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Title: The Awakening - The Resurrection
Author: Tolstoy, Leo, graf, 1828-1910
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "The Awakening - The Resurrection" ***

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(The Resurrection)



Author of

"War and Peace," "The Kreutzer Sonata,"
"Anna Karenina," Etc.

Translated by William E. Smith

[Illustration: COUNT LEO TOLSTOI.]

New York
Street & Smith, Publishers
238 William Street
Entered according to act of Congress in the year 1900
By Street & Smith
In the Office of the Librarian of Congress, at Washington, D.C.

     "Then came Peter to Him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my
     brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven
     times?"--_Matthew, c. xviii.; v. 21._

     "Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven
     times: but until seventy times seven."--_Idem, v. 22._

     "And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's
     eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own
     eye!"--_Idem, c. vii.; v. 3._

     "He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a
     stone at her."--_John, c. viii.; v. 7._

     "The disciple is not above his master: but every one that is
     perfect shall be as his master."--_Luke, c. vi.; v. 40._




All the efforts of several hundred thousand people, crowded in a small
space, to disfigure the land on which they lived; all the stone they
covered it with to keep it barren; how so diligently every sprouting
blade of grass was removed; all the smoke of coal and naphtha; all the
cutting down of trees and driving off of cattle could not shut out the
spring, even from the city. The sun was shedding its light; the grass,
revivified, was blooming forth, where it was left uncut, not only on
the greenswards of the boulevard, but between the flag-stones, and the
birches, poplars and wild-berry trees were unfolding their viscous
leaves; the limes were unfolding their buds; the daws, sparrows and
pigeons were joyfully making their customary nests, and the flies were
buzzing on the sun-warmed walls. Plants, birds, insects and children
were equally joyful. Only men--grown-up men--continued cheating and
tormenting themselves and each other. People saw nothing holy in this
spring morning, in this beauty of God's world--a gift to all living
creatures--inclining to peace, good-will and love, but worshiped their
own inventions for imposing their will on each other.

The joy of spring felt by animals and men did not penetrate the office
of the county jail, but the one thing of supreme importance there was
a document received the previous evening, with title, number and seal,
which ordered the bringing into court for trial, this 28th day of
April, at nine o'clock in the morning, three prisoners--two women and
one man. One of the women, as the more dangerous criminal, was to be
brought separately. So, in pursuance of that order, on the 28th day of
April, at eight o'clock in the morning, the jail warden entered the
dingy corridor of the woman's ward. Immediately behind him came a
woman with weary countenance and disheveled gray hair, wearing a
crown-laced jacket, and girdled with a blue-edged sash. She was the

"You want Maslova?" she asked the warden, as they neared one of the
cells opening into the corridor.

The warden, with a loud clanking of iron, unlocked and opened the door
of the cell, releasing an even fouler odor than permeated the
corridor, and shouted:

"Maslova to the court!" and again closing the door he waited for her

The fresh, vivifying air of the fields, carried to the city by the
wind, filled even the court-yard of the jail. But in the corridor the
oppressive air, laden with the smell of tar and putrescence, saddened
and dejected the spirit of every new-comer. The same feeling was
experienced by the jail matron, notwithstanding she was accustomed to
bad air. On entering the corridor she suddenly felt a weariness coming
over her that inclined her to slumber.

There was a bustling in the cell; women's voices and steps of bare
feet were heard.

"Hurry up, Maslova! Come on, I say!" shouted the warden into the

Presently at the cell-door appeared a middle-sized, full-breasted
young woman, dressed in a long, gray coat over a white waist and
skirt. She approached with firm step, and, facing about, stood before
the warden. Over her linen stockings she wore jail shoes; her head was
covered with a white 'kerchief, from under which black curls were
evidently purposely brushed over the forehead. The face of the woman
was of that whiteness peculiar to people who have been a long time in
confinement, and which reminds one of potato-sprouts in a cellar. Her
small, wide hands, her white, full neck, showing from under the large
collar of the coat, were of a similar hue. On the dull pallor of that
face the most striking feature was the black, sparkling eyes, somewhat
swollen, but very bright eyes, one of which slightly squinted. She
held herself erect, putting forth her full chest. Emerging into the
corridor, throwing her head back a little, she looked into the eyes of
the warden and stood ready to do his bidding. The warden was about to
shut the door, when a pale, severe, wrinkled face of an old woman with
disheveled hair was thrust out. The old woman began to say something
to Maslova. But the warden pressed the door against the head of the
woman, and she disappeared. In the cell a woman's voice burst into
laughter. Maslova also smiled, and turned to the grated little opening
in the door. The old woman pressed her forehead to the grating, and
said in a hoarse voice:

"Above all, don't speak too much; stick to one thing, and that is

"Of course. It cannot be any worse," said Maslova.

"You certainly cannot stick to two things," said the chief warden,
with official assurance of his own wit. "Follow me, now! Forward!

The eye looking from behind the grating disappeared, and Maslova took
to the middle of the corridor, and with short, but rapid strides,
followed the warden. They descended the stone stairway, and as they
passed the men's ward, noisy and more noisome even than the woman's
ward, scores of eyes followed them from behind the gratings. They
entered the office, where an armed escort of two soldiers stood. The
clerk handed one of the soldiers a document, reeking of tobacco smoke,
and, pointing to the prisoner, said:

"Take her."

The soldier, a Nijhni peasant with a red and pock-marked face, placed
the paper into the cuff of his coat sleeve, and, smiling, winked to
his muscular comrade. The soldiers and prisoner descended the stairs
and went in the direction of the main entrance.

A small door in the gate opened, and, crossing the threshold, they
passed through the inclosure and took the middle of the paved street.

Drivers, shop-keepers, kitchen maids, laborers and officials halted
and gazed with curiosity at the prisoner. Some shook their heads and
thought: "There is the result of evil conduct--how unlike ours!"
Children looked with horror at the cut-throat, but the presence of the
soldiers reassured them, for she was now powerless to do harm. A
villager, returning from the mart, where he had disposed of his
charcoal and visited an inn, offered her a kopeck. The prisoner
blushed, drooped her head and murmured something.

Conscious of the attention that was shown her, without turning her
head she looked askance at the onlookers and rather enjoyed it. She
also enjoyed the comparatively pure spring air, but the walking on the
cobblestones was painful to her feet, unused as they were to walking,
and shod in clumsy prison shoes. She looked at her feet and endeavored
to step as lightly as possible. Passing by a food store, in front of
which some pigeons were picking grain, she came near striking with her
foot a dove-colored bird. It rose with a flutter of its wings, and
flew past the very ear of the prisoner, fanning her face with its
wings. She smiled, then sighed deeply, remembering her own condition.


The history of the prisoner Maslova was a very common one. Maslova was
the daughter of an unmarried menial who lived with her mother, a
cowherd, on the estate of two spinsters. This unmarried woman gave
birth to a child every year, and, as is the custom in the villages,
baptized them; then neglected the troublesome newcomers, and they
finally starved to death.

Thus five children died. Every one of these was baptized, then it
starved and finally died. The sixth child, begotten of a passing
gypsy, was a girl, who would have shared the same fate, but it
happened that one of the two old maidens entered the cow-shed to
reprimand the milkmaids for carelessness in skimming the cream, and
there saw the mother with the healthy and beautiful child. The old
maiden chided them for the cream and for permitting the woman to lie
in the cow-shed, and was on the point of departing, but noticing the
child, was moved to pity, and afterward consented to stand godmother
to the child. She baptized the child, and in pity for her
god-daughter, furnished her with milk, gave the mother some money,
and the babe thrived. Wherefore the old maidens called it "the saved

The child was three years old when the mother fell ill and died. She
was a great burden to her grandmother, so the old maidens adopted her.
The dark-eyed girl became unusually lively and pretty, and her
presence cheered them.

Of the two old maidens, the younger one--Sophia Ivanovna--was the
kindlier, while the older one--Maria Ivanovna--was of austere
disposition. Sophia Ivanovna kept the girl in decent clothes, taught
her to read and intended to give her an education. Maria Ivanovna said
that the girl ought to be taught to work that she might become a
useful servant, was exacting, punished, and even beat her when in bad
humor. Under such conditions the girl grew up half servant, half lady.
Her position was reflected even in her name, for she was not called by
the gentle Katinka, nor yet by the disdainful Katka, but Katiousha,
which stands sentimentally between the two. She sewed, cleaned the
rooms, cleaned the ikons with chalk, ground, cooked and served coffee,
washed, and sometimes she read for the ladies.

She was wooed, but would marry no one, feeling that life with any one
of her wooers would be hard, spoiled, as she was, more or less, by the
comparative ease she enjoyed in the manor.

She had just passed her sixteenth year when the ladies were visited by
their nephew, a rich student, and Katiousha, without daring to confess
it to him, or even to herself, fell in love with him. Two years
afterward, while on his way to the war, he again visited his aunts,
and during his four days' stay, consummated her ruin. Before his
departure he thrust a hundred ruble bill into her hand.

Thenceforward life ceased to have any charms for her, and her only
thought was to escape the shame which awaited her, and not only did
she become lax in her duties, but--and she did not know herself how it
happened--all of a sudden she gave vent to her ill temper. She said
some rude things to the ladies, of which she afterward repented, and
left them.

Dissatisfied with her behavior, they did not detain her. She then
obtained employment as servant in the house of the commissary of rural
police, but was obliged to give up the position at the end of the
third month, for the commissary, a fifty-year old man, pursued her
with his attentions, and when, on one occasion, he became too
persistent, she flared up, called him an old fool, and threw him to
the ground. Then she was driven from the house. She was now so far
advanced on the road to maternity that to look for a position was out
of the question. Hence she took lodgings with an old midwife, who was
also a wine dealer. The confinement came off painlessly. But the
midwife was attending a sick woman in the village, infected Katiousha
with puerperal fever, and the child, a boy, was taken to a foundling
asylum where, she was told, he died immediately after his arrival

When Katiousha took lodgings with the midwife she had 127 rubles; 27
rubles of which she had earned, and 100 rubles which had been given
her by her seducer. When she left her she had but six rubles left. She
was not economical, and spent on herself as well as others. She paid
40 rubles to the midwife for two months' board; 25 rubles it cost her
to have the child taken away; 40 rubles the midwife borrowed of her to
buy a cow with; the balance was spent on dresses, presents, etc., so
that after the confinement she was practically penniless, and was
compelled to look for a position. She was soon installed in the house
of a forester who was married, and who, like the commissary, began to
pay court to her. His wife became aware of it, and when, on one
occasion, she found them both in the room, she fell on Katiousha and
began to beat her. The latter resented it, and the result was a
scrimmage, after which she was driven out of the house, without being
paid the wages due her. Katiousha went to the city, where she stopped
with her aunt. Her aunt's husband was a bookbinder. Formerly he used
to earn a competence, but had lost his customers, and was now given to
drink, spending everything that came into his hands.

With the aid of a small laundry she was keeping, her aunt supported
her children as well as her husband. She offered Maslova work as a
washerwoman, but seeing what a hard life the washerwomen at her
aunt's establishment were leading, she searched through the
intelligence offices for a position as servant. She found such a place
with a lady who was living with her two student boys. A week after she
had entered upon her duties, the oldest son neglected his studies and
made life miserable for Maslova. The mother threw all blame upon
Maslova and discharged her. She was some time without any occupation.
In one of these intelligence offices she once met a lady richly
dressed and adorned with diamonds. This lady, learning of the
condition of Maslova, who was looking for a position, gave her her
card and invited her to call. The lady received Maslova
affectionately, treated her to choice cakes and sweet wine, while she
dispatched her servant somewhere with a note. In the evening a tall
man with long hair just turning gray, and gray beard, came into the
room. The old man immediately seated himself beside Maslova and began
to jest. The hostess called him into an adjoining room, and Maslova
overheard her say: "As fresh as a rose; just from the country." Then
the hostess called in Maslova and told her that the man was an author,
very rich, _and will be very generous if he takes a liking to her_. He
did take a liking to her, gave her twenty-five rubles, and promised to
call on her often. The money was soon spent in settling for her board
at her aunt's, for a new dress, hat and ribbons. A few days afterward
the author sent for her a second time. She called. He gave her another
twenty-five ruble bill and offered to rent apartments for her where
she could reside separately.

While living in the apartments rented by the author, Maslova became
infatuated with a jolly clerk living in the same house. She herself
told the author of her infatuation, and moved into a smaller
apartment. The clerk, who had promised to marry her, without saying
anything, left for Nijhni, evidently casting her off, and Maslova
remained alone. She wished to remain in the apartment, but the
landlord would not permit a single woman to occupy it, and she
returned to her aunt. Her fashionable dress, cape and hat won her the
respect of her aunt, who no longer dared to offer her work as a
washerwoman, considering her present position far above it. The
question of working in the laundry did not even occur to Maslova now.
She looked with compassion on the life of drudgery led by these pale,
emaciated washerwomen, some of whom showed symptoms of consumption,
washing and ironing in a stifling, steam-laden atmosphere with the
windows open summer and winter, and she was horrified at the thought
that she, too, might be driven to such drudgery.

Maslova had for a long time been addicted to cigarette smoking, but of
late she had been getting more and more accustomed to drink. The wine
attracted her, not because of its taste, but because it enabled her to
forget her past life, to comfort herself with ease, and the confidence
of her own worth that it gave her. Without wine she was despondent and
abashed. There was the choice of two things before her; either the
humiliating occupation of a servant, with the certain unwelcome
attentions of the men, or a secure, quiet and legitimatized position
of everybody's mistress. She wished to revenge herself on her seducer,
as well as the clerk, and all those that brought misfortune upon her.
Besides, she could not withstand the temptation of having all the
dresses her heart desired--dresses made of velvet, gauze and
silk--ball dresses, with open neck and short sleeves. And when Maslova
imagined herself in a bright yellow silk dress, with velvet trimmings,
decolette, she made her choice.

From this day on Maslova began to lead a life to which hundreds of
thousands of women are driven, and which, in nine cases out of ten,
ends in painful disease, premature decrepitude and death.

After a night's orgies there would come a deep slumber till three or
four o'clock in the afternoon; then the weary rising from a dirty
couch; seltzer-water to remove the effect of excessive drinking,
coffee. Then came the sauntering through the rooms in dressing-gown,
looking through the windows; the languid quarrels; then the perfuming
of her body and hair, the trying on of dresses, and the quarrels with
the mistress which they occasioned; contemplating herself in the
mirror, rouging her face, darkening her eyebrows. Then came the sweet,
rich food, the bright silk dress, the entry into the brightly lighted
parlor, the arrival of the guests, music, dancing, confectionery, wine
and cigarettes.

Thus Maslova lived for seven years. On the eighth, when she had
reached her twenty-sixth year, there happened that for which she had
been jailed, and for which she was now led to the court, after six
months of confinement among thieves and murderers.


At the time when Maslova, exhausted by the long walk, was approaching
with the armed convoy the building in which court was held, the same
nephew of the ladies that brought her up, Prince Dmitri Ivanovitch
Nekhludoff, who deceived her, lay on his high, soft, spring
feather-bed, in spotless Holland linen, smoking a cigarette. He was
gazing before him, contemplating the events of the previous day and
considering what he had before him for that day. As he thought of the
previous evening, spent at the Korchagins, a wealthy and influential
family, whose daughter, rumor had it, he was to marry, he sighed, and
throwing away the butt of his cigarette, he was on the point of taking
another from the silver cigarette holder, but changed his mind. Half
rising, he slipped his smooth, white feet into the slippers, threw a
silk morning gown over his broad shoulders, and with quick and heavy
stride, walked into the adjoining dressing-room, which was permeated
with the artificial odors of elixirs, perfumes, cosmetics. There he
washed his partly gold-filled teeth with a tooth-powder, rinsed them
with a perfumed mouth-wash, then began to sponge himself and dry his
body with Turkish towels. After washing his hands with perfumed soap,
carefully brushing his trimmed nails and washing his face and stout
neck in a marble basin, he walked into a third room, where a
shower-bath was ready. Here he received a cold-water douche, and after
rubbing his white and muscular body with coarse towels and donning his
white linen, he seated himself before the mirror and began to brush
his short, curly beard and the thinning curls of his forehead.

Everything used by him--the linen, clothing, shoes, scarfs,
scarf-pins, cuff-buttons, were of the very best quality, simple,
tasteful and expensive.

He then picked out the first of a dozen scarfs and pins that came into
his hand--it was no more novel and amusing, as it used to be--and he
was quite indifferent as to which he put on. He dressed himself in his
brushed clothes which lay on the chair and went out, though not quite
refreshed, yet clean and fragrant. In the oblong dining-room, the
inlaid floor of which had been polished by three of his men the day
before, and containing a massive oaken sideboard and a similar
extension table, the legs of which were carved in the shape of lion's
paws, giving it a pompous appearance, breakfast stood ready for him. A
fine, starched cloth with large monograms was spread on the table, on
which stood a silver coffee-pot, containing fragrant, steaming coffee,
a sugar bowl and cream pitcher to match, fresh rolls and various kinds
of biscuits. Beside them lay the last number of the "Revue des deux
Mondes," newspapers and his mail. Nekhludoff was about to open the
letters, when a middle-aged woman, with a lace head-gear over her
unevenly parted hair, glided into the room. This was Agrippina
Petrovna, servant of his mother, who died in this very house. She was
now stewardess to the son.

Agrippina Petrovna had traveled many years abroad with Nekhludoff's
mother, and had acquired the manners of a lady. She had lived in the
house of the Nekhludoffs since childhood, and knew Dmitri Ivanovitch
when he was called by the diminutive Mitenka.

"Good-morning, Dmitri Ivanovitch."

"How do you do, Agrippina Petrovna? What's the news?" asked
Nekhludoff, jesting.

"A letter from the old Princess, or the young one, perhaps. The maid
brought it long ago, and is now waiting in my room," said Agrippina
Petrovna, handing him the letter with a significant smile.

"Very well; I will attend to it immediately," said Nekhludoff, taking
the letter and then, noticing the smile on Agrippina's face, he

The smile on Agrippina's face signified that the letter came from
Princess Korchagin, whom, according to Agrippina Petrovna, he was to
marry. And this supposition, expressed by her smile, displeased

"Then I will bid her wait," and Agrippina Petrovna glided out of the
dining-room, first replacing the crumb-brush, which lay on the table,
in its holder.

Nekhludoff opened the perfumed letter and began to read:

     "In fulfillment of the duty I assumed of being your memory,"
     the letter ran, "I call to your mind that you have been
     summoned to serve as juror to-day, the 28th of April, and
     that, therefore, you cannot accompany us and Kolosoff to the
     art exhibition, as you promised yesterday in your customary
     forgetfulness; à moins que vous ne soyez disposé à payer à
     la cour d'assises les 300 rubles d'amende que vous vous
     refusez pour votre cheval, for your failure to appear in
     time. I remembered it yesterday, when you had left. So keep
     it in mind.

                                         "PRINCESS M. KORCHAGIN."

On the other side was a postscript:

     "Maman vous fait dire que votre couvert vous attendra jusqu'
     à la nuit. Venez absolument à quelle heure que cela soit. M. K."

Nekhludoff knit his brows. The note was the continuation of a skillful
strategem whereby the Princess sought, for the last two months, to
fasten him with invisible bonds. But Nekhludoff, besides the usual
irresoluteness before marriage of people of his age, and who are not
passionately in love, had an important reason for withholding his
offer of marriage for the time being. The reason was not that ten
years before he had ruined and abandoned Katiousha, which incident he
had entirely forgotten, but that at this very time he was sustaining
relations with a married woman, and though he now considered them at
an end, they were not so considered by her.

In the presence of women, Nekhludoff was very shy, but it was this
very shyness that determined the married woman to conquer him. This
woman was the wife of the commander of the district in which
Nekhludoff was one of the electors. She led him into relations with
her which held him fast, and at the same time grew more and more
repulsive to him. At first Nekhludoff could not resist her wiles,
then, feeling himself at fault, he could not break off the relations
against her will. This was the reason why Nekhludoff considered that
he had no right, even if he desired, to ask for the hand of Korchagin.
A letter from the husband of that woman happened to lay on the table.
Recognizing the handwriting and the stamp, Nekhludoff flushed and
immediately felt an influx of that energy which he always experienced
in the face of danger. But there was no cause for his agitation; the
husband, as commander of the district where Nekhludoff's estates were
situated, informed the latter of a special meeting of the local
governing body, and asked him to be present without fail, and donner
un coup d'épaule in the important measures to be submitted concerning
the schools and roads, and that the reactionary party was expected to
offer strong opposition.

The commander was a liberal-minded man, entirely absorbed with the
struggles, and knew nothing about his wretched family life.

Nekhludoff recalled all the tortures this man had occasioned him; how
on one occasion he thought that the husband had discovered all, and he
was preparing to fight a duel with him, intending to use a blank
cartridge, and the ensuing scene where she, in despair, ran to the
pond, intending to drown herself, while he ran to search for her. "I
cannot go now, and can undertake nothing until I have heard from her,"
thought Nekhludoff. The preceding week he had written to her a
decisive letter, acknowledging his guilt, and expressing his readiness
to redeem it in any manner she should suggest, but for her own good,
considered their relations ended. It is to this letter that he
expected a reply. He considered it a favorable sign that no reply
came. If she had not consented to a separation, she would have
answered long ago, or would have come personally, as she often did
before. Nekhludoff had heard that an army officer was courting her,
and while he was tormented by jealousy, he was at the same time
gladdened by the hope of release from the oppressive lie.

The other letter was from the steward in charge of his estates.
Nekhludoff was requested to return and establish his right to the
inheritance and also to decide on the future management of the
estates; whether the same system of letting out to the peasants, which
prevailed during the lifetime of his mother, was to be continued, or,
as the steward had strongly advised the deceased Princess, and now
advised the young Prince, to augment the stock and work all the land
himself. The steward wrote that the land could thus best be exploited.
He also apologized for his failure to send the three thousand rubles
due on the first of the month, which he would send by the next mail,
explaining it by the difficulty of collecting the rents from the
peasants whose bad faith had reached a point where it became necessary
to resort to the courts to collect them. This letter was partly
agreeable and partly disagreeable to Nekhludoff. It was agreeable to
feel the power of authority over so vast an estate, and it was
disagreeable, because in his youth he was an enthusiastic adherent of
Herbert Spencer, and being himself a large land owner, was struck by
the proposition in _Social Statics_ that private ownership of land is
contrary to the dictates of justice. With the frankness and boldness
of youth, he not only _then_ spoke of the injustice of private
ownership of land; not only did he compose theses in the university on
the subject, but he actually distributed among the peasants the few
hundred acres of land left him by his father, not desiring to own land
contrary to his convictions. Now that he found himself the owner of
vast estates, he was confronted by two alternatives: either to waive
his ownership in favor of the peasants, as he did ten years ago with
the two hundred acres, or, by tacit acquiescence, confess that all his
former ideas were erroneous and false.

He could not carry out the first, because he possessed no resources
outside of the land. He did not wish to go into service, and yet he
had luxurious habits of life which he thought he could not abandon.
Indeed, there was no necessity of abandoning these habits, since he
had lost the strength of conviction as well as the resolution, the
vanity and the desire to astonish people that he had possessed in his
youth. The other alternative--to reject all the arguments against
private ownership of land which he gathered from Spencer's _Social
Statics_, and of which he found confirmation in the works of Henry
George--he could follow even less.

For this reason the steward's letter was disagreeable to him.


Having breakfasted, Nekhludoff went to the cabinet to see for what
hour he was summoned to appear at court, and to answer the Princess'
note. In the work-room stood an easel with a half-finished painting
turned face downward, and on the wall hung studies in drawing. On
seeing that painting, on which he had worked two years, and those
drawings, he called to mind the feeling of impotence, which he
experienced of late with greatest force, to make further advance in
the art. He explained this feeling by the development of a fine
aesthetic taste, and yet this consciousness caused him unpleasant

Seven years before he had retired from active service he decided that
his true vocation in life was painting, and from the height of his
artistic activity he looked down upon all other occupations. And now
it appeared that he had no right to do so, and every recollection of
it was disagreeable to him. He looked on all the luxurious
appointments of the work-room with heavy heart, and walked into the
cabinet in ill humor. The cabinet was a high room, profusely
ornamented, and containing every imaginable device of comfort and

He produced from one of the drawers of a large table the summons, and,
ascertaining that he must appear at eleven o'clock, he sat down and
wrote to the Princess, thanking her for the invitation, and saying
that he should try to call for dinner. The tone of the note seemed to
him too intimate, and he tore it up; he wrote another, but that was
too formal, almost offensive. Again he tore it up, and touched a
button on the wall. A servant, morose, with flowing side-whiskers and
in a gray apron, entered.

"Please send for a carriage."

"Yes, sir."

"And tell the Korchagins' maid that I thank them; I will try to call."

"Yes, sir."

"It is impolite, but I cannot write. But I will see her to-day,"
thought Nekhludoff, and started to dress himself.

When he emerged from the house a carriage with rubber tires awaited

"You had scarcely left Prince Korchagin's house yesterday when I
called for you," said the driver, half-turning his stout, sun-burned
neck in the white collar of his shirt, "and the footman said that you
had just gone."

"Even the drivers know of my relations to the Korchagins," thought
Nekhludoff, and the unsolved question which continually occupied his
mind of late--whether or not he ought to marry Princess
Korchagin--again occurred to him, and, like most questions that he was
called upon to decide at that time, it remained unsolved.

He had many reasons for, and as many against, marriage. There was the
pleasure of domestic life, which made it possible to lead a moral
life, as he called married life; then, and principally, the family and
children would infuse his present aimless life with a purpose. This
was for marriage generally. On the other hand there was, first, the
loss of freedom which all elderly bachelors fear so much; and, second,
an unconscious awe of that mysterious creature, woman.

However, in favor of marrying Missy in particular (Korchagin's name
was Maria, but, as usual in families of the higher classes, she
received a nickname) there was, first, the fact that she came of good
stock, and was in everything, from her dress to her manner of
speaking, walking and laughing, distinguished not by any exceptional
qualities, but by "good breeding"--he knew no other expression for the
quality which he prized very highly. Second, she valued him above all
other men, hence, he thought she understood him. And this appreciation
of him, that is, acknowledging his high qualities, was proof to
Nekhludoff of her intelligence and correct judgment. Finally, against
marrying Missy in particular, was, first, the extreme probability of
his finding a girl of much better qualities than Missy, and,
consequently, more worthy of him; and, second, Missy was twenty-seven
years old and had probably loved other men before him. This thought
tormented him. His pride could not reconcile itself to the thought
that she could love some one else, even in the past. Of course, she
could not be expected to know that she would meet him, but the very
thought that she could have loved some one else before offended him.

So that there were as many reasons for as there were against marriage
in general and marrying Missy in particular. At all events the
arguments were equally strong on both sides, and Nekhludoff laughed as
he compared himself to the ass in the fable who, while deciding which
of the two bales of hay before him he should have his meal from,
starved himself.

"However, until I have heard from Maria Vasilieona, the wife of the
commander, and have done with her for good, I can do nothing," he said
to himself.

And the consciousness that he could and must defer his decision
pleased him.

"Ah, but I will consider it all later," he said to himself, as his
cabriolet silently approached the asphalt pavement of the court-house.

"And now I must do my duty to the community conscientiously, as I
always do, and think it one's duty to do. Besides, it is often
interesting," he said, and went past the door-keeper into the
vestibule of the court.


There was great commotion in the corridors of the court when
Nekhludoff entered.

The attendants flitted to and fro breathlessly, delivering orders and
documents. Police captains, lawyers and clerks passed now one way, now
the other; complainants and defendants under bail leaned sadly against
the walls, or were sitting and waiting.

"Where is the Circuit Court?" asked Nekhludoff of one of the

"Which one? There is a civil division and a criminal one."

"I am a juror."

"Criminal division. You should have said so. This way, to the right,
then turn to your left. The second door."

Nekhludoff went as directed.

At the door two men stood waiting. One was a tall, stout merchant, a
good-natured man, who had evidently partaken of some liquor and was in
very high spirits; the other was a clerk of Jewish extraction. They
were talking about the price of wool when Nekhludoff approached them
and asked if that was the jury's room.

"Here, sir, here. Are you also one of the jurymen?" mirthfully winking
his eyes, the good-natured merchant asked.

"Well, we will drudge together, I suppose," he continued in response
to Nekhludoff's affirmative answer. "My name is Baklashoff, merchant
of the second guild," he introduced himself, extending his soft, broad
hand; "we must do our duty. Whom have I the honor of addressing?"

Nekhludoff gave his name and passed into the jury-room.

In the small jury-room there were about ten men of every description.
They had just arrived; some were sitting, others walked about, eyeing,
and making each other's acquaintance. One was a retired officer in
uniform; others were in short coats, and but one in peasant garb.

Notwithstanding that they were all complaining that the jury duty was
burdensome, and was taking them away from their business, they all
seemed to be pleased with the consciousness of performing an important
civic duty.

The jurymen talked among themselves of the weather, of the premature
spring, of the business before them. Those who were not acquainted
with Nekhludoff hastened to become so, evidently considering it an
honor. And Nekhludoff, as was usual with him among strangers, received
it as his due. If he were asked why he considered himself above the
majority of people he would not be able to answer, as there was
nothing in his life transcending the commonplace. The fact that he
spoke English, French and German fluently; that his linen, clothing,
scarf and cuff-buttons were of superior make would not be sufficient
reason for assuming his superiority, as he himself well understood.
And yet he doubtless acknowledged in himself this superiority, and
regarded the respect shown him as his due, and was offended when it
was not forthcoming. It just happened that in the jury-room Nekhludoff
experienced this disagreeable feeling of being treated with
disrespect. Among the jurymen there was an acquaintance of Nekhludoff.
This was Peter Gerasimovitch (Nekhludoff never knew, and even boasted
of the fact that he did not know his surname), who was at one time
tutor to his sister's children. Peter Gerasimovitch was now teacher in
a college. Nekhludoff could never bear his familiarity, his
self-satisfied laughter--in a word, his "communizing," as Nekhludoff's
sister used to put it.

"Ha, ha! So you are also trapped?" he greeted Nekhludoff with a loud
burst of laughter. "You did not escape it?"

"I never intended to evade my duty," sternly and gloomily said

"That I call civic virtue. But wait till you are hungry and sleepy,
you will sing another tune," Peter Gerasimovitch said, laughing still

"This son of an archdeacon will soon begin to 'thou' me," thought
Nekhludoff, with an expression of sadness on his face, as though he
had just learned of a grievous loss in his family. He turned from the
ex-tutor and approached a group of people that had formed around a
clean-faced, tall man, of dignified carriage, who were holding a
spirited conversation. The man was speaking of a case that was being
tried in the civil division, showing his familiarity with the judges
and the famous lawyers by referring to them by name. He was telling
them of the remarkable turn given to the probable result of the case
by the dexterity of a famous lawyer, by which an old lady, who was in
the right, would be obliged to pay an enormous sum to the adverse

"He is a most ingenious attorney," he said.

He was listened to with respect, and some attempted to interrupt him
with some remarks, but he cut them short as if he alone knew the true

Although Nekhludoff arrived late, there was a long wait before him,
which was caused by the failure of one of the judges to appear.


The presiding justice arrived early. He was a tall, stout man, with
long, grayish side-whiskers. He was married, but, like his wife, led a
very dissolute life. They did not interfere with each other. On the
morning in question he received a note from a Swiss governess, who had
lived in his house during the summer, and was now passing on her way
from the South to St. Petersburg. She wrote that she would be in town
between three and six o'clock p.m., and wait for him at the "Hotel
Italia." He was, therefore, anxious to end his day's sitting before
six o'clock, that he might meet the red-haired Clara Vasilievna.

Entering his private chamber, and locking the door behind him, he
produced from the lower shelf of a book-case two dumb-bells, made
twenty motions upward, forward, sidewise and downward, and three times
lowered himself, holding the bells above his head.

"Nothing so refreshes one as a cold-water bath and exercise," he
thought, feeling with his left hand, on the fourth finger of which was
a gold ring, the biceps of his right arm. He had to go through two
more movements (these exercises he went through every day before court
opened), when the door rattled. Some one was attempting to open it.
The judge quickly replaced the dumb-bells and opened the door.

"I beg your pardon," he said.

One of the members of the court, wearing gold eye-glasses, of medium
height, with high shoulders and frowning countenance, entered.

"Matvei Nikitich is late again," said the newcomer, with an air of

"Yes," said the presiding judge, donning his robes. "He is always

"It is a shame," said the member, and sat down angrily, then lighted a

This member of the court, a very punctilious man, had this morning had
an unpleasant encounter with his wife, which was caused by her
spending her monthly allowance before the month was up. She asked for
a sum of money in advance, and he refused. The result was a quarrel.
She said that unless he gave her the money there would be no dinner
that night, and that he would have to dine outside. He departed in
fear that she would carry out her threat, as anything might be
expected from her.

"Is it worth while leading a good, moral life?" he thought, as he
looked at the beaming, healthy, joyful and good-natured presiding
justice, who, spreading his elbows, stroked his long, gray whiskers;
"he is always contented and cheerful, while I am suffering."

The secretary entered and handed the presiding justice a document.

"Thank you," he said, and lighted a cigarette. "Which case shall be
taken up first?"

"The poison case, I think," the secretary answered, with feigned

"Very well; so let it be the poison case," said the justice,
considering that that case could be disposed of by four o'clock and
make it possible for him to keep the appointment. "Has Matvei Nikitich

"Not yet."

"Is Breae here?"

"Yes," answered the secretary.

"Then tell him that we shall try the poisoning case."

Breae was an assistant prosecuting attorney and was assigned to this
term of the court.

The secretary met Breae in the corridor. With uplifted shoulders, his
robe unbuttoned, and portfolio under his arm, he almost ran, his heels
clattering on the floor, and his disengaged hand outstretched in the
direction in which he was going.

"Michael Petrovich desires to know if you are ready," said the

"Certainly; I am always ready," said the assistant prosecutor; "which
is the first case?"

"The poisoning case."

"Very well," said the assistant prosecutor, but he did not consider it
well at all--he had not slept all night. A send-off had been given to
a departing friend, and he drank and played till two in the morning,
so that he was entirely unfamiliar with this case, and now hastened to
glance over the indictment. The secretary had purposely suggested the
case, knowing that the prosecutor had not read it. The secretary was a
man of liberal, even radical, ideas. Breae was conservative, and the
secretary disliked him, and envied his position.

"And what about the Skoptzy?"[A]

"I have already said that I cannot prosecute them in the absence of
witnesses," said the assistant prosecutor, "and I will so declare to
the court."

"But you don't need----"

"I cannot," said the assistant prosecutor, and waving his hand, ran to
his office.

He was postponing the case against the Skoptzy, although the absent
witness was an entirely unnecessary one. The real reason of the
postponement was that the prosecutor feared that their trial before an
intelligent jury might end in their acquittal. By an understanding
with the presiding justice their case was to be transferred to the
session of the District Court, where the preponderance of peasants on
the jury would insure their conviction.

The commotion in the corridor increased. The greatest crowd was before
the Civil Court, where the case of which the portly gentleman was
telling the jurymen was being tried. During a recess the same old lady
from whom the ingenious attorney managed to win her property in favor
of his shrewd client, came out of the court-room. That he was not
entitled to the property was known to the judges as well as to the
claimant and his attorney, but the mode of their procedure was such
that it was impossible to dismiss their claim. The old lady was stout,
in smart attire, and with large flowers on her hat. As she passed
into the corridor she stopped, and turning to her lawyer, kept

"How can it be? Great heavens! I don't understand it!"

The lawyer did not listen to her, but looked at the flowers on her
hat, making mental calculations.

Behind the old lady, beaming in his wide-open vest, and with a
self-sufficient smile on his face, came that same famous lawyer who so
managed the case that the lady with the large flowers lost all her
property, while his shrewd client, who paid him ten thousand rubles,
received over a hundred thousand. All eyes were directed toward him.
He was conscious of it and seemed to say by his demeanor:

"Never mind your expressions of devotion," and brushed past the crowd.


[Footnote A: A sect of eunuchs.]


Finally Matvei Nikitich arrived, and the usher, a long-necked and lean
man, with a sideling gait and protruding lower lip, entered the

The usher was an honest man, with a university education, but he could
not hold any employment on account of his tippling habit. A countess,
his wife's patroness, had obtained him his present position three
months ago; he still retained it, and was exceedingly glad.

