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War And Peace: Book 6 - CHAPTER VII


作者: Leo Tolstoy



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  • Author: Leo Tolstoy

TWO YEARS BEFORE, at the beginning of 1808, Pierre had returned to Petersburg

from his visits to his estates, and by no design of his own had taken a leading

position among the freemasons in Petersburg. He organised dining and funeral

lodges, enrolled new members, took an active part in the formation of different

lodges, and the acquisition of authentic acts. He spent his money on the

construction of temples, and, to the best of his powers, made up the arrears of

alms, a matter in which the majority of members were niggardly and irregular. At

his own expense, almost unaided, he maintained the poorhouse built by the order

in Petersburg.



Meanwhile his life ran on in the old way, yielding to the same temptations

and the same laxity. He liked a good dinner and he liked strong drink; and,

though he thought it immoral and degrading to yield to them, he was unable to

resist the temptations of the bachelor society in which he moved.



Yet even in the whirl of his active work and his dissipations, Pierre began,

after the lapse of a year, to feel more and more as though the ground of

freemasonry on which he had taken his stand was slipping away under his feet the

more firmly he tried to rest on it. At the same time he felt that the further

the ground slipped from under his feet, the more close was his bondage to the

order. When he had entered the brotherhood he had felt like a man who

confidently puts his foot down on the smooth surface of a bog. Having put one

foot down, he had sunk in; and to convince himself of the firmness of the ground

on which he stood, he had put the other foot down on it too, and had sunk in

further, had stuck in the mud, and now was against his own will struggling

knee-deep in the bog.



Osip Alexyevitch was not in Petersburg. (He had withdrawn from all

participation in the affairs of the Petersburg lodge, and now never left

Moscow.) All the brothers who were members of the lodge were people Pierre knew

in daily life, and it was difficult for him to see in them simply brothers in

freemasonry, and not Prince B., nor Ivan Vasilyevitch D., whom he knew in

private life mostly as persons of weak and worthless character. Under their

masonic aprons and emblems he could not help seeing the uniforms and the

decorations they were striving after in mundane life. Often after collecting the

alms and reckoning up twenty to thirty roubles promised—and for the most part

left owing—from some ten members, of whom half were as well-off as Pierre

himself, he thought of the masonic vow by which every brother promised to give

up all his belongings for his neighbour; and doubts stirred in his soul from

which he tried to escape.



He divided all the brothers he knew into four classes. In the first class he

reckoned brothers who took no active interest in the affairs of the lodges nor

in the service of humanity, but were occupied exclusively with the scientific

secrets of the order, with questions relating to the threefold designation of

God, or the three first elements of things—sulphur, mercury, and salt—or the

significance of the square and all the figures of the Temple of Solomon. Pierre

respected this class of masons, to which the elder brothers principally

belonged—in it Pierre reckoned Osip Alexyevitch—but he did not share their

interests. His heart wasn't in the mystic side of freemasonry.



In the second class Pierre included himself, and brothers like himself,

wavering, seeking, and not yet finding in freemasonry a straight and fully

understood path for themselves, but still hoping to find it.



In the third class he reckoned brothers—they formed the majority—who saw in

freemasonry nothing but an external form and ceremonial, and valued the strict

performance of that external form without troubling themselves about its import

or significance. Such were Villarsky and the Grand Master of the lodge

indeed.



The fourth class, too, included a great number of the brothers especially

among those who had entered the brotherhood of late. These were men who, as far

as Pierre could observe, had no belief in anything, nor desire of anything, but

had entered the brotherhood simply for the sake of getting into touch with the

wealthy young men, powerful through their connections or their rank, who were

numerous in the lodge.



Pierre began to feel dissatisfied with what he was doing. Freemasonry, at

least as he knew it here, seemed to him sometimes to rest simply upon formal

observances. He never dreamed of doubting of freemasonry itself, but began to

suspect that Russian freemasonry had got on to a false track, and was deviating

from its original course. And so towards the end of the year Pierre went abroad

to devote himself to the higher mysteries of the order.



