Fables for Children, Stories for Children, Natural Science Stories, Popular Education, Decembrists

By Leo Tolstoy (1904)

Entry 2467


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Untitled Anarchism Fables for Children, Stories for Children, Natural Science Stories, Popular Education, Decembrists

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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.)
• "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....)
• "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....)
• "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....)


52 Chapters | 146,376 Words | 795,676 Characters

THE ANT AND THE DOVE An Ant came down to the brook: he wanted to drink. A wave washed him down and almost drowned him. A Dove was carrying a branch; she saw the Ant was drowning, so she cast the branch down to him in the brook. The Ant got up on the branch and was saved. Then a hunter placed a snare for the Dove, and was on the point of drawing it in. The Ant crawled up to the hunter and bit him on the leg; the hunter groaned and dropped the snare. The Dove fluttered upwards and flew away. THE TURTLE AND THE EAGLE A Turtle asked an Eagle to teach her how to fly. The Eagle advised her not to try, as she was not fit for it; but she insisted. The Eagle took her in his claws, raised her up, and dropped her: she fell on stones and broke t... (From: Gutenberg.org.)
THE SNAKE'S HEAD AND TAIL The Snake's Tail had a quarrel with the Snake's Head about who was to walk in front. The Head said: "You cannot walk in front, because you have no eyes and no ears." The Tail said: "Yes, but I have strength, I move you; if I want to, I can wind myself around a tree, and you cannot get off the spot." The Head said: "Let us separate!" And the Tail tore himself loose from the Head, and crept on; but the moment he got away from the Head, he fell into a hole and was lost. FINE THREAD A Man ordered some fine thread from a Spinner. The Spinner spun it for him, but the Man said that the thread was not good, and that he wanted the finest thread he could get. The Spinner said: "If this is not fine enough, take ... (From: Gutenberg.org.)
A poor woman had a daughter by the name of Másha. Másha went in the morning to fetch water, and saw at the door something wrapped in rags. When she touched the rags, there came from it the sound of "Ooah, ooah, ooah!" Másha bent down and saw that it was a tiny, red-skinned baby. It was crying aloud: "Ooah, ooah!" Másha took it into her arms and carried it into the house, and gave it milk with a spoon. Her mother said: "What have you brought?" "A baby. I found it at our door." The mother said: "We are poor as it is; we have nothing to feed the baby with; I will go to the chief and tell him to take the baby." Másha began to cry, and said: "Mother, the child will not eat much; leave it here! See what r... (From: Gutenberg.org.)
A peasant once went to the gardener's, to steal cucumbers. He crept up to the cucumbers, and thought: "I will carry off a bag of cucumbers, which I will sell; with the money I will buy a hen. The hen will lay eggs, hatch them, and raise a lot of chicks. I will feed the chicks and sell them; then I will buy me a young sow, and she will bear a lot of pigs. I will sell the pigs, and buy me a mare; the mare will foal me some colts. I will raise the colts, and sell them. I will buy me a house, and start a garden. In the garden I will sow cucumbers, and will not let them be stolen, but will keep a sharp watch on them. I will hire watchmen, and put them in the cucumber patch, while I myself will come on them, unawares, and shout: 'Oh, there, keep... (From: Gutenberg.org.)
During harvest-time the men and women went out to work. In the village were left only the old and the very young. In one hut there remained a grandmother with her three grandchildren. The grandmother made a fire in the oven, and lay down to rest herself. Flies kept alighting on her and biting her. She covered her head with a towel and fell asleep. One of the grandchildren, Másha (she was three years old), opened the oven, scraped some coals into a potsherd, and went into the vestibule. In the vestibule lay sheaves: the women were getting them bound. Másha brought the coals, put them under the sheaves, and began to blow. When the straw caught fire, she was glad; she went into the hut and took her brother Kiryúsha by th... (From: Gutenberg.org.)
