Thursday, March 24, 2011

Hélène

"Princess Hélène was smiling; she got up with the same unchanging smile of a perfectly beautiful woman with which she had entered the drawing room. Lightly rustling her white ball gown trimmed with ivy and moss, her white shoulders gleaming, her hair and diamonds shining, she walked straight on between the parted men, not looking at anyone, but smiling to everyone, and as if kindly granting each of them the right to admire the beauty of her figure, her full shoulders, her very exposed bosom and back, as the fashion then was, and, as if bringing with her the brilliance of a ball, approached Anna Pavlovna. Hélène was so good-looking that there was not only not a trace of coquetry to be seen in her, but, on the contrary, it was as if she was embarrassed by her unquestionable and all too strongly and triumphantly effective beauty. It was as if she wished but was unable to diminish the effect of her beauty."

~ Regarding Princess Eléna Vassílievna Kurágin (Hélène), War and Peace, Leo Tolstoy

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