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War and Peace

War and Peace

by Leo Tolstoy

War and Peace Volume 3, Part 1, Chapter 18 Summary

  • In July all of Moscow knows that war is coming. Everyone is in a tizzy.
  • Alexander has issued some kind of proclamation, which Pierre promises to come and explain to the Rostovs at dinner.
  • Meanwhile, as Natasha is going to church she overhears people talking about her and the whole drama with Anatole. This makes her feel like crap, obviously, and she promises herself to be good from now on. She also suddenly realizes how horribly she’s been treating her family, including Sonya, and promises to be better.
  • Suddenly, in the middle of the church service – after the long prayer for peace and forgiveness to everyone, including enemies – a priest comes out with a special new prayer. It’s all about success for the military campaign, for killing as many French soldiers as possible, and for generally destroying everyone opposed to Russia.
  • Natasha is all, what the what?  How are we praying for soldiers to kill when we just prayed for love and forgiveness? She doesn’t say the new prayer and instead asks God again to forgive everyone.

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