In our village there was an old, old man, Pímen Timoféich. He was ninety years old. He was living at the house of his grandson, doing no work. His back was bent: he walked with a cane and moved his feet slowly. He had no teeth at all, and his face was wrinkled. His nether lip trembled; when he walked and when he talked, his lips smacked, and one could not understand what he was saying. We were four brothers, and we were fond of riding. But we had no gentle riding-horses. We were allowed to ride only on one horse,—the name of that horse was Raven. One day mama allowed us to ride, and all of us went with the valet to the stable. The coachman saddled Raven for us, and my eldest brother was the first to take a ride. He ro... (From: Gutenberg.org.)
When I was a little fellow, we used to study every day, and only on Sundays and holidays went out and played with our brothers. Once my father said: "The children must learn to ride. Send them to the riding-school!" I was the youngest of the brothers, and I asked: "May I, too, learn to ride?" My father said: "You will fall down." I began to beg him to let me learn, and almost cried. My father said: "All right, you may go, too. Only look out! Don't cry when you fall off. He who does not once fall down from a horse will not learn to ride." When Wednesday came, all three of us were taken to the riding-school. We entered by a large porch, and from the large porch went to a smaller one. Beyond the porch was a very large room: instead of ... (From: Gutenberg.org.)
During Easter week a peasant went out to see whether the ground was all thawed out. He went into the garden and touched the soil with a stick. The earth was soft. The peasant went into the woods; here the catkins were already swelling on the willows. The peasant thought: "I will fence my garden with willows; they will grow up and will make a good hedge!" He took his ax, cut down a dozen willows, sharpened them at the end, and stuck them in the ground. All the willows sent up sprouts with leaves, and underground let out just such sprouts for roots; and some of them took hold of the ground and grew, and others did not hold well to the ground with their roots, and died and fell down. In the fall the peasant was glad at the sight of his wi... (From: Gutenberg.org.)
I had a small bulldog. He was called Búlka. He was black; only the tips of his front feet were white. All bulldogs have their lower jaws longer than the upper, and the upper teeth come down behind the nether teeth, but Búlka's lower jaw protruded so much that I could put my finger between the two rows of teeth. His face was broad, his eyes large, black, and sparkling; and his teeth and incisors stood out prominently. He was as black as a negro. He was gentle and did not bite, but he was strong and stubborn. If he took hold of a thing, he clenched his teeth and clung to it like a rag, and it was not possible to tear him off, any more than as though he were a lobster. Once he was let loose on a bear, and he got hold of the bear... (From: Gutenberg.org.)
Once we went into the Caucasus to hunt the wild boar, and Búlka went with me. The moment the hounds started, Búlka rushed after them, following their sound, and disappeared in the forest. That was in the month of November; the boars and sows are then very fat. In the Caucasus there are many edible fruits in the forests where the boars live: wild grapes, cones, apples, pears, blackberries, acorns, wild plums. And when all these fruits get ripe and are touched by the frost, the boars eat them and grow fat. At that time a boar gets so fat that he cannot run from the dogs. When they chase him for about two hours, he makes for the thicket and there stops. Then the hunters run up to the place where he stands, and shoot him. They c... (From: Gutenberg.org.)
Wild fowls are called pheasants in the Caucasus. There are so many of them that they are cheaper there than tame chickens. Pheasants are hunted with the "hobby," by scaring up, and from under dogs. This is the way they are hunted with the "hobby." They take a piece of canvas and stretch it over a frame, and in the middle of the frame they make a cross piece. They cut a hole in the canvas. This frame with the canvas is called a hobby. With this hobby and with the gun they start out at dawn to the forest. The hobby is carried in front, and through the hole they look out for the pheasants. The pheasants feed at daybreak in the clearings. At times it is a whole brood,—a hen with all her chicks, and at others a cock with his hen, or severa... (From: Gutenberg.org.)
I bought me a setter to hunt pheasants with. The name of the dog was Milton. He was a big, thin, gray, spotted dog, with long lips and ears, and he was very strong and intelligent. He did not fight with Búlka. No dog ever tried to get into a fight with Búlka. He needed only to show his teeth, and the dogs would take their tails between their legs and slink away. Once I went with Milton to hunt pheasants. Suddenly Búlka ran after me to the forest. I wanted to drive him back, but could not do so; and it was too far for me to take him home. I thought he would not be in my way, and so walked on; but the moment Milton scented a pheasant in the grass and began to search for it, Búlka rushed forward and tossed from sid... (From: Gutenberg.org.)
