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Nikolai is living it up in Moscow on his leave. The days are long, money is no object (since daddy is footing the bills), girls are swarming him, and he belongs to a cool exclusive men's club.
He feels like he’s way more mature than before the army, so he pulls away from Sonya, thinking that girls like her are a dime a dozen. Oh, aren’t we been-there-done-that all of a sudden?
Count Rostov is throwing a party for General Bagration at the exclusive English Club. He is really hands-on, telling the chef what dishes to make, figuring out the flowers and entertainment. Seriously, he’s like one step away from being a wedding planner.
Nikolai comes in and teases his dad a little bit.
Then Anna Mikhailovna comes in and tells them that Pierre is in town, but that his wife has run off with Dolokhov.
They send him an invitation to the club to cheer him up.
The party for Bagration is all set to go the next day. Basically he’s getting all the love for several reasons:
1. He’s become the man of the hour because he won that small battle that allowed the Russian army to escape.
2. He’s not a Moscow insider, so he doesn’t have any of the political baggage that all the other generals have. He makes a good face for the “Russian soldier.”
3. He’s not Kutuzov, whom everyone is mad at.
Why are they mad at Kutuzov?
Well everyone is shocked by the huge loss in the battle of Austerlitz. The blame goes to all the wrong places. There’s some xenophobia about the foreign allies, there’s complaints about provisioning for the troops, but mostly there’s anger at the commander in chief for screwing stuff up.
And the last thing people are talking about? How it’s too bad that Andrei Bolkonsky died so young. Wait – Andrei’s dead?!