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"--And you say that a man cannot, of himself, understand what is good and evil; that it is all environment, that the environment swamps the man. But I believe it is all chance. Take my own case . . ." Thus spoke our excellent friend, Ivan Vasilievich, after a conversation between us on the impossibility of improving individual character without a change of the conditions under which men live. Nobody had actually said that one could not of oneself understand good and evil; but it was a habit of Ivan Vasilievich to answer in this way the thoughts aroused in his own mind by conversation, and to illustrate those thoughts by relating incidents in his own life. He often quite forgot the reason for his story in telling it; but he always told it w... (From: Wikisource.org.)
Chapter I Five wealthy young men had come, after two in the morning, to amuse themselves at a small Petersburg party. Much champagne had been drunk, most of the men were very young, the girls were pretty, the piano and violin indefatigably played one polka after another, and dancing and noise went on unceasingly: yet for some reason it was dull and awkward, and, as often happens, everybody felt that it was all unnecessary and was not the thing. Several times they tried to get things going, but forced merriment was worse even than boredom. One of the five young men, more dissatisfied than the others with himself, with the others, and with the whole evening, rose with a feeling of disgust, found his had, and went out quietly, intending ... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)
Alyosha was the younger brother. He was called the Pot, because his mother had once sent him with a pot of milk to the deacon's wife, and he had stumbled against something and broken it. His mother had beaten him, and the children had teased him. Since then he was nicknamed the Pot. Alyosha was a tiny, thin little fellow, with ears like wings, and a huge nose. "Alyosha has a nose that looks like a dog on a hill!" the children used to call after him. Alyosha went to the village school, but was not good at lessons; besides, there was so little time to learn. His elder brother was in town, working for a merchant, so Alyosha had to help his father from a very early age. When he was no more than six he used to go out with the girls to watch the ... (From: Wikisource.org.)
In the slanting evening shadows cast by the baggage piled up on the platform, Vronsky in his long overcoat and slouch hat, with his hands in his pockets, strode up and down, like a wild beast in a cage, turning sharply after twenty paces. Sergey Ivanovitch fancied, as he approached him, that Vronsky saw him but was pretending not to see. This did not affect Sergey Ivanovitch in the slightest. He was above all personal considerations with Vronsky. At that moment Sergey Ivanovitch looked upon Vronsky as a man taking an important part in a great cause, and Koznishev thought it his duty to encourage him and express his approval. He went up to him. Vronsky stood still, looked intently at him, recognized him, and going a few steps forward to me... (From: Gutenberg.org.)
I. TO THE GOVERNMENT. [By Government I mean those who, availing themselves of established authority can change the existing laws and put them in operation. In Russia, these people were and still are: the Czar, his Ministers, and his nearest advisers.] The acknowledged basis of all Governmental power is solely the promotion of the welfare of the people over whom the power IS exerted. But what are you who now govern Russia doing? You are fighting the Revolutionists with shifts and cunning such as they employ against you; and, worst of all, with cruelty even greater than theirs. But of two contending parties, the conqueror is not always the more shifty, cunning, cruel, or harsh of the two, but the one that is nearest to the aim towards wh... (From: Wikisource.org.)
In my "Appeal to the Working People" I expressed the opinion that if the working-men are to free themselves from oppression it is necessary that they should themselves cease to live as they now live, struggling with their neighbors for their personal welfare, and that, according to the Gospel rule, man should "act towards others as he desires that others should act towards himself." The method I had suggested called forth, as I expected, one and the same condemnation from people of the most opposite views. "It is an Utopia, unpractical. To wait for the liberation of men who are suffering from oppression and violence until they all become virtuous would mean—whilst recognizing the existing evil—to doom oneself to inaction." Th... (From: Wikisource.org.)
There are such creatures who all live off the land, but in order for them to become harder as possible to feed, they divided their land so that only those who are not working on it can use it, but those who work, they cannot use it and suffer and die generations after generations from the inability to feed off the land. Besides, these creatures elect one family or several families out of many and renounce their will and reason for the sake of slavish obedience to everything that the elect ones will want to do to them. And the elect ones happen to be the most evil and stupid of all. But the creatures who elect and submit, praise them in every way. These creatures speak different languages, unintelligible to each other. But instead of trying ... (From: Wikisource.org.)
For three years afterwards Nekhludoff did not see Katiousha. But when, as staff-officer, he was on his way to his army post, he paid a short visit to his aunts, but an entirely different man. Three years ago he was an honest, self-denying youth, ready to devote himself to every good cause; now he was a corrupt and refined egotist, given over to personal enjoyment. Then, the world appeared to him as a mystery which he joyfully and enthusiastically tried to solve; now, everything in this world was plain and simple, and was determined by those conditions of life in which he found himself. Then, it was necessary and important to hold communion with nature and with those people who lived, thought and felt before him (philosophers, poets); now, h... (From: Gutenberg.org.)
