Leo Tolstoy : Father of Christian Anarchism

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(1828 - 1910)


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.

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From : Anarchy Archives


"...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 Cause and Cure," by Leo Tolstoy, With an Introduction by M. K. Gandhi, December 14th, 1908

"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 Tolstoy, 1898

"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 Tolstoy, 1898

"There are people (we ourselves are such) who realize that our Government is very bad, and who struggle against it."

From : "A Letter to Russian Liberals," by Leo Tolstoy, August 31, O.S., 1896

"People who take part in Government, or work under its direction, may deceive themselves or their sympathizers by making a show of struggling; but those against whom they struggle (the Government) know quite well, by the strength of the resistance experienced, that these people are not really pulling, but are only pretending to."

From : "A Letter to Russian Liberals," by Leo Tolstoy, August 31, O.S., 1896

"It usually happens that when an idea which has been useful and even necessary in the past becomes superfluous, that idea, after a more or less prolonged struggle, yields its place to a new idea which was till then an ideal, but which thus becomes a present idea."

From : "Patriotism and Government," by Leo Tolstoy, May 10, o.s., 1900, part 2

"If, in former times, Governments were necessary to defend their people from other people's attacks, now, on the contrary, Governments artificially disturb the peace that exists between the nations, and provoke enmity among them."

From : "Patriotism and Government," by Leo Tolstoy, May 10, o.s., 1900, part 5

"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, o.s., 1900

"...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, March 15, o.s., 1901

"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 Polyana, 1902


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About Leo Tolstoy

Count Lev Nikolayevich Tolstoy[note 1] (/ˈtoʊlstɔɪ, ˈtɒl-/; Russian: Лев Николаевич Толстой,[note 2] tr. Lev Nikoláyevich Tolstóy, IPA: [lʲef nʲɪkɐˈla(j)ɪvʲɪtɕ tɐlˈstoj] (About this soundlisten); 9 September, [O.S. 28 August] 1828 – 20 November, [O.S. 7 November] 1910), usually referred to in English as Leo Tolstoy, was a Russian writer who is regarded as one of the greatest authors of all time. He received nominations for the Nobel Prize in Literature every year from 1902 to 1906 and for the Nobel Peace Prize in 1901, 1902, and 1909. That he never won is a major controversy.

Born to an aristocratic Russian family in 1828, Tolstoy is best known for the novels War and Peace (1869) and Anna Karenina (1878), often cited as pinnacles of realist fiction. He first achieved literary acclaim in his twenties with his semi-autobiographical trilogy, Childhood, Boyhood, and Youth (1852–1856), and Sevastopol Sketches (1855), based upon his experiences in the Crimean War. His fiction includes dozens of short stories and several novellas such as The Death of Ivan Ilyich (1886), Family Happiness (1859), and Hadji Murad (1912). He also wrote plays and numerous philosophical essays.

In the 1870s, Tolstoy experienced a profound moral crisis, followed by what he regarded as an equally profound spiritual awakening, as outlined in his non-fiction work A Confession (1882). His literal interpretation of the ethical teachings of Jesus, centering on the Sermon on the Mount, caused him to become a fervent Christian anarchist and pacifist. His ideas on nonviolent resistance, expressed in such works as The Kingdom of God Is Within You (1894), had a profound impact on such pivotal 20th-century figures as Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr. He also became a dedicated advocate of Georgism, the economic philosophy of Henry George, which he incorporated into his writing, particularly Resurrection (1899).

Source: Wikipedia.org

Leo Tolstoy was born September 9, 1828 at Yasnaya Polyana in Tula, Russia. Fourth child of Countess Mariya Tolstaya, Tolstoy was born of old Russian nobility. As such, social pressures forced him to attend university and proceed on trek to becoming an upstanding member of upper-class Russian society.

In 1844, Tolstoy ceased his studies at Kazan University. He then spent a period of about seven years bouncing between his hometown and St. Petersburg accruing an impressive gambling debt.

In 1851, Tolstoy and his brother joined the army. Sometime around then, Tolstoy began writing.

In 1857, attempting to leave Russian high-society behind, Tolstoy took the first of his two tours through Europe. This act was an attempt to escape Russian political oppression, and was also caried out by such anarchists as Kropotkin and Bakunin.

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.

In 1862, Tolstoy married Sophia Andreevna Bers. The early years of the marriage marked a period of great joy during Tolstoy's life and facilitated the composition of both War and Peace and Anna Karenina. Sadly, the marriage deteriorated into one of great unhappiness in later years, as Tolstoy's ideas grew more radical and his attempts to distance himself from his wealth (both earned and inherited) became more radical.

In 1910, Tolstoy died of pneumonia at Astapovo station after abandoning his family and wealth in the middle of winter to take up the path of wandering ascetic.

From : Anarchy Archives


This person has authored 2,016 documents, with 9,539,029 words or 58,152,626 characters.