"Are you all here, gentlemen?" he asked, putting on his pince-nez and
looking through it.

"I think so," said the cheerful merchant.

"Let us see," said the usher, and drawing a sheet of paper from his
pocket, began to call the names of the jury, looking at those that
responded to their names now through his pince-nez, now over it.

"Counsilor of State E. M. Nikiforoff."

"Here," said the portly gentleman, who was familiar with all the

"Retired Colonel Ivan Semionovich Ivanoff."

"Present," answered a lank man in the uniform of a retired officer.

"Merchant of the second guild, Peter Baklashoff."

"Here," said the good-natured merchant, smiling from ear to ear. "We
are ready."

"Lieutenant of the Guards, Prince Dmitri Nekhludoff."

"Here," answered Nekhludoff.

The usher, looking politely and pleasantly through his pince-nez,
bowed, thereby distinguishing him from the rest, as it were.

"Captain Uri Dmitrievich Danchenko; merchant Gregory Ephimovich
Kouleshoff," etc., etc., etc.

There were but two missing from the panel.

"You will now, gentlemen, walk into the court," said the usher,
pointing to the door with a polite sweep of the hand.

They all rose from their seats, and passing each other through the
door, made their way through the corridor to the court-room.

The court was held in a large, oblong room. At one end was a platform,
reached by three steps. In the middle of the platform stood a table,
covered with green cloth, which was fringed with a dark-green lace.
Behind the table stood three arm-chairs with high, carved backs. In an
image-case suspended in the right corner was a representation of
Christ with a crown of thorns, and beneath it a reading-desk, and on
the same side stood the prosecutor's desk. To the left, opposite this
desk, was the secretary's table, and dividing these from the seats
reserved for spectators was a carved railing, along which stood the
prisoners' bench, as yet unoccupied.

On an elevation to the right were two rows of chairs, also with high
backs, reserved for the jury; below these were tables for the
attorneys. All this was in the front part of the court-room, which was
divided in two by a railing. In the rear part of the room benches in
lines extended to the wall. In the front row sat four women, either
servants or factory employees, and two men, also workmen, who were
evidently awed by the grandeur of the ornamentations, and were timidly
whispering to each other.

Soon after the jurymen came the usher, who, walking sidewise to the
middle of the room, shouted, as if he meant to frighten those present:

"The court is coming!"

Everybody stood up, and the judges ascended the platform. First came
the presiding judge with his muscles and beautiful whiskers. Then came
the gold-spectacled, gloomy member of the court--now even more gloomy,
for before the opening of the session he met his brother-in-law, a
candidate for a judicial office, who told him that he had seen his
sister, and that she declared that there would be no dinner at home
this day.

"So that, it seems, we will have to dine at an inn," said the
brother-in-law, laughing.

"What is there droll about it?" said the gloomy member of the court,
and sank into a still deeper gloom.

And last of all came the third member of the court, that same Matvei
Nikitich, who was always late. He wore a long beard, and had large,
kindly eyes, with drooping eyelids. He suffered from catarrh of the
stomach, and by the advice of his physician had adopted a new regimen,
and this new regimen detained him this morning longer than usual. When
he ascended the platform he seemed to be wrapped in thought, but only
because he had the habit of making riddles of every question that
occurred to him. At this moment he was occupied with the following
enigmatical proposition:

If the number of steps in the distance between the cabinet-door and
the arm-chair will divide by three without a remainder, then the new
regimen will cure him; but if it does not so divide, then it will not.
There were twenty-six steps, but he made one short step and reached
the chair with the twenty-seventh.

As the judges ascended the elevation in their uniforms, with
gold-laced collars, they presented an imposing array. They themselves
felt it, and all three, as if confused by their own greatness,
modestly lowered their eyes, and hastily seated themselves behind the
table on which clean paper and freshly-pointed lead pencils of all
sizes had been placed. The prosecutor, who entered with the judges,
also hastily walked to his place near the window, his portfolio still
under his arm, and waving his hand he began to read the papers in the
case, utilizing every moment to prepare himself.

This was his fifth case as prosecuting attorney. He was ambitious, and
was determined to make his career, and hence he endeavored to obtain
a conviction in every case he prosecuted. He knew the main points of
the poisoning case, and had already planned his speech; but he needed
to know some particulars of which he was now making extracts from the

The secretary sat on the opposite side of the elevation, and, having
prepared all the papers that might be necessary to produce on trial,
was glancing over a newspaper article, which he had obtained and read
the day before. He was anxious to talk to the member of the court with
the long beard, who shared his views, and before doing so wished to
better familiarize himself with it.


The presiding justice looked over the papers, asked some questions of
the usher, and receiving affirmative answers, ordered that the
prisoners be brought into court. Immediately a door beyond the grating
opened, and two gendarmes with unsheathed swords and caps on their
heads, stepped into the court-room. Behind them came a freckled,
red-haired man and two women. The man was dressed in prisoner's garb
which was too long and too wide for him. As he entered the court-room
he held up with outspread fingers the sleeves which were too long.
Without looking at the judges or the spectators, his attention was
absorbed by the bench around which he was led. When he had passed
around he carefully seated himself on the edge, and making room for
the others, began to stare at the presiding justice, the muscles of
his cheeks moving as if he were whispering something. He was followed
by a middle-aged woman, also dressed in a prisoner's coat. A white
prison cap covered her head; her face was grayish, and her eyes were
devoid of either eye-lashes or eyebrows. She seemed quite composed. As
she was passing the railing to take her seat, her coat caught at
something; without haste, she carefully disengaged it, then smoothed
it and took her seat.

The third prisoner was Maslova.

No sooner did she enter than all the male spectators turned their
eyes toward her, attracted by her white face, lustrous black eyes and
high breast. Even the gendarme whom she passed gazed at her until she
seated herself; then, as if feeling himself guilty, he quickly turned
his head from her and straightening himself, he began to gaze into the
window directly in front of him.

The presiding justice waited until all the prisoners took their
places, and as soon as Maslova was seated, he turned to the secretary.

Then commenced the customary proceeding; calling of the jurymen,
fining the absent ones, listening to the claims of exemption from jury
duty and filling the panel from a number of reserves. Then the
presiding justice folded the slips of paper, placed them in a glass
vase, and turning up his gold-laced sleeve drew the slips one by one,
unrolled them and read them aloud. Then he straightened his sleeve and
called on the priest to swear in the jury.

An old little priest with a swollen, pale yellow face, in a brown
cassock and gold cross on his breast and some small badges pinned to
the cassock, slowly moving his swollen feet under the cassock,
approached the reading desk under the image.

The jury rose and, crowding each other, came forward.

"Come nearer, please," said the priest, touching with his swollen hand
the cross on his breast, and waiting until all the jury were near him.

While the jury were mounting the steps to the elevation where the desk
stood, the priest wriggled his bald, hoary head through the opening of
the stole, then rearranging his scanty hair, he turned to the jury:

"Raise your right hands and keep your fingers thus," he said, in a
slow, feeble voice, raising his bloated hand and pointing at his
forehead with the first three of its dimpled fingers. "Now repeat
after me: 'I promise and swear by the Almighty God, His Holy Gospel,
and by the life-giving cross of our Lord, that in the case'"--he
continued, resting after each phrase. "Don't drop your hand; hold it
thus," he turned to a young man who let his hand fall--"'that in the
case which----'"

The portly, whiskered gentleman, the colonel, merchant and others
held their hands as directed by the priest, and seemed to do so with
particular pleasure, holding their hands quite high, and their fingers
most proper; others seemed to do it against their will, and
carelessly. Some repeated the words too loudly, in a provoking manner,
with an expression on the face which seemed to say: "I will repeat as
I please;" others whispered, fell behind the priest and then, as if
frightened, hastened to catch up with him. Some held their fingers
tightly closed, as if challenging anyone to part them; others, again,
loosened them, now closed them again. After the jury was sworn, the
presiding justice directed them to choose a foreman. They arose and,
crowding each other, went into the consultation room, where almost
every one produced cigarettes and began to smoke. Some one proposed
the portly gentleman, who was immediately chosen, then they threw away
their cigarettes and returned to the court. The gentleman declared to
the presiding justice that he was chosen foreman, and stepping over
the feet of each other, the jury again seated themselves in the two
rows of high-backed chairs.

Everything proceeded smoothly, quickly and not without solemnity, and
the regularity, order and solemnity evidently pleased the
participants, confirming their sense of rendering important public
service. Nekhludoff also experienced this feeling.

As soon as the jury seated themselves the presiding justice instructed
them in their rights, duties and responsibilities. While speaking, he
was constantly changing his attitude; now he leaned on his right hand,
now on his left; then he reclined in his chair, or rested his hands on
the arms of the chair, smoothed the corners of the paper on the table,
polished the paper-knife or clutched the lead pencil.

Their rights, according to him, consisted in that they were allowed to
question prisoners, through the presiding justice; they might keep
pencils and paper, and might also view exhibits. Their duties
consisted in not giving a false verdict. And their responsibilities
consisted in that if they failed to keep secret their deliberations,
or spoke to outsiders, they would be liable to punishment.

They all listened with respectful attention. The merchant, from whom
the fumes of wine spread through the jury box, and who was suppressing
the noisy rising of gases in his stomach, approvingly nodded at every


After he had finished the instructions, the presiding justice turned
to the prisoners.

"Simon Kartinkin, rise!" he said.

Simon sprang up nervously. The muscles of his cheeks began to twitch
still quicker.

"What is your name?"

"Simon Petroff Kartinkin," he said quickly, in a sharp voice,
evidently prepared for the question.

"What estate?"


"What government, district?"

"Government of Tula, district of Krapivensk, Kupian township, village
of Borki."

"How old are you?"

"Thirty-four; born in eighteen hundred----"

"What faith?"

"Of the Russian orthodox faith."

"Are you married?"

"O, no!"

"What is your occupation?"

"I was employed in the Hotel Mauritania."

"Were you ever arrested before?"

"I was never arrested before, because where I lived----"

"You were not arrested?"

"God forbid! Never!"

"Have you received a copy of the indictment?"


"Sit down. Euphemia Ivanovna Bochkova!" The presiding justice turned
to the next prisoner.

But Simon remained standing in front of Bochkova.

"Kartinkin, sit down!"

Kartinkin still remained standing.

"Kartinkin, sit down!"

But Kartinkin stood still until the usher, his head leaning to the
side, and with wide-open eyes, whispered to him in a tragic tone:

"Sit down, sit down!"

Kartinkin sat down as quickly as he rose, and wrapping himself in his
coat began to move his cheeks.

"Your name?" With a sigh of weariness the presiding justice turned to
the next prisoner without looking at her, and consulted a paper before
him. He was so accustomed to the business that to expedite matters he
could try two cases at once.

Bochkova was forty-two years old, a burgess of the town of Koloma; by
occupation a servant--in the same Hotel Mauritania. Was never arrested
before, and had received a copy of the indictment. She gave the
answers very boldly and with an intonation which seemed to add to
every answer.

"Yes, Bochkova, Euphemia, have received a copy, and am proud of it,
and will permit no one to laugh at me."

Without waiting to be told to sit down, Bochkova sat down immediately
after the questioning ceased.

"Your name?" asked the presiding justice of the third prisoner. "You
must rise," he added, gently and courteously, seeing Maslova still in
her seat.

With quick movement Maslova rose with an air of submissiveness, and
throwing back her shoulders, looked into the face of the presiding
justice with her smiling, somewhat squinting black eyes.

"What are you called?"

"They used to call me Lubka," she answered, rapidly.

Meanwhile Nekhludoff put on his pince-nez and examined the prisoners
while they were questioned.

"It is impossible," he thought, looking intently at the prisoner. "But
her name is Lubka," he thought, as he heard her answer.

The presiding justice was about to continue his interrogation when the
member with the eye-glasses, angrily whispering something, stopped
him. The presiding justice nodded his assent and turned to the

"You say 'Lubka,' but a different name is entered here."

The prisoner was silent.

"I ask you what is your real name?"

"What name did you receive at baptism?" asked the angry member.

"Formerly I was called Katherine."

"It is impossible," Nekhludoff continued to repeat, although there was
no doubt in his mind now that it was she, that same servant ward with
whom he had been in love at one time--yes, in love, real love, and
whom in a moment of mental fever he led astray, then abandoned, and to
whom he never gave a second thought, because the recollection of it
was too painful, revealed too manifestly that he, who prided himself
of his good breeding, not only did not treat her decently, but basely
deceived her.

Yes, it was she. He saw plainly the mysterious peculiarity that
distinguishes every individual from every other individual.
Notwithstanding the unnatural whiteness and fullness of her face, this
pleasant peculiarity was in the face, in the lips, in the slightly
squinting eyes, and, principally, in the naive, smiling glance, and in
the expression of submissiveness not only in the face, but in the
whole figure.

"You should have said so," again very gently said the presiding
justice. "What is your patronymic?"

"I am illegitimate," said Maslova.

"But yet you were named after your godfather?"


"What crime could she have committed?" Nekhludoff thought meanwhile,
his breath almost failing him.

"What is your surname--your family name?" continued the presiding

"Maslova--after my mother."

"Your estate?"


"Of the orthodox faith?"


"Your occupation? What was your occupation?"

Maslova was silent.

"What was your occupation?" repeated the justiciary.

"You know!" said Maslova. She smiled and quickly glanced around, then
looked squarely at the justiciary.

There was something so unusual in the expression of her
face--something so terrible and piteous in the meaning of her words,
in that smile, that quick glance which she cast over the
court-room--that the justiciary hung his head, and for a moment there
was perfect silence.

A burst of laughter from some spectator interrupted the silence. Some
one hissed. The justiciary raised his head and continued the

"Were you ever arrested?"

"No." Maslova said in an undertone, sighing.

"Have you received a copy of the indictment?"


"Sit down."

The prisoner raised her skirt with the customary movement of a
fashionable lady, arranging her train, and sat down, folding her hands
in the sleeves of her coat, and still looking at the justiciary.

Then began the recounting of witnesses, their removal to a separate
room, the decision on the evidence of the medical expert. Then the
secretary arose and began to read the indictment, loud and with
distinctness, but so rapidly that his incorrect sounding of the
letters l and r turned his reading into one continuous, weary drone.
The judges leaned now on one side, now on the other side of their
arm-chairs, then on the table, and again on the backs of the chairs,
or closed their eyes, or opened them and whispered to each other. One
of the gendarmes several times stifled a yawn.

The convulsions of Kartinkin's cheeks did not cease. Bochkova sat
quietly and erect, now and then scratching with her finger under her

Maslova sat motionless, listening to the reading, and looking at the
clerk; at times she shuddered and made a movement as if desiring to
object, blushed, then sighed deeply, changed the position of her
hands, glanced around and again looked at the clerk.

Nekhludoff sat on the high-backed chair in the front row, second to
the aisle, and without removing his pince-nez looked at Maslova, while
his soul was being racked by a fierce and complicated struggle.


The indictment read as follows:

"On the 17th of January, 18--, suddenly died in the Hotel Mauritania,
merchant of the second guild, Therapont Emelianovich Smelkoff.

"The local police physician certified that the cause of death of said
Smelkoff was rupture of the heart, caused by excessive use of liquor.

"The body of Smelkoff was interred.

"On the 21st day of January, a townsman and comrade of Smelkoff, on
returning from St. Petersburg, and hearing of the circumstances of his
death, declared his suspicion that Smelkoff was poisoned with a view
of robbing him of the money he carried about his person.

"This suspicion was confirmed at the preliminary inquest, by which it
was established: 1. That Smelkoff had drawn from the bank, some time
before his death, three thousand eight hundred rubles; that, after a
due and careful inventory of the money of the deceased, only three
hundred and twelve rubles and sixteen kopecks were found. 2. That the
entire day and evening preceding his death deceased passed in the
company of a girl named Lubka (Katherine Maslova) in the Hotel
Mauritania, whither said Maslova came at the request of Smelkoff for
money; that she obtained the money from Smelkoff's trunk, first
unlocking it with a key intrusted to her by Smelkoff; that the money
was thus taken in the presence of two servants of the said
hotel--Euphemia Bochkova and Simon Kartinkin; that at the opening of
said trunk by the said Maslova in the presence of the aforementioned
Bochkova and Kartinkin, there were rolls of hundred ruble bills. 3.
That on the return of said Smelkoff and Maslova to the said hotel, the
said Maslova, on the advice of the said servant Kartinkin,
administered to the deceased a glass of brandy, in which she put a
white powder given her by said Kartinkin. 4. That on the following
morning Lubka (Katherine Maslova) sold to her mistress, Rosanova, a
diamond ring belonging to Smelkoff, said ring she alleged to have
been presented to her by said Smelkoff. 5. That the servant of said
Hotel Mauritania, Euphemia Bochkova, deposited in her name in the
local Bank of Commerce the sum of eighteen hundred rubles.

"At the autopsy held on the body of Smelkoff, and after the removal of
the intestines, the presence of poison was readily discovered, leaving
no doubt that death was caused by poisoning.

"The prisoners, Maslova, Bochkova and Kartinkin pleaded not guilty.
Maslova declared that she did go to the Hotel Mauritania, as stated,
for the purpose of fetching some money for the merchant, and that
opening the trunk with the key given to her by the merchant, she took
only forty rubles, as she was directed, but took no more, which fact
can be substantiated by Bochkova and Kartinkin, in whose presence she
took the money and locked the trunk. She further testified that during
her second visit to the room of the merchant she gave him, at the
instigation of Kartinkin, several powders in a glass of brandy, which
she considered to be narcotic, in order that she might get away from
him. The ring was presented to her by Smelkoff when she cried and was
about to leave him after he had beaten her.

"Euphemia Bochkova testified that she knew nothing about the missing
money, never entered the merchant's room, which Lubka herself kept in
order, and that if anything was stolen from the merchant, it was done
by Lubka when she came to the room for the money."

At this point Maslova shuddered, and with open mouth looked at

"And when Euphemia Bochkova was shown her bank account of eighteen
hundred rubles," continued the secretary, "and asked how she came by
the money, she testified that the money was saved from their earnings
by herself and Simon Kartinkin, whom she intended to marry.

"Simon Kartinkin, on his part, at the first examination, confessed
that, at the instigation of Maslova, who brought the key to the trunk,
he and Bochkova stole the money, which was afterwards divided between
the three."

At this Maslova shuddered again, sprang to her feet, turned red in
the face, and began to say something, but the usher bade her be quiet.

"Finally," continued the secretary, "Kartinkin also confessed to
giving Maslova the powders to put the merchant to sleep. On the second
examination, however, he denied having either stolen the money, or
given Maslova the powders, but charged Maslova with both. As to the
money placed by Bochkova in the bank, he declared, in accordance with
Bochkova's testimony, that they had saved it during their twelve
years' service in the hotel."

The indictment wound up as follows:

"In view of the aforesaid the defendants, Simon Kartinkin, peasant of
the village of Borkoff, thirty-three years of age; burgess Euphemia
Ivanova Bochkova, forty-two years of age, and burgess Katherine
Maslova, twenty-seven years of age, conspired on the 17th day of
January, 188-, to administer poison to merchant Smelkoff with intent
to kill and rob him, and did on said day administer to said Smelkoff
poison, from which poison the said Smelkoff died, and did thereafter
rob him of a diamond ring and twenty-five hundred rubles, contrary to
the laws in such cases made and provided. Chapter 1453, sections 4 and
5, Penal Code.

"Wherefore, in accordance with chapter 201 of the Code of Criminal
Procedure, the said peasant, Simon Kartinkin, burgess Euphemia
Bochkova and burgess Katherine Maslova are subject to trial by jury,
the case being within the jurisdiction of the Circuit Court."

The clerk having finished the reading of the long indictment, folded
the papers, seated himself at his desk and began to arrange his long
hair. Every one present gave a sigh of relief, and with the
consciousness that the trial had already begun, everything would be
cleared up and justice would finally be done, leaned back on their

Nekhludoff alone did not experience this feeling. He was absorbed in
the horrible thought that the same Maslova, whom he knew as an
innocent and beautiful girl ten years ago, could be guilty of such a


When the reading of the indictment was finished, the justiciary,
having consulted with his associates, turned to Kartinkin with an
expression on his face which plainly betokened confidence in his
ability to bring forth all the truth.

"Simon Kartinkin," he called, leaning to the left.

Simon Kartinkin rose, put out his chest, incessantly moving his

"You are charged, together with Euphemia Bochkova and Katherine
Maslova, with stealing from the trunk of the merchant Smelkoff money
belonging to him, and subsequently brought arsenic and induced Maslova
to administer it to Smelkoff, by reason of which he came to his death.
Are you guilty or not guilty?" he said, leaning to the right.

"It is impossible, because our business is to attend the guests----"

"You will speak afterwards. Are you guilty or not?"

"No, indeed. I only----"

"You can speak later. Do you admit that you are guilty?" calmly but
firmly repeated the justiciary.

"I cannot do it because----"

Again the usher sprang toward Simon and with a tragic whisper stopped

The justiciary, with an expression showing that the questioning was at
an end, moved the hand in which he held a document to another place,
and turned to Euphemia Bochkova.

"Euphemia Bochkova, you, with Kartinkin and Maslova, are charged with
stealing, on the 17th day of January, 188-, at the Hotel Mauritania,
from the trunk of the merchant Smelkoff, money and a ring, and
dividing the same among yourselves, and with a view of hiding your
crime, administered poison to him, from the effects of which he died.
Are you guilty?"

"I am not guilty of anything," boldly and firmly answered the
prisoner. "I never entered the room--and as that scurvy woman did go
into the room, she, then, did the business----"

"You will speak afterwards," again said the justiciary, with the same
gentleness and firmness. "So you are not guilty?"

"I did not take the money, did not give him the poison, did not go
into the room. If I were in the room I should have thrown her out."

"You are not guilty, then?"


"Very well."

"Katherine Maslova," began the justiciary, turning to the third
prisoner. "The charge against you is that, having come to the Hotel
Mauritania with the key to Smelkoff's trunk, you stole therefrom money
and a ring," he said, like one repeating a lesson learned by rote, and
leaning his ear to the associate sitting on his left, who said that he
noticed that the phial mentioned in the list of exhibits was missing.
"Stole therefrom money and a ring," repeated the justiciary, "and
after dividing the money again returned with the merchant Smelkoff to
the Hotel Mauritania, and there administered to him poison, from the
effects of which he died. Are you guilty or not guilty?"

"I am not guilty of anything," she answered, quickly. "As I said
before, so I repeat now: I never, never, never took the money; I did
not take anything, and the ring he gave me himself."

"You do not plead guilty of stealing twenty-five hundred rubles?" said
the justiciary.

"I say I didn't take anything but forty rubles."

"And do you plead guilty to the charge of giving the merchant Smelkoff
powders in his wine?"

"To that I plead guilty. Only I thought, as I was told, that they
would put him to sleep, and that no harm could come from them. I did
not wish, nor thought of doing him any harm. Before God, I say that I
did not," she said.

"So you deny that you are guilty of stealing the money and ring from
the merchant Smelkoff," said the justiciary, "but you admit that you
gave him the powders?"

"Of course, I admit, only I thought that they were sleeping powders.
I only gave them to him that he might fall asleep--never wished, nor

"Very well," said the justiciary, evidently satisfied with the results
of the examinations. "Now tell us how it happened," he said, leaning
his elbows on the arms of the chair and putting his hands on the
table. "Tell us everything. By confessing frankly you will improve
your present condition."

Maslova, still looking straight at the justiciary, was silent.

"Tell us what took place."

"What took place?" suddenly said Maslova. "I came to the hotel; I was
taken to the room; he was there, and was already very drunk." (She
pronounced the word "he" with a peculiar expression of horror and with
wide-open eyes.) "I wished to depart; he would not let me."

She became silent, as if she had lost the thread of the story, or
thought of something else.

"What then?"

"What then? Then I remained there awhile and went home."

At this point the assistant public prosecutor half rose from his seat,
uncomfortably resting on one elbow.

"Do you wish to question the prisoner?" asked the justiciary, and
receiving an affirmative answer, motioned his assent.

"I would like to put this question: Has the prisoner been acquainted
with Simon Kartinkin before?" asked the assistant prosecutor without
looking at Maslova.

And having asked the question he pressed his lips and frowned.

The justiciary repeated the question. Maslova looked with frightened
eyes at the prosecutor.

"With Simon? I was," she said.

"I would like to know now, what was the character of the acquaintance
that existed between them. Have they met often?"

"What acquaintance? He invited me to meet guests; there was no
acquaintance," answered Maslova, throwing restless glances now at the
prosecutor, now at the justiciary.

"I would like to know why did Kartinkin invite Maslova only, and not
other girls?" asked the prosecutor, with a Mephistophelian smile,
winking his eyes.

"I don't know. How can I tell?" answered Maslova, glancing around her,
frightened, and for a moment resting her eyes on Nekhludoff. "He
invited whomever he wished."

"Is it possible that she recognized me?" Nekhludoff thought, with
horror. He felt his blood rising to his head, but Maslova did not
recognize him. She turned away immediately, and with frightened eyes
gazed at the prosecutor.

"Then the prisoner denies that she had intimate relations with
Kartinkin? Very well. I have no more questions to ask."

He removed his elbow from the desk, and began to make notes. In
reality, instead of making notes, he merely drew lines across his
notes, having seen prosecutors and attorneys, after an adroit
question, making memoranda of questions which were to crush their

The justiciary did not turn immediately to the prisoner, because he
was at the moment asking his associate in the eye-glasses whether he
consented to the questions previously outlined and committed to

"What followed?" the justiciary continued.

"I came home," Maslova continued, looking somewhat bolder, "and went
to sleep. As soon as I was asleep our girl, Bertha, came and woke me.
'Your merchant is here again. Wake up.' Then he"--again she pronounced
it with evident horror--"he wished to send for wine, but was short of
money. Then he sent me to the hotel, telling me where the money was
and how much to take, and I went."

The justiciary was whispering at the time to his associate on the
left, and did not listen to Maslova, but to make it appear that he had
heard everything he repeated her last words.

"And you went. Well, what else?" he asked.

"I came there and did as he told me. I went to his room. I did not
enter it alone, but called Simon Michaelovich and her," she said,
pointing to Bochkova.

"She lies; I never entered----" Bochkova began, but she was stopped.

"In their presence I took four ten ruble bills," she continued.

"And while taking this money, did the prisoner see how much money
there was?" asked the prosecutor.

Maslova shuddered as soon as the prosecutor began to speak. She could
not tell why, but she felt that he was her enemy.

"I did not count it, but I saw that it was all hundred ruble bills."

"The prisoner saw hundred ruble bills. I have no other questions."

"Well, did you bring back the money?" asked the justiciary, looking at
the clock.

"I did."

"Well, what then?"

"Then he again took me with him," said Maslova.

"And how did you give him the powder in the wine?" asked the

"How? Poured it into the wine and gave it to him."

"Why did you give it to him?"

Without answering, she sighed deeply. After a short silence she said:

"He would not let me go. He exhausted me. I went into the corridor and
said to Simon Michaelovich: 'If he would only let me go; I am so
tired.' And Simon Michaelovich said: 'We are also tired of him. We
intend to give him sleeping powders. When he is asleep you can go.'
'All right,' I said. I thought that it was a harmless powder. He gave
me a package. I entered. He lay behind the partition, and ordered me
to bring him some brandy. I took from the table a bottle of
feen-champagne, poured into two glasses--for myself and him--threw the
powder into his glass and handed it to him. I would not have given it
to him if I had known it."

"And how did you come by the ring?" asked the justiciary.

"He presented it to me."

"When did he present it to you?"

"When we reached his room. I wished to depart. Then he struck me on
the head and broke my comb. I was angered, and wished to go. Then he
took the ring from his finger and gave it to me, asking me to stay,"
she said.

Here the assistant prosecutor again rose, and with a dissimulating
naiveness asked permission to ask a few more questions, which was
granted, and leaning his head on his gold-embroidered collar, he

"I would like to know how long was the prisoner in the room with

Maslova was again terror-stricken, and with her frightened eyes
wandering from the prosecutor to the justiciary, she answered,

"I do not remember how long."

"And does the prisoner remember entering another part of the hotel
after she had left Smelkoff?"

Maslova was thinking.

"Into the next room--an empty one," she said.

"Why did you enter that room?" said the assistant prosecutor,

"To wait for a cabriolet."

"Was not Kartinkin in the room with the prisoner?"

"He also came in."

"Why did he come in?"

"There was the merchant's feen-champagne left, and we drank it

"Oh, drank together. Very well."

"And did the prisoner have any conversation with Simon, and what was
the subject of the conversation?"

Maslova suddenly frowned, her face turned red, and she quickly

"What I said? I know nothing more. Do what you please with me. I am
innocent, and that is all. I did not say anything. I told everything
that happened."

"I have no more questions to ask," said the prosecutor to the court,
and uplifting his shoulders he began to add to the memorandums of his
speech that the prisoner herself confessed to entering an empty room
with Simon.

There was a short silence.

"Have you anything else to say?"

"I have told everything," she said, sighing, and took her seat.

The justiciary then made some notes, and after he had listened to a
suggestion whispered by the associate on the left, declared a recess
of ten minutes, and, hastily rising, walked out of the court-room.

After the judges had risen, the jury, lawyers and witness also rose,
and with the pleasant feeling of having already performed part of an
important work, began to move hither and thither.

Nekhludoff walked into the jury-room and took a seat near the window.


Yes, it was Katiousha.

The relations of Nekhludoff to Katiousha were the following:

Nekhludoff first met Katiousha when he went to stay one summer out at
the estate of his aunts in order that he might quietly prepare his
thesis on the private ownership of land. Ordinarily he lived on the
estate of his mother, near Moskow, with his mother and sister. But
that year his sister married, and his mother went abroad. Nekhludoff
had to write a composition in the course of his university studies,
and decided to pass the summer at his aunts'. There in the woods it
was quiet, and there was nothing to distract him from his studies.
Besides, the aunts loved their nephew and heir, and he loved them,
loved their old-fashioned way of living.

During that summer Nekhludoff experienced that exaltation which youth
comes to know not by the teaching of others, but when it naturally
begins to recognize the beauty and importance of life, and man's
serious place in it; when it sees the possibility of infinite
perfection of which the world is capable, and devotes itself to that
endeavor, not only with the hope, but with a full conviction of
reaching that perfection which it imagines possible. While in the
university he had that year read Spencer's Social Statics, and
Spencer's reasoning bearing on private ownership of land produced a
strong impression on him, especially because he was himself the son of
a landed proprietress. His father was not rich, but his mother
received as her marriage portion ten thousand acres of land. He then
for the first time understood all the injustice of private ownership
of land, and being one of those to whom any sacrifice in the name of
moral duty was a lofty spiritual enjoyment, he forthwith divided the
land he had inherited from his father among the peasants. On this
subject he was then composing a disquisition.

His life on the estate of his aunts was ordered in the following way:
He rose very early, some times at three o'clock, and till sunrise
bathed in the river under a hill, often in the morning mist, and
returned when the dew was yet on the grass and flowers. Some mornings
he would, after partaking of coffee, sit down to write his
composition, or read references bearing on the subject. But, above
all, he loved to ramble in the woods. Before dinner he would lie down
in the woods and sleep; then, at dinner, he made merry, jesting with
his aunts; then went out riding or rowing. In the evening he read
again, or joined his aunts, solving riddles for them. On moonlit
nights he seldom slept, because of the immense joy of life that
pervaded him, and instead of sleeping, he sometimes rambled in the
garden till daylight, absorbed in his thoughts and phantasies.

Thus he lived happily the first month under the roof of his aunts'
dwelling, paying no attention to the half-servant, half-ward, the
black-eyed, nimble-footed Katiousha.

Nekhludoff, raised under the protecting wing of his mother, was at
nineteen a perfectly innocent youth. He dreamed of woman, but only as
wife. All those women who, according to his view, could not be
considered as likely to become his wife, were to him not women, but
people. But it happened on Ascension Day that there was visiting his
aunts a lady from the neighborhood with her two young daughters, her
son and a local artist who was staying with them.

After tea had been served the entire company, as usual, repaired to
the meadow, where they played blind man's buff. Katiousha went with
them. After some exchanges came Nekhludoff's turn to run with
Katiousha. Nekhludoff always liked to see Katiousha, but it had never
occurred to him that their relations could ever be any but the most

"It will be difficult to catch them now," said the cheerful artist,
whose short and curved legs carried him very swiftly, "unless they

"You could not catch them."

"One, two, three!"

They clapped their hands three times. Almost bursting into laughter,
Katiousha quickly changed places with Nekhludoff, and pressing with
her strong, rough little hand his large hand she ran to the left,
rustling her starched skirt.

Nekhludoff was a swift runner; he wished to out-distance the artist,
and ran with all his might. As he turned around he saw the artist
catching up with Katiousha, but with her supple limbs she gained on
him and ran to the left. In front of them was a patch of lilac bushes,
behind which no one ran, but Katiousha, turning toward Nekhludoff,
motioned him with her head to join her there. He understood her, and
ran behind the bushes. But here was a ditch overgrown with nettles,
whose presence was unknown to Nekhludoff. He stumbled and fell,
stinging and wetting his hands in the evening dew that was now
falling, but, laughing, he straightened himself and ran into the open.

Katiousha, her black eyes beaming with joy, ran toward him. They met
and caught each others' hands.

"You were stung by the nettles, I suppose," she said, arranging with
her free hand her loosened braid, breathing heavily, and looking up
into his eyes.

"I did not know there was a ditch," he said, also smiling, and still
keeping her hand in his.

She advanced a little, and he, without being able to account for it,
inclined his face toward hers. She did not draw back. He pressed her
hand and kissed her on the lips.

She uttered an exclamation, and with a swift movement, releasing her
hand, she ran in the direction of the crowd.

Plucking two lilac twigs from the lilac bush, fanning her flushed face
with them, and glancing around toward him, she ran to the players,
briskly waving her hands.

From this day on the relations between Nekhludoff and Katiousha were
changed, and there were established between them those peculiar
relations which are customary between two innocent young people who
are attached to each other.

As soon as Katiousha entered the room, or even when Nekhludoff saw her
white apron from afar, everything became immediately as if lit by the
sun; everything became more interesting, more cheerful, more
important; life became more joyful. She experienced the same feeling.
But not alone the presence and proximity of Katiousha had such effect
upon Nekhludoff; the very thought of her existence had the same power
upon him as that of his had upon her. Whether he received an
unpleasant letter from his mother, or was backward in his composition,
or felt the ceaseless sadness of youth, it would suffice for him to
see her and his spirit resumed its wonted good cheer.

Katiousha had to do all the housework, but she managed to do her duty
and found spare time for reading. He gave her the works of Dostoievsky
and Tourgenieff to read. Those descriptive of the beauties of nature
she liked best. Their conversations were but momentary, when they met
in the corridor, on the veranda, in the court-yard, or in the room of
the aunts' old servant, Matriena Pavlovna, with whom Katiousha roomed,
or in the servants' chamber, whither Nekhludoff sometimes went to
drink tea. And these conversations in the presence of Matriena
Pavlovna were the pleasantest. When they were alone their conversation
flagged. Then the eyes would speak something different, more
important, than the mouth; the lips were drawn up, they felt
uncomfortable, and quickly parted.

These relations continued during the time of his first visit to his
aunts. The aunts noticed them, were dismayed, and immediately wrote to
the Princess Elena Ivanovna, Nekhludoff's mother. But their anxiety
was unfounded; Nekhludoff, without knowing it, loved Katiousha, as
innocent people love, and this very love was the principal safeguard
against either his or her fall. Not only did he not desire to possess
her physically, but the very thought of such relation horrified him.
There was more reason in the poetical Sophia Ivanovna's fear that
Nekhludoff's having fallen in love with a girl, might take a notion to
marry her without regard to her birth or station.

If Nekhludoff were clearly conscious of his love for Katiousha;
especially if it were sought to persuade him that he could and must
not link his fate to that of the girl, he would very likely have
decided in his plumb-line mind that there was no reason why he should
not marry her, no matter who she was, provided he loved her. But the
aunts did not speak of their fears, and he departed without knowing
that he was enamored of Katiousha.

