The Power of Darkness : If A Claw Is Caught The Bird Is Lost; A Drama in Five Acts

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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.)
• "The Government and all those of the upper classes near the Government who live by other people's work, need some means of dominating the workers, and find this means in the control of the army. Defense against foreign enemies is only an excuse. The German Government frightens its subjects about the Russians and the French; the French Government, frightens its people about the Germans; the Russian Government frightens its people about the French and the Germans; and that is the way with all Governments. But neither Germans nor Russians nor Frenchmen desire to fight their neighbors or other people; but, living in peace, they dread war more than anything else in the world." (From : "Letter to a Non-Commissioned Officer," by Leo Tol....)
• "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,....)
• "...for no social system can be durable or stable, under which the majority does not enjoy equal rights but is kept in a servile position, and is bound by exceptional laws. Only when the laboring majority have the same rights as other citizens, and are freed from shameful disabilities, is a firm order of society possible." (From : "To the Czar and His Assistants," by Leo Tolstoy, ....)

(1855 - 1939)
The English Translator of Leo Tolstoy, Louise Maude was born Louise Shanks in Moscow, one of the eight children of James Steuart Shanks, was the founder and director of Shanks & Bolin, Magasin Anglais (English store). Two of Louise's sisters were artists: Mary knew Tolstoy and prepared illustrations for Where Love is, God is, and Emily was a painter and the first woman to become a full member of the Peredvizhniki. Louise married Aylmer Maude in 1884 in an Anglican ceremony at the British vice-consulate in Moscow, and they had five sons, one of them still-born. (From :

(1858 - 1938)
Aylmer Maude and Louise Maude were English translators of Leo Tolstoy's works, and Aylmer Maude also wrote his friend Tolstoy's biography, The Life of Tolstoy. After living many years in Russia the Maudes spent the rest of their life in England translating Tolstoy's writing and promoting public interest in his work. Aylmer Maude was also involved in a number of early 20th century progressive and idealistic causes. Aylmer Maude was born in Ipswich, the son of a Church of England clergyman, Reverend F.H. Maude, and his wife Lucy, who came from a Quaker background. The family lived near the newly built Holy Trinity Church where Rev. Maude's preaching helped draw a large congregation. A few of the vicar's earlier sermons were published with stirring titles like Nineveh: A Warning to England!, but later he moved from Evangelical Anglicanism towards the Anglo-Catholic Church Union. After boarding at Christ's Hospital from 1868 to 1874, Aylmer went to study at the... (From :


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PETER IGNÁTITCH. A well-to-do peasant, 42 years old, married for the second time, and sickly. ANÍSYA. His wife, 32 years old, fond of dress. AKOULÍNA. Peter's daughter by his first marriage, 16 years old, hard of hearing, mentally undeveloped. NAAN (ANNA PETRÓVNA). His daughter by his second marriage, 10 years old. NIKÍTA. Their laborer, 26 years old, fond of dress. AKÍM. Nikíta's father, 50 years old, a plain-looking, God-fearing peasant. MATRYÓNA. His wife and Nikíta's mother, 50 years old. MARÍNA. An orphan girl, 22 years old. MARTHA. Peter's sister. MÍTRITCH. An old laborer, ex-soldier. SIMON. Marína's husband. BRIDEGROOM. Engaged to Akoulína. IVÁN. His father. (From :

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The Act takes place in autumn in a large village. The Scene represents Peter's roomy hut. Peter is sitting on a wooden bench, mending a horse-collar. Anísya and Akoulína are spinning, and singing a part-song. PETER [looking out of the window] The horses have got loose again. If we don't look out they'll be killing the colt. Nikíta! Hey, Nikíta! Is the fellow deaf? [Listens. To the women] Shut up, one can't hear anything. NIKÍTA [from outside] What? PETER. Drive the horses in. NIKÍTA. We'll drive 'em in. All in good time. PETER [shaking his head] Ah, these laborers! If I were well, I'd not keep one on no account. There's nothing but bother with 'em. [Rises and sits down again] Nikíta!… It's no good shouting. One of you'd better go. Go, Akoúl, drive 'em in. AKOULÍNA. What? The horses? PETER. What els... (From :

