerland and Rome, but he even dreaded to recall them and the bright and boundless horizons they had revealed.
The old prince knew very well that he tormented his daughter and that her life was very hard, but he also knew that he could not help tormenting her and that she deserved it.
And he began explaining why he could not put up with his daughter's unreasonable character.
The old man at first stared fixedly at his son, and an unnatural smile disclosed the fresh gap between his teeth to which Prince Andrew could not get accustomed.
Of a fourth opinion the most conspicuous representative was the Tsarevich, who could not forget his disillusionment at Austerlitz, where he had ridden out at the head of the Guards, in his casque and cavalry uniform as to a review, expecting to crush the French gallantly; but unexpectedly finding himself in the front line had narrowly escaped amid the general confusion.
One could see that he wished to pass through the rooms as quickly as possible, finish with the bows and greetings, and sit down to business in front of a map, where he would feel at home.
It was one of the millions of proposals, one as good as another, that could be made as long as it was quite unknown what character the war would take.
In answer to Toll, Paulucci suggested an advance and an attack, which, he urged, could alone extricate us from the present uncertainty and from the trap (as he called the Drissa camp) in which we were situated.
On receiving this letter, Nicholas did not even make any attempt to get leave of absence or to retire from the army, but wrote to his parents that he was sorry Natasha was ill and her engagement broken off, and that he would do all he could to meet their wishes.
Nothing but honor could keep me from returning to the country.
Then came an order to retreat to Sventsyani and destroy any provisions they could not carry away with them.
Rostov and Ilyin hastened to find a corner where they could change into dry clothes without offending Mary Hendrikhovna's modesty.
Seeing his gloomy face as he frowned at his wife, the officers grew still merrier, and some of them could not refrain from laughter, for which they hurriedly sought plausible pretexts.
A judge of horses and a sportsman, he had lately procured himself a large, fine, mettlesome, Donets horse, dun-colored, with light mane and tail, and when he rode it no one could outgallop him.
He knew from experience the tormenting expectation of terror and death the cornet was suffering and knew that only time could help him.
In front, beyond a hollow dale, could be seen the enemy's columns and guns.
Our advanced line, already in action, could be heard briskly exchanging shots with the enemy in the dale.
He could already see how these men, who looked so small at the foot of the hill, jostled and overtook one another, waving their arms and their sabers in the air.
He felt instinctively that if the hussars struck at the French dragoons now, the latter could not withstand them, but if a charge was to be made it must be done now, at that very moment, or it would be too late.
You know, we could crush them....
The bullets were whining and whistling so stimulatingly around him and his horse was so eager to go that he could not restrain himself.
Something vague and confused, which he could not at all account for, had come over him with the capture of that officer and the blow he had dealt him.
But while Nicholas was considering these questions and still could reach no clear solution of what puzzled him so, the wheel of fortune in the service, as often happens, turned in his favor.
She could not eat or sleep, grew visibly thinner, coughed, and, as the doctors made them feel, was in danger.
They could not think of anything but how to help her.
Doctors came to see her singly and in consultation, talked much in French, German, and Latin, blamed one another, and prescribed a great variety of medicines for all the diseases known to them, but the simple idea never occurred to any of them that they could not know the disease Natasha was suffering from, as no disease suffered by a live man can be known, for every living person has his own peculiarities and always has his own peculiar, personal, novel, complicated disease, unknown to medicine--not a disease of the lungs, liver, skin, heart, nerves, and so on mentioned in medical books, but a disease consisting of one of the innumerable combinations of the maladies of those organs.
This simple thought could not occur to the doctors (as it cannot occur to a wizard that he is unable to work his charms) because the business of their lives was to cure, and they received money for it and had spent the best years of their lives on that business.
The doctors said that she could not get on without medical treatment, so they kept her in the stifling atmosphere of the town, and the Rostovs did not move to the country that summer of 1812.
She could not sing.
It was said that the Emperor was leaving the army because it was in danger, it was said that Smolensk had surrendered, that Napoleon had an army of a million and only a miracle could save Russia.
But neither could she doubt the righteousness of the prayer that was being read on bended knees.
But latterly, when more and more disquieting reports came from the seat of war and Natasha's health began to improve and she no longer aroused in him the former feeling of careful pity, an ever- increasing restlessness, which he could not explain, took possession of him.
He felt that the condition he was in could not continue long, that a catastrophe was coming which would change his whole life, and he impatiently sought everywhere for signs of that approaching catastrophe.
Pierre began feeling in his pockets for the papers, but could not find them.
He tried to smile but could not: his smile expressed suffering, and he silently kissed her hand and went out.
Petya decided to go straight to where the Emperor was and to explain frankly to some gentleman-in-waiting (he imagined the Emperor to be always surrounded by gentlemen-in-waiting) that he, Count Rostov, in spite of his youth wished to serve his country; that youth could be no hindrance to loyalty, and that he was ready to...
Petya was being pressed so that he could scarcely breathe, and everybody shouted, "Hurrah! hurrah! hurrah!"
Petya stood on tiptoe and pushed and pinched, but could see nothing except the people about him.
If he could only see the Emperor he would be happy!
Pierre wished to reply, but could not get in a word.
Old Rostov could not tell his wife of what had passed without tears, and at once consented to Petya's request and went himself to enter his name.
She could not have read the letter as she did not even know it had arrived.
I swear to you on my honor that Napoleon was in such a fix as never before and might have lost half his army but could not have taken Smolensk.
