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War and Peace

War and Peace


by Leo Tolstoy

War and Peace Volume 1, Part 1, Chapter 19 Summary

  • Pierre and Princess Drubetskoy are in a carriage going to Count Bezukhov’s house. Pierre’s been called for, and the Princess is tagging along.
  • They come in ninja-style, up the back stairs, getting around all the servants, and avoiding being kept out.  This is all the Princess’s idea.
  • They sneak through all sorts of servants’ rooms and passageways. Pierre has lived in the house for months and has never seen any of these places. On the way to the Count’s bedroom, Pierre and the Princess pass the room where Prince Vassily and Catiche are having the convo about the letter. Catiche and Vassily totally freak out and slam the door.
  • Princess Drubetskoy is all, see, told you so. She’s onto everything – she's the consummate player of the game. Pierre of course has no idea what the hey is going on. He decides to just follow her lead.
  • Finally, they get into the Count’s rooms and wait in the antechamber. Princess Drubetskoy immediately acts all sad and weepy and religious, asking for the priest’s blessing and generally sucking up.
  • Then she goes off to get something.
  • Pierre suddenly notices that everyone is treating him completely differently than usual – with respect.
  • Whoa. It’s almost like he’s about to become a super-rich count. Oh, wait, that’s exactly why.
  • It’s kind of awkward for him, but he goes with it.
  • Prince Vassily comes into the room and gives Pierre an uncomfortable handshake. Clearly he’s trying not to burn any bridges here, just in case Pierre does become the next Count Bezukhov.
  • Finally, Princess Drubetskoy comes back for Pierre and takes him into the Count’s receiving room to witness the ceremony of extreme unction (another end-of-life religious ceremony, which the next chapter will lay out for us).

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