Emma Watson Pussy
War And Peace
of a closely
mown space in regular rows, fastened with bast on posts, all the
hives he knew so well, the old stocks, each with its own history,
and along the fences the younger swarms hived that year. In
front of the openings of the hives, it made his eyes giddy to
watch the bees and drones whirling round and round about the same
spot, while among them the working bees flew in and out with
spoils or in search of them, always in the same direction into
the wood to the flowering lime trees and back to the hives.
His ears were filled with the incessant hum in various notes, now
the busy hum of the working bee flying quickly off, then the
blaring of the lazy drone, and the excited buzz of the bees on
guard protecting their property from the enemy and preparing to
sting. On the farther side of the fence the old bee-keeper was
shaving a hoop for a tub, and he did not see Levin. Levin stood
still in the midst of the beehives and did not call him.
He was glad of a chance to be alone to recover from the influence
of ordinary actual life, which had already depressed his happy
mood. He thought that he had already had time to lose his temper
with Ivan, to show coolness to his brother, and to talk
flippantly with Katavasov.
"Can it have been only a momentary mood, and will it pass and
leave no trace?" he thought. But the same instant, going back to
his mood, he felt with delight that something new and important
had happened to him. Real life had only for a time overcast the
spiritual peace he had found, but it was still untouched within
Just as the bees, whirling round him, now menacing him and
distracting his attention, prevented him from enjoying complete
physical peace, forced him to restrain his movements to avoid
them, so had the petty cares that had swarmed about him from the
moment he got into the trap restricted his spiritual freedom; but
that lasted only so long as he was among them. Just as his
bodily strength was still unaffected, in spite of the bees, so
too was the spiritual strength that he had just become aware of.
"Do you know, Kostya, with whom Sergey Ivanovitch traveled on his
way here?" said Dolly, doling out cucumbers and honey to the
children; "with Vronsky! Hes going to Servia."
"And not alone; hes taking a squadron out with him at his own
expense," said Katavasov.
"Thats the right thing for him," said Levin. "Are volunteers
still going out then?" he added, glancing at Sergey Ivanovitch.
Sergey Ivanovitch did not answer. He was carefully with a blunt
knife getting a live bee covered with sticky honey out of a cup
full of white honeycomb.
"I should think so! You should have seen what was going on at the
station yesterday!" said Katavasov, biting with a juicy sound
into a cucumber.
"Well, what is one to make of it? For mercys sake, do explain
to me, Sergey Ivanovitch, where are all those volunteers going,
whom are they fighting with?" asked the old prince, unmistakably
taking up a conversation that had sprung up in Levins absence.
"With the Turks," Sergey Ivanovitch answered, smiling serenely,
as he extricated the bee, dark with honey and helplessly kicking,
and put it with the knife on a stout aspen leaf.
"But who has declared war on the Turks?--Ivan Ivanovitch Ragozov
and Countess Lidia Ivanovna, assisted by Madame Stahl?"
"No one has declared war, but people sympathize with their
neighbors sufferings and are eager to help them," said Sergey
"But the prince is not speaking of help," said Levin, coming to
the assistance of his father-in-law, "but of war. The prince
says that private persons cannot take part in war without the
permission of the government."
"Kostya, mind, thats a bee! Really, theyll sting us!" said
Dolly, waving away a wasp.
"But thats not a bee, its a wasp," said Levin.
"Well now, well, whats your own theory?" Katavasov said to Levin
with a smile, distinctly challenging him to a discussion. "Why
have not private persons the right to do so?"
"Oh, my theorys this: war is on one side such a beastly, cruel,
and awful thing, that no one man, not to speak of a Christian,
can individually take upon himself the responsibility of
beginning wars; that can only be done by a government, which is
called upon to
Anna Karenina page 458 Anna Karenina page 460