The "man of great merit," despite his desire to obtain the post of director, could not refrain from reminding Prince Vasili of his former opinion.
Princess Mary, alarmed by her father's feverish and sleepless activity after his previous apathy, could not bring herself to leave him alone and for the first time in her life ventured to disobey him.
She ran up to him and, in the play of the sunlight that fell in small round spots through the shade of the lime-tree avenue, could not be sure what change there was in his face.
All she could see was that his former stern and determined expression had altered to one of timidity and submission.
But what it was, no one could tell: it might be some caprice of a sick and half-crazy man, or it might relate to public affairs, or possibly to family concerns.
She could not sleep and several times went to the door and listened, wishing to enter but not deciding to do so.
When she changed her position so that his left eye could see her face he calmed down, not taking his eyes off her for some seconds.
She could not understand them, but tried to guess what he was saying and inquiringly repeated the words he uttered.
Princess Mary could no longer restrain herself and wept while she gazed at his face.
She thought he was speaking of Russia, or Prince Andrew, of herself, of his grandson, or of his own death, and so she could not guess his words.
She could understand nothing, think of nothing and feel nothing, except passionate love for her father, love such as she thought she had never felt till that moment.
The doctor came out with an agitated face and said she could not enter.
She returned to the garden and sat down on the grass at the foot of the slope by the pond, where no one could see her.
In the vicinity of Bogucharovo were large villages belonging to the crown or to owners whose serfs paid quitrent and could work where they pleased.
He had told her that after the sixteenth he could not be responsible for what might happen.
It seemed that no horses could be had even for the carriages, much less for the carting.
But she remembered too how he had changed of late toward Mademoiselle Bourienne and could not bear to see her, thereby showing how unjust were the reproaches Princess Mary had mentally addressed to her.
I understand that you could not, and cannot, think of yourself, but with my love for you I must do so....
Dunyasha, the nurse, and the other maids could not say in how far Mademoiselle Bourienne's statement was correct.
Neither could the architect Michael Ivanovich, who on being sent for came in with sleepy eyes, tell Princess Mary anything.
"Dronushka," she said, regarding as a sure friend this Dronushka who always used to bring a special kind of gingerbread from his visit to the fair at Vyazma every year and smilingly offer it to her, "Dronushka, now since our misfortune..." she began, but could not go on.
To Princess Mary it was strange that now, at a moment when such sorrow was filling her soul, there could be rich people and poor, and the rich could refrain from helping the poor.
So many different eyes, old and young, were fixed on her, and there were so many different faces, that she could not distinguish any of them and, feeling that she must speak to them all at once, did not know how to do it.
She could not fathom whether it was curiosity, devotion, gratitude, or apprehension and distrust--but the expression on all the faces was identical.
She felt that she could not understand them however much she might think about them.
Now she could remember it and weep or pray.
With mournful pleasure she now lingered over these images, repelling with horror only the last one, the picture of his death, which she felt she could not contemplate even in imagination at this still and mystic hour of night.
What could he have done to me?
What could I have lost?
And not the face she had known ever since she could remember and had always seen at a distance, but the timid, feeble face she had seen for the first time quite closely, with all its wrinkles and details, when she stooped near to his mouth to catch what he said.
She tried to think of something else and to pray, but could do neither.
For the last three days Bogucharovo had lain between the two hostile armies, so that it was as easy for the Russian rearguard to get to it as for the French vanguard; Rostov, as a careful squadron commander, wished to take such provisions as remained at Bogucharovo before the French could get them.
She could not grasp who he was and why he had come, or what was happening to her.
Bind him, Lavrushka! shouted Rostov, as if that order, too, could not possibly meet with any opposition.
She could not believe that there was nothing to thank him for.
But how could one say that in Russian?
The second broadsheet stated that our headquarters were at Vyazma, that Count Wittgenstein had defeated the French, but that as many of the inhabitants of Moscow wished to be armed, weapons were ready for them at the arsenal: sabers, pistols, and muskets which could be had at a low price.
On reaching home Pierre gave orders to Evstafey--his head coachman who knew everything, could do anything, and was known to all Moscow--that he would leave that night for the army at Mozhaysk, and that his saddle horses should be sent there.
He was told that there in Perkhushkovo the earth trembled from the firing, but nobody could answer his questions as to who had won.
Pierre pushed forward as fast as he could, and the farther he left Moscow behind and the deeper he plunged into that sea of troops the more was he overcome by restless agitation and a new and joyful feeling he had not experienced before.
Pierre could not say, and he did not try to determine for whom and for what he felt such particular delight in sacrificing everything.
Napoleon, riding to Valuevo on the twenty-fourth, did not see (as the history books say he did) the position of the Russians from Utitsa to Borodino (he could not have seen that position because it did not exist), nor did he see an advanced post of the Russian army, but while pursuing the Russian rearguard he came upon the left flank of the Russian position--at the Shevardino Redoubt--and unexpectedly for the Russians moved his army across the Kolocha.
Pierre stepped out of his carriage and, passing the toiling militiamen, ascended the knoll from which, according to the doctor, the battlefield could be seen.
Here and there over the whole of that blue expanse, to right and left of the forest and the road, smoking campfires could be seen and indefinite masses of troops--ours and the enemy's.
When the service was over, Kutuzov stepped up to the icon, sank heavily to his knees, bowed to the ground, and for a long time tried vainly to rise, but could not do so on account of his weakness and weight.
