Master and Man

By Leo Tolstoy (1895)

Entry 2409

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(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.)
• "There are people (we ourselves are such) who realize that our Government is very bad, and who struggle against it." (From: "A Letter to Russian Liberals," by Leo Tolstoy, Au....)
• "...for no social system can be durable or stable, under which the majority does not enjoy equal rights but is kept in a servile position, and is bound by exceptional laws. Only when the laboring majority have the same rights as other citizens, and are freed from shameful disabilities, is a firm order of society possible." (From: "To the Czar and His Assistants," by Leo Tolstoy, ....)
• "...the dissemination of the truth in a society based on coercion was always hindered in one and the same manner, namely, those in power, feeling that the recognition of this truth would undermine their position, consciously or sometimes unconsciously perverted it by explanations and additions quite foreign to it, and also opposed it by open violence." (From: "A Letter to a Hindu: The Subjection of India- Its....)

Chapters

10 Chapters | 20,517 Words | 114,932 Characters

It happened in the ‘seventies in winter, on the day after St. Nicholas’s Day. There was a fete in the parish and the innkeeper, Vasili Andreevich Brekhunov, a Second Guild merchant, being a church elder had to go to church, and had also to entertain his relatives and friends at home. But when the last of them had gone he at once began to prepare to drive over to see a neighboring proprietor about a grove which he had been bargaining over for a long time. He was now in a hurry to start, lest buyers from the town might forestall him in making a profitable purchase. The youthful landowner was asking ten thousand rubles for the grove simply because Vasili Andreevich was offering seven thousand. Seven thousand was, however, only a ... (From: Gutenberg.org.)
The good stallion took the sledge along at a brisk pace over the smooth-frozen road through the village, the runners squeaking slightly as they went. ‘Look at him hanging on there! Hand me the whip, Nikita!’ shouted Vasili Andreevich, evidently enjoying the sight of his ‘heir,’ who standing on the runners was hanging on at the back of the sledge. ‘I’ll give it you! Be off to mama, you dog!’ The boy jumped down. The horse increased his amble and, suddenly changing foot, broke into a fast trot. The Crosses, the village where Vasili Andreevich lived, consisted of six houses. As soon as they had passed the blacksmith’s hut, the last in the village, they realized that the wind was much stronger ... (From: Gutenberg.org.)
At the entrance to the street the wind still raged and the road was thickly covered with snow, but well within the village it was calm, warm, and cheerful. At one house a dog was barking, at another a woman, covering her head with her coat, came running from somewhere and entered the door of a hut, stopping on the threshold to have a look at the passing sledge. In the middle of the village girls could be heard singing. Here in the village there seemed to be less wind and snow, and the frost was less keen. ‘Why, this is Grishkino,’ said Vasili Andreevich. ‘So it is,’ responded Nikita. It really was Grishkino, which meant that they had gone too far to the left and had traveled some six miles, not quite in the direc... (From: Gutenberg.org.)
The household to which Vasili Andreevich had come was one of the richest in the village. The family had five allotments, besides renting other land. They had six horses, three cows, two calves, and some twenty sheep. There were twenty-two members belonging to the homestead: four married sons, six grandchildren (one of whom, Petrushka, was married), two great-grandchildren, three orphans, and four daughters-in-law with their babies. It was one of the few homesteads that remained still undivided, but even here the dull internal work of disintegration which would inevitably lead to separation had already begun, starting as usual among the women. Two sons were living in Moscow as water-carriers, and one was in the army. At home now were the old... (From: Gutenberg.org.)
Vasili Andreevich went over to his sledge, found it with difficulty in the darkness, climbed in and took the reins. ‘Go on in front!’ he cried. Petrushka kneeling in his low sledge started his horse. Mukhorty, who had been neighing for some time past, now scenting a mare ahead of him started after her, and they drove out into the street. They drove again through the outskirts of the village and along the same road, past the yard where the frozen linen had hung (which, however, was no longer to be seen), past the same barn, which was now snowed up almost to the roof and from which the snow was still endlessly pouring past the same dismally moaning, whistling, and swaying willows, and again entered into the sea of blustering sno... (From: Gutenberg.org.)
Although Vasili Andreevich felt quite warm in his two fur coats, especially after struggling in the snow-drift, a cold shiver ran down his back on realizing that he must really spend the night where they were. To calm himself he sat down in the sledge and got out his cigarettes and matches. Nikita meanwhile unharnessed Mukhorty. He unstrapped the belly-band and the back-band, took away the reins, loosened the collar-strap, and removed the shaft-bow, talking to him all the time to encourage him. ‘Now come out! come out!’ he said, leading him clear of the shafts. ‘Now we’ll tie you up here and I’ll put down some straw and take off your bridle. When you’ve had a bite you’ll feel more cheerful.’... (From: Gutenberg.org.)
From the time he had covered himself with the sackcloth and seated himself behind the sledge, Nikita had not stirred. Like all those who live in touch with nature and have known want, he was patient and could wait for hours, even days, without growing restless or irritable. He heard his master call him, but did not answer because he did not want to move or talk. Though he still felt some warmth from the tea he had drunk and from his energetic struggle when clambering about in the snowdrift, he knew that this warmth would not last long and that he had no strength left to warm himself again by moving about, for he felt as tired as a horse when it stops and refuses to go further in spite of the whip, and its master sees that it must be fed bef... (From: Gutenberg.org.)
Meanwhile Vasili Andreevich, with his feet and the ends of the reins, urged the horse on in the direction in which for some reason he expected the forest and forester’s hut to be. The snow covered his eyes and the wind seemed intent on stopping him, but bending forward and constantly lapping his coat over and pushing it between himself and the cold harness pad which prevented him from sitting properly, he kept urging the horse on. Mukhorty ambled on obediently though with difficulty, in the direction in which he was driven. Vasili Andreevich rode for about five minutes straight ahead, as he thought, seeing nothing but the horse’s head and the white waste, and hearing only the whistle of the wind about the horse’s ears and... (From: Gutenberg.org.)
Having stumbled back to the sledge Vasili Andreevich caught hold of it and for a long time stood motionless, trying to calm himself and recover his breath. Nikita was not in his former place, but something, already covered with snow, was lying in the sledge and Vasili Andreevich concluded that this was Nikita. His terror had now quite left him, and if he felt any fear it was lest the dreadful terror should return that he had experienced when on the horse and especially when he was left alone in the snow-drift. At any cost he had to avoid that terror, and to keep it away he must do something—occupy himself with something. And the first thing he did was to turn his back to the wind and open his fur coat. Then, as soon as he recovered hi... (From: Gutenberg.org.)
Nikita awoke before daybreak. He was aroused by the cold that had begun to creep down his back. He had dreamed that he was coming from the mill with a load of his master’s flour and when crossing the stream had missed the bridge and let the cart get stuck. And he saw that he had crawled under the cart and was trying to lift it by arching his back. But strange to say the cart did not move, it stuck to his back and he could neither lift it nor get out from under it. It was crushing the whole of his loins. And how cold it felt! Evidently he must crawl out. ‘Have done!’ he exclaimed to whoever was pressing the cart down on him. ‘Take out the sacks!’ But the cart pressed down colder and colder, and then he heard a s... (From: Gutenberg.org.)

Chronology

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An icon of a book resting on its back.
1895
Master and Man — Publication.

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February 16, 2017; 7:35:50 PM (UTC)
Added to http://revoltlib.com.

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December 30, 2021; 5:04:13 PM (UTC)
Updated on http://revoltlib.com.

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