Emma Watson Pussy
War And Peace
never could understand that which
leads women to immorality; "but I dont understand cruelty: to
whom? to you! How can she stay in the town where you are? No,
the longer one lives the more one learns. And Im learning to
understand your loftiness and her baseness."
"Who is to throw a stone?" said Alexey Alexandrovitch,
unmistakably pleased with the part he had to play. "I have
forgiven all, and so I cannot deprive her of what is exacted by
love in her--by her love for her son...."
"But is that love, my friend? Is it sincere? Admitting that you
have forgiven--that you forgive--have we the right to work on the
feelings of that angel? He looks on her as dead. He prays for
her, and beseeches God to have mercy on her sins. And it is
better so. But now what will he think?"
"I had not thought of that," said Alexey Alexandrovitch,
Countess Lidia Ivanovna hid her face in her hands and was silent.
she was praying.
"If you ask my advice," she said, having finished her prayer and
uncovered her face, "I do not advise you to do this. Do you
suppose I dont see how you are suffering, how this has torn open
your wounds? But supposing that, as always, you dont think of
yourself, what can it lead to?--to fresh suffering for you, to
torture for the child. If there were a trace of humanity left in
her, she ought not to wish for it herself. No, I have no
hesitation in saying I advise not, and if you will intrust it to
me, I will write to her."
And Alexey Alexandrovitch consented, and Countess Lidia Ivanovna
sent the following letter in French:
"To be reminded of you might have results for your son in leading
to questions on his part which could not be answered without
implanting in the childs soul a spirit of censure towards what
should be for him sacred, and therefore I beg you to interpret
your husbands refusal in the spirit of Christian love. I pray
to Almighty God to have mercy on you.
This letter attained the secret object which Countess Lidia
Ivanovna had concealed from herself. It wounded Anna to the
For his part, Alexey Alexandrovitch, on returning home from Lidia
Ivanovnas, could not all that day concentrate himself on his
usual pursuits, and find that spiritual peace of one saved and
believing which he had felt of late.
The thought of his wife, who had so greatly sinned against him,
and towards whom he had been so saintly, as Countess Lidia
Ivanovna had so justly told him, ought not to have troubled him;
but he was not easy; he could not understand the book he was
reading; he could not drive away harassing recollections of his
relations with her, of the mistake which, as it now seemed, he
had made in regard to her. The memory of how he had received her
confession of infidelity on their way home from the races
(especially that he had insisted only on the observance of
external decorum, and had not sent a challenge) tortured him like
a remorse. He was tortured too by the thought of the letter he
had written her; and most of all, his forgiveness, which nobody
wanted, and his care of the other mans child made his heart burn
with shame and remorse.
And just the same feeling of shame and regret he felt now, as he
reviewed all his past with her, recalling the awkward words in
which, after long wavering, he had made her an offer.
"But how have I been to blame?" he said to himself. And this
question always excited another question in him--whether they
felt differently, did their loving and marrying differently,
these Vronskys and Oblonskys...these gentlemen of the
bedchamber, with their fine calves. And there passed before his
mind a whole series of these mettlesome, vigorous, self-
confident men, who always and everywhere drew his inquisitive
attention in spite of himself. He tried to dispel these
thoughts, he tried to persuade himself that he was not living for
this transient life, but for the life of eternity, and that there
was peace and love in his heart.
But the fact that he
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