It is amazing how his Serene Highness could so foresee the intentions of the French!
Boris belonged to the latter and no one else, while showing servile respect to Kutuzov, could so create an impression that the old fellow was not much good and that Bennigsen managed everything.
He could make nothing of it.
Through a gap in the broken wall he could see, beside the wooden fence, a row of thirty year-old birches with their lower branches lopped off, a field on which shocks of oats were standing, and some bushes near which rose the smoke of campfires-- the soldiers' kitchens.
He had no thought of betraying us, he tried to do the best he could, he thought out everything, and that is why he is unsuitable.
Well, say your father has a German valet, and he is a splendid valet and satisfies your father's requirements better than you could, then it's all right to let him serve.
While Russia was well, a foreigner could serve her and be a splendid minister; but as soon as she is in danger she needs one of her own kin.
He could apparently not refrain from expressing the thoughts that had suddenly occurred to him.
It was already dark, and Pierre could not make out whether the expression of Prince Andrew's face was angry or tender.
On re-entering the shed Prince Andrew lay down on a rug, but he could not sleep.
Napoleon made ironic remarks during Fabvier's account, as if he had not expected that matters could go otherwise in his absence.
Not one of these was, or could be, carried out.
This could not be done and was not done, because Poniatowski, advancing on the village through the wood, met Tuchkov there barring his way, and could not and did not turn the Russian position.
All this, like the other parts of the disposition, was not and could not be executed.
So not one of the orders in the disposition was, or could be, executed.
But this was not and could not be done, for during the whole battle Napoleon was so far away that, as appeared later, he could not know the course of the battle and not one of his orders during the fight could be executed.
A crowd of military men was assembled there, members of the staff could be heard conversing in French, and Kutuzov's gray head in a white cap with a red band was visible, his gray nape sunk between his shoulders.
From the battery they could be seen running back past it carrying their wounded on their muskets.
The ranks of the infantry disappeared amid the smoke but their long- drawn shout and rapid musketry firing could still be heard.
The soldiers of Dessaix's division advancing against the fleches could only be seen till they had entered the hollow that lay between them and the fleches.
Through the smoke glimpses could be caught of something black--probably men--and at times the glint of bayonets.
Napoleon, standing on the knoll, looked through a field glass, and in its small circlet saw smoke and men, sometimes his own and sometimes Russians, but when he looked again with the naked eye, he could not tell where what he had seen was.
All their faces looked dejected, and they all shunned one another's eyes--only a de Beausset could fail to grasp the meaning of what was happening.
It was no longer a battle: it was a continuous slaughter which could be of no avail either to the French or the Russians.
He could not stop what was going on before him and around him and was supposed to be directed by him and to depend on him, and from its lack of success this affair, for the first time, seemed to him unnecessary and horrible.
Soon after the duke's departure--before he could possibly have reached Semenovsk--his adjutant came back from him and told Kutuzov that the duke asked for more troops.
Kutuzov made a grimace and sent an order to Dokhturov to take over the command of the first army, and a request to the duke--whom he said he could not spare at such an important moment--to return to him.
Prince Andrew opened his eyes and for a long time could not make out what was going on around him.
Prince Andrew could not make out distinctly what was in that tent.
Oh, ooh! his frightened moans could be heard, subdued by suffering and broken by sobs.
Men were supporting him in their arms and offering him a glass of water, but his trembling, swollen lips could not grasp its rim.
Prince Andrew could no longer restrain himself and wept tender loving tears for his fellow men, for himself, and for his own and their errors.
Never to the end of his life could he understand goodness, beauty, or truth, or the significance of his actions which were too contrary to goodness and truth, too remote from everything human, for him ever to be able to grasp their meaning.
He could not disavow his actions, belauded as they were by half the world, and so he had to repudiate truth, goodness, and all humanity.
It could not be.
Napoleon did not give his Guards, not because he did not want to, but because it could not be done.
All the generals, officers, and soldiers of the French army knew it could not be done, because the flagging spirit of the troops would not permit it.
The French invaders, like an infuriated animal that has in its onslaught received a mortal wound, felt that they were perishing, but could not stop, any more than the Russian army, weaker by one half, could help swerving.
Kutuzov could not yet admit the possibility of retreating beyond Moscow without a battle.
How could the commanders lead their troops to a field of battle they considered impossible to hold?
Bennigsen, who had chosen the position, warmly displayed his Russian patriotism (Kutuzov could not listen to this without wincing) by insisting that Moscow must be defended.
He was convinced that he alone could maintain command of the army in these difficult circumstances, and that in all the world he alone could encounter the invincible Napoleon without fear, and he was horrified at the thought of the order he had to issue.
They went away because for Russians there could be no question as to whether things would go well or ill under French rule in Moscow.
It was out of the question to be under French rule, it would be the worst thing that could happen.
They knew that it was for the army to fight, and that if it could not succeed it would not do to take young ladies and house serfs to the Three Hills quarter of Moscow to fight Napoleon, and that they must go away, sorry as they were to abandon their property to destruction.
He was delighted at the unexpected rapidity of his pupil's progress, but could not abandon the edifice of argument he had laboriously constructed.
Bilibin shrugged his shoulders, as much as to say that not even he could help in that difficulty.
She was continually tormented by jealousy of her daughter, and now that jealousy concerned a subject near to her own heart, she could not reconcile herself to the idea.
He could see the clear starry sky between the dark roofs of two penthouses.
