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Anna Karenina 461

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Anna Karenina

War And Peace

think about it? Ought we to fight for the Christians?" "What should we think? Alexander Nikolaevitch our Emperor has thought for us; he thinks for us indeed in all things. Its clearer for him to see. Shall I bring a bit more bread? Give the little lad some more?" he said addressing Darya Alexandrovna and pointing to Grisha, who had finished his crust. "I dont need to ask," said Sergey Ivanovitch, "we have seen and are seeing hundreds and hundreds of people who give up everything to serve a just cause, come from every part of Russia, and directly and clearly express their thought and aim. They bring their halfpence or go themselves and say directly what for. What does it mean?" "It means, to my thinking," said Levin, who was beginning to get warm, "that among eighty millions of people there can always be found not hundreds, as now, but tens of thousands of people who have lost caste, neer-do-wells, who are always ready to go anywhere--to Pogatchevs bands, to Khiva, to Serbia..." "I tell you that its not a case of hundreds or of neer-do-wells, but the best representatives of the people!" said Sergey Ivanovitch, with as much irritation as if he were defending the last penny of his fortune. "And what of the subscriptions? In this case it is a whole people directly expressing their will." "That word people is so vague," said Levin. "Parish clerks, teachers, and one in a thousand of the peasants, maybe, know what its all about. The rest of the eighty millions, like Mihalitch, far from expressing their will, havent the faintest idea what there is for them to express their will about. What right have we to say that this is the peoples will?" Chapter 16 Sergey Ivanovitch, being practiced in argument, did not reply, but at once turned the conversation to another aspect of the subject. "Oh, if you want to learn the spirit of the people by arithmetical computation, of course its very difficult to arrive at it. And voting has not been introduced among us and cannot be introduced, for it does not express the will of the people; but there are other ways of reaching that. It is felt in the air, it is felt by the heart. I wont speak of those deep currents which are astir in the still ocean of the people, and which are evident to every unprejudiced man; let us look at society in the narrow sense. All the most diverse sections of the educated public, hostile before, are merged in one. Every division is at an end, all the public organs say the same thing over and over again, all feel the mighty torrent that has overtaken them and is carrying them in one direction." "Yes, all the newspapers do say the same thing," said the prince. "Thats true. But so it is the same thing that all the frogs croak before a storm. One can hear nothing for them." "Frogs or no frogs, Im not the editor of a paper and I dont want to defend them; but I am speaking of the unanimity in the intellectual world," said Sergey Ivanovitch, addressing his brother. Levin would have answered, but the old prince interrupted him. "Well, about that unanimity, thats another thing, one may say," said the prince. "Theres my son-in-law, Stepan Arkadyevitch, you know him. Hes got a place now on the committee of a commission and something or other, I dont remember. Only theres nothing to do in it--why, Dolly, its no secret!--and a salary of eight thousand. You try asking him whether his post is of use, hell prove to you that its most necessary. And hes a truthful man too, but theres no refusing to believe in the utility of eight thousand roubles." "Yes, he asked me to give a message to Darya Alexandrovna about the post," said Sergey Ivanovitch reluctantly, feeling the princes remark to be ill-timed. "So it is with the unanimity of the press. Thats been explained to me: as soon as theres war their incomes are doubled. How can they help believing in the destinies of the people and the Slavonic races...and all that?" "I dont care for many of the papers, but thats unjust," said Sergey Ivanovitch. "I would only make one condition," pursued the old prince. "Alphonse Karr said a capital thing before the war with Prussia: You consider war to be inevitable? Very good. Let everyone who advocates

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