[The adventure here narrated is one that happened to Tolstoy himself in 1858. More than twenty years later he gave up hunting, on humanitarian grounds.] We were out on a bear-hunting expedition. My comrade had shot at a bear, but only gave him a flesh-wound. There were traces of blood on the snow, but the bear had got away. We all collected in a group in the forest, to decide whether we ought to go after the bear at once, or wait two or three days till he should settle down again. We asked the peasant bear-drivers whether it would be possible to get round the bear that day. 'No. It's impossible,' said an old bear-driver. 'You must let the bear quiet down. In five days' time it will be possible to surround him; but if you followed him now... (From: Wikisource.org.)
During last year, in Holland, a young man named Van der Veer was called on to enter the National Guard. To the summons of the commander, Van der Veer answered in the following letter:— "Thou Shalt do no Murder." To M. Herman Sneiders, Commandant of the National Guard of the Midelburg district. Dear Sir,—Last week I received a document ordering me to appear at the municipal office, to be, according to law, enlisted in the National Guard. As you probably noticed, I did not appear, and this letter is to inform you, plainly and without equivocation, that I do not intend to appear before the commission. I know well that I am taking a heavy responsibility, that you have the right to punish me, and that you will not fail to use t... (From: Wikisource.org.)
ldquo;BETHINK YOURSELVES!” “This is your hour, and the power of darkness.”—Luke xxii. 53. I Again war. Again sufferings, necessary to nobody, utterly uncalled for; again fraud; again the universal stupefaction and brutalization of men. Men who are separated from each other by thousands of miles, hundreds of thousands of such men (on the one hand—Buddhists, whose law forbids the killing, not only of men, but of animals; on the other hand—Christians, professing the law of brotherhood and love) like wild beasts on land and on sea are seeking out each other, in order to kill, torture, and mutilate each other in the most cruel way. What can this be? Is it a dream or a reality? Something is taking place w... (From: Gutenberg.org.)
(An appeal to people-brothers) Dear brothers, especially those of you who is now fighting for one governmental structure or another, which nobody needs. All you, dear brother, whoever you are, king, minister, a worker, a peasant, you need just one thing. And this is to spend this indeterminate short moment of life in a way that the one who sent you in this life wants. We all know, and I've always indistinctly felt this, and further I am in life, the clearer this is to me. Now, from today, I for the first time clearly felt that natural for any live person proximity of tomorrow and closeness of death, only not dreadful but as a transition that is natural and beneficial, just as transition to the next day. Now, having sensed this, it became ... (From: Wikisource.org.)
Translated by C.J. HOGARTH CONTENTS I. A SLOW JOURNEY II. THE THUNDERSTORM III. A NEW POINT OF VIEW IV. IN MOSCOW V. MY ELDER BROTHER VI. MASHA VII. SMALL SHOT VIII. KARL IVANITCH’S HISTORY IX. CONTINUATION OF KARL’S NARRATIVE X. CONCLUSION OF KARL’S NARRATIVE XI. ONE MARK ONLY XII. THE KEY XIII. THE TRAITRESS XIV. THE RETRIBUTION XV. DREAMS XVI. "KEEP ON GRINDING, AND YOU’LL HAVE FLOUR&rdq (From: Gutenberg.org.)
"Ye have heard that it hath been said, an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth: but I say unto you, That ye resist not evil." ST. MATTHEW V. 38, 39. It was in the time of serfdom--many years before Alexander II's liberation of the sixty million serfs in 1862. In those days the people were ruled by different kinds of lords. There were not a few who, remembering God, treated their slaves in a humane manner, and not as beasts of burden, while there were others who were seldom known to perform a kind or generous action; but the most barbarous and tyrannical of all were those former serfs who arose from the dirt and became princes. It was this latter class who made life literally a burden to those who were unfortunate enough to come under th... (From: Wikisource.org.)
I. A gentleman of the name of Zhilin was serving in the Caucasus as an officer. One day he received a letter from home. His aged mother wrote to him: "I am growing old and should like to see my dear little son before I die. Come to me, I pray you, if it be only to bury me, and then in God's name enter the service again. And I have found for you a nice bride besides; she is sensible, good, and has property. You may fall in love with her perhaps, and you may marry her and be able to retire." Zhilin fell a musing: "Yes, indeed, the old lady has been ailing lately, she might never live to see me. Yes, I'll go, and if the girl is nice I may marry her into the bargain." So he went to his colonel, obtained leave of absence, took leave of his co... (From: Wikisource.org.)
