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Criterion Miscellany - No 16. Ambush, Herbert Read, Faber & Faber First Blood Snow falling all night: in the morning the world will be white. The earth will be covered with a nice new coat of paint, to hide the scars and pockmarks. For the earth is in a bad way-a battered old scarecrow, blackened, ragged, her fingers and toes all splintered. Oh such a mess! Sanctuary Wood: the god of this sacred place is Moloch, and he is a very fierce old god, and people say that to seek sanctuary in his arms is to say goodbye to your beloved's. His sanctuary a wood, a dark gloomy glade, full of caves and ditches. If you wait till daylight you will find that the trees have no branches, but are whiskered with splinters. Tatterdemalion trees, you might s... (From : Anarchy Archives.)

That which for Vronsky had been almost a whole year the one absorbing desire of his life, replacing all his old desires; that which for Anna had been an impossible, terrible, and even for that reason more entrancing dream of bliss, that desire had been fulfilled. He stood before her, pale, his lower jaw quivering, and besought her to be calm, not knowing how or why. "Anna! Anna!" he said with a choking voice, "Anna, for pity’s sake!..." But the louder he spoke, the lower she dropped her once proud and gay, now shame-stricken head, and she bowed down and sank from the sofa where she was sitting, down on the floor, at his feet; she would have fallen on the carpet if he had not held her. "My God! Forgive me!" she said, sobbing, pressing his hands to her bosom. She felt so sinful, so guilty, that nothing was left her but to humiliate herself and beg forgiveness; and as now there was no one in her life but him, to him she addressed her prayer for f...

The ResurrectionIt was six o'clock when Maslova returned to her cell, weary and foot-sore from the long tramp over the stone pavement. Besides, she was crushed by the unexpectedly severe sentence, and was also hungry. When, during a recess, her guards had lunched on bread and hard-boiled eggs her mouth watered and she felt that she was hungry, but considered it humiliating to ask them for some food. Three hours after that her hunger had passed, and she only felt weak. In this condition she heard the sentence. At first she thought that she misunderstood it; she could not believe what she heard, and could not reconcile herself to the idea that she was a convict. But, seeing the calm, serious faces of the judges and the jury, who received the verdict as something quite natural, she revolted and cried out that she was innocent. And when she saw also that her outcry, too, was taken as something natural and anticipated, and which could not alter the case, she began to weep. She felt that she mu...

A Tale of 1852All is quiet in Moscow. The squeak of wheels is seldom heard in the snow-covered street. There are no lights left in the windows and the street lamps have been extinguished. Only the sound of bells, borne over the city from the church towers, suggests the approach of morning. The streets are deserted. At rare intervals a night-cabman's sledge kneads up the snow and sand in the street as the driver makes his way to another corner where he falls asleep while waiting for a fare. An old woman passes by on her way to church, where a few wax candles burn with a red light reflected on the gilt mountings of the icons. Workmen are already getting up after the long winter night and going to their work—but for the gentlefolk it is still evening. From a window in Chevalier's Restaurant a light—illegal at that hour—is still to be seen through a chink in the shutter. At the entrance a carriage, a sledge, and a cabman's sledge, stand close together with their backs to t...


A Defense for Fugitive Slaves, against the Acts of Congress of February 12, 1793, and September 18, 1850 (Boston: Bela Marsh, 1850). Lysander Spooner Table of Contents Poverty, Its Illegal Causes and Legal Cure.—part I. By Lysander Spooner. Recommendations. Act of Congress of 1793.: An Act Respecting Fugitives From Justice, and Persons Escaping From the Service of Their Masters. Act of Congress of 1850.: An Act to Amend, and Supplementary to the Act, Entitled "an Act Respecting Fugitives From Justice, and Persons Escaping From the Service of Their Masters," Approved February 12, 1793. A Defense For Fugitive Slaves. Chapter I.: Unconstitutionality of the Acts of Congress of 1793 and 1850. Chapter II.: The Right of Resistance, and the R... (From : Anarchy Archives.)

In Petersburg in the eighteen-forties a surprising event occurred. An officer of the Cuirassier Life Guards, a handsome prince who everyone predicted would become aide-de-camp to the Emperor Nicholas I. and have a brilliant career, left the service, broke off his engagement to a beautiful maid of honor, a favorite of the Empress’s, gave his small estate to his sister, and retired to a monastery to become a monk. This event appeared extraordinary and inexplicable to those who did not know his inner motives, but for Prince Stepan Kasatsky himself it all occurred so naturally that he could not imagine how he could have acted otherwise. His father, a retired colonel of the Guards, had died when Stepan was twelve, and sorry as his mother was to part from her son, she entered him at the Military College as her deceased husband had intended. The widow herself, with her daughter, Varvara, moved to Petersburg to be near her son and have him with her for the ho...