"--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... (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 o... (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.)
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 th... (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.)
[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 t... (From : Wikisource.org.)
“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 t... (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 thi... (From : Wikisource.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 t... (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 hi... (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 positi... (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 housewif... (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.)
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, e... (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.)
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 sur... (From : Archive.org.)
Once some guests were gathered in a rich man's home, and it happened that a serious conversation about life arose. They talked about persons absent and persons present, and they could not hit upon a single one contented with his life. Not only did each one find something to complain of in his fortune, but there was not one who would consider that he was living as a Christian ought to live. All confessed that they were living worldly lives, concerned only about themselves and their families, thinking little about their neighbors, and still less about God. Thus talked the guests, and all agreed in blaming themselves for their godless, unchristian lives. " Then why do we live so ? " cried one youth. " Why do we... (From : Wikisource.org.)
This morning I underwent a medical examination in the government council room. The opinions of the doctors were divided. They argued among themselves and came at last to the conclusion that I was not mad. But this was due to the fact that I tried hard during the examination not to give myself away. I was afraid of being sent to the lunatic asylum, where I would not be able to go on with the mad undertaking I have on my hands. They pronounced me subject to fits of excitement, and something else, too, but nevertheless of sound mind. The doctor prescribed a certain treatment, and assured me that by following his directions my trouble would completely disappear. Imagine, all that torments me disappearing completely! Oh, there is nothing I would... (From : TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)
CHAPTER I. The Old Horse We had an old, old man, Pimen Timofeitch. He was ninety years of age. He lived at his grand- son’s house, but did no work. His back was bent ; he walked with a stick, and found it hard to drag one leg after the other. All of his teeth were gone ; his face was wrinkled ; his lower lip trembled. When he walked and when he talked, he had no control over his lips, so that it was impossible to make out what he was saying. There were four brothers of us, and we all liked to ride horseback ; but we had no gentle horses fit for us to ride. We were permitted to ride only on one old horse whose name was Voronok. [1] One time mother gave us permission to have a ride, and we all ran with our tutor to ... (From : TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)
There dwelt once upon a time in the Ufimsk government a Bashkir named Elias. The father of Elias had left him a poor man. His father had only gotten him a wife a year before, and then died. In those days Elias owned seven mares, two cows, and twice ten sheep. But Elias was now the master, and began to spread himself out; from morn to eve he labored with his wife, rose up earlier and lay down later than all other men, and grew richer every year. Five-and-thirty years did Elias continue to labor, and won for himself great possessions. Elias now had two hundred head of horses, a hundred and fifty head of horned cattle, and one thousand two hundred sheep. Many men-servants pastured the tabuns[1] and the herds of Elia... (From : Wikisource.org.)
There once lived, in the Government of Oufá, a Bashkír named Ilyás. His father, who died a year after he had found his son a wife, did not leave him much property. Ilyás then had only seven mares, two cows, and about a score of sheep. He was a good manager, however, and soon began to acquire more. He and his wife worked from morn till night; rising earlier than others and going later to bed; and his possessions increased year by year. Living in this way, Ilyás little by little acquired great wealth. At the end of thirty-five years he had 200 horses, 150 head of cattle, and 1,200 sheep. Hired laborers tended his flocks and herds, and hired women milked his mares and cows, and made kumiss [1], butter and che... (From : Wikisource.org.)
A population of twelve thousand people - Christians of the Universal Brotherhood," as the Dukhobors, who live in the Caucasus, call themselves are at the present moment in the most distressing circumstances. Without entering into argument as to who is right: whether it be the governments who consider that Christianity is compatible with prisons, executions, and above all, with wars and preparations for war ; or whether it be the Dukhobors, who acknowledge as binding only the Christian law (which renounces the use of any force whatever, and condemns murder), and who therefore refuse to serve in the army, one cannot fail to see that this controversy is very difficult to settle. No government could allow some people to shun duties wh... (From : Wikisource.org.)
Emelyán was a laborer and worked for a master. Crossing the meadows one day on his way to work, he nearly trod on a frog that jumped right in front of him, but he just managed to avoid it. Suddenly he heard some one calling to him from behind. Emelyán looked round and saw a lovely lassie, who said to him: 'Why don't you get married, Emelyán?' 'How can I marry, my lass?' said he. 'I have but the clothes I stand up in, nothing more, and no one would have me for a husband.' 'Take me for a wife,' said she. Emelyán liked the maid. 'I should be glad to,' said he, 'but where and how could we live?' 'Why trouble about that?' said the girl. 'One only has to work more and sleep less, and one can clothe and feed onesel... (From : Wikisource.org.)
I In Gospel language "the age" and "the end of the age" does not signify the end and beginning of a century, but the end of one view of life, of one faith, of one method of social intercourse between men, and the commencement of another view of life, another faith, another method of social intercourse. [...] Every revolution begins when Society has outgrown the view of life on which the existing forms of social life were founded, when the contradictions between life such as it is, and life as it should be, and might be, become so evident to the majority that they feel the impossibility of continuing existence under former conditions. The revolution begins in that nation wherein the majority of men become conscious of this contradiction. ... (From : Anarchy Archives.)
The Assyrian King, Esarhaddon, had conquered the kingdom of King Lailie, had destroyed and burnt the towns, taken all the inhabitants captive to his own country, slaughtered the warriors, beheaded some chieftains and impaled or flayed others, and had confined King Lailie himself in a cage. As he lay on his bed one night, King Esarhaddon ​was thinking how he should execute Lailie, when suddenly he heard a rustling near his bed, and opening his eyes saw an old man with a long gray beard and mild eyes. 'You wish to execute Lailie?' asked the old man. 'Yes,' answered the King. 'But I cannot make up my mind how to do it.' 'But you are Lailie,' said the old man. 'That's not true,' replied the King. 'Lailie is Lailie, and I am I.' 'You... (From : Wikisource.org.)
In the olden time there lived a good master. He had much of everything, and many slaves served him. And the slaves praised their master. They said: "There is no master better than our master under heaven. He clothes and feeds us well, and gives us work to do according to our strength; he offends none by word of mouth, and bears no grudge for anything. He is not like other masters who torment their slaves and treat them worse than cattle, and punish them whethesr they commit faults or not, and have not a good word to say to them. Our master has our welfare at heart, and does good to us, and speaks well to us. We want no better life than the life we lead" Thus did the slaves praise their master. And the Devil was w... (From : Wikisource.org.)
There lived in olden times a good and kindly man. He had this world's goods in abundance, and many slaves to serve him. And the slaves prided themselves on their master, saying: 'There is no better lord than ours under the sun. He feeds and clothes us well, and gives us work suited to our strength. He bears no malice, and never speaks a harsh word to any one. He is not like other masters, who treat their slaves worse than cattle: punishing them whether they deserve it or not, and never giving them a friendly word. He wishes us well, does good, and speaks kindly to us. We do not wish for a better life.' Thus the slaves praised their lord, and the Devil, seeing it, was vexed that slaves should live in such love and harmony with their master... (From : Wikisource.org.)
Excommunication February 22, 1901 [missing introduction about the Gates of Hell not prevailing against the holy Church] In our days, God has permitted a new false teacher to appear - Count Leo Tolstoy. A writer well known to the world, Russian by birth, Orthodox by baptism and education, Count Tolstoy, under the seduction of his intellectual pride, has insolently risen against the Lord and His Christ and against His holy heritage, and has publicly, in the sight of all men, repudiated the Orthodox Mother Church, which reared and educated him, and has devoted his literary activity, and the talent given to him by God, to disseminating among the people teachings repugnant to Christ and the Church, and to destroying in the minds... (From : Wikisource.org.)
In the city of Vladimir lived a young merchant named Askenov. He owned two stores and a dwelling-house. Askenov was attractive in person, blond, curly-headed, and a lover of jollity and song. He drank in his youth, and when intoxicated he quarreled. But when once married he drank very rarely. One day in summer he decided to attend the fair at Nijni-Novogorod. As he was bidding his family farewell, his wife said to him: "Ivan, do not go to-day; I had a bad dream about you." Askenov began to laugh, and replied: "You fear I will commit some folly at the fair." His wife answered: "I do not myself exactly know what I fear; only I had a bad dream. I saw you as you came from the city. You took off your cap, and all at once I saw that your he... (From : Wikisource.org.)
THE HEAD AND TAIL OF THE SERPENT THE serpent's Tail was disputing with the serpent's Head as to which should go first. The Head said : "You cannot go first ; you have no eyes or ears." The Tail replied : " But at all events I have the strength to make you go. If I wanted, I could twine around a tree, and you could not stir." The Head said : " Let us part company." And the Tail tore itself away from the Head, and crawled away in its own direction. But as soon as it had left the Head, it came upon a cranny and fell into it. II FINE THREADS A MAN bade a spinner spin fine threads. The spinner spun fine threads ; but the man declared that the threads were not good, and that he wished... (From : Wikisource.org.)
This winter I received a letter from Mrs. Sokolof with an account of the needs of the peasants in the Voronezh Government, and I transmitted this letter, together with a memorandum of my own, to the Russkiya Vyedomosti[1] and since then several persons have sent me their contributions to aid the starving peasants. These small contributions I have forwarded partly to a good acquaintance of mine in the Zemlyansky District, two hundred rubles ; the monthly contribution of Smolensk physicians and certain other small offerings I dispatched to the Chernsky District in the government of Tula, to my son and his wife, for the distribution of help in their locality. But in April I received new and quite important contributions : Mrs. Mevi... (From : Archive.org.)
"What can be more horrible than country festivals?" In nothing can the whole barbarism and ugliness of the life of the people be shown with such distinctness as in country festivals. Men live on weekdays; they eat and drink moderately of wholesome food, they labor industriously; they mingle in friendly intercourse. Thus pass weeks, sometimes months, and suddenly this good life is interrupted without any apparent cause. On some special day all simultaneously knock off work, and from noontime on begin to eat rich food to which they are not accustomed; they begin to drink beer and vodka. All drink; the aged compel young men and even children to drink. All congratulate one another, kiss one another, embrace one another, shout, sing songs. Now t... (From : Wikisource.org.)
ACT I PEASANT [plowing. Looks up] It's noon. Time to unharness. Gee up, get along! Fagged out? Poor old beast! One more turn and back again, that will be the last furrow, and then dinner. It was a good idea to bring that chunk of bread with me. I'll not go home, but sit down by the well and have a bite and a rest, and Peggy can graze awhile. Then, with God's help, to work again, and the plowing will be done in good time. Enter Imp; hides behind a bush. IMP. See what a good fellow he is! Keeps calling on God. Wait a bit, friend,—you'll be calling on the Devil before long! I'll just take away his chunk. He'll miss it before long, and will begin to hunt for it. He'll be hungry, and then he'll swear and call on the D... (From : Gutenberg.org.)
