Emma Watson Pussy
War And Peace
designation of God, the three primordial elements--sulphur, mercury,
and salt--or the meaning of the square and all the various figures
of the temple of Solomon. Pierre respected this class of Brothers to
which the elder ones chiefly belonged, including, Pierre thought,
Joseph Alexeevich himself, but he did not share their interests. His
heart was not in the mystical aspect of Freemasonry.
In the second category Pierre reckoned himself and others like
him, seeking and vacillating, who had not yet found in Freemasonry a
straight and comprehensible path, but hoped to do so.
In the third category he included those Brothers (the majority)
who saw nothing in Freemasonry but the external forms and
ceremonies, and prized the strict performance of these forms without
troubling about their purport or significance. Such were Willarski and
even the Grand Master of the principal lodge.
Finally, to the fourth category also a great many Brothers belonged,
particularly those who had lately joined. These according to
Pierres observations were men who had no belief in anything, nor
desire for anything, but joined the Freemasons merely to associate
with the wealthy young Brothers who were influential through their
connections or rank, and of whom there were very many in the lodge.
Pierre began to feel dissatisfied with what he was doing.
Freemasonry, at any rate as he saw it here, sometimes seemed to him
based merely on externals. He did not think of doubting Freemasonry
itself, but suspected that Russian Masonry had taken a wrong path
and deviated from its original principles. And so toward the end of
the year he went abroad to be initiated into the higher secrets of the
In the summer of 1809 Pierre returned to Petersburg. Our
Freemasons knew from correspondence with those abroad that Bezukhov
had obtained the confidence of many highly placed persons, had been
initiated into many mysteries, had been raised to a higher grade,
and was bringing back with him much that might conduce to the
advantage of the Masonic cause in Russia. The Petersburg Freemasons
all came to see him, tried to ingratiate themselves with him, and it
seemed to them all that he was preparing something for them and
A solemn meeting of the lodge of the second degree was convened,
at which Pierre promised to communicate to the Petersburg Brothers
what he had to deliver to them from the highest leaders of their
order. The meeting was a full one. After the usual ceremonies Pierre
rose and began his address.
"Dear Brothers," he began, blushing and stammering, with a written
speech in his hand, "it is not sufficient to observe our mysteries
in the seclusion of our lodge--we must act--act! We are drowsing,
but we must act." Pierre raised his notebook and began to read.
"For the dissemination of pure truth and to secure the triumph of
virtue," he read, "we must cleanse men from prejudice, diffuse
principles in harmony with the spirit of the times, undertake the
education of the young, unite ourselves in indissoluble bonds with the
wisest men, boldly yet prudently overcome superstitions, infidelity,
and folly, and form of those devoted to us a body linked together by
unity of purpose and possessed of authority and power.
"To attain this end we must secure a preponderance of virtue over
vice and must endeavor to secure that the honest man may, even in this
world, receive a lasting reward for his virtue. But in these great
endeavors we are gravely hampered by the political institutions of
today. What is to be done in these circumstances? To favor
revolutions, overthrow everything, repel force by force?... No! We are
very far from that. Every violent reform deserves censure, for it
quite fails to remedy evil while men remain what they are, and also
because wisdom needs no violence.
"The whole plan of our order should be based on the idea of
preparing men of firmness and virtue bound together by unity of
conviction--aiming at the punishment of vice and folly, and
patronizing talent and virtue: raising worthy men from the dust and
attaching them to our Brotherhood. Only then will our order have the
power unobtrusively to bind the hands of the protectors of disorder
and to control them without their being aware of it. In a word, we
must found a form of government holding universal sway, which should
be diffused over the whole world without destroying the bonds of
citizenship, and beside which all other governments can continue in
their customary course and do everything except what impedes the great
aim of our order, which is to obtain for virtue the
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