Emma Watson Pussy
War And Peace
been intimate, came to him with the professions of friendship
and intimacy that people who meet in a desert generally express for
one another. Willarski felt dull in Orel and was pleased to meet a man
of his own circle and, as he supposed, of similar interests.
But to his surprise Willarski soon noticed that Pierre had lagged
much behind the times, and had sunk, as he expressed it to himself,
into apathy and egotism.
"You are letting yourself go, my dear fellow," he said.
But for all that Willarski found it pleasanter now than it had
been formerly to be with Pierre, and came to see him every day. To
Pierre as he looked at and listened to Willarski, it seemed strange to
think that he had been like that himself but a short time before.
Willarski was a married man with a family, busy with his family
affairs, his wifes affairs, and his official duties. He regarded
all these occupations as hindrances to life, and considered that
they were all contemptible because their aim was the welfare of
himself and his family. Military, administrative, political, and
Masonic interests continually absorbed his attention. And Pierre,
without trying to change the others views and without condemning him,
but with the quiet, joyful, and amused smile now habitual to him,
was interested in this strange though very familiar phenomenon.
There was a new feature in Pierres relations with Willarski, with
the princess, with the doctor, and with all the people he now met,
which gained for him the general good will. This was his
acknowledgment of the impossibility of changing a mans convictions by
words, and his recognition of the possibility of everyone thinking,
feeling, and seeing things each from his own point of view. This
legitimate peculiarity of each individual which used to excite and
irritate Pierre now became a basis of the sympathy he felt for, and
the interest he took in, other people. The difference, and sometimes
complete contradiction, between mens opinions and their lives, and
between one man and another, pleased him and drew from him an amused
and gentle smile.
In practical matters Pierre unexpectedly felt within himself a
center of gravity he had previously lacked. Formerly all pecuniary
questions, especially requests for money to which, as an extremely
wealthy man, he was very exposed, produced in him a state of
hopeless agitation and perplexity. "To give or not to give?" he had
asked himself. "I have it and he needs it. But someone else needs it
still more. Who needs it most? And perhaps they are both impostors?"
In the old days he had been unable to find a way out of all these
surmises and had given to all who asked as long as he had anything
to give. Formerly he had been in a similar state of perplexity with
regard to every question concerning his property, when one person
advised one thing and another something else.
Now to his surprise he found that he no longer felt either doubt
or perplexity about these questions. There was now within him a
judge who by some rule unknown to him decided what should or should
not be done.
He was as indifferent as heretofore to money matters, but now he
felt certain of what ought and what ought not to be done. The first
time he had recourse to his new judge was when a French prisoner, a
colonel, came to him and, after talking a great deal about his
exploits, concluded by making what amounted to a demand that Pierre
should give him four thousand francs to send to his wife and children.
Pierre refused without the least difficulty or effort, and was
afterwards surprised how simple and easy had been what used to
appear so insurmountably difficult. At the same time that he refused
the colonels demand he made up his mind that he must have recourse to
artifice when leaving Orel, to induce the Italian officer to accept
some money of which he was evidently in need. A further proof to
Pierre of his own more settled outlook on practical matters was
furnished by his decision with regard to his wifes debts and to the
rebuilding of his houses in and near Moscow.
His head steward came to him at Orel and Pierre reckoned up with him
his diminished income. The burning of Moscow had cost him, according
to the head stewards calculation, about two million rubles.
To console Pierre for these losses the head steward gave him an
estimate showing that despite these losses his income would not be
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