Here are my first recollections (which I cannot reduce to order, not knowing what came first, what afterwards, while of some I know not whether they were dreams or reality). But here they are. I am tied down; I want to raise my arms, but I cannot do it, and I wail and weep and my cry is disagreeable to myself; but I cannot stop. It must be that some one stands bending over me, but I don’t remember who. And all this takes place in a semi-darkness. But I remember that there are two. My crying has an effect on them, they are alarmed at my cry, but they do not unloose me as I wish, and I cry louder than ever. It seems to them necessary (that is, that I be tied down), while I know that it is not necessary, and I want to prove it to ... (From : TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)
(An 1891 work espousing complete nonviolence, stemming from vegetarianism, this essay was translated in 1909 by Aylmer Maud. Note that there are many "slightly altered" versions of this essay floating around, and it is nearly impossible to guarantee the exactness of this version, as it is not uncommon for an extra sentence to be added or removed depending on the publisher's agenda.) Fasting is an indispensable condition of a good life; but in fasting, as in self-control in general, the question arises, with what shall we begin—how to fast, how often to eat, what to eat, what to avoid eating? And as we can do no work seriously without regarding the necessary order of sequence, so also we cannot fast without knowing where to begin&md... (From : Wikisource.org.)
Once students found Confucius by the river. The teacher was sitting on the shore and was looking closely at the water, observing how it ran. Students were surprised and asked: “Teacher, what’s the use to observe how water flows? There’s nothing special in it, that’s how it always was and will be”. Confucius replied: “You’re right: this is the most common phenomenon, it always took place and will continue, and everybody understands it. But not everybody understands that the flow of water is similar to a teaching. I was looking at the water and was thinking about it. Waters flow incessantly, they flow day and night until they merge together in a large ocean. Similarly, the ... (From : Wikisource.org.)
Note by translator M. S. Morozov. Preface by Leo TolstoyI happened to be drinking tea this winter in a cook-shop where I am known. It was four o'clock in the afternoon, and being a regular customer, a newspaper was as usual handed to me, as a special mark of respect. Having put on the spectacles my old eyes require, I dived into the paper and became absorbed in an article about Leo Tolstoy. It was quiet in the place, there were few customers and I gave myself up entirely to the reading. My reading was interrupted by an old man in a peasant's coat, wearing bark shoes, and with a small bag on his arm, who came up and softly touched my shoulder, saying: "Won't you give me a kopeck[1]? I'm hungry!" I was vexed at the fellow's impertine... (From : Wikisource.org.)
Vladimir Grigorevich, I have read your article and, in addition that I fully agree with what is expressed in it, I wanted to say about it the following. "There are no more hopeless deaf than those who don't want to hear". Revolutionaries say that the purpose of their activity is the destruction of that oppressing social order which abuses and corrupts people. But in order to destroy this violent system, first of all it’s necessary to have financial means; and for that need to have at least some likelihood of success of such destruction. And there is no slightest likelihood of that. The existing governments has long ago learned their enemies and the risks to which they are exposed, and therefore long time ago they took and now vig... (From : Wikisource.org.)
Part 1 On May 3, 1882, 3-masted ship "Lady of Winds" sailed from port Le Havre to Chinese seas. It’s unloaded in China, took the new cargo, delivered it to Buenos Aires, and from there took goods to Brazil. Crossings, damage repairs, a lull for several months, winds pushing ship away from its way, sea adventures and tribulations detained it so that it sailed for four years in foreign seas and only by May 8, 1886 arrived to Marseille with a cargo of tin boxes with American canned goods. When the ship exited Le Havre, it had a captain, his assistant and fourteen sailors aboard. During the journey one sailor died, four got missing in different adventures and only nine returned to France. To replace the retired sail... (From : Archive.org.)
To Gandhi. I have just received your very interesting letter, which gave me much pleasure. God help our dear brothers and coworkers in the Transvaal! Among us, too, this fight between gentleness and brutality, between humility and love and pride and violence, makes itself ever more strongly felt, especially in a sharp collision between religious duty and the State laws, expressed by refusals to perform military service. Such refusals occur more and more often. I wrote the 'Letter to a Hindu', and am very pleased to have it translated. The Moscow people will let you know the title of the book on Krishna. As regards 're-birth' I for my part should not omit anything, for I think that faith in a re-birth will never restrain mankind as... (From : Anarchy Archives.)
"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." Matt. v. 38, 39. "Vengeance is Mine, I will repay." Rom. xii. 19. A poor muzhik had a son born unto him. The muzhik rejoiced, and went to his neighbor to beg him to be a sponsor for his child. The neighbor refused ; he would not be a sponsor to a poor man's child. Then the poor muzhik went to another neighbor, and he refused likewise. He went round the whole village, and nobody would be a sponsor for him. The muzhik set out for another village, and there met him on the road a wayfaring man, and the wayfaring man stopped and greeted him : Part 1 " Hail to thee, little muzhik ! " cried he, " ... (From : Wikisource.org.)
'Ye have heard that it was said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth, but I say unto you, Resist not him that is evil.'—Matt. v. 38, 39. 'Vengeance is mine; I will repay.'—Rom. xii. 19. A son was born to a poor peasant. He was glad, and went to his neighbor to ask him to stand godfather to the boy. The neighbor refused—he did not like standing godfather to a poor man's child. The peasant asked another neighbor, but he too refused, and after that the poor father went to every house in the village, but found no one willing to be godfather to his son. So he set off to another village, and on the way he met a man who stopped and said: 'Good-day, my good man; where are you off to?' 'God has given me a child,'... (From : Wikisource.org.)
One day some children found, in a ravine, a thing shaped like a grain of corn, with a groove down the middle, but as large as a hen's egg. A traveler passing by saw the thing, bought it from the children for a penny, and taking it to town sold it to the King as a curiosity. The King called together his wise men, and told them to find out what the thing was. The wise men pondered and pondered and could not make head or tail of it, till one day, when the thing was lying on a window-sill, a hen flew in and pecked at it till she made a hole in it, and then every one saw that it was a grain of corn. The wise men went to the King, and said: 'It is a grain of corn.' At this the King was much surprised; and he ordered the learned men to find out... (From : Wikisource.org.)
A long, long time ago there was a big drought on the earth. All the rivers dried up and the streams and wells, and the trees withered and the bushes and grass, and men and beasts died of thirst. One night a little girl went out with a pitcher to find some water for her sick mother. She wandered and wandered everywhere, but could find no water, and she grew so tired that she lay down on the grass and fell asleep. When she awoke and took up the pitcher she nearly upset the water it contained. The pitcher was full of clear, fresh water. The little girl was glad and was about to put it to her lips, but she remembered her mother and ran home with the pitcher as fast as she could. She hurried so much that she did not notice a little dog in her ... (From : Wikisource.org.)
Russia is living through an important time destined to have enormous results. The proximity and inevitableness of the approaching change is, as indeed is always the case, especially keenly felt by those classes of society who, by their position, are free from the necessity of physical labor absorbing all their time and power, and therefore have the possibility of occupying themselves with political questions. These men—the nobles, merchants, Government officials, doctors, engineers, professors, teachers, artists, students, advocates, chiefly townspeople, the so-called "intellectuals"—are now in Russia directing the movement which is taking place, and they devote all their powers to the alteration of the existing political o... (From : Wikisource.org.)
The facts related in this Appeal,[2] composed by three of my friends, have been repeatedly verified, revised, and sifted; the Appeal itself has been several times recast and corrected; everything has been rejected from it which, although true, might seem an exaggeration; so that all that is now stated in this Appeal is the real, indubitable truth, as far as the truth is accessible to men guided only by the religious desire, in this revelation of the truth, to serve God and their neighbor, both the oppressors and the oppressed. But, however striking the facts here related, their importance is determined, not by the facts themselves, but by the way in which they will be regarded by those who learn about them. And I fea... (From : Wikisource.org.)
I am writing a history of yesterday not because yesterday was extraordinary in any way, for it might rather be called ordinary, but because I have long wished to trace the intimate side of life through an entire day. Only God knows how many diverse and diverting impressions, together with the thoughts awakened by them, occur in a single day. Obscure and confused they may be, but they are nevertheless comprehensible to our minds. If it were possible for me to recount them all so that I myself could read the tale with ease and so that others might read it as I do, a most instructive and amusing book would result; nor would there be ink enough in the world to write it, or typesetters to put it in print. But to get on with the story. I a... (From : TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)
An elder sister came to visit her younger sister in the country. The elder was married to a tradesman in town, the younger to a peasant in the village. As the sisters sat over their tea talking, the elder began to boast of the advantages of town life: saying how comfortably they lived there, how well they dressed, what fine clothes her children wore, what good things they ate and drank, and how she went to the theater, promenades, and entertainments. The younger sister was piqued, and in turn disparaged the life of a tradesman, and stood up for that of a peasant. 'I would not change my way of life for yours,' said she. 'We may live roughly, but at least we are free from anxiety. You live in better style than we do, but though you often ea... (From : Wikisource.org.)
A poor peasant went out to plow his field one morning, before breakfast, taking with him a crust of bread. He tipped the plow over took out the bar, and laid it under a bush with the crust, and spread his coat over all. Presently the peasant got hungry, and the horse was tired. So he stuck the plow into the ground, unharnessed the horse and let her loose to graze, and went to the bush to have a bite and rest awhile. He lifted the coat: the crust had gone! He looked and looked, rummaged in the coat, shook it still no crust ! The peasant wondered. " That's strange," he said ; " 1 saw no one, yet someone must have taken the bread." It was a little Devil who had taken the crust while the peasant was plowing, ... (From : Wikisource.org.)
There is so much that is strange, improbable, unintelligible, and even contradictory in what professes to be Christ's teaching that people do not know how to understand it. It is very differently understood by different people. Some say redemption is the all-important matter. Others say the all-important thing is grace, obtainable through the sacraments. Others, again, say that submission to the Church is what is really essential. But the Churches themselves disagree, and interpret the teaching variously. The Roman Catholic Church holds that the Holy Ghost proceeds from the Father and the Son; that the Pope is infallible, and that salvation is obtainable chiefly through works. The Lutheran Church does not accept this, and considers that fa... (From : Wikisource.org.)
"Seven death sentences: two in Petersburg, one in Moscow, two in Penza, and two in Riga. Four executions: Two in Kherson, one in Vilna, one in Odessa." This, daily repeated in every newspaper and continued, not for weeks, not months, not for one year, but for years! And this in Russia, that same Russia where the people regard every criminal as a man to be pitied, and where till quite recently capital punishment was not recognized by law! I remember how proud I used to be of that, when talking to Western Europeans; but now for a second and even a third year, we have executions, executions, executions, unceasingly! I take up today's paper. To-day, the 9 May, it is something awful. The paper contains these few words: "To-d... (From : TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)