There was a time when I could have done it.
I could have run away from my father, as I wanted to.
In the streets, around carts that were to take some of the wounded away, shouts, curses, and blows could be heard.
He could only have had it from the Postmaster.
'How could you have written it yourself?' said he, and he took up the Hamburg Gazette that was lying on the table.
Petya could not return unless his regiment did so or unless he was transferred to another regiment on active service.
Though Petya would remain in the service, this transfer would give the countess the consolation of seeing at least one of her sons under her wing, and she hoped to arrange matters for her Petya so as not to let him go again, but always get him appointed to places where he could not possibly take part in a battle.
But hard as they all worked till quite late that night, they could not get everything packed.
Thirty carts could not save all the wounded and in the general catastrophe one could not disregard oneself and one's own family.
I tell you, Papa" (he smote himself on the breast as a general he had heard speaking had done, but Berg did it a trifle late for he should have struck his breast at the words "Russian army"), "I tell you frankly that we, the commanders, far from having to urge the men on or anything of that kind, could hardly restrain those... those... yes, those exploits of antique valor," he went on rapidly.
It no longer seemed strange to them but on the contrary it seemed the only thing that could be done, just as a quarter of an hour before it had not seemed strange to anyone that the wounded should be left behind and the goods carted away but that had seemed the only thing to do.
But the work of unloading, once started, could not be arrested.
"What could we fasten this onto?" asked the servants, trying to fix a trunk on the narrow footboard behind a carriage.
The phaeton was full of people and there was a doubt as to where Count Peter could sit.
Almost at the head of the line she could see the raised hood of Prince Andrew's caleche.
But the coachman could not stop, for from the Meshchanski Street came more carts and carriages, and the Rostovs were being shouted at to move on and not block the way.
Pierre, evidently engrossed in thought, could not at first understand him.
When he woke up on the morning after his return to Moscow and his interview with Count Rostopchin, he could not for some time make out where he was and what was expected of him.
"But could it be otherwise?" he thought.
While the troops, dividing into two parts when passing around the Kremlin, were thronging the Moskva and the Stone bridges, a great many soldiers, taking advantage of the stoppage and congestion, turned back from the bridges and slipped stealthily and silently past the church of Vasili the Beatified and under the Borovitski gate, back up the hill to the Red Square where some instinct told them they could easily take things not belonging to them.
If you please, could not guards be placed if only to let us close the shop....
The gates and shops were all closed, only here and there round the taverns solitary shouts or drunken songs could be heard.
Only among the back rows of the people, who were all pressing toward the one spot, could sighs, groans, and the shuffling of feet be heard.
It was a long time before the dragoons could extricate the bleeding youth, beaten almost to death.
How could he be alive? voices in the crowd could be heard saying.
The count's face was white and he could not control the feverish twitching of his lower jaw.
When they reached the Myasnitski Street and could no longer hear the shouts of the mob, the count began to repent.
I could not let him go unpunished and so I have killed two birds with one stone: to appease the mob I gave them a victim and at the same time punished a miscreant.
Only at the end of it, in front of the almshouse and the lunatic asylum, could be seen some people in white and others like them walking singly across the field shouting and gesticulating.
The caleche flew over the ground as fast as the horses could draw it, but for a long time Count Rostopchin still heard the insane despairing screams growing fainter in the distance, while his eyes saw nothing but the astonished, frightened, bloodstained face of "the traitor" in the fur-lined coat.
He's not bad! low voices could be heard saying.
Men in military uniforms and Hessian boots could be seen through the windows, laughing and walking through the rooms.
In reality, however, it was not, and could not be, possible to explain the burning of Moscow by making any individual, or any group of people, responsible for it.
Gerasim and the porter let Makar Alexeevich go, and in the now silent corridor the sound of several hands knocking at the front door could be heard.
Even if Pierre were not a Frenchman, having once received that loftiest of human appellations he could not renounce it, said the officer's look and tone.
I could not resist the sight of the grandeur and glory with which he has covered France.
A strange feeling of weakness tied him to the spot; he wished to get up and go away, but could not do so.
He said that in all his life he had loved and still loved only one woman, and that she could never be his.
Their laughter and their mutually incomprehensible remarks in two languages could be heard.
And as if in order not to offend Sonya and to get rid of her, she turned her face to the window, looked out in such a way that it was evident that she could not see anything, and again settled down in her former attitude.
Both the countess and Sonya understood that, naturally, neither Moscow nor the burning of Moscow nor anything else could seem of importance to Natasha.
And could she see him?
Through the open window the moans of the adjutant could be heard more distinctly.
But in the yard there was a light from the fire at Little Mytishchi a mile and a half away, and through the night came the noise of people shouting at a tavern Mamonov's Cossacks had set up across the street, and the adjutant's unceasing moans could still be heard.
Prince Andrew wished to return to that former world of pure thought, but he could not, and delirium drew him back into its domain.
But it then occurred to him for the first time that he certainly could not carry the weapon in his hand through the streets.
He could not carry it unnoticed in his belt or under his arm.
Besides his height and stoutness, and the strange morose look of suffering in his face and whole figure, the Russians stared at Pierre because they could not make out to what class he could belong.
It was now, however, impossible to get back the way he had come; the maid, Aniska, was no longer there, and Pierre with a feeling of pity and disgust pressed the wet, painfully sobbing child to himself as tenderly as he could and ran with her through the garden seeking another way out.
