Part 4, Chapter 7


People :

Author : Leo Tolstoy

Translator : Nathan Haskell Dole

Text :


The moon had quartered; and her narrow band poured a mild light on Kholstomír, standing in the middle of the yard, with the horses clustered around him.

"The principal and most surprising consequence to me of the fact that I was not the property of the count nor of God, but of the equerry," continued the piebald, "was that what constitutes our chief activity—the eager race—was made the cause of my banishment. They were driving Lebedi around the ring; and a jockey from Chesmenka was riding me, and entered the course. Lebedi dashed past us. He trotted well, but he seemed to want to show off. He had not that skill which I had cultivated in myself; that is, of compelling one leg instantly to follow on the motion of the other, and not to waste the least degree of energy, but use it all in pressing forward. Lebedi dashed by us. I entered the ring: the jockey did not hold me back.

"'Say, will you time my piebald?' he cried; and when Lebedi came abreast of us a second time, he let me out. He had the advantage of his momentum, and so I was left behind in the first heat; but in the second I began to gain on him; came up to him in the drozhsky, caught up with him, passed beyond him, and won the race. They tried it a second time—the* same thing. I was the swifter. And this filled them all with dismay. The general begged them to send me away as soon as possible, so that I might not be heard of again. 'Otherwise the count will know about it, and there will be trouble,' said he. And they sent me to the horse-dealer. I did not remain there long. A hussar, who came along to get a remount, bought me. All this had been so disagreeable, so cruel, that I was glad when they took me from Khrénova, and forever separated me from all that had been near and dear to me. It was too hard for me among them. Before them stood love, honor, freedom; before me labor, humiliation,—humiliation, labor, to the end of my days. Why? Because I was piebald, and because I was compelled to be somebody's horse."

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

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Chronology :

November 30, 1886 : Part 4, Chapter 7 -- Publication.
June 09, 2021 : Part 4, Chapter 7 -- Added to
June 09, 2021 : Part 4, Chapter 7 -- Last Updated on

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