Scenes from Common Life

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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.)
• "There are people (we ourselves are such) who realize that our Government is very bad, and who struggle against it." (From : "A Letter to Russian Liberals," by Leo Tolstoy, Au....)
• "...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....)
• "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,....)

(? - 1935)
Nathan Haskell Dole (August 31, 1852 – May 9, 1935) was an American editor, translator, and author. He attended Phillips Academy, Andover, and graduated from Harvard University in 1874. He was a writer and journalist in Philadelphia, New York, and Boston. He translated many works of Leo Tolstoy, and books of other Russians; novels of the Spaniard Armando Palacio Valdés (1886–90); a variety of works from the French and Italian. Nathan Haskell Dole was born August 31, 1852, in Chelsea, Massachusetts. He was the second son of his father Reverend Nathan Dole (1811–1855) and mother Caroline (Fletcher) Dole. Dole grew up in the Fletcher homestead, a strict Puritan home, in Norridgewock, Maine, where his grandmother lived and where his mother moved with her two boys after his father died of tuberculosis. Sophie May wrote her Prudy Books in Norridgewock, which probably showed the sort of life Nathan and his older brother Charles Fletcher Dol... (From :


This document contains 10 sections, with 5,044 words or 29,319 characters.

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One Easter a peasant went to see whether the frost was out of the ground. He went to his vegetable garden and poked into the ground with a stake. The soil was soft. The peasant went into the forest. In the woods the catkins on a young willow were already beginning to swell. And the peasant said to himself : " Let me plant young willows around my garden ; they will grow and make a hedge." He took his ax, cut down a dozen young sprouts, trimmed down the butts into points, and planted them in the ground. All the willow sticks put forth sprouts and green foliage above ; and below, underground, they sent out similar sprouts in place of roots, and some of them took hold of the earth and strengthened themselves ; but others did not take hold of the earth with their roots, and these died and toppled over. When autumn came, the peasant was delighted with his willows ; six of them had tak... (From :

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A gray hare lived during the winter near a village. When night came, he would prick up one ear and listen, then he would prick up the other, jerk his whiskers, snuff, and sit up on his hind legs. Then he would give one leap, two leaps, through the deep snow, and sit up again, on his hind legs and look all around. On all sides nothing was to be seen except snow. The snow lay in billows and glittered white as sugar. Above the hare was frosty vapor, and through this vapor glis- tened the big bright stars. The hare was obliged to make a long circuit across the highway to reach his favorite granary. On the highway he could hear the creaking of sledges, the whinnying of horses, the groaning of the seats in the sledges. Once more the hare paused near the road. The peas- ants were walking alongside of their sledges, with their caftan collars turned up. Their faces were scarcely visible. Their beards, their mustaches, their e... (From :

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A poor woman had a daughter, Masha. Masha one morning, in going after water, saw something lying on the door-step, wrapped up in rags. Masha set down her pail and undid the rags. When she had opened the bundle, there came forth a cry from out the rags, ua! ua! ua ! Masha bent over and saw that it was a pretty little baby. He was crying lustily, ua! ua! ua! Masha took him up in her arms and carried him into the house, and tried to give him some milk with a spoon. The mother said : " What have you brought in ? " Masha said : " A baby ; I found it at our door." The mother said : " We are so poor, how can we get food for another child ? I am going to the police and tell them to take it away." Masha wept, and said : " Matushka, he will not eat much ; do keep him ! Just see what pretty little dimpled hands and fingers he has."... (From :

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Once upon a time a peasant went to steal some cu- cumbers of a gardener. He crept down among the cucumbers, and said to himself : " Let me just get away with a bag of cucumbers ; then I will sell them. With the money I will buy me a hen. The hen will lay some eggs, and will hatch them out, and I shall have a lot of chickens. I will feed up the chickens, and sell them, and buy a shoat a nice little pig. In time she will farrow, and I shall have a litter of pigs. I will sell the little pigs and buy a mare ; the mare will foal, and I shall have a colt. I will raise the colt and sell it ; then I will buy a house and start a garden ; I will have a garden and raise cucumbers ; but [ won't let them be stolen, I will keep a strict watch. I will hire watchmen, and will station them among the cucumbers, and often I, myself, will come unexpectedly among them, and I will shout, ' Halloo, there! keep a closer watch.' "... (From :