Once I went with Milton to the chase. Near the forest he began to search. He straightened out his tail, pricked his ears, and began to sniff. I fixed the gun and followed him. I thought that he was looking for a partridge, hare, or pheasant. But Milton did not make for the forest, but for the field. I followed him and looked ahead of me. Suddenly I saw what he was searching for. In front of him was running a small turtle, of the size of a cap. Its bare, dark gray head on a long neck was stretched out like a pestle; the turtle in walking stretched its bare legs far out, and its back was all covered with bark. When it saw the dog, it hid its legs and head and let itself down on the grass so that only its shell could be seen. Milton grabbed i... (From: Gutenberg.org.)
When I left the Caucasus, they were still fighting there, and in the night it was dangerous to travel without a guard. I wanted to leave as early as possible, and so did not lie down to sleep. My friend came to see me off, and we sat the whole evening and night in the village street, in front of my cabin. It was a moonlit night with a mist, and so bright that one could read, though the moon was not to be seen. In the middle of the night we suddenly heard a pig squealing in the yard across the street. One of us cried: "A wolf is choking the pig!" I ran into the house, grasped a loaded gun, and ran into the street. They were all standing at the gate of the yard where the pig was squealing, and cried to me: "Here!" Milton rushed after me,... (From: Gutenberg.org.)
From the Cossack village I did not travel directly to Russia, but first to Pyatigórsk, where I stayed two months. Milton I gave away to a Cossack hunter, and Búlka I took along with me to Pyatigórsk. Pyatigórsk [in English, Five-Mountains] is called so because it is situated on Mount Besh-tau. And besh means in Tartar "five," and tau "mountain." From this mountain flows a hot sulfur stream. It is as hot as boiling water, and over the spot where the water flows from the mountain there is always a steam as from a samovár. The whole place, on which the city stands, is very cheerful. From the mountain flow the hot springs, and at the foot of the mountain is the river Podkúmok. On the slopes of the mou... (From: Gutenberg.org.)
Búlka and Milton died at the same time. The old Cossack did not know how to get along with Milton. Instead of taking him out only for birds, he went with him to hunt wild boars. And that same fall a tusky boar ripped him open. Nobody knew how to sew him up, and so he died. Búlka, too, did not live long after the prisoners had caught him. Soon after his salvation from the prisoners he began to feel unhappy, and started to lick everything that he saw. He licked my hands, but not as formerly when he fawned. He licked for a long time, and pressed his tongue against me, and then began to snap. Evidently he felt like biting my hand, but did not want to do so. I did not give him my hand. Then he licked my boot and the foot of a tabl... (From: Gutenberg.org.)
A gray hare was living in the winter near the village. When night came, he pricked one ear and listened; then he pricked his second ear, moved his whiskers, sniffed, and sat down on his hind legs. Then he took a leap or two over the deep snow, and again sat down on his hind legs, and looked around him. Nothing could be seen but snow. The snow lay in waves and glistened like sugar. Over the hare's head hovered a frost vapor, and through this vapor could be seen the large, bright stars. The hare had to cross the highway, in order to come to a threshing-floor he knew of. On the highway the runners could be heard squeaking, and the horses snorting, and seats creaking in the sleighs. The hare again stopped near the road. Peasants were walking ... (From: Gutenberg.org.)
In the city of Vladímir there lived a young merchant, Aksénov by name. He had two shops and a house. Aksénov was a light-complexioned, curly-headed, fine-looking man and a very jolly fellow and good singer. In his youth Aksénov had drunk much, and when he was drunk he used to become riotous, but when he married he gave up drinking, and that now happened very rarely with him. One day in the summer Aksénov went to the Nízhni-Nóvgorod fair. As he bade his family good-bye, his wife said to him: "Iván Dmítrievich, do not start today! I have had a bad dream about you." Aksénov laughed, and said: "Are you afraid that I might go on a spree at the fair?" His wife said: "I d... (From: Gutenberg.org.)