A poor peasant set out early one morning to plow, taking with him for his breakfast a crust of bread. He got his plow ready, wrapped the bread in his coat, put it under a bush, and set to work. After a while, when his horse was tired and he was hungry, the peasant fixed the plow, let the horse loose to graze, and went to get his coat and his breakfast. He lifted the coat, but the bread was gone! He looked and looked, turned the coat over, shook it out—but the bread was gone. The peasant could not make this out at all. 'That's strange,' thought he; 'I saw no one, but all the same some one has been here and has taken the bread!' It was an imp who had stolen the bread while the peasant was plowing, and at that moment he was sitting be... (From : Wikisource.org.)
INTRODUCTION Ronald Sampson Leo Tolstoy died in 1910. His fame was worldwide and in his own life-time unique. He was known as the author of War and Peace, Anna Karenina, Resurrection and a vast output of tales, plays, essays, books, letters. He was known as one who had never feared to incur the wrath of both Church and State by undermining their theological and political justifications and by exposing injustice. He was known for the sincerity with which he tried to renounce riches and possessions and to earn his bread by his own sweat rather than by the royalties he renounced. Above all, perhaps, he was revered for the quality of his prose and the towering moral strength it represented. “When Tolstoy dies,” said Ch... (From : TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)
Our activity since the time of the last report has been as follows: First, and foremost, our work has consisted in the establishment and carrying on of free eating-rooms. The eating-rooms, which at the time of our last report numbered seventy-two, continued to multiply, and now, in four districts,[1] amount to one hundred and eighty-seven. This increase has proceeded, and still proceeds, in the following manner : from villages, contiguous to those in which we have established eating-rooms, either individual peasants or men selected with the starosta, come to us and petition us to open free dining-rooms for them. One of us goes to that particular village from which the petitioners have come, and after making a tour of the h... (From : Archive.org.)
An Algerian king named Bauakas wanted to find out whether or not it was true, as he had been told, that in one of his cities lived a just judge who could instantly discern the truth, and from whom no rogue was ever able to conceal himself. Bauakas exchanged clothes with a merchant and went on horseback to the city where the judge lived. At the entrance to the city a cripple approached the king and begged alms of him. Bauakas gave him money and was about to continue on his way, but the cripple clung to his clothing. "What do you wish?" asked the king. "Haven't I given you money?" "You gave me alms," said the cripple, "now grant me one favor. Let me ride with you as far as the city square, otherwise the horses and ca... (From : Unfree.tr.)
- I don’t understand your stubbornness. Why do you need not to sleep and "join the people", when you can peacefully ride tomorrow with your aunt Vera directly to the pavilion. And you'll see everything. I told you Ber promised me to guide you through. And you, as a maid of honor, have the right. That’s what prince Paul Golitsin, famous to the higher circles under his nickname "Fop", told his twenty-three year old daughter Alexandra, recognized for her nickname "Rina". This conversation took place on the evening of May 17, 1896, in Moscow, on the eve of the national celebration of the coronation. The matter was that Rina, beautiful, strong girl, with a distinctive Golitsin’s profile, with a hooked nose ... (From : Archive.org.)
Higher and higher receded the sky, wider and wider spread the streak of dawn, whiter grew the pallid silver of the dew, more lifeless the sickle of the moon, and more vocal the forest. People began to get up, and in the owner's stable-yard the sounds of snorting, the rustling of litter, and even the shrill angry neighing of horses crowded together and at variance about something, grew more and more frequent. "Hold on! Plenty of time! Hungry?" said the old huntsman, quickly opening the creaking gate. "Where are you going?" he shouted, threateningly raising his arm at a mare that was pushing through the gate. The keeper, Nester, wore a short Cossack coat with an ornamental leather girdle, had a whip slung over his shoulder, ... (From : UPenn.edu.)
Address to the Swedish Peace Congress in 1909, published in The Kingdom of God and Peace Essays (translated by Aylmer Maude) Dear Brothers, We have met here to fight against war. War, the thing for the sake of which all the nations of the earth - millions and millions of people - place at the uncontrolled disposal of a few men or sometimes only one man, not merely milliards of rubles, talers, francs or yen (representing a very large share of their labor), but also their very lives. And now we, a score of private people gathered from the various ends of the earth, possessed of no special privileges and above all having no power over anyone, intend to fight - and as we wish to fight we also wish to conquer - this immense power not only o... (From : Wikisource.org.)
Here is what my will should be, approximately. (Unless I write another, this shall be held valid): I ask that I be interred wherever I die, in the least expensive cemetery, if it is in a town, and in the simplest sort of coffin, like the coffin of a pauper. No flowers, no wreaths, no speeches. If possible, no clergy or mass. Nevertheless, if this should be disagreeable to those in charge of my obsequies, let there be the ordinary burial ceremony, but let it be the least expensive and the simplest possible. My obituary is not to be published in the newspapers. All my papers are to be given for revision to my wife, assisted by V. G. Chertkov and my daughters, Tatiana and Marie. (Erasures have been made by me. My... (From : TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)
Written to Tcherktoff, a personal friend and later translator of Tolstoy. I thank you very much for sending me your biography of Garrison. Reading it, I lived again through the spring of my awakening to true life. While reading Garrison's speeches and articles, I vividly recalled to mind the spiritual joy which I experienced twenty years ago, when I found out that the law of nonresistance - to which I have been inevitably brought by the recognition of the Christian teaching in its fullest meaning, and which revealed to me the great joyous ideal to be realized in Christian life - was even as far back as the forties not only recognized and proclaimed by Garrison (about Ballou I learned later), but also placed by him at the foundation of... (From : Wikisource.org.)
There has lately appeared in the papers information that in connection with Nobel's will the question has been discussed as to who should be chosen to receive the ‎₤10,000 bequeathed to the person who has best served the cause of peace. This has called forth certain considerations in me, and you will greatly oblige me by publishing them in your paper. I think this point in Nobel's will concerning those who have best served the cause of peace is very difficult. Those who do indeed serve this cause do so because they serve God, and are therefore not in need of pecuniary recompense, and will not accept it. But I think the condition expressed in the will would be quite correctly fulfilled if the money were transmitted to the destitu... (From : Wikisource.org.)
Letter 1 In reply to your letter I send you the enclosed with special pleasure. (1) I have been acquainted with Henry George since the appearance of his Social Problems. I read that book, and was struck by the correctness of his main idea, and by the unique clearness and power of his argument, which is unlike anything in scientific literature, and especially by the Christian spirit which pervades the book, making it also stand alone in the literature of science. After reading it I turned to his previous work, Progress and Poverty, and with a heightened appreciation of its author's activity. You ask my opinion of Henry George's work, and of his single tax system. My opinion is the following : Humanity advances continually ... (From : Wikisource.org.)
​The Free Age Press stands for an attempt to assist in spreading those deep convictions in which the noblest spirits of every age and race have united—that man's true aim and happiness is "unity in reason and love"; the realization of the brotherhood of all men,—and that we must all strive to purge away, each from himself, those false ideas, false feelings, and false desires, personal, social, religious, political, racial, economic, which alienate us one from another and produce nine-tenths of the sum of human suffering. Of these truly Christian and universally religious aspirations the writings of Leo Tolstoy are perhaps to-day the most definite expression, and it is to the production of 1d., 3d., and 6d. editions of all... (From : Wikisource.org.)
Letter #1 I had just written you, my dear friend Ilya, a letter that was true to my own feelings, but, I am afraid, unjust, and I am not sending it. I said unpleasant things in it, but I have no right to do so. I do not know you as I should like to and as I ought to know you. That is my fault. And I wish to remedy it. I know much in you that I do not like, but I do not know everything. As for your proposed journey home, I think that in your position of student, not only student of a gymnase, but at the age of study, it is better to gad about as little as possible; moreover, all useless expenditure of money that you can easily refrain from is immoral, in my opinion, and in yours, too, if you only consider it. If you come, I shall be ... (From : Wikisource.org.)
I Dear Sir, I received your books and have read them with great interest, especially the "Papers from a Viceroy's Yamen." The life of the Chinese people has always interested me in the highest degree, and I have endeavored to become acquainted with what was accessible in the life of the Chinese, especially with the Chinese wisdom, the books of Confucius, Mentze, Laotze, and commentaries upon them. I have also read about Chinese Buddhism and books by Europeans upon China. Latterly, moreover since those atrocities which have been perpetrated upon the Chinese by Europeans — among the others and to a great extent by Russians — the general disposition of the Chinese people has interested and does yet interest me... (From : Wikisource.org.)
Introduction by M. K. GANDHI The letter printed below is a translation of Tolstoy's letter written in Russian in reply to one from the Editor of Free Hindustan. After having passed from hand to hand, this letter at last came into my possession through a friend who asked me, as one much interested in Tolstoy's writings, whether I thought it worth publishing. I at once replied in the affirmative, and told him I should translate it myself into Gujarati and induce others' to translate and publish it in various Indian vernaculars. The letter as received by me was a type-written copy. It was therefore referred to the author, who confirmed it as his and kindly granted me permission to print it. To me, as a humble follower of that great t... (From : Anarchy Archives.)
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, but, on the contrary, not only is all murder forbidden but all insulting of others is forbidden also, and we are told not to do to others what we do not wish done to us. And you ask, Is there not some fraud in all this? And if so, then for whose sake is it committed? Yes, there is a fraud, committed for the sake of those accustomed to live on the sweat and blood of other men, and who therefore have perverted, and still pervert, Christ's teaching, given to man for his good, but which has now, in its perverted form, become a chief sourc... (From : Anarchy Archives.)
You write to me that people seem quite unable to understand that to serve the government is in- compatible with Christianity. In just the same way people were long unable to see that indulgences, inquisitions, slavery, and tortures were incompatible with Christianity. But a time came when it was comprehensible ; and a time will come when men will understand the incompatibility with Christianity, first of war service (that already is beginning to be felt), and then of service to government in general. It is now fifty years since a not widely known, but very remarkable, American writer Thoreau not only clearly expressed that incompatibility in his admirable essay on "Civil Disobedience," but gave a practical... (From : Wikisource.org.)
My Dear Crosby: -- I am very glad to hear of your activity and that it is beginning to attract attention. Fifty years ago Garrison's proclamation of nonresistance only cooled people toward him, and the whole fifty years' activity of Ballou in this direction was met with stubborn silence. I read with great pleasure in Peace the beautiful ideas of the American authors in regard to nonresistance. I make an exception only in the case of Mr. Bemis's old, unfounded opinion, which calumniates Christ in assuming that Christ's expulsion of the cattle from the temple means that he struck the men with a whip, and commanded his disciples to do likewise. The ideas expressed by these writers, especially by H. Newton and G. Herron, are beautiful, ... (From : Wikisource.org.)
[...] The eldest is fair-haired and good-looking; there is something weak and patient in his expression, and very gentle. His laugh is not infectious; but when he cries, I can hardly refrain from crying, too. Every one says he is like my eldest brother. I am afraid to believe it. It is too good to be true. My brother's chief characteristic was neither egotism nor self- renunciation, but a strict mean between the two. He never sacrificed himself for any one else; but not only always avoided injuring others, but also interfering with them. He kept his happiness and his sufferings entirely to himself. Ilya, the third, has never been ill in his life; broad-boned, white and pink, radiant, bad at lessons. Is always thinking about wh... (From : Wikisource.org.)
