unmovable faith in the power and authority of the reason. It was plain that Speransky’s brain could never admit the idea—so common with Prince Andrey—that one can never after all express all one thinks. It had never occurred to him to doubt whether all he thought and all he believed might not be meaningless nonsense. And that peculiarity of Speransky’s mind was what attracted Prince Andrey most.

During the first period of his acquaintance with Speransky, Prince Andrey had a passionate and enthusiastic admiration for him, akin to what he had once felt for Bonaparte. The very fact that Speransky was the son of a priest, which enabled many foolish persons to regard him with vulgar contempt, as a member of a despised class, made Prince Andrey peculiarly delicate in dealing with his own feeling for Speransky and unconsciously strengthened it in him.

On that first evening that Bolkonsky spent with him, they talked of the commission for the revision of the legal code; and Speransky described ironically to Prince Andrey how the commission had been sitting for one hundred and fifty years, had cost millions, and had done nothing, and how Rosenkampf had pasted labels on all the various legislative codes.

“And that’s all the state has got for the millions it has spent!” said he. “We want to give new judicial powers to the Senate, and we have no laws. That’s why it is a sin for men like you, prince, not to be in the government.”

Prince Andrey observed that some education in jurisprudence was necessary for such work, and that he had none.

“But no one has, so what would you have? It’s a circulus viciosus, which one must force some way out of.”

Within a week Prince Andrey was a member of the committee for the reconstruction of the army regulations, and—a thing he would never have expected—he was also chairman of a section of the commission for the revision of the legal code. At Speransky’s request he took the first part of the civil code under revision; and with the help of the Napoleonic Code and the Code of Justinian he worked at the revision of the section on Personal Rights.

  By PanEris using Melati.

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