We were hunting bears. My companion had a chance to shoot at a bear: he wounded him, but only in a soft spot. A little blood was left on the snow, but the bear got away. We met in the forest and began to discuss what to do: whether to go and find that bear, or to wait two or three days until the bear should lie down again. We asked the peasant bear drivers whether we could now surround the bear. An old bear driver said: "No, we must give the bear a chance to calm himself. In about five days it will be possible to surround him, but if we go after him now he will only be frightened and will not lie down." But a young bear driver disputed with the old man, and said that he could surround him now. "Over this snow," he said, "the bear canno... (From: Gutenberg.org.)
I. A certain gentleman was serving as an officer in the Caucasus. His name was Zhilín. One day he received a letter from home. His old mother wrote to him: "I have grown old, and I should like to see my darling son before my death. Come to bid me farewell and bury me, and then, with God's aid, return to the service. I have also found a bride for you: she is bright and pretty and has property. If you take a liking to her, you can marry her, and stay here for good." Zhilín reflected: "Indeed, my old mother has grown feeble; perhaps I shall never see her again. I must go; and if the bride is a good girl, I may marry her." He went to the colonel, got a furlough, bade his companions good-bye, treated his soldiers to four buc... (From: Gutenberg.org.)
In the reign of Iván Vasílevich the Terrible there were the rich merchants, the Stroganóvs, and they lived in Perm, on the river Káma. They heard that along the river Káma, in a circle of 140 versts, there was good land: the soil had not been plowed for centuries, the forests had not been cut down for centuries. In the forests were many wild animals, and along the river fish lakes, and no one was living on that land, but only Tartars passed through it. The Stroganóvs wrote a letter to the Czar: "Give us this land, and we will ourselves build towns there and gather people and settle them there, and will not allow the Tartars to pass through it." The Czar agreed to it, and gave them the land. The S... (From: Gutenberg.org.)
I. In olden days there was a shepherd whose name was Magnes. Magnes lost a sheep. He went to the mountains to find it. He came to a place where there were barren rocks. He walked over these rocks, and felt that his boots were sticking to them. He touched them with his hand, but they were dry and did not stick to his hand. He started to walk again, and again his boots stuck to the rocks. He sat down, took off one of his boots, took it into his hand, and touched the rocks with it. Whenever he touched them with his skin, or with the sole of his boot, they did not stick; but when he touched them with the nails, they did stick. Magnes had a cane with an iron point. He touched a rock with the wood; it did not stick; he touched it with the i... (From: Gutenberg.org.)
I. Why does a spider sometimes make a close cobweb, and sit in the very middle of its nest, and at other times leave its nest and start a new spider-web? The spider makes its cobweb according to the weather, both the present and the future weather. Looking at a spider, you can tell what kind of weather it is going to be: if it sits tightly in the middle of the cobweb and does not come out, it means that it is going to rain. If it leaves the nest and makes new cobwebs, it is going to clear off. How can the spider know in advance what weather it is going to be? The spider's senses are so fine that as soon as the moisture begins to gather in the air,—though we do not yet feel it, and for us the weather is clear,—for the spide...
Why are cart bolsters cut and wheel naves turned not from oak, but from birch? Bolsters and naves have to be strong, and oak is not more expensive than birch. Because oak splits lengthwise, and birch does not split, but ravels out. Because, though oak is more firmly connected than birch, it is connected in such a way that it splits lengthwise, while birch does not. Why are wheels and runners bent from oak and elm, and not from birch and linden? Because, when oak and elm are steamed in a bath, they bend and do not break, while birch and linden ravel in every direction. This is again for the same reason, that is, that the particles of the wood in the oak and in the birch are differently connected. (From: Gutenberg.org.)
If you pour salt into water and stir it, the salt will begin to melt and will entirely disappear; but if you pour more and still more salt into it, the salt will in the end not dissolve, and no matter how much you may stir after that, the salt will remain as a white powder. The water is saturated with the salt and cannot receive any more. But heat the water and it will receive more; and the salt which did not dissolve in the cold water, will melt in hot water. But pour in more salt, even the hot water will not receive it. And if you heat the water still more, the water will pass away in steam, and more of the salt will be left. Thus, for everything which dissolves in the water there is a measure after which the water will not dissolve any ... (From: Gutenberg.org.)
