"So it is with the unanimity of the press. That's been explained
to me: as soon as there's war their incomes are doubled. How can
they help believing in the destinies of the people and the
Slavonic races...and all that?"
"I don't care for many of the papers, but that's unjust," said
"I would only make one condition," pursued the old prince.
"Alphonse Karr said a capital thing before the war with Prussia:
'You consider war to be inevitable? Very good. Let everyone who
advocates war be enrolled in a special regiment of
advance-guards, for the front of every storm, of every attack, to
lead them all!'"
"A nice lot the editors would make!" said Katavasov, with a loud
roar, as he pictured the editors he knew in this picked legion.
"But they'd run," said Dolly, "they'd only be in the way."
"Oh, if they ran away, then we'd have grape-shot or Cossacks with
whips behind them," said the prince.
"But that's a joke, and a poor one too, if you'll excuse my
saying so, prince," said Sergey Ivanovitch.
"I don't see that it was a joke, that..." Levin was beginning,
but Sergey Ivanovitch interrupted him.
"Every member of society is called upon to do his own special
work," said he. "And men of thought are doing their work when
they express public opinion. And the single-hearted and full
expression of public opinion is the service of-the press and a
phenomenon to rejoice us at the same time. Twenty years ago we
should have been silent, but now we have heard the voice of the
Russian people, which is ready to rise as one man and ready to
sacrifice itself for its oppressed brethren; that is a great step
and a proof of strength."
"But it's not only making a sacrifice. but killing Turks," said
Levin timidly. "The people make sacrifices and are ready to make
sacrifices for their soul, but not for murder," he added,
instinctively connecting the conversation with the ideas that had
been absorbing his mind.