He was certain that his feeling toward Katiousha was but a
manifestation of that joy which pervaded his entire being, and which
was shared by that lovely, cheerful girl. However, when he was taking
leave, and Katiousha, standing on the veranda with the aunts, followed
him with her black, tearful and somewhat squinting eyes, he felt that
he was leaving behind him something beautiful, precious, which would
never recur. And he became very sad.

"Good-by, Katiousha. I thank you for everything," he said, over the
cap of Sophia Ivanovna, and seated himself in the cabriolet.

"Good-by, Dmitri Ivanovich," she said, in her pleasant, caressing
voice, and holding back the tears which filled her eyes, ran into her
room, where she could cry freely.


For three years afterward Nekhludoff did not see Katiousha. But when,
as staff-officer, he was on his way to his army post, he paid a short
visit to his aunts, but an entirely different man. Three years ago he
was an honest, self-denying youth, ready to devote himself to every
good cause; now he was a corrupt and refined egotist, given over to
personal enjoyment. Then, the world appeared to him as a mystery which
he joyfully and enthusiastically tried to solve; now, everything in
this world was plain and simple, and was determined by those
conditions of life in which he found himself. Then, it was necessary
and important to hold communion with nature and with those people who
lived, thought and felt before him (philosophers, poets); now, human
institutions were the only things necessary and important, and
communion he held with his comrades. Woman, then, appeared to him a
mysterious and charming creature; now, he looked on woman, on every
woman, except nearest relations and wives of friends, as a means of
gratifying now tried pleasures. Then, he needed no money, and wanted
not a third part what his mother gave him, disclaimed title to his
father's land, distributing it among the peasants; now, the fifteen
hundred rubles' monthly allowance he received from his mother did not
suffice for his needs, and he often made it the cause of unpleasant
conversation with her. His true self he then considered his spiritual
being; now, his healthy, vigorous, animal self was his true ego.

And all this terrible transformation took place in him only because he
ceased to have faith in himself, and began to believe in others. To
live according to the faith that was in him was burdensome; every
question would have to be decided almost always against his animal
ego, which was seeking light pleasures; but reposing his faith in
others, there remained nothing to decide, everything having been
decided, and decided always against the spiritual and in favor of the
animal ego. Besides, following his inner faith, he was always subject
to the censure of people; in the other case he received the approval
of the people that surrounded him.

Thus, when Nekhludoff was thinking, reading, speaking of God, of
truth, of wealth, of poverty, everybody considered it out of place and
somewhat queer, while his mother and aunt, with good-natured irony,
called him notre cher philosophe. When, however, he was reading
novels, relating indecent anecdotes or seeing droll vaudevilles in the
French theatre, and afterward merrily repeated them, everybody praised
and encouraged him. When he considered it necessary to curtail his
needs, wore an old coat and gave up wine-drinking, everybody
considered it eccentric and vain originality; but when he spent large
sums in organizing a chase, or building an unusual, luxurious cabinet,
everybody praised his taste and sent him valuable gifts. When he was
chaste, and wished to preserve his chastity till marriage, his
relatives were anxious about his health, and his mother, so far from
being mortified, rather rejoiced when she learned that he had become a
real man, and had enticed the French mistress of some friend of his.
As to the Katiousha episode--that the thought might occur to him of
marrying her, she could not even think of without horror.

Similarly, when Nekhludoff, on reaching his majority, distributed the
estate he inherited from his father among the peasants, because he
considered the ownership of land unjust, this act of his horrified his
mother and relatives, who constantly reproached and ridiculed him for
it. He was told unceasingly that so far from enriching it only
impoverished the peasants, who opened three liquor stores and stopped
working entirely. When, however, Nekhludoff joined the Guards, and
spent and gambled away so much money that Elena Ivanovna had to draw
from her capital, she scarcely grieved, considering it quite natural
and even beneficial to be thus inoculated when young and in good

Nekhludoff at first struggled, but the struggle was very hard, for
whatever he did, following the faith that was in him, was considered
wrong by others, and, contrariwise, whatever he considered wrong was
approved of by his relatives. The result was that Nekhludoff ceased to
have faith in himself and began to follow others. At first this
renunciation of self was unpleasant, but it was short lived, and
Nekhludoff, who now began to smoke and drink wine, soon ceased to
experience this unpleasant feeling, and was even greatly relieved.

Passionate by nature, Nekhludoff gave himself up entirely to this new
life, approved of by all those that surrounded him, and completely
stifled in himself that voice which demanded something different. It
commenced with his removal to St. Petersburg, and ended with his entry
upon active service.

During this period of his life Nekhludoff felt the ecstasy of freedom
from all those moral impediments which he had formerly placed before
himself, and continued in a chronic condition of insane egotism.

He was in this condition when, three years afterward, he visited his


Nekhludoff called at his aunts because their manor lay on the road
through which his regiment had preceded him, and also because they
requested him to do so, but principally in order that he might see
Katiousha. It may be that in the depth of his soul there was already a
mischievous intention toward Katiousha, prompted by his now unbridled
animal ego, but he was not aware of it, he merely desired to visit
those places in which he lived so happily, and see his somewhat queer,
but amiable and good-natured, aunts, who always surrounded the
atmosphere around him with love and admiration, and also to see the
lovely Katiousha, of whom he had such pleasant recollections.

He arrived toward the end of March, on Good Friday, in the season of
bad roads, when the rain was falling in torrents, and was wet all
through, and chilled to the marrow of his bones, but courageous and
excited, as he always felt at that time of the year.

"I wonder if she is still there?" he thought, as he drove into the
familiar court-yard of the old manor, which was covered with snow that
fell from the roofs, and was surrounded by a low brick wall. He
expected that the ringing of the bell would bring her running to meet
him, but on the perron of the servants' quarters appeared two
bare-footed women with tucked-up skirts, carrying buckets, who were
apparently scrubbing floors. She was not on the front perron, either;
only Timon, the lackey, came forth in an apron, also apparently
occupied with cleaning. Sophia Ivanovna came into the ante-chamber,
attired in a silk dress and cap.

"How glad I am that you came!" said Sophia Ivanovna. "Masheuka[B] is
somewhat ill. We were to church, receiving the sacrament. She is very

"I congratulate you, Aunt Sonia,"[C] said Nekhludoff, kissing the hand
of Sophia Ivanovna. "Pardon me, I have soiled you."

"Go to your room. You are wet all through. Oh, what a mustache!
Katiousha! Katiousha! Bring him some coffee quickly."

"All right!" responded a familiar, pleasant voice. Nekhludoff's heart
fluttered. "She is here!" To him it was like the sun rising from
behind the clouds, and he cheerfully went with Timon to his old room
to change his clothing.

Nekhludoff wished to ask Timon about Katiousha. Was she well? How did
she fare? Was she not engaged to be married? But Timon was so
respectful, and at the same time so rigid; he so strictly insisted on
himself pouring the water from the pitcher over Nekhludoff's hands,
that the latter could not decide to ask him about Katiousha, and only
inquired about his grand-children, about the old stallion, about the
watch-dog Polkan. They were all well, except Polkan, who had gone mad
the previous year.

After he had thrown off his wet clothes, and as he was about to dress
himself, Nekhludoff heard quick steps and a rapping at the door. He
recognized both the steps and the rapping. Only _she_ walked and
rapped thus.

It was Katiousha--the same Katiousha--only more lovely than before.
The naive, smiling, somewhat squinting black eyes still looked up; she
wore a clean white apron, as before. She brought a perfumed piece of
soap, just taken from the wrapper, and two towels--one Russian and the
other Turkish. The freshly unpacked soap, the towels and she herself,
were all equally clean, fresh, pure and pleasant. The lovely, firm,
red lips became creased from unrestrainable happiness at sight of him.

"How do you do, Dmitri Ivanovich?" she said, with difficulty, her face
becoming flushed.

"How art--how are you?" He did not know whether to "thou" her or not,
and became as red in the face as she was.[D] "Are you well?"

"Very well. Your aunt sent you your favorite soap, rose-scented," she
said, placing the soap on the table, and the towels on the arms of the

"The gentleman has his own," Timon stood up for the independence of
the guest, proudly pointing to the open traveling bag with silver
lids, containing a large number of bottles, brushes, perfumes and all
sorts of toilet articles.

"My thanks to auntie. But how glad I am that I came," said Nekhludoff,
feeling the old brightness and emotions recurring to his soul.

In answer to this she only smiled and left the room.

The aunts, who always loved Nekhludoff, received him this time with
greater joy than usual. Dmitri was going to active service, where he
might be wounded or killed. This affected the aunts.

Nekhludoff had arranged his trip so that he might spend twenty-four
hours with his aunts, but, seeing Katiousha, decided to remain over
Easter Sunday, which was two days later, and wired to his friend and
commander Shenbok, whom he was to meet at Odessa, to come to his

From the very first day Nekhludoff experienced the old feeling toward
Katiousha. Again he could not see without agitation the white apron of
Katiousha; he could not listen without joy to her steps, her voice,
her laugh; he could not, without emotion, look into her black eyes,
especially when she smiled; he could not, above all, see, without
confusion, how she blushed when they met. He felt that he was in love,
but not as formerly, when this love was to him a mystery, and he had
not the courage to confess it to himself; when he was convinced that
one can love only once. Now he loved knowingly, rejoiced at it, and
confusedly knowing, though he concealed it from himself, what it
consisted of, and what might come of it.

In Nekhludoff, as in all people, there were two beings; one spiritual,
who sought only such happiness for himself as also benefited others;
and the animal being, seeking his own happiness for the sake of which
he is willing to sacrifice that of the world. During this period of
his insane egotism, called forth by the life in the army and in St.
Petersburg, the animal man dominated him and completely suppressed the
spiritual man. But, seeing Katiousha, and being again imbued with the
feelings he formerly experienced toward her, the spiritual man raised
his head and began to assert his rights. And during the two days
preceding Easter an incessant struggle was going on within Nekhludoff
of which he was quite unconscious.

In the depth of his soul he knew that he had to depart; that his stay
at his aunts was unnecessary, that nothing good could come of it, but
it was so joyous and pleasant that he did not heed it, and remained.

On the eve of Easter Sunday, the priest and deacon who, as they
afterward related, with difficulty covered the three miles from the
church to the aunts' manor, arrived on a sleigh to perform the morning

Nekhludoff, with his aunts and the servants, went through the motions,
without ceasing to look on Katiousha, who brought a censer and was
standing at the door; then, in the customary fashion, kissed the
priest and the aunts, and was about to retire to his room when he
heard Matriena Pavlovna, the old servant of Maria Ivanovna, making
preparations with Katiousha to go to church and witness the
consecration of the paschal bread. "I will go there, too," he thought.

There was no wagon or sleigh road to the church, so Nekhludoff gave
command, as he would in his own house, to have a horse saddled, and,
instead of going to bed, donned a brilliant uniform and tight
knee-breeches, threw on his military coat, and, mounting the snorting
and constantly neighing, heavy stallion, he drove off to the church in
the dark, over pools and snow mounds.


[Footnote B: Diminutive of Maria.]

[Footnote C: Diminutive of Sophia.]

[Footnote D: The Russian thou cannot be rendered into English with any
degree of accuracy. The greeting to which the impulsive Nekhludoff was
about to give expression is that used toward a beloved person.]


That morning service formed the brightest and most impressive
reminiscence of Nekhludoff's after life.

The darkness of the night was only relieved here and there by white
patches of snow, and as the stallion, splashing through the mud-pools,
and his ears pricked up at the sight of the fire-pots surrounding the
church, entered its inclosure, the service had already begun.

The peasants, recognizing Maria Ivanovna's nephew, led his horse to
the driest spot, where he dismounted, then they escorted him to the
church filled with a holiday crowd.

To the right were the male peasants; old men in homespun coats and
bast shoes, and young men in new cloth caftans, bright-colored belts
and boots. To the left the women, with red silk 'kerchiefs on their
heads, shag caftans with bright red sleeves, and blue, green, red,
striped and dotted skirts and iron-heeled shoes. Behind them stood the
more modest women in white 'kerchiefs and gray caftans and ancient
skirts, in shoes or bast slippers. Among these and the others were
dressed-up children with oiled hair. The peasants made the sign of the
cross and bowed, disheveling their hair; the women, especially the old
women, gazing with their lustreless eyes on one image, before which
candles burned, pressed hard with the tips of their fingers on the
'kerchief of the forehead, the shoulders and the abdomen, and,
mumbling something, bent forward standing, or fell on their knees. The
children, imitating their elders, prayed fervently when they were
looked at. The gold iconostasis was aflame with innumerable candles,
which surrounded a large one in the centre wound in a narrow strip of
gilt paper. The church lustre was dotted with candles, joyful melodies
of volunteer singers with roaring bass and piercing contralto mingled
with the chant of the choir.

Nekhludoff went forward. In the middle of the church stood the
aristocracy; a country squire with his wife and son in a sailor
blouse, the commissary of the rural police, a telegraph operator, a
merchant in high boots, the local syndic with a medal on his breast,
and to the right of the tribune, behind the squire's wife, Matriena
Pavlovna, in a lilac-colored chatoyant dress and white shawl with
colored border, and beside her was Katiousha in a white dress,
gathered in folds at the waist, a blue belt, and a red bow in her
black hair.

Everything was solemn, joyous and beautiful; the priest in his bright,
silver chasuble, dotted with gilt crosses, the deacon, the chanters in
holiday surplice of gold and silver, the spruce volunteer singers with
oiled hair, the joyous melodies of holiday songs, the ceaseless
blessing of the throng by the priests with flower-bedecked tern
candles with the constantly repeated exclamations: "Christ has risen!
Christ has risen!" Everything was beautiful, but more beautiful than
all was Katiousha, in her white dress, blue belt and red bow in her
hair, and her eyes radiant with delight.

Nekhludoff felt that she saw him without turning round. He saw it
while passing near her to the altar. He had nothing to tell her, but
tried to think of something, and said, when passing her:

"Auntie said that she would receive the sacrament after mass."

Her young blood, as it always happened when she looked at him, rose to
her cheeks, and her black eyes, naively looking up, fixed themselves
on Nekhludoff.

"I know it," she said, smiling.

At that moment a chanter with a copper coffee-pot in his hand passed
close to Katiousha, and, without looking at her, grazed her with the
skirt of the surplice. The chanter, evidently out of respect for
Nekhludoff, wished to sweep around him, and thus it happened that he
grazed Katiousha.

Nekhludoff, however, was surprised that that chanter did not
understand that everything in the church, and in the whole world, for
that matter, existed only for Katiousha, and that one might spurn the
entire world, but must not slight her, because she was the centre of
it. It was for her that the gold iconostasis shone brightly, and these
candles in the church-lustre burned; for her were the joyful chants:
"Be happy, man; it is the Lord's Easter." All the good in the world
was for her. And it seemed to him that Katiousha understood that all
this was for her. It seemed to Nekhludoff, when he looked at her erect
figure in the white dress with little folds at the waist, and by the
expression of her happy face, that the very thing that filled his soul
with song, also filled hers.

In the interval between early and late mass Nekhludoff left the
church. The people made way for him and bowed. Some recognized him;
others asked: "Who is he?" He stopped at the porch. Beggars surrounded
him, and, distributing such change as he had in his pocket, he
descended the stairs.

The day began to break, but the sun was yet beyond the horizon. The
people seated themselves on the grass around the church-yard, but
Katiousha remained in the church, and Nekhludoff waited on the porch
for her appearance.

The crowd was still pouring out of the church, their hob-nailed shoes
clattering against the stone pavement, and spread about the cemetery.

An old man, confectioner to Maria Ivanovna, stopped Nekhludoff and
kissed him, and his wife, an old woman with a wrinkled Adam's apple
under a silk 'kerchief, unrolled a yellow saffron egg from her
handkerchief and gave it to him. At the same time a young, smiling and
muscular peasant, in a new caftan, approached.

"Christ has risen!" he said, with smiling eyes and, nearing
Nekhludoff, spread around him a peculiar, pleasant, peasant odor, and,
tickling him with his curly beard, three times kissed him on the lips.

While Nekhludoff was thus exchanging the customary kisses with the
peasant and taking from him a dark-brown egg, he noticed the chatoyant
dress of Matriena Pavlovna and the lovely head with the red bow.

No sooner did she catch sight of him over the heads of those in front
of her, than her face brightened up.

On reaching the porch they also stopped, distributing alms. One of the
beggars, with a red, cicatrized slough instead of a nose, approached
Katiousha. She produced some coins from her handkerchief, gave them to
him, and without the slightest expression of disgust, but, on the
contrary, her eyes beaming with delight, kissed him three times. While
she was thus kissing with the beggar, her eyes met those of
Nekhludoff, and she seemed to ask him: "Is it not right? Is it not

"Yes, yes, darling; it is right; everything is beautiful. I love you."

As they descended the stairs he came near her. He did not wish to kiss
her, but merely wished to be by her side.

"Christ has risen!" said Matriena Pavlovna, leaning her head forward
and smiling. By the intonation of her voice she seemed to say, "All
are equal to-day," and wiping her mouth with a bandana handkerchief
which she kept under her arm-pit, she extended her lips.

"He has risen, indeed," answered Nekhludoff, and they kissed each

He turned to look at Katiousha. She flushed and at the same moment
approached him.

"Christ has risen, Dmitri Ivanovich."

"He has risen, indeed," he said. They kissed each other twice, and
seemed to be reflecting whether or not it was necessary to kiss a
third time, and having decided, as it were, that it was necessary,
they kissed again.

"Will you go to the priest?" asked Nekhludoff.

"No, we will stay here, Dmitri Ivanovich," answered Katiousha,
laboriously, as though after hard, pleasant exertion, breathing with
her full breast and looking straight in his eyes, with her submissive,
chaste, loving and slightly squinting eyes.

There is a point in the love between man and woman when that love
reaches its zenith; when it is free from consciousness, reason and
sensuality. Such a moment arrived for Nekhludoff that Easter morn.

Now, whenever he thought of Katiousha, her appearance at that moment
obscured every other recollection of her. The dark, smooth,
resplendent head; the white dress with folds clinging to her graceful
bust and undulating breast; those vermilion cheeks, those brilliant
black eyes, and two main traits in all her being: the virgin purity of
her love, not only for himself, but for everything and everybody--he
knew it--not only the good and beautiful, but even that beggar whom
she had kissed.

He knew that she possessed that love, because that night and that
morning he felt it within him, and felt that in that love his soul
mingled into one with hers.

Ah, if that feeling had continued unchanged! "Yes, that awful affair
occurred after that notable commemoration of Christ's resurrection!"
he thought now, sitting at the window of the jury-room.


Returning from the church, Nekhludoff broke his fast with the aunts,
and to repair his strength, drank some brandy and wine--a habit he
acquired in the army--and going to his room immediately fell asleep
with his clothes on. He was awakened by a rap at the door. By the rap
he knew that it was she, so he rose, rubbing his eyes and stretching

"Is it you, Katiousha? Come in," he said, rising.

She opened the door.

"You are wanted to breakfast," she said. She was in the same white
dress, but without the bow in her hair.

As she looked in his eyes she brightened up, as if she had announced
something unusually pleasant.

"I shall come immediately," he answered, taking a comb to rearrange
his hair.

She lingered for a moment. He noticed it, and putting down the comb,
he moved toward her. But at the same moment she quickly turned and
walked off with her customary light and agile step along the narrow
mat of the corridor.

"What a fool I am!" Nekhludoff said to himself. "Why did I not detain
her?" And he ran after her.

He did not know himself what he wished of her, but it seemed to him
that when she entered his room he ought to have done something that
any one in his place would have done, but which he failed to do.

"Wait, Katiousha," he said.

She looked around.

"What is it?" she said, stopping.

"Nothing. I only----"

With some effort he overcame his shyness, and remembering how people
generally act in such a case, he put his arm about Katiousha's waist.

She stopped and looked in his eyes.

"Don't, Ivanovich, don't," she said, blushing until her eyes filled
with tears. Then with her rough, strong hands she removed his arm.

Nekhludoff released her, and for a moment felt not only awkward and
ashamed, but seemed odious to himself. He should have believed in
himself, but he failed to understand that this awkwardness and shame
were the noblest feelings of his soul begging for recognition, and, on
the contrary, it seemed to him that it was his foolishness that was
speaking within him, that he ought to have done as everybody does in a
similar case.

He overtook her again, again embraced her and kissed her on the neck.
This kiss was entirely unlike the other two kisses. The first was
given unconsciously, behind the lilac bush; the second, in the morning
in church. The last one was terrible, and she felt it.

"But what are you doing?" she exclaimed in such a voice, as if he had
irrecoverably destroyed something infinitely precious, and ran away
from him.

He went to the dining-room. His aunts in holiday attire, the doctor
and a neighbor were taking lunch standing. Everything was as usual,
but a storm raged in Nekhludoff's soul. He did not understand what was
said to him, his answers were inappropriate, and he was thinking only
of Katiousha, recalling the sensation of the last kiss he gave her
when he overtook her in the corridor. He could think of nothing else.
When she entered the room, without looking at her, he felt her
presence with all his being, and had to make an effort not to look at

After lunch he went immediately to his room, and in great agitation
walked to and fro, listening to the sounds in the house and waiting to
hear her steps. The animal man that dwelled in him not only raised his
head, but crushed under foot the spiritual man that he was when he
first arrived at the manor, and was even this very morning in church,
and that terrible animal man now held sway in his soul. Although
Nekhludoff was watching an opportunity to meet Katiousha that day, he
did not succeed in seeing her face to face even once. She was probably
avoiding him. But in the evening it happened that she had to enter a
room adjoining his. The physician was to remain over night, and
Katiousha had to make the bed for him. Hearing her steps, Nekhludoff,
stepping on tip-toe and holding his breath, as though preparing to
commit a crime, followed her into the room.

Thrusting both her hands into a white pillow-case, and taking hold of
two corners of the pillow, she turned her head and looked at him
smiling, but it was not the old, cheerful, happy smile, but a
frightened, piteous smile. The smile seemed to tell him that what he
was doing was wrong. For a moment he stood still. There was still the
possibility of a struggle. Though weak, the voice of his true love to
her was still heard; it spoke of her, of her feelings, of her life.
The other voice reminded him of his enjoyment, his happiness. And this
second voice stifled the first. He approached her with determination.
And the terrible, irresistible animal feeling mastered him.

Without releasing her from his embrace, Nekhludoff seated her on the
bed, and feeling that something else ought to be done, seated himself
beside her.

"Dmitri Ivanovich, darling, please let me go," she said in a piteous
voice. "Matriena Pavlovna is coming!" she suddenly exclaimed, tearing
herself away.

Matriena Pavlovna was really approaching the door. She entered the
room, holding a quilt on her arm, and, looking reproachfully at
Nekhludoff, angrily rebuked Katiousha for taking the wrong quilt.

Nekhludoff went out in silence. He was not even ashamed. By the
expression of Matriena Pavlovna's face he saw that she condemned him,
and justly so; he knew that what he was doing was wrong, but the
animal feeling, which succeeded his former feeling of pure love to
her, seized him and held sole sway over him; recognizing no other
feeling. He knew now what was necessary to do in order to satisfy that
feeling, and was looking for means to that end.

He was out of sorts all that night. Now he would go to his aunts; now
he returned to his room, or went to the perron, thinking but of one
thing: how to meet her alone. But she avoided him, and Matriena
Pavlovna strove not to lose sight of her.


Thus the entire evening passed, and when night came the doctor went to
bed. The aunts were also preparing to retire. Nekhludoff knew that
Matriena Pavlovna was in the aunts' dormitory, and that Katiousha was
in the servants' quarters--alone. He again went out on the perron. It
was dark, damp and warm, and that white mist which in the spring thaws
the last snow, filled the air. Strange noises came from the river,
which was a hundred feet from the house. It was the breaking up of the

Nekhludoff came down from the perron, and stepping over pools and the
thin ice-covering formed on the snow, walked toward the window of the
servants' quarters. His heart beat so violently that he could hear it;
his breathing at times stopped, at others it escaped in a heavy sigh.
A small lamp was burning in the maid-servants' room.

Katiousha was sitting at the table alone, musing and looking at the
wall before her. Without moving Nekhludoff for some time stood gazing
at her, wishing to know what she would do while thinking herself
unobserved. For about two minutes she sat motionless, then raised her
eyes, smiled, reproachfully shook her head, at herself apparently,
and, changing her position, with a start placed both hands on the
table and fixed her eyes before her.

He remained looking at her, and involuntarily listened to the beating
of his heart and the strange sounds coming from the river. There, on
the misty river some incessant, slow work was going on. Now something
snuffled, then it crackled, and again the thin layer of ice resounded
like a mass of crushed glass.

He stood looking at the thoughtful face of Katiousha, tormented by an
internal struggle, and he pitied her. But, strange to say, this pity
only increased his longing for her.

He rapped at the window. She trembled from head to foot, as if an
electric current had passed through her, and terror was reflected on
her face. Then she sprang up, and, going to the window, placed her
face against the window-pane. The expression of terror did not leave
her even when, shading her eyes with the palms of her hands, she
recognized him. Her face was unusually grave--he had never seen such
an expression on it. When he smiled she smiled also--she smiled as if
only in submission to him, but in her soul, instead of a smile, there
was terror. He motioned her with his hand to come out. But she shook
her head and remained at the window. Again he leaned toward the window
and was about to speak when she turned toward the door. Some one had
apparently called her. Nekhludoff moved away from the window. The fog
was so dense that when five feet away he saw only a darkening mass
from which a red, seemingly large, light of the lamp was reflected.
From the river came the same strange sounds of snuffling, crackling
and grinding of the ice. In the court-yard a cock crowed, others near
by responded; then from the village, first singly, interrupting each
other, then mingling into one chorus, was heard the crowing of all the
cocks. Except for the noise of the river, it was perfectly quiet all

After walking twice around the corner of the house, and stepping
several times into mud-pools, Nekhludoff returned to the window of the
maid-servants' quarters. The lamp was still burning, and Katiousha sat
alone at the table as if in indecision. As soon as he came near the
window she looked at him. He rapped. Without stopping to see who had
rapped, she immediately ran from the room, and he heard the opening
and closing of the door. He was already waiting for her in the
passage, and immediately silently embraced her. She pressed against
his bosom, lifted her head, and with her lips met his kiss.

       *       *       *       *       *

When Nekhludoff returned to his room it was getting brighter. Below,
the noises on the river increased, and a buzzing was added to the
other sounds. The mist began to settle, and from behind the wall of
mist the waning moon appeared, gloomily, lighting up something dark
and terrible.

"Is it good fortune or a great misfortune that has happened to me?" he
asked himself. "It is always thus; they all act in that way," and he
returned to his room.

[Illustration: PRINCE NEKHLUDOFF.]


On the following day the brilliant and jovial Shenbok called at the
aunts for Nekhludoff, and completely charmed them with his elegance,
amiability, cheerfulness, liberality, and his love for Dmitri. Though
his liberality pleased the aunts, they were somewhat perplexed by the
excess to which he carried it. He gave a ruble to a blind beggar; the
servants received as tips fifteen rubles, and when Sophia Ivanovna's
lap-dog, Suzette, hurt her leg so that it bled, he volunteered to
bandage it, and without a moment's consideration tore his fine linen
handkerchief (Sophia Ivanovna knew that those handkerchiefs were worth
fifteen rubles a dozen) and made bandages of it for the dog. The aunts
had never seen such men, nor did they know that his debts ran up to
two hundred thousand rubles, which--he knew--would never be paid, and
that therefore twenty-five rubles more or less made no appreciable
difference in his accounts.

Shenbok remained but one day, and the following evening departed with
Nekhludoff. They could remain no longer, for the time for joining
their regiment had arrived.

On this last day spent at the aunts, when the events of the preceding
evening were fresh in his memory, two antagonistic feelings struggled
in Nekhludoff's soul; one was the burning, sensual recollection of
love, although it failed to fulfill its promises, and some
satisfaction of having gained his ends; the other, a consciousness of
having committed a wrong, and that that wrong must be righted--not for
her sake, but for his own sake.

In that condition of insane egotism Nekhludoff thought only of
himself--whether he would be condemned, and how far, if his act should
be discovered, but never gave a thought to the question, "How does she
feel about it, and what will become of her?"

He thought that Shenbok divined his relations to Katiousha, and his
ambition was flattered.

"That's why you so suddenly began to like your aunts," Shenbok said
to him when he saw Katiousha. "In your place I should stay here even
longer. She is charming!"

He also thought that while it was a pity to leave now, without
enjoying his love in its fullness, the necessity of going was
advantageous in that he was able to break the relations which it were
difficult to keep up. He further thought it was necessary to give her
money, not because she might need it, but because it was customary to
do so. So he gave as much money as he thought was proper, considering
their respective positions.

On the day of his departure, after dinner he waited in the passage
until she came by. She flushed as she saw him, and wished to pass on,
pointing with her eyes to the door of her room, but he detained her.

"I came to bid you farewell," he said, crumpling an envelope
containing a hundred ruble bill. "How is----"

She suspected it, frowned, shook her head and thrust aside his hand.

"Yes, take it," he murmured, thrusting the envelope in the bosom of
her waist, and, as if it had burned his fingers, he ran to his room.

For a long time he paced his room to and fro, frowning, and even
jumping, and moaning aloud as if from physical pain, as he thought of
the scene.

But what is to be done? It is always thus. Thus it was with Shenbok
and the governess whom he had told about; it was thus with Uncle
Gregory; with his father, when he lived in the country, and the
illegitimate son Miteuka, who is still living, was born to him. And if
everybody acts thus, consequently it ought to be so. Thus he was
consoling himself, but he could not be consoled. The recollection of
it stung his conscience.

In the depth of his soul he knew that his action was so base,
abominable and cruel that, with that action upon his conscience, not
only would he have no right to condemn others but he should not be
able to look others in the face, to say nothing of considering himself
the good, noble, magnanimous man he esteemed himself. And he had to
esteem himself as such in order to be able to continue to lead a
valiant and joyous life. And there was but one way of doing so, and
that was not to think of it. This he endeavored to do.

The life into which he had just entered--new scenes, comrades, and
active service--helped him on. The more he lived, the less he thought
of it, and in the end really forgot it entirely.

Only once, on his return from active service, when, in the hope of
seeing her, he paid a visit to his aunts, he was told that Katiousha,
soon after his departure, had left them; that she had given birth to a
child, and, as the aunts were informed, had gone to the bad. As he
heard it his heart was oppressed with grief. From the statement of the
time when she gave birth to the child it might be his, and it might
not be his. The aunts said that she was vicious and of a depraved
nature, just like her mother. And this opinion of the aunts pleased
him, because it exculpated him, as it were. At first he intended to
find her and the child, but as it pained him very much, and he was
ashamed to think of it, he did not make the necessary efforts, and
gradually ceased to think of his sin.

But now, this fortuitous meeting brought everything to his mind, and
compelled the acknowledgment of his heartlessness, cruelty and
baseness which made it possible for him to live undisturbed by the sin
which lay on his conscience. He was yet far from such acknowledgment,
and at this moment was only thinking how to avoid disclosure which
might be made by her, or her attorney, and thus disgrace him before


Nekhludoff was in this state of mind when he left the court-room and
entered the jury-room. He sat near the window, listening to the
conversations of his fellow jurymen, and smoked incessantly.

The cheerful merchant evidently sympathized with Merchant Smelkoff's
manner of passing his time.

"Well, well! He went on his spree just like a Siberian! Seems to have
known a good thing when he saw it. What a beauty!"

The foreman expressed the opinion that the whole case depended on the
expert evidence. Peter Gerasimovich was jesting with the Jewish clerk,
and both of them burst out laughing. Nekhludoff answered all questions
in monosyllables, and only wished to be left in peace.

When the usher with the sidling gait called the jury into court
Nekhludoff was seized with fear, as if judgment was to be passed on
him, and not he to pass judgment on others.

In the depth of his soul he already felt that he was a rascal, who
ought to be ashamed to look people in the face, and yet, by force of
habit, he walked to the elevation with his customary air of
self-confidence, and took his seat next to the foreman, crossed his
legs and began to play with his pince-nez.

The prisoners, who had also been removed from the court, were brought
in again.

The new faces of witnesses were now seen in the court-room, and
Nekhludoff noticed Maslova constantly turning her head in the
direction of a smartly attired, stout woman in silk and plush, with an
elegant reticule hanging on her half-bare arm. This was, as Nekhludoff
afterward learned, Maslova's mistress and a witness against her.

The examination of the witnesses began as to their names, age,
religion, et cetera. After being questioned as to whether they
preferred to testify under oath, the same old priest, with difficulty
moving his legs, came, and again arranging the gold cross on his
silk-covered breast, with the same calmness and confidence, began to
administer the oath to the witnesses and the expert. When the swearing
in was over, the witnesses were removed to an adjoining room, leaving
only Kitaeva, Maslova's mistress. She was asked what she knew of the
affair. Kitaeva, with a feigned smile, a German accent, and
straightening her hat at every sentence, fluently and circumstantially
related the following:

Simon came first to her house for Liubasha.[E] In a little while
Liubasha returned with the merchant. "The merchant was already in
ecstasy," slightly smiling, said Kitaeva, "and he continued to drink
and treat himself, but as he was short of money he sent to his room
this same Liubasha, for whom he acquired a predilection," she said,
looking at Maslova.

It seemed to Nekhludoff that Maslova smiled at this, and the smile
seemed to him disgusting. A strange feeling of squeamishness mingled
with compassion rose in his breast.

"What opinion did you entertain of Maslova?" timidly and blushingly
asked the attorney assigned by the court to defend Maslova.

"Very excellent," answered Kitaeva. "The girl is very well educated
and elegant in her manners. She was raised in a very good family, and
could read French. She sometimes drank a little too much, but she
never forgot herself. She is a very good girl."

Katiousha looked at her mistress, then suddenly turned her eyes on the
jury and rested them on Nekhludoff, her face becoming serious and even
stern. One of the stern eyes squinted. These strangely gazing eyes
were turned on Nekhludoff for a considerable time. Notwithstanding the
terror that seized him, he could not remove his own gaze from those
squinting eyes with their shining whites. He recalled that awful night
with the breaking ice, the fog, and especially that waning, upturned
moon which rose in the morning and lit up something dark and terrible.
These two black eyes which looked at and at the same time by him
reminded him of something dark and terrible.

"She recognized me!" he thought. And Nekhludoff shrank, as it were,
waiting for the blow. But she did not recognize him. She sighed calmly
and again fixed her eyes on the justiciary. Nekhludoff also sighed.
"Ah, if they would only hasten it through," he thought. He felt now as
he did once when out game shooting, when he was obliged to kill a
wounded bird--he was filled with disgust, pity and vexation. The
wounded bird is struggling in the game bag; he feels disgust and pity,
and wishes to kill it quickly and forget it.

Such mingled feelings filled Nekhludoff's breast as he sat listening
to the examination of the witnesses.


[Footnote E: A contemptuous diminutive of Liuba. Tr.]


As if to spite him, the case dragged out to a weary length. After the
examination of the witnesses and the expert, and after all the
unnecessary questions by the prosecutor and the attorneys, usually
made with an important air, the justiciary told the jury to look at
the exhibits, which consisted of an enormous ring with a diamond
rosette, evidently made for the forefinger, and a glass tube
containing the poison. These were sealed and labeled.

The jury were preparing to view these things, when the prosecutor rose
again and demanded that before the exhibits were examined the medical
report of the condition of the body be read.

The justiciary was hurrying the case, and though he knew that the
reading of the report would only bring ennui and delay the dinner, and
that the prosecutor demanded it only because he had the right to do
so, he could not refuse the request and gave his consent. The
secretary produced the report, and, lisping the letters l and r, began
to read in a sad voice.

The external examination disclosed:

1. The height of Therapout Smelkoff was six feet five inches.

"But what a huge fellow," the merchant whispered in Nekhludoff's ear
with solicitude.

2. From external appearances he seemed to be about forty years of age.

3. The body had a swollen appearance.

4. The color of the pall was green, streaked with dark spots.

5. The skin on the surface of the body rose in bubbles of various
sizes, and in places hung in patches.

6. The hair was dark and thick, and fell off at a slight touch.

7. The eyes came out of their orbits, and the pupils were dull.

8. A frothy, serous fluid flowed continuously from the cavity of the
mouth, the nostrils and ears. The mouth was half open.

