A whistle and a thud! Five paces from him a cannonball dug up the dry earth and disappeared. An involuntary chill ran down his spine. He glanced at the ranks again. Many had probably been taken out; a large crowd gathered by the second battalion.
"Mr. Adjutant!" he shouted, "order them not to crowd around." The adjutant, having carried out the order, was coming towards Prince Andrei. From the other side the battalion commander rode up.
"Look out!" came a soldier's frightened cry, and, like a little bird whistling over in quick flight and alighting on the ground, a shell dully plopped down within two paces of Prince Andrei, near the battalion commander's horse. The horse first of all, not asking whether it was good or bad to show fear, snorted, reared up, nearly throwing off the major, and leaped aside. The horse's terror communicated itself to the men.
"Get down!" cried the voice of the adjutant, throwing himself to the ground. Prince Andrei stood undecided. The shell was smoking, spinning like a top between him and the prone adjutant, on the border between the field and the meadow, near a bush of wormwood.
"Can this be death?" thought Prince Andrei, gazing with completely new, envious eyes at the grass, at the wormwood, and at the little stream of smoke curling up from the spinning black ball. "I can't, I don't want to die, I love life, I love this grass, the earth, the air ..." He was thinking all that and at the same time remembered that he was being looked at.
— from War and Peace, translated by Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky, page 810
And at that moment he felt a blow above his nipple.
"That's nothing, damn it," he told himself in the first second after the blow. His spirits rose even higher, but suddenly his strength failed him and he fell.
"This is real death. This is the end," he told himself at that moment. "A shame. What now? There was still something, still something good. It's annoying, he thought. Some soldiers picked him up.
"Leave me, lads. Don't break ranks," said Prince Andrei, not knowing himself why he said it, but at the same time desperate to make them carry out his command. They disobeyed him and started carrying him.
"Yes, there was something I still had to do," he thought.
— from War and Peace, The Original Version, translated by Andrew Bromfield, page 840