Emma Watson Pussy
War And Peace
he added, "come on then."
They rose from the table and sat down in the entrance porch which
served as a veranda.
"Come, lets argue then," said Prince Andrew, "You talk of schools,"
he went on, crooking a finger, "education and so forth; that is, you
want to raise him" (pointing to a peasant who passed by them taking
off his cap) "from his animal condition and awaken in him spiritual
needs, while it seems to me that animal happiness is the only
happiness possible, and that is just what you want to deprive him
of. I envy him, but you want to make him what I am, without giving him
my means. Then you say, lighten his toil. But as I see it,
physical labor is as essential to him, as much a condition of his
existence, as mental activity is to you or me. You cant help
thinking. I go to bed after two in the morning, thoughts come and I
cant sleep but toss about till dawn, because I think and cant help
thinking, just as he cant help plowing and mowing; if he didnt, he
would go to the drink shop or fall ill. Just as I could not stand
his terrible physical labor but should die of it in a week, so he
could not stand my physical idleness, but would grow fat and die.
The third thing--what else was it you talked about?" and Prince Andrew
crooked a third finger. "Ah, yes, hospitals, medicine. He has a fit,
he is dying, and you come and bleed him and patch him up. He will drag
about as a cripple, a burden to everybody, for another ten years. It
would be far easier and simpler for him to die. Others are being
born and there are plenty of them as it is. It would be different if
you grudged losing a laborer--thats how I regard him--but you want to
cure him from love of him. And he does not want that. And besides,
what a notion that medicine ever cured anyone! Killed them, yes!" said
he, frowning angrily and turning away from Pierre.
Prince Andrew expressed his ideas so clearly and distinctly that
it was evident he had reflected on this subject more than once, and he
spoke readily and rapidly like a man who has not talked for a long
time. His glance became more animated as his conclusions became more
"Oh, that is dreadful, dreadful!" said Pierre. "I dont understand
how one can live with such ideas. I had such moments myself not long
ago, in Moscow and when traveling, but at such times I collapsed so
that I dont live at all--everything seems hateful to me... myself
most of all. Then I dont eat, dont wash... and how is it with
"Why not wash? That is not cleanly," said Prince Andrew; "on the
contrary one must try to make ones life as pleasant as possible.
Im alive, that is not my fault, so I must live out my life as best
I can without hurting others."
"But with such ideas what motive have you for living? One would
sit without moving, undertaking nothing...."
"Life as it is leaves one no peace. I should be thankful to do
nothing, but here on the one hand the local nobility have done me
the honor to choose me to be their marshal; it was all I could do to
get out of it. They could not understand that I have not the necessary
qualifications for it--the kind of good-natured, fussy shallowness
necessary for the position. Then theres this house, which must be
built in order to have a nook of ones own in which to be quiet. And
now theres this recruiting."
"Why arent you serving in the army?"
"After Austerlitz!" said Prince Andrew gloomily. "No, thank you very
much! I have promised myself not to serve again in the active
Russian army. And I wont--not even if Bonaparte were here at Smolensk
threatening Bald Hills--even then I wouldnt serve in the Russian
army! Well, as I was saying," he continued, recovering his
composure, "now theres this recruiting. My father is chief in command
of the Third District, and my only way of avoiding active service is
to serve under him."
"Then you are serving?"
He paused a little while.
"And why do you serve?"
"Why, for this reason! My father is one of the most remarkable men
of his time. But he is growing old, and though not exactly cruel he
has too energetic a character. He is so accustomed
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