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Full Online Book HomeLong StoriesWar And Peace - Book Six 1808-10 - Chapter 10
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War And Peace - Book Six 1808-10 - Chapter 10 Post by :mlmnotes Category :Long Stories Author :Leo Tolstoy Date :December 2010 Read :2823

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War And Peace - Book Six 1808-10 - Chapter 10

Pierre went on with his diary, and this is what he wrote in it
during that time:

24th November

Got up at eight, read the Scriptures, then went to my duties. (By
Joseph Alexeevich's advice Pierre had entered the service of the state
and served on one of the committees.) Returned home for dinner and
dined alone- the countess had many visitors I do not like. I ate and
drank moderately and after dinner copied out some passages for the
Brothers. In the evening I went down to the countess and told a
funny story about B., and only remembered that I ought not to have
done so when everybody laughed loudly at it.

I am going to bed with a happy and tranquil mind. Great God, help me
to walk in Thy paths, (1) to conquer anger by calmness and
deliberation, (2) to vanquish lust by self-restraint and repulsion,
(3) to withdraw from worldliness, but not avoid (a) the service of the
state, (b) family duties, (c) relations with my friends, and the
management of my affairs.

27th November

I got up late. On waking I lay long in bed yielding to sloth. O God,
help and strengthen me that I may walk in Thy ways! Read the
Scriptures, but without proper feeling. Brother Urusov came and we
talked about worldly vanities. He told me of the Emperor's new
projects. I began to criticize them, but remembered my rules and my
benefactor's words- that a true Freemason should be a zealous worker
for the state when his aid is required and a quiet onlooker when not
called on to assist. My tongue is my enemy. Brothers G. V. and O.
visited me and we had a preliminary talk about the reception of a
new Brother. They laid on me the duty of Rhetor. I feel myself weak
and unworthy. Then our talk turned to the interpretation of the
seven pillars and steps of the Temple, the seven sciences, the seven
virtues, the seven vices, and the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit.
Brother O. was very eloquent. In the evening the admission took place.
The new decoration of the Premises contributed much to the
magnificence of the spectacle. It was Boris Drubetskoy who was
admitted. I nominated him and was the Rhetor. A strange feeling
agitated me all the time I was alone with him in the dark chamber. I
caught myself harboring a feeling of hatred toward him which I
vainly tried to overcome. That is why I should really like to save him
from evil and lead him into the path of truth, but evil thoughts of
him did not leave me. It seemed to me that his object in entering
the Brotherhood was merely to be intimate and in favor with members of
our lodge. Apart from the fact that he had asked me several times
whether N. and S. were members of our lodge (a question to which I
could not reply) and that according to my observation he is
incapable of feeling respect for our holy order and is too preoccupied
and satisfied with the outer man to desire spiritual improvement, I
had no cause to doubt him, but he seemed to me insincere, and all
the time I stood alone with him in the dark temple it seemed to me
that he was smiling contemptuously at my words, and I wished really to
stab his bare breast with the sword I held to it. I could not be
eloquent, nor could I frankly mention my doubts to the Brothers and to
the Grand Master. Great Architect of Nature, help me to find the
true path out of the labyrinth of lies!

After this, three pages were left blank in the diary, and then
the following was written:

I have had a long and instructive talk alone with Brother V., who
advised me to hold fast by brother A. Though I am unworthy, much was
revealed to me. Adonai is the name of the creator of the world. Elohim
is the name of the ruler of all. The third name is the name
unutterable which means the All. Talks with Brother V. strengthen,
refresh, and support me in the path of virtue. In his presence doubt
has no place. The distinction between the poor teachings of mundane
science and our sacred all-embracing teaching is clear to me. Human
sciences dissect everything to comprehend it, and kill everything to
examine it. In the holy science of our order all is one, all is
known in its entirety and life. The Trinity- the three elements of
matter- are sulphur, mercury, and salt. Sulphur is of an oily and
fiery nature; in combination with salt by its fiery nature it
arouses a desire in the latter by means of which it attracts
mercury, seizes it, holds it, and in combination produces other
bodies. Mercury is a fluid, volatile, spiritual essence. Christ, the
Holy Spirit, Him!...

3rd December

Awoke late, read the Scriptures but was apathetic. Afterwards went
and paced up and down the large hall. I wished to meditate, but
instead my imagination pictured an occurrence of four years ago,
when Dolokhov, meeting me in Moscow after our duel, said he hoped I
was enjoying perfect peace of mind in spite of my wife's absence. At
the time I gave him no answer. Now I recalled every detail of that
meeting and in my mind gave him the most malevolent and bitter
replies. I recollected myself and drove away that thought only when
I found myself glowing with anger, but I did not sufficiently
repent. Afterwards Boris Drubetskoy came and began relating various
adventures. His coming vexed me from the first, and I said something
disagreeable to him. He replied. I flared up and said much that was
unpleasant and even rude to him. He became silent, and I recollected
myself only when it was too late. My God, I cannot get on with him
at all. The cause of this is my egotism. I set myself above him and so
become much worse than he, for he is lenient to my rudeness while I on
the contrary nourish contempt for him. O God, grant that in his
presence I may rather see my own vileness, and behave so that he too
may benefit. After dinner I fell asleep and as I was drowsing off I
clearly heard a voice saying in my left ear, "Thy day!"