9. The neck almost disappeared in the swelling of the face and breast,
et cetera, et cetera.

Thus, over four pages and twenty-seven clauses, ran the description of
the external appearance of the terrible, large, stout, swollen and
decomposing body of the merchant who amused himself in the city. The
loathing which Nekhludoff felt increased with the reading of the
description. Katiousha's life, the sanies running from the nostrils,
the eyes that came out of their sockets, and his conduct toward
her--all seemed to him to belong to the same order, and he was
surrounded and swallowed up by these things. When the reading was
finally over, the justiciary sighed deeply and raised his head in the
hope that it was all over, but the secretary immediately began to read
the report on the internal condition of the body.

The justiciary again bent his head, and, leaning on his hand, closed
his eyes. The merchant, who sat near Nekhludoff, barely kept awake,
and from time to time swayed his body. The prisoners as well as the
gendarmes behind them sat motionless.

The internal examination disclosed:

1. The skin covering of the skull easily detached, and no hemorrhage
was noticeable. 2. The skull bones were of average thickness and
uninjured. 3. On the hard membrane of the skull there were two small
discolored spots of about the size of four centimetres, the membrane
itself being of a dull gray color, et cetera, et cetera, to the end of
thirteen more clauses.

Then came the names of the witnesses, the signature and deduction of
the physician, from which it appeared that the changes found in the
stomach, intestines and kidneys justified the conclusion "to a large
degree probable" that the death of Smelkoff was due to poison taken
into the stomach with a quantity of wine. That it was impossible to
tell by the changes in the stomach and intestines the name of the
poison; and that the poison came into the stomach mixed with wine
could be inferred from the fact that Smelkoff's stomach contained a
large quantity of wine.

"He must have drank like a fish," again whispered the awakened

The reading of this official report, which lasted about two hours, did
not satisfy, however, the prosecutor. When it was over the justiciary
turned to him, saying:

"I suppose it is superfluous to read the record of the examination of
the intestines."

"I would ask that it be read," sternly said the prosecutor without
looking at the justiciary, sidewise raising himself, and impressing by
the tone of his voice that it was his right to demand it, that he
would insist on it, and that a refusal would be ground for appeal.

The associate with the long beard and kind, drooping eyes, who was
suffering from catarrh, feeling very weak, turned to the justiciary:

"What is the good of reading it? It will only drag the matter out.
These new brooms only take a longer time to sweep, but do not sweep
any cleaner."

The associate in the gold eye-glasses said nothing, and gloomily and
determinedly looked in front of him, expecting nothing good either
from his wife or from the world.

The report commenced thus: "February 15th, 188-. The undersigned, in
pursuance of an order, No. 638, of the Medical Department," began the
secretary with resolution, raising the pitch of his voice, as if to
dispel the drowsiness that seized upon every one present, "and in the
presence of the assistant medical director, examined the following

"1. The right lung and heart (contained in a five-pound glass vial).

"2. The contents of the stomach (contained in a five-pound glass

"3. The stomach itself (contained in a five-pound glass vial).

"4. The kidneys, liver and spleen (contained in a two-and-a-half-pound
glass vial).

"5. The entrails (contained in a five-pound earthen jar)."

As the reading of this report began the justiciary leaned over to one
of his associates and whispered something, then to the other, and,
receiving affirmative answers, interrupted the reading at this point.

"The Court finds the reading of the report superfluous," he said.

The secretary closed reading and gathered up his papers, while the
prosecutor angrily began to make notes.

"The gentlemen of the jury may now view the exhibits," said the

The foreman and some of the jury rose from their seats, and, holding
their hands in awkward positions, approached the table and looked in
turn on the ring, vials and jars. The merchant even tried the ring on
his finger.

"What a finger he had," he said, returning to his seat. "It must have
been the size of a large cucumber," he added, evidently amused by the
giant figure of the merchant, as he imagined him.


When the examination of the exhibits was over, the justiciary
announced the investigation closed, and, desiring to end the session,
gave the word to the prosecutor, in the hope that as he, too, was
mortal, he might also wish to smoke or dine, and would have pity on
the others. But the prosecutor pitied neither himself nor them. When
the word was given him, he rose slowly, displaying his elegant figure,
and, placing both hands on the desk, and slightly bending his head, he
cast a glance around the court-room, his eyes avoiding the prisoners.

"Gentlemen of the jury, the case which is now to be submitted to your
consideration," he began his speech, prepared while the indictment and
reports were being read, "is a characteristic crime, if I may so
express myself."

The speech of a prosecuting attorney, according to his idea, had to be
invested with a social significance, according to the manner of those
lawyers who became famous. True, among his hearers were three women; a
seamstress, a cook and Simon's sister, also a driver, but that made
no difference. Those celebrities also began on a small scale. The
prosecutor made it a rule to view the situation from the eminence of
his position, i. e., to penetrate into the profound psychological
meaning of crime, and bare the ulcers of society.

"Here is before you, gentlemen of the jury, a crime characteristic, if
I may so express myself, of the end of our century, bearing, as it
were, all the specific features of the first symptoms of
decomposition, to which those elements of our society, which are
exposed, as it were, to the more scorching rays of that process, are

The prosecutor spoke at great length, endeavoring on the one hand to
remember all those wise sayings which he had prepared for the
occasion, and on the other, most important, hand, not to stop for a
moment, but to make his speech flow uninterruptedly for an hour and a
quarter. He stopped only once, for a long time swallowing his saliva,
but he immediately mastered himself and made up for the lost time by a
greater flow of eloquence. He spoke in a gentle, insinuating voice,
resting now on one foot, now on the other, and looking at the jury;
then changed to a calm, business tone, consulting his note-book, and
again he thundered accusations, turning now to the spectators, now to
the jury. But he never looked at the prisoners, all three of whom
stared at him. He incorporated into his speech all the latest ideas
then in vogue in the circle of his acquaintances, and what was then
and is now received as the last word of scientific wisdom. He spoke of
heredity, of innate criminality, of Lombroso, of Charcot, of
evolution, of the struggle for existence, of hypnotism, of hypnotic
suggestion, and of decadence.

The merchant Smelkoff, according to the prosecutor, was a type of the
great, pure Russian, with his broad nature, who, in consequence of his
trusting nature and generosity, had become a victim of a gang of
corrupt people, into whose hands he had fallen.

Simon Kartinkin was the atavistic production of serfdom, stupid,
without education, and even without religion. Euphemia was his
mistress, and a victim of heredity. All the symptoms of degenerate
life were in her. But the ruling spirit in this crime was Maslova, who
was the mouthpiece of the lowest phenomenon of decadence. "This
woman," said the prosecutor without looking at her, "received an
education--you have heard here the evidence of her mistress. Not only
can she read and write, but she can speak French. She is an orphan,
and probably bears the germs of criminality in her. She was raised in
an intelligent, noble family, and could make her living by honest
toil, but she leaves them, yields to her passions, and displays an
intelligence, and especially, as you have heard here, gentlemen of the
jury, an ability to exert influence on people by that mysterious,
lately discovered by science, especially by the school of Charcot,
power known by the name of hypnotic suggestion. By the aid of this
power she gets control over this hero--a kind, trustful, rich guest,
and uses his confidence first to rob him, and then to pitilessly
murder him."

"But he is wandering away," said the justiciary, smiling and leaning
over to the stern associate.

"What an awful blockhead!" said the stern associate.

"Gentlemen of the jury!" the prosecutor continued meanwhile,
gracefully swaying his slim body. "The fate of these people is in your
hands, as is to some extent the fate of society, which is influenced
by your verdict. You must fathom the significance of this crime, the
danger to society that lurks in such pathological, as it were,
individuals as Maslova. You must guard it against infection; it is
your duty to guard the innocent, healthy elements of society against
contagion, if not destruction."

And as if himself impressed with the importance of the verdict, and
evidently greatly delighted with his speech, the prosecutor took his

The burden of his speech, if we eliminate the flights of eloquence,
was to the effect that Maslova, after gaining the merchant's
confidence, hypnotized him, and that, arriving at the inn with the key
to the merchant's trunk, she intended to steal the money herself, but,
being discovered by Simon and Euphemia, was obliged to divide with
them. That afterward, desiring to conceal the traces of her crime,
she returned with the merchant to the inn and administered poison to

When the prosecutor had finished his speech, a middle-aged man, in a
dress coat and wide semi-circle of starched shirt front, rose from the
lawyer's bench, and boldly began to deliver a speech in defense of
Kartinkin and Bochkova. He was a lawyer hired by them for three
hundred rubles. He declared them both innocent, and threw all the
blame on Maslova.

He belittled the deposition of Maslova relating to the presence of
Bochkova and Kartinkin when she took the money, and insisted that, as
she had confessed to poisoning the merchant, her evidence could have
no weight. The twenty-five hundred rubles could have been earned by
two hard working and honest persons, who were receiving in tips three
to four rubles a day from guests. The merchant's money was stolen by
Maslova, who either gave it to some one for safe keeping, or lost it,
which was not unlikely, as she was not in a normal condition. The
poisoning was done by Maslova alone.

For these reasons he asked the jury to acquit Kartinkin and Bochkova
of stealing the money; or, if they found them guilty of stealing he
asked for a verdict of theft, but without participation in the
poisoning, and without conspiracy.

In conclusion, this lawyer made a thrust at the prosecuting attorney
by remarking that, although the splendid reasonings of the prosecutor
on heredity explain the scientific questions of heredity, they hardly
hold good in the case of Bochkova, since her parentage was unknown.

The prosecutor, growling, began to make notes, and shrugged his
shoulders in contemptuous surprise.

Next rose Maslova's lawyer, and timidly and falteringly began his
speech in her defense. Without denying that Maslova participated in
the theft, he insisted that she had no intention of poisoning
Smelkoff, but gave him the powder in order to make him sleep. When he
described Maslova's unfortunate life, telling how she had been drawn
into a life of vice by a man who went unpunished, while she was left
to bear the whole burden of her fall, he attempted to become eloquent,
but his excursion into the domain of psychology failed, so that
everybody felt awkward. When he began to mutter about man's cruelty
and woman's helplessness, the justiciary, desiring to help him, asked
him to confine himself to the facts of the case.

After this lawyer had finished the prosecutor rose again and defended
his position on the question of heredity against the first lawyer,
stating that the fact that Bochkova's parentage was unknown did not
invalidate the truth of the theory of heredity; that the law of
heredity is so well established by science that not only can one
deduce the crime from heredity, but heredity from the crime. As to the
statement of the defense that Maslova was drawn into a vicious life by
an imaginary (he pronounced the word imaginary with particular
virulence) man, he could say that all facts rather pointed to her
being the seducer of many victims who were unfortunate enough to fall
into her hands. Saying which he sat down in triumph.

The prisoners were then allowed to make any statements they wished in
their behalf.

Euphemia Bochkova repeated her statement that she knew nothing, had
not taken part in anything, and persistently pointed at Maslova as the
only guilty person. Simon only repeated several times:

"Do what you please with me, only it is all for nothing."

Maslova was silent. When asked what she had to say in her defense, she
only lifted her eyes on the justiciary, looked around like a hunted
animal, and immediately lowering them began to sob aloud.

"What is the matter?" asked the merchant of Nekhludoff, hearing a
strange sound escaping the latter's lips. It was a suppressed sob.

Nekhludoff did not yet realize the significance of his present
position, and the scarcely suppressed sob and the tears that welled up
in his eyes he ascribed to the weakness of his nerves. He put on his
pince-nez to hide them, and, drawing a handkerchief from his pocket,
began to blow his nose.

His fear of the disgrace that would fall upon him if everybody in the
court-room were to find out his conduct toward her stifled the
struggle that was going on within him. At this time fear outweighed
in him every other feeling.


After the last words of the prisoners had been heard, and the lengthy
arguments over the form in which the questions were to be put to the
jury were over, the questions were finally agreed upon, and the
justiciary began to deliver his instructions to the jury.

Although he was anxious to finish the case, he was so carried away
that when he started to speak he could not stop himself. He told the
jury at great length that if they found the prisoners guilty, they had
the right to return a verdict of guilty, and if they found them not
guilty, they had the right to return a verdict of not guilty. If,
however they found them guilty of one charge, and not guilty of the
other, they might bring in a verdict of guilty of the one and not
guilty of the other. He further explained to them that they must
exercise this power intelligently. He also intended to explain to them
that if they gave an affirmative answer to a question, they would
thereby affirm everything involved in the question, and that if they
did not desire to affirm everything involved in the question, they
must distinguish the part they affirmed from the part they
disaffirmed. But, seeing on the clock that it was five minutes of
three, he decided to pass over to a statement of the case.

"The facts of this case are the following," he began, repeating
everything that had been stated over and over again by the defendants'
attorneys, the prosecutor and the witnesses. While the justiciary was
charging the jury his associates thoughtfully listened, and now and
then glanced at the clock. They thought that although his charge was
sound, i. e., as it should be, it was too long. Of the same opinion was
the prosecutor, as well as all those connected with the court,
including the spectators. The justiciary concluded his charge.

It was thought he had finished. But the justiciary found it necessary
to add a few words concerning the importance of the power given to
the jury; that it should be used with care, and should not be abused;
that they had taken an oath; that they were the conscience of society,
and that the secrecy of the consultation room was sacred, etc., etc.

From the moment the justiciary began to speak, Maslova kept her eyes
on him, as if she feared to miss a word, so that Nekhludoff was not
afraid to meet her gaze, and constantly looked at her. And before his
imagination arose that common phenomenon of the appearance of a long
absent, beloved face, which, after the first shock produced by the
external changes which have taken place during the long absence,
gradually becomes the same as it was many years ago--all the past
changes disappear, and before the spiritual eyes stands forth the main
expression of the peculiar spiritual individuality. This happened with

Yes, notwithstanding the prison garb, the bloated body and the high
breast; notwithstanding the distended lower part of the face, the
wrinkles on the forehead and the temples, and the swelling under the
eyes, it was undoubtedly that same Katiousha who on Easter Sunday
looked up to him, her beloved, with her enamored, smiling, happy,
lively eyes.

"What a remarkable coincidence! That this case should be tried during
my term! That, without seeing her for ten years, I should meet her
here in the prisoner's dock! And what will be the end? Ah, I wish it
were over!"

He would not yield to the feeling of repentance which spoke within
him. He considered it an incident which would soon pass away without
disturbing his life. He felt himself in the position of a puppy who
had misbehaved in his master's rooms, and whom his master, taking him
by the neck, thrust into the dirt he had made. The puppy squeals,
pulls back in his effort to escape the consequences of his deed, which
he wishes to forget, but the inexorable master holds him fast. Thus
Nekhludoff felt the foulness of his act, and he also felt the powerful
hand of the master, but did not yet understand the significance of his
act, did not recognize the master. He did not wish to believe that
what he saw before him was the result of his own deed. But the
inexorable, invisible hand held him fast, and he had a foreboding that
he should not escape. He summoned up his courage, crossed his legs, as
was his wont, and, negligently playing with his pince-nez, he sat with
an air of self-confidence on the second chair of the front row.
Meanwhile he already felt in the depth of his soul all the cruelty,
dastardliness and baseness not only of that act of his, but of his
whole idle, dissolute, cruel and wayward life. And the terrible veil,
which during these twelve years in such marvelous manner had hidden
from him that crime and all his subsequent life, already began to
stir, and now and then he caught a glimpse behind it.


The justiciary finally finished his speech and handed the list of
questions to the foreman. The jury rose from their seats, glad of an
opportunity to leave the court-room, and, not knowing what to do with
their hands, as if ashamed of something, they filed into the
consultation-room. As soon as the door closed behind them a gendarme,
with drawn sword resting on his shoulder, placed himself in front of
it. The judges rose and went out. The prisoners also were led away.

On entering the consultation-room the jury immediately produced
cigarettes and began to smoke. The sense of their unnatural and false
position, of which they were to a greater or less degree cognizant,
while sitting in the court-room, passed away as soon as they entered
their room and lighted their cigarettes, and, with a feeling of
relief, they seated themselves and immediately started an animated

"The girl is not guilty, she was confused," said the kind-hearted

"That is what we are going to consider," retorted the foreman. "We
must not yield to our personal impressions."

"The judge's summing up was good," said the colonel.

"Do you call it good? It nearly sent me to sleep."

"The important point is that the servants could not have known that
there was money in the room if Maslova had no understanding with
them," said the clerk with the Jewish face.

"So you think that she stole it?" asked one of the jury.

"I will never believe that," shouted the kind-hearted merchant. "It is
all the work of that red-eyed wench."

"They are all alike," said the colonel.

"But she said that she did not go into the room."

"Do you believe her more than the other? I should never believe that
worthless woman."

"That does not decide the question," said the clerk.

"She had the key."

"What if she had?" answered the merchant.

"And the ring?"

"She explained it," again shouted the merchant. "It is quite likely
that being drunk he struck her. Well, and then he was sorry, of
course. 'There, don't cry! Take this ring.' And what a big man! They
said he weighed about two hundred and fifty pounds, I believe."

"That is not the point," interrupted Peter Gerasimovich. "The question
is, Was she the instigator, or were the servants?"

"The servants could not have done it without her. She had the key."

This incoherent conversation lasted for a long time.

"Excuse me, gentlemen," said the foreman. "Let us sit down and
consider the matter. Take your seats," he added, seating himself in
the foreman's chair.

"These girls are rogues," said the clerk, and to sustain his opinion
that Maslova was the chief culprit, he related how one of those girls
once stole a watch from a friend of his.

As a case in point the colonel related the bolder theft of a silver

"Gentlemen, let us take up the questions," said the foreman, rapping
on the table with a pencil.

They became silent. The questions submitted were:

1. Is the peasant of the village of Barkoff, district of Krapivensk,
Simon Petroff Kartinkin, thirty-three years of age, guilty of having,
with the design of taking the life of Smelkoff and robbing him,
administered to him poison in a glass of brandy, which caused the
death of Smelkoff, and of afterward robbing him of twenty-five hundred
rubles and a diamond ring?

2. Is the burgess Euphemia Ivanovna Bochkova, forty-seven years of
age, guilty of the crime mentioned in the first question?

3. Is the burgess Katherine Michaelovna Maslova, twenty-seven years of
age, guilty of the crime mentioned in the first question?

4. If the prisoner Euphemia Bochkova is not guilty of the crime set
forth in the first question, is she not guilty of secretly stealing,
while employed in the Hotel Mauritania, on the 17th day of January,
188-, twenty-five hundred rubles from the trunk of the merchant
Smelkoff, to which end she opened the trunk in the hotel with a key
brought and fitted by her?

The foreman read the first question.

"Well, gentlemen, what do you think?"

This question was quickly answered. They all agreed to answer
"Guilty." The only one that dissented was an old laborer, whose answer
to all questions was "Not guilty."

The foreman thought that he did not understand the questions and
proceeded to explain that from all the facts it was evident that
Kartinkin and Bochkova were guilty, but the laborer answered that he
did understand them, and that he thought that they ought to be
charitable. "We are not saints ourselves," he said, and did not change
his opinion.

The second question, relating to Bochkova, after many arguments and
elucidations, was answered "Not guilty," because there was no clear
proof that she participated in the poisoning--a fact on which her
lawyer put much stress.

The merchant, desiring to acquit Maslova, insisted that Bochkova was
the author of the conspiracy. Many of the jurymen agreed with him, but
the foreman, desiring to conform strictly to the law, said that there
was no foundation for the charge of poisoning against her. After a
lengthy argument the foreman's opinion triumphed.

The fourth question, relating to Bochkova, was answered "Guilty," but
at the insistence of the laborer, she was recommended to the mercy of
the court.

The third question called forth fierce argument. The foreman insisted
that she was guilty of both the poisoning and robbery; the merchant,
colonel, clerk and laborer opposed this view, while the others
hesitated, but the opinion of the foreman began to predominate,
principally because the jury were tired out, and they willingly joined
the side which promised to prevail the sooner, and consequently
release them quicker.

From all that occurred at the trial and his knowledge of Maslova,
Nekhludoff was convinced that she was innocent, and at first was
confident that the other jurors would so find her, but when he saw
that because of the merchant's bungling defense of Maslova, evidently
prompted by his undisguised liking for her, and the foreman's
resistance which it caused, but chiefly because of the weariness of
the jury, there was likely to be a verdict of guilty, he wished to
make objection, but feared to speak in her favor lest his relations
toward her should be disclosed. At the same time he felt that he could
not let things go on without making his objections. He blushed and
grew pale in turn, and was about to speak, when Peter Gerasimovich,
heretofore silent, evidently exasperated by the authoritative manner
of the foreman, suddenly began to make the very objections Nekhludoff
intended to make.

"Permit me to say a few words," he began. "You say that she stole the
money because she had the key; but the servants could have opened the
trunk with a false key after she was gone."

"Of course, of course," the merchant came to his support.

"She could not have taken the money because she would have nowhere to
hide it."

"That is what I said," the merchant encouraged him.

"It is more likely that her coming to the hotel for the money
suggested to the servants the idea of stealing it; that they stole it
and then threw it all upon her."

Peter Gerasimovich spoke provokingly, which communicated itself to the
foreman. As a result the latter began to defend his position more
persistently. But Peter Gerasimovich spoke so convincingly that he won
over the majority, and it was finally decided that she was not guilty
of the theft. When, however, they began to discuss the part she had
taken in the poisoning, her warm supporter, the merchant, argued that
this charge must also be dismissed, as she had no motive for poisoning
him. The foreman insisted that she could not be declared innocent on
that charge, because she herself confessed to giving him the powder.

"But she thought that it was opium," said the merchant.

"She could have killed him even with the opium," retorted the colonel,
who liked to make digressions, and he began to relate the case of his
brother-in-law's wife, who had been poisoned by opium and would have
died had not antidotes promptly been administered by a physician who
happened to be in the neighborhood. The colonel spoke so impressively
and with such self-confidence and dignity that no one dared to
interrupt him. Only the clerk, infected by the example set by the
colonel, thought of telling a story of his own.

"Some people get so accustomed to opium," he began, "that they can
take forty drops at a time. A relative of mine----"

But the colonel would brook no interruption, and went on to tell of
the effect of the opium on his brother-in-law's wife.

"It is five o'clock, gentlemen," said one of the jury.

"What do you say, gentlemen," said the foreman. "We find her guilty,
but without the intent to rob, and without stealing any property--is
that correct?"

Peter Gerasimovich, pleased with the victory he had gained, agreed to
the verdict.

"And we recommend her to the mercy of the court," added the merchant.

Every one agreed except the laborer, who insisted on a verdict of "Not

"But that is the meaning of the verdict," explained the foreman.
"Without the intent to rob, and without stealing any property--hence
she is not guilty."

"Don't forget to throw in the recommendation to mercy. If there be
anything left that will wipe it out," joyfully said the merchant. They
were so tired and the arguments had so confused them that it did not
occur to any one to add "but without the intent to cause the death of
the merchant."

Nekhludoff was so excited that he did not notice it. The answers were
in this form taken to the court.

Rabelais relates the story of a jurist who was trying a case, and who,
after citing innumerable laws and reading twenty pages of
incomprehensible judicial Latin, made an offer to the litigants to
throw dice; if an even number fell then the plaintiff was right; if an
odd number the defendant was right.

It was the same here. The verdict was reached not because the majority
of the jury agreed to it, but first because the justiciary had so
drawn out his speech that he failed to properly instruct the jury;
second, because the colonel's story about his brother-in-law's wife
was tedious; third, because Nekhludoff was so excited that he did not
notice the omission of the clause limiting the intent in the answer,
and thought that the words "without intent to rob" negatively answered
the question; fourth, because Peter Gerasimovich was not in the room
when the foreman read the questions and answers, and chiefly because
the jury were tired out and were anxious to get away, and therefore
agreed to the verdict which it was easiest to reach.

They rang the bell. The gendarme sheathed his sword and stood aside.
The judges, one by one, took their seats and the jury filed out.

The foreman held the list with a solemn air. He approached the
justiciary and handed it to him. The justiciary read it, and, with
evident surprise, turned to consult with his associates. He was
surprised that the jury, in limiting the charge by the words, "without
intent to rob," should fail to add also "without intent to cause
death." It followed from the decision of the jury, that Maslova had
not stolen or robbed, but had poisoned a man without any apparent

"Just see what an absurd decision they have reached," he said to the
associate on his left. "This means hard labor for her, and she is not

"Why not guilty?" said the stern associate.

"She is simply not guilty. I think that chapter 818 might properly be
applied to this case." (Chapter 818 gives the court the power to set
aside an unjust verdict.)

"What do you think?" he asked the kind associate.

"I agree with you."

"And you?" he asked the choleric associate.

"By no means," he answered, decidedly. "As it is, the papers say that
too many criminals are discharged by juries. What will they say, then,
if the court should discharge them? I will not agree under any

The justiciary looked at the clock.

"It is a pity, but what can I do?" and he handed the questions to the

They all rose, and the foreman, standing now on one foot, now on the
other, cleared his throat and read the questions and answers. All the
officers of the court--the secretary, the lawyers and even the
prosecutor--expressed surprise.

The prisoners, who evidently did not understand the significance of
the answers, were serene. When the reading was over, the justiciary
asked the prosecutor what punishment he thought should be imposed on
the prisoners.

The prosecutor, elated by the successful verdict against Maslova,
which he ascribed to his eloquence, consulted some books, then rose
and said:

"Simon Kartinkin, I think, should be punished according to chapter
1,452, sec. 4, and chapter 1,453; Euphemia Bochkova according to
chapter 1,659, and Katherine Maslova according to chapter 1,454."

All these were the severest punishments that could be imposed for the

"The court will retire to consider their decision," said the
justiciary, rising.

Everybody then rose, and, with a relieved and pleasant feeling of
having fulfilled an important duty, walked around the court-room.

"What a shameful mess we have made of it," said Peter Gerasimovitch,
approaching Nekhludoff, to whom the foreman was telling a story. "Why,
we have sentenced her to hard labor."

"Is it possible?" exclaimed Nekhludoff, taking no notice at all this
time of the unpleasant familiarity of the tutor.

"Why, of course," he said. "We have not inserted in the answer,
'Guilty, but without intent to cause death.' The secretary has just
told me that the law cited by the prosecutor provides fifteen years'
hard labor."

"But that was our verdict," said the foreman.

Peter Gerasimovitch began to argue that it was self-evident that as
she did not steal the money she could not have intended to take the
merchant's life.

"But I read the questions before we left the room," the foreman
justified himself, "and no one objected."

"I was leaving the room at the time," said Peter Gerasimovitch. "But
how did you come to miss it?"

"I did not think of it," answered Nekhludoff.

"You did not!"

"We can right it yet," said Nekhludoff.

"No, we cannot--it is all over now."

Nekhludoff looked at the prisoners. While their fate was being
decided, they sat motionless behind the grating in front of the
soldiers. Maslova was smiling.

Nekhludoff's soul was stirred by evil thoughts. When he thought that
she would be freed and remain in the city, he was undecided how he
should act toward her, and it was a difficult matter. But Siberia and
penal servitude at once destroyed the possibility of their meeting
again. The wounded bird would stop struggling in the game-bag, and
would no longer remind him of its existence.


The apprehensions of Peter Gerasimovitch were justified.

On returning from the consultation-room the justiciary produced a
document and read the following:

"By order of His Imperial Majesty, the Criminal Division of the ----
Circuit Court, in conformity with the finding of the jury, and in
accordance with ch. 771, s. 3, and ch. 776, s. 3, and ch. 777 of the
Code of Criminal Procedure, this 28th day of April, 188-, decrees
that Simon Kartinkin, thirty-three years of age, and Katherine
Maslova, twenty-seven years of age, be deprived of all civil rights,
and sent to penal servitude, Kartinkin for eight, Maslova for the term
of four years, under conditions prescribed by ch. 25 of the Code.
Euphemia Bochkova is deprived of all civil and special rights and
privileges, and is to be confined in jail for the period of three
years under conditions prescribed by ch. 49 of the Code, with the
costs of the trial to be borne by all three, and in case of their
inability to pay, to be paid out of the treasury.

"The exhibits are to be sold, the ring returned, and the vials

Kartinkin stood like a post, and with outstretched fingers held up the
sleeves of his coat, moving his jaws. Bochkova seemed to be calm. When
Maslova heard the decision, she turned red in the face.

"I am innocent, I am innocent!" she suddenly cried. "It is a sin. I am
innocent. I never wished; never thought. It is the truth." And sinking
to the bench, she began to cry aloud.

When Kartinkin and Bochkova left the court-room she was still standing
and crying, so that the gendarme had to touch the sleeve of her coat.

"She cannot be left to her fate," said Nekhludoff to himself, entirely
forgetting his evil thoughts, and, without knowing why, he ran into
the corridor to look at her again. He was detained at the door for a
few minutes by the jostling, animated crowd of jurors and lawyers, who
were glad that the case was over, so that when he reached the corridor
Maslova was some distance away. Without thinking of the attention he
was attracting, with quick step he overtook her, walked a little ahead
of her and stopped. She had ceased to cry, only a sob escaped her now
and then while she wiped her tears with a corner of her 'kerchief. She
passed him without turning to look at him. He then hastily returned to
see the justiciary. The latter had left his room, and Nekhludoff found
him in the porter's lodge.

"Judge," said Nekhludoff, approaching him at the moment when he was
putting on a light overcoat and taking a silver-handled cane which the
porter handed him, "may I speak to you about the case that has just
been tried? I am a juror."

"Why, of course, Prince Nekhludoff! I am delighted to see you. We have
met before," said the justiciary, pressing his hand, and recalling
with pleasure that he was the jolliest fellow and best dancer of all
the young men on the evening he had met him. "What can I do for you?"

"There was a mistake in the jury's finding against Maslova. She is not
guilty of poisoning, and yet she is sent to penal servitude," he said,
with a gloomy countenance.

"The court gave its decision in accordance with your own finding,"
answered the justiciary, moving toward the door, "although the answers
did not seem to suit the case."

He remembered that he intended to explain to the jury that an answer
of guilty without a denial of intent to kill involved an intent to
kill, but, as he was hastening to terminate the proceedings, he failed
to do so.

"But could not the mistake be rectified?"

"Cause for appeal can always be found. You must see a lawyer," said
the justiciary, putting on his hat a little on one side and continuing
to move toward the door.

"But this is terrible."

"You see, one of two things confronted Maslova," the justiciary said,
evidently desiring to be as pleasant and polite with Nekhludoff as
possible. Then, arranging his side-whiskers over his coat collar, and
taking Nekhludoff's arm, he led him toward the door. "You are also
going?" he continued.

"Yes," said Nekhludoff, hastily donning his overcoat and following

They came out into the bright, cheerful sunlight, where the rattling
of wheels on the pavement made it necessary to raise their voices.

"The situation, you see, is a very curious one," continued the
justiciary. "Maslova was confronted by one of two things: either a
short term in jail, in which case her lengthy confinement would have
been taken into consideration, or penal servitude; no other sentence
was possible. Had you added the words, 'without intent to kill,' she
would have been discharged."

"It is unpardonable neglect on my part," said Nekhludoff.

"That is the whole trouble," the justiciary said, smiling and looking
at his watch.

There was only three-quarters of an hour left to the latest hour fixed
in Clara's appointment.

"You can apply to a lawyer, if you wish. It is necessary to find
grounds for appeal. But that can always be found. To the
Dvorianskaia," he said to the cab-driver. "Thirty kopecks--I never pay

"All right, Your Excellency."

"Good-day. If I can be of any service to you, please let me know. You
will easily remember my address: Dvornikoff's house, on the

And, making a graceful bow, he rode off.


The conversation with the justiciary and the pure air somewhat calmed
Nekhludoff. The feeling he experienced he now ascribed to the fact
that he had passed the day amid surroundings to which he was

"It is certainly a remarkable coincidence! I must do what is necessary
to alleviate her lot, and do it quickly. Yes, I must find out here
where Fanarin or Mikishin lives." Nekhludoff called to mind these two
well-known lawyers.

Nekhludoff returned to the court-house, took off his overcoat and
walked up the stairs. In the very first corridor he met Fanarin. He
stopped him and told him that he had some business with him. Fanarin
knew him by sight, and also his name. He told Nekhludoff that he would
be glad to do anything to please him.

"I am rather tired, but, if it won't take long, I will listen to your
case. Let us walk into that room."

And Fanarin led Nekhludoff into a room, probably the cabinet of some
judge. They seated themselves at a table.

"Well, state your case."

"First of all, I will ask you," said Nekhludoff, "not to disclose that
I am interesting myself in this case."

"That is understood. Well?"

"I was on a jury to-day, and we sent an innocent woman to Siberia. It
torments me."

To his own surprise, Nekhludoff blushed and hesitated. Fanarin glanced
at him, then lowered his eyes and listened.


"We condemned an innocent woman, and I would like to have the case
appealed to a higher court."

"To the Senate?" Fanarin corrected him.

"And I wish you to take the case."

Nekhludoff wanted to get through the most difficult part, and
therefore immediately added:

"I take all expenses on myself, whatever they may be," he said,

"Well, we will arrange all that," said the lawyer, condescendingly
smiling at Nekhludoff's inexperience.

"What are the facts of the case?"

Nekhludoff related them.

"Very well; I will examine the record to-morrow. Call at my office the
day after--no, better on Thursday, at six o'clock in the evening, and
I will give you an answer. And now let us go; I must make some
inquiries here."

Nekhludoff bade him good-by, and departed.

His conversation with the lawyer, and the fact that he had already
taken steps to defend Maslova, still more calmed his spirit. The
weather was fine, and when Nekhludoff found himself on the street, he
gladly inhaled the spring air. Cab drivers offered their services, but
he preferred to walk, and a swarm of thoughts and recollections of
Katiousha and his conduct toward her immediately filled his head. He
became sad, and everything appeared to him gloomy. "No, I will
consider it later," he said to himself, "and now I must have some
diversion from these painful impressions."

The dinner at the Korchagin's came to his mind, and he looked at his
watch. It was not too late to reach there for dinner. A tram-car
passed by. He ran after it, and boarded it at a bound. On the square
he jumped off, took one of the best cabs, and ten minutes later he
alighted in front of Korchagin's large dwelling.


"Walk in, Your Excellency, you are expected," said the fat porter,
pushing open the swinging, oaken door of the entrance. "They are
dining, but I was told to admit you."

The porter walked to the stairway and rang the bell.

"Are there any guests?" Nekhludoff asked, while taking off his coat.

"Mr. Kolosoff, also Michael Sergeievich, besides the family," answered
the porter.

A fine-looking lackey in dress coat and white gloves looked down from
the top of the stairs.

"Please to walk in, Your Excellency," he said.

Nekhludoff mounted the stairs, and through the spacious and
magnificent parlor he entered the dining-room. Around the table were
seated the entire family, except Princess Sophia Vasilievna, who never
left her own apartments. At the head of the table sat old Korchagin,
on his left the physician; on his right, a visitor, Ivan Ivanovich
Kolosoff, an ex-district commander, and now a bank manager, who was a
friend of the family, and of liberal tendencies; further to the left
was Miss Rader, governess to Missy's four-year-old sister, with the
little girl herself; then to the right, Missy's only brother, Peter, a
high-school pupil, on account of whose forthcoming examinations the
entire family remained in the city, and his tutor, also a student;
then again to the left, Katherine Alexeievna, a forty-year-old girl
Slavophile; opposite to her was Michael Sergeievich, or Misha Telegin,
Missy's cousin, and at the foot of the table, Missy herself, and
beside her, on the table, lay an extra cover.

"Ah, very glad you came! Take a seat! We are still at the fish,"
chewing carefully with his false teeth old Korchagin said, lifting his
bloodshot eyes on Nekhludoff. "Stepan!" he turned with a full mouth to
the fat, majestic servant, pointing with his eyes to Nekhludoff's
plate. Although Nekhludoff had often dined with and knew Korchagin
well, this evening his old face, his sensual, smacking lips, the
napkin stuck under his vest, the fat neck, and especially the
well-fed, military figure made an unpleasant impression on him.

"It is all ready, Your Excellency," said Stepan, taking a soup ladle
from the sideboard and nodding to the fine-looking servant with the
side-whiskers, who immediately began to set the table beside Missy.