It was in the summer of 1809 that Pierre returned to Petersburg. From the

correspondence that passed between freemasons in Russia and abroad, it was known

that Bezuhov had succeeded in gaining the confidence of many persons in high

positions abroad; that he had been initiated into many mysteries, had been

raised to a higher grade, and was bringing back with him much that would conduce

to the progress of freemasonry in Russia. The Petersburg freemasons all came to

see him, tried to ingratiate themselves with him, and all fancied that he had

something in reserve that he was preparing for them.



A solemn assembly of the lodge of the second order was arranged, at which

Pierre promised to communicate the message he had to give the Petersburg

brothers from the highest leaders of the order abroad. The assembly was a full

one. After the usual ceremonies Pierre got up and began to speak:



“Dear brothers,” he began, blushing and hesitating, with a written speech in

his hand, “it is not enough to guard our secrets in the seclusion of the

lodge,—what is needed is to act … to act. … We are falling into slumber, and we

need to act.”



Pierre opened his manuscript and began to read.



“For the propagation of the pure truth and the attainment of virtue,” he

read, “we must purify men from prejudice, diffuse principles in harmony with the

spirit of the times, undertake the education of the younger generation, ally

ourselves by indissoluble ties with the most enlightened men, boldly, and at the

same time prudently, overcome superstition, infidelity, and folly, and form of

those devoted to us men linked together by a common aim and possessed of power

and authority.



“For the attainment of this aim we must secure to virtue the preponderance

over vice; we must strive that the honest man may obtain his eternal reward even

in this world. But in those great projects we are very gravely hindered by

existing political institutions. What is to be done in the existing state of

affairs? Are we to welcome revolutions, to overthrow everything, to repel

violence by violence? … No, we are very far from that. Every reform by violence

is to be deprecated, because it does little to correct the evil while men remain

as they are, and because wisdom has no need of violence.



“The whole plan of our order should be founded on the training of men of

character and virtue, bound together by unity of conviction and aim,—the aim of

suppressing vice and folly everywhere by every means, and protecting talent and

virtue, raising deserving persons out of the dust and enrolling them in our

brotherhood. Only then will our order obtain the power insensibly to tie the

hands of the promoters of disorder, and to control them without their being

aware of it. In a word, we want to found a form of government holding universal

sway, which should be diffused over the whole world without encroaching on civil

obligations; under which all other governments could continue in their ordinary

course and do all, except what hinders the great aim of our order, that is, the

triumph of virtue over vice. This aim is that of Christianity itself. It has

taught men to be holy and good, and for their own profit to follow the precept

and example of better and wiser men.



“In times when all was plunged in darkness, exhortation alone was of course

enough; the novelty of truth gave it peculiar force, but nowadays far more

powerful means are necessary for us. Now a man guided by his senses needs to

find in virtue a charm palpable to the senses. The passions cannot be uprooted;

we must only attempt to direct them to a noble object, and so every one should

be able to find satisfaction for his passions within the bounds of virtue, and

our order should provide means to that end. As soon as we have a certain number

of capable men in every state, each of them training again two others, and all

keeping in close cooperation, then everything will be possible for our order,

which has already done much in secret for the good of humanity.”



This speech did not merely make a great impression, it produced a thrill of

excitement in the lodge. The majority of the brothers, seeing in this speech

dangerous projects of “illuminism,” to Pierre's surprise received it coldly. The

Grand Master began to raise objections to it; Pierre began to expound his own

views with greater and greater heat. It was long since there had been so stormy

a meeting. The lodge split up into parties; one party opposed Pierre, accusing

him of “illuminism”; the other supported him. Pierre was for the first time at

this meeting impressed by the endless multiplicity of men's minds, which leads

to no truth being ever seen by two persons alike.



Even those among the members who seemed to be on his side interpreted him in

their own way, with limitations and variations, to which he could not agree.

What Pierre chiefly desired was always to transmit his thought to another

exactly as he conceived it himself.



At the conclusion of the sitting, the Grand Master spoke with ill-will and

irony to Bezuhov of his hasty temper; and observed that it was not love of

virtue alone, but a passion for strife, that had guided him in the

discussion.