Meanwhile the yard-porter Vassily was marching on the open road down to the south. He walked in daytime, and when night came some policeman would get him shelter in a peasant’s cottage. He was given bread everywhere, and sometimes he was asked to sit down to the evening meal. In a village in the Orel district, where he had stayed for the night, he heard that a merchant who had hired the landowner’s orchard for the season, was looking out for strong and able men to serve as watchmen for the fruit-crops. Vassily was tired of tramping, and as he had also no desire whatever to go back to his native village, he went to the man who owned the orchard, and got engaged as watchman for five rubles a month. Vassily found it very agreeable to live in his orchard shed, and all the more so when the apples and pears began to grow ripe, and when the men from the barn supplied him every day with large bundles of fresh straw from the threshing machine. He used to lie the...

CHAPTER II The Coasts of Bohemia; Fighting Fascism; The Battle of Cable Street; Schoolboy Anarchist; Castles in Spain; Frustration on Spain The Coasts of Bohemia The first Anarchist meeting I attended was at the old National Trade Union Club in New Oxford Street. The speaker was the well-known Emma Goldman, who was on that occasion talking about arms manufacture, not Anarchism as such. As I was the only stranger at the meeting, attention turned to me when inquiries elicited the fact that I had never heard of Emma Goldman and more particularly when I had the temerity to contradict her. I believe it was on the fallacy that as 'aggression' caused war, boxing, which I then esteemed highly, taught aggression. I was overawed by my elders being surprised at my audacity, and did not continue after her scornful dismissal of the argument. She felt thereafter that she had brought me into the movement from knowing nothing about Anarch...


From Meet Kropotkin. The Salvation Series No. 1. Bombay: The Libertarian Book House, n.d. KROPOTKIN - THE MASTER by HERBERT READ. PRINCE PETER ALEXEIVICH KROPOTKIN was born at Moscow on the 9th December, 1842 (o. s.). His father, Prince Alexei Petrovich Kropotkin, is described by Kropotkin as "a typical officer of the time of Nicholas I", but he seems to have been an easy-going parent, content to leave his son's education to his French tutor until it was time to send him off to a military academy. Kropotkin's mother was the youngest daughter of the commander of a Cossack army corps, General Sulima, and a woman of great refinement and sensibility, qualities which her son must have inherited, for she died before she had time to influence him ... (From : Anarchy Archives.)


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, but, on the contrary, not only is all murder forbidden but all insulting of others is forbidden also, and we are told not to do to others what we do not wish done to us. And you ask, Is there not some fraud in all this? And if so, then for whose sake is it committed? Yes, there is a fraud, committed for the sake of those accustomed to live on the sweat and blood of other men, and who therefore have perverted, and still pervert, Christ's teaching, given to man for his good, but which has now, in its perverted form, become a chief source o... (From : Anarchy Archives.)

In June, 1861, I was nominated sergeant of the corps of pages. Some of our officers, I must say, did not like the idea of it, saying that there would be no "discipline" with me acting as a sergeant; but it could not be helped; it was usually the first pupil of the upper form who was nominated sergeant, and I had been at the top of our form for several years in succession. This appointment was considered very enviable, not only because the sergeant occupied a privileged position in the school and was treated like an officer, but especially because he was also the page de chambre of the Emperor for the time being; and to be personally known to the Emperor was of course considered as a stepping-stone to further distinctions. The most important point to me was however, that it freed me from all the drudgery of the inner service of the school, which fell on the pages de chambre, and that I should have for my studies a separate room, where I could isolate myself from the bustle...


Naked Warriors Herbert Read, London: Art & Letters, 1919. PREFACE I would like to speak for a generation to following effect: We, who in manhood's dawn have been compelled to care not a damn for life or death, now care less still for the convention of glory and the intellectual apologies for what can never be to us other than a riot of ghastliness and horror, of inhumanity and negation. May we, therefore, for the sake of life itself, be resolved to live with a cleaner and more direct realization of natural values. May we be unafraid of our frank emotions, and may we maintain a callous indifference to falsely-artistic prettifying of life. Then, as the reflex of such beauty where hitherto it has had no absolute existence. From sickness of... (From : Anarchy Archives.)

Direct To Box A 7, Allegheny City, PA., November 18, 1892. My dear Sonya: It seems an age since I wrote to you, yet it is only a month. But the monotony of my life weights down the heels of time,- the only break in the terrible sameness is afforded me by your dear, affectionate letters, and those of Fedya. When I return to the cell for the noon meal, my step is quickened by the eager expectation of finding mail from you. About eleven in the morning, the Chaplain makes his rounds; his practiced hand shoots the letter between the bars, toward the bed or on to the little table in the corner. But if the missive is light, it will flutter to the floor. As I reach the cell, the position of the little white object at once apprizes me whether the letter is long or short. With closed eyes I sense its weight, like the warm pressure of your own dear hand, the touch reaching softly to my heart, till I feel myself lifted across the chasm into your pre...

