*Rouvaloff has come outside to have a cigarette, and has it halfway to his lips when he spots Mina. When he sees her he stops and replaces it in his case.* My apologies. As a rule, I never smoke around ladies.
Oh, don't let my presence stop you, I highly doubt the sight of you smoking shall kill me.
*he smiles* Ah, but it is a matter of principle. The world sees Russia as a nation of savages. I make a point of being civilized, to show up the stereotype.
It is admirable of you to try to combat their prejudice in such a way, but I do think that anyone who can read Tolstoy and Chekov and still perpetuate such an assumption will never be converted.
Perhaps not. *shrugs* All the same, it has its personal benefits as well. We aristocrats need civilization to make up for our more barbaric moments.
*a frown, but of thoughtfulness* An interesting theory, though I'm not sure what you mean by it in specifics.
*dryly* When one takes taxes from the poor to pay for one's summer houses, as Prince Paul's friends do, the least one can do is keep it well-decorated.
Ah, I see. *yes. She does* Though, frankly, although I have some respect for the philosophies of the aesthetes, I don't think the poor will care about the color of the draperies.
It's very rare for an aristocrat to genuinely care much about what the poor care about. *and, as is his habit, he's keeping his tone carefully neutral, not quite revealing what he does or doesn't care about*
*very practical* Well, they can be taught to care a little bit, over time.
It's a very slow process, unless for some reason they have an . . . awakening of sorts.
Yes, but every bit is useful, and the awakenings tend to happen more to a mind that is already a bit open.
Perhaps. I suppose I cannot speak for anyone's experience but my own.
Would you care to share that with me? I'd be interested to hear about it.