Emma Watson Pussy
War And Peace
power that he is terrible, and now he has this authority of a
commander in chief of the recruiting, granted by the Emperor. If I had
been two hours late a fortnight ago he would have had a paymasters
clerk at Yukhnovna hanged," said Prince Andrew with a smile. "So I
am serving because I alone have any influence with my father, and
now and then can save him from actions which would torment him
"Well, there you see!"
"Yes, but it is not as you imagine," Prince Andrew continued. "I did
not, and do not, in the least care about that scoundrel of a clerk who
had stolen some boots from the recruits; I should even have been
very glad to see him hanged, but I was sorry for my father--that again
is for myself."
Prince Andrew grew more and more animated. His eyes glittered
feverishly while he tried to prove to Pierre that in his actions there
was no desire to do good to his neighbor.
"There now, you wish to liberate your serfs," he continued; "that is
a very good thing, but not for you--I dont suppose you ever had
anyone flogged or sent to Siberia--and still less for your serfs. If
they are beaten, flogged, or sent to Siberia, I dont suppose they are
any the worse off. In Siberia they lead the same animal life, and
the stripes on their bodies heal, and they are happy as before. But it
is a good thing for proprietors who perish morally, bring remorse upon
themselves, stifle this remorse and grow callous, as a result of being
able to inflict punishments justly and unjustly. It is those people
I pity, and for their sake I should like to liberate the serfs. You
may not have seen, but I have seen, how good men brought up in those
traditions of unlimited power, in time when they grow more
irritable, become cruel and harsh, are conscious of it, but cannot
restrain themselves and grow more and more miserable."
Prince Andrew spoke so earnestly that Pierre could not help thinking
that these thoughts had been suggested to Prince Andrew by his
He did not reply.
"So thats what Im sorry for--human dignity, peace of mind, purity,
and not the serfs backs and foreheads, which, beat and shave as you
may, always remain the same backs and foreheads."
"No, no! A thousand times no! I shall never agree with you," said
In the evening Andrew and Pierre got into the open carriage and
drove to Bald Hills. Prince Andrew, glancing at Pierre, broke the
silence now and then with remarks which showed that he was in a good
Pointing to the fields, he spoke of the improvements he was making
in his husbandry.
Pierre remained gloomily silent, answering in monosyllables and
apparently immersed in his own thoughts.
He was thinking that Prince Andrew was unhappy, had gone astray, did
not see the true light, and that he, Pierre, ought to aid,
enlighten, and raise him. But as soon as he thought of what he
should say, he felt that Prince Andrew with one word, one argument,
would upset all his teaching, and he shrank from beginning, afraid
of exposing to possible ridicule what to him was precious and sacred.
"No, but why do you think so?" Pierre suddenly began, lowering his
head and looking like a bull about to charge, "why do you think so?
You should not think so."
"Think? What about?" asked Prince Andrew with surprise.
"About life, about mans destiny. It cant be so. I myself thought
like that, and do you know what saved me? Freemasonry! No, dont
smile. Freemasonry is not a religious ceremonial sect, as I thought it
was: Freemasonry is the best expression of the best, the eternal,
aspects of humanity."
And he began to explain Freemasonry as he understood it to Prince
Andrew. He said that Freemasonry is the teaching of Christianity freed
from the bonds of State and Church, a teaching of equality,
brotherhood, and love.
"Only our holy brotherhood has the real meaning of life, all the
rest is a dream," said Pierre. "Understand, my dear fellow, that
outside this union all is filled with deceit and falsehood and I agree
with you that nothing is left for an intelligent and good man but to
live out his life, like you, merely trying not to harm others. But
make our fundamental convictions your own, join our brotherhood,
give yourself up to us, let yourself be guided, and you will at once
feel yourself, as I have felt myself,
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