La Vita Internationale and L'Humanité nouvelle have sent me the following letter:— "Sir,—With the object of furthering the development of humanitarian ideas and civilization, La Vita internationale (of Milan), with the support of L'Humanité nouvelle (of Paris and Brussels), has deemed it necessary to concern itself with the difficult problem which has of late arisen in all its gravity and importance, owing to the delicate question about which France and the whole world has become so ardently impassioned,—we mean the problem of war and militarism. With this aim in view, we beg all those in Europe that take part in politics, science, art, and the labor movement, and even those that occupy the foremost position... (From: Wikisource.org.)
CHARACTERS AKULÍNA. An old woman of seventy, brisk, dignified, old-fashioned. MICHAEL. Her son, thirty-five years old, passionate, self-satisfied, vain and strong. MARTHA. Her daughter-in-law, a grumbler, speaks much and rapidly. PARÁSHKA. Ten years old, daughter of Martha and Michael. TARÁS. The village elder's assistant, speaks slowly and gives himself airs. A TRAMP. Forty years old, restless, thin, speaks impressively; when drunk is particularly free and easy. IGNÁT. Forty years old, a buffoon, merry and stupid. 305 THE CAUSE OF IT ALL ACT I Autumn. A peasant's hut, with a small room partitioned off. Akulína sits spinning; Martha the housewife is kneading bread; little Pará... (From: Gutenberg.org.)
I cannot agree with those who attribute the cause of the present war to the behavior of this or that political leader. If two men get drunk in a public-house and fight whilst playing cards, I cannot possibly take upon myself to condemn either, however convincing may be the arguments of the other. The cause of their offensive conduct does not by any means lie in the fact that one of them is right; but in the fact that, instead of quietly working and resting, they found fit to drink wine and play cards in a public-house. Precisely in the same way, when I am told that in any given war which has broken out one side only is to blame, I can never agree with this. It may be admitted that one side is behaving worse than the other, but no investig... (From: Wikisource.org.)
Translated by C.J. Hogarth CONTENTS I THE TUTOR, KARL IVANITCH II MAMA III PAPA IV LESSONS V THE IDIOT VI PREPARATIONS FOR THE CHASE VII THE HUNT VIII WE PLAY GAMES IX A FIRST ESSAY IN LOVE X THE SORT OF MAN MY FATHER WAS XI IN THE DRAWING-ROOM AND THE STUDY XII GRISHA XIII NATALIA SAVISHNA XIV THE PARTING XV CHILDHOOD XVI VERSE-MAKING XVII THE PRINCESS (From: Gutenberg.org.)
1. Having freed himself from religious deceptions, a person would be able to comprehend the teachings of Christ if it weren't for temptations. But – even being free of religious deception and having understood the meaning of the teaching of Christ, the human is always in danger of falling into temptations. 2. The essence of all temptations is that a person, awakened to consciousness, experiences splitting and suffering because of the committed sin, and wants to destroy the splitting and the suffering following it, not by conquering the sin but by justifying it. 3. And the justification of a sin can't be anything but a lie. 4. And therefore, to avoid falling into a temptation, a person, first and foremost, needs not to be afraid to ... (From: Wikisource.org.)
Faith is that which invests life with meaning, that which gives strength and direction to life. Every living man discovers this meaning and lives upon it. Having failed to discover it, he dies. In his search, man avails himself of all that humanity has achieved. All that has been achieved by humanity is called revelation. Revelation is that which helps man to comprehend the meaning of life. Such is the relation of man to faith. What a wonderful thing, then! Men appear, who toil unceasingly to make other people enjoy just this and no other form or revelation; who cannot rest until others accept their, just their form of revelation, and who damn, execute, kill, as many as they can of the dissenters. Others do the same: damn, execu... (From: Anarchy Archives.)
In the town of Surat, in India, was a coffee-house where many travelers and foreigners from all parts of the world met and conversed. One day a learned Persian theologian visited this coffee-house. He was a man who had spent his life studying the nature of the Deity, and reading and writing books upon the subject. He had thought, read, and written so much about God, that eventually he lost his wits, became quite confused, and ceased even to believe in the existence of a God. The Shah, hearing of this, had banished him from Persia. After having argued all his life about the First Cause, this unfortunate theologian had ended by quite perplexing himself, and instead of understanding that he had lost his own reason, he began to think that the... (From: Wikisource.org.)
If only I had begun to preach love and brotherhood when I first began to write stories, I should have accomplished more. It was Schopenhauer and the Bible that converted me. I am an individualist and as such believe in free play for the psychological nature of man. For this reason I am claimed by the anarchists. Even George Brandes declares that I am in philosophical harmony with the ideas of Prince Krapotkin. The idea of communism and what it implies refers to the social conditions and it would be senseless for me to demand that every one should sleep as little as I do, eat the same food, wear the same clothes or have the same feelings which are peculiar to me. A man is not a watch. Each is a world in himself. It is therefore an illusion... (From: Wikisource.org.)
