The Slavonic heroic saga of Russia centres round Vladimir of Kiev (980-1015), the first Christian ruler of that country, whose personality is eclipsed by that of Ilya (Elias) of Mourom, the son of a peasant, who was said to have saved the empire from the Tatars at the urgent request of his emperor.
"You spoil her, Ilya," she added, turning to her husband.
"That is, with Ilya Rostov who married Nataly Shinshina," said Anna Mikhaylovna.
Rostov, the father, is Ilya, and his son is Nicholas.
"Count Ilya Rostov's son?" asked Dolgorukov.
It's time I knew the Imperial horses and Ilya Ivanych.
I don't think Ilya drives anyone except the Tsar!
At the beginning of March, old Count Ilya Rostov was very busy arranging a dinner in honor of Prince Bagration at the English Club.
"That's it, that's it!" exclaimed the count, and gaily seizing his son by both hands, he cried, "Now I've got you, so take the sleigh and pair at once, and go to Bezukhov's, and tell him 'Count Ilya has sent you to ask for strawberries and fresh pineapples.'
The men who set the tone in conversation--Count Rostopchin, Prince Yuri Dolgorukov, Valuev, Count Markov, and Prince Vyazemski--did not show themselves at the club, but met in private houses in intimate circles, and the Moscovites who took their opinions from others--Ilya Rostov among them--remained for a while without any definite opinion on the subject of the war and without leaders.
Count Ilya Rostov, laughing and repeating the words, Make way, dear boy!
Count Ilya, again thrusting his way through the crowd, went out of the drawing room and reappeared a minute later with another committeeman, carrying a large silver salver which he presented to Prince Bagration.
Just before dinner, Count Ilya Rostov presented his son to Bagration, who recognized him and said a few words to him, disjointed and awkward, as were all the words he spoke that day, and Count Ilya looked joyfully and proudly around while Bagration spoke to his son.
As soon as the singing was over, another and another toast was proposed and Count Ilya Rostov became more and more moved, more glass was smashed, and the shouting grew louder.
This Marshal was Count Ilya Rostov, and in the middle of May Prince Andrew went to visit him.
In 1809 Count Ilya Rostov was living at Otradnoe just as he had done in former years, that is, entertaining almost the whole province with hunts, theatricals, dinners, and music.
The general sat down by Count Ilya Rostov, who was next to himself the most important guest.
The old count, knowing his son's ardor in the hunt, hurried so as not to be late, and the huntsmen had not yet reached their places when Count Ilya Rostov, cheerful, flushed, and with quivering cheeks, drove up with his black horses over the winter rye to the place reserved for him, where a wolf might come out.
Count Ilya Rostov, though not at heart a keen sportsman, knew the rules of the hunt well, and rode to the bushy edge of the road where he was to stand, arranged his reins, settled himself in the saddle, and, feeling that he was ready, looked about with a smile.
Count Ilya Rostov had resigned the position of Marshal of the Nobility because it involved him in too much expense, but still his affairs did not improve.
And next day, Count Ilya Rostov--though he had not yet quite yielded--went to inquire how he could arrange for Petya to serve where there would be least danger.
Count Ilya Rostov, in a military uniform of Catherine's time, was sauntering with a pleasant smile among the crowd, with all of whom he was acquainted.
Count Ilya Rostov smiled blandly and nodded approval.
The head of the family, Count Ilya Rostov, continually drove about the city collecting the current rumors from all sides and gave superficial and hasty orders at home about the preparations for their departure.
On waking up that morning Count Ilya Rostov left his bedroom softly, so as not to wake the countess who had fallen asleep only toward morning, and came out to the porch in his lilac silk dressing gown.
The count--Count Ilya Andreevich Rostov.