Nekhludoff went around the table shaking hands with every one. All,
except Korchagin and the ladies, rose from their seats when he
approached them. And this walking around the table and his
handshaking, although most of the people were comparative strangers to
him, this evening seemed to Nekhludoff particularly unpleasant and
ridiculous. He excused himself for his late coming, and was about to
seat himself at the end of the table between Missy and Katherine
Alexeievna, when old Korchagin demanded that, since he would not take
any brandy, he should first take a bite at the table, on which were
lobster, caviare, cheese and herring. Nekhludoff did not know he was
as hungry as he turned out to be, and when he tasted of some cheese
and bread he could not stop eating, and ate ravenously.

"Well? Have you been undermining the bases of society?" asked
Kolosoff, ironically, using an expression of a retrogressive
newspaper, which was attacking the jury system. "You have acquitted
the guilty and condemned the innocent? Have you?"

"Undermining the bases--undermining the bases"--smilingly repeated the
Prince, who had boundless confidence in the intelligence and honesty
of his liberal comrade and friend.

Nekhludoff, at the risk of being impolite, did not answer Kolosoff,
and, seating himself before the steaming soup, continued to eat.

"Do let him eat," said Missy, smiling. By the pronoun "him," she
meant to call attention to her intimacy with Nekhludoff.

Meanwhile Kolosoff was energetically and loudly discussing the article
against trial by jury which had roused his indignation. Michael
Sergeievich supported his contentions and quoted the contents of
another similar article.

Missy, as usual, was very _distingue_ and unobtrusively well dressed.
She waited until Nekhludoff had swallowed the mouthful he was chewing,
and then said: "You must be very tired and hungry."

"Not particularly. Are you? Have you been to the exhibition?" he

"No, we postponed it. But we went to play lawn tennis at the
Salamatoff's. Mister Crooks is really a remarkable player."

Nekhludoff had came here for recreation, and it was always pleasant to
him to be in this house, not only because of the elegant luxury, which
acted pleasantly on his senses, but because of the adulating
kindnesses with which they invisibly surrounded him. To-day,
however--it is wonderful to relate--everything in this house disgusted
him; the porter, the broad stairway, the flowers, the lackeys, the
table decorations, and even Missy herself, who, just now, seemed to
him unattractive and unnatural. He was disgusted with that
self-confident, vulgar, liberal tone of Kolosoff, the bull-like,
sensual, figure of old Korchagin, the French phrases of the Slavophile
maiden, the ceremonious faces of the governess and the tutor. But
above all, he was disgusted with the pronoun "him" that Missy had
used. Nekhludoff was always wavering between two different relations
he sustained toward Missy. Sometimes he looked at her as through
blinking eyes or by moonlight, and then she seemed to him beautiful,
fresh, pretty, clever and natural. At other times he looked at her as
if under a bright sun, and then he saw only her defects. To-day was
such a day. He saw the wrinkles on her face; saw the artificial
arrangement of her hair; the pointed elbows, and, above all, her large
thumb nail, resembling that of her father.

"It is the dullest game," Kolosoff said, speaking of tennis,
"baseball, as we played it when we were boys, is much more amusing."

"You have not tried it. It is awfully interesting," retorted Missy,
unnaturally accentuating the word "awfully," as it seemed to

A discussion arose in which Michael Sergeievich and Katherine
Alexeievna took part. Only the governess, the tutor and the children
were silent, evidently from ennui.

"They are eternally disputing!" laughing aloud, said old Korchagin. He
pulled the napkin from his vest, and, noisily pushing back his chair,
which was immediately removed by a servant, rose from the table. They
all rose after him and went to a small table, on which stood figured
bowls filled with perfumed water; then they washed their finger-tips
and rinsed their mouths, and continued their conversation, in which no
one took any interest.

"Is it not true?" Missy said to Nekhludoff, desiring to receive
confirmation of her opinion that man's character can best be learned
in play. She noticed on his thoughtful face an expression of reproach,
which inspired her with fear, and she wished to know the cause of it.

"I really don't know. I never thought of it," answered Nekhludoff.

"Will you go to mamma?" asked Missy.

"Yes, yes," he said, producing a cigarette. The tone of his voice
plainly betrayed that he did not wish to go.

She looked at him inquiringly, but was silent. He felt ashamed. "It is
hardly proper for me to come here to put people out of temper," he
thought, and, in an effort to be pleasant, he said that he would go
with pleasure if the Princess were in a mood to receive him.

"Yes, yes; mamma will be glad. You can smoke there also. And Ivan
Ivanovich is with her."

The mistress of the house, Sophia Vasilievna, was an invalid. For
eight years she had reclined in laces and ribbons, amid velvet,
gilding, ivory, bronzes and flowers. She never drove out, and received
only her "friends," i. e., whoever, according to her view, in any way
distinguished himself from the crowd. Nekhludoff was one of these
friends, not only because he was considered a clever young man, but
also because his mother was a close friend of the family and he was a
desirable match for Missy.

Her room was beyond the small and large drawing-rooms. In the large
drawing-room Missy, who preceded Nekhludoff, suddenly stopped, and
placing her hands on the back of a gilt chair, looked at him.

Missy was very anxious to be married, and Nekhludoff was a desirable
party. Besides, she liked him, and had become accustomed to the
thought that he would belong to her, and not she to him, and, with the
unconscious but persistent craftiness of heart-sick persons, she
gained her end. She addressed him now with the intention of bringing
forth an explanation.

"I see that something has happened to you," she said. "What is the
matter with you?"

The meeting in the court came to his mind, and he frowned and blushed.

"Yes, something has happened," he said, desiring to be truthful. "It
was a strange, extraordinary and important event."

"What was it? Can't you tell me?"

"Not now. Don't press me for an answer. I have not had the time to
think over the matter," he said, blushing still more.

"And you will not tell me?" The muscles on her cheek quivered, and she
pushed away the chair.

"No, I cannot," he answered, feeling that answering her thus he
answered himself--admitted to himself that something very important
had really happened to him.

"Well, then, come!"

She shook her head as if desiring to drive away undesirable thoughts,
and walked forward with a quicker step than usual.

It seemed to him that she unnaturally compressed her lips in order to
suppress her tears. It was painful to him to grieve her, but he knew
that the slightest weakness would ruin him, i. e., bind him. And this
he feared more than anything else to-day, so he silently followed her
to the door of the Princess' apartments.


Princess Sophia Vasilievna had finished her meal of choice and
nourishing dishes, which she always took alone, that no one might see
her performing that unpoetical function. A cup of coffee stood on a
small table near her couch, and she was smoking a cigarette. Princess
Sophia Vasilievna was a lean and tall brunette, with long teeth and
large black eyes, who desired to pass for a young woman.

People were making unpleasant remarks about her relations with the
doctor. Formerly Nekhludoff had paid no attention to them. But to-day,
the sight of the doctor, with his oily, sleek head, which was parted
in the middle, sitting near her couch, was repulsive to him.

Beside the Princess sat Kolosoff, stirring the coffee. A glass of
liquor was on the table.

Missy entered, together with Nekhludoff, but she did not remain in the

"When mamma gets tired of you and drives you away, come to my room,"
she said, turning to Nekhludoff, as if nothing had happened, and,
smiling cheerfully, she walked out of the room, her steps deadened by
the heavy carpet.

"Well, how do you do, my friend? Sit down and tell us the news," said
Sophia Vasilievna, with an artful, feigned, resembling a perfectly
natural, smile, which displayed her beautiful, long, skillfully made,
almost natural-looking teeth. "I am told that you returned from the
court in very gloomy spirits. It must be very painful to people with a
heart," she said in French.

"Yes, that is true," said Nekhludoff. "One often feels his--feels that
he has no right to judge others."

"Comme c'est vrai!" she exclaimed, as if struck by the truth of the
remark, and, as usual, artfully flattering her friend.

"And what about your picture? It interests me very much," she added.
"Were it not for my indisposition, I should have visited you long

"I have given up painting entirely," he answered dryly. Her unjust
flattery was as apparent to him to-day as was her age, which she
attempted to conceal. Try as he would, he could not force himself to
be pleasant.

"It is too bad! You know, Riepin himself told me that Nekhludoff
possesses undoubted talent," she said, turning to Kolosoff.

"What a shameless liar!" Nekhludoff thought, frowning.

Seeing that Nekhludoff was in ill humor, and could not be drawn into
pleasant and clear conversation, Sophia Vasilievna turned to Kolosoff
for his opinion of the new drama, with an air as if Kolosoff's opinion
would dispel all doubt and every word of his was destined to become
immortalized. Kolosoff condemned the drama and took occasion to state
his views on art. The correctness of his views seemed to impress her;
she attempted to defend the author of the drama, but immediately
yielded, or found a middle ground. Nekhludoff looked and listened and
yet saw and heard but little.

Listening now to Sophia Vasilievna, now to Kolosoff, Nekhludoff saw,
first, that neither of them cared either for the drama or for each
other, and that they were talking merely to satisfy a physiological
craving to exercise, after dinner, the muscles of the tongue and
throat. Secondly, he saw that Kolosoff, who had drunk brandy, wine and
liquors, was somewhat tipsy--not as drunk as a drinking peasant, but
like a man to whom wine-drinking has become a habit. He did not reel,
nor did he talk nonsense, but was in an abnormal, excited and
contented condition. Thirdly, Nekhludoff saw that Princess Sophia
Vasilievna, during the conversation, now and again anxiously glanced
at the window, through which a slanting ray of the sun was creeping
toward her, threatening to throw too much light on her aged face.

"How true it is," she said of some remark of Kolosoff, and pressed a
button on the wall near the couch.

At this moment the doctor rose with as little ceremony as one of the
family, and walked out of the room. Sophia Vasilievna followed him
with her eyes.

"Please, Phillip, let down that curtain," she said to the
fine-looking servant who responded to the bell, her eyes pointing to
the window.

"Say what you will, but there is something mystical about him, and
without mysticism there is no poetry," she said, with one black eye
angrily following the movements of the servant who was lowering the

"Mysticism without poetry is superstition, and poetry without
mysticism is prose," she continued, smiling sadly, still keeping her
eye on the servant, who was smoothing down the curtain.

"Not that curtain, Phillip--the one at the large window," she said in
a sad voice, evidently pitying herself for the efforts she was
compelled to make to say these words, and to calm herself, with her
ring-bedecked hand, she lifted to her lips the fragrant, smoking

The broad-chested, muscular Phillip bowed slightly, as if excusing
himself, and submissively and silently stepped over to the next
window, and, carefully looking at the Princess, so arranged the
curtain that no stray ray should fall on her. It was again
unsatisfactory, and again the exhausted Princess was obliged to
interrupt her conversation about mysticism and correct the
unintelligent Phillip, who was pitilessly tormenting her. For a moment
Phillip's eyes flashed fire.

"'The devil knows what you want,' he is probably saying to himself,"
Nekhludoff thought, as he watched this play. But the handsome, strong
Phillip concealed his impatience, and calmly carried out the
instructions of the enervated, weak, artificial Princess Sophia

"Of course there is considerable truth in Darwin's theory," said the
returning Kolosoff, stretching himself on a low arm-chair and looking
through sleepy eyes at the Princess, "but he goes too far."

"And do you believe in heredity?" she asked Nekhludoff, oppressed by
his silence.

"In heredity?" repeated Nekhludoff. "No, I do not," he said, being
entirely absorbed at the moment by those strange forms which, for some
reason, appeared to his imagination. Alongside of the strong, handsome
Phillip, whom he looked upon as a model, he imagined Kolosoff, naked,
his abdomen like a water-melon, bald-headed, and his arms hanging
like two cords. He also dimly imagined what the silk-covered shoulders
of Sophia Vasilievna would appear like in reality, but the picture was
too terrible, and he drove it from his mind.

Sophia Vasilievna scanned him from head to foot.

"Missy is waiting for you," she said. "Go to her room; she wished to
play for you a new composition by Schuman. It is very interesting."

"It isn't true. Why should she lie so!" Nekhludoff thought, rising and
pressing her transparent, bony, ring-bedecked hand.

In the drawing-room he met Katherine Alexeievna, returning to her
mother's apartments. As usual, she greeted him in French.

"I see that the duties of juryman act depressingly upon you," she

"Yes, pardon me. I am in low spirits to-day, and I have no right to
bore people," answered Nekhludoff.

"Why are you in low spirits?"

"Permit me not to speak of it," he said, looking for his hat as they
entered the Princess' cabinet.

"And do you remember telling us that one ought to tell the truth? And
what cruel truths you used to tell us! Why don't you tell us now? Do
you remember, Missy?" the Princess turned to Missy, who had just

"Because that was in play," answered Nekhludoff gravely. "In play it
is permissible, but in reality we are so bad, that is, I am so bad,
that I, at least, cannot tell the truth."

"Don't correct yourself, but rather say that we are so bad," said
Katherine Alexeievna, playing with the words, and pretending not to
see Nekhludoff's gravity.

"There is nothing worse than to confess being in low spirits," said
Missy. "I never confess it to myself, and that is why I am always
cheerful. Well, come to my room. We shall try to drive away your
mauvais humeur."

Nekhludoff experienced the feeling which a horse must feel when
brushed down before the bridle is put on and it is led to be harnessed
to the wagon. But to-day he was not at all disposed to draw. He
excused himself and began to take leave. Missy kept his hand longer
than usual.

"Remember that what is important to you is important to your friends,"
she said. "Will you come to-morrow?"

"I don't think I will," said Nekhludoff. And feeling ashamed, without
knowing himself whether for her or for himself, he blushed and hastily

"What does it mean? Comme cela m'intrigue," said Katherine Alexeievna,
when Nekhludoff had left. "I must find it out. Some affaire d'amour
propre; il est très susceptible notre cher Mitia."

"Plutôt une affaire d'amour sale," Missy was going to say. Her face
was now wan and pale. But she did not give expression to that passage,
and only said: "We all have our bright days and gloomy days."

"Is it possible that he, too, should deceive me?" she thought. "After
all that has happened, it would be very wrong of him."

If Missy had had to explain what she meant by the words, "After all
that has happened," she could have told nothing definite, and yet she
undoubtedly knew that not only had he given her cause to hope, but he
had almost made his promise--not in so many words, but by his glances,
his smiles, his innuendos, his silence. She considered him her own,
and to lose him would be very painful to her.


"It is shameful and disgusting," Nekhludoff meditated, while returning
home on foot along the familiar streets. The oppressive feeling which
he had experienced while speaking to Missy clung to him. He understood
that nominally, if one may so express himself, he was in the right; he
had never said anything to bind himself to her; had made no offer, but
in reality he felt that he had bound himself to her, that he had
promised to be hers. Yet he felt in all his being that he could not
marry her.

"It is shameful and disgusting," he repeated, not only of his
relations to Missy, but of everything. "Everything is disgusting and
shameful," he repeated to himself, as he ascended the steps of his

"I shall take no supper," he said to Kornei, who followed him into the
dining-room, where the table was set for his supper. "You may go."

"All right," said Kornei, but did not go, and began to clear the
table. Nekhludoff looked at Kornei and an ill feeling sprung up in his
heart toward him. He wished to be left in peace, and it seemed as if
everybody were spitefully worrying him. When Kornei had left,
Nekhludoff went over to the _samovar_, intending to make some tea,
but, hearing the footsteps of Agrippina Petrovna, he hastily walked
into the drawing-room, closing the door behind him. This was the room
in which, three months ago, his mother had died. Now, as he entered
this room, lighted by two lamps with reflectors--one near a portrait
of his father, the other near a portrait of his mother--he thought of
his relations toward his mother, and these relations seemed to him
unnatural and repulsive. These, too, were shameful and disgusting. He
remembered how, during her last sickness, he wished her to die. He
said to himself that he wished it so that she might be spared the
suffering, but in reality he wished to spare himself the sight of her

Desiring to call forth pleasant recollections about her, he looked at
her portrait, painted by a famous artist for five thousand rubles. She
was represented in a black velvet dress with bared breast. The artist
had evidently drawn with particular care the breast and the beautiful
shoulders and neck. That was particularly shameful and disgusting.
There was something revolting and sacriligious to him in this
representation of his mother as a denuded beauty, the more so because
three months ago she lay in this very room shrunken like a mummy, and
filling the entire house with an oppressive odor. He thought he could
smell the odor now. He remembered how, on the day before she died, she
took his strong, white hand into her own emaciated, discolored one,
and, looking into his eyes, said: "Do not judge me, Mitia, if I have
not done as I should," and her faded eyes filled with tears.

"How disgusting!" he again repeated to himself, glancing at the
half-nude woman with splendid marble shoulders and arms and a
triumphant smile on her lips. The bared bosom of that portrait
reminded him of another young woman whom he had seen dressed in a
similar way a few days before. It was Missy, who had invited him to
the house under some pretext, in order to display before him her
ball-dress. He recalled with disgust her beautiful shoulders and arms;
and her coarse, brutal father, with his dark past, his cruelties, and
her mother with her doubtful reputation. All this was disgusting and
at the same time shameful.

"No, no; I must free myself from all these false relations with the
Korchagins, with Maria Vasilievna, with the inheritance and all the
rest," he thought. "Yes, to breathe freely; to go abroad--to Rome--and
continue to work on my picture." He remembered his doubts about his
talent. "Well, it is all the same; I will simply breathe freely.
First, I will go to Constantinople, then to Rome--away from this jury
duty. Yes, and to fix matters with the lawyer----"

And suddenly, before his imagination, appeared with uncommon vividness
the picture of the prisoner with the black, squinting eyes. And how
she wept when the last words of the prisoners were spoken! He hastily
crushed the cigarette he was smoking, lit another, and began pacing up
and down the room. One after another the scenes he had lived through
with her rose up in his mind. He recalled their last meeting, the
passion which seized him at the time, and the disappointment that
followed. He recalled the white dress with the blue ribbon; he
recalled the morning mass. "Why, I loved her with a pure love that
night; I loved her even before, and how I loved her when I first came
to my aunts and was writing my composition!" That freshness, youth,
fullness of life swept over him and he became painfully sad.

The difference between him as he was then and as he was now was great;
it was equally great, if not greater, than the difference between
Katiousha in the church and that girl whom they had tried this
morning. Then he was a courageous, free man, before whom opened
endless possibilities; now he felt himself caught in the tenets of a
stupid, idle, aimless, miserable life, from which there was no escape;
aye, from which, for the most part, he would not escape. He
remembered how he once had prided himself upon his rectitude; how he
always made it a rule to tell the truth, and was in reality truthful,
and how he was now steeped in falsehood--falsehood which was
recognized as truth by all those around him.

And there was no escape from this falsehood; at all events, he did not
see any escape. He had sunk in it, became accustomed to it, and
indulged himself in it.

The questions that absorbed him now were: How to break loose from
Maria Vasilievna and her husband, so that he might be able to look
them in the face? How, without falsehood, to disentangle his relations
with Missy? How to get out of the inconsistency of considering the
private holding of land unjust and keeping his inheritance? How to
blot out his sin against Katiousha? "I cannot abandon the woman whom I
have loved and content myself with paying money to the lawyer to save
her from penal servitude, which she does not even deserve." To blot
out the sin, as he did then, when he thought that he was atoning for
his wrong by giving her money! Impossible!

He vividly recalled the moment when he ran after her in the corridor,
thrust money in her bosom, and ran away from her. "Oh, that money!"
With the same horror and disgust he recalled that moment. "Oh, how
disgusting!" he said aloud, as he did then. "Only a scoundrel and
rascal could do it! And I am that scoundrel, that rascal!" he said
aloud. "It is possible that I--" and he stopped in the middle of the
room--"Is it possible that I am really a scoundrel? Who but I?" he
answered himself. "And is this the only thing?" he continued, still
censuring himself. "Are not my relations toward Maria Vasilievna base
and detestable? And my position with regard to property? Under the
plea that I inherited it from my mother I am using wealth, the
ownership of which I consider unlawful. And the whole of this idle,
abominable life? And to crown all, my conduct toward Katiousha?
Scoundrel! Villain! Let people judge me as they please--I can deceive
them, but I cannot deceive myself."

And he suddenly understood that the disgust which he had lately felt
toward everybody, and especially to-day toward the Prince and Maria
Vasilievna, and Missy, and Kornei, was disgust with himself. And in
this confession of his own baseness there was something painful, and
at the same time joyous and calming.

In the course of his life Nekhludoff often experienced what he called
a "cleansing of the soul." This happened when, after a long period of
retardation, or, perhaps, entire cessation of his inner life, he
suddenly became aware of it, and proceeded to cleanse his soul of all
the accumulated filth that caused this standstill.

After such awakenings Nekhludoff always laid down some rules for
himself which he intended to follow all the rest of his life; kept a
diary and began a new life, which he hoped he should never change
again--"turning a new leaf," he used to call it. But the temptations
of life entrapped him anew, after every awakening, and, without
knowing it, he sank again, often to a lower depth than he was in

Thus he cleansed himself and revived several times. His first
cleansing happened when he visited his aunts. That was the brightest
and most enthusiastic awakening. And it lasted a long time. The next
happened when he left the civil service, and, desiring to sacrifice
his life, he entered, during the war, the military service. Here he
began to sink quickly. The next awakening occurred when he retired
from the military service, and, going abroad, gave himself up to

From that day to this there was a long period of uncleanliness, the
longest he had gone through yet, and, therefore, he had never sunk so
deep, and never before was there such discord between the demands of
his conscience and the life which he was leading. So, when he saw the
chasm which separated the two, he was horrified.

The discord was so great, the defilement so thorough, that at first he
despaired of the possibility of a complete cleansing. "Why, you have
tried to improve before, and failed," the tempter in his soul
whispered. "What is the good of trying again? You are not the only
one--all are alike. Such is life." But the free, spiritual being which
alone is true, alone powerful, alone eternal, was already awake in
Nekhludoff. And he could not help believing it. However great the
difference between that which he was and that which he wished to be,
for the awakened spiritual being everything was possible.

"I shall break this lie that binds me at any cost. I will confess the
truth to everybody, and will act the truth," he said aloud,
resolutely. "I will tell Missy the truth--that I am a profligate and
cannot marry her; that I have trifled with her. I will tell Maria
Vasilevna (the wife of the marshal of nobility)--but no, what is the
good of telling her? I will tell her husband that I am a scoundrel,
that I have deceived him. I will dispose of my inheritance in
accordance with the demands of justice. I will tell her, Katiousha,
that I am a knave, that I have wronged her, and will do everything in
my power to alleviate her condition. Yes, I shall see her, and beg her
forgiveness--I will beg like a child."

He stopped.

"I will marry her, if necessary."

He crossed his hands on his breast, as he used to do when a child,
raised his eyes and said:

"Lord, help me, teach me; come and enter within me and purify me of
all this abomination."

He prayed, asked God to help him and purify him, while that which he
was praying for had already happened. Not only did he feel the
freedom, vigor and gladness of life, but he also felt the power of
good. He felt himself capable of doing the best that man can do.

There were tears in his eyes when he said these things--tears of
joy--on the awakening within him of that spiritual being, and tears of
emotion over his own virtue.

He felt warm and opened a window which looked into a garden. It was a
moonlit, fresh and quiet night. Past the street rattled some vehicle,
and then everything was quiet. Directly beneath the window a tall,
denuded poplar threw its shadow on the gravel of the landing-place,
distinctly showing all the ramifications of its bare branches. To the
left the roof of a shed seemed white under the bright light of the
moon; in front were the tangled branches of the trees, through which
was seen the dark shadow of the garden inclosure.

Nekhludoff looked at the moonlit garden and roof, the shadows of the
poplar, and drank in the fresh, invigorating air.

"How delightful! My God, how delightful!" he said of that which was in
his soul.


It was six o'clock when Maslova returned to her cell, weary and
foot-sore from the long tramp over the stone pavement. Besides, she
was crushed by the unexpectedly severe sentence, and was also hungry.

When, during a recess, her guards had lunched on bread and hard-boiled
eggs her mouth watered and she felt that she was hungry, but
considered it humiliating to ask them for some food. Three hours after
that her hunger had passed, and she only felt weak. In this condition
she heard the sentence. At first she thought that she misunderstood
it; she could not believe what she heard, and could not reconcile
herself to the idea that she was a convict. But, seeing the calm,
serious faces of the judges and the jury, who received the verdict as
something quite natural, she revolted and cried out that she was
innocent. And when she saw also that her outcry, too, was taken as
something natural and anticipated, and which could not alter the case,
she began to weep. She felt that she must submit to the cruel
injustice which was perpetrated on her. What surprised her most was
that she should be so cruelly condemned by men--not old men, but those
same young men who looked at her so kindly.

The prosecuting attorney was the only man whose glances were other
than kind. While she was sitting in the prisoners' room, and during
recesses she saw these men passing by her and entering the room under
various pretexts, but with the obvious intention of looking at her.
And now these same men, for some reason, sentenced her to hard labor,
although she was innocent of the crime. For some time she wept, then
became calm, and in a condition of complete exhaustion she waited to
be taken away. She desired but one thing now--a cigarette. She was in
this frame of mind when Bochkova and Kartinkin were brought into the
room. Bochkova immediately began to curse her.

"You are innocent, aren't you? Why weren't you discharged, you vile
thing? You got your deserts! You will drop your fineries in Siberia!"

Maslova sat with lowered head, her hands folded in the sleeves of her
coat, and gazed on the smoothly trampled ground.

"I am not interfering with you, so leave me in peace," she repeated
several times, then became silent. She became enlivened again when,
after Bochkova and Kartinkin had been removed from the room, the guard
entered, bringing her three rubles.

"Are you Maslova?" he asked.


"Here is some money which a lady sent you," he said.

"What lady?"

"Take it, and ask no questions."

The money was sent by Kitaeva. When leaving the court she asked the
usher if she could send some money to Maslova, and, receiving an
affirmative answer, she removed a chamois glove, and, from the back
folds of her silk dress, produced a stylish pocket-book, and counted
out the money into the hands of the usher who, in her presence, handed
it to the guard.

"Please be sure to give it to her," said Karolina Albertoona to the

The guard was offended by this distrust shown to him, which was the
cause of his speaking angrily to Maslova.

Maslova was overjoyed by the receipt of the money, for it could give
her the one thing she wished for now.

All her thoughts were now centered on her desire to inhale the smoke
of a cigarette. So strong was this desire that she greedily inhaled
the smoke-laden air which was wafted in from the corridor and through
the cabinet door. But there was a long wait before her, for the
secretary, who was to deliver to the guard the order for her removal,
forgetting the prisoners, engaged one of the lawyers in the discussion
of an editorial that had appeared in a newspaper.

At five o'clock she was finally led down through the rear door. While
in the waiting-room she gave one of the guards twenty kopecks, asking
him to buy for her two lunch rolls and some cigarettes. The guard
laughed, took the money, honestly made the purchase and returned the
change to her. She could not smoke on the road, so Maslova arrived at
the jail with the same unsatisfied craving for a cigarette. At that
moment about a hundred prisoners were brought from the railroad
station. Maslova met them in the passageway.

The prisoners, bearded, clean-shaven, old, young, Russians and
foreigners--some with half-shaved heads, and with a clinking of iron
fetters, filled the passage with dust, tramping of feet, conversation
and a sharp odor of perspiration. The prisoners, as they passed
Maslova, scanned her from head to foot; some approached and teased

"Fine girl, that!" said one. "My compliments, auntie," said another,
winking one eye. A dark man with a shaven, blue neck and long
mustache, tangling in his fetters, sprang toward her and embraced her.

"Don't you recognize your friend? Come, don't put on such style!" he
exclaimed, grinning as she pushed him away.

"What are you doing, you rascal?" shouted the officer in charge of the

The prisoner hastily hid himself in the crowd. The officer fell upon

"What are you doing here?"

Maslova was going to say that she had been brought from the court, but
she was very tired and too lazy to speak.

"She is just from the court, sir," said one of the guards, elbowing
his way through the passing crowd, and raising his hand to his cap.

"Then take her to the warden. What indecencies!"

"Very well, sir!"

"Sokoloff! Take her away!" shouted the officer.

Sokoloff came and angrily pushed Maslova by the shoulder, and,
motioning to her to follow him, he led her into the woman's corridor.
There she was thoroughly searched, and as nothing was found upon her
(the box of cigarettes was hidden in the lunch roll), she was admitted
into the same cell from which she had emerged in the morning.


The cell in which Maslova was confined was an oblong room, twenty feet
by fifteen. The kalsomining of the walls was peeled off, and the dry
boards of the cots occupied two-thirds of the space. In the middle of
the room, opposite the door, was a dark iron, with a wax candle stuck
on it, and a dusty bouquet of immortelles hanging under it. To the
left, behind the door, on a darkened spot of the floor, stood an
ill-smelling vat. The women had been locked up for the night.

There were fifteen inmates of this cell, twelve women and three

It was not dark yet, and only two women lay in their cots; one a
foolish little woman--she was constantly crying--who had been arrested
because she had no written evidence of her identity, had her head
covered with her coat; the other, a consumptive, was serving a
sentence for theft. She was not sleeping, but lay, her coat under her
head, with wide-open eyes, and with difficulty retaining in her throat
the tickling, gurgling phlegm, so as not to cough. The other women
were with bare heads and skirts of coarse linen; some sat on their
cots sewing; others stood at the window gazing on the passing
prisoners. Of the three women who were sewing, one, Korableva, was the
one who had given Maslova the instructions when the latter left the
cell. She was a tall, strong woman, with a frowning, gloomy face, all
wrinkled, a bag of skin hanging under her chin, a short braid of light
hair, turning gray at the temples, and a hairy wart on her cheek. This
old woman was sentenced to penal servitude for killing her husband
with an axe. The killing was committed because he annoyed her daughter
with improper advances. She was the overseer of the cell, and also
sold wine to the inmates. She was sewing with eye-glasses, and held
the needle, after the fashion of the peasants, with three fingers,
the sharp point turned toward her breast. Beside her, also sewing, sat
a little woman, good-natured and talkative, dark, snub-nosed and with
little black eyes. She was the watch-woman at a flag-station, and was
sentenced to three months' imprisonment for negligently causing an
accident on the railroad. The third of the women who were occupied
with sewing was Theodosia--called Fenichka by her fellow-prisoners--of
light complexion, and with rosy cheeks; young, lovely, with bright,
childish blue eyes, and two long, flaxen braids rolled up on her small
head. She was imprisoned for attempting to poison her husband. She was
sixteen years old when she was married, and she made the attempt
immediately after her marriage. During the eight months that she was
out on bail, she not only became reconciled to her husband, but became
so fond of him that the court officers found them living in perfect
harmony. In spite of all the efforts of her husband, her
father-in-law, and especially her mother-in-law, who had grown very
fond of her, to obtain her discharge, she was sentenced to hard labor
in Siberia. The kind, cheerful and smiling Theodosia, whose cot was
next to Maslova's, not only took a liking to her, but considered it
her duty to help her in every possible way. Two other women were
sitting idly on their cots; one of about forty years, who seemed to
have been pretty in her youth, but was now pale and slim, was feeding
a child with her long, white breast. Her crime consisted in that, when
the people of the village she belonged to attempted to stop a
recruiting officer who had drafted, illegally, as they thought, her
nephew, she was the first to take hold of the bridle of his horse.
There was another little white-haired, wrinkled woman, good-natured
and hunch-backed, who sat near the oven and pretended to be catching a
four-year-old, short-haired and stout boy, who, in a short little
shirt, was running past her, laughing and repeating: "You tan't tatch
me!" This old woman, who, with her son, was charged with incendiarism,
bore her confinement good-naturedly, grieving only over her son, who
was also in jail, but above all, her heart was breaking for her old
man who, she feared, would be eaten up by lice, as her daughter-in-law
had returned to her parents, and there was no one to wash him.

Besides these seven women, there were four others who stood near the
open windows, their hands resting on the iron gratings, and conversing
by signs and shouts with the prisoners whom Maslova had met in the
passageway. One of these, who was serving a sentence for theft, was a
flabby, large, heavy, red-haired woman with white-yellow freckles over
her face, and a stout neck which was exposed by the open waist collar.
In a hoarse voice she shouted indecent words through the window.
Beside her stood a woman of the size of a ten-year-old girl, very
dark, with a long back and very short legs. Her face was red and
blotched; her black eyes wide open, and her short, thick lips failed
to hide her white, protruding teeth. She laughed in shrill tones at
the antics of the prisoners. This prisoner, who was nicknamed Miss
Dandy, because of her stylishness, was under indictment for theft and
incendiarism. Behind them, in a very dirty, gray shirt, stood a
wretched-looking woman, big with child, who was charged with
concealing stolen property. This woman was silent, but she approvingly
smiled at the actions of the prisoners without. The fourth of the
women who stood at the window, and was undergoing sentence for illicit
trading in spirits, was a squat little country woman with bulging eyes
and kindly face. She was the mother of the boy who was playing with
the old woman, and of another seven-year-old girl, both of whom were
in jail with her, because they had no one else to take care of them.
Knitting a stocking, she was looking through the window and
disapprovingly frowned and closed her eyes at the language used by the
passing prisoners. The girl who stood near the red-haired woman, with
only a shirt on her back, and clinging with one hand to the woman's
skirt, attentively listened to the abusive words the men were
exchanging with the women, and repeated them in a whisper, as if
committing them to memory. The twelfth was the daughter of a church
clerk and chanter who had drowned her child in a well. She was a tall
and stately girl, with large eyes and tangled hair sticking out of her
short, thick, flaxen braid. She paid no attention to what was going on
around her, but paced, bare-footed, and in a dirty gray shirt, over
the floor of the cell, making sharp and quick turns when she reached
the wall.


When with a rattling of chains the cell door was unlocked and Maslova
admitted, all eyes were turned toward her. Even the chanter's daughter
stopped for a moment and looked at her with raised eyebrows, but
immediately resumed walking with long, resolute strides. Korableva
stuck her needle into the sack she was sewing and gazed inquiringly
through her glasses at Maslova.

"Ah me! So she has returned," she said in a hoarse basso voice. "And I
was sure she would be set right. She must have got it."

She removed her glasses and placed them with her sewing beside her.

"I have been talking with auntie, dear, and we thought that they might
discharge you at once. They say it happens. And they sometimes give
you money, if you strike the right time," the watch-woman started in a
singing voice. "What ill-luck! It seems we were wrong. God has His own
way, dear," she went on in her caressing and melodious voice.

"It is possible that they convicted you?" asked Theodosia, with gentle
compassion, looking at Maslova with her childish, light-blue eyes, and
her cheerful, young face changed, and she seemed to be ready to cry.

Maslova made no answer, but silently went to her place, next to
Korableva's, and sat down.

"You have probably not eaten anything," said Theodosia, rising and
going over to Maslova.

Again Maslova did not answer, but placed the two lunch-rolls at the
head of the cot and began to undress. She took off the dusty coat, and
the 'kerchief from her curling black hair and sat down.

The hunch-backed old woman also came and stopped in front of Maslova,
compassionately shaking her head.

The boy came behind the old woman, and, with a protruding corner of
the upper lip and wide-open eyes, gazed on the rolls brought by
Maslova. Seeing all these compassionate faces, after what had
happened, Maslova almost cried and her lips began to twitch. She
tried to and did restrain herself until the old woman and the child
approached. When, however, she heard the kind, compassionate
exclamation of pity from the old woman, and, especially, when her eyes
met the serious eyes of the boy who looked now at her, now at the
rolls, she could restrain herself no longer. Her whole face began to
twitch and she burst into sobs.

"I told her to take a good lawyer," said Korableva. "Well? To
Siberia?" she asked.

Maslova wished to answer but could not, and, crying, she produced from
the roll the box of cigarettes, on which a picture of a red lady with
a high chignon and triangle-shaped, low cut neck was printed, and gave
it to Korableva. The latter looked at the picture, disapprovingly
shook her head, chiefly because Maslova spent money so foolishly, and,
lighting a cigarette over the lamp, inhaled the smoke several times,
then thrust it at Maslova. Maslova, without ceasing to cry, eagerly
began to inhale the smoke.

"Penal servitude," she murmured, sobbing.

"They have no fear of God, these cursed blood-suckers!" said
Korableva. "They have condemned an innocent girl."

At this moment there was a loud outburst of laughter among those
standing near the window. The delicate laughter of the little girl
mingled with the hoarse and shrill laughter of the women. This
merriment was caused by some act of a prisoner without.

