Emma Watson Pussy
War And Peace
up at the marsh.
"I dont understand you," said Levin, sitting up in the hay; "how
is it such people dont disgust you? I can understand a lunch
with Lafitte is all very pleasant, but dont you dislike just
that very sumptuousness? All these people, just like our spirit
monopolists in old days, get their money in a way that gains them
the contempt of everyone. They dont care for their contempt,
and then they use their dishonest gains to buy off the contempt
they have deserved."
"Perfectly true!" chimed in Vassenka Veslovsky. "Perfectly!
Oblonsky, of course, goes out of _bonhomie_, but other people say:
Well, Oblonsky stays with them...."
"Not a bit of it." Levin could hear that Oblonsky was smiling as
he spoke. "I simply dont consider him more dishonest than any
other wealthy merchant or nobleman. Theyve all made their money
alike--by their work and their intelligence."
"Oh, by what work? Do you call it work to get hold of
concessions and speculate with them?"
"Of course its work. Work in this sense, that if it were not
for him and others like him, there would have been no railways."
"But thats not work, like the work of a peasant or a learned
"Granted, but its work in the sense that his activity produces a
result--the railways. But of course you think the railways
"No, thats another question; I am prepared to admit that
theyre useful. But all profit that is out of proportion to the
labor expended is dishonest."
"But who is to define what is proportionate?"
"Making profit by dishonest means, by trickery," said Levin,
conscious that he could not draw a distinct line between honesty
and dishonesty. "Such as banking, for instance," he went on.
"Its an evil--the amassing of huge fortunes without labor, just
the same thing as with the spirit monopolies, its only the form
thats changed. _Le roi est mort, vive le roi_. No sooner were
the spirit monopolies abolished than the railways came up, and
banking companies; that, too, is profit without work."
"Yes, that may all be very true and clever.... Lie down, Krak!"
Stepan Arkadyevitch called to his dog, who was scratching and
turning over all the hay. He was obviously convinced of the
correctness of his position, and so talked serenely and without
haste. "But you have not drawn the line between honest and
dishonest work. That I receive a bigger salary than my chief
clerk, though he knows more about the work than I do--thats
dishonest, I suppose?"
"I cant say."
"Well, but I can tell you: your receiving some five thousand,
lets say, for your work on the land, while our host, the peasant
here, however hard he works, can never get more than fifty
roubles, is just as dishonest as my earning more than my chief
clerk, and Malthus getting more than a station-master. No, quite
the contrary; I see that society takes up a sort of antagonistic
attitude to these people, which is utterly baseless, and I fancy
theres envy at the bottom of it...."
"No, thats unfair," said Veslovsky; "how could envy come in?
There is something not nice about that sort of business."
"You say," Levin went on, "that its unjust for me to receive
five thousand, while the peasant has fifty; thats true. It is
unfair, and I feel it, but..."
"It really is. Why is it we spend our time riding, drinking,
shooting, doing nothing, while they are forever at work?" said
Vassenka Veslovsky, obviously for the first time in his life
reflecting on the question, and consequently considering it with
"Yes, you feel it, but you dont give him your property," said
Stepan Arkadyevitch, intentionally, as it seemed, provoking
There had arisen of late something like a secret antagonism
between the two brothers-in-law; as though, since they had
married sisters, a kind of rivalry had sprung up between them as
to which was ordering his life best, and now this hostility
showed itself in the conversation, as it began to take a personal
"I dont give it away, because no one demands that from me, and
if I wanted to, I could not give it away," answered Levin, "and
have no one to give it to."
"Give it to this peasant, he would not refuse it."
"Yes, but how am I to give it up? Am I to go to him and make a
deed of conveyance?"
"I dont know; but if you are convinced that you have no
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