Emma Watson Pussy
War And Peace
not given to man to
know what is right and what is wrong. Men always did and always will
err, and in nothing more than in what they consider right and wrong."
"What does harm to another is wrong," said Pierre, feeling with
pleasure that for the first time since his arrival Prince Andrew was
roused, had begun to talk, and wanted to express what had brought
him to his present state.
"And who has told you what is bad for another man?" he asked.
"Bad! Bad!" exclaimed Pierre. "We all know what is bad for
"Yes, we know that, but the harm I am conscious of in myself is
something I cannot inflict on others," said Prince Andrew, growing
more and more animated and evidently wishing to express his new
outlook to Pierre. He spoke in French. "I only know two very real
evils in life: remorse and illness. The only good is the absence of
those evils. To live for myself avoiding those two evils is my whole
"And love of ones neighbor, and self-sacrifice?" began Pierre. "No,
I cant agree with you! To live only so as not to do evil and not to
have to repent is not enough. I lived like that, I lived for myself
and ruined my life. And only now when I am living, or at least trying"
(Pierres modesty made him correct himself) "to live for others,
only now have I understood all the happiness of life. No, I shall
not agree with you, and you do not really believe what you are
saying." Prince Andrew looked silently at Pierre with an ironic smile.
"When you see my sister, Princess Mary, youll get on with her,"
he said. "Perhaps you are right for yourself," he added after a
short pause, "but everyone lives in his own way. You lived for
yourself and say you nearly ruined your life and only found
happiness when you began living for others. I experienced just the
reverse. I lived for glory.--And after all what is glory? The same
love of others, a desire to do something for them, a desire for
their approval.--So I lived for others, and not almost, but quite,
ruined my life. And I have become calmer since I began to live only
"But what do you mean by living only for yourself?" asked Pierre,
growing excited. "What about your son, your sister, and your father?"
"But thats just the same as myself--they are not others," explained
Prince Andrew. "The others, ones neighbors, le prochain, as you and
Princess Mary call it, are the chief source of all error and evil.
Le prochain--your Kiev peasants to whom you want to do good."
And he looked at Pierre with a mocking, challenging expression. He
evidently wished to draw him on.
"You are joking," replied Pierre, growing more and more excited.
"What error or evil can there be in my wishing to do good, and even
doing a little--though I did very little and did it very badly? What
evil can there be in it if unfortunate people, our serfs, people
like ourselves, were growing up and dying with no idea of God and
truth beyond ceremonies and meaningless prayers and are now instructed
in a comforting belief in future life, retribution, recompense, and
consolation? What evil and error are there in it, if people were dying
of disease without help while material assistance could so easily be
rendered, and I supplied them with a doctor, a hospital, and an asylum
for the aged? And is it not a palpable, unquestionable good if a
peasant, or a woman with a baby, has no rest day or night and I give
them rest and leisure?" said Pierre, hurrying and lisping. "And I have
done that though badly and to a small extent; but I have done
something toward it and you cannot persuade me that it was not a
good action, and more than that, you cant make me believe that you do
not think so yourself. And the main thing is," he continued, "that I
know, and know for certain, that the enjoyment of doing this good is
the only sure happiness in life."
"Yes, if you put it like that its quite a different matter," said
Prince Andrew. "I build a house and lay out a garden, and you build
hospitals. The one and the other may serve as a pastime. But whats
right and whats good must be judged by one who knows all, but not
by us. Well, you want an argument,"
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