"Oh, the scoundrel! See what he is doing!" said the red-headed woman,
pressing her face against the grating, her whole massive frame

"What is that drum-hide shouting about?" said Korableva, shaking her
head at the red-haired woman, and then again turning to Maslova. "How
many years?"

"Four," said Maslova, and the flow of her tears was so copious that
one of them fell on the cigarette. She angrily crushed it, threw it
away and took another.

The watch-woman, although she was no smoker, immediately picked up the
cigarette-end and began to straighten it, talking at the same time.

"As I said to Matveievna, dear," she said, "it is ill-luck. They do
what they please. And we thought they would discharge you. Matveievna
said you would be discharged, and I said that you would not, I said.
'My heart tells me,' I said, 'that they will condemn her,' and so it
happened," she went on, evidently listening to the sounds of her own
voice with particular pleasure.

The prisoners had now passed through the court-yard, and the four
women left the window and approached Maslova. The larged-eyed illicit
seller of spirits was the first to speak.

"Well, is the sentence very severe?" she asked, seating herself near
Maslova and continuing to knit her stocking.

"It is severe because she has no money. If she had money to hire a
good lawyer, I am sure they would not have held her," said Korableva.
"That lawyer--what's his name?--that clumsy, big-nosed one can, my
dear madam, lead one out of the water dry. That's the man you should

"To hire him!" grinned Miss Dandy. "Why, he would not look at you for
less than a thousand rubles."

"It seems to be your fate," said the old woman who was charged with
incendiarism. "I should say he is severe! He drove my boy's wife from
her; put him in jail, and me, too, in my old age," for the hundredth
time she began to repeat her story. "Prison and poverty are our lot.
If it is not prison, it is poverty."

"Yes, it is always the same with them," said the woman-moonshiner,
and, closely inspecting the girl's head, she put her stocking aside,
drew the girl over between her overhanging legs and with dexterous
fingers began to search in her head. "Why do you deal in wine? But I
have to feed my children," she said, continuing her search.

These words reminded Maslova of wine.

"Oh, for a drop of wine," she said to Korableva, wiping her tears with
the sleeve of her shirt and sobbing from time to time.

"Some booze? Why, of course!" said Korableva.


Maslova produced the money from one of the lunch-rolls and gave it to
Korableva, who climbed up to the draught-hole of the oven for a flask
of wine she had hidden there. Seeing which, those women who were not
her immediate neighbors went to their places. Meantime Maslova shook
the dust from her 'kerchief and coat, climbed up on her cot and began
to eat a roll.

"I saved some tea for you, but I fear it is cold," said Theodosia,
bringing down from a shelf a pot, wrapped in a rag, and a tin cup.

The beverage was perfectly cold, and tasted more of tin than of tea,
but Maslova poured out a cupful and began to drink.

"Here, Finashka!" she called, and breaking a piece from the roll
thrust it toward the boy, who gazed at her open-mouthed.

Korableva, meanwhile, brought the flask of wine. Maslova offered some
to Korableva and Miss Dandy. These three prisoners constituted the
aristocracy of the cell, because they had money and divided among
themselves what they had.

In a few minutes Maslova became brighter and energetically began to
relate what had transpired at the court, mockingly imitating the
prosecutor and rehearsing such parts as had appealed to her most. She
was particularly impressed by the fact that the men paid considerable
attention to her wherever she went. In the court-room every one looked
at her, she said, and for that purpose constantly came into the
prisoners' room.

"Even the guard said: 'It is to look at you that they come here.' Some
one would come and ask for some document or something, but I saw that
it was not for the document that he came. He would devour me with his
eyes," she said, smiling and shaking her head as if perplexed. "They
are good ones!"

"Yes, that is how it is," chimed in the watch-woman in her melodious
voice. "They are like flies on sugar. If you needed them for any other
purpose, be sure they would not come so quickly. They know a good
thing when they see it."

"It was the same here," interrupted Maslova. "As soon as I was brought
here I met with a party coming from the depot. They gave me no rest,
and I could hardly get rid of them. Luckily the warden drove them off.
One of them bothered me particularly."

"How did he look?" asked Miss Dandy.

"He had a dark complexion, and wore a mustache."

"It is he."


"Stchegloff. He passed here just now."

"Who is Stchegloff?"

"She don't know Stchegloff! He twice escaped from Siberia. Now he has
been caught, but he will escape again. Even the officers fear him,"
said Miss Dandy, who delivered notes to prisoners, and knew everything
that transpired in the jail. "He will surely escape."

"If he does he won't take either of us with him," said Korableva.
"You'd better tell me this: What did the lawyer say to you about a
petition--you must send one now."

Maslova said that she did not know anything about a petition.

At this moment the red-haired woman, burying her two freckled hands
into her tangled, thick hair, and scratching her head with her nails,
approached the wine-drinking aristocrats.

"I will tell you, Katherine, everything," she began. "First of all,
you must write on paper: 'I am not satisfied with the trial,' and then
hand it to the prosecutor."

"What do you want here?" Korableva turned to her, speaking in an angry
basso. "You have smelled the wine! We know you. We don't need your
advice; we know what we have to do."

"Who is talking to you?"

"You want some wine--that's what you want."

"Let her alone. Give her some," said Maslova, who always divided with
others what she had.

"Yes, I will give her," and Korableva clenched her fist.

"Try it! Try it!" moving toward Korableva, said the red-haired woman.
"I am not afraid of you."

"You jail bird!"

"You are another!"

"You gutter rake!"

"I am a rake--am I? You convict, murderess!" shrieked the red-haired

"Go away, I tell you!" said Korableva frowning.

But the red-haired woman only came nearer, and Korableva gave her a
push on the open, fat breast. The other seemingly only waited for
this, for with an unexpected, quick movement of one hand she seized
Korableva's hair and was about to strike her in the face with the
other, when Korableva seized this hand. Maslova and Miss Dandy sprang
up and took hold of the hands of the red-haired woman, endeavoring to
release her hold on Korableva, but the hand that clutched the hair
would not open. For a moment she released the hair, but only to wind
it around her fist. Korableva, her head bent, with one hand kept
striking her antagonist over the body and catching the latter's hand
with her teeth. The women crowded around the fighters, parting them
and shouting. Even the consumptive came near them, and, coughing,
looked on. The children huddled together and cried. The noise
attracted the warden and the matron. They were finally parted.
Korableva loosened her gray braid and began to pick out the pieces of
torn hair, while the other held the tattered remnant of her shirt to
her breast--both shouting, explaining and complaining against one

"I know it is the wine--I can smell it," said the matron. "I will tell
the superintendent to-morrow. Now, remove everything, or there will be
trouble. There is no time to listen to you. To your places, and be

But for a long time there was no silence. The women continued to curse
each other; they began to relate how it all commenced, and whose fault
it was. The warden and matron finally departed; the women quieted down
and took to their cots. The old woman stood up before the image and
began to pray.

"Two Siberian convicts," suddenly said the red-haired woman in a
hoarse voice, accompanying every word with a torrent of abuse.

"Look out, or you will get it again," quickly answered Korableva,
adding similar revilement. Then they became silent.

"If they had not prevented me, I should have knocked out your eyes,"
the red-haired one began again, and again came a quick and sharp

Then came another interval of silence, followed by more abuse. The
intervals became longer and longer, and finally silence settled over
the cell.

They were all falling asleep; some began to snore; only the old woman,
who always prayed for a long time, was still bowing before the image,
while the chanter's daughter, as soon as the matron left the cell,
came down from her cot and began to walk up and down the cell.

Maslova was awake and incessantly thinking of herself as a convict,
the word which had been twice applied to her--once by Bochkova, and
again by the red-haired woman. She could not be reconciled to the
thought. Korableva, who was lying with her back turned toward Maslova,
turned around.

"I never dreamed of such a thing," she said, in a low voice. "Others
commit heaven knows what crimes, and they go scot free, while I must
suffer for nothing."

"Don't worry, girl. People live also in Siberia. You will not be lost
even there," Korableva consoled her.

"I know that I will not be lost, but it is painful to be treated that
way. I deserved a better fate. I am used to a comfortable life."

"You can do nothing against God's will," Korableva said, with a sigh.
"You can do nothing against His will."

"I know, auntie, but it is hard, nevertheless."

They became silent.

"Listen to that wanton," said Korableva, calling Maslova's attention
to the strange sounds that came from the other end of the cell.

These sounds were the suppressed sobbing of the red-haired woman. She
wept because she had just been abused, beaten, and got no wine, for
which she so yearned. She also wept because her whole life was one
round of abuse, scorn, insults and blows. She meant to draw some
consolation from the recollection of her first love for the factory
hand, Fedka Molodenkoff, but, recalling this first love, she also
recalled the manner of its ending. The end of it was that this
Molodenkoff, while in his cups, by way of jest, smeared her face with
vitriol, and afterward laughed with his comrades as he watched her
writhing in pain. She remembered this, and she pitied herself; and,
thinking that no one heard her, she began to weep, and wept like a
child--moaning, snuffling and swallowing salty tears.


Nekhludoff rose the following morning with a consciousness that some
change had taken place within him, and before he could recall what it
was he already knew that it was good and important.

"Katiousha--the trial. Yes, and I must stop lying, and tell all the
truth." And what a remarkable coincidence! That very morning finally
came the long-expected letter of Maria Vasilievna, the wife of the
marshal of the nobility--that same letter that he wanted so badly now.
She gave him his liberty and wished him happiness in his proposed

"Marriage!" he repeated ironically. "How far I am from it!"

And his determination of the day before to tell everything to her
husband, to confess his sin before him, and to hold himself ready for
any satisfaction he might demand, came to his mind. But this morning
it did not seem to him so easy as it had yesterday. "And then, what is
the good of making a man miserable? If he asks me, I will tell him;
but to call on him specially for that purpose---- No, it is not

It seemed to him equally difficult this morning to tell all the truth
to Missy. He thought it would be offering an insult. It was
inevitable, as in all worldly affairs, that there should remain
something unexpressed but understood. One thing, however, he decided
upon this morning--that he would not go there, and would tell the
truth when asked. But in his relations toward Katiousha there was to
be nothing unsaid.

"I will go to the jail--will tell her, beg of her to forgive me. And,
if necessary--yes, if necessary--I will marry her," he thought.

The idea that for the sake of moral satisfaction he would sacrifice
everything and marry her this morning particularly affected him.

It was a long time since he had risen with so much energy in him. When
Agrippina Petrovna entered his room he declared to her with a
determination which he himself did not expect, that he had no further
need of the house, and that he would dispense with her services. There
was a tacit understanding that the large house was kept up for his
contemplated marriage. The closing up of the house consequently had
some particular significance. Agrippina Petrovna looked at him with

"I thank you very much, Agrippina Petrovna, for your solicitude in my
behalf, but I do not now need such a large house, or any of the
servants. If you wish to help me, then be so kind as to pack away the
things as you used to do in mamma's lifetime. Natasha will dispose of
them when she arrives." Natasha was Nekhludoff's sister.

Agrippina Petrovna shook her head.

"Dispose of them? Why, they will be needed," she said.

"No, they will not, Agrippina Petrovna--they will positively not be
needed," said Nekhludoff, answering what she meant by shaking his
head. "Please tell Kornei that his salary will be paid for two months
in advance, but that I do not need him."

"You are wrong in doing this, Dmitri Ivanovich," she said. "You will
need a house even if you go abroad."

"You misunderstand me, Agrippina Petrovna. I will not go abroad, and
if I do go, it will be to an entirely different place."

His face suddenly turned a purple color.

"Yes, it is necessary to tell her," he thought. "I must tell all to

"A very strange and important thing has happened to me. Do you
remember Katiousha, who lived with Aunt Maria Ivanovna?"

"Of course; I taught her to sew."

"Well, then, she was tried in court yesterday, and I was one of the

"Ah, good Lord! what a pity!" said Agrippina Petrovna. "What was she
tried for?"

"Murder, and it was all caused by me."

"How could you have caused it? You are talking very strangely," said
Agrippina Petrovna, and fire sparkled in her old eyes.

She knew of the incident with Katiousha.

"Yes, it is my fault. And this causes me to change my plans."

"What change can this cause in your plans?" said Agrippina Petrovna,
suppressing a smile.

"This: That since it was through my fault that she is in her present
condition, I consider it my duty to help her to the extent of my

"That is your affair, but I cannot see that you are so much in fault.
It happens to everybody, and if one is guided by common sense the
matter is usually arranged and forgotten, and one lives on like the
rest of the world," said Agrippina Petrovna, sternly and seriously.
"There is no reason why you should take it so much to heart. I heard
long ago that she had gone to the bad, so whose fault is it?"

"It is my fault, and that is why I wish to make amends."

"Well, it is hard to set that right."

"That is my affair. If you are thinking of yourself, then that which
mother wished----"

"I am not thinking of myself. Your deceased mother showed me so many
favors that I do not desire anything. My niece, Lizauka, wishes me to
come to her, so I will go as soon as you need me no longer. Only you
are taking it too much to heart; it happens with everybody."

"Well, I do not think so. I still ask you to help me rent the house
and pack away the things. And do not be angry with me. I am very, very
thankful to you for everything."

It is remarkable that since Nekhludoff understood that he was
disgusted with himself, others ceased to be repulsive to him. On the
contrary, he had a kindly and respectful feeling for Agrippina
Petrovna and Kornei. He wished to confess also before Kornei, but the
latter was so impressively respectful that he could not make up his
mind to do it.

On his way to the court, passing along the familiar streets and in the
same carriage, Nekhludoff was himself surprised what a different man
he felt himself to-day.

His marriage to Missy, which but yesterday seemed to be so near,
to-day appeared to him absolutely impossible. Yesterday he understood
his position to be such that there could be no doubt that she would be
happy to marry him; to-day he felt himself unworthy not only of
marrying her, but of being her friend. "If she only knew who I was,
she would never receive me, and yet I taunted her with coquetting with
that gentleman. But no, even if she married me I should never have
peace, even though I were happy, while that one is in jail, and may
any day be sent under escort to Siberia. While the woman whom I have
ruined is tramping the weary road to penal servitude, I will be
receiving congratulations, and paying visits with my young wife. Or I
will be counting the votes for and against school inspection, etc.,
with the marshal, whom I have shamefully deceived, and afterward make
appointments with his wife (what abomination!). Or I will work on my
picture, which will, evidently, never be finished, for I had no
business to occupy myself with such trifles. And I can do neither of
these things now," he said to himself, happy at the inward change
which he felt.

"First of all," he thought, "I must see the lawyer, and then--then see
her in jail--the convict of yesterday--and tell her everything."

And when he thought how he would see her, confess his guilt before
her, how he would declare to her that he would do everything in his
power, marry her in order to wipe out his guilt, he became
enraptured, and tears filled his eyes.


Arriving at the court-house, Nekhludoff met the usher in the corridor
and asked him where the prisoners already sentenced were kept, and
from whom permission could be obtained to see them. The usher told him
that the prisoners were kept in various places, and that before final
judgment the public prosecutor was the only person from whom
permission to see them could be obtained. "The prosecutor has not
arrived yet; when he does I will let you know, and will escort you
myself to him after the session. And now, please to walk into the
court. The session is commencing."

Nekhludoff thanked the usher, who seemed to him particularly pitiful
to-day, and went into the jury-room.

As Nekhludoff was approaching the jury-room his fellow jurors were
coming out, repairing to the court-room. The merchant was as cheerful,
had lunched as well as yesterday, and greeted Nekhludoff like an old
friend. The loud laughter and familiarity of Peter Gerasimovitch did
not give rise to-day in Nekhludoff of the unpleasant sensation of

Nekhludoff wished to tell all the jurymen of his relations to the
woman whom they had convicted yesterday. "It would have been proper,"
he thought, "yesterday to rise in court and publicly confess my
guilt." But when with the other jurymen he entered the court-room and
witnessed the same procedure, the same "Hear ye! Hear ye!" the three
judges in high collars on the elevation, the silence, the seating of
the jury on high-backed chairs, the gendarmes, the priest--he felt
that, though it was necessary to do it, he would not have been able
even yesterday to break this solemnity.

They went through the same preliminaries, except the swearing in of
the jury and the justiciary's speech to them.

A case of burglary was before the court. The prisoner, who was guarded
by two gendarmes with unsheathed swords, was a twenty-year-old boy
with a bloodless face and in a gray coat. He sat alone on the
prisoners' bench and scanned from under his eyebrows all those that
entered the court-room. This boy and another were charged with
breaking the lock of a shed and stealing therefrom mats of the value
of three rubles and sixty-seven kopecks. It appeared from the
indictment that a policeman caught the boy when he was walking with
the other, who carried the mats on his shoulder. Both of them
immediately confessed, and they were put in jail. The comrade of this
boy, a locksmith, died in jail, and he was tried alone. The old mats
lay on the table reserved for exhibits.

The case was conducted in the same order as yesterday, with all the
proofs, witnesses, experts, oath-taking, examinations and
cross-examinations. The policeman, when questioned by the justiciary,
complainant and the defense, made listless answers--"Yes, sir," "Can't
tell," and again "Yes, sir"--but notwithstanding this, it was apparent
that he pitied the boy and testified involuntarily against him.

Another witness, a splenetic old man who owned those mats, when asked
if they belonged to him, unwillingly testified that they were his.
When, however, the prosecutor asked him what use he intended to make
of them, and whether he needed them much, he became angry and
answered: "I wish they had been lost entirely, these mats. I don't
need them at all. And if I had known that you would make so much fuss
about them, I would gladly have given ten rubles, or twenty, rather
than be dragged into court. I have spent five rubles on carriages
coming here and going back again. And I am sick; I am suffering from
rupture and rheumatism."

The prisoner admitted the charge against him, and, like a trapped
animal, stupidly looked now to one side, now to the other, and in a
halting voice related everything as it happened.

It was a clear case, but the prosecutor, as he did yesterday, raised
his shoulders and propounded subtle questions which were calculated to
entrap the clever criminal.

In his speech he argued that the theft was committed in a
dwelling-house by breaking and entering it, and that therefore the
severest punishment should be meted out to him.

Counsel for the defense, appointed by the court, argued that the
theft was committed not in a dwelling-house, and that, though the
prisoner pleaded guilty, he was not as dangerous to society as the
prosecutor would have them believe.

The justiciary was the personification of impartiality and justice,
and endeavored to impress on the jury that which they already knew and
could not help knowing. Again they took recesses and smoked
cigarettes, and again the usher shouted "Hear ye!" and the two
gendarmes sat trying to keep awake.

It developed during the trial that this boy had been apprenticed in a
tobacco factory, in which he worked five years. This year he was
discharged by his employer after a misunderstanding with the
employees, and, going idly about the city, he spent all he had on
drink. At an inn he met a locksmith who had also been discharged and
was drinking hard, and the two went at night, while drunk, to that
shed, broke the lock, and took the first thing they saw. They were
caught, and as they confessed they were imprisoned. The locksmith,
while waiting for a trial, died. The boy was now being tried as a
dangerous creature from whom it was necessary to protect society.

"As dangerous a creature as the prisoner of yesterday," Nekhludoff
thought while watching the proceedings. "They are dangerous, but are
we not dangerous? I am a libertine, an impostor; and all of us, all
those that know me as I am, not only do not detest but respect me."

It is evident that this boy is no villain, but a very ordinary
person--every one sees that--and that he became what he is only
because he lived amid conditions that beget such people. It is
therefore plain that such boys will exist as long as the conditions
producing these unfortunates remain unchanged. If any one had taken
pity on this boy, Nekhludoff thought while looking at the sickly,
frightened face of the boy, before want had driven him from the
village to the city, and relieved that want, or, when, after twelve
hours' work in the factory, he was visiting inns with grown-up
comrades, some one had told him, "Don't go, Vania; it is bad," the boy
would not have gone, or got drunk, and the burglary would never have

But no one pitied the boy during the time that he, like an animal,
spent his school years in the city, and, with close-cropped hair, to
prevent his getting vermin, ran errands for the workmen. On the
contrary, the only thing he had heard from the workmen and his
comrades was to the effect that a brave fellow was he who cheated,
drank, reviled, fought, or led a depraved life.

And when, sickly and depraved from the unhealthy work, from drink and
lewdness, foolish and capricious, he aimlessly prowled around the
city, as in a dream, entered some shed and abstracted a few worthless
mats, then, instead of destroying the causes that led this boy into
his present condition, we intend to mend matters by punishing him!

It is dreadful!

Thus Nekhludoff thought, and no longer listened to what was going on
around him. He was himself terrified at this revelation. He wondered
why he had not seen it before--how others failed to see it.


As soon as the first recess was taken, Nekhludoff rose and went out of
the court, intending to return no more. They might do with him what
they pleased, but he could no longer take part in that farce.

Having inquired where the prosecutor's room was, he directed his steps
toward that dignitary. The messenger would not admit him, declaring
that the prosecutor was busy, but Nekhludoff brushed past him and
asked an officer who met him to announce him to the prosecutor, saying
that he was on important business. His title and dress helped
Nekhludoff. The officer announced him, and he was admitted. The
prosecutor received him standing, evidently dissatisfied with
Nekhludoff's persistence in seeking an audience with him.

"What do you wish?" the prosecutor asked, sternly.

"I am a juryman, my name is Nekhludoff, and I want to see the
prisoner Maslova," he said, resolutely and quickly. He blushed, and
felt that his act would have a decisive influence on his life.

The prosecutor was a tall, swarthy man with short hair just turning
gray, bright eyes and a trimmed, bushy beard on the protruding lower

"Maslova? Yes, I know her. She was charged with poisoning," he said
calmly. "Why do you want to see her?" And then, as if desiring to
soften his harsh demeanor, he added: "I cannot give you the permission
before I know what you want to see her for."

"It is very important for me to see her," Nekhludoff burst out.

"I see," said the prosecutor, and, raising his eyes, looked intently
at Nekhludoff. "Has her case been tried?"

"She was tried yesterday and sentenced to four years' penal servitude.
The conviction was irregular; she is innocent."

"I see. If she has only been sentenced yesterday," said the prosecutor
without paying attention to Nekhludoff's declaration about her
innocence, "then she will be detained until final judgment in the
place where she is now. The jail is open to visitors on certain days
only. I advise you to apply there."

"But I must see her as soon as possible," with trembling lower jaw
Nekhludoff said, feeling that a critical moment was approaching.

"Why are you so anxious about seeing her?" the prosecutor asked,
raising his eyebrows with some alarm.

"Because she is innocent of the crime for which she was sentenced to
penal servitude. The guilt is mine, not hers," Nekhludoff said in a
trembling voice, feeling that he was saying what he should not.

"How so?" asked the prosecutor.

"I deceived her, and brought her to the condition in which she is now.
If I had not driven her to the position in which she was, she would
not have been charged here with such a crime."

"Still I fail to see what all this has to do with visiting her."

"It has, because I want to follow her and--marry her," said
Nekhludoff. And, as it usually happened when he spoke of this, his
eyes filled with tears.

[Illustration: THE PRISONERS.]

"Ah, is that so?" said the prosecutor. "This is really an exceptional
case. Are you not a member of the Krasnopersk town council?" asked the
prosecutor, as if recalling that he had heard of this Nekhludoff who
was now making such a strange statement.

"Excuse me, but I fail to see what this has to do with my request,"
fuming, Nekhludoff answered with rancor.

"Nothing, of course," the prosecutor said, with a faint smile on his
face, and not in the least disturbed. "But your request is so unusual
and beside all customary forms----"

"Well, can I get the permission?"

"Permission? Why, yes. I will give you a pass immediately. Please be

He went to the table, sat down and began to write.

"Please be seated."

Nekhludoff stood still.

When he had made out the pass the prosecutor handed it to Nekhludoff
and eyed him with curiosity.

"I must also tell you," said Nekhludoff, "that I cannot continue to
serve as juror."

"As you know, satisfactory reasons must be given to the court in such

"The reasons are that I consider all courts useless and immoral."

"I see," said the prosecutor, with the same faint smile which seemed
to indicate that such statements were familiar to him, and belonged to
an amusing class of people well known to him. "I see, but you
understand that, as public prosecutor, I cannot agree with you. I
therefore advise you to state so to the court, which will either find
your reasons satisfactory or unsatisfactory, and in the latter case
will impose a fine on you. Apply to the court."

"I have already stated my reasons, and I will not go there,"
Nekhludoff said angrily.

"I have the honor to salute you," said the prosecutor, bowing,
evidently desiring to rid himself of the strange visitor.

"Who was the man that just left your room?" asked one of the judges
who entered the prosecutor's cabinet after Nekhludoff had left.

"Nekhludoff. You know, the one who made such strange suggestions in
the Krasnopersk town council. Just imagine, he is on the jury, and
among the prisoners there was a woman, or girl, who was sentenced to
penal servitude, and who, he says, was deceived by him. And now he
wishes to marry her."

"It is impossible!"

"That is what he told me. And how strangely excited he was!"

"There is something wrong with our young men."

"He is not so very young."

"What a bore your famous Ivasheukoff is, my dear! He wins his cases by
tiring us out--there is no end to his talking."

"They must be curbed, or they become real obstructionists."


From the public prosecutor Nekhludoff went straight to the
detention-house. But no one by the name of Maslova was there. The
inspector told him that she might be found in the old temporary
prison. Nekhludoff went there and found that Katherine Moslova was one
of the inmates.

The distance between the detention-house and the old prison was great,
and Nekhludoff did not arrive there until toward evening. He was about
to open the door of the huge, gloomy building, when the guard stopped
him and rang the bell. The warden responded to the bell. Nekhludoff
showed the pass, but the warden told him that he could not be admitted
without authority from the inspector. While climbing the stairs to the
inspector's dwelling, Nekhludoff heard the sounds of an intricate
bravura played on the piano. And when the servant, with a handkerchief
tied around one eye, opened the door, a flood of music dazed his
senses. It was a tiresome rhapsody by Lizst, well played, but only to
a certain place. When that place was reached, the melody repeated
itself. Nekhludoff asked the servant if the inspector was in.

The servant said that he was not.

"Will he be in soon?"

The rhapsody again ceased, and with a noisy flourish again repeated

"I will go and inquire." And the servant went away.

The rhapsody again went on at full speed, when suddenly, reaching a
certain point, it came to a stand-still and a voice from within was

"Tell him that he is not home, and will not come to-day. He is
visiting--why do they bother us?" a woman's voice was heard to say,
and the rhapsody continued, then ceased, and the sound of a chair
moved back was heard. The angry pianist herself evidently wished to
reprimand the importunate visitor who came at such a late hour.

"Papa is not home," angrily said a pale, wretched looking girl with
puffed-up hair and blue spots under her eyes, who came to the door.
Seeing a young man in a good overcoat, she became calm. "Walk in,
please. What do you wish to see him for?"

"I would like to see a prisoner. I hold a pass from the prosecutor."

"Well, I don't know; papa is not in. Why, walk in, please," she again
called from the entrance hall. "Or apply to his assistant, who is now
in the office. You may talk to him. And what is your name?"

"Thank you," said Nekhludoff, without answering the question, and went

Scarcely had the door closed when the same vigorous, merry sound, so
inappropriate to the place and so persistently rehearsed by the
wretched girl, was heard. In the court-yard Nekhludoff met a young
officer with a stiff, dyed mustache, of whom he inquired for the
assistant. He himself was the assistant. He took the pass, looked at
it, and said that he could not admit any one to the prison on a pass
for the detention-house. Besides, it was late.

"At ten o'clock to-morrow the prison is open to all visitors, and the
inspector will be here. You could then see her in the common
reception-room, or, if the inspector permits it, in the office."

So, without gaining an interview, Nekhludoff returned home. Agitated
by the expectation of seeing her, he walked along the streets,
thinking not of the court, but of his conversations with the
prosecutor and the inspectors. That he was seeking an interview with
her, and told the prosecutor of his intention, and visited two prisons
preparing for the ordeal, had so excited him that he could not calm
down. On returning home he immediately brought forth his unused diary,
read some parts and made the following entry: "For two years I have
kept no diary, and thought that I should never again return to this
childishness. But it was no childishness, but a discourse with myself,
with that true, divine _I_ which lives in every man. All this time
this _I_ was slumbering and I had no one to discourse with. It was
awakened by the extraordinary event of the 28th of April, in court,
where I sat as jurymen. I saw her, Katiousha, whom I had deceived, on
the prisoners' bench, in a prison coat. Through a strange
misunderstanding and my mistake, she was sentenced to penal servitude.
I have just returned from the prosecutor and the prison. I was not
permitted to see her, but I am determined to do anything to see her,
acknowledge my guilt and make reparation even by marrying her. Lord,
help me! My soul is rejoicing."


For a long time that night Maslova lay awake with open eyes, and,
looking at the door, mused.

She was thinking that under no circumstances would she marry a convict
on the island of Saghalin, but would settle down some other way--with
some inspector, or clerk, or even the warden, or an assistant. They
are all eager for such a thing. "Only I must not get thin. Otherwise I
am done for." And she recalled how she was looked at by her lawyer,
the justiciary--in fact, everybody in the court-room. She recalled how
Bertha, who visited her in prison, told her that the student, whom she
loved while she was an inmate at Kitaeva's, inquired about her and
expressed his regrets when told of her condition. She recalled the
fight with the red-haired woman, and pitied her. She called to mind
the baker who sent her an extra lunch roll, and many others, but not
Nekhludoff. Of her childhood and youth, and especially of her love for
Nekhludoff, she never thought. That was too painful. These
recollections were hidden deeply in her soul. She never saw Nekhludoff
even in a dream. She failed to recognize him in court, not so much
because when she last saw him he was an army officer, beardless, with
small mustache and thick, short hair, while now he was no longer young
in appearance, and wore a beard, but more because she never thought of
him. She had buried all recollections of her past relations with him
in that terrible dark night when, on his return from the army, he
visited his aunts.

Up to that night, while she hoped for his return, the child which she
bore under her heart was not irksome to her. But from that night
forward everything changed, and the coming child was only a hindrance.

The aunts had asked Nekhludoff to stop off at their station and call
on them, but he wired that he would not be able to do it, as he had to
reach St. Petersburg in time. When Katiousha learned this, she decided
to go to the railroad station to see him. The train was to pass at two
o'clock in the morning. Katiousha helped the ladies to bed, and,
having induced the cook's girl, Mashka, to accompany her, she put on
an old pair of shoes, threw a shawl over her head, gathered up her
skirts and ran to the station.

It was a dark, rainy, windy, autumn night. The rain now poured down in
large, warm drops, now ceased. The road could not be distinguished in
the field, and it was pitch dark in the woods. Although Katiousha was
familiar with the road she lost her way in the woods, and reached a
sub-station, where the train only stopped for three minutes. Running
on the platform, she espied Nekhludoff through the window of a
first-class car. The car was brightly illuminated. Two officers sat on
plush seats playing cards. On the table near the window two thick
candles were burning. Nekhludoff sat on the arm of the seat, his elbow
resting on the back, laughing. As soon as she recognized him she
tapped on the window with her cold hand. But at that moment the third
bell rang, and the train began to move, the cars jostling each other
forward. One of the players rose with the cards in his hands and began
to look through the window. She tapped again, and pressed her face
against the window-pane. At that moment the car beside which she stood
was tugged forward, and it moved along. She ran alongside, looking in
the window. The officer tried to lower the window, but could not.
Nekhludoff rose, and, pushing the officer aside, began lowering it.
The train went faster, so that Katiousha was obliged to run. The train
moved still faster when the window was lowered. At that moment the
conductor pushed her aside and jumped on the car. She fell back, but
continued to run along the wet boards of the platform, and when she
reached the end of the platform and began to descend the steps to the
ground, she almost fell exhausted. The first-class car was far ahead
of her, and while she was running the second-class cars passed her,
then came with greater speed those of the third class. When the last
car with the lanterns flew by her she was already beyond the
water-tank, unsheltered from the wind which lashed her, blowing the
shawl from her head and tangling her feet in her skirt. But still she
ran on.

"Aunt Michaelovna!" shouted the little girl, "you have lost your

Katiousha stopped, threw back her head, and, covering her face with
her hands, began to sob.

"He is gone!" she cried.

"While he is in a lighted car, sitting on a plush seat, jesting and
drinking, I stand here in the mud, rain and wind, crying," she
thought. She sat down on the ground and began to sob aloud. The little
girl was frightened, and, embracing her wet clothing, she said:

"Auntie, let's go home."

"I will wait for the next train, throw myself under the wheels, and
that will end it all," Katiousha was meanwhile thinking, not heeding
the girl.

She made up her mind to carry out her intention. But as it always
happens in the first moment of calm after a period of agitation, the
child, _his_ child, suddenly shuddered. Immediately all that which so
tortured her that she was willing to die, all her wrath and her
desire to revenge herself even by death, passed. She became calm,
arranged her clothing, put the shawl on her head, and went away.

She returned home exhausted, wet and muddy. From that day began in her
that spiritual transformation which ended in her present condition.
From that terrible night on she ceased to believe in God and in
goodness. Before that night she herself believed in God, and believed
that other people believed in Him; but after that night she became
convinced that no one believed, and all that was said of God and His
law was false and wrong. The one whom she loved, and who loved
her--she knew it--abandoned her and made sport of her feelings. And he
was the best of all the men she knew. All the others were even worse.
This she saw confirmed in all that had happened. His aunts, pious old
ladies, drove her out when she was no longer as useful as she used to
be. All the women with whom she came in contact tried to make money by
her; the men, beginning with the commissary and down to the prison
officers, all looked upon her as a means of pleasure. The whole world
was after pleasure. Her belief in this was strengthened by the old
author whom she met during the second year of her independent life. He
had told her frankly that this--he called it poetical and esthetic--is
all of life's happiness.

Every one lived for himself only, for his own pleasure, and all the
words about God and goodness were deception. And if the questions
sometimes occurred to her, Why were the affairs of the world so ill
arranged that people harm each other, and all suffer, she thought it
best not to dwell on it. If she became lonesome, she took a drink,
smoked a cigarette, and the feeling would pass away.


When at five o'clock the following morning, which was Sunday, the
customary whistle blew, Korableva, who was already awake, roused

"A convict," Maslova thought with horror, rubbing her eyes and
involuntarily inhaling the foul morning air. She wished to fall
asleep again, to transfer herself into a state of unconsciousness, but
fear overcame her drowsiness. She raised herself, crossed her legs
under her, and looked around. The women were already up, only the
children were still sleeping. The moonshining woman with bulging eyes
was carefully removing her coat from under them. The rioter was drying
near the oven some rags which served for swaddling cloths, while the
child, in the hands of the blue-eyed Theodosia, was crying at the top
of its lungs, the woman lulling it in a gentle voice. The consumptive,
seizing her breast, coughed violently, and, sighing at intervals,
almost screamed. The red-headed woman lay prone on her back relating a
dream she had had. The old incendiary stood before the image,
whispering the same words, crossing herself and bowing. The chanter's
daughter sat motionless on her cot, and with dull, half-open eyes was
looking into space. Miss Dandy was curling on her finger her oily,
rough, black hair.

Presently resounding steps were heard in the corridor, the lock
creaked open, and two prisoners in short jackets and gray trousers
scarcely reaching their ankles entered, and, raising the ill-smelling
vat on a yoke, carried it away. The women went to the faucets in the
corridor to wash themselves. The red-headed woman got into a quarrel
with a woman from the adjoining cell. Again there were cursing,
shouting and complaints.

"You will get into the dark-room yet," shouted the warden, and he
slapped the red-headed woman on her fat, bare back, so that it
resounded through the entire corridor. "Don't let me hear you again."

"Fooling again, you old man?" she said, treating it as a caress.

"Hurry up! It is time for mass."

Scarcely had Maslova arranged her hair when the inspector entered with
his attendants.

"Make ready for inspection!" shouted the warden.

The women of the two cells formed in two rows along the corridor,
those of the back row placing their hands on the shoulders of the
women in the front row. Then they were counted.

