The Light Shines in Darkness

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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.)
• "Only by recognizing the land as just such an article of common possession as the sun and air will you be able, without bias and justly, to establish the ownership of land among all men, according to any of the existing projects or according to some new project composed or chosen by you in common." (From : "To the Working People," by Leo Tolstoy, Yasnaya P....)
• "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....)
• "...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....)


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The scene represents the verandah of a fine country-house, in front of which a croquet-lawn and tennis-court are shown, also a flower-bed. The children are playing croquet with their governess. Mary Ivánovna Sarýntsova, a handsome elegant woman of forty; her sister, Alexándra Ivánovna Kóhovtseva, a stupid, determined woman of forty-five; and her husband, Peter Semyónovich Kóhovtsef, a fat flabby man, dressed in a summer suit, with a pince-nez, are sitting on the verandah at a table with a samovár and coffee-pot. Mary Ivánovna Sarýntsova, Alexándra Ivánovna Kóhovtseva, and Peter Semyónovich Kóhovtsev are drinking coffee, and the latter is smoking. ALEXÁNDRA IVÁNOVNA. If you were not my sister, but a stranger, and Nicholas Ivánovich not your husband, but merely an acquaintance, I should think all this very original, and perhaps I might even enc... (From :

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In the same country-house, a week later. The scene represents a large dining-hall. The table is laid for tea and coffee, with a samovár. A grand piano and a music-stand are by the wall. Mary Ivánovna, the Princess and Peter Semyónovich are seated at the table. PETER SEMYÓNOVICH. Ah, Princess, it does not seem so long ago since you were singing Rosina’s part, and I … though nowadays I am not fit even for a Don Basilio. PRINCESS. Our children might do the singing now, but times have changed. PETER SEMYÓNOVICH. Yes, these are matter-of-fact times … But your daughter plays really seriously and well. Where are the young folk? Not asleep still, surely? MARY IVÁNOVNA. Yes, they went out riding by moonlight last night, and returned very late. I was nursing baby and heard them. PETER SEMYÓNOVICH. And when will my better-half be back? Have you sent the... (From :

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Village street. Iván Zyábrev, covered with a sheepskin coat, is lying near a hut. IVÁN ZYÁBREV. Maláshka! A tiny girl comes out of the hut with a baby in her arms. The baby is crying. IVÁN ZYÁBREV. Get me a drink of water. Maláshka goes back into the hut, from where the baby can be heard screaming. She brings a bowl of water. IVÁN ZYÁBREV. Why do you always beat the youngster and make him howl? I’ll tell mother. MALÁSHKA. Tell her then. It’s hunger makes him howl! 360 IVÁN ZYÁBREV [drinks] You should go and ask the Démkins for some milk. MALÁSHKA. I went, but there wasn’t any. And there was no one at home. IVÁN ZYÁBREV. Oh! if only I could die! Have they rung for dinner? MALÁSHKA. They have. Here&rsqu... (From :

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In the same country-house. It is raining outside. A drawing-room with a grand piano. Tónya has just finished playing a sonata of Schumann’s and is sitting at the piano. Styópa is standing by the piano. Borís is sitting. Lyúba, Lisa, Mitrofán Ermílych and the young Priest are all stirred by the music. LYÚBA. That andante! Isn’t it lovely! STYÓPA. No, the scherzo. Though really the whole of it is beautiful. LISA. Very fine. 364 STYÓPA. But I had no idea you were such an artist. It is real masterly play. Evidently the difficulties no longer exist for you, and you think only of the feeling, and express it with wonderful delicacy. LYÚBA. Yes, and with dignity. TÓNYA. While I felt that it was not at all what I meant it to be. A great deal remained unexpressed. LISA. What could be better? It was wonderf... (From :

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The scene is laid in Moscow. A large room. In it a carpenter’s bench; a table with papers on it; a book-cupboard; a looking-glass and pictures on the wall behind, with some planks leaning in front of them. A Carpenter and Nicholas Ivánovich wearing a carpenter’s apron are working at the bench, planing. NICHOLAS IVÁNOVICH [takes a board from the vice] Is that all right? CARPENTER [setting a plane] Not quite, you must do it more boldly—like this. NICHOLAS IVÁNOVICH. It is easy to say boldly, but I can’t manage it. CARPENTER. But why should your honor trouble to learn to be a carpenter? There are such a lot of us nowadays that we can hardly get a living as it is. NICHOLAS IVÁNOVICH [at work again] I’m ashamed to lead an idle life. CARPENTER. Yours is that kind of position. God has given you property. NICHOLAS IVÁNOVICH. Th... (From :

