"For their soul? That's a most puzzling expression for a natural
science man, do you understand? What sort of thing is the soul?"
said Katavasov, smiling.
"Oh, you know!"
"No, by God, I haven't the faintest idea!" said Katavasov with a
loud roar of laughter.
"'I bring not peace, but a sword,' says Christ," Sergey
Ivanovitch rejoined for his part, quoting as simply as though it
were the easiest thing to understand the very passage that had
always puzzled Levin most.
"That's so, no doubt," the old man repeated again. He was
standing near them and responded to a chance glance turned in his
"Ah, my dear fellow, you're defeated, utterly defeated!" cried
Levin reddened with vexation, not at being defeated, but at
having failed to control himself and being drawn into argument.
"No, I can't argue with them," he thought; "they wear
impenetrable armor, while I'm naked."
He saw that it was impossible to convince his brother and
Katavasov, and he saw even less possibility of himself agreeing
with them. What they advocated was the very pride of intellect
that had almost been his ruin. He could not admit that some
dozens of men, among them his brother, had the right, on the
ground of what they were told by some hundreds of glib volunteers
swarming to the capital, to say that they and the newspapers were
expressing the will and feeling of the people, and a feeling
which was expressed in vengeance and murder. He could not admit
this, because he neither saw the expression of such feelings in
the people among whom he was living, nor found them in himself
(and he could not but consider himself one of the persons making
up the Russian people), and most of all because he, like the
people, did not know and could not know what is for the general
good, though he knew beyond a doubt that this general good could
be attained only by the strict observance of that law of right
and wrong which has been revealed to every man, and therefore he
could not wish for war or advocate war for any general objects
whatever. He said as Mihalitch did and the people, who had
expressed their feeling in the traditional invitations of the
Varyagi: "Be princes and rule over us. Gladly we promise
complete submission. All the labor, all humiliations, all
sacrifices we take upon ourselves; but we will not judge and
decide." And now, according to Sergey Ivanovitch's account, the
people had foregone this privilege they had bought at such a