After the count came the woman inspector and led the prisoners to the
church. Maslova and Theodosia were in the middle of the column, which
consisted of over a hundred women from all the cells. They all had
white 'kerchiefs on their heads, and some few wore their own colored
dresses. These were the wives and children of convicts. The procession
covered the whole stairway. A soft clatter of prison shoes was heard,
here and there some conversation, and sometimes laughter. At a turn
Maslova noticed the malicious face of her enemy, Bochkova, who was
walking in the front row, and pointed her out to Theodosia. At the
foot of the stairs the women became silent, and, making the sign of
the cross and bowing, they filed into the open door of the empty,
gold-bedecked chapel. Their place was on the right, where, crowding
each other, they began to arrange themselves in rows, standing. Behind
the women came the male convicts who were serving terms or detained
for transportation under sentence by the communities. Loudly clearing
their throats, they formed a dense crowd on the left and the middle of
the chapel. Above, on the gallery, were other convicts with heads half
shaven, whose presence was manifested by a clanking of chains.

This prison chapel had been rebuilt and remodeled by a rich merchant,
who had spent about thirty thousand rubles on it, and it was all
ornamented with gilt and bright colors.

For a few seconds there was silence, which was broken only by the
blowing of noses, coughing, and clanking of chains. Suddenly the
prisoners who stood in the middle began to press back, making a
passage for the inspector, who walked to the middle of the chapel, and
the services commenced.


Nekhludoff left the house early. A peasant was driving along a side
alley, shouting in a strange voice: "Milk! milk! milk!"

The first warm, spring rain had fallen the evening before. Wherever
there was a patch of unpaved ground the green grass burst forth; the
lindens were covered with green nap; the fowl-cherry and poplar
unfolded their long, fragrant leaves. In the market-place, through
which Nekhludoff had to pass, dense crowds in rags swarmed before the
tents, some carrying boots under their arms, others smoothly pressed
trousers and vests on their shoulders.

The working people were already crowding near the traktirs
(tea-houses), the men in clean, long coats gathered in folds in the
back of the waist, and in shining boots; the women in bright-colored
silk shawls and cloaks with glass-bead trimmings. Policemen, with
pistols attached to yellow cords fastened around their waists, stood
at their posts. Children and dogs played on the grass-plots, and gay
nurses sat chatting on the benches.

On the streets, the left sides of which were yet cool, moist and
shady, heavy carts and light cabs rumbled and jostled, the tram-cars
rang their bells. The air was agitated by the pealing of the
church-bells summoning the people to mass.

The driver stopped at a turn some distance from the prison. A few men
and women stood around, most of them with bundles in their hands. To
the right stood a few frame houses; to the left a two-story building
over which hung a large sign. The large prison itself was directly in
front. An armed soldier walked to and fro challenging every one
attempting to pass him.

At the gate of the frame buildings sat the warden in uniform, with an
entry booklet in his hand. He made entries of visitors and those whom
they wished to see. Nekhludoff approached him, gave his name and that
of Moslova, and the officer entered them in his book.

"Why don't they open the door?" asked Nekhludoff.

"The morning service is on. As soon as it is over you will be

Nekhludoff returned among the waiting crowd.

A man in threadbare clothing, rumpled hat and slippers on his bare
feet, and his face full of red lines, pushed his way through the crowd
and walked toward the prison door.

"Where are you going?" shouted the soldier.

"What are you bawling about?" answered the man, entirely undisturbed
by the soldier's challenge. "If I can't go in, I will wait. No use
bawling as if you were a general."

The crowd laughed approvingly. Most of the visitors were poorly
dressed, even ragged, but, judging by outward appearance, there were
also some decent men and women among them. Beside Nekhludoff stood a
well-dressed man, clean shaven, stout and with rosy cheeks, who
carried a bundle of what looked like linen. Nekhludoff asked him if
that was his first visit. The man answered that he came there every
Sunday, and they entered into conversation. He was an employee of a
bank, whose brother was under indictment for forgery. This
kind-hearted man told Nekhludoff all his story, and was about to ask
him about his own when their attention was attracted by a rubber-tired
carriage drawn by a blooded chestnut horse. The carriage was occupied
by a student and a lady whose face was hidden under a veil. The
student alighted, holding in his hand a large bundle. He approached
Nekhludoff and asked him where and how he should deliver the loaves of
bread he had brought for the prisoners. "I brought them at the request
of my bride. That is my bride. Her parents advised us to bring some
alms for the prisoners."

"I really don't know, for I am here for the first time, but I think
that that officer will tell you," said Nekhludoff, pointing to the
warden in the crown-laced uniform.

While Nekhludoff was talking to the student the large iron gate of the
prison opened and a uniformed officer with another warden came out.
The one with the booklet in his hand announced that the prison was
open for visitors. The guard stood aside, and all the visitors, as if
fearing to be late, with quick step, and some even running, pressed
toward the prison gate. One of the wardens stationed himself at the
gate, and in a loud voice counted the passing visitors--16, 17, 18,
etc. The other warden, within the gate, touching each with his hand,
also counted the visitors as they entered another door. This was to
make sure that at their departure no visitor remained in prison, and
no prisoner made his way out. The tallying officer, without regard to
the person of the visitor, slapped Nekhludoff on the back. This at
first offended the latter, but he immediately remembered his mission,
and he became ashamed that his feelings should be thus wounded.

The second door opened into a large, vaulted room with small
iron-grated windows. In this room, which was called the meeting-room,
Nekhludoff saw in a niche a large image of the Crucifixion.

Nekhludoff went on slowly, letting the hurrying visitors pass before,
and experienced a mingled feeling of horror at the malefactors
imprisoned in this jail, compassion for those innocent people who,
like the boy and Katiousha, must be here, and timidity and tenderness
before the meeting that was before him. When he reached the end of the
room the warden said something, but Nekhludoff, who was absorbed in
his thoughts, paid no attention to it, and followed in the direction
led by the crowd, that is, to the men's ward instead of the women's.

Letting the hurrying visitors pass, he walked into the next room
designated for interviews. On opening the door he was struck by the
deafening shouts of a hundred throats turned into a continuous humming
noise. Only as he neared the people, who, like flies swarming on sugar
pressed their faces against a net which divided the room in two, did
Nekhludoff understand the cause of the noise. This room with windows
in the rear wall was divided in two not by one, but by two wire nets
which stretched from the ceiling to the floor. Two wardens walked
between the nets. The prisoners were on the other side of the nets,
between which there was a space of about seven feet for visitors, so
that not only was it difficult to converse with them but a
short-sighted man could not even see the face of the prisoner he was
visiting. In order to be heard, it was necessary to shout at the top
of one's voice. On both sides, pressing against the nets, were the
faces of wives, husbands, fathers, mothers, children, who endeavored
to see and speak to each other. But as every one tried to speak so
that he could be heard by the person spoken to, and his neighbor did
the same, their voices interfered with each other, and each tried to
outcry the other. The result was the noise which astonished Nekhludoff
when he entered the room. It was absolutely impossible to understand
the conversations. Only by the expression of the people's faces could
one judge what they were speaking about, and what relation the
speakers sustained toward each other. Near Nekhludoff was an old woman
with a small 'kerchief on her head, who, with trembling chin, shouted
to a pale young man with head half shaven. The prisoner, knitting his
brow, was listening to her with raised eyebrows. Beside the old woman
stood a young man in a long coat, who was nodding his head while
listening to a prisoner with a weary face and beard turning gray, who
greatly resembled him. Further on stood a ragamuffin waving his hand,
shouting and laughing. On the floor beside this man sat a woman in a
good woolen dress, with a child in her arms. She wept bitterly,
evidently seeing for the first time that gray-haired man on the other
side of the net, manacled, in a prison jacket, and with head half
shaven. Over this woman stood the bank employee shouting at the top of
his voice to a bald-headed prisoner with shining eyes.

Nekhludoff remained in this room about five minutes, experiencing a
strange feeling of anguish, a consciousness of his impotence at the
discord in the world, and he was seized with a sensation like a
rocking on board of a ship.

"But I must fulfill my mission," he said to himself, taking heart.
"What am I to do?"

As he looked around for some officer, he saw a middle-sized man with
mustache, wearing epaulets, who was walking behind the crowd.

"Sir, could you not tell me where the women are kept, and where it is
permitted to see them?" he asked, making a particular effort to be

"You wish to go to the women's ward?"

"Yes; I would like to see one of the women prisoners," Nekhludoff
said, with the same strained politeness.

"You should have said so in the meeting-room. Whom do you wish to see,

"I wish to see Katherine Maslova."

"Has she been sentenced?"

"Yes, she was sentenced the other day," he said humbly, as if fearing
to ruffle the temper of the officer, who seemed to be interested in

"Then this way, please," said the inspector, who had evidently
decided from Nekhludoff's appearance that he deserved attention.
"Sidoroff!" he turned to a warrant-officer wearing a mustache, and
medals on his breast. "Show this gentleman to the women's ward."

"All right, sir."

At that moment heart-rending cries came from the direction of the

All this seemed strange to Nekhludoff, and strangest of all was that
he was obliged to thank and feel himself under obligation to the
inspector and warden.

The warden led Nekhludoff from the men's ward into the corridor, and
through the open door opposite admitted him to the women's


This room, like the one in the men's ward, was also divided in three,
by two nets, but it was considerably smaller. There were also fewer
visitors and fewer prisoners, but the noise was as great as in the
men's room. Here, also, the authorities stood guard between the nets.
The authorities were here represented by a matron in uniform with
crown-laced sleeves and fringed with blue braid and a belt of the same
color. Here, too, people pressed against the nets--in the
passage--city folks in divers dresses; behind the nets, female
prisoners, some in white, others in their own dresses. The whole net
was lined with people. Some stood on tip-toe, speaking over the heads
of others; others, again, sat on the floor and conversed.

The most remarkable of the women prisoners, both in her shouting and
appearance, was a thin, ragged gipsy, with a 'kerchief which had
slipped from her head, who stood almost in the middle of the room,
near a post, behind the net, gesticulating and shouting to a short and
tightly belted gipsy in a blue coat. A soldier sat beside him on the
floor, talking to a prisoner. Beyond stood a young peasant with a
light beard and in bast shoes, pressing his flushed face to the net,
evidently with difficulty suppressing his tears. He was talking to a
pretty, light-haired prisoner who gazed at him with her bright, blue
eyes. This was Theodosia, with her husband. Beside them stood a tramp,
who was talking to a disheveled, broad-faced woman. Further on there
were two women, a man, and again a woman, and opposite each was a
prisoner. Maslova was not among them. But behind the prisoners stood
another woman. Nekhludoff felt the beating of his heart increasing and
his breath failing him. The decisive moment was approaching. He neared
the net and recognized Katiousha. She stood behind the blue-eyed
Theodosia, and, smiling, listened to her conversation. She did not
wear the prison coat, but a white waist, tightly belted, and rising
high above the breast. As in the court, her black hair hung in curls
over her 'kerchiefed forehead.

"It will all be over in a moment," he thought. "Shall I address her,
or shall I wait till she addresses me?"

But she did not address him. She was waiting for Clara, and never
thought that that man came to see her.

"Whom do you wish to see?" the matron asked Nekhludoff, approaching

"Katherine Maslova," he stammered.

"Maslova, you are wanted," shouted the matron.

Maslova turned round, raised her head, and with the familiar
expression of submissiveness, came to the net. She did not recognize
Nekhludoff, and gazed at him in surprise. However, judging by his
dress that he was a rich man, she smiled.

"What are you?" she asked, pressing her smiling face with squinting
eyes against the net.

"I wish to see--" He did not know whether to use the respectful "you"
or the endearing "thou," and decided on the former. He spoke no louder
than usual. "I wish to see you--I----"

"Don't give me any of your song and dance----" the tramp beside him
shouted. "Did you take it, or did you not?"

"She is dying; she is very weak," some one shouted on the other side.

Maslova could not hear Nekhludoff, but the expression of his face, as
she spoke, suddenly reminded her of that which she did not wish to
think of. The smile disappeared from her face, and a wrinkle on her
brow evidenced her suffering.

"I cannot hear what you are saying," she shouted, blinking and still
more knitting her brows.

"I came----"

"Yes, I am doing my duty; I am repenting," thought Nekhludoff, and
immediately tears filled his eyes, and he felt a choking sensation in
his throat. His fingers clutched at the net and he made efforts to
keep from sobbing.

"I should not have gone if you were well," came from one side.

"I swear by God I know nothing about it!" cried a prisoner from the
other side.

Maslova noticed his agitation, and it communicated itself to her. Her
eyes sparkled, and her puffy, white cheeks became covered with red
spots, but her face retained its severity, and her squinting eyes
stared past him.

"You are like him, but I don't know you," she shouted.

"I came here to ask your forgiveness," he said in a loud voice,
without intonation, as if repeating a lesson he had learned by heart.

As he said these words he felt ashamed and looked round. But the
thought immediately came to his mind that it was well that he was
ashamed, for he ought to bear the shame. And in a loud voice he

"I acted meanly, infamously--forgive me."

She stood motionless, her squinting eyes fixed on him.

He could not continue and left the net, making efforts to stifle the
sobbing which was convulsing his breast.

The inspector who directed Nekhludoff to the women's ward, evidently
becoming interested in him, came into the room, and, seeing him in the
middle of the passage, asked him why he was not speaking with the
prisoner he had inquired about. Nekhludoff blew his nose, and,
endeavoring to assume an air of calmness, said:

"I can't speak through the net; nothing can be heard."

The inspector mused awhile.

"Well, then, she can be brought out for awhile."

"Maria Karlovna!" he turned to the matron. "Lead Maslova out."


A moment afterward Maslova came out through a side door. With gentle
step she came up to Nekhludoff; stopped and glanced at him from under
her lowered eyebrows. Her black hair stood out on her forehead in
curly ringlets; her unhealthy, bloated, white face was pretty and very
calm, only her shining-black, squinting eyes sparkled from under their
swollen lashes.

"You may talk here," said the inspector and went aside.

Nekhludoff moved toward a bench standing beside the wall.

Maslova glanced inquiringly at the inspector, and shrugging her
shoulders, as if in wonder, followed Nekhludoff to the bench, and
straightening her skirt, sat down beside him.

"I know that it is hard for you to forgive me," began Nekhludoff, but
feeling the tears flooding his eyes, again stopped, "but if the past
cannot be mended, I will do now everything in my power. Tell me----"

"How did you find me?" she asked without answering his question, her
squinting eyes looking and not looking at him.

"Oh, Lord! Help me, teach me what to do!" Nekhludoff said to himself
as he looked at her face so completely changed.

"I was on the jury when you were tried," he said. "You did not
recognize me?"

"No, I did not. I had no time to recognize you. Besides, I did not
look," she answered.

"Wasn't there a child?" he asked, and he felt his face turning red.

"It died at that time, thank God," she said with bitterness, turning
away her head.

"How did it happen?"

"I was ill myself--nearly died," she said without raising her eyes.

"How could the aunts let you go?"

"Who would keep a servant with a child? As soon as they noticed it
they drove me out. But what is the use of talking! I don't remember
anything. It is all over now."

"No, it is not over. I cannot leave it thus. I now wish to atone for
my sin."

"There is nothing to atone for; what's gone is gone," she said, and,
all unexpected to him, she suddenly looked at him and smiled in an
alluring and piteous manner.

His appearance was entirely unexpected to Maslova, especially at this
time and place, and therefore the astonishment of the first moment
brought to her mind that of which she never thought before. At the
first moment she hazily recalled that new, wonderful world of feeling
and thought which had been opened to her by that charming young man
who loved her, and whom she loved, and then his inexplicable cruelty
and the long chain of humiliation and suffering which followed as the
direct result of that enchanting bliss, and it pained her. But being
unable to account for it all, she did the customary thing for
her--banished all these recollections from her mind, and endeavored to
obscure them by a life of dissipation. At first she associated this
man who sat beside her with that young man whom she had loved once,
but as the thought pained her, she drove it from her mind. And now
this neatly dressed gentleman, with perfumed beard, was to her not
that Nekhludoff whom she had loved, but one of those people who, as
opportunity afforded, were taking advantage of such creatures as she,
and of whom such creatures as she ought to take advantage as
opportunity offers. For this reason she smiled alluringly.

She was silent, thinking how to profit by him.

"All that is over now," she said. "And here I am, sentenced to penal

Her lips trembled as she spoke the terrible word.

"I knew, I was certain that you were innocent," said Nekhludoff.

"Of course I was innocent. I am no thief or robber. They say here that
it all depends on the lawyer; that it is necessary to appeal. Only
they say it comes very high----"

"Yes, certainly," said Nekhludoff. "I have already seen a lawyer."

"One must not be sparing, and get a good one," she said.

"I will do everything in my power."

They were silent. She again smiled as before.

"I would like to ask you--for some money, if you have it--not much,
say ten rubles," she said suddenly.

"Yes, yes," said Nekhludoff, abashed, and thrust his hand in his

She quickly glanced at the inspector, who was walking up and down the

"Don't let him see it, or he will take it away."

Nekhludoff took out his pocketbook as soon as the director turned his
back on them, but before he could hand her the ten-ruble bill the
inspector turned round, facing them. He crumpled the bill in his hand.

"Why, she is a dead woman," thought Nekhludoff as he looked at her
once lovely, but now defiled, bloated face with the unhealthy sparkle
in her black, squinting eyes, which looked now at the inspector, now
at Nekhludoff's hand with the crumpled bill. And a moment of
hesitation came over him.

Again the tempter of the night before whispered in his soul,
endeavoring to turn the question, What would be the best thing to do?
into, What will be the end of it?

"You can do nothing with that woman," whispered the voice. "She will
be like a stone around your neck, which will drag you down, and
prevent your being useful to others. Give her all the money you have,
bid her good-by and put an end to it for all time."

And immediately he became aware that something important was taking
place in his soul; that his inner life was on a wavering scale, which
could by the slightest effort be made to overbalance to one side or
the other. And he made that effort, calling on that God whom the other
day he felt in his soul, and God immediately came to his aid. He
resolved to tell her all.

"Katiousha! I came to ask your forgiveness, but you have not answered
me whether you have forgiven me, or ever will forgive me," he said

She was not listening to him, but looked now at his hand, now at the
inspector. When the latter turned away, she quickly stretched forth
her hand, seized the money from Nekhludoff's hand and stuck it behind
her belt.

"How funny!" she said, smiling contemptuously as it seemed to him.

Nekhludoff saw that there was something inimical to him in her, which
stood guard, as it were, over her as she was now, and prevented him
from penetrating into her heart.

But--wonderful to relate--so far from repulsing him, this only drew
him to her by some new peculiar force. He felt that he ought to awaken
her spirit; that it was extremely difficult to do so; but the very
difficulty of the undertaking attracted him. He experienced a feeling
toward her which he had never experienced before, either toward her or
any one else, and in which there was nothing personal. He desired
nothing of her for himself, and only wished her to to cease to be what
she was now, and become what she had been before.

"Katiousha, why do you speak thus? I know you, I remember you as you
were in Panoff----"

But she did not yield--she would not yield.

"Why recall the past!" she said dryly, frowning even more.

"Because I wish to efface, to expiate my sin. Katiousha----" he began,
and was about to tell her that he would marry her, but he met her eyes
in which he read something so terrible, rude and repulsive that he
could not finish.

At that moment the visitors began to take leave. The inspector
approached Nekhludoff and told him that the time for interviewing was
ended. Maslova rose and submissively waited to be dismissed.

"Good-by. I have a great deal to tell you yet, but, as you see, I
cannot do it now," said Nekhludoff, and extended his hand. "I will
call again."

"I think you have said everything----"

She extended her hand, but did not press his.

"No. I will try to see you again, where we can speak together, and
then I will tell you something very important," said Nekhludoff.

"Well, all right," she said, smiling as she used to do when she
wished to please a man.

"You are more to me than a sister," said Nekhludoff.

"Funny," she repeated, and, shaking her head, she went behind the


Nekhludoff expected that at the first meeting Katiousha, learning of
his intention to serve her, and of his repentance, would be moved to
rejoicing, would become again Katiousha, but to his surprise and
horror, he saw that Katiousha was no more; that only Maslova remained.

It surprised him particularly that not only was Maslova not ashamed of
her condition, but, on the contrary, she seemed to be content with,
and even took pride in it. And yet it could not be different.

It is usually thought that a thief or murderer, acknowledging the
harmfulness of his occupation, ought to be ashamed of it. The truth is
just the contrary. People, whom fate and their sinful mistakes have
placed in a given condition, form such views of life generally that
they are enabled to consider their condition useful and morally
tenable. In order, however, to maintain such views they instinctively
cling to such circles in which the same views are held. We are
surprised when we hear thieves boasting of their cleverness, or
murderers boasting of their cruelty, but that is only because their
circle is limited, and because we are outside of it.

This was the case also with Maslova. She was sentenced to penal
servitude, and yet she formed such views of life and her place in it
that she could find reasons for self-approval and even boast before
people of her condition.

The substance of this view was that the greatest welfare of all men,
without exception--young, old, students, generals, educated and
uneducated--consisted in associating with attractive women, and that
therefore all men, while pretending to occupy themselves with other
business, in reality desire nothing else. Now, she is an attractive
woman, and can satisfy that desire of theirs, or not, as she wishes,
hence she is a necessary and important person. All her life, past and
present, attested the justice of this view.

Whomever she met during ten years, beginning with Nekhludoff and the
old commissary of police, and ending with the jailers, all wanted her.
She had not met any one who did not want her. Hence the world appeared
to her as an aggregation of people who watched her from all sides and
by all possible means--deceit, violence, gold or craftiness--strewn to
possess her.

With such an idea of life, Maslova considered herself a most important
person. And she cherished this view above all else in the world,
because to change it would be to lose that standing among people which
it assured her. And in order not to lose her standing she
instinctively clung to that circle which held the same views of life.
Seeing, however, that Nekhludoff wished to lead her into another
world, she resisted it, feeling that in that other world into which he
was luring her she would lose her present standing which gave her
confidence and self-respect. For the same reason she drove from her
mind all recollection of her first youth and her first relations to
Nekhludoff. These recollections clashed with her present views of
life, and for that reason were entirely effaced from her memory, or,
rather, were preserved somewhere in her memory, but were covered up,
as it were, with a thick plastering, to prevent any access to them.
Nekhludoff was, therefore, to her not that man whom she had loved with
a pure love, but merely a rich gentleman by whom one may and ought to
profit, and who was to be treated like any other man.

"I did not tell her the most important thing," thought Nekhludoff, as
with the other people he walked toward the door. "I did not tell her
that I would marry her, but I will do it."

The inspectors at the doors counted the visitors each with one hand
slapping every visitor on the back. But Nekhludoff was not offended by
it now; he even took no notice of it.


It was Nekhludoff's intention to alter his manner of living--discharge
the servants, let the house and take rooms in a hotel. But Agrippina
Petrovna argued that no one would rent the house in the summer, and
that as it was necessary to live somewhere and keep the furniture and
things, he might as well remain where he was. So that all efforts of
Nekhludoff to lead a simple, student life, came to naught. Not only
was the old arrangement of things continued, but, as in former times,
the house received a general cleaning. First were brought out and hung
on a rope uniforms and strange fur garments which were never used by
anybody; then carpets, furniture, and the porter, with his assistant,
rolling up the sleeves on their muscular arms, began to beat these
things, and the odor of camphor rose all over the house. Walking
through the court-yard and looking out of the window, Nekhludoff
wondered at the great number of unnecessary things kept in the house.
The only purpose these things served, he thought, was to afford the
servants an opportunity of exercise.

"It isn't worth while to alter my mode of life while Maslova's affair
is unsettled," he thought. "Besides, it is too hard. When she is
discharged or transported and I follow her, things will change of
their own accord."

On the day appointed by the lawyer Fanirin, Nekhludoff called on him.
On entering the magnificently appointed apartments of the house owned
by the lawyer himself, with its huge plants, remarkable curtains and
other evidences of luxury, attesting easily earned wealth, Nekhludoff
found in the reception-room a number of people sitting dejectedly
around tables on which lay illustrated journals intended for their
diversion. The lawyer's clerk, who was sitting in this room at a high
desk, recognizing Nekhludoff, greeted him and said that he would
announce him. But before the clerk reached the door of the cabinet,
the door opened and the animated voices of a thick-set man with a red
face and stubby mustache, wearing a new suit, and Fanirin himself were
heard. The expression on their faces was such as is seen on people
who had just made a profitable, but not very honest, bargain.

"It is your own fault, my dear sir," Fanirin said, smiling.

"I would gladly go to heaven, but my sins prevent me."

"That is all right."

And both laughed unnaturally.

"Ah, Prince Nekhludoff! Pleased to see you," said Fanirin, and bowing
again to the departing merchant, he led Nekhludoff into his
business-like cabinet. "Please take a cigarette," said the lawyer,
seating himself opposite Nekhludoff and suppressing a smile, called
forth by the success of the preceding affair.

"Thank you. I came to inquire about Maslova's case."

"Yes, yes, immediately. My, what rogues these moneybags are!" he said.
"You have seen that fellow; he is worth twelve millions, and is the
meanest skinflint I ever met."

Nekhludoff felt an irresistible loathing toward this ready talker who,
by his tone of voice, meant to show that he and Nekhludoff belonged to
a different sphere than the other clients.

"He worried me to death. He is an awful rogue. I wanted to ease my
mind," said the lawyer, as if justifying his not speaking about
Nekhludoff's case. "And now as to your case. I have carefully examined
it, 'and could not approve the contents thereof,' as Tourgeniff has
it. That is to say, the lawyer was a wretched one, and he let slip all
the grounds of appeal."

"What have you decided to do?"

"One moment. Tell him," he turned to his clerk, who had just entered,
"that I will not change my terms. He can accept them or not, as he

"He does not accept them."

"Well, then, let him go," said the lawyer, and his benign and joyful
countenance suddenly assumed a gloomy and angry expression.

"They say that lawyers take money for nothing," he said, again
assuming a pleasant expression. "I succeeded in obtaining the
discharge of an insolent debtor who was incarcerated on flimsy
accusations of fraud, and now they all run after me. And every such
case requires great labor. We, too, you know, leave some of our flesh
in the ink-pot, as some author said."

"Well, now, your case, or rather the case in which you are
interested," he continued; "was badly conducted. There are no good
grounds for appeal, but, of course, we can make an attempt. This is
what I have written."

He took a sheet of paper, and quickly swallowing some uninteresting,
formal words, and emphasizing others, he began to read:

"To the Department of Cassation, etc., etc., Katherine, etc. Petition.
By the decision, etc., of the etc., rendered, etc., a certain Maslova
was found guilty of taking the life, by poisoning, of a certain
merchant Smelkoff, and in pursuance of Chapter 1,454 of the Code, was
sentenced to etc., with hard labor, etc."

He stopped, evidently listening with pleasure to his own composition,
although from constant use he knew the forms by heart.

"'This sentence is the result of grave errors,' he continued with
emphasis, 'and ought to be reversed for the following reasons:
First, the reading in the indictment of the description of the
entrails of Smelkoff was interrupted by the justiciary at the very

"But the prosecutor demanded its reading," Nekhludoff said with

"That is immaterial; the defense could have demanded the same thing."

"But that was entirely unnecessary."

"No matter, it is a ground of appeal. Further: 'Second. Maslova's
attorney,' he continued to read, 'was interrupted while addressing the
jury, by the justiciary, when, desiring to depict the character of
Maslova, he touched upon the inner causes of her fall. The ground for
refusing to permit him to continue his address was stated to be
irrelevancy to the question at issue. But as has often been pointed
out by the Senate, the character and moral features generally of an
accused are to be given the greatest weight in determining the
question of intent.'--Two."

"But he spoke so badly that we could not understand him," said
Nekhludoff with still greater surprise.

"He is a very foolish fellow and, of course, could say nothing
sensible," Fanirin said, laughing. "However, it is a ground for
appeal. 'Third. In his closing words the justiciary, contrary to the
positive requirements of section 1, chapter 801 of the Code of
Criminal Procedure, failed to explain to the jury of what legal
elements the theory of guilt consisted; nor did he tell them that if
they found that Maslova gave the poison to Smelkoff, but without
intent to kill, they had the power to discharge her.' This is the
principal point."

"We could have known that. That was our mistake."

"And finally: 'Fourth,'" continued the lawyer. "'The answer of the
jury to the question of Maslova's guilt was made in a form which was
obviously contradictory. Maslova was charged with intentional
poisoning of Smelkoff, and with robbery as a motive, while the jury,
in their answer, denied her guilt of the robbery, from which it was
evident that they intended to acquit her of the intent to kill. Their
failure to do so was due to the incomplete charge of the justiciary.
Such an answer, therefore, demanded the application of chapters 816
and 808 of the Code. That is to say, it was the duty of the presiding
justice to explain to the jury their mistake and refer the question of
the guilt of the accused to them for further deliberation.'"

"Why, then, did he not do it?"

"That is just what I would like to know myself," said Fanirin,

"So the Senate will correct the mistake."

"That will depend on who will be sitting there when the case is

"Well, and then we continue: 'Under these circumstances the court
erred in imposing on Maslova punishment, and the application to her of
section 3, chapter 771 of the Code was a serious violation of the
basic principles of the criminal law. Wherefore applicant demands,
etc., etc., be revised in accordance with chs. 909, 910, s. 2, 912 and
928 of the Code, etc., etc., and referring the case back for a new
trial to a different part of the same court.' Well, now, everything
that could be done was done. But I will be frank with you; the
probabilities of success are slight. However, everything depends on
who will be sitting in the Senate. If you know any one among them,
bestir yourself."

"Yes, I know some."

"Then you must hasten, for they will soon be gone on their vacation,
and won't return for three months. In case of failure, the only
recourse will be to petition the Czar. I shall be at your service also
in that contingency."

"I thank you. And now as to your honorarium?"

"My clerk will hand you the petition and also my bill."

"One more question I would like to ask you. The prosecutor gave me a
pass for the prison, but I was told there that it was necessary to
obtain the Governor's permission to visit the prison on other than
visitors' days. Is it necessary?"

"I think so. But he is away, and the lieutenant is in his place."

"You mean Maslenikoff?"


"I know him," said Nekhludoff, rising to leave.

At that moment the lawyer's wife, an extremely ugly, pug-nosed and
bony woman, rushed into the room. Not only was her attire unusually
original--she was fairly loaded down with plush and silk things,
bright yellow and green--but her oily hair was done up in curls, and
she triumphantly rushed into the reception-room, accompanied by a
tall, smiling man with an earth-colored face, in a cut-away coat with
silk facings and a white tie. This was an author. He knew Nekhludoff
by sight.

"Anatal," she said, opening the door, "come here. Semion Ivanovitch
promised to read to us his poem, and you must read something from

Nekhludoff was preparing to go, but the lawyer's wife whispered
something to her husband and turned to him:

"I know you, Prince, and consider an introduction unnecessary. Won't
you please attend our literary breakfast? It will be very interesting.
Anatal is an excellent reader."

"You see what variety of duties I have," said Anatal, smiling and
pointing at his wife, thereby expressing the impossibility of
resisting that bewitching person.

With a sad and grave face and with the greatest politeness, Nekhludoff
thanked the lawyer's wife for the invitation, pleaded other
engagements and went into the reception-room.

"What faces he makes!" the lawyer's wife said of him, when he had left
the room.

In the reception-room the clerk handed him the petition, and in answer
to Nekhludoff's question about the honorarium, said that Anatal
Semionovitch set his fee at a thousand rubles; that he really does not
take such cases, but does it for Nekhludoff.

"And who is to sign the petition?" asked Nekhludoff.

"The prisoner may sign it herself, and if that be troublesome, she may
empower Anatal Semionovitch."

"No, I will go to the prison and obtain her signature," said
Nekhludoff, rejoicing at the opportunity of seeing Katiousha before
the appointed day.


At the usual hour the jailers' whistles were heard in the corridors of
the prison; with a rattling of irons the doors of the corridors and
cells opened, and the patter of bare feet and the clatter of prison
shoes resounded through the corridors; the men and women prisoners
washed and dressed, and after going through the morning inspection,
proceeded to brew their tea.

During the tea-drinking animated conversations were going on among the
prisoners in the cells and corridors. Two prisoners were to be flogged
that day. One of these was a fairly intelligent young clerk who, in a
fit of jealousy, had killed his mistress. He was loved by his
fellow-prisoners for his cheerfulness, liberality and firmness in
dealing with the authorities. He knew the laws and demanded compliance
with them. Three weeks ago the warden struck one of the chambermen for
spilling some soup on his new uniform. The clerk, Vasilieff, took the
chamberman's part, saying that there was no law permitting an official
to beat prisoners. "I will show you the law," said the warden,
reviling Vasilieff. The latter answered in kind. The warden was about
to strike him, but Vasilieff caught hold of his hands and held him
fast for about three minutes and then pushed him out of the door. The
warden complained and the inspector ordered Vasilieff placed in
solitary confinement.

These cells for solitary confinement were dark closets iron-bolted
from the outside. In these cold, damp cells, devoid of bed, table or
chair, the prisoners were obliged to sit or lie on the dirty floor.
The rats, of which there was a large number, crawled all over them,
and were so bold that they devoured the prisoner's bread and often
attacked the prisoners themselves when they remained motionless.
Vasilieff resisted, and with the aid of two other prisoners, tore
himself loose from the jailers, but they were finally overcome and all
three were thrust into cells. It was reported to the Governor that
something like a mutiny occurred, and in answer came a document
ordering that the two chief culprits, Vasilieff and the tramp
Don'tremember (an application given to some tramps and jail birds who,
to conceal the identity, with characteristic ingenuity and stupidity
make that answer to all questions relating to their names), be given
thirty lashes each.

The flogging was to take place in the women's reception-room.

This was known to all the inmates of the prison since the previous
evening, and every one was talking of the coming flogging.

Korableva, Miss Dandy, Theodosia and Maslova, flushed and animated,
for they had already partaken of vodka which Maslova now had in
abundance, were sitting in their corner, talking of the same thing.

"Why, he has not misbehaved," Korableva said of Vasilieff, biting off
a piece of sugar with her strong teeth. "He only sided with a comrade.
Fighting, you know, is not allowed nowadays."

"They say he is a fine fellow," added Theodosia, who was sitting on a
log on which stood a tea-pot.

"If you were to tell him, Michaelovna," the watch-woman said to
Maslova, meaning Nekhludoff.

"I will. He will do anything for me," Maslova answered, smiling and
shaking her head.

"It will be too late; they are going to fetch him now," said
Theodosia. "It is awful," she added, sighing.

"I have seen once a peasant flogged in the town hall. My
father-in-law had sent me to the Mayor of the borough, and when I came
there I was surprised to see him----" The watch-woman began a long

Her story was interrupted by voices and steps on the upper corridor.

The women became silent, listening.

"They are bringing him, the fiends," said Miss Dandy. "Won't he get it
now! The jailers are very angry, for he gave them no rest."

It became quiet in the upper corridor, and the watch-woman finished
her story, how she was frightened when she saw the peasant flogged,
and how it turned her stomach. Miss Dandy told how Schezloff was
flogged with a lash while he never uttered a word. Theodosia then
removed the pots and bowls; Korableva and the watch-woman took to
their sewing, while Maslova, hugging her knees, became sad from ennui.
She was about to lay down to sleep when the matron called her into the
office, where a visitor was waiting for her.

"Don't fail to tell him about us," said the old Menshova, while
Maslova was arranging her headgear before a looking-glass half void of
mercury. "It was not me who set the fire, but he, the villain, himself
did it, and the laborer saw it. He would not kill a man. Tell him to
call Dmitry. Dmitry will explain to him everything. They locked us up
here for nothing, while the villain is living with another man's wife
and sits around in dram-shops."

"That's wrong!" affirmed Korableva.

"I will tell him--yes, I will," answered Maslova. "Suppose we have a
drink, for courage?" she added, winking one eye.

Korableva poured out half a cup for her. Maslova drank it and wiped
her mouth. Her spirits rose, and repeating the words "for courage,"
shaking her head and smiling, she followed the matron.


Nekhludoff had been waiting for a long time in the vestibule.

Arriving at the prison he rang the front-door bell and handed his pass
to the warden on duty.

"What do you want?"

"I wish to see the prisoner Maslova."

"Can't see her now; the inspector is busy."

"In the office?" asked Nekhludoff.

"No, here in the visitors' room," the warden answered, somewhat
embarrassed, as it seemed to Nekhludoff.

"Why, are visitors admitted to-day?"

"No--special business," he answered.

"Where can I see him, then?"

"He will come out presently. Wait."

At that moment a sergeant-major in bright crown-laced uniform, his
face radiant, and his mustache impregnated with smoke, appeared from a
side door.