The Empress Elisabeth, however, when asked what instructions she would be pleased to give--with her characteristic Russian patriotism had replied that she could give no directions about state institutions for that was the affair of the sovereign, but as far as she personally was concerned she would be the last to quit Petersburg.
There were a great many ladies and some of Nicholas' Moscow acquaintances, but there were no men who could at all vie with the cavalier of St. George, the hussar remount officer, the good-natured and well-bred Count Rostov.
The day after her party the governor's wife came to see Malvintseva and, after discussing her plan with the aunt, remarked that though under present circumstances a formal betrothal was, of course, not to be thought of, all the same the young people might be brought together and could get to know one another.
"You have met him, Aunt?" said she in a calm voice, unable herself to understand that she could be outwardly so calm and natural.
Herself a consummate coquette, she could not have maneuvered better on meeting a man she wished to attract.
Evidently she could speak of Russia's misfortunes with a certain artificiality, but her brother was too near her heart and she neither could nor would speak lightly of him.
But with Princess Mary, to whom they were trying to get him engaged, he could never picture anything of future married life.
In men Rostov could not bear to see the expression of a higher spiritual life (that was why he did not like Prince Andrew) and he referred to it contemptuously as philosophy and dreaminess, but in Princess Mary that very sorrow which revealed the depth of a whole spiritual world foreign to him was an irresistible attraction.
But no, he could not imagine that.
Sonya burst into hysterical tears and replied through her sobs that she would do anything and was prepared for anything, but gave no actual promise and could not bring herself to decide to do what was demanded of her.
Her position in the house was such that only by sacrifice could she show her worth, and she was accustomed to this and loved doing it.
His pale face was calm, his eyes closed, and they could see his regular breathing.
In their attitude toward him could still be felt both uncertainty as to who he might be – perhaps a very important person – and hostility as a result of their recent personal conflict with him.
As soon as Pierre began to say anything that did not fit in with that aim, the channel was removed and the water could flow to waste.
Again he replied that he could not answer it.
What marshal this was, Pierre could not learn from the soldiers.
No flames were seen, but columns of smoke rose on all sides, and all Moscow as far as Pierre could see was one vast charred ruin.
Here and there he could see churches that had not been burned.
Pierre could not afterwards remember how he went, whether it was far, or in which direction.
Not the men on the commission that had first examined him--not one of them wished to or, evidently, could have done it.
He could only hear and see.
They could not believe it because they alone knew what their life meant to them, and so they neither understood nor believed that it could be taken from them.
Probably a word of command was given and was followed by the reports of eight muskets; but try as he would Pierre could not afterwards remember having heard the slightest sound of the shots.
This man was doing something to his legs in the darkness, and though Pierre could not see his face he felt that the man continually glanced at him.
"But it's all the same now," Pierre could not help saying.
He could do everything, not very well but not badly.
Sometimes Pierre, struck by the meaning of his words, would ask him to repeat them, but Platon could never recall what he had said a moment before, just as he never could repeat to Pierre the words of his favorite song: native and birch tree and my heart is sick occurred in it, but when spoken and not sung, no meaning could be got out of it.
He did not, and could not, understand the meaning of words apart from their context.
He could not understand the value or significance of any word or deed taken separately.
"You, you... will see," was all Natasha could say.
In his words, his tone, and especially in that calm, almost antagonistic look could be felt an estrangement from everything belonging to this world, terrible in one who is alive.
Princess Mary heard him and did not understand how he could say such a thing.
He, the sensitive, tender Prince Andrew, how could he say that, before her whom he loved and who loved him?
Had he expected to live he could not have said those words in that offensively cold tone.
If he had not known that he was dying, how could he have failed to pity her and how could he speak like that in her presence?
It was plain that he was making an effort to listen, but could not do so.
He could scarcely read, and knew nothing.
Recalling the moment at the ambulance station when he had seen Kuragin, he could not now regain the feeling he then had, but was tormented by the question whether Kuragin was alive.
The needles clicked lightly in her slender, rapidly moving hands, and he could clearly see the thoughtful profile of her drooping face.
They felt that they could not express in words what they understood.
If instead of imagining to ourselves commanders of genius leading the Russian army, we picture that army without any leaders, it could not have done anything but make a return movement toward Moscow, describing an arc in the direction where most provisions were to be found and where the country was richest.
He was in a state of physical suffering as if from corporal punishment, and could not avoid expressing it by cries of anger and distress.
The ground was damp but not muddy, and the troops advanced noiselessly, only occasionally a jingling of the artillery could be faintly heard.
How could one capture a commander-in-chief from among such a mass of troops!
He employed all his ability and strength to do the best he could for himself and his army, as he had done previously and as he did subsequently in 1813.
He gazed at the caleches and carriages in which soldiers were riding and remarked that it was a very good thing, as those vehicles could be used to carry provisions, the sick, and the wounded.
Near by could be seen the familiar ruins of a half-burned mansion occupied by the French, with lilac bushes still showing dark green beside the fence.
For a long time, oaths, angry shouts, and fighting could be heard from all sides.
To the noncommissioned officer's excuse that the prisoner was ill and could not walk, the officer replied that the order was to shoot those who lagged behind.
Suddenly he burst out into a fit of his broad, good-natured laughter, so loud that men from various sides turned with surprise to see what this strange and evidently solitary laughter could mean.
Kutuzov replied to this letter as he had done to the one formerly brought by Lauriston, saying that there could be no question of peace.