Some day I will narrate the touching and instructive history of my life during those ten years of my youth. I think very many people have had a like experience. With all my soul I wished to be good, but I was young, passionate and alone, completely alone when I sought goodness. Every time I tried to express my most sincere desire, which was to be morally good, I met with contempt and ridicule, but as soon as I yielded to low passions I was praised and encouraged. Ambition, love of power, covetousness, lasciviousness, pride, anger, and revenge - were all respected. Yielding to those passions I became like the grown-up folk and felt that they approved of me. The kind aunt with whom I lived, herself the purest of beings, always told me that ... (From: Flag.Blackened.net.)
'I'm fond of them, very fond! … First-rate fellows! … Fine!' he kept repeating, and felt ready to cry. But why he wanted to cry, who were the first-rate fellows he was so fond of—was more than he quite knew. Now and then he looked round at some house and wondered why it was so curiously built; sometimes he began wondering why the post-boy and Vanyusha, who were so different from himself, sat so near, and together with him were being jerked about and swayed by the tugs the side-horses gave at the frozen traces, and again he repeated: 'First rate … very fond!' and once he even said: 'And how it seizes one … excellent!' and wondered what made him say it. 'Dear me, am I drunk?' he asked himself. He had had a co... (From: Gutenberg.org.)
In olden times — long, long before the coming of Christ — there reigned over a certain country a great king called Croesus. He had much gold and silver, and many precious stones, as well as numberless soldiers and slaves. Indeed, he thought that in all the world there could be no happier man than himself. But one day there chanced to visit the country which Croesus ruled a Greek philosopher named Solon. Far and wide was Solon famed as a wise man and a just; and, inasmuch as his fame had reached Croesus also, the king commanded that he should be conducted to his presence. Seated upon his throne, and robed in his most gorgeous apparel, Croesus asked of Solon: "Have you ever seen aught more splendid than this?" "Of a surety have... (From: Archive.org.)
Besides Velenchiik, five other soldiers of my platoon were warming themselves at the fire. In the best place, protected from the wind, on a cask, sat the gun-sergeant of the platoon, Maksimov, smoking a pipe. In the pose, the look, and all the motions of this man could be observed the habit of commanding and the consciousness of his personal dignity, even inde- pendently of the cask, on which he was sitting, and which, at a halt, formed the emblem of authority, and of the nankeen-covered fur half-coat. When I came up, he turned his head toward me ; but his eyes remained fixed upon the fire, and only much later did they follow the direction of his head, and rest upon me. Maksimov was a freeman ; he was possessed of some means, had taken in... (From: Wikisource.org.)
It was morning. He knew it was morning because Gerasim had gone, and Peter the footman had come and put out the candles, drawn back one of the curtains, and begun quietly to tidy up. Whether it was morning or evening, Friday or Sunday, made no difference, it was all just the same: the gnawing, unmitigated, agonizing pain, never ceasing for an instant, the consciousness of life inexorably waning but not yet extinguished, the approach of that ever dreaded and hateful Death which was the only reality, and always the same falsity. What were days, weeks, hours, in such a case? "Will you have some tea, sir?" "He wants things to be regular, and wishes the gentlefolk to drink tea in the morning," thought ivan Ilych, and only said "No." "Wouldn't... (From: ClassicalLibrary.org.)
(Variant of the First Chapter) On the 14th of August, 1817, the sixth department of the Controlling Senate rendered a decision in the lawsuit between the “ekonom”[11] peasants of the village of Izlegoshchi and Prince Chernuishef, granting the land that was in dispute to the peasants. This decision was unexpected and serious, and unfortunate for Chernuishef. The suit had been dragging along already for five years. Having been brought originally by the advocate of the rich and populous village of Izlegoshchi, it had been gained by the peasants in the District Court; but when Prince Chernuishef, by the advice of Ilya Mitrofanof, a solicitor, a domestic serf belonging to Prince Saltuikof, hired by him, appealed the case, he won it... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)
When he entered the drawing-room everything seemed strange and unnatural to him. He had risen that morning vigorous, determined to fling it all aside, to forget it and not allow himself to think about it. But without noticing how it occurred he had all the morning not merely not interested himself in the work, but tried to avoid it. What had formerly cheered him and been important was now insignificant. Unconsciously he tried to free himself from business. It seemed to him that he had to do so in order to think and to plan. And he freed himself and remained alone. But as soon as he was alone he began to wander about in the garden and the forest. And all those spots were besmirched in his recollection by memories that gripped him. He felt th... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)

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