My Dear N. N. I address you as " dear," not because this is a customary form, but because since I received your first letter, and especially since your second one came, I feel that we are very closely united, and I love you dearly. In the feeling which I experience, there is much that is egotistical. You certainly do not think so, but you cannot imagine to what degree I am alone, to what a degree the actual "I" is scorned by all surrounding me. I know that he that endures to the end will be saved: I know that only in trifles is the right given to a man to take advantage of the fruit of his labor, or even to look on this fruit, but that in the matter of divine truth which is eternal it cannot be given to a man to see t... (From : Wikisource.org.)
I should be very glad to join you and your associates -- whose work I know and appreciate -- in standing up for the rights of the Literature Committee and opposing the enemies of popular education. But in the sphere in which you are working I see no way to resist them. My only consolation is that I, too, am constantly engaged in struggling against the same enemies of enlightenment, though in another manner. Concerning the special question with which you are preoccupied, I think that in place of the Literature Committee which has been prohibited, a number of other Literature Associations to pursue the same objects should be formed without consulting the Government and without asking permission from any censor. Let Government, if it lik... (From : Anarchy Archives.)
The opinion expressed in your estimable letter, that the easiest and surest way to universal disarmament is by individuals refusing to take part in military service, is most just. I am even of opinion that this is the only way to escape from the terrible and ever increasing miseries of wardom (militarism). But your opinion that at the Conference which is about to assemble at the Czar's invitation, the question should be debated whether men who refuse military service may not be employed on public works instead, appears to me quite mistaken in the first place, because the Conference itself can be nothing but one of those hypocritical arrangements which aim not at peace, but, on the contrary, at hiding from men the one m... (From : Wikisource.org.)
It was an early Easter. Sledging was only just over; snow still lay in the yards; and water ran in streams down the village street. Two little girls from different houses happened to meet in a lane between two homesteads, where the dirty water after running through the farm-yards had formed a large puddle. One girl was very small, the other a little bigger. Their mothers had dressed them both in new frocks. The little one wore a blue frock, the other a yellow print, and both had red kerchiefs on their heads. They had just come from church when they met, and first they showed each other their finery, and then they began to play. Soon the fancy took them to splash about in the water, and the smaller one was going to step into the puddle, sho... (From : Wikisource.org.)
“Then came Peter to Him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times?” . . . . “So likewise shall My heavenly Father do also unto you, if ye from your hearts forgive not every one his brother their trespasses.”—ST. MATTHEW xviii., 21-35. In a certain village there lived a peasant by the name of Ivan Scherbakoff. He was prosperous, strong, and vigorous, and was considered the hardest worker in the whole village. He had three sons, who supported themselves by their own labor. The eldest was married, the second about to be married, and the youngest took care of the horses and occasionally attended to the plowing. The peasant’s wife, Ivano... (From : Archive.org.)
I should like at my leave-taking[1] (at my age, every meeting with one’s fellows is a leave-taking) to briefly tell you how, in my perception, men should live so that our lives may not be evil and bitter, as it now appears to the majority of men, but may be what God wishes and what we all wish, namely, the blessed and glad things they ought to be. Everything depends on how a man understands his life. If I take life to be the life given to me – John, Peter, or Mary – in my body, and believe that the whole aim of life consists in obtaining as much joy, pleasure, and happiness of all kinds as possible for this “me” – John, Peter, or Mary – then life will always be unhappy and embittered fo... (From : NonResistance.org.)
Yesterday evening I arrived at Lucerne, and put up at the best inn there, the Schweitzerhof. "Lucerne, the chief city of the canton, situated on the shore of the Vierwaldstatter See," says Murray, "is one of the most romantic places of Switzerland: here cross three important highways, and it is only an hour's distance by steamboat to Mount Righi, from which is obtained one of the most magnificent views in the world." Whether that be true or no, other guides say the same thing, and consequently at Lucerne there are throngs of travelers of all nationalities, especially the English. The magnificent five-storied building of the Hotel Schweitzerhof is situated on the quay, at the very edge of the lake, where in olden times there used to be the... (From : Wikisource.org.)
You ask me why manual labor presents itself to us as one of the unavoidable conditions of true happiness. Is it necessary voluntarily to deprive ourselves of intellectual activity in the domain of science and art, which seems to us incompatible with manual labor?[1] I have never regarded manual labor as a special principle, but as a very simple and natural application of moral bases an application which before all is presented to every sincere man. In our perverted society in the society called civilized we need, above all things, to speak of manual labor, because the chief fault of our society has been, and up to the present time still is, the striving to rid ourselves of manual labor, and without mutual concessions to ... (From : Wikisource.org.)
" We live in glorious times. . . Was there ever so much to do ? Our age is a revolutionary one in the best sense of the word— not of physical but moral revolution. Higher ideas of the social state, and of human perfection, are at work. I shall not live to see the harvest, but to sow in faith is no mean privilege or happiness." — W. E. Channing. " For the worshipers of utility there is no morality except the morality of profit, and no religion but the religion of material welfare. They found the body of man crippled and exhausted by want, and in their ill-considered zeal they said : ' Let us cure this body ; and when it is strong, plump, and well nourished, its soul will return to it.' But I say ... (From : Wikisource.org.)
Help for the population suffering from bad harvests may have two objects : support of the peasant proprietors and prevention of people running the risk of illness, and even death, from want and from the bad quality of food. Are these objects attained by the aid now extended in the form of twenty or thirty pounds of flour a month to each consumer, reckoning or not reckoning laborers? I think not. And I think not from the following considerations : All the peasant families of all agricultural Russia may be distributed under three types. First, the wealthy farm with eight or ten souls, on the average twelve souls to a family, with from three to five hired men, on the average four, from three to five horses, on ... (From : Wikisource.org.)
We were out with a detachment. The work in hand was almost done, the cutting through the forest was nearly finished, and we were expecting every day to receive orders from headquarters to retire to the fort. Our division of the battery guns was placed on the slope of a steep mountain range which stretched down to the rapid little mountain river Mechik, and we had to command the plain in front. Occasionally, especially towards evening, on this picturesque plain, beyond the range of our guns, groups of peaceable mountaineers on horseback appeared here and there, curious to see the Russian camp. The evening was clear, quiet, and fresh, as December evenings usually are in the Caucasus. The sun was setting behind the steep spur of the mountain ... (From : Archive.org.)
1 Amid fields there stands an iron foundry, surrounded by a wall, with incessantly smoking chimneys, clattering chains, furnaces, a railway siding, and the scattered little houses of the managers and laborers. The working people swarm like ants in this foundry and in the mines belonging to it. Some of them are at work from morning until night, or from night until morning, mining the ore in passages two hundred feet underground, which are dark, narrow, close, damp, and constantly threaten with death. Others in the darkness, bending over, take this ore or clay to the shaft and take back empty cars, and again fill them, and so work for twelve or fourteen hours a day throughout the week. Thus they work in the mines. In the foundry itself, som... (From : EarthlyFireFlies.org.)
We were spending the night at the house of a soldier ninety-five years old, who had served under Alexander I. and Nicholas I. "Tell me, are you ready to die?" "Ready to die? How should I be yet? I used to be afraid of dying, but now I pray God for only one thing; that God would be pleased to let me make my confession and partake of the communion; I have so many sins on my conscience." "What sins?" "How can you ask? Let us see, when was it I served? Under Nicholas. Was the service then such as it is now? How was it then? Uh ! it fills me with horror even to remember it. Then Alexander came. The soldiers used to praise this Alexander. They said he was gracious." I remembered the last days of Alexander, when ... (From : Wikisource.org.)
The editor of Paris magazine "Revue des revues", assuming, as he writes in his letter, that the opinion of two famous writers on the current state of minds will be of my interest, sent me two clippings from French newspapers. One of them contains speech of Zola, another - letter of Dumas to the editor of “Golua.” I am very grateful to Mr. Smith for his parcel. Both documents – the fame of the authors, their modern, and most importantly, opposite views make them very interesting to compare, and I would like to express a few thoughts triggered by them. It is hard to find on purpose in the current literature a more concise, strong, and vibrant form of expression of the two the most fundamental forces that drive humanity: one... (From : Wikisource.org.)
Our division had been out in the field. The work in hand was accomplished: we had cut a way through the forest, and each day we were expecting from headquarters orders for our return to the fort. Our division of fieldpieces was stationed at the top of a steep mountain-crest which was terminated by the swift mountain-river Mechík, and had to command the plain that stretched before us. Here and there on this picturesque plain, out of the reach of gunshot, now and then, especially at evening, groups of mounted mountaineers showed themselves, attracted by curiosity to ride up and view the Russian camp. The evening was clear, mild, and fresh, as it is apt to be in December in the Caucasus; the sun was setting behind the steep chain of th... (From : Wikisource.org.)
The Anarchists are right in everything; in the negation of the existing order, and in the assertion that, without Authority, there could not be worse violence than that of Authority under existing conditions. They are mistaken only in thinking that Anarchy can be instituted by a [violent- Editor]revolution. 'To establish Anarchy'. 'Anarchy will be instituted'. But it will be instituted only by there being more and more people who do not require the protection of the governmental power, and by there being more and more people who will be ashamed of applying this power. 'The capitalistic organization will pass into the hands of workers, and then there will be no more oppression of these workers, and no unequal distribution of earnings' ... (From : Anarchy Archives.)
(I) It was at the time when Christ opened to people his teaching. That teaching was so clear, and it was so easy and was so obviously going to liberate people from the evil that it was impossible not to accept it, and nothing could keep it from spreading around the whole world. And Beelzebub, the father and Lord of all devils, was alarmed. He clearly saw that his power over people will end forever, unless Christ denies his sermon. He was worried, but not discouraged, and incited Pharisees and Scribes, subdued to him, to insult and torment Christ as much possible and advised Christ’s disciples to run away and leave him alone. He hoped that the infamous punishment, humiliation, abandoning him by all the disciples and, finally, th... (From : TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)
The Franco-Russian festivities which took place in October 1894 in France made me, and others, no doubt, as well, first amused, then astonished, then indignant—feelings which I wished to express in a short article. But while studying further the chief causes of what had occurred, I arrived at the reflections which I here offer to the reader. I. The Russian and French peoples have lived for many centuries with a knowledge of each other—entering sometimes into friendly, more often, unfortunately, into very unfriendly, relations at the instigation of their respective Governments—when suddenly, because two years ago a French squadron came to Cronstadt, and its officers having landed, eaten much, and drunk a variety ... (From : Wikisource.org.)