In the village of Nikólskoe, the people went on a holiday to mass. In the manor yard were left the cow-tender, the elder, and the groom. The cow-tender went to the well for water. The well was in the yard itself. She pulled out the bucket, but could not hold it. The bucket pulled away from her, struck the side of the well, and tore the rope. The cow-tender returned to the hut and said to the elder: "Aleksándr! Climb down into the well,—I have dropped the bucket into it." Aleksándr said: "You have dropped it, so climb down yourself." The cow-tender said that she did not mind fetching it herself, if he would let her down. The elder laughed at her, and said: "Well, let us go! You have an empty stomach now, so I... (From: Gutenberg.org.)
If you take a blown-up bladder under water and let go of it, it will fly up to the surface of the water and will swim on it. Just so, when water is boiled in a pot, it becomes light at the bottom, over the fire,—it is turned into a gas; and when a little of that water-gas is collected it goes up as a bubble. First comes up one bubble, then another, and when the whole water is heated, the bubbles come up without stopping. Then the water boils. Just as the bubbles leap to the surface, full of vapory water, because they are lighter than water, just so will a bladder which is filled with hydrogen, or with hot air, rise, because hot air is lighter than cold air, and hydrogen is lighter than any other gases. Balloons are made with hydroge... (From: Gutenberg.org.)
There was once a learned Italian, Galvani. He had an electric machine, and he showed his students what electricity was. He rubbed the glass hard with silk with something smeared over it, and then he approached to the glass a brass knob which was attached to the glass, and a spark flew across from the glass to the brass knob. He explained to them that the same kind of a spark came from sealing-wax and amber. He showed them that feathers and bits of paper were now attracted, and now repelled, by electricity, and explained to them the reason of it. He did all kinds of experiments with electricity, and showed them all to his students. Once his wife grew ill. He called a doctor and asked him how to cure her. The doctor told him to prepare a fro... (From: Gutenberg.org.)
Go out in the winter on a calm, frosty day into the field, or into the woods, and look about you and listen: all around you is snow, the rivers are frozen, dry grass blades stick out of the grass, the trees are bare,—nothing is moving. Look in the summer: the rivers are running and rippling, in every puddle the frogs croak and plunge in; the birds fly from place to place, and whistle, and sing; the flies and the gnats whirl around and buzz; the trees and the grass grow and wave to and fro. Freeze a pot with water, and it will become as hard as a rock. Put the frozen pot on the fire: the ice will begin to break, and melt, and move; the water will begin to stir, and bubbles will rise; then, when it begins to boil, it whirls about and ... (From: Gutenberg.org.)
It was dusk. The owls began to fly through the forest to find some prey. A large hare leaped out on a clearing and began to smooth out his fur. An old owl looked at the hare, and seated himself on a branch; but a young owl said to him: "Why do you not catch the hare?" The old owl said: "He is too much for me: if I get caught in him, he will drag me into the woods." But the young owl said: "I will stick one claw into his body, and with the other I will clutch a tree." The young owl made for the hare, and stuck one claw into his back so that all his talons entered the flesh, and the other claw it got ready to push into the tree. The hare yanked the owl, while the owl held on to the tree, and thought, "He will not get away." The hare da... (From: Gutenberg.org.)
I was walking along the road, and heard a shout behind me. It was the shepherd boy who was shouting. He was running through the field, and pointing to something. I looked, and saw two wolves running through the field: one was full-grown, and the other a whelp. The whelp was carrying a dead lamb on his shoulders, and holding on to one of its legs with its teeth. The old wolf was running behind. When I saw the wolves, I ran after them with the shepherd, and we began to shout. In response to our cries came peasants with dogs. The moment the old wolf saw the dogs and the people, he ran up to the whelp, took the lamb away from him, threw it over his back, and both wolves ran as fast as they could, and disappeared from view. Then the boy told ... (From: Gutenberg.org.)