Pierre made him no reply, but briefly inquired whether his proposal would be

accepted. He was told that it would not be; and without waiting for the usual

formalities, he left the lodge and went home.



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更多内容:
  1. War And Peace: Book 6 - CHAPTER XXI
  2. War And Peace: Book 6 - CHAPTER XX
  3. War And Peace: Book 6 - CHAPTER XIX
  4. War And Peace: Book 6 - CHAPTER XVIII
  5. War And Peace: Book 6 - CHAPTER XVII
  6. War And Peace: Book 6 - CHAPTER XVI
  7. War And Peace: Book 6 - CHAPTER XV
  8. War And Peace: Book 6 - CHAPTER XIV
  9. War And Peace: Book 6 - CHAPTER XIII
  10. War And Peace: Book 6 - CHAPTER XII
  11. War And Peace: Book 6 - CHAPTER XI
  12. War And Peace: Book 6 - CHAPTER X
  13. War And Peace: Book 6 - CHAPTER IX
  14. War And Peace: Book 6 - CHAPTER VIII
  15. War And Peace: Book 6 - CHAPTER VI
  16. War And Peace: Book 6 - CHAPTER V
  17. War And Peace: Book 6 - CHAPTER IV
  18. War And Peace: Book 6 - CHAPTER III
  19. War And Peace: Book 6 - CHAPTER II
  20. War And Peace: Book 6 - CHAPTER I
  21. War And Peace: Book 7 - CHAPTER XIII
  22. War And Peace: Book 7 - CHAPTER XII
  23. War And Peace: Book 7 - CHAPTER XI
  24. War And Peace: Book 7 - CHAPTER X
  25. War And Peace: Book 7 - CHAPTER IX
  26. War And Peace: Book 7 - CHAPTER VIII
  27. War And Peace: Book 7 - CHAPTER VII
  28. War And Peace: Book 7 - CHAPTER VI
  29. War And Peace: Book 7 - CHAPTER V
  30. War And Peace: Book 7 - CHAPTER IV
  31. War And Peace: Book 7 - CHAPTER III
  32. War And Peace: Book 7 - CHAPTER II
  33. War And Peace: Book 7 - CHAPTER I
  34. War And Peace: Book 8 - CHAPTER XXII
  35. War And Peace: Book 8 - CHAPTER XXI
  36. War And Peace: Book 8 - CHAPTER XX
  37. War And Peace: Book 8 - CHAPTER XVIII
  38. War And Peace: Book 8 - CHAPTER XIX
  39. War And Peace: Book 8 - CHAPTER XVII
  40. War And Peace: Book 8 - CHAPTER XVI
  41. War And Peace: Book 8 - CHAPTER XV
  42. War And Peace: Book 8 - CHAPTER XIV
  43. War And Peace: Book 8 - CHAPTER XIII
  44. War And Peace: Book 8 - CHAPTER XII
  45. War And Peace: Book 8 - CHAPTER XI
  46. War And Peace: Book 8 - CHAPTER X
  47. War And Peace: Book 8 - CHAPTER VIII
  48. War And Peace: Book 8 - CHAPTER IX
  49. War And Peace: Book 8 - CHAPTER VII
  50. War And Peace: Book 8 - CHAPTER VI
  51. War And Peace: Book 8 - CHAPTER V
  52. War And Peace: Book 8 - CHAPTER IV
  53. War And Peace: Book 8 - CHAPTER III
  54. War And Peace: Book 8 - CHAPTER II
  55. War And Peace: Book 8 - CHAPTER I
  56. War And Peace: Book 9 - CHAPTER XXI
  57. War And Peace: Book 9 - CHAPTER XX
  58. War And Peace: Book 9 - CHAPTER XIX
  59. War And Peace: Book 9 - CHAPTER XVIII
  60. War And Peace: Book 9 - CHAPTER XVII
  61. War And Peace: Book 9 - CHAPTER XVI
  62. War And Peace: Book 9 - CHAPTER XV
  63. War And Peace: Book 9 - CHAPTER XIV
  64. War And Peace: Book 9 - CHAPTER XIII

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