"The time is fast approaching when to call a man a patriot will be the deepest insult You can offer him. Patriotism now means advocating plunder in the interests of the privileged classes of the particular State system into which we have happened to be born." - E. BELFORT BAX. I. I have already several times expressed the thought that in our day the feeling of patriotism is an unnatural, irrational, and harmful feeling, and a cause of a great part of the ills from which mankind is suffering, and that, consequently, this feeling--should not be cultivated, as is now being done, but should, on the contrary, be suppressed and eradicated by all means available to rational men. Yet, strange to say--though it is undeniable that the universa... (From : Anarchy Archives.)
[The following letter, called forth by the dispute about Venezuela between the United States and England, was written by Count Tolstoy to an English correspondent in the early part of the present year (1896), and first appeared in The Daily Chronicle of 17th March.] You write asking me to state my opinion on the case between the United States and England, "in the cause of Christian consistency and true peace," and you express the hope "that the nations may soon be awakened to the only means of ensuring international peace." I entertain the same hope; and for this reason. The complication which, in our time, involves the nations: exalting patriotism as they do, educating the young generation in that superstition, and at the same time shi... (From : Wikisource.org.)
"The world, ye shall have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world." (John 16:33) The Dukhobors[1] settled in the Caucasus have been subjected to cruel persecutions by the Russian authorities, and these persecutions, described in the report of one who made inquiries on the spot,[2] are now, at this moment, being carried on. These Dukhobors were beaten, whipped, and ridden down; quartered upon them in "executions" were Cossacks who, it is proved, allowed themselves every license with these people; and everything they did was with the consent of their officers. Those men who had refused military service were tortured, in body and in mind; and it is entirely true that a prosperous population, who by tens of years of ha... (From : Wikisource.org.)
CHAPTER I. Polikey was a court man—one of the staff of servants belonging to the court household of a boyarinia (lady of the nobility). He held a very insignificant position on the estate, and lived in a rather poor, small house with his wife and children. The house was built by the deceased nobleman whose widow he still continued to serve, and may be described as follows: The four walls surrounding the one izba (room) were built of stone, and the interior was ten yards square. A Russian stove stood in the center, around which was a free passage. Each corner was fenced off as a separate enclosure to the extent of several feet, and the one nearest to the door (the smallest of all) was known as “Polikey’... (From : TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)
(Based on a story by Victor Hugo) In a fishing hut, Jeanna, wife of a fisherman, sits by the fire and repairs an old sail. Outside, the wind whistles and howls, and waves rumble are splash and break against the shore. The yard is dark and cold, the sea is storming, but it is warm and cozy in the fishing hut. Earthen floor is swept cleanly; the fire is still on in the stove; clean dishes glitter on the shelf. On the bed with lowered white canopy, five children sleep with the sounds of the howls of stormy sea. The husband, a fisher, since the morning went out on a boat trip in the sea and has not return yet. The woman hears the rumble and the roar of the waves. Jeanna is fearful. Old wooden clock with a squeaky beat stru... (From : Archive.org.)
Why Tanya, have you dried up? You don't write to me at all, and I so love receiving letters from you, and you and have not yet replied to Levochka[1]'s crazy epistle, of which I did not understand a word. 23rd MarchThere, she began to write, and suddenly stopped, because she could not continue. And do you know why, Tanya dear? A strange thing has befallen her, and a still stranger thing has befallen me. As you know, like hte rest of us, she has always been made of flesh and blood, with all the advantages and disadvantages of that condition: she breathed, was warm and sometimes hot, blew her nose (and how loud!) and so on - and above all, she had control of her limbs, which - both arms and legs - could assume different positions: in a wo... (From : Wikisource.org.)
(Posthumous notes of the hermit, Fëdor Kuzmích, who died in Siberia in a hut belonging to Khrómov, the merchant, near the town of Tomsk, on the 20th January 1864) During the lifetime of the hermit Fëdor Kuzmích, who appeared in Siberia in 1836 and lived there in different parts for twenty-seven years, strange rumors were rife that he – concealing his real name and rank – was none other than Alexander the First. After his death these rumors became more definite and widespread. That he really was Alexander the First was believed during the reign of Alexander III not only by the common people, but also in Court circles and even by members of the Imperial family. Among others, the historian Schilder, ... (From : Wikisource.org.)
TO those who ask my opinion whether it be desirable to endeavor by the aid of reason to attain complete consciousness in one's inner spiritual life, and to express the truths thus attained in definite language, I would answer positively in the affirmative, that every man, in order to achieve his destiny on earth, and to attain true welfare,—the two are synonymous,—must continually exert all his mental faculties to solve for himself and clearly to express the religious foundations on which he lives—that is, the meaning of his life. I have often found among illiterate laborers who have to deal with cubic measurements an accepted conviction that mathematical calculations are fallacious, and not to be trusted. Whether it aris... (From : Wikisource.org.)
Well, it happened about three o'clock. The gentlemen were playing. There was the tall visitor, as our men called him. The prince was there,--the two are always together. The mustached barin was there; also the little hussar, Oliver, who was an actor; there was the Polish pan.[1] It was a pretty good crowd. The tall visitor and the prince were playing together. Now, here I was walking up and down around the billiard-table with my stick, keeping tally,--ten and forty-seven, twelve and forty-seven. Everybody knows it's our business to score. You don't get a chance to get a bite of anything, and you don't get to bed till two o'clock o' nights, but you're always being screamed at to bring the balls. I was keeping tally ; and I look, a... (From : Wikisource.org.)
You ask me—first, How I understand the word religion; and, second, Whether I admit the existence of morality, independent of religion as understood by me. I will answer these most important questions, well put by you, as best I can.[1] There are three separate meanings generally implied by the word religion. First—That religion is a certain true revelation given by God to men, from which proceeds man's worship of God. Such an interpretation is applied to religion by all believers in one of its existing forms, who regard in consequence their particular form as the only true one. Second—That religion is a collection of superstitious statements, from which a worship equally superstitious is derived. Such an interpretation ... (From : Wikisource.org.)
'And he said unto Jesus, Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy Kingdom. And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, Today shalt thou be with me in paradise.'-Luke xxiii. 42, 43. There was once a man who lived for seventy years in the world, and lived in sin all that time. He fell ill, but even then did not repent. Only at the last moment, as he was dying, he wept and said: 'Lord! forgive me, as Thou forgavest the thief upon the cross.' And as he said these words, his soul left his body. And the soul of the sinner, feeling love towards God and faith in His mercy, went to the gates of heaven, and knocked, praying to be let into the heavenly kingdom. Then a voice spoke from within the gate: 'What man is it that knocks at th... (From : Wikisource.org.)
To Critics A LETTER ADDRESSED TO "THE DAILY CHRONICLE' SINCE the appearance of my book, "The Kingdom of God is within Us," and my article on "Patriotism and Christianity," I often hear and read in articles and letters addressed to me, arguments against, I will not say the ideas expressed in those books, but against such misconstructions as are put upon them. This is done sometimes consciously, but very often unwittingly, and is wholly due to a want of understanding of the spirit of the Christian religion. " It is all very well," they say ; " despotism, capital punishments, wars, the arming of all Europe, the precarious state of the working-classes, are indeed great evils, and you are right in condemning all thi... (From : Wikisource.org.)
When I was about thirty-seven years old I acted in a manner of which I had always disapproved. I had known of other people acting in the same way, and had always felt that they were doing wrong. It was in sex matters that I sinned, and the case was the more startling because I had been guilty of no outwardly wrong action of the kind since I was quite a young man, and for about a year before the lapse I had been stirred by a strong desire to change my whole way of life and be of more use in the world than heretofore. And the question arose — Was I to confess my conduct to those whose lives were linked to mine and whom I could not wound without lacerating myself? or had I better conceal it? If I told them the truth it ... (From : Archive.org.)
There was a time between 1820 and 1830 when the officers of the Semenof regiment the flower of the youth at that time; men who were for the most part Freemasons, and subsequently Decembrists[1]—decided not to use corporal punishment in their regiment, and, notwithstanding the stringent discipline then required, theirs continued to be a model regiment without corporal punishment. The officer in charge of one of the companies of this same Semenof regiment, meeting Serge Ivanovitch Muravief—one of the best men of his, or indeed of any, time,—spoke of a certain soldier, a thief and a drunkard, saying that such a man can only be tamed with rods. Serge Muravief did not agree with him, and proposed to transfer the man into his o... (From : Wikisource.org.)
Voices and an accordion sounded as if close by, though through the mist nobody could be seen. It was a work-day morning, and I was surprised to hear music. "Oh, it's the recruits' leave-taking," thought I, remembering that I had heard something a few days before about five men being drawn from our village. Involuntarily attracted by the merry song, I went in the direction whence it proceeded. As I approached the singers, the sound of song and accordion suddenly stopped. The singers, that is the lads who were leave-taking, entered the double-fronted brick cottage belonging to the father of one of them. Before the door stood a small group of women, girls, and children. While I was finding out whose sons were going, and w... (From : Archive.org.)
INTRODUCTION By Aylmer Maude This little book shows, in a short, clear, and systematic manner, how the principle of Non-Resistance, about which Tolstoy has written so much, is related to economic and political life. The great majority of men, without knowing why, are constrained to labor long hours at tasks they dislike, and often to live in unhealthy conditions. It is not that man has so little control over nature that to obtain a subsistence it is necessary to work in this way, but because men have made laws about land, taxes, and property, which result in placing the great bulk of the people in conditions which compel them to labor thus, or go to the workhouse, or starve. It may be said that man's nature is so b... (From : TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)
"Then came Peter to Him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times?" .mw-parser-output .nowrap,.mw-parser-output .nowrap a:before,.mw-parser-output .nowrap .selflink:before{white-space:nowrap}. . . . "So likewise shall My heavenly Father do also unto you, if ye from your hearts forgive not every one his brother their trespasses."—St. Matthew xviii., 21-35. In a certain village there lived a peasant by the name of Ivan Scherbakoff. He was prosperous, strong, and vigorous, and was considered the hardest worker in the whole village. He had three sons, who supported themselves by their own labor. The eldest was married, the second about to be married, and the youngest ... (From : Wikisource.org.)
To people living in States founded upon violence, it seems that the abolition of the power of Government will necessarily involve the greatest of disasters. But the assertion that the degree of safety and welfare which men enjoy is ensured by State power is altogether an arbitrary one. We know those disasters and such welfare as exist among people living under State organization, but we do not know the position in which people would be were they to get clear of the State. If one takes into consideration the life of those small communities which happen to have lived and are living outside great States, such communities, whilst profiting from all the advantages of social organization, yet being free from State coercion, do not experien... (From : TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)
