A Russian Proprietor, and Other Stories : Part 05, Chapter 12

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1887

People

(1828 - 1910) ~ Father of Christian Anarchism : In 1861, during the second of his European tours, Tolstoy met with Proudhon, with whom he exchanged ideas. Inspired by the encounter, Tolstoy returned to Yasnaya Polyana to found thirteen schools that were the first attempt to implement a practical model of libertarian education. (From : Anarchy Archives.)
• "It is necessary that men should understand things as they are, should call them by their right names, and should know that an army is an instrument for killing, and that the enrollment and management of an army -- the very things which Kings, Emperors, and Presidents occupy themselves with so self-confidently -- is a preparation for murder." (From : "'Thou Shalt Not Kill'," by Leo Tolstoy, August 8,....)
• "It usually happens that when an idea which has been useful and even necessary in the past becomes superfluous, that idea, after a more or less prolonged struggle, yields its place to a new idea which was till then an ideal, but which thus becomes a present idea." (From : "Patriotism and Government," by Leo Tolstoy, May 1....)
• "Only by recognizing the land as just such an article of common possession as the sun and air will you be able, without bias and justly, to establish the ownership of land among all men, according to any of the existing projects or according to some new project composed or chosen by you in common." (From : "To the Working People," by Leo Tolstoy, Yasnaya P....)

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Part 05, Chapter 12

XII.

Liza, red in the face and with downcast eyes, was ostensibly occupied with filling up the teapot, and did not dare to look at the officers as they entered the room.

Anna Fedorovna, on the contrary, briskly jumped up and bowed, and without taking her eyes from the count's face began to talk to him, now finding an extraordinary resemblance to his father, now presenting her daughter, now offering him tea, meats, or jelly-cakes.

No one paid any attention to the cornet, thanks to his modest behavior; and he was very glad of it, because it gave him a chance, within the limits of propriety, to observe and study the details of Liza's beauty, which had evidently come over him with the force of a surprise.

The uncle listening to his sister's conversation had a speech ready on his lips, and was waiting for a chance to relate his cavalry experiences.

The count smoked his cigar over his tea, so that Liza had great difficulty in refraining from coughing, but he was very talkative and amiable; at first, in the infrequent pauses of Anna Fedorovna's conversation, he introduced his own stories, and finally he took the conversation into his own hands.

One thing struck his listeners as rather strange: in his talk he often used words, which, though not considered[265] reprehensible in his own set, were here rather audacious, so that Anna Fedorovna was a little abashed, and Liza blushed to the roots of her hair. But this the count did not notice, and continued to be just as natural and amiable as ever.

Liza filled the glasses in silence, not putting them into the hands of the guests, but pushing them toward them; she had not entirely recovered from her agitation, but listened eagerly to the count's anecdotes.

The count's pointless tales, and the pauses in the conversation, gradually re-assured her. The bright things that she had expected from him were not forthcoming, nor did she find in him that surpassing elegance for which she had confusedly hoped. Even as soon as the third glass of tea, when her timid eyes once encountered his, and he did not avoid them, but continued almost too boldly to stare at her, with a lurking smile, she became conscious of a certain feeling of hostility against him; and she soon discovered that there was not only nothing out of the ordinary in him, but that he was very little different from those whom she had already seen; in fact, that there was no reason to be afraid of him. She noticed that he had long and neat finger-nails, but otherwise there was no mark of special beauty about him.

Liza suddenly, not without some inward sorrow, renouncing her dream, regained her self-possession; and only the undemonstrative cornet's glance, which she felt fixed upon her, disquieted her.

"Perhaps it is not the count, but the other," she said to herself.[266]

From : Gutenberg.org

Chronology

December 05, 1887 :
Part 05, Chapter 12 -- Publication.

February 18, 2017 19:26:29 :
Part 05, Chapter 12 -- Added to http://www.RevoltLib.com.

May 28, 2017 15:35:48 :
Part 05, Chapter 12 -- Last Updated on http://www.RevoltLib.com.

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