Emma Watson Pussy
War And Peace
felt the doubt, "Is not all I think and believe nonsense?" And
it was just this peculiarity of Speranskis mind that particularly
attracted Prince Andrew.
During the first period of their acquaintance Bolkonski felt a
passionate admiration for him similar to that which he had once felt
for Bonaparte. The fact that Speranski was the son of a village
priest, and that stupid people might meanly despise him on account
of his humble origin (as in fact many did), caused Prince Andrew to
cherish his sentiment for him the more, and unconsciously to
On that first evening Bolkonski spent with him, having mentioned the
Commission for the Revision of the Code of Laws, Speranski told him
sarcastically that the Commission had existed for a hundred and
fifty years, had cost millions, and had done nothing except that
Rosenkampf had stuck labels on the corresponding paragraphs of the
"And that is all the state has for the millions it has spent,"
said he. "We want to give the Senate new juridical powers, but we have
no laws. That is why it is a sin for men like you, Prince, not to
serve in these times!"
Prince Andrew said that for that work an education in
jurisprudence was needed which he did not possess.
"But nobody possesses it, so what would you have? It is a vicious
circle from which we must break a way out."
A week later Prince Andrew was a member of the Committee on Army
Regulations and--what he had not at all expected--was chairman of a
section of the committee for the revision of the laws. At
Speranskis request he took the first part of the Civil Code that
was being drawn up and, with the aid of the Code Napoleon and the
Institutes of Justinian, he worked at formulating the section on
Nearly two years before this, in 1808, Pierre on returning to
Petersburg after visiting his estates had involuntarily found
himself in a leading position among the Petersburg Freemasons. He
arranged dining and funeral lodge meetings, enrolled new members,
and busied himself uniting various lodges and acquiring authentic
charters. He gave money for the erection of temples and supplemented
as far as he could the collection of alms, in regard to which the
majority of members were stingy and irregular. He supported almost
singlehanded a poorhouse the order had founded in Petersburg.
His life meanwhile continued as before, with the same infatuations
and dissipations. He liked to dine and drink well, and though he
considered it immoral and humiliating could not resist the temptations
of the bachelor circles in which he moved.
Amid the turmoil of his activities and distractions, however, Pierre
at the end of a year began to feel that the more firmly he tried to
rest upon it, the more Masonic ground on which he stood gave way under
him. At the same time he felt that the deeper the ground sank under
him the closer bound he involuntarily became to the order. When he had
joined the Freemasons he had experienced the feeling of one who
confidently steps onto the smooth surface of a bog. When he put his
foot down it sank in. To make quite sure of the firmness of the ground,
he put his other foot down and sank deeper still, became stuck in
it, and involuntarily waded knee-deep in the bog.
Joseph Alexeevich was not in Petersburg--he had of late stood
aside from the affairs of the Petersburg lodges, and lived almost
entirely in Moscow. All the members of the lodges were men Pierre knew
in ordinary life, and it was difficult for him to regard them merely
as Brothers in Freemasonry and not as Prince B. or Ivan Vasilevich D.,
whom he knew in society mostly as weak and insignificant men. Under
the Masonic aprons and insignia he saw the uniforms and decorations at
which they aimed in ordinary life. Often after collecting alms, and
reckoning up twenty to thirty rubles received for the most part in
promises from a dozen members, of whom half were as well able to pay
as himself, Pierre remembered the Masonic vow in which each Brother
promised to devote all his belongings to his neighbor, and doubts on
which he tried not to dwell arose in his soul.
He divided the Brothers he knew into four categories. In the first
he put those who did not take an active part in the affairs of the
lodges or in human affairs, but were exclusively occupied with the
mystical science of the order: with questions of
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