The Forged Coupon, And Other Stories : Book 02, Chapter 05

Revolt Library >> Anarchism >> The Forged Coupon, And Other Stories >> Book 00002, Chapter 00005

1912

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.)
• "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....)
• "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....)
• "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....)

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Book 02, Chapter 05

V

IN the meantime Mahin, the schoolboy who had taught his friend Smokovnikov to forge the coupon, had finished his career at school and then at the university, where he had studied law. He had the advantage of being liked by women, and as he had won favor with a vise-minister’s former mistress, he was appointed when still young as examining magistrate. He was dishonest, had debts, had gambled, and had seduced many women; but he was clever, sagacious, and a good magistrate. He was appointed to the court of the district where Stepan Pelageushkine had been tried. When Stepan was brought to him the first time to give evidence, his sincere and quiet answers puzzled the magistrate. He somehow unconsciously felt that this man, brought to him in fetters and with a shorn head, guarded by two soldiers who were waiting to take him back to prison, had a free soul and was immeasurably superior to himself. He was in consequence somewhat troubled, and had to summon up all his courage in order to go on with the inquiry and not blunder in his questions. He was amazed that Stepan should narrate the story of his crimes as if they had been things of long ago, and committed not by him but by some different man.

“Had you no pity for them?” asked Mahin.

“No. I did not know then.”

“Well, and now?”

Stepan smiled with a sad smile. “Now,” he said, “I would not do it even if I were to be burned alive.”

“But why?

“Because I have come to know that all men are brethren.”

“What about me? Am I your brother also?”

“Of course you are.”

“And how is it that I, your brother, am sending you to hard labor?”

“It is because you don’t know.”

“What do I not know?”

“Since you judge, it means obviously that you don’t know.”

“Go on. . . . What next?”

From : Gutenberg.org

Chronology

November 30, 1911 :
Book 02, Chapter 05 -- Publication.

February 17, 2017 19:23:59 :
Book 02, Chapter 05 -- Added to http://www.RevoltLib.com.

May 28, 2017 15:35:42 :
Book 02, Chapter 05 -- Last Updated on http://www.RevoltLib.com.

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