The Invaders, and Other Stories : Part 3, Chapter 7

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1887

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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....)
• "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....)
• "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....)

(? - 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 : Wikipedia.org.)

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Part 3, Chapter 7

On the next day, early in the morning, there was drawn up before the door of the wing a traveling carriage (the one which the overseer generally used), with a wide-tailed brown gelding called, for some inscrutable reason, Barabán, or the drum. At a safe distance from his head stood Aniutka, Polikéï's oldest daughter, barefoot, in spite of the rain and sleet, and the cold wind, holding the bridle in one hand with evident terror, and protecting her own head with a yellow-green jacket, which fulfilled in the family the manifold functions of dress, sheepskin, head-dress, carpet, overcoat for Polikéï, and many other uses besides.

In the corner a tumult was let loose. It was still dark. The morning light, ushering in a rainy day, fell through the window, the broken panes of which were in places mended with pieces of paper.

Akulína, who was up betimes to get ready for breakfast, and her children, the younger of whom were not yet up, were shivering with cold, as their covering had been taken from them for Aniutka's use, and they had only their mother's kerchief for protection. Akulína was busily engaged in getting her husband started on his journey. His shirt was clean. His boots, which, as they say, were asking for gruel, caused her the greatest labor. In the first place, she took off her own long woolen stockings, and gave them to her spouse; next, out of the saddle-cloth which had been lying round in the stable, and Ilyitch had brought into* the hut a few days before, she managed to make some insoles and lining, so as to stop up the holes, and protect Ilyitch's feet from the dampness. Ilyitch himself, sitting with his feet on the bed, was busy in turning his belt so that it might not have the appearance of a dirty rope. The cross little girl who hissed her s's, wearing a sheepskin, which not only covered her head, but protected her legs, had been sent to Nikíta to borrow a cap.

The hubbub was increased by the household servants, who came to ask Ilyitch to do errands for them in the city: to buy a needle for one woman, tea for another, olive-oil for another; tobacco for this muzhík, and sugar for the joiner's wife, who had already made haste to set up her samovar, and in order to bribe Ilyitch had asked him to share in the concoction which she called tea.

Although Nikíta refused to loan his cap, and he was obliged to put his own in order, that is to say, to fasten on the shreds of wool that were falling off or hanging by a thread, and to sew up the holes with his veterinary needle; though he could not get on his boots with the felt insoles made out of the saddle-cloth; though Aniutka had got so chilled that she let Barabán go, and Mashka, in her sheepskin, went in her place; and then Mashka was obliged to give her father the sheepskin, and Akulína herself went to hold Barabán,—still at last Ilyitch managed to get dressed, making use of all the clothing that appertained to his family, and leaving only the one jacket and some dirty rags, and, now in spick and span order, took his seat in the telyéga, bundled himself up, arranged the hay, once more bundled himself up, picked up the reins, bundled himself up still more warmly, just as is done by very dignifie* d people, and drove off.

His small boy Mishka rushing down the steps asked to be taken on. The sibilating Mashka began to ask for "a lide," and would be "warm enough, even if she hadn't any seepskin;"[10] and Polikéï reined in the horse, smiled his ineffectual smile, and Akulína helped the children to get in, and, bending close, whispered to him to remember his promise, and not drink any thing on the road. Polikéï carried the children as far as the blacksmith-shop, helped them out, again tucked himself in, again settled his cap, and drove off alone in a slow, dignified trot, his fat cheeks shaking, and his feet thumping on the floor of the wagon.

Mashka and Mishka, both barefooted, flew home down the little hill with such fleetness, and with such a noise, that a dog running from the village to the manor gazed after them, and, suddenly casting his tail between his legs, fled home with a yelp; so that the noise made by the Polikushka hopefuls was increased tenfold.

The weather was wretched, the wind was cutting; and something that was neither snow nor rain, nor yet sleet, began to lash Polikéï's face, and his bare hand with which he grasped the reins, protected as well as possible by the sleeve of his cloak; and it rattled on the leather cover of the horse-collar, and on the head of old Barabán, who lay back his ears, and blinked his eyes.

Then suddenly if stopped, and lighted up for an instant; the form of the dark purple snow-clouds became clearly visible; and the sun, as it were, prepared to glance forth, but irresolutely and gloomily, like Polikéï's own smile.

*

Nevertheless, the son of Ilya was absorbed in pleasant thoughts. He,—a man whom they thought of exiling, whom they threatened with the conscription, whom no one except the lazy spared either abuse or blows, whom they always saddled with the most unpleasant jobs,—he was now going to collect a sum o' money, and a big sum; and he had his mistress's confidence; and he was driving in the overseer's wagon with Barabán, his mistress's own horse; and he was driving like some rich householder, with leather tugs and reins. And Polikéï straightened himself up, smoothed the wool on his cap, and once more bundled him up.

