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War and Peace

War and Peace

by Leo Tolstoy

War and Peace Volume 1, Part 1, Chapter 12 Summary

  • Boris is totally humiliated by this whole trip but goes along with it for his mom’s sake.
  • When they get to Count Bezukhov’s house, they are almost not allowed inside, but the Princess sweet-talks the porter into letting them see Prince Vassily.
  • Prince Vassily immediately starts lording it over the Princess and her son. But they play along and suck up to him as much as possible.
  • Mostly the conversation is about Count Bezukhov’s health. Is he really ill? Yes.  Close to death?  Yes.
  • All this small talk is strategic: with every question the Princess maneuvers herself and Boris farther into the room. She’s a master – it’s kind of amazing.
  • Finally, as if overcome by grief, she sits down in a chair. Prince Vassily kind of gives up trying to give them the bum’s rush at this point, and is just kind of “whatever.”
  • The Princess says she is going to go talk to Count Bezukhov, and sends Boris to hang out with Pierre and invite him over to the Rostovs’.
  • Prince Vassily is all, yes, please get this guy off my hands, he’s just in the way here and Count Bezukhov hasn’t asked to see him.
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