The hares feed at night on tree bark; the field hares eat the winter rye and the grass, and the threshing-floor hares eat the grain in the granary. Through the night the hares make a deep, visible track through the snow. The hares are hunted by men, and dogs, and wolves, and foxes, and ravens, and eagles. If a hare walked straight ahead, he would be easily caught in the morning by his tracks; but God has made a hare timid, and his timidity saves him. A hare goes at night fearlessly through the forests and fields, making straight tracks; but as soon as morning comes and his enemies wake up, and he hears the bark of dogs, or the squeak of sleighs, or the voice of peasants, or the crashing of a wolf through the forest, he begins to toss from ... (From: Gutenberg.org.)
Man sees with his eyes, hears with his ears, smells with his nose, tastes with his mouth, and feels with his fingers. One man's eyes see better, another man's see worse. One hears from a distance, and another is deaf. One has keen senses and smells a thing from a distance, while another smells at a rotten egg and does not perceive it. One can tell a thing by the touch, and another cannot tell by touch what is wood and what paper. One will take a substance in his mouth and will find it sweet, while another will swallow it without making out whether it is bitter or sweet. Just so the different senses differ in strength in the animals. But with all the animals the sense of smell is stronger than in man. When a man wants to recognize a thing,... (From: Gutenberg.org.)
Twist the forefinger over the middle finger and touch a small ball with them, so that it may roll between the two fingers, and shut your eyes. You will think that there are two balls. Open your eyes,—and you will see that it is one ball. The fingers have deceived you, but the eyes correct you. Look (best of all sidewise) at a good, clean mirror,—you will think that it is a window or a door, and that there is something behind it. Touch it with a finger,—and you will see that it is a mirror. The eyes have deceived you, but the fingers correct you. (From: Gutenberg.org.)
I had some old mulberry-trees in my garden. My grandfather had planted them. In the fall I was given a dram of silkworm eggs, and was advised to hatch them and raise silkworms. These eggs are dark gray and so small that in that dram I counted 5,835 of them. They are smaller than the tiniest pin-head. They are quite dead; only when you crush them do they crack. The eggs had been lying around on my table, and I had almost forgotten about them. One day, in the spring, I went into the orchard and noticed the buds swelling on the mulberry-trees, and where the sun beat down, the leaves were out. I thought of the silkworm eggs, and took them apart at home and gave them more room. The majority of the eggs were no longer dark gray, as before, but ... (From: Gutenberg.org.)
I set out two hundred young apple-trees, and for three years I dug around them in the spring and the fall, and in winter wrapped them with straw against the hares. On the fourth year, when the snow melted, I went to take a look at my apple-trees. They had grown stouter during the winter: the bark was glossy and filled with sap; all the branches were sound, and at all the tips and axils there were pea-shaped flower-buds. Here and there the buds were bursting, and the purple edges of the flower-leaves could be seen. I knew that all the buds would be blossoms and fruit, and I was delighted as I looked at the apple-trees. But when I took off the wrapping from the first tree, I saw that down at the ground the bark was nibbled away, like a white ... (From: Gutenberg.org.)
For five years our garden was neglected. I hired laborers with axes and shovels, and myself began to work with them in the garden. We cut out and chopped out all the dry branches and wild shoots, and the superfluous trees and bushes. The poplars and bird-cherries grew ranker than the rest and choked the other trees. A poplar grows out from the roots, and it cannot be dug out, but the roots have to be chopped out underground. Beyond the pond there stood an enormous poplar, two men's embraces in circumference. About it there was a clearing, and this was all overgrown with poplar shoots. I ordered them to be cut out: I wanted the spot to look more cheerful, but, above all, I wanted to make it easier for the old poplar, because I thought that ... (From: Gutenberg.org.)
A bird-cherry grew out on a hazel bush path and choked the bushes. I deliberated for a long time whether I had better cut down the bird-cherry, or not. This bird-cherry grew not as a bush, but as a tree, about six inches in diameter and thirty feet high, full of branches and bushy, and all besprinkled with bright, white, fragrant blossoms. You could smell it from a distance. I should not have cut it down, but one of the laborers (to whom I had before given the order to cut down the bird-cherry) had begun to chop it without me. When I came, he had already cut in about three inches, and the sap splashed under the ax whenever it struck the same cut. "It cannot be helped,—apparently such is its fate," I thought, and I picked up an ax myse... (From: Gutenberg.org.)
