About a year has passed. Russia is still allied with France and even helps out Napoleon on a military campaign.
Meanwhile, Andrei has pretty much done all the reforms that Pierre was going to do but didn’t. He’s freed the serfs from their forced labor and lets them pay it in money instead. He set up actual schools and hospitals for them, that are staffed and being used. And he brought in a midwife to help out with the childbirths.
And he’s done it all without telling anyone. Go Andrei!
In the spring of 1809, Andrei sets out to visit his son’s estates (he’s the trustee till the baby comes of age).
Riding through the woods on a beautiful spring day, Andrei can’t get with the program of appreciating nature. All he sees is a destroyed old oak tree that makes him think of old age and death and the uselessness of being alive. Um, guys, he’s 31. Probably a little early to start thinking of himself as an old man.