Emma Watson Pussy
War And Peace
Moreover, it cannot be
denied that the influence of the classical authors is in the
highest degree moral, while, unfortunately, with the study of the
natural sciences are associated the false and noxious doctrines
which are the curse of our day."
Sergey Ivanovitch would have said something, but Pestsov
interrupted him in his rich bass. He began warmly contesting the
justice of this view. Sergey Ivanovitch waited serenely to
speak, obviously with a convincing reply ready.
"But," said Sergey Ivanovitch, smiling subtly, and addressing
Karenin, "One must allow that to weigh all the advantages and
disadvantages of classical and scientific studies is a difficult
task, and the question which form of education was to be
preferred would not have been so quickly and conclusively decided
if there had not been in favor of classical education, as you
expressed it just now, its moral--disons le mot--anti-nihilist
"If it had not been for the distinctive property of
anti-nihilistic influence on the side of classical studies, we
should have considered the subject more, have weighed the
arguments on both sides," said Sergey Ivanovitch with a subtle
smile, "we should have given elbow-room to both tendencies. But
now we know that these little pills of classical learning possess
the medicinal property of anti-nihilism, and we boldly prescribe
them to our patients.... But what if they had no such medicinal
property?" he wound up humorously.
At Sergey Ivanovitchs little pills, everyone laughed; Turovtsin
in especial roared loudly and jovially, glad at last to have
found something to laugh at, all he ever looked for in listening
Stepan Arkadyevitch had not made a mistake in inviting Pestsov.
With Pestsov intellectual conversation never flagged for an
instant. Directly Sergey Ivanovitch had concluded the
conversation with his jest, Pestsov promptly started a new one.
"I cant agree even," said he, "that the government had that aim.
The government obviously is guided by abstract considerations,
and remains indifferent to the influence its measures may
exercise. The education of women, for instance, would naturally
be regarded as likely to be harmful, but the government opens
schools and universities for women."
And the conversation at once passed to the new subject of the
education of women.
Alexey Alexandrovitch expressed the idea that the education of
women is apt to be confounded with the emancipation of women, and
that it is only so that it can be considered dangerous.
"I consider, on the contrary, that the two questions are
inseparably connected together," said Pestsov; "it is a vicious
circle. Woman is deprived of rights from lack of education, and
the lack of education results from the absence of rights. We
must not forget that the subjection of women is so complete, and
dates from such ages back that we are often unwilling to
recognize the gulf that separates them from us," said he.
"You said rights," said Sergey Ivanovitch, waiting till Pestsov
had finished, "meaning the right of sitting on juries, of voting,
of presiding at official meetings, the right of entering the
civil service, of sitting in parliament..."
"But if women, as a rare exception, can occupy such positions, it
seems to me you are wrong in using the expression rights. It
would be more correct to say duties. Every man will agree that
in doing the duty of a juryman, a witness, a telegraph clerk, we
feel we are performing duties. And therefore it would be correct
to say that women are seeking duties, and quite legitimately.
And one can but sympathize with this desire to assist in the
general labor of man."
"Quite so," Alexey Alexandrovitch assented. "The question, I
imagine, is simply whether they are fitted for such duties."
"They will most likely be perfectly fitted," said Stepan
Arkadyevitch, "when education has become general among them. We
"How about the proverb?" said the prince, who had a long while
been intent on the conversation, his little comical eyes
twinkling. "I can say it before my daughter: her hair is long,
because her wit is..."
"Just what they thought of the negroes before their
emancipation!" said Pestsov angrily.
"What seems strange to me is that women should seek fresh
duties," said Sergey Ivanovitch, "while we see, unhappily, that
men usually try to avoid them."
"Duties are bound up with rights--power, money, honor; those are
what women are seeking," said Pestsov.
"Just as though I should seek the right to be a wet-nurse and
feel injured because women are paid for the work, while no one
will take me," said the old prince.
Turovtsin exploded in a loud roar of laughter and Sergey
Anna Karenina page 223 Anna Karenina page 225