One day we were cleaning an overgrown path on a hillock near the pond. We cut down a lot of brier bushes, willows, and poplars,—then came the turn of a bird-cherry. It was growing on the path, and it was so old and stout that it could not be less than ten years old. And yet I knew that five years ago the garden had been cleaned. I could not understand how such an old bird-cherry could have grown out there. We cut it down and went farther. Farther away, in another thicket, there grew a similar bird-cherry, even stouter than the first. I looked at its root, and saw that it grew under an old linden. The linden with its branches choked it, and it had stretched out about twelve feet in a straight line, and only then came out to the light, ... (From: Gutenberg.org.)
I. This happened not long ago, in the reign of Alexander II., in our days of civilization, progress, questions, regeneration of Russia, and so forth, and so forth; at a time when the victorious Russian army was returning from Sevastopol, surrendered to the enemy; when all of Russia celebrated the annihilation of the Black Sea fleet, and white-stoned Moscow received and congratulated with this happy event the remainders of the crews of that fleet, offering them a good Russian cup of vódka, and bread and salt, according to the good Russian custom, and bowing down to their feet. It was that time when Russia, in the person of far-sighted virgin politicians, lamented the shattered dream of a Te Deum in the Cathedral of St. Sophia, and ... (From: Gutenberg.org.)
I suppose each of us has had more than one occasion to come in contact with monstrous, senseless phenomena, and to find back of these phenomena put forward some important principle, which overshadowed those phenomena, so that in our youthful and even maturer years we began to doubt whether it was true that those phenomena were monstrous, and whether we were not mistaken. And having been unable to convince ourselves that monstrous phenomena might be good, or that the protection of an important principle was illegitimate, or that the principle was only a word, we remained in regard to those phenomena in an ambiguous, undecided condition. In such a state I was, and I assume many of us are, in respect to the principle of "development" which ob... (From: Gutenberg.org.)
We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren. He that loveth not his brother abideth in death. (First Ep. of John, iii. 14.) But whoso hath this world's good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth, up his heart from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him? (Ib. iii. 17.) My children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth. (Ib. iii. 18.) Love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God. (Ib. iv. 7.) He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love. (Ib. iv. 8.) No man hath seen God at any time. If we love one another, God dwelleth in us. (Ib. iv. 12.) God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him. (Ib. iv. 1... (From: Gutenberg.org.)
But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking. Be not ye therefore like unto them: for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him. (Matt. vi. 7-8.) A bishop was sailing in a ship from Arkhángelsk to Solóvki. On this ship there were pilgrims on their way to visit the saints. The wind was favorable, the weather clear, and the vessel did not roll. Of the pilgrims some were lying down, some eating, some sitting in groups, and some talking with each other. The bishop, too, came out on deck, and began to walk up and down on the bridge. He walked up to the prow and saw there several men sitting together. A peasant was pointing to... (From: Gutenberg.org.)
Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times? Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven. Therefore is the kingdom of heaven likened unto a certain king, which would take account of his servants. And when he had begun to reckon, one was brought unto him, which owed him ten thousand talents. But forasmuch as he had not to pay, his lord commanded him to be sold, and his wife, and children, and all that he had, and payment to be made. The servant therefore fell down, and worshiped him, saying, Lord, have patience with me, and I will pay thee all. Then the lord of that servant was moved with compassion, and loosed him,... (From: Gutenberg.org.)
Ye have heard that it hath been said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth: but I say unto you, That ye resist not evil. (Matt. v. 38, 39.) This happened in the days of slavery. There were then all kinds of masters. There were such as remembered their hour of death and God, and took pity on their people, and there were dogs,—not by that may their memory live! But there were no meaner masters than those who from serfdom rose, as though out of the mud, to be lords! With them life was hardest of all. There happened to be such a clerk in a manorial estate. The peasants were doing manorial labor. There was much land, and the land was good, and there was water, and meadows, and forests. There would have been enough for everybody, bo... (From: Gutenberg.org.)
