Emma Watson Pussy
War And Peace
in the position of the guilty
party," observed Alexey Alexandrovitch.
"Oh, no, oh, no, not at all! please understand me," said Stepan
Arkadyevitch, touching his hand again, as though feeling sure
this physical contact would soften his brother-in-law. "All I
say is this: her position is intolerable, and it might be
alleviated by you, and you will lose nothing by it. I will
arrange it all for you, so that youll not notice it. You did
promise it, you know."
"The promise was given before. And I had supposed that the
question of my son had settled the matter. Besides, I had hoped
that Anna Arkadyevna had enough generosity..." Alexey
Alexandrovitch articulated with difficulty, his lips twitching
and his face white.
"She leaves it all to your generosity. She begs, she implores
one thing of you--to extricate her from the impossible position
in which she is placed. She does not ask for her son now.
Alexey Alexandrovitch, you are a good man. Put yourself in her
position for a minute. The question of divorce for her in her
position is a question of life and death. If you had not
promised it once, she would have reconciled herself to her
position, she would have gone on living in the country. But you
promised it, and she wrote to you, and moved to Moscow. And here
shes been for six months in Moscow, where every chance meeting
cuts her to the heart, every day expecting an answer. Why, its
like keeping a condemned criminal for six months with the rope
round his neck, promising him perhaps death, perhaps mercy. Have
pity on her, and I will undertake to arrange everything. _Vos
"I am not talking about that, about that..." Alexey
Alexandrovitch interrupted with disgust. "But, perhaps, I
promised what I had no right to promise."
"So you go back from your promise?"
"I have never refused to do all that is possible, but I want time
to consider how much of what I promised is possible."
"No, Alexey Alexandrovitch!" cried Oblonsky, jumping up, "I wont
believe that! Shes unhappy as only an unhappy woman can be, and
you cannot refuse in such..."
"As much of what I promised as is possible. _Vous professez
detre libre penseur._ But I as a believer cannot, in a matter of
such gravity, act in opposition to the Christian law."
"But in Christian societies and among us, as far as Im aware,
divorce is allowed," said Stepan Arkadyevitch. "Divorce is
sanctioned even by our church. And we see..."
"It is allowed, but not in the sense..."
"Alexey Alexandrovitch, you are not like yourself," said
Oblonsky, after a brief pause. "Wasnt it you (and didnt we all
appreciate it in you?) who forgave everything, and moved simply
by Christian feeling was ready to make any sacrifice? You said
yourself: if a man take thy coat, give him thy cloak also, and
"I beg," said Alexey Alexandrovitch shrilly, getting suddenly
onto his feet, his face white and his jaws twitching, "I beg you
to drop this...to drop...this subject!"
"Oh, no! Oh, forgive me, forgive me if I have wounded you," said
Stepan Arkadyevitch, holding out his hand with a smile of
embarrassment; "but like a messenger I have simply performed the
commission given me."
Alexey Alexandrovitch gave him his hand, pondered a little, and
"I must think it over and seek for guidance. The day after
tomorrow I will give you a final answer," he said, after
considering a moment.
Stepan Arkadyevitch was about to go away when Korney came in to
"Whos Sergey Alexyevitch?" Stepan Arkadyevitch was beginning,
but he remembered immediately.
"Ah, Seryozha!" he said aloud. "Sergey Alexyevitch! I thought it
was the director of a department. Anna asked me to see him too,"
And he recalled the timid, piteous expression with which Anna had
said to him at parting: "Anyway, you will see him. Find out
exactly where he is, who is looking after him. And Stiva...if
it were possible! Could it be possible?" Stepan Arkadyevitch
knew what was meant by that "if it were possible,"--if it were
possible to arrange the divorce so as to let her have her son....
Stepan Arkadyevitch saw now that it was no good to dream of that,
but still he was glad to see his nephew.
Alexey Alexandrovitch reminded his brother-in-law that they never
spoke to the boy of his mother, and he begged him not to mention
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