Like an experienced sportsman he knew that the beast was wounded, and wounded as only the whole strength of Russia could have wounded it, but whether it was mortally wounded or not was still an undecided question.
That army could not recover anywhere.
So it came about that at the council at Malo-Yaroslavets, when the generals pretending to confer together expressed various opinions, all mouths were closed by the opinion uttered by the simple-minded soldier Mouton who, speaking last, said what they all felt: that the one thing needful was to get away as quickly as possible; and no one, not even Napoleon, could say anything against that truth which they all recognized.
Each of them desired nothing more than to give himself up as a prisoner to escape from all this horror and misery; but on the one hand the force of this common attraction to Smolensk, their goal, drew each of them in the same direction; on the other hand an army corps could not surrender to a company, and though the French availed themselves of every convenient opportunity to detach themselves and to surrender on the slightest decent pretext, such pretexts did not always occur.
Beyond a certain limit no mechanical disruption of the body could hasten the process of decomposition.
He could not tell them what we say now: Why fight, why block the road, losing our own men and inhumanly slaughtering unfortunate wretches?
But drawing from his aged wisdom what they could understand, he told them of the golden bridge, and they laughed at and slandered him, flinging themselves on, rending and exulting over the dying beast.
Ermolov, Miloradovich, Platov, and others in proximity to the French near Vyazma could not resist their desire to cut off and break up two French corps, and by way of reporting their intention to Kutuzov they sent him a blank sheet of paper in an envelope.
That was a misfortune no one could remedy, for the peasants of the district burned their hay rather than let the French have it.
And by bringing variously selected historic units (battles, campaigns, periods of war) into such equations, a series of numbers could be obtained in which certain laws should exist and might be discovered.
By the end of October this kind of warfare had taken definite shape: it had become clear to all what could be ventured against the French and what could not.
On coming to a path in the forest along which he could see far to the right, Denisov stopped.
I think I could? he returned, inquiringly.
From the spot where the peasant was standing they could see the French.
In the village, in the house, in the garden, by the well, by the pond, over all the rising ground, and all along the road uphill from the bridge leading to the village, not more than five hundred yards away, crowds of men could be seen through the shimmering mist.
Their un- Russian shouting at their horses which were straining uphill with the carts, and their calls to one another, could be clearly heard.
How could I bring him?
That was why Petya had blushed and grown confused when Denisov asked him whether he could stay.
In the twilight saddled horses could be seen, and Cossacks and hussars who had rigged up rough shelters in the glade and were kindling glowing fires in a hollow of the forest where the French could not see the smoke.
Having ridden up the road, on both sides of which French talk could be heard around the campfires, Dolokhov turned into the courtyard of the landowner's house.
But, noticing his mistake, he broke off short and, with a frown, greeted Dolokhov as a stranger, asking what he could do for him.
No one replied a word to Dolokhov's laughter, and a French officer whom they could not see (he lay wrapped in a greatcoat) rose and whispered something to a companion.
Petya wished to say "Good night" but could not utter a word.
Not all the Cossacks and hussars were asleep; here and there, amid the sounds of falling drops and the munching of the horses near by, could be heard low voices which seemed to be whispering.
Nothing Petya could have seen now would have surprised him.
Sometimes the sky seemed to be rising high, high overhead, and then it seemed to sink so low that one could touch it with one's hand.
The horses that had previously been invisible could now be seen to their very tails, and a watery light showed itself through the bare branches.
He could hear shooting ahead of him.
"Too late again!" flashed through Petya's mind and he galloped on to the place from which the rapid firing could be heard.
All who could walk went together, and after the third stage Pierre had rejoined Karataev and the gray-blue bandy-legged dog that had chosen Karataev for its master.
All around lay the flesh of different animals--from men to horses--in various stages of decomposition; and as the wolves were kept off by the passing men the dog could eat all it wanted.
For a long time he could not understand what was happening to him.
Pierre sobbed as he sat among them and could not utter a word.
But these orders and reports were only on paper, nothing in them was acted upon for they could not be carried out, and though they entitled one another Majesties, Highnesses, or Cousins, they all felt that they were miserable wretches who had done much evil for which they had now to pay.
Besides, as a result of the frequent and rapid change of position by each army, even what information was obtained could not be delivered in time.
The others who could do so drove away too, leaving those who could not to surrender or die.
This campaign consisted in a flight of the French during which they did all they could to destroy themselves.
Can the French be so enormously superior to us that when we had surrounded them with superior forces we could not beat them?
How could that happen?
The explanation of this strange fact given by Russian military historians (to the effect that Kutuzov hindered an attack) is unfounded, for we know that he could not restrain the troops from attacking at Vyazma and Tarutino.
There never was or could have been such an aim, for it would have been senseless and its attainment quite impossible.
But not even that could be said for those who drew up this project, for it was not they who had suffered from the trampled beds.
It could not exist because it was senseless and unattainable.
She was gazing where she knew him to be; but she could not imagine him otherwise than as he had been here.
Sonya and the count tried to replace Natasha but could not.
The mother's wounded spirit could not heal.
Only by following at some distance could one cut across the zigzag path of the French.
The French, avoiding the Russians, dispersed and hid themselves in the forest by night, making their way round as best they could, and continued their flight.
Miloradovich, who said he did not want to know anything about the commissariat affairs of his detachment, and could never be found when he was wanted--that chevalier sans peur et sans reproche * as he styled himself--who was fond of parleys with the French, sent envoys demanding their surrender, wasted time, and did not do what he was ordered to do.