Therefore, being wearied with his journey, sat thus on the well: and it was about the sixth hour. There cometh a woman of Samaria to draw water: Jesus saith unto her, Give me to drink. (For his disciples were gone away unto the city to buy meat.) Then saith the woman of Samaria unto him, How is it that thou, being a Jew, askest drink of me, which am a woman of Samaria? for the Jews have no dealings with the Samaritans. Jesus answered and said unto her, If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink; thou wouldest have asked of him, for the Father seeketh such to worship him. (John iv. 19-23.) I. Two old men got ready to go to old Jerusalem to pray to God. One of them was a rich peasant; his name was ... (From: Gutenberg.org.)
Shoemaker Martýn Avdyéich lived in the city. He lived in a basement, in a room with one window. The window looked out on the street. Through it the people could be seen as they passed by: though only the feet were visible, Martýn Avdyéich could tell the men by their boots. He had lived for a long time in one place and had many acquaintances. It was a rare pair of boots in the neighborhood that had not gone once or twice through his hands. Some he had resoled; on others he had put patches, or fixed the seams, or even put on new uppers. Frequently he saw his own work through the window. He had much to do, for he did honest work, put in strong material, took no more than was fair, and kept his word. If he could get ... (From: Gutenberg.org.)
In ancient times there lived a good master. He had plenty of everything, and many slaves served him. And the slaves prided themselves on their master. They said: "There is not a better master under heaven. He feeds us and dresses us well, and gives us work to do according to our strength, and never offends us with a word, and bears no grudge against any one; he is not like other masters who torture their slaves worse than cattle, and punish them with cause and without cause, and never say a good word to them. Our master wishes us good, and does us good, and speaks good words to us. We do not want any better life." Thus the slaves boasted of their master. And the devil was annoyed to see the slaves living well and in love with their master... (From: Gutenberg.org.)
It was an early Easter. They had just quit using sleighs. In the yards lay snow, and rills ran down the village. A large puddle had run down from a manure pile into a lane between two farms. And at this puddle two girls, one older than the other, had met. Both of them had been dressed by their mothers in new bodices. The little girl had a blue bodice, and the elder a yellow one with a design. Both had their heads wrapped in red kerchiefs. After mass the two girls went to the puddle, where they showed their new garments to each other, and began to play. They wanted to plash in the water. The little girl started to go into the puddle with her shoes on, but the older girl said to her: "Don't go, Malásha, your mother will scold you. I w... (From: Gutenberg.org.)
In ancient times there lived not far from Jerusalem two brothers, the elder named Athanasius, and the younger John. They lived in a mountain, not far from the city, and supported themselves on what people offered them. The brothers passed all their days at work. They worked not for themselves, but for the poor. Wherever were those who were oppressed by labor, or sick people, or orphans, or widows, thither the brothers went, and there they worked, and received no pay. Thus the two brothers passed the whole week away from each other, and met only on Saturday evening in their abode. On Sunday alone did they stay at home, and then they prayed and talked with each other. And an angel of the Lord came down to them and blessed them. On Monday they... (From: Gutenberg.org.)
In the Government of Ufá there lived a Bashkir, Ilyás. His father had left him no wealth. His father had died a year after he had got his son married. At that time Ilyás had seven mares, two cows, and a score of sheep; but Ilyás was a good master and began to increase his possessions; he worked with his wife from morning until night, got up earlier than anybody, and went to bed later, and grew richer from year to year. Thus Ilyás passed thirty-five years at work, and came to have a vast fortune. Ilyás finally had two hundred head of horses, 150 head of cattle, and twelve hundred sheep. Men herded Ilyás's herds and flocks, and women milked the mares and cows, and made kumys, butter, and chees... (From: Gutenberg.org.)
A FAIRY-TALE About Iván the Fool and His Two Brothers, Semén the Warrior and Tarás the Paunch, and His Dumb Sister Malánya, and About the Old Devil and the Three Young Devils 1885 A FAIRY-TALE About Iván the Fool and His Two Brothers, Semén the Warrior and Tarás the Paunch, and His Dumb Sister Malánya, and About the Old Devil and the Three Young Devils I. In a certain kingdom, in a certain realm, there lived a rich peasant. He had three sons, Semén the Warrior, Tarás the Paunch, and Iván the Fool, and a daughter Malánya, the dumb old maid. Semén the Warrior went to war, to serve the king; Tarás the Paunch went to a merchant in th... (From: Gutenberg.org.)


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