Excerpt from The Ministry of Masonry
One of the arresting figures of the story is Count Pierre Bezuhov - ih whom Tolstoi has shown us one side of his own soul, as in Prince Andre he has unveiled the other. Pierre is the richest man in Russia, owning vast estates, including bo... th the land and the serfs on the land. Like so many young noblemen of his day, he has lived a wild, sensual, dissolute life, careless alike of the rights and wrongs of his fellows. He was married to a beautiful, bewitching, sensual woman, whose paramour he has just killed in a duel. On his way to St. Petersburg he falls in with an old man, simply dressed, but with the light of a great peace in his face. The stranger addresses the Count and tells him that he has heard of his misfortune, referring to the duel resulting in the death at his hands of the lover of his wife. He is aware, too, as he goes on to say, of the wild, sin-bespattered life the Count has lived, of his way of thinking, of his pride, indolence, and ignoran The Count listened to these severe words, he hardly knew why - perhaps because he heard in them an undertone of sym pathy, the accent of a great pity, and what he heard in the voice he saw in the kindly face.
On the hand of the old man the Count noticed a ring, and in it the emblem of the order here assembled. He asked the stranger if he was not a Mason. Whereupon the old man, looking searchingly into the eyes of the Count, said that he belonged to that order, in whose name he extended to him the hand of a brother man, in the name of God the Father. At the mention of the name of God a smile curled on the lips of the Count, who said.
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