However, if Polikéï thought that he was like a rich householder, he was greatly mistaken. Everybody knows that merchants who do a business of ten thousand rubles ride in carriages with leather trappings. Well, sometimes it's one way, and sometimes it's another. There comes a man with a beard, in a blue or it may be a black caftan, sitting alone on the box behind a plump steed: as soon as you look at him and see whether his horse is plump, whether he himself is plump, how he sits, how his horse is harnessed, how the carriage shines, how he himself is girdled, you know instantly whether he is a muzhík, who makes a thousand or a hundred rubles' worth of sales. Every experienced man, as soon as he looked closely at Polikéï, at his hands, at his face, at his short neglected beard, at his girdle, at the hay spread carelessly over the box, at the lean Barabán, at the worn tire, would have known instantly that the rig belonged to a slave, and not a merchant, or a drover, or a householder with a thousand or a hundred or even ten rubles.

But Ilyitch did not realize this: he deceived himself, and deceived himself pleasantly. Fifteen hundred rubles he will carry in his bosom. It comes into his mind, tha* t he might drive Barabán to Odesta instead of home, and then go where God might give. But he will not do that, but will certainly carry the money to his mistress, and it will be said that no amount of money tempted him.

As he came near a tavern, Barabán began to tug on the left rein, to slacken his pace, and to turn in; but Polikéï, in spite of the fact that he had money in his pocket given him for various commissions, cut Barabán with the knout, and drove by. The same thing took place at the next tavern; and at noon he dismounted from the telyéga, and opening the gate of the merchant's house, where the people from the estate always put up, drove the team in, unharnessed the horse, and gave him some hay, and ate his own dinner with the merchant's hired help, not failing to make the most of his important errand; and then, with his letter in his cap, betook himself to the gardener.

The gardener, who knew Polikéï, read the letter, and found it evidently difficult to believe that he was really to deliver the money to the bearer. Polikéï did his best to be offended, but was not able to accomplish it; he only smiled his peculiar smile. The gardener re-read the letter, and delivered the money. Polikéï placed the money in his bosom, and went back to his lodgings. Not a beer-saloon, not a tavern, nothing seduced him. He experienced a pleasant exhilaration in all his being; and not once did he loiter at the shops where all sorts of tempting wares were displayed,—boots, cloaks, caps. But as he walked along slowly, he had the pleasant consciousness: "I could buy all these things, but I'm not going to."

He went to the bazaar to execute his commissions, made them into a bundle, and then tried to beat down the price of a tanned sheepskin shuba, which was set* at twenty-five rubles. The vendor, looking critically at Polikéï, did not believe that he had the money to buy it with; but Polikéï pointed to his breast, saying that he had enough to buy out his whole establishment if he wanted. He asked to try it on, hesitated, pulled on it, crumpled it, blew the fur, kept it on long enough to smell of it, then took it off with a sigh. "Unconscionable price! If you would only let it go for fifteen rubles," he said. The dealer angrily pulled the garment over the counter, but Polikéï went out with a gay heart, and directed his steps to his lodgings. After eating his supper, and giving Barabán his water and oats, he climbed up on the stove, took out the envelope, and gazed at it long, and asked the lettered porter[11] to read the address to him, and the words, "with an enclosure of sixteen hundred and seventy paper rubles." The envelope was made of simple paper; the seals were of dark brown wax with the impression of an anchor; one large seal in the center, four on the edge. On one side, a drop of wax had fallen. Ilyitch looked at all this, and fixed it in his memory, and even moved the sharp ends of the notes. He experienced a certain childish satisfaction in knowing that he held so much money in his hands. He put the envelope in the lining of his cap, made the cap into a pillow, and lay down; but several times during the night he woke up, and felt after the money. And every time, finding the envelope in its place, he experienced the same pleasurable feeling in the consciousness that he, the proscribed and ridiculed, was carrying so much money, and was going to deliver it faithfully,—as faithfully as the overseer himself.

[10] suba for shuba.

[11] dvornik.

(Source: Published by Thomas Y. Crowell & Co., New York, 13 Astor Place, 1887.)

From : Gutenberg.org

Chronology

November 30, 1886 :
Part 3, Chapter 7 -- Publication.

June 09, 2021 18:03:45 :
Part 3, Chapter 7 -- Added to https://www.RevoltLib.com.

June 09, 2021 18:55:16 :
Part 3, Chapter 7 -- Last Updated on https://www.RevoltLib.com.

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