One part of it dispersed and waded knee-deep through the snow into a birch forest to the right of the village, and immediately the sound of axes and swords, the crashing of branches, and merry voices could be heard from there.
In the silence that ensued, the snoring of those who had fallen asleep could be heard.
When Morel had drunk some vodka and finished his bowl of porridge he suddenly became unnaturally merry and chattered incessantly to the soldiers, who could not understand him.
The French did not need to be informed of the fact that half the prisoners--with whom the Russians did not know what to do- -perished of cold and hunger despite their captors' desire to save them; they felt that it could not be otherwise.
There was running to and fro and whispering; another troyka flew furiously up, and then all eyes were turned on an approaching sleigh in which the figures of the Emperor and Volkonski could already be descried.
The Emperor's displeasure with Kutuzov was specially increased at Vilna by the fact that Kutuzov evidently could not or would not understand the importance of the coming campaign.
Kutuzov alone would not see this and openly expressed his opinion that no fresh war could improve the position or add to the glory of Russia, but could only spoil and lower the glorious position that Russia had gained.
He could not understand it.
All this at the time seemed merely strange to Pierre: he felt he could not grasp its significance.
Just then he was only anxious to get away as quickly as possible from places where people were killing one another, to some peaceful refuge where he could recover himself, rest, and think over all the strange new facts he had learned; but on reaching Orel he immediately fell ill.
That search for the aim of life had not merely disappeared temporarily--he felt that it no longer existed for him and could not present itself again.
He could not see an aim, for he now had faith--not faith in any kind of rule, or words, or ideas, but faith in an ever-living, ever-manifest God.
The most cunning man could not have crept into her confidence more successfully, evoking memories of the best times of her youth and showing sympathy with them.
The Cossacks carried off what they could to their camps, and the householders seized all they could find in other houses and moved it to their own, pretending that it was their property.
But the more he tried to hide it the more clearly--clearer than any words could have done--did he betray to himself, to her, and to Princess Mary that he loved her.
With all his soul he had always sought one thing--to be perfectly good--so he could not be afraid of death.
I had no idea and could not imagine what state he was in, all I wanted was to see him and be with him, she said, trembling, and breathing quickly.
She spoke, mingling most trifling details with the intimate secrets of her soul, and it seemed as if she could never finish.
It was clear that she understood not only what he said but also what he wished to, but could not, express in words.
It was a long time before Pierre could fall asleep that night.
Pierre noticed this but could not go.
He felt uneasy and embarrassed, but sat on because he simply could not get up and take his leave.
When on saying good-by he took her thin, slender hand, he could not help holding it a little longer in his own.
The happiness before him appeared so inconceivable that if only he could attain it, it would be the end of all things.
If the aim was the dissemination of ideas, the printing press could have accomplished that much better than warfare.
He alone--with his ideal of glory and grandeur developed in Italy and Egypt, his insane self-adulation, his boldness in crime and frankness in lying--he alone could justify what had to be done.
She had all that people are valued for, but little that could have made him love her.
He could see no way out of this situation.
Nicholas was the first to meet her, as the countess' room could only be reached through his.
But she could not pacify herself with these reflections; a feeling akin to remorse troubled her when she thought of her visit.
He wished to help her and say something pleasant, but could think of nothing to say.
He could not have said by what standard he judged what he should or should not do, but the standard was quite firm and definite in his own mind.
Often, speaking with vexation of some failure or irregularity, he would say: "What can one do with our Russian peasants?" and imagined that he could not bear them.
Countess Mary was jealous of this passion of her husband's and regretted that she could not share it; but she could not understand the joys and vexations he derived from that world, to her so remote and alien.
The moment Nicholas took her hand she could no longer restrain herself and began to cry.
He understood what she was weeping about, but could not in his heart at once agree with her that what he had regarded from childhood as quite an everyday event was wrong.
She could not find fault with Sonya in any way and tried to be fond of her, but often felt ill-will toward her which she could not overcome.
She knew her remarks sounded unnatural, but could not refrain from asking some more questions.
Nicholas and his wife lived together so happily that even Sonya and the old countess, who felt jealous and would have liked them to disagree, could find nothing to reproach them with; but even they had their moments of antagonism.
"I should never, never have believed that one could be so happy," she whispered to herself.
And she not only saw no need of any other or better husband, but as all the powers of her soul were intent on serving that husband and family, she could not imagine and saw no interest in imagining how it would be if things were different.
The blood rushed to Natasha's face and her feet involuntarily moved, but she could not jump up and run out.
I could not, on my honor.
If only you could see what I was like without you, how I suffered!
He alone could play on the clavichord that ecossaise (his only piece) to which, as he said, all possible dances could be danced, and they felt sure he had brought presents for them all.
But the father whom the boy did not remember appeared to him a divinity who could not be pictured, and of whom he never thought without a swelling heart and tears of sadness and rapture.
She wanted nothing from life but tranquillity, and that tranquillity only death could give her.
He spoke of what he knew might interest the old lady and that she could understand.
He has abandoned himself altogether to this mysticism (Pierre could not tolerate mysticism in anyone now).
For a long time he was silent, as if astonished, then he jumped out of bed, ran to me in his shirt, and sobbed so that I could not calm him for a long time.
There could be no doubt not only of his approval but also of his admiration for his wife.