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The scene represents the village street. To the left the outside of Peter's hut, built of logs, with a porch in the middle; to the right of the hut the gates and a corner of the yard buildings. Anísya is beating hemp in the street near the corner of the yard. Six months have elapsed since the First Act. ANÍSYA [stops and listens] Mumbling something again. He's probably got off the stove. Akoulína enters, carrying two pails on a yoke. ANÍSYA. He's calling. You go and see what he wants, kicking up such a row. AKOULÍNA. Why don't you go? ANÍSYA. Go, I tell you! [Exit Akoulína into hut] He's bothering me to death. Won't let out where the money is, and that's all about it. He was out in the passage the other day. He must have been hiding it there. Now, I don't know myself where it is. Thank goodness he's afraid of parting with it, so that at least... (From :

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The same hut. Winter. Nine months have passed since Act II. Anísya, plainly dressed, sits before a loom weaving. Naan is on the oven. MÍTRITCH [an old laborer, enters, and slowly takes off his outdoor things] Oh Lord, have mercy! Well, hasn't the master come home yet? ANÍSYA. What? MÍTRITCH. Nikíta isn't back from town, is he? ANÍSYA. No. MÍTRITCH. Must have been on the spree. Oh Lord! ANÍSYA. Have you finished in the stackyard? MÍTRITCH. What d'you think? Got it all as it should be, and covered everything with straw! I don't like doing things by halves! Oh Lord! holy Nicholas! [Picks at the corns on his hands] But it's time he was back. ANÍSYA. What need has he to hurry? He's got money. Merry-making with that girl, I daresay … MÍTRITCH. Why shouldn't one make merry if one ha... (From :

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Autumn. Evening. The moon is shining. The stage represents the interior of courtyard. The scenery at the back shows, in the middle, the back porch of the hut. To the right the winter half of the hut and the gate; to the left the summer half and the cellar. To the right of the stage is a shed. The sound of tipsy voices and shouts are heard from the hut. Second Neighbor Woman comes out of the hut and beckons to First Neighbor Woman. SECOND NEIGHBOR. How's it Akoulína has not shown herself? FIRST NEIGHBOR. Why hasn't she shown herself? She'd have been glad to; but she's too ill, you know. The suitor's relatives have come, and want to see the girl; and she, my dear, she's lying in the cold hut and can't come out, poor thing! SECOND NEIGHBOR. But how's that? FIRST NEIGHBOR. They say she's been bewitched by an evil eye! She's got pains in the stomach! SECOND NEIGHBOR. You don't say so? FIRST NEIGH... (From :

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Scene 1. In front of scene a stack-stand, to the left a thrashing ground, to the right a barn. The barn doors are open. Straw is strewn about in the doorway. The hut with yard and out-buildings is seen in the background, whence proceed sounds of singing and of a tambourine. Two Girls are walking past the barn towards the hut. FIRST GIRL. There, you see we've managed to pass without so much as getting our boots dirty! But to come by the street is terribly muddy! [Stop and wipe their boots on the straw. First Girl looks at the straw and sees something] What's that? SECOND GIRL [looks where the straw lies and sees some one] It's Mítritch, their laborer. Just look how drunk he is! FIRST GIRL. Why, I thought he didn't drink. SECOND GIRL. It seems he didn't, until it was going around. FIRST GIRL. Just see! He must have come to fetch some straw. Look! he's got a rope in his hand, and... (From :

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It is customary to place a dying person under the icón. One or more icóns hang in the hut of each Orthodox peasant. Peasant weddings are usually in autumn. They are forbidden in Lent, and soon after Easter the peasants become too busy to marry till harvest is over. A formal request for forgiveness is customary among Russians, but it is often no mere formality. Nikíta's first reply is evasive; his second reply, “God will forgive you,” is the correct one sanctioned by custom. Loud public wailing of this kind is customary, and considered indispensable, among the peasants. Where not otherwise mentioned in the stage directions, it is always the winter half of the hut that is referred to as “the hut. (From :


1886 :
The Power of Darkness -- Publication.

June 08, 2021 ; 4:51:25 PM (America/Los_Angeles) :
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June 08, 2021 ; 4:53:40 PM (America/Los_Angeles) :
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