The Awakening : Book 01, Chapter 36

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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....)
• "People who take part in Government, or work under its direction, may deceive themselves or their sympathizers by making a show of struggling; but those against whom they struggle (the Government) know quite well, by the strength of the resistance experienced, that these people are not really pulling, but are only pretending to." (From : "A Letter to Russian Liberals," by Leo Tolstoy, Au....)
• "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,....)


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Book 01, Chapter 36


From the public prosecutor Nekhludoff went straight to the detention-house. But no one by the name of Maslova was there. The inspector told him that she might be found in the old temporary prison. Nekhludoff went there and found that Katherine Moslova was one of the inmates.

The distance between the detention-house and the old prison was great, and Nekhludoff did not arrive there until toward evening. He was about to open the door of the huge, gloomy building, when the guard stopped him and rang the bell. The warden responded to the bell. Nekhludoff showed the pass, but the warden told him that he could not be admitted without authority from the inspector. While climbing the stairs to the inspector's dwelling, Nekhludoff heard the sounds of an intricate bravura played on the piano. And when the servant, with a handkerchief tied around one eye, opened the door, a flood of music dazed his senses. It was a tiresome rhapsody by Lizst, well played, but only to a certain place. [Pg 131]When that place was reached, the melody repeated itself. Nekhludoff asked the servant if the inspector was in.

The servant said that he was not.

"Will he be in soon?"

The rhapsody again ceased, and with a noisy flourish again repeated itself.

"I will go and inquire." And the servant went away.

The rhapsody again went on at full speed, when suddenly, reaching a certain point, it came to a stand-still and a voice from within was heard.

"Tell him that he is not home, and will not come to-day. He is visiting—why do they bother us?" a woman's voice was heard to say, and the rhapsody continued, then ceased, and the sound of a chair moved back was heard. The angry pianist herself evidently wished to reprimand the importunate visitor who came at such a late hour.

"Papa is not home," angrily said a pale, wretched looking girl with puffed-up hair and blue spots under her eyes, who came to the door. Seeing a young man in a good overcoat, she became calm. "Walk in, please. What do you wish to see him for?"

"I would like to see a prisoner. I hold a pass from the prosecutor."

"Well, I don't know; papa is not in. Why, walk in, please," she again called from the entrance hall. "Or apply to his assistant, who is now in the office. You may talk to him. And what is your name?"

"Thank you," said Nekhludoff, without answering the question, and went away.

Scarcely had the door closed when the same vigorous, merry sound, so inappropriate to the place and so persistently rehearsed by the wretched girl, was heard. In the court-yard Nekhludoff met a young officer with a stiff, dyed mustache, of whom he inquired for the assistant. He himself was the assistant. He took the pass, looked at it, and said that he could not admit any one to the prison on a pass for the detention-house. Besides, it was late.

"At ten o'clock to-morrow the prison is open to all visitors, and the inspector will be here. You could then see her in the common reception-room, or, if the inspector permits it, in the office."

[Pg 132]So, without gaining an interview, Nekhludoff returned home. Agitated by the expectation of seeing her, he walked along the streets, thinking not of the court, but of his conversations with the prosecutor and the inspectors. That he was seeking an interview with her, and told the prosecutor of his intention, and visited two prisons preparing for the ordeal, had so excited him that he could not calm down. On returning home he immediately brought forth his unused diary, read some parts and made the following entry: "For two years I have kept no diary, and thought that I should never again return to this childishness. But it was no childishness, but a discourse with myself, with that true, divine I which lives in every man. All this time this I was slumbering and I had no one to discourse with. It was awakened by the extraordinary event of the 28th of April, in court, where I sat as jurymen. I saw her, Katiousha, whom I had deceived, on the prisoners' bench, in a prison coat. Through a strange misunderstanding and my mistake, she was sentenced to penal servitude. I have just returned from the prosecutor and the prison. I was not permitted to see her, but I am determined to do anything to see her, acknowledge my guilt and make reparation even by marrying her. Lord, help me! My soul is rejoicing."

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November 30, 1898 :
Book 01, Chapter 36 -- Publication.

February 11, 2017 18:55:41 :
Book 01, Chapter 36 -- Added to

May 28, 2017 15:35:24 :
Book 01, Chapter 36 -- Last Updated on


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