For the first time all that pure, spiritual, inward travail through which she had lived appeared on the surface.
She caught the unfinished word in its flight and took it straight into her open heart, divining the secret meaning of all Pierre’s mental travail.
But owing to the superstition that the fewer the people who know of it the less a woman in travail suffers, everyone tried to pretend not to know; no one spoke of it, but apart from the ordinary staid and respectful good manners habitual in the prince’s household, a common anxiety, a softening of the heart, and a consciousness that something great and mysterious was being accomplished at that moment made itself felt.
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a time of economic travail
Lines formed in his face, and in those lines were the travail of the North, the bite of the frost, all that he had achieved and suffered