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Anna Karenina 460


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Anna Karenina

War And Peace




do this, and is driven inevitably into war. On the other hand, both political science and common sense teach us that in matters of state, and especially in the matter of war, private citizens must forego their personal individual will." Sergey Ivanovitch and Katavasov had their replies ready, and both began speaking at the same time. "But the point is, my dear fellow, that there may be cases when the government does not carry out the will of the citizens and then the public asserts its will," said Katavasov. But evidently Sergey Ivanovitch did not approve of this answer. His brows contracted at Katavasovs words and he said something else. "You dont put the matter in its true light. There is no question here of a declaration of war, but simply the expression of a human Christian feeling. Our brothers, one with us in religion and in race, are being massacred. Even supposing they were not our brothers nor fellow-Christians, but simply children, women, old people, feeling is aroused and Russians go eagerly to help in stopping these atrocities. Fancy, if you were going along the street and saw drunken men beating a woman or a child--I imagine you would not stop to inquire whether war had been declared on the men, but would throw yourself on them, and protect the victim." "But I should not kill them," said Levin. "Yes, you would kill them." "I dont know. If I saw that, I might give way to my impulse of the moment, but I cant say beforehand. And such a momentary impulse there is not, and there cannot be, in the case of the oppression of the Slavonic peoples." "Possibly for you there is not; but for others there is," said Sergey Ivanovitch, frowning with displeasure. "There are traditions still extant among the people of Slavs of the true faith suffering under the yoke of the unclean sons of Hagar. The people have heard of the sufferings of their brethren and have spoken." "Perhaps so," said Levin evasively; "but I dont see it. Im one of the people myself, and I dont feel it." "Here am I too," said the old prince. "Ive been staying abroad and reading the papers, and I must own, up to the time of the Bulgarian atrocities, I couldnt make out why it was all the Russians were all of a sudden so fond of their Slavonic brethren, while I didnt feel the slightest affection for them. I was very much upset, thought I was a monster, or that it was the influence of Carlsbad on me. But since I have been here, my minds been set at rest. I see that there are people besides me whore only interested in Russia, and not in their Slavonic brethren. Heres Konstantin too." "Personal opinions mean nothing in such a case," said Sergey Ivanovitch; "its not a matter of personal opinions when all Russia--the whole people--has expressed its will." "But excuse me, I dont see that. The people dont know anything about it, if you come to that," said the old prince. "Oh, papa!...how can you say that? And last Sunday in church?" said Dolly, listening to the conversation. "Please give me a cloth," she said to the old man, who was looking at the children with a smile. "Why, its not possible that all..." "But what was it in church on Sunday? The priest had been told to read that. He read it. They didnt understand a word of it. Then they were told that there was to be a collection for a pious object in church; well, they pulled out their halfpence and gave them, but what for they couldnt say." "The people cannot help knowing; the sense of their own destinies is always in the people, and at such moments as the present that sense finds utterance," said Sergey Ivanovitch with conviction, glancing at the old bee-keeper. The handsome old man, with black grizzled beard and thick silvery hair, stood motionless, holding a cup of honey, looking down from the height of his tall figure with friendly serenity at the gentlefolk, obviously understanding nothing of their conversation and not caring to understand it. "Thats so, no doubt," he said, with a significant shake of his head at Sergey Ivanovitchs words. "Here, then, ask him. He knows nothing about it and thinks nothing," said Levin. "Have you heard about the war, Mihalitch?" he said, turning to him. "What they read in the church? What do you

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