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

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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.)
• "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,....)
• "...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....)
• "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....)

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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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