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It was harvest-time, and the men and women 1 had gone out to work. Only the very old and the very young stayed in the village. A grandmother and three of her grandchildren were left in one cottage. 2 The grandmother kindled a fire in the oven, and lay down for a nap. The flies lighted on her and annoyed her with their biting. She covered up her head with a towel and went to sleep. One of the grandchildren, Masha, she was three years old, opened the oven, shoveled out some of the coals into a dish, and ran out into the entry. Now in the entry lay some sheaves. 3 The women had been preparing these sheaves for bands. Masha brought the coals, emptied them under the sheaves, and began to blow. When the straw took fire, she was delighted; she ran into the sitting-room, and seized her little brother, Kiriushka, he was eighteen months old, and was only just beginning to walk, and she said, " Look, Kiliuska ! see what a... (From :

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An old woman and her granddaughter lived in a village. They were very poor and had nothing to eat. Easter Sunday came. The people were full of rejoicing. All made their purchases for the great feast, but the old woman and her granddaughter had nothing to make merry with. They shed tears, and began to pray God to help them. Then the old woman remembered that long ago, in the time of the Frenchman^ the peasants used to hide their money in the ground. And the old woman said to her granddaughter : " Granddaughter, take your shovel and go over to the site of the old village, ask God's help, and dig into the ground ; perhaps God will send us something." And the granddaughter said to herself: "It is impos- sible that I should find anything. Still, I will do as grandma 2 bade me." She took the shovel and went. After she had dug a hole, she began to think : " I have dug long enough ; I am going home... (From :

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It was Serozha's birthday, and he received many different gifts, peg-tops and hobby-horses and pictures. But Serozha's uncle gave him a gift which he prized above all the rest : it was a trap for snaring birds. The trap was constructed in such a way that a board was fitted on the frame and shut down upon the top. If seed were scattered on the board, and it was put out in the yard, the little bird would fly down, hop upon the board, the board would give way, and the trap would shut with a clap. Serozha was delighted and he ran to his mother to show her the trap. His mother said : " It is not a good plaything. What do you want to do with birds ? Why do you want to torture them ? " " I am going to put them in a cage. They will sing, and I will feed them." Serozha got some seed, scattered it on the board, and set the trap in the garden. And he stood by and expected the birds to fly down. But th... (From :

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One time in winter I had gone into the woods after timber. I had cut down three trees, and lopped off the limbs, and was hewing them, when I looked up and saw that it was getting late ; that it was time to go home. But the weather was bad ; it was snowing and blowing. I said to myself : " The night is coming on, and you don't know the way." I whipped up the horse and drove on ; still there was no sign of outlet. Forest all around. I thought how thin my shuba was ; I was in danger of freezing to death. I still pushed on ; it grew dark, and I was entirely off the road. I was just going to unyoke the sled and protect myself under it, when I heard not far away the jingle of bells. I went in the direction of the bells, and saw a troika of roan horses, their manes tied with ribbons ! their bells were jingling, and two young men were in the sleigh. "Good evening, brothers."... (From :

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The widow Mary a lived with her mother and six children. Their means of life were small. But they used their last money in the purchase of a red cow, so as to have milk for the children. The eldest children pastured Brownie 1 in the field, and gave her slops at home. One-time while the mother was away from home, the oldest son, Misha, in climbing on the shelf after bread, knocked over a tumbler and broke it. Misha was afraid that his mother would chide him. So he gathered up the large pieces of broken glass, carried them into the yard, and buried them in the dung-heap, but the little pieces he threw into the basin. The mother missed the glass, and made in- quiries ; but Misha said nothing, and so the matter rested. On the next day, after dinner, when the mother went to give Brownie the swill from the basin, she found that Brownie was ailing and would not eat her food. They tried to give her medicine, and they called the... (From :

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Once there was a little boy whose name was Filipp. All the children were going to school. Filipp took his hat and wanted to go too. But his mother said to him : " Where are you going, Filipok ? " " To school." " You are too small ; you can't go," and his mother kept him at home. The children went off to school. Their father had gone early in the morning to the woods ; the mother was engaged in her daily work. Filipok and his grandmother were left in the cottage, on the oven. Filipok began to feel lonely ; his grand- mother was asleep, and he began to search for his hat. When he could not find his own, he took an old one, made of sheepskin, and started for school. School was kept at the village church. When Filipp walked along his own street, 1 the dogs did not meddle with him, for they knew him ; but when he reached the street in the next estate, a black dog 2 came b... (From :


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Scenes from Common Life -- Publication.

June 30, 2021 ; 6:07:20 PM (America/Los_Angeles) :
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June 30, 2021 ; 6:11:18 PM (America/Los_Angeles) :
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