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A Government office. A Clerk is seated at a table, and a Sentinel is pacing up and down. Enter a General with his Adjutant. The Clerk jumps up, the Sentinel presents arms. GENERAL. Where is the Colonel? CLERK. Gone to see that new conscript, Your Excellency. GENERAL. Ah, very well. Ask him to come here to me. CLERK. Yes, Your Excellency. GENERAL. And what are you copying out? Isn’t it the conscript’s evidence? CLERK. Yes, sir, it is. GENERAL. Give it here. 383 The Clerk hands General the paper and exit. The General hands it to his Adjutant. GENERAL. Please read it. ADJUTANT [reading] “These are my answers to the questions put to me, namely: Why I do not take my oath. Why I refuse to fulfill the demands of the Government. What induced me to use words offensive not only to the army but also to the Highest Authoriti... (From :

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Room in Hospital. Head Doctor, Assistant Doctor, an Officer-Patient in a dressing-gown, and two Warders wearing blouses. PATIENT. I tell you that you are only leading me to perdition. I have already several times felt quite well. HEAD DOCTOR. You must not get excited. I should be glad to sign an order for you to leave the hospital, but you know yourself that liberty is dangerous for you. If I were sure that you would be looked after … PATIENT. You think I should take to drink again? No, I have had my lesson, but every extra day I spend here only does me harm. You are doing [gets excited] the opposite of what you ought to do. You are cruel. It’s all very well for you! HEAD DOCTOR. Don’t get excited. [Makes a sign to Warders; who come up from behind]. PATIENT. It’s easy for you to argue, being at liberty; but how about us who are kept among madmen! [To Warders] What are you after? Be off! (From :

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In Moscow a year later. A drawing-room in the Sarýntsov’s town house is prepared for a dance. Footmen are arranging plants round the grand piano. Enter Mary Ivánovna in an elegant silk dress, with Alexándra Ivánovna. MARY IVÁNOVNA. A ball? No, Only a dance! A “Juvenile Party” as they once used to say. My children took part in the Theatricals at the Mákofs, and have been asked to dances everywhere, so I must return the invitations. ALEXÁNDRA IVÁNOVNA. I am afraid Nicholas does not like it. MARY IVÁNOVNA. I can’t help it. [To Footmen] Put it here! [To Alexándra Ivánovna] God knows how glad I should be not to cause him unpleasantness. But I think he has become much less exacting. ALEXÁNDRA IVÁNOVNA. No, no! Only he does not show it so much. I saw how upset he was when he went off to his own room after dinner. (From :

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Nicholas Ivánovich’s room. The dance music is heard in the distance. Nicholas Ivánovich has an overcoat on. He puts a letter on the table. Alexander Petróvich, dressed in ragged clothes, is with him. ALEXANDER PETRÓVICH. Don’t worry, we can reach the Caucasus without spending a penny, and there you can settle down. NICHOLAS IVÁNOVICH. We will go by rail as far as Túla, and from thence on foot. Well, I’m ready. [Puts letter in the middle of the table, and goes to the door, where he meets Mary Ivánovna] Oh! Why have you come here? MARY IVÁNOVNA. Why indeed? To prevent your doing a cruel thing. What’s all this for? Why d’you do it? NICHOLAS IVÁNOVICH. Why? Because I cannot continue 404living like this. I cannot endure this terrible, depraved life. MARY IVÁNOVNA. It is awful. My life—which I give wholly to you... (From :

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Disciplinary Battalion. A cell. Prisoners sitting and lying. Borís is reading the Gospel and explaining it. A man who has been flogged is brought in. “Ah, if there were but a Pugachev to revenge us on such as you.” The Princess bursts in, but is turned out. Conflict with an officer. Prisoners led to prayers. Borís sent to the Penitentiary Cell: “He shall be flogged!” Scene changes. The Czar’s Cabinet. Cigarettes; jokes; caresses. The Princess is announced. “Let her wait.” Enter petitioners, flattery, then the Princess. Her request is refused. Exit. Scene changes. Mary Ivánovna talks about illness with the doctor. “He has changed, has become more gentle, but is dispirited.” Enter Nicholas Ivánovich and speaks to Doctor about the uselessness of treatment. But for his wife’s sake he agrees to it. Enter Tónya with Styó... (From :

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I should have considered it all very pretty. I will tell him the plain fact, my dear. At the rate things are going. There is no reason for it to stop. I should put an end to all these fads. And plays the bountiful left and right. We know something about it. All the rest of it. He was very nice, and like everybody else. Everything will be lost. To take measures. God helps those who help themselves. I’ll tell him the truth. But do stop, for heaven’s sake. What right have you? There are limits to human endurance. Speak of the sun and you see its rays. Fixed idea. She sc... (From :


1890 :
The Light Shines in Darkness -- Publication.

June 12, 2021 ; 6:11:03 PM (America/Los_Angeles) :
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June 13, 2021 ; 4:12:51 PM (America/Los_Angeles) :
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