I. THE WOLF AND THE KIDS A GOAT was going to the field after provender, and she shut up her Kids in the barn, with injunctions not to let any one in. Said she : "But when you hear my voice then open the door." A Wolf overheard, crept up to the barn, and sang after the manner of the Goat : "Little children, open the door ; your mother has come with some food for you." The Kids peered out of the window, and said : "The voice is our mama's, but the legs are those of a wolf. We cannot let you in." II. THE FARMER'S WIFE AND THE CAT A FARMER'S wife was annoyed by mice eating up the tallow in her cellar. She shut the cat into the cellar, so that the cat might catch the mice. But the cat ate up, not only the tallow, bu... (From : Wikisource.org.)
CHAPTER I.   In a certain kingdom there lived a rich peasant, who had three sons—Simeon (a soldier), Tarras-Briukhan (a fat man), and Ivan (a fool)—and one daughter, Milania, born dumb. Simeon went to war, to serve the Czar; Tarras went to a city and became a merchant; and Ivan, with his sister, remained at home to work on the farm. For his valiant service in the army, Simeon received an estate with high rank, and married a noble's daughter. Besides his large pay, he was in receipt of a handsome income from his estate; yet he was unable to make ends meet. What the husband saved, the wife wasted ​in extravagance. One day Simeon went to the estate to collect his income, when the steward informed him that... (From : Wikisource.org.)
Once upon a time, in a certain province of a certain country, there lived a rich peasant, who had three sons: Simon the Soldier, Tarás the Stout, and Iván the Fool, besides an unmarried daughter, Martha, who was deaf and dumb. Simon the Soldier went to the wars to serve the king; Tarás the Stout went to a merchant's in town to trade, and Iván the Fool stayed at home with the lass, to till the ground till his back bent. Simon the Soldier obtained high rank and an estate, and married a nobleman's daughter. His pay was large and his estate was large, but yet he could not make ends meet. What the husband earned his lady wife squandered, and they never had money enough. So Simon the Soldier went to his estate to col... (From : Wikisource.org.)
I. The essence of the lie and the deception of the doctrine of state 1. The deceitful doctrine of state is regarding yourself as connected with the people of one nationality, or one state, separated from the people of other nations and the other states. People torture, kill, rob each other and themselves because of this terribly false dogma. People can free themselves from this dogma only after they identify themselves with the spiritual beginning of the life, which is the same in all people. Once people recognize this beginning in themselves, they can no longer believe in human institutions which only separate that what is connected by God. 2. It’s reasonable to love virtues, respect courageous acts, recognize kindness regardles... (From : Wikisource.org.)
I have come out early. My soul feels light and joyful. It is a wonderful morning. The sun is only just appearing from behind the trees. The dew glitters on them and on the grass. Everything is lovely; everyone is lovable. It is so beautiful that, as the saying has it, "One does not want to die." And, really, I do not want to die. I would willingly live a little longer in this world with such beauty around me and such joy in my heart. That, however, is not my affair, but the Master's.... I approach the village. Before the first house I see a man standing, motionless, sideways to me. He is evidently waiting for somebody or something, and waiting as only working people know how to wait, without impatience or vexation. I draw ... (From : Wikisource.org.)
Is there in Russia sufficient grain to feed the people until the new crop is gathered ? Some say there is, others say there is not ; but no one knows this absolutely. But this must be known, and known definitely now before the beginning of the winter just as it is necessary for men who are going off on a long voyage to know whether the ship has a sufficient supply of fresh water and food or not. It is terrible to think what would happen to the officers and passengers of the ship when in the middle of the ocean it should transpire that all the provisions had gone. It is still more terrible to think what will happen to us if we believe in those that assure us that we have grain enough for all the starving, ... (From : Wikisource.org.)
I Mine is a strange and wonderful lot! The chances are that there is not a single wretched beggar suffering under the luxury and oppression of the rich who feels anything like as keenly as I do either the injustice, the cruelty, and the horror of their oppression of and contempt for the poor; or the grinding humiliation and misery which befall the great majority of the workers, the real producers of all that makes life possible. I have felt this for a long time, and as the years have passed by the feeling has grown and grown, until recently it reached its climax. Although I feel all this so vividly, I still live on amid the depravity and sins of rich society; ... (From : Wikisource.org.)
NOTE TO SECOND EDITION   The reader may be interested in knowing the author's own impression of these "Thoughts" when reading them in the first edition of this booklet, published a considerable time after its contents were written. In a private letter, dated 6th September 1900, he says: "I have just read 'Thoughts on God.' There is in them that which is good, and I was moved in reading. But their publication is premature. They should have been published after my death (not distant). Otherwise, it is fearful to live with such a life-program.—These were my first thoughts on reading; and then I was ashamed of myself. If one lives not before men but before God, is not the publication of one's beliefs immaterial? To live before ... (From : Wikisource.org.)
'Thou shalt not kill.' -EXOD. xx. 13. 'The disciple is not above his master: but every one when he is perfected shall be as his master.' -LUKE vi. 40 'For all they that take the sword shall perish with the sword.' -MATT xxvi. 52. 'Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them.' - MATT. vii. 12. When Kings are executed after trial, as in the case of Charles L, Louis XVI., and Maximilian of Mexico; or when they are killed in Court conspiracies, like. Peter Ill., Paul, and various Sultans, Shahs, and Khans-little is said about it; but when they are killed without a trial and without a Court conspiracy- as in the case of Henry IV. of France, Alexander ll., the Empress of Austria, the late ... (From : Anarchy Archives.)
These sketches are written in the style of Tolstoy's "Popular Stories and Legends," and give the reader various glimpses into modern village life in Russia THE FREE AGE PRESS Publisher: C. W. DANIEL 3 Amen Corner, London, E. C. THREE DAYS IN THE VILLAGE And Other Sketches No Rights Reserved THREE DAYS IN THE VILLAGE And Other SketchesWritten from September 1909 to July 1910 BY LEO TOLSTOY Translated by L. and A. Maude LONDON THE FREE AGE PRESS (C. W. DANIEL) 3 AMEN CORNER, E. C. 1910 CONTENTS PAGE THREE DAYS IN THE VILLAGE—       FIRST DAY—TRAMPS 7       (From : Gutenberg.org.)
It was Autumn. A carriage and a calesche were proceeding at a sharp trot along the high-road. In the carriage sat two women. One of them was the mistress, thin and pale. The other was the maid, smug, florid, and buxom. Her short dry tresses peeped forth from under her faded bonnet, her pretty hand in her torn glove readjusted them from time to time; her swelling bosom, covered by a rug, was full of the breath of health; her quick black eyes glanced at one moment out of the window at the scurrying fields, at another stared boldly at her mistress, or glanced uneasily at the corners of the carriage. Before the very nose of the waiting-maid the bonnet of her mistress, attached to the netting of the carriage, rocked to and fro; on her knees lay ... (From : Wikisource.org.)
'And in praying use not vain repetitions, as the Gentiles do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking. Be not therefore like unto them: for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask Him.'—Matt. vi. 7, 8. A Bishop was sailing from Archangel to the Solovétsk Monastery; and on the same vessel were a number of pilgrims on their way to visit the shrines at that place. The voyage was a smooth one. The wind favorable, and the weather fair. The pilgrims lay on deck, eating, or sat in groups talking to one another. The Bishop, too, came on deck, and as he was pacing up and down, he noticed a group of men standing near the prow and listening to a fisherman, who was pointing to the sea and... (From : Wikisource.org.)
PARABLE THE FIRST A weed had spread over a beautiful meadow. And in order to get rid of it the tenants of the meadow mowed it, but the weed only increased in consequence. And now the kind, wise master came to visit the tenants of the meadow, and among the other good counsels which he gave them, he told them they ought not to mow the weed, since that only made it grow the more luxuriantly, but that they must pull it up by the roots. But either because the tenants of the meadow did not, among the other prescriptions of the good master, take heed of his advice not to mow down the weed, but to pull it up, or because they did not understand him, or because, according to their calculations, it seemed foolish to obey, the resu... (From : Wikisource.org.)
It once occurred to a certain king, that if he always knew the right time to begin everything; if he knew who were the right people to listen to, and whom to avoid; and, above all, if he always knew what was the most important thing to do, he would never fail in anything he might undertake. And this thought having occurred to him, he had it proclaimed throughout his kingdom that he would give a great reward to any one who would teach him what was the right time for every action, and who were the most necessary people, and how he might know what was the most important thing to do. And learned men came to the King, but they all answered his questions differently. In reply to the first question, some said that to know the right time for eve... (From : Wikisource.org.)
"No servant can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one and love the other; or else he will hold to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon."—Luke xvi. 13. "He that is not with me is against me, and he that gathers not for me scatters abroad."—Matthew xii. 30.   Enormous tracts of the very best lands by which millions of now poverty-stricken families might be supported are devoted to tobacco, vineyards, barley, hemp, and especially rye and potatoes, employed in the production of intoxicating beverages: wine, beer, and mainly brandy. Millions of laborers who might be making things useful for men are occupied in the production of these things. In England it is estimated that one-ten... (From : Wikisource.org.)
The question "Has a man in general the right to kill himself?" is incorrectly put. There can be no question of "right". If he is able to do it, then he has the right. I think that the possibility of killing oneself is a safety-valve. Having it, man has no right (here the expression "right" is appropriate) to say that life is unbearable. If it were impossible to live, then one would kill oneself; and consequently one cannot speak of life as being unbearable. The possibility of killing himself has been given to man, and therefore he may (he has the right to) kill himself, and he continually uses this right - when he kills himself in duels, in war, by dissipation, wine, tobacco, opium, etc. The question can only be as to whether it is r... (From : Wikisource.org.)
Tolstoy Holds Lincoln World’s Greatest Hero by Count S. Stakelberg (Written Especially for The World.) Visiting Leo Tolstoy in Yasnaya with the intention of getting him to write an article on Lincoln, I unfortunately found him not well enough to yield to my request. However, he was willing to give me his opinion of the great American statesman, and this is what he told me: “Of all the great national heroes and statesmen of history Lincoln is the only real giant. Alexander, Frederick the Great, Cesar, Napoleon, Gladstone and even Washington stand in greatness of character, in depth of feeling and in a certain moral power far behind Lincoln. Lincoln was a man of whom a nation has a right to be proud; he was a Christ in miniatu... (From : Wikisource.org.)
No one passion holds men so long in its power, or hides so continuously, sometimes to the very end, the vanity of temporal mundane life or so completely keeps men from understanding the significance of human existence and of its real beneficence, as the passion for worldly glory, in whatever form it may manifest itself : petty vanity, love of glory, ambition. Every overweening desire involves its own punishment, and the sufferings that attend its satisfaction are proof of its worthlessness. Moreover, every overweening desire grows feeble with the passage of time; ambition, however, flares up more and more with the years. The main thing is that solicitude for human glory is always coupled with the thought of service to men, and a man ... (From : Wikisource.org.)
Near the borders of France and Italy, on the shore of the Mediterranean Sea, lies a tiny little kingdom called Monaco. Many a small country town can boast more inhabitants than this kingdom, for there are only about seven thousand of them all told, and if all the land in the kingdom were divided there would not be an acre for each inhabitant. But in this toy kingdom there is a real kinglet; and he has a palace, and courtiers, and ministers, and a bishop, and generals, and an army. It is not a large army, only sixty men in all, but still it is an army. There were also taxes in this kingdom, as elsewhere: a tax on tobacco, and on wine and spirits, and a poll-tax. But though the people there drink and smoke as people do in other countries, th... (From : Wikisource.org.)