All that the fondest mother could do for her son you have done and are doing for him, and of course I am glad of it.
What business was it of mine when I married and was so deep in debt that I was threatened with prison, and had a mother who could not see or understand it?
Countess Mary's soul always strove toward the infinite, the eternal, and the absolute, and could therefore never be at peace.
"Now who could decide whether he is really cleverer than all the others?" she asked herself, and passed in review all those whom Pierre most respected.
(The boy was afraid of the dark and they could not cure him of it.)
On the other hand, even if we admitted that words could be the cause of events, history shows that the expression of the will of historical personages does not in most cases produce any effect, that is to say, their commands are often not executed, and sometimes the very opposite of what they order occurs.
Napoleon could not have commanded an invasion of Russia and never did so.
The man who worked most with his hands could not think so much about what he was doing, or reflect on or command what would result from the common activity; while the man who commanded more would evidently work less with his hands on account of his greater verbal activity.
If the will of every man were free, that is, if each man could act as he pleased, all history would be a series of disconnected incidents.
If in a thousand years even one man in a million could act freely, that is, as he chose, it is evident that one single free act of that man's in violation of the laws governing human action would destroy the possibility of the existence of any laws for the whole of humanity.
Were it not free it could not be limited.
He could not live, because all man's efforts, all his impulses to life, are only efforts to increase freedom.
My action seems to me free; but asking myself whether I could raise my arm in every direction, I see that I raised it in the direction in which there was least obstruction to that action either from things around me or from the construction of my own body.
I lift it, but ask myself: could I have abstained from lifting my arm at the moment that has already passed?
The moment in which the first movement was made is irrevocable, and at that moment I could make only one movement, and whatever movement I made would be the only one.
That I did not lift my arm a moment later does not prove that I could have abstained from lifting it then.
And since I could make only one movement at that single moment of time, it could not have been any other.
All I could think about was that I had a living father-in-law.
I figured you could use the rest.
If God thought it was wrong, nothing we could have done would have been successful.
Nothing could be gained by dwelling on such thoughts.
The Christmas tree could only be seen from the back of the house, but that didn't matter.
So you could pretend it didn't bother you?
You could wear a feed sack at a formal dinner and not look underdressed.
They were well aware of what could have happened.
If only Alex could talk to his father that way.
Alex sat up and scooted back so he could lean on the headboard.
Strange how such a placid moment could stir up such emotional turmoil.
"You look for Alex?" she asked, continuing before Carmen could respond.
Of course, she could have used sign language, but that would have been distracting - and it wouldn't have been as personal.
The houses of the city were all made of glass, so clear and transparent that one could look through the walls as easily as through a window.
But I wish we could find a way to get to the ground.
Yet, look where she would, Dorothy could discover no bells at all in the great glass hall.
Only a fairy country could have veg'table people; and only in a fairy country could Eureka and Jim talk as we do.
They heard the sudden twittering of a bird, but could not find the creature anywhere.
He picked it up, but could not see what he held.
His boney legs moved so fast they could scarcely be seen, and the Wizard clung fast to the seat and yelled "Whoa!" at the top of his voice.
Then a sudden turn brought them to a narrow gallery where the buggy could not pass.
Yes; a wicked witch enchanted her, so she could not rule her kingdom.
It was high, much higher than he could reach.
The shepherd and his dog could not keep them together.
Nobody could answer these questions.
But there was no shepherd in Scotland that could have done better than Sirrah did that night.
Why the boys should drive away, Little maidens from their play, Or love to banter and fight so well, That's the thing I never could tell.
From the hills of Charlestown they could watch and see what the king's soldiers were doing.
The town seemed very still; but now and then he could hear the beating of a drum or the shouting of some soldier.
Who could argue there was ever a better time to start a business any time in the world?
In fact, the book could survive for centuries, as could new perfect copies of the book, and thus the ideas could be distributed.
On a sudden thought I ran upstairs before any one could stop me, to put on my idea of a company dress.
My parents at once determined to take me to Baltimore to see if anything could be done for my eyes.
My father made holes in these so that I could string them, and for a long time they kept me happy and contented.
The beads were sewed in the right place and I could not contain myself for joy; but immediately I lost all interest in the doll.
There were barriers still, it is true, but barriers that could in time be swept away.
It seemed to me that there could be nothing more beautiful than the sun, whose warmth makes all things grow.
I thought it strange that my teacher could not show me love.
Could you, in such a case, tell surely of any company of civilized men which belonged to the most respected class?
How, then, could I have a furnished house?
It was easy to see that they could not long be companions or co-operate, since one would not operate at all.
You know I did all a father could for their education, and they have both turned out fools.
If you were not a father there would be nothing I could reproach you with, said Anna Pavlovna, looking up pensively.
Dolokhov could play all games and nearly always won.
Pushing away the footmen he tugged at the frame, but could not move it.
In the first place, I tell you we have no right to question the Emperor about that, and secondly, if the Russian nobility had that right, the Emperor could not answer such a question.
She assumed an attitude of prayer, looked at the icons, repeated the words of a prayer, but she could not pray.
Tonight, when it was dark, she could pretend they were at home.
I guess we could say he hasn't been around much.
Several squeals and grunts were instantly heard at his feet, but the Wizard could not discover a single piglet.
"So could I," added Zeb.
Getting around in front, so that she could look inside, the girl saw a boy curled up on the seat, fast asleep.
Could a greater miracle take place than for us to look through each other's eyes for an instant?
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