I dreamed that I was walking in the dark and was suddenly surrounded
by dogs, but I went on undismayed. Suddenly a smallish dog seized my
left thigh with its teeth and would not let go. I began to throttle it
with my hands. Scarcely had I torn it off before another, a bigger
one, began biting me. I lifted it up, but the higher I lifted it the
bigger and heavier it grew. And suddenly Brother A. came and, taking
my arm, led me to a building to enter which we had to pass along a
narrow plank. I stepped on it, but it bent and gave way and I began to
clamber up a fence which I could scarcely reach with my hands. After
much effort I dragged myself up, so that my leg hung down on one
side and my body on the other. I looked round and saw Brother A.
standing on the fence and pointing me to a broad avenue and garden,
and in the garden was a large and beautiful building. I woke up. O
Lord, great Architect of Nature, help me to tear from myself these
dogs- my passions especially the last, which unites in itself the
strength of all the former ones, and aid me to enter that temple of
virtue to a vision of which I attained in my dream.

7th December

I dreamed that Joseph Alexeevich was sitting in my house, and that I
was very glad and wished to entertain him. It seemed as if I chattered
incessantly with other people and suddenly remembered that this
could not please him, and I wished to come close to him and embrace
him. But as soon as I drew near I saw that his face had changed and
grown young, and he was quietly telling me something about the
teaching of our order, but so softly that I could not hear it. Then it
seemed that we all left the room and something strange happened. We
were sitting or lying on the floor. He was telling me something, and I
wished to show him my sensibility, and not listening to what he was
saying I began picturing to myself the condition of my inner man and
the grace of God sanctifying me. And tears came into my eyes, and I
was glad he noticed this. But be looked at me with vexation and jumped
up, breaking off his remarks. I felt abashed and asked whether what he
had been saying did not concern me; but he did not reply, gave me a
kind look, and then we suddenly found ourselves in my bedroom where
there is a double bed. He lay down on the edge of it and I burned with
longing to caress him and lie down too. And he said, "Tell me
frankly what is your chief temptation? Do you know it? I think you
know it already." Abashed by this question, I replied that sloth was
my chief temptation. He shook his head incredulously; and even more
abashed, I said that though I was living with my wife as he advised, I
was not living with her as her husband. To this he replied that one
should not deprive a wife of one's embraces and gave me to
understand that that was my duty. But I replied that I should be
ashamed to do it, and suddenly everything vanished. And I awoke and
found in my mind the text from the Gospel: "The life was the light
of men. And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness
comprehended it not." Joseph Alexeevich's face had looked young and
bright. That day I received a letter from my benefactor in which he
wrote about "conjugal duties."

9th December

I had a dream from which I awoke with a throbbing heart. I saw
that I was in Moscow in my house, in the big sitting room, and
Joseph Alexeevich came in from the drawing room. I seemed to know at
once that the process of regeneration had already taken place in
him, and I rushed to meet him. I embraced him and kissed his hands,
and he said, "Hast thou noticed that my face is different?" I looked
at him, still holding him in my arms, and saw that his face was young,
but that he had no hair on his head and his features were quite
changed. And I said, "I should have known you had I met you by
chance," and I thought to myself, "Am I telling the truth?" And
suddenly I saw him lying like a dead body; then he gradually recovered
and went with me into my study carrying a large book of sheets of
drawing paper; I said, "I drew that," and he answered by bowing his
head. I opened the book, and on all the pages there were excellent
drawings. And in my dream I knew that these drawings represented the
love adventures of the soul with its beloved. And on its pages I saw a
beautiful representation of a maiden in transparent garments and
with a transparent body, flying up to the clouds. And I seemed to know
that this maiden was nothing else than a representation of the Song of
Songs. And looking at those drawings I dreamed I felt that I was doing
wrong, but could not tear myself away from them. Lord, help me! My
God, if Thy forsaking me is Thy doing, Thy will be done; but if I am
myself the cause, teach me what I should do! I shall perish of my
debauchery if Thou utterly desertest me!

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War And Peace - Book Six 1808-10 - Chapter 11 War And Peace - Book Six 1808-10 - Chapter 11

War And Peace - Book Six 1808-10 - Chapter 11
The Rostovs' monetary affairs had not improved during the twoyears they had spent in the country.Though Nicholas Rostov had kept firmly to his resolution and wasstill serving modestly in an obscure regiment, spendingcomparatively little, the way of life at Otradnoe- Mitenka'smanagement of affairs, in particular- was such that the debtsinevitably increased every year. The only resource obviouslypresenting itself to the old count was to apply for an officialpost, so he had come to Petersburg to look for one and also, as hesaid, to let the lassies enjoy themselves for the last time.Soon after their arrival in Petersburg Berg proposed to Vera

War And Peace - Book Six 1808-10 - Chapter 9 War And Peace - Book Six 1808-10 - Chapter 9

War And Peace - Book Six 1808-10 - Chapter 9
At that time, as always happens, the highest society that met atcourt and at the grand balls was divided into several circles, eachwith its own particular tone. The largest of these was the Frenchcircle of the Napoleonic alliance, the circle of Count Rumyantsevand Caulaincourt. In this group Helene, as soon as she had settledin Petersburg with her husband, took a very prominent place. She wasvisited by the members of the French embassy and by many belongingto that circle and noted for their intellect and polished manners.Helene had been at Erfurt during the famous meeting of theEmperors and had brought from there