Almost stumbling against the prince, the young wife precipitately set down the tub, showed a little embarrassment, dropped a courtesy, and then with shining eyes glanced up at him, and, endeavoring to hide a slight smile behind the sleeve of her embroidered shirt, ran up the steps, clattering in her wooden shoes. "Mother, you take the water-yoke to aunt Nastásia," said she, pausing at the door, and addressing the old woman. The modest young proprietor looked sternly but scrutinizingly at the rosy woman, frowned, and turned to the old dame, who, seizing the yoke with her crooked fingers, submissively lifted it to her shoulder, and was about to direct her steps to the adjacent hut. "Your son at home?" asked the prince. The old woman, her bent form bent more than usual, made an obeisance, and tried to say something in reply, but, suddenly putting her hand to her mouth, was taken with such a fit of coughing, that Nekhliudof with...

Prince Galtsin met more and more wounded men, in stretchers and on foot, supporting each other, and talking loudly. “When they rushed up, brothers,” said one tall soldier, who had two guns on his shoulder, in a bass voice, “when they rushed up and shouted, ‘Allah, Allah!’[G] they pressed each other on. You kill one, and another takes his place—you can do nothing. You never saw such numbers as there were of them....” But at this point in his story Galtsin interrupted him. “You come from the bastion?” “Just so, Your Honor!” “Well, what has been going on there? Tell me.” “Why, what has been going on? They attacked in force, Your Honor; they climbed over the wall, and that's the end of it. They conquered completely, Your Honor.” “How conquered? You repulsed them, surely?” “How could we repulse...


IRELAND The battering-ram has been idle on the Vandeleur estates because the police and military have been on duty for the Marquis Clanricarde at Woodford during September. The Woodford men and women have shown good fight and in more than one instance the defense fully equaled in determination and gallantry that made by the Somers household at Coolroe. At Tully's house emergency-men, battering-ram, police with naked swords and gleaming bayonets, were hours before effecting an entrance. The garrison, fifteen in number, two of them women, were all more or less seriously wounded. Tully himself had to be carried out, having received severe internal injuries from the butt ends of muskets. He states that but for the intervention of the inspector,... (From : AnarchyArchives.)

The present conditions in Russia are so desperate that it is a public duty to lay before this country a statement of these conditions, with a solemn appeal to all lovers of liberty and progress for moral support in the struggle that is now going on for the conquest of political freedom. In the struggle for freedom each country must work out its own salvation; but we should not forget that there exists a web of international solidarity between all civilized countries. It is true that the loans contracted by the heads of despotic states in foreign countries contribute to support despotism. But Russian exiles also know from their own experience how the moral support which the fighters for liberty have never failed to find in the enlightened portions of the civilized nations has been helpful to them, and how much it has aided them to maintain faith in the ultimate victory of freedom and justice. It has been decided, therefore, to issue the present statement,in...

Between three and four o’clock in the afternoon Prince Andrew, who had persisted in his request to Kutúzov, arrived at Grunth and reported himself to Bagratión. Bonaparte’s adjutant had not yet reached Murat’s detachment and the battle had not yet begun. In Bagratión’s detachment no one knew anything of the general position of affairs. They talked of peace but did not believe in its possibility; others talked of a battle but also disbelieved in the nearness of an engagement. Bagratión, knowing Bolkónski to be a favorite and trusted adjutant, received him with distinction and special marks of favor, explaining to him that there would probably be an engagement that day or the next, and giving him full liberty to remain with him during the battle or to join the rearguard and have an eye on the order of retreat, “which is also very important.” “However, there will hardly be an engagement today,”...


"What I believe" has many times been the target of hack writers. Such blood-curdling and incoherent stories have been circulated about me, it is no wonder that the average human being has palpitation of the heart at the very mention of the name Emma Goldman. It is too bad that we no longer live in the times when witches were burned at the stake or tortured to drive the evil spirit out of them. For, indeed, Emma Goldman is a witch! True, she does not eat little children, but she does many worse things. She manufactures bombs and gambles in crowned heads. B-r-r-r! Such is the impression the public has of myself and my beliefs. It is therefore very much to the credit of The World that it gives its readers at least an opportunity to learn what ... (From : Anarchy Archives.)


PREFACE EVERY great movement since the beginning of history has been a movement to lift the bottom dog and put him on his feet. And every such movement has been led by extremists. All the great names of history have been the names of extremists. The brave pioneers who blazed the trail through the unknown forest had to fight their way against the many dangers of wild nature, wild beasts, and wilder men. The heroic men who first raised their voices in the cause of religious liberty had to pass through years of cruel persecution. They were hounded to the scaffold or the state with execration and abuse. The wheel slowly turns full circle, and the malefactor of yesterday become the hero-martyr of to-day, and the faithful tread weary miles to his... (From : Anarchy Archives.)


My western friend who runs a prosperous stove-factory has been finding fault with my insistent use of the word exploitation. My outlook on life is not sufficiently cheerful, and I am inclined to see malevolence where everything is, as they say at college, healthy, hearty, and happy. Our quarrel rose over the Mesaba strike, and my acceptance of an I. W. W. pamphlet as a plausible account of what was going on there. The accounts of the insecurity of pay, the petty robberies, the reeking houses, the bigoted opposition to labor organization, seemed to me to smell of truth, because I had read the maddening tales of Colorado and West Virginia, and seen with my own eyes in Scranton and Gary and Pittsburgh the way workers live, not in crises of ind... (From : fair-use.org.)

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