Browsing Leo Tolstoy By Tag : conversation

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Vronsky’s life was particularly happy in that he had a code of principles, which defined with unfailing certitude what he ought and what he ought not to do. This code of principles covered only a very small circle of contingencies, but then the principles were never doubtful, and Vronsky, as he never went outside that circle, had never had a moment’s hesitation about doing what he ought to do. These principles laid down as invariable rules: that one must pay a cardsharper, but need not pay a tailor; that one must never tell a lie to a man, but one may to a woman; that one must never cheat anyone, but one may a husband; that one must never pardon an insult, but one may give one and so on. These principles were possibly not reasonable and not good, but they were of unfailing certainty, and so long as he adhered to them, Vronsky felt that his heart was at peace and he could hold his head up. Only quite lately in regard to his relations with Anna, Vronsky had...

The ResurrectionReturning from the church, Nekhludoff broke his fast with the aunts, and to repair his strength, drank some brandy and wine—a habit he acquired in the army—and going to his room immediately fell asleep with his clothes on. He was awakened by a rap at the door. By the rap he knew that it was she, so he rose, rubbing his eyes and stretching himself. "Is it you, Katiousha? Come in," he said, rising. She opened the door. "You are wanted to breakfast," she said. She was in the same white dress, but without the bow in her hair. As she looked in his eyes she brightened up, as if she had announced something unusually pleasant. "I shall come immediately," he answered, taking a comb to rearrange his hair. She lingered for a moment. He noticed it, and putting down the comb, he moved toward her. But at the same moment she quickly turned and walked off with her customary light and agile step along the narrow mat...


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. (From : Gutenberg.org.)

In Petersburg in the eighteen-forties a surprising event occurred. An officer of the Cuirassier Life Guards, a handsome prince who everyone predicted would become aide-de-camp to the Emperor Nicholas I. and have a brilliant career, left the service, broke off his engagement to a beautiful maid of honor, a favorite of the Empress’s, gave his small estate to his sister, and retired to a monastery to become a monk. This event appeared extraordinary and inexplicable to those who did not know his inner motives, but for Prince Stepan Kasatsky himself it all occurred so naturally that he could not imagine how he could have acted otherwise. His father, a retired colonel of the Guards, had died when Stepan was twelve, and sorry as his mother was to part from her son, she entered him at the Military College as her deceased husband had intended.

FLEETWOOD; or, THE NEW MAN OF FEELING. by WILLIAM GODWIN. CHAPTER XIII "BY degrees I became more serious and mediatating. I said to myself, 'What am I? and wherefore am I here?' The years of nonage in the human creature are many, partly because be is surrounded with parents, and kindred, and acquaintances, whose habit it is to take care of him, and to direct his steps. Perhaps the majority of human beings never think of standing by themselves, and choosing their own employments, till the sentence has been regularly promulgated to them, -It is time for you to take care of yourself. For my part, I found myself cast upon a new world, without relations, acquaintances, or friends, and this urged me on prematurely to acts of discretion. I could scarcely persuade myself that the life to which I was devoted, deserved the name of taking care of me, and therefore b...

Fedor Mihailovich Smokovnikov, the president of the local Income Tax Department, a man of unswerving honesty—and proud of it, too—a gloomy Liberal, a free-thinker, and an enemy to every manifestation of religious feeling, which he thought a relic of superstition, came home from his office feeling very much annoyed. The Governor of the province had sent him an extraordinarily stupid minute, almost assuming that his dealings had been dishonest. Fedor Mihailovich felt embittered, and wrote at once a sharp answer. On his return home everything seemed to go contrary to his wishes. It was five minutes to five, and he expected the dinner to be served at once, but he was told it was not ready. He banged the door and went to his study. Somebody knocked at the door. “Who the devil is that?” he thought; and shouted,—“Who is there...

From: William Godwin . Imogen: A Pastoral Romance From the Ancient British. PREFACE If we could allow ourselves in that license of conjecture, which is become almost inseparable from the character of an editor, we should say: That Milton having written it upon the borders of Wales, might have had easy recourse to the manuscript whose contents are now first given to the public: And that the singularity of preserving the name of the place where it was first performed in the title of his poem, was intended for an ingenuous and well-bred acknowledgement of the source from whence he drew his choicest materials. But notwithstanding the plausibility of these conjectures, we are now inclined to give up our original opinion, and to ascribe the performance to a gentleman of Wales, who lived so late as the reign of king William the third. The name of this amiable person was Rice ap Thomas. The romance was certainly at one time in his...

“We lived at first in the country, then in the city, and, if the final misfortune had not happened, I should have lived thus until my old age and should then have believed that I had had a good life,—not too good, but, on the other hand, not bad,—an existence such as other people lead. I should not have understood the abyss of misfortune and ignoble falsehood in which I floundered about, feeling that something was not right. I felt, in the first place, that I, a man, who, according to my ideas, ought to be the master, wore the petticoats, and that I could not get rid of them. The principal cause of my subjection was the children. I should have liked to free myself, but I could not. Bringing up the children, and resting upon them, my wife ruled. I did not then realize that she could not help ruling, especially because, in marrying, she was morally superior to me, as every yo...

"Davidka Byélui asks for grain and posts," was what followed Yukhvanka's case in the note-book. After passing by a number of places, Nekhliudof came to a turn in the lane, and there fell in with his overseer Yakof Alpátitch, who, while the prince was still at a distance, took off his oiled cap, and pulling out a crumpled bandanna handkerchief began to wipe his fat red face. "Cover yourself, Yakof! Yakof, cover yourself, I tell you." "Where do you wish to go, your excellency?" asked Yakof, using his cap to shield his eyes from the sun, but not putting it on. "I have been at Yukhvanka's. Tell me, pray, why does he act so?" asked the prince as he walked along the street. "Why indeed, your excellency!" echoed the overseer as he followed behind the prince in a respectful attitude. He put on his cap, and began to twist his mustache. "What's to be done with him? He's thoroughly good for not...

On the boulevard of the besieged city of Sevastopol, not far from the pavilion, the regimental band was playing, and throngs of military men and of women moved gayly through the streets. The brilliant sun of spring had risen in the morning over the works of the English, had passed over the bastions, then over the city, over the Nikolaevsky barracks, and, illuminating all with equal cheer, had now sunk into the blue and distant sea, which was lighted with a silvery gleam as it heaved in peace. A tall, rather bent infantry officer, who was drawing upon his hand a glove which was presentable, if not entirely white, came out of one of the small naval huts, built on the left side of the Morskaya[C] street, and, staring thoughtfully at the ground, took his way up the slope to the boulevard. The expression of this officer's homely countenance did not indicate any great mental capacity, but rather simplicity, judgment, honor, and a tenden...

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