War and Peace : Book 07, Chapter 02

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1869

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.)
• "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....)
• "The Government and all those of the upper classes near the Government who live by other people's work, need some means of dominating the workers, and find this means in the control of the army. Defense against foreign enemies is only an excuse. The German Government frightens its subjects about the Russians and the French; the French Government, frightens its people about the Germans; the Russian Government frightens its people about the French and the Germans; and that is the way with all Governments. But neither Germans nor Russians nor Frenchmen desire to fight their neighbors or other people; but, living in peace, they dread war more than anything else in the world." (From : "Letter to a Non-Commissioned Officer," by Leo Tol....)
• "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....)

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Book 07, Chapter 02

CHAPTER II

After reaching home Nicholas was at first serious and even dull. He was worried by the impending necessity of interfering in the stupid business matters for which his mother had called him home. To throw off this burden as quickly as possible, on the third day after his arrival he went, angry and scowling and without answering questions as to where he was going, to Mítenka’s lodge and demanded an account of everything. But what an account of everything might be Nicholas knew even less than the frightened and bewildered Mítenka. The conversation and the examination of the accounts with Mítenka did not last long. The village elder, a peasant delegate, and the village clerk, who were waiting in the passage, heard with fear and delight first the young count’s voice roaring and snapping and rising louder and louder, and then words of abuse, dreadful words, ejaculated one after the other.

“Robber!... Ungrateful wretch!... I’ll hack the dog to pieces! I’m not my father!... Robbing us!...” and so on.

Then with no less fear and delight they saw how the young count, red in the face and with bloodshot eyes, dragged Mítenka out by the scruff of the neck and applied his foot and knee to his behind with great agility at convenient moments between the words, shouting, “Be off! Never let me see your face here again, you villain!”

Mítenka flew headlong down the six steps and ran away into the shrubbery. (This shrubbery was a well-known haven of refuge for culprits at Otrádnoe. Mítenka himself, returning tipsy from the town, used to hide there, and many of the residents at Otrádnoe, hiding from Mítenka, knew of its protective qualities.)

Mítenka’s wife and sisters-in-law thrust their heads and frightened faces out of the door of a room where a bright samovar was boiling and where the steward’s high bedstead stood with its patchwork quilt.

The young count paid no heed to them, but, breathing hard, passed by with resolute strides and went into the house.

The countess, who heard at once from the maids what had happened at the lodge, was calmed by the thought that now their affairs would certainly improve, but on the other hand felt anxious as to the effect this excitement might have on her son. She went several times to his door on tiptoe and listened, as he lighted one pipe after another.

Next day the old count called his son aside and, with an embarrassed smile, said to him:

“But you know, my dear boy, it’s a pity you got excited! Mítenka has told me all about it.”

“I knew,” thought Nicholas, “that I should never understand anything in this crazy world.”

“You were angry that he had not entered those 700 rubles. But they were carried forward—and you did not look at the other page.”

“Papa, he is a blackguard and a thief! I know he is! And what I have done, I have done; but, if you like, I won’t speak to him again.”

“No, my dear boy” (the count, too, felt embarrassed. He knew he had mismanaged his wife’s property and was to blame toward his children, but he did not know how to remedy it). “No, I beg you to attend to the business. I am old. I...”

“No, Papa. Forgive me if I have caused you unpleasantness. I understand it all less than you do.”

“Devil take all these peasants, and money matters, and carryings forward from page to page,” he thought. “I used to understand what a ‘corner’ and the stakes at cards meant, but carrying forward to another page I don’t understand at all,” said he to himself, and after that he did not meddle in business affairs. But once the countess called her son and informed him that she had a promissory note from Anna Mikháylovna for two thousand rubles, and asked him what he thought of doing with it.

“This,” answered Nicholas. “You say it rests with me. Well, I don’t like Anna Mikháylovna and I don’t like Borís, but they were our friends and poor. Well then, this!” and he tore up the note, and by so doing caused the old countess to weep tears of joy. After that, young Rostóv took no further part in any business affairs, but devoted himself with passionate enthusiasm to what was to him a new pursuit—the chase—for which his father kept a large establishment.

From : Gutenberg.org

Chronology

November 30, 1868 :
Book 07, Chapter 02 -- Publication.

February 11, 2017 11:51:08 :
Book 07, Chapter 02 -- Added to http://www.RevoltLib.com.

May 28, 2017 15:35:06 :
Book 07, Chapter 02 -- Last Updated on http://www.RevoltLib.com.

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