The Kreutzer Sonata, And Other Stories : Book 02, Chapter 05

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1889

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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.)
• "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....)
• "If, in former times, Governments were necessary to defend their people from other people's attacks, now, on the contrary, Governments artificially disturb the peace that exists between the nations, and provoke enmity among them." (From : "Patriotism and Government," by Leo Tolstoy, May 1....)
• "You are surprised that soldiers are taught that it is right to kill people in certain cases and in war, while in the books admitted to be holy by those who so teach, there is nothing like such a permission..." (From : "Letter to a Non-Commissioned Officer," by Leo Tol....)

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Book 02, Chapter 05

CHAPTER V.

The small devil who had charge of Tarras finished with him that night, and according to agreement proceeded to the assistance of the other two to help them conquer Ivan. Arriving at the plowed field he looked around for his comrades, but found only the hole through which one had disappeared; and on going to the meadow he discovered the severed tail of the other, and in the rye-field he found yet another hole.

“Well,” he thought, “it is quite clear that my comrades have met with some great misfortune, and that I will have to take their places and arrange the feud between the brothers.”

The small devil then went in search of Ivan. But he, having finished with the field, was nowhere to be found. He had gone to the forest to cut logs to build homes for his brothers, as they found it inconvenient for so many to live under the same roof.

The small devil at last discovered his whereabouts, and going to the forest climbed into the branches of the trees and began to interfere with Ivan’s work. Ivan cut down a tree, which failed, however, to fall to the ground, becoming entangled in the branches of other trees; yet he succeeded in getting it down after a hard struggle. In chopping down the next tree he met with the same difficulties, and also with the third. Ivan had supposed he could cut down fifty trees in a day, but he succeeded in chopping but ten before darkness put an end to his labors for a time. He was now exhausted, and, perspiring profusely, he sat down alone in the woods to rest. He soon after resumed his work, cutting down one more tree; but the effort gave him a pain in his back, and he was obliged to rest again. Seeing this, the small devil was full of joy.

“Well,” he thought, “now he is exhausted and will stop work, and I will rest also.” He then seated himself on some branches and rejoiced.

Ivan again arose, however, and, taking his ax, gave the tree a terrific blow from the opposite side, which felled it instantly to the ground, carrying the little devil with it; and Ivan, proceeding to cut the branches, found the devil alive. Very much astonished, Ivan exclaimed:

“Look you! Such nastiness! Are you again here?”

“I am another one,” replied the devil. “I was with your brother Tarras.”

“Well,” said Ivan, “that makes no difference; I will fix you.” And he was about to strike him a blow with the ax when the devil pleaded:

“Do not kill me, and whatever you wish you shall have.”

Ivan asked, “What can you do?”

“I can make for you all the money you wish.”

Ivan then told the devil he might proceed, whereupon the latter began to explain to him how he might become rich.

“Take,” said he to Ivan, “the leaves of this oak tree and rub them in your hands, and the gold will fall to the ground.”

Ivan did as he was directed, and immediately the gold began to drop about his feet; and he remarked:

“This will be a fine trick to amuse the village boys with.”

“Can I now take my departure?” asked the devil, to which Ivan replied, “With God’s blessing you may go.”

At the mention of the name of God, the devil disappeared into the earth.

From : Gutenberg.org

Chronology

November 30, 1888 :
Book 02, Chapter 05 -- Publication.

February 16, 2017 19:28:38 :
Book 02, Chapter 05 -- Added to http://www.RevoltLib.com.

May 28, 2017 15:35:39 :
Book 02, Chapter 05 -- Last Updated on http://www.RevoltLib.com.

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