Again there are murders, again disturbances and slaughter in the streets, again we shall have executions, terror, false accusations, threats and anger on the one side; and hatred, thirst for vengeance, and readiness for self-sacrifice, on the other. Again all Russians are divided into two hostile camps, and are committing and preparing to commit the greatest crimes. Very possibly the disturbances that have now broken out may be suppressed, though it is also possible that the troops of soldiers and of police, on whom the Government place such reliance, may realize that they are being called on to commit the terrible crime of fratricide-and may refuse to obey. But even if the present disturbance is suppressed, it will not be extinguished, ... (From : Anarchy Archives.)
"And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free" (John viii. 32). I have but little time left to live, and I should like before my death to tell you, working people, what I have been thinking about your oppressed condition and about those means which will help you to free yourselves from it. Maybe something of what I have been thinking (and I have been thinking much about it) will do you some good. I naturally turn to the Russian laborers, among whom I live and whom I know better than the laborers of any other country, but I hope that my remarks may not be useless to the laborers of other countries as well. Every one who has eyes and a heart sees that you, working men, are obliged to pass your lives in want ... (From : Anarchy Archives.)
[The interior of a peasant hut. An old Traveler is sitting on a bench, reading a book. A Peasant, the master of the hut, just home from his work, sits down to supper and asks the Traveler to share it. The Traveler declines. The Peasant eats, and when he has finished, rises, says grace, and sits down beside the old man.] PEASANT. What brings you?... TRAVELER [taking off his spectacles and putting down his book]. There is no train till to-morrow. The station is crowded, so I asked your missus to let me stay the night with you, and she allowed it. PEASANT. That's all right, you can stay. TRAVELER. Thank you!... Well, and how are you living nowadays? PEASANT. Living? What's our life like?... As bad as can be! TRAVELER. How's t... (From : Archive.org.)
Trust yourself, growing out of childhood young people when your souls for the first time raise questions: who am I, why I live, and why all surrounding me people live? And the most concerning question – whether I live properly and so do all people surrounding me? Trust yourself even when those answers which will come to you will disagree with those instilled in you from childhood, will disagree with the life you live together with others surrounding you. Don’t be afraid of the disagreement; on the contrary, know that this disagreement with all surrounding reflects the best that is in you, the divine principle, the manifestation of which in life is not only the main, but the only purpose of our existence. Then believe not in your... (From : Wikisource.org.)
Once upon a time, in the days long since gone by, there dwelt at Jerusalem two brothers; the name of the elder was Athanasius, the name of the younger John. They dwelt on a hill not far from the town, and lived upon what people gave to them. Every day the brothers went out to work. They worked not for themselves, but for the poor. Wherever the overworked, the sick were to be found—wherever there were widows and orphans, thither went the brothers, and there they worked and spent their time, taking no payment. Thus the brothers went about separately the whole week, and only met together in the evening of the Sabbath at their own dwelling. Only on Sunday did they remain at home, praying and conversing together. And the Angel of the Lord ... (From : Wikisource.org.)
In ancient times there lived not far from Jerusalem two brothers, the elder named Athanasius, and the younger John. They lived in a mountain, not far from the city, and supported themselves on what people offered them. The brothers passed all their days at work. They worked not for themselves, but for the poor. Wherever were those who were oppressed by labour, or sick people, or orphans, or widows, thither the brothers went, and there they worked, and received no pay. Thus the two brothers passed the whole week away from each other, and met only on Saturday evening in their abode. On Sunday alone did they stay at home, and then they prayed and talked with each other. And an angel of the Lord came down to them and blessed them. On Monday the... (From : Wikisource.org.)
'The woman saith unto him, Sir, I perceive that thou art a prophet. Our fathers worshiped in this mountain; and ye say, that in Jerusalem is the place where men ought to worship. Jesus saith unto her, Woman, believe me, the hour cometh when neither in this mountain, nor in Jerusalem, shall ye worship the Father .mw-parser-output .nowrap,.mw-parser-output .nowrap a:before,.mw-parser-output .nowrap .selflink:before{white-space:nowrap}. . . But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshipers shall worship the Father in spirit and truth: for such doth the Father seek to be his worshipers.'—John iv. 19-21, 23. There were once two old men who decided to go on a pilgrimage to worship God at Jerusalem. One of them was ... (From : Wikisource.org.)
Christendom has recently been the scene of two wars. One is now concluded, whereas the other still continues; but they were for a time being carried on simultaneously, and the contrast they present is very striking. The first—the Spanish-American war—was an old, vain, foolish, and cruel war, inopportune, out-of-date, barbarous, which sought by killing one set of people to solve the question as to how and by whom another set of people ought to be governed. The other, which is still going on, and will end only when there is an end of all war, is a new, self-sacrificing, holy war, which was long ago proclaimed (as Victor Hugo expressed it at one of the congresses) by the best and most advanced—Christian—section of mank... (From : Wikisource.org.)
It was in the reign of the Roman Emperor Trajan, a century after the birth of Christ. It was at the time when the disciples of Christ's disciples were still living, and the Christians faithfully observed the laws of the Master as it is related in the Acts : And the multitude of them that believed were of one heart and of one soul ; neither said any of them that aught of the things which he possessed was his own ; but they had all things common. And with great power gave the Apostles witness of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus ; and great grace was upon them all. Neither was there any among them that lacked; for as many as were possessors of lands or houses sold them and brought the prices of the... (From : Wikisource.org.)
Count Tolstoy has written for the Revue de Paris an article entitled “What the Orthodox Religion Really Is.” He indicts the Russian national Church for apostasy to the tenets of the founder of Christianity on almost every count, and gives this description of the orthodox religion, which, he declares, is losing its hold on the people: “Orthodox religion brings to my mind only a lot of long-haired men, who are very arrogant, without instruction, clothed in silk and velvet, decorated with ornaments and jewels, whom one calls archbishops and metropolitans, and thousands of other men, with hair uncombed, who find themselves under the most servile domination of a few individuals who, under color of dispensing the sacraments, ... (From : Wikisource.org.)
In a certain town there lived a cobbler, Martin Avdéitch by name. He had a tiny room in a basement, the one window of which looked out on to the street. Through it one could only see the feet of those who passed by, but Martin recognized the people by their boots. He had lived long in the place and had many acquaintances. There was hardly a pair of boots in the neighborhood that had not been once or twice through his hands, so he often saw his own handiwork through the window. Some he had re-soled, some patched, some stitched up, and to some he had even put fresh uppers. He had plenty to do, for he worked well, used good material, did not charge too much, and could be relied on. If he could do a job by the day required, he undertook ... (From : Wikisource.org.)
In the city lived the shoemaker, Martuin Avdyeitch. He lived in a basement, in a little room with one window. The window looked out on the street. Through the window he used to watch the people passing by; although only their feet could be seen, yet by the boots, Martuin Avdyeitch recognized the people. Martuin Avdyeitch had lived long in one place, and had many acquaintances. Few pairs of boots in his district had not been in his hands once and again. Some he would half-sole, some he would patch, some he would stitch around, and occasionally he would also put on new uppers. And through the window he often recognized his work. Avdyeitch had plenty to do, because he was a faithful workman, used good material, did not make exorbitant c... (From : TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)
In the fourth volume of the journal Yasnaya Poly ana there was printed among the children's composi- tions by an editorial mistake "A History of how a boy was frightened in Tula." This little story was not written by a boy, but was made up by the teacher from a dream which he had, and which he related to the boys. Some of the readers, who followed the numbers of Yasnaya Polyana, expressed their doubts whether this tale really belonged to the boy. I hasten to apol- ogize to my readers for this oversight, and seize the opportunity to remark how impossible are counterfeits in this class of work. This tale was detected, not be- cause it was better, but because it was worse, incompa- rably worse, than all the compositio... (From : Wikisource.org.)
People peacefully live and act in accordance with each other only when they are connected by the same system of beliefs: when thy equally understand the goal and the purpose of their activity. This is true for families, and for different circles of people, and for political parties, and for entire dynasties, and it is especially true for the people united into states. People of one nation live more or less peacefully among themselves, and together defend their common interests only while they live by one and the same ideology, recognized by all people of the nation. Common for all people ideology is usually expressed by the religion, established in the nation. That’s how it always was in pagan antiquity, and it is here and now, - i... (From : Wikisource.org.)
This is a legend current among the South American Indians. God, say they, at first made men so that they had no need to work: they needed neither houses, nor clothes, nor food, and they all lived till they were a hundred, and did not know what illness was. When, after some time, God looked to see how people were living, he saw that instead of being happy in their life, they had quarreled with one another, and, each caring for himself, had brought matters to such a pass that far from enjoying life, they cursed it. Then God said to himself: 'This comes of their living separately, each for himself.' And to change this state of things, God so arranged matters that it became impossible for people to live without working. To avoid suffering fr... (From : Wikisource.org.)
It was, I think, in the year 1881 that Turgénev, during a visit at my house, took a French novel, under the name of Maison Tellier, out of his satchel and gave it to me. That's it! "Read it, if you have a chance," he said, apparently with indifference, just as the year before he had handed me a number of the Russian Wealth, in which there was an article by Garshin, who was making his debut. Evidently, as in the case of Garshin, so even now, he was afraid he might influence me in one way or another, and wished to know my uninfluenced opinion. "He is a young French author," he said; "look at it, – it is not bad; he knows you and esteems you very much," he added, as though to encourage me. "As a man he reminds me of Dr... (From : Wikisource.org.)
At the time of the Czar Ivan the Terrible, [1] the Strogonofs were rich merchants, and lived in Perm, on the river Kama. They had heard that on the river Kama, for a hundred and forty versts around, there was rich land ; the soil had not been plowed for a century ; the black forest for a century had not been felled. In the forests were many wild animals, and along the river were lakes full of fish, and no one lived in this land except wandering Tartars. So the Strogonofs wrote a letter to the Czar: "Grant us this land, and we ourselves will found cities, and we will gather men together and establish them, and we will not allow the Tartars to pass through it." The Czar consented, and gr... (From : Wikisource.org.)
The young Czar had just ascended the throne. For five weeks he had worked without ceasing, in the way that Czars are accustomed to work. He had been attending to reports, signing papers, receiving ambassadors and high officials who came to be presented to him, and reviewing troops. He was tired, and as a traveler exhausted by heat and thirst longs for a draft of water and for rest, so he longed for a respite of just one day at least from receptions, from speeches, from parades--a few free hours to spend like an ordinary human being with his young, clever, and beautiful wife, to whom he had been married only a month before.It was Christmas Eve. The young Czar had arranged to have a complete rest that evening. The night before he had worked t... (From : Online-Literature.com.)


September 09, 1828 :
Birth Day.

November 20, 1910 :
Death Day.

November 16, 2016 ; 4:52:14 PM (America/Los_Angeles) :
Added to https://www.RevoltLib.com.

May 06, 2021 ; 6:15:00 PM (America/Los_Angeles) :
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