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The review also provides the author with a vehicle to contrast Rostov’s self-abnegation with Prince Andrey’s assertive egotism. When Nikolay retells the story of the Schöngraben campaign as he would have liked it to happen, Tolstoy contrasts them again. He shows how someone like Rostov, who acted unconsciously during the battle, has no objective view of it, whereas Prince Andrey, who never forgot himself for a moment during the fighting, knows the facts of the action. We are convinced of the sincerity of each man; both views are truthful.

After a splendid dinner Uncle plays his guitar and Natasha abandons herself to a gypsy dance. Still later, the Rostov children, bundled in furs, drive home through the starry night. Sitting side by side, Natasha and Nikolay talk over the day’s events. She suddenly gives a musical, causeless laugh. ” but he wishes to himself she would never marry and thinks he will never find another friend like Natasha. Meanwhile, financial troubles force Count Rostov to resign as marshal of the province, a position that demands extravagant War and Peace 57 entertaining.

Prince Andrey lives in retirement at his estate in Bogutcharovo, about 30 miles from Bleak Hills. He receives his news through letters from his father and Bilibin. Reporting of Bermigsen’s victory over Napoleon at Eylau, his father writes, If a German can beat him, then we will find it easy to do the same if people don’t meddle who’ve no business to meddle. He is referring to the political intrigue that cuts down the efficiency of the military; describing this area is Bilibin’s forte. With characteristic irony, the diplomat writes that the whole joke of the war is that nothing is accomplished other than the pillaging of the Prussian countryside as the poorly equipped troops freeload off the inhabitants.

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