"Why did you admit him here? What is the office for?" he said sternly,
turning to the warden.

"I was told that the inspector was here," said Nekhludoff, surprised
at the embarrassment noticeable on the officer's face.

At that moment the inner door opened and Petroff, flushed and
perspiring, came out.

"He will remember it," he said, turning to the sergeant-major.

The latter pointed with his eyes to Nekhludoff, and Petroff became
silent, frowned and walked out through the rear door.

"Who will remember? What? Why are they all so embarrassed? Why did the
sergeant make that sign?" thought Nekhludoff.

"You cannot wait here; please walk into the office," the
sergeant-major turned to Nekhludoff, who was about to go out when the
inspector came in through the inner door, more embarrassed even than
his assistants. He was sighing incessantly. Seeing Nekhludoff, he
turned to the warden:

"Fedotoff, call Maslova."

"Follow me, please," he said to Nekhludoff. They passed up a winding
stairway leading into a small room with one window and containing a
writing table and a few chairs. The inspector sat down.

"Mine are disagreeable duties," he said, turning to Nekhludoff and
lighting a thick cigarette.

"You seem tired," said Nekhludoff.

"I am very tired of all this business; my duties are very onerous. I
am trying my best to alleviate the condition of the prisoners and
things are getting only worse. I am very anxious to get away from
here; the duties are very, very unpleasant."

Nekhludoff could not understand what it was that made it so unpleasant
for the inspector, but to-day he noticed on the inspector's face an
expression of despondency and hopelessness which was pitiful to

"Yes, I think they are very trying," he said. "But why do you not

"I have a family and am without means."

"But if it is difficult----"

"Well, you see, I manage to improve somewhat their lot after all.
Another one in my place would hardly exert himself as I do. It is no
easy matter to handle two thousand people. They are also human and one
feels pity for them, and yet they can't be allowed to have all their
own way."

And the inspector related the case of a recent fight among the
prisoners which ended in murder.

His story was interrupted by the entrance of Maslova, who was preceded
by the warden.

Nekhludoff got sight of her when she appeared on the threshold and
before she saw the inspector. Her face was red, and she walked briskly
behind the warden, smiling and shaking her head. Noticing the
inspector she gazed at him with frightened face, but immediately
recovered herself and boldly and cheerfully turned to Nekhludoff.

"How do you do?" she said, drawlingly, smiling and vigorously shaking
his hand, not as on the former occasion.

"Here I have brought you the petition to sign," said Nekhludoff,
somewhat surprised at the forward manner in which she accosted him.
"The lawyer wrote it. It must be signed and sent to St. Petersburg."

"Why, certainly. I will do anything," she said, winking one eye and

"May she sign it here?" Nekhludoff asked of the inspector.

"Come here and sit down," said the inspector. "Here is a pen for you.
Can you write?"

"I could write once," she said, smiling, and, arranging her skirt and
waist-sleeve, sat down, clumsily took the pen into her small,
energetic hand, began to laugh and looked round at Nekhludoff.

He pointed out to her where to sign.

Diligently dipping and shaking the pen she signed her name.

"Do you wish anything else?" she asked, looking now at Nekhludoff, now
at the inspector, and depositing the pen now on the ink-stand, now on
the paper.

"I wish to tell you something," said Nekhludoff, taking the pen from
her hand.

"Very well; go on," she uttered, and suddenly, as though meditating or
growing sleepy, her face became grave.

The inspector rose and walked out, leaving Nekhludoff with her alone.


The warden who brought Maslova to the office seated himself on the
window-sill, away from the table. This was a decisive moment for
Nekhludoff. He had been constantly reproaching himself for not telling
her at their first meeting of his intention to marry her, and was now
determined to do so. She was sitting on one side of the table, and
Nekhludoff seated himself on the other side, opposite her. The room
was well lighted, and for the first time Nekhludoff clearly saw her
face from a short distance, and noticed wrinkles around the eyes and
lips and a slight swelling under her eyes, and he pitied her even more
than before.

Resting his elbows on the table so that he should not be heard by the
warden, whose face was of a Jewish type, with grayish side-whiskers,
he said:

"If this petition fails we will appeal to His Majesty. Nothing will be
left undone."

"If it had been done before--if I had had a good lawyer"--she
interrupted him. "That lawyer of mine was such a little fool. He was
only making me compliments," she said, and began to laugh. "If they
had only known that I was your acquaintance, it would have been
different. They think that everybody is a thief."

"How strange she is to-day," thought Nekhludoff, and was about to tell
her what he had on his mind when she again began to speak.

"I wanted to tell you. There is an old woman here--we are even
surprised--such a good little woman, but there she is--she and her
son, both in prison, and everybody knows that they are innocent. They
are accused of setting fire, so they are in prison. She learned, you
know, that I am acquainted with you," said Maslova, turning her head
and casting glances at him, "and she says to me: 'Tell him,' she says,
'to call my son; he will tell him the whole story.' Menshoff is his
name. Well, will you do it? Such a good little woman. You can see for
yourself that she is not guilty. You will help them, dear, won't you?"
she said, glancing at him; then she lowered her eyes and smiled.

"Very well; I will do it," said Nekhludoff, his surprise at her easy
manner growing, "but I would like to talk to you about my own affair.
Do you remember what I told you that time?"

"You have spoken so much. What did you say that time?" she said,
continuing to smile and turning her head now to one side, now to the

"I said that I came to ask your forgiveness," he said.

"Oh! Forgiveness, forgiveness! That is all nonsense. You had better----"

"That I wish to atone for my sin," continued Nekhludoff, "and to
atone not by words but by deed. I have decided to marry you."

Her face suddenly showed fright. Her squinting eyes became fixed, and
they looked and did not look at him.

"What is that for?" And she frowned maliciously.

"I feel that before God I must do it."

"What God, now, are you talking about? You are not talking to the
point. God? What God? Why didn't you think of God then?" she said, and
opening her mouth, stopped short.

Nekhludoff only now smelled a strong odor of liquor and understood the
cause of her excitement.

"Be calm," he said.

"I have nothing to be calm about. You think I am drunk? Yes, I am
drunk, but I know what I am talking about," she said quickly, and her
face became purple. "I am a convict, while you are a lord, a prince,
and needn't stay here to soil your hands. Go to your princesses----"

"You cannot be too cruel to me; you do not know how I feel," he said
in a low voice, his whole body trembling. "You cannot imagine how
strongly I feel my guilt before you!"

"Feel my guilt," she mocked him maliciously. "You did not feel it
then, but thrust a hundred rubles in my hands. 'That's your price----'"

"I know, I know, but what am I to do now? I have decided not to leave
you," he repeated; "and what I say I will do."

"And I say that you will not!" she said, and laughed aloud.

"Katinsha!" he began.

"Leave me. I am a convict, and you are a prince; and you have no
business here," she shrieked, violently releasing her hand from his,
her wrath knowing no limit.

"You wish to save yourself through me," she continued, hastening to
pour out all that had accumulated in her soul. "You have made me the
means of your enjoyment in life, and now you wish to make me the means
of saving you after death! You disgust me, as do your eye-glasses and
that fat, dirty face of yours. Go, go away!" she shrieked,
energetically springing to her feet.

The warden approached them.

"Don't you make so much noise! You know whom----"

"Please desist," said Nekhludoff.

"She must not forget herself," said the warden.

"Please wait a while," said Nekhludoff.

The warden returned to his seat on the window-sill.

Maslova again seated herself, her eyes downcast and her little hands
clutching each other.

Nekhludoff stood over her, not knowing what to do.

"You do not believe me," he said.

"That you wish to marry me? That will never happen. I will sooner hang

"But I will serve you anyway."

"That is your business. Only I don't want anything from you. Now, that
is certain," she said. "Oh, why did I not die then!" she added, and
began to cry piteously.

Nekhludoff could not speak; her tears called forth tears in his own

She raised her eyes, looked at him, as if surprised, and with her
'kerchief began to wipe the tears streaming down her cheeks.

The warden again approached them and reminded them that it was time to
part. Maslova rose.

"You are excited now. If possible I will call to-morrow. Meantime,
think it over," said Nekhludoff.

She made no answer, and without looking at him left the room, preceded
by the warden.

       *       *       *       *       *

"Well, girl, good times are coming," said Korableva to Maslova when
the latter returned to the cell. "He seems to be stuck on you, so make
the most of it while he is calling. He will get you released. The rich
can do anything."

"That's so," drawled the watch-woman. "The poor man will think ten
times before he will marry, while the rich man can satisfy his every
whim. Yes, my dear; there was a respectable man in our village, and

"Have you spoken to him of my case?" asked the old woman.

But Maslova was silent. She lay down on her bunk, gazing with her
squinting eyes into the corner, and remained in that position till
evening. Her soul was in torment. That which Nekhludoff told her
opened to her that world in which she had suffered and which she had
left, hating without understanding it. She had now lost that
forgetfulness in which she had lived, and to live with a clear
recollection of the past was painful. In the evening she again bought
wine, which she drank with her fellow-prisoners.


"So, that is how it is!" thought Nekhludoff as he made his way out of
the prison, and he only now realized the extent of his guilt. Had he
not attempted to efface and atone for his conduct, he should never
have felt all the infamy of it, nor she all the wrong perpetrated
against her. Only now it all came out in all its horror. He now for
the first time perceived how her soul had been debased, and she
finally understood it. At first Nekhludoff had played with his
feelings and delighted in his own contrition; now he was simply
horrified. He now felt that to abandon her was impossible. And yet he
could not see the result of these relations.

At the prison gate some one handed Nekhludoff a note. He read it when
on the street. The note was written in a bold hand, with pencil, and
contained the following:

    "Having learned that you are visiting the prison I thought
    it would be well to see you. You can see me by asking the
    authorities for an interview with me. I will tell you
    something very important to your protege as well as to the
    politicals. Thankfully, Vera Bogodukhovskaia"

"Bogodukhovskaia! Who is Bogodukhovskaia?" thought Nekhludoff,
entirely absorbed in the impression of his meeting with Maslova, and
failing at the first moment to recall either the name or the
handwriting. "Oh, yes!" he suddenly recalled. "The deacon's daughter
at the bear-hunt."

Vera Bogodukhovskaia was a teacher in the obscure district of
Novgorod, whither Nekhludoff, on one occasion, went bear hunting with
his friends. This teacher had asked Nekhludoff to give her some money
to enable her to study. He gave it to her, and the incident dropped
from his memory. And now it seemed that this lady was a political
prisoner, had probably learned his history in prison, and was now
offering her services. At that time everything was easy and simple;
now everything was difficult and complex. Nekhludoff readily and
joyfully recalled that time and his acquaintance with Bogodukhovskaia.
It was on the eve of Shrovetide, in the wilds about sixty versts from
the railroad. The hunt was successful; two bears were bagged, and they
were dining before their journey home, when the woodsman, in whose hut
they were stopping, came to tell them that the deacon's daughter had
come and wished to see Prince Nekhludoff.

"Is she good looking?" some one asked.

"Come, come!" said Nekhludoff, rising, and wondering why the deacon's
daughter should want him, assumed a grave expression and went to the
woodsman's hut.

In the hut there was a girl in a felt hat and short fur coat, sinewy,
and with an ugly and unpleasant face, relieved, however, by her
pleasant eyes and raised eyebrows.

"This is the Prince, Vera Efremovna," said the old hostess. "I will
leave you."

"What can I do for you?" asked Nekhludoff.

"I--I--You see, you are rich and throw away your money on trifles, on
a chase. I know," began the girl, becoming confused, "but I wish but
one thing; I wish to be useful to people, and can do nothing because I
know nothing."

"What, then, can I do for you?"

"I am a teacher, and would like to enter college, but they don't let
me. It is not exactly that they don't let me, but we have no means.
Let me have some money; when I am through with my studies I shall
return it to you."

Her eyes were truthful and kindly, and the expression of resolution
and timidity on her face was so touching that Nekhludoff, as it was
usual with him, suddenly mentally placed himself in her position,
understood and pitied her.

"I think it is wrong for rich people to kill bears and get the
peasants drunk. Why don't they make themselves useful? I only need
eighty rubles. Oh, if you don't wish to, it is all the same to me,"
she said, angrily, interpreting the grave expression on Nekhludoff's
face to her disadvantage.

"On the contrary, I am very thankful to you for the opportunity----"

When she understood that he consented her face turned a purple color
and she became silent.

"I will fetch it immediately," said Nekhludoff.

He went into the entrance hall where he found an eavesdropping friend.
Without taking notice of his comrade's jests, he took the money from
his hand-bag and brought it to her.

"Please don't be thanking me. It is I who ought to be thankful to

It was pleasant to Nekhludoff to recall all that; it was pleasant to
recall how he came near quarreling with the army officer who attempted
to make a bad joke of it; how another comrade sided with him, which
drew them more closely together; how merry and successful was the
hunt, and how happy he felt that night returning to the railroad
station. A long file of sleighs moved noiselessly in pairs at a gentle
trot along the narrow fir-lined path of the forests, which were
covered with a heavy layer of snowflakes. Some one struck a red light
in the dark, and the pleasant aroma of a good cigarette was wafted
toward him. Osip, the sleigh-tender, ran from sleigh to sleigh,
knee-deep in snow, telling of the elks that were roaming in the deep
snow, nibbling the bark of aspen trees, and of the bears emitting
their warm breath through the airholes of their wild haunts.

Nekhludoff remembered all that, and above all the happy consciousness
of his own health, strength and freedom from care. His lungs,
straining his tight-fitting fur coat, inhaled the frosty air; the
trees, grazed by the shaft, sent showers of white flakes into his
face; his body was warm, his face ruddy; his soul was without a care
or blemish, or fear or desire. How happy he was! But now? My God! How
painful and unbearable it all was!


Rising the next morning Nekhludoff recalled the events of the previous
day and was seized with fear.

But, notwithstanding this fear, he was even more determined than
before to carry out his plan already begun.

With this consciousness of the duty that lay upon him he drove to
Maslenikoff for permission to visit in jail, besides Maslova, the old
woman Menshova and her son, of whom Maslova had spoken to him.
Besides, he also wished to see Bogodukhovskaia, who might be useful to

Nekhludoff had known Maslenikoff since they together served in the
army. Maslenikoff was the treasurer of the regiment. He was the most
kind-hearted officer, and possessed executive ability. Nothing in
society was of any interest to him, and he was entirely absorbed in
the affairs of the regiment. Nekhludoff now found him an administrator
in the civil government. He was married to a rich and energetic woman
to whom was due his change of occupation.

She laughed at him and patted him as she would a tamed animal.
Nekhludoff had visited them once the previous winter, but the couple
seemed so uninteresting to him that he never called again.

Maslenikoff's face became radiant when he saw Nekhludoff. His face was
as fat and red, his dress as excellent as when he served in the army.
As an army officer he was always neat, dressed in a tight uniform made
according to the latest style; now his dress fitted his well-fed body
as perfectly. He wore a uniform. Notwithstanding the difference in
their age--Maslenikoff was about forty--they familiarly "thoued" each

"Very glad you remembered me. Come to my wife. I have just ten minutes
to spare, and then I must to the session. My chief, you know, is away.
I am directing the affairs of the district," he said, with joy which
he could not conceal.

"I came to you on business."

"What's that?" Maslenikoff said in a frightened and somewhat stern
voice, suddenly pricking his ears.

"There is a person in jail in whom I am very much interested;" at the
word "jail" Maslenikoff's face became even more stern, "and I would
like to have the right of interview in the office instead of the
common reception room, and oftener than on the appointed days. I was
told that it depended on you."

"Of course, mon cher, I am always ready to do anything for you,"
Maslenikoff said, touching his knees with both hands, as if desiring
to soften his own greatness. "I can do it, but you know I am caliph
only for an hour."

"So you can give me a pass that will enable me to see her?"

"It is a woman?"


"What is the charge against her?"

"Poisoning. But she was irregularly convicted."

"Yes, there is justice for you! Ils n'en font point d'autres," he
said, for some reason in French. "I know that you do not agree with
me, but c'est mon opinion bien arretee," he added, repeating the
opinion that had been reiterated during the past year by a retrograde,
conservative newspaper. "I know you are a liberal."

"I don't know whether I am a liberal or something else," smilingly
said Nekhludoff, who always wondered at being joined to some party, or
called a liberal only because he held that a man must not be judged
without being heard; that all are equal before the law; that it is
wrong to torture and beat people generally, especially those that are
not convicted. "I don't know whether I am a liberal or not, but I do
know that our present courts, bad as they are, are nevertheless better
than those that preceded them."

"And what lawyer have you retained?"

"I have retained Fanarin."

"Ah, Fanarin!" Maslenikoff said, frowning as he recalled how Fanarin,
examining him as a witness the year before, in the most polite manner
made him the butt of ridicule.

"I would not advise you to have anything to do with him. Fanarin est
un homme tare."

"I have another request to make of you," Nekhludoff said, without
answering him. "A long time ago I made the acquaintance of a girl
teacher, a very wretched creature. She is now in jail and desires to
see me. Can you give me a pass to her?"

Maslenikoff leaned his head to one side and began to reflect.

"She is a political."

"Yes, I was told so."

"You know politicals can only be seen by their relatives, but I will
give you a general pass. Je sais que vous n'abuserez pas----"

"What is the name of this your protege? Bogodukhovskaia? Elle est


Maslenikoff disapprovingly shook his head, went to the table and on a
sheet of paper with a printed letter-head wrote in a bold hand: "The
bearer, Prince Dmitri Ivanovich Nekhludoff, is hereby permitted to
visit the prisoners, Maslova and Bogodukhovskaia, now detained in the
prison," and signed his name to it with a broad flourish.

"You will see now what order there is in prison. And to keep order
there is very difficult, because it is overcrowded, especially by
those to be transported. But I watch over them, and like the
occupation. You will see there are very many there, but they are
content, and are faring well. It is necessary to know how to deal with
them. Some unpleasantness occurred there a few days ago--disobedience.
Another man in my place would have treated it as a riot and made many
people miserable, but we arranged it all pleasantly. What is necessary
is solicitude on the one hand, and prompt and vigorous dealing on the
other," he said, clenching his soft, white fist projecting from under
a white, starched cuff and adorned with a turquoise ring--"solicitude
and vigorous dealing."

"Well, I don't know about that," said Nekhludoff. "I was there twice,
and I was very much distressed by the sight."

"You know what I will tell you? You ought to get acquainted with
Princess Passek," continued Maslenikoff, who had become talkative;
"she has entirely devoted herself to this cause. Elle fait beaucoup
de bien. Thanks to her and, without false modesty, to myself,
everything has been changed, and changed so that none of the old
horrors can be found there, and they are decidedly well off there. You
will see it. There is Fanarin. I am not personally acquainted with
him; besides, our roads do not meet because of my position in society,
but he is decidedly a bad man, and allows himself to state in court
such things, such things!"

"Well, thank you," said Nekhludoff, taking the document, and took
leave of his old comrade.

"Would you not like to see my wife?"

"No, thank you; I have no time now."

"Well, now, she will never forgive me," said Maslenikoff, conducting
his old comrade to the first landing, as he did with people of
secondary importance, among whom he reckoned Nekhludoff. "Do come but
for a moment."

But Nekhludoff was firm, and while the footman and porter sprang
toward him, handing him his overcoat and cane, and opening the door,
before which a policeman stood, he excused himself, pleading want of

"Well, then, Thursday, please. That is her reception day. I will tell
her!" Maslenikoff shouted from the top of the stairs.


From Maslenikoff, Nekhludoff went directly to the prison and
approached the familiar apartments of the inspector. The sounds of a
tuneless piano again assailed his ears, but this time it was not a
rhapsody that was played, but a study by Clementi, and, as before,
with unusual force, precision and rapidity. The servant with a
handkerchief around one eye said that the captain was in, and showed
Nekhludoff into the small reception-room, in which was a lounge, a
table and a lamp, one side of the rose-colored shade of which was
scorched, standing on a knitted woolen napkin. The inspector appeared
with an expression of sadness and torment on his face.

"Glad to see you. What can I do for you?" he said, buttoning up the
middle button of his uniform.

"I went to the vice-governor, and here is my pass," said Nekhludoff,
handing him the document. "I would like to see Maslova."

"Markova?" asked the inspector, who could not hear him on account of
the music.


"O, yes! O, yes!"

The inspector rose and approached the door through which Clementi's
roulade was heard.

"Marusia; if you would only stop for a little while," he said in a
voice which showed that this music was the cross of his life; "I
cannot hear anything."

The music ceased; discontented steps were heard, and some one looked
through the door.

The inspector, as if relieved by the cessation of the music, lit a
thick cigarette of light tobacco and offered one to Nekhludoff, which
he refused.

"Can Maslova----"

"It is not convenient to see Maslova to-day," said the inspector.


"It is your own fault," slightly smiling, said the inspector. "Prince,
you must not give her any money. If you wish to give her money, leave
it with me; I will keep it for her. You see, you must have given her
money yesterday, for she bought wine--it is hard to eradicate that
evil--and is intoxicated to-day. In fact, she became unruly."

"Is it possible?"

"Why, I even had to employ strict measures, had her transferred to
another cell. She is very tractable, but, please do not give her
money. That is their failing."

Nekhludoff quickly recalled the incident of yesterday, and he was
seized with fear.

"And may I see Bogodukhovskaia, the political?" Nekhludoff asked,
after some silence.

"Well, yes," said the inspector. "What are you doing here?" he turned
to a five-year-old girl who came into the room, walking toward her
father, her eyes riveted on Nekhludoff. "Look out, or you will fall,"
he said, smiling, as the little girl, walking with her head turned
toward Nekhludoff, tripped on the carpet and ran to her father.

"If she may be seen, I would go now."

"Oh yes; she may be seen, of course," said the inspector, embracing
the little girl, who was still looking at Nekhludoff. "All right----"

The inspector rose and gently turning the girl aside, walked into the

He had scarcely donned the overcoat handed him by the girl with the
bandaged eye and crossed the threshold when the distinct sounds of
Clementi's roulade broke out.

"She was at the Conservatory, but there is disorder in that
institution. But she is very gifted," said the inspector, walking down
the stairs. "She intends to appear at concerts."

The inspector and Nekhludoff neared the prison. The wicket immediately
opened at the approach of the inspector. The wardens standing to
attention followed him with their eyes. Four men with heads half
shaved, carrying large vessels, met him in the vestibule, and as they
spied him slunk back. One of them, in a particularly gloomy way, knit
his brow, his black eyes flashing fire.

"Of course, her talent must be perfected; it cannot be neglected. But
in a small apartment it is hard, you know," the inspector continued
the conversation without paying any attention to the prisoners, and
dragging his tired legs passed into the meeting-room, followed by

"Whom do you wish to see?" asked the inspector.


"That is from the tower. You will have to wait a little," he turned to

"Couldn't you let me see, meantime, the prisoners Menshov--mother and
son--who are charged with incendiarism?"

"That is from cell 21. Why, yes; they may be called out."

"Would you allow me to see the son in his cell?"

"It is quieter in the meeting-room."

"But it is interesting to see him there."


At that moment a dashing officer, the inspector's assistant, appeared
at a side door.

"Conduct the Prince to Menshov's cell--No. 21," said the inspector to
his assistant. "Then show him to the office. And I will call--what is
her name?"

"Vera Bogodukhovskaia," said Nekhludoff.

The inspector's assistant was a light-haired young officer with dyed
mustache, who spread around him the odor of perfume.

"Follow me, please." He turned to Nekhludoff with a pleasant smile.
"Does our institution interest you?"

"Yes. And I am also interested in that man who, I was told, is
innocent." The assistant shrugged his shoulders.

"Yes, that may be," he said calmly, courteously admitting the guest
into the ill-smelling corridor. "But they also lie often. Walk in,

The doors of the cells were open, and some prisoners stood in the
corridor. Slightly nodding to the wardens and looking askance at the
prisoners, who either pressed against the walls, entered their cells,
or, stopping at the doors, stood erect like soldiers, the assistant
escorted Nekhludoff through one corridor into another, on the left,
which was iron-bolted.

This corridor was darker and more ill-smelling than the first. There
was a row of cells on each side, the doors of which were locked. There
was a hole in each door--eyelet, so called--of about an inch in
diameter. There was no one in this corridor except an old warden with
a wrinkled, sad face.

"Where is Menshov's cell?" asked the assistant.

"The eighth one on the left."

"Are these occupied?" asked Nekhludoff.

"All but one."


"May I look in?" asked Nekhludoff.

"If you please," the assistant said with a pleasant smile, and began
to make inquiries of the warden. Nekhludoff looked through one of the
openings. A tall young man with a small black beard, clad only in his
linen, walked rapidly up and down the floor of his cell. Hearing a
rustle at the door, he looked up, frowned, and continued to walk.

Nekhludoff looked into the second opening. His eye met another large,
frightened eye. He hastily moved away. Looking into the third, he saw
a small-sized man sleeping curled up on a cot, his head covered with
his prison coat. In the fourth cell a broad-faced, pale-looking man
sat with lowered head, his elbows resting on his knees. Hearing steps,
this man raised his head and looked up. In his face and eyes was an
expression of hopeless anguish. He was apparently unconcerned about
who it was that looked into his cell. Whoever it might be, he
evidently hoped for no good from any one. Nekhludoff was seized with
fear, and he hastened to Number 21--Menshov's cell. The warden
unlocked and opened the door. A young, muscular man with a long neck,
kindly, round eyes and small beard, stood beside his cot, hastily
donning his prison coat and, with frightened face, looking at the two
men who had entered. Nekhludoff was particularly struck by the kindly,
round eyes whose wondering and startled look ran from him to the
warden and back.

"This gentleman wishes to ask you about your case."

"Thank you."

"Yes, I was told about your case," said Nekhludoff, going into the
depth of the cell and stopping at the barred, dirty window, "and would
like to hear it from yourself."

Menshov also drew near the window and immediately began to relate the
particulars of his case--at first timidly, from time to time glancing
at the warden, then growing bolder and bolder. And when the warden
had left the cell to give some orders, his timidity left him entirely.
Judging by his speech and manner, his was a story of a simple, honest
peasant, and it seemed very strange to Nekhludoff to hear it from the
lips of a prisoner in the garb of disgrace and in prison. While
listening to him, Nekhludoff examined the low cot, with its straw
mattress, the window, with its thick iron bars, the damp, plastered
walls, the pitiful face and the figure of the unfortunate, mutilated
peasant in bast shoes and prison coat, and he became sad; he would not
believe that what this kind-hearted man told him was true. And it was
still harder to think that this truthful story should be false, and
that kindly face should deceive him. His story, in short, was that
soon after his wedding a tapster enticed away his wife. He had
recourse to the law everywhere, and the tapster was everywhere
acquitted. Once he took her away by force, but she ran away the
following day. He went to the seducer, demanding his wife. The tapster
told him that she was not there, although he saw her when coming in,
and ordered him to depart. He would not go. Then the tapster and
another workman beat him until he bled, and the following day the
tapster's house took fire. He and his mother were charged with
incendiarism, although at the time the fire broke out he was visiting
a friend.

"And you really did not set the fire?"

"I never even thought of such a thing, master. The villain must have
done it himself. They say that he had just insured his house. And he
said that I and my mother came and threatened him. It is true, I
abused him at that time--couldn't help it--but I did not set the fire,
and was not even in the neighborhood when the fire started. He set the
fire purposely on the day I was there with my mother. He did it for
the insurance money, and threw it on us."

"Is it possible?"

"As true as there is a living God, master. Do help us!" He was about
to bow to the ground, but Nekhludoff forcibly prevented him. "Release
me. I am suffering here innocently," he continued. His face suddenly
began to twitch; tears welled up in his eyes, and, rolling up the
sleeve of his coat, he began to wipe his eyes with the dirty sleeve
of his shirt.

"Have you finished?" asked the warden.

"Yes. Cheer up; I will do what I can for you," Nekhludoff said, and
walked out. Menshov stood in the door, so that when the warden closed
it he pushed him in. While the warden was locking the door, Menshov
looked through the hole.


It was dinner time when Nekhludoff retraced his steps through the wide
corridor, and the cells were open. The prisoners, in light yellow
coats, short, wide trousers and prison shoes, eyed him greedily.
Nekhludoff experienced strange feelings and commiseration for the
prisoners, and, for some reason, shame that he should so calmly view

In one of the corridors a man, clattering with his prison shoes, ran
into one of the cells, and immediately a crowd of people came out,
placed themselves in his way, and bowed.

"Your Excellency--I don't know what to call you--please order that our
case be decided."

"I am not the commander. I do not know anything."

"No matter. Tell them, the authorities, or somebody," said an
indignant voice, "to look into our case. We are guilty of no offense,
and have been in prison the second month now."

"How so? Why?" asked Nekhludoff.

"We don't know ourselves why, but we have been here the second month."

"That is true," said the assistant inspector. "They were taken because
they had no passports, and they were to be transported to their
district, but the prison had burned down there, and the authorities
asked us to keep them here. Those belonging to other districts were
transported, but these we keep here."

"Is that the only reason?" asked Nekhludoff, stopping in the doorway.

The crowd, consisting of about forty men, all in prison garb,
surrounded Nekhludoff and the assistant. Several voices began talking
at once. The assistant stopped them.

"Let one of you speak."

A tall old man of good mien came forward. He told Nekhludoff that they
were all imprisoned on the ground that they had no passports, but
that, as a matter of fact, they had passports which had expired and
were not renewed for about two weeks. It happened every year, but they
were never even fined. And now they were imprisoned like criminals.

"We are all masons and belong to the same association. They say that
the prison has burned down, but that isn't our fault. For God's sake,
help us!"

Nekhludoff listened, but scarcely understood what the old man was

"How is that? Can it be possible that they are kept in prison for that
sole reason?" said Nekhludoff, turning to the assistant.

"Yes, they ought to be sent to their homes," said the assistant.

At that moment a small-sized man, also in prison attire, pushed his
way through the crowd and began to complain excitedly that they were
being tortured without any cause.

"Worse than dogs----" he began.

"Tut, tut! do not talk too much, or else you know----"

"Know what?" said the little man desperately. "Are we guilty of

"Silence!" shouted the assistant, and the little man subsided.

"What a peculiar state of things!" Nekhludoff said to himself as he
ran the gauntlet, as it were, of a hundred eyes that followed him
through the corridor.

"Is it possible that innocent people are held in durance here?"
Nekhludoff said, when they emerged from the corridor.

"What can we do? However, many of them are lying. If you ask them,
they all claim to be innocent," said the assistant inspector;
"although some are there really without any cause whatever."

"But these masons don't seem to be guilty of any offense."

"That is true so far as the masons are concerned. But those people
are spoiled. Some measure of severity is necessary. They are not all
as innocent as they look. Only yesterday we were obliged to punish two
of them."

"Punish, how?" asked Nekhludoff.

"By flogging. It was ordered----"

"But corporal punishment has been abolished."

"Not for those that have been deprived of civil rights."

Nekhludoff recalled what he had seen the other day while waiting in
the vestibule, and understood that the punishment had then been taking
place, and with peculiar force came upon him that mingled feeling of
curiosity, sadness, doubt, and moral, almost passing over into
physical, nausea which he had felt before, but never with such force.

Without listening to the assistant or looking around him, he hastily
passed through the corridor and ascended to the office. The inspector
was in the corridor, and, busying himself with some affair, had forgot
to send for Bogodukhovskaia. He only called it to mind when Nekhludoff
entered the office.

"I will send for her immediately. Take a seat," he said.


The office consisted of two rooms. In the first room, which had two
dirty windows and the plastering on the walls peeled off, a black
measuring rod, for determining the height of prisoners, stood in one
corner, while in another hung a picture of Christ. A few wardens stood
around in this room. In the second room, in groups and pairs, about
twenty men and women were sitting along the walls, talking in low
voices. A writing table stood near one of the windows.

The inspector seated himself at the writing table and offered
Nekhludoff a chair standing near by. Nekhludoff seated himself and
began to examine the people in the room.

His attention was first of all attracted by a young man with a
pleasant face, wearing a short jacket, who was standing before a man
prisoner and a girl, gesticulating and talking to them in a heated
manner. Beside them sat an old man in blue eye-glasses, immovably
holding the hand of a woman in prison garb and listening to her. A boy
in high-school uniform, with an expression of fright on his face,
stood gazing on the old man. Not far from them, in the corner, a pair
of lovers were sitting. She was a very young, pretty, stylishly-dressed
girl with short-cropped, flaxen hair and an energetic face; he was a
fine-featured, handsome youth, with wavy hair, and in a prison coat.
They occupied the corner, whispering to each other, apparently wrapped
in their love. Nearest of all to the table was a gray-haired woman in
black, evidently the mother of a consumptive young man in a rubber
jacket, who stood before her. Her eyes were fixed on him, and her
tears prevented her speaking, which she several times attempted to do,
but was forced to desist. The young man held a piece of paper in his
hand, and, evidently not knowing what to do, with an angry expression
on his face was folding and crumpling it. Sitting beside the weeping
mother, and patting her on the shoulder, was a stout, pretty girl with
red cheeks, in a gray dress and cape. Everything in this girl was
beautiful--the white hands, the wavy, short hair, the strong nose and
lips; but the principal charm of her face were her hazel, kindly,
truthful, sheep eyes. Her beautiful eyes turned on Nekhludoff at the
moment he entered, and met his. But she immediately turned them again
on her mother, and whispered to her something. Not far from the lovers
a dark man with gloomy face sat talking angrily to a clean-shaven
visitor resembling a Skopetz (a sect of castrates). At the very door
stood a young man in a rubber jacket, evidently more concerned about
the impression he was making on the visitors than what he was saying.
Nekhludoff sat down beside the inspector and looked around him with
intense curiosity. He was amused by a short-haired boy coming near him
and asking him in a shrill voice:

"And whom are you waiting for?"

The question surprised Nekhludoff, but, seeing the boy's serious,
intelligent face, with bright, attentive eyes, gravely answered that
he was awaiting a woman acquaintance.

"Well, is she your sister?" asked the boy.

"No, she is not my sister," Nekhludoff answered with surprise. "And
with whom are you?"

"I am with mamma. She is a political," said the boy.

"Maria Pavlovna, take away Kolia!" said the inspector, evidently
finding Nekhludoff's conversation with the boy contrary to the law.

Maria Pavlovna, the same beautiful woman who had attracted
Nekhludoff's attention, rose and with heavy, long strides approached

"What is he asking you? Who you are?" she asked, slightly smiling with
her beautifully curved lips, and confidingly looking at him with her
prominent, kindly eyes, as though expecting Nekhludoff to know that
her relations to everybody always have been, are and ought to be
simple, affable, and brotherly. "He must know everything," she said,
and smiled into the face of the boy with such a kindly, charming smile
that both the boy and Nekhludoff involuntarily also smiled.

"Yes, he asked me whom I came to see."

"Maria Pavlovna, you know that it is not permitted to speak to
strangers," said the inspector.

"All right," she said, and, taking the little hand of the boy into her
own white hand, she returned to the consumptive's mother.

"Whose boy is that?" Nekhludoff asked the inspector.

"He is the son of a political prisoner, and was born in prison."

"Is it possible?"

"Yes, and now he is following his mother to Siberia."

"And that girl?"

"I cannot answer it," said the inspector, shrugging his shoulders.
"Ah, there is Bogodukhovskaia."


The short-haired, lean, yellow-faced Vera Efremovna, with her large,
kindly eyes, entered timidly through the rear door.

"Well, I thank you for coming here," she said, pressing Nekhludoff's
hand. "You remember me? Let us sit down."

"I did not expect to find you here."

"Oh, I am doing excellently--so well, indeed, that I desire nothing
better," said Vera Efremovna, looking frightened, as usual, with her
kindly, round eyes at Nekhludoff, and turning her very thin, sinewy
neck, which projected from under the crumpled, dirty collar of her

Nekhludoff asked her how she came to be in prison. She related her
case to him with great animation. Her discourse was interspersed with
foreign scientific terms about propaganda, disorganization, groups,
sections and sub-sections, which, she was perfectly certain, everybody
knew, but of which Nekhludoff had never even heard.

She was evidently sure that it was both interesting and pleasant to
him to know all that she was relating. Nekhludoff, however, looked at
her pitiful neck, her thin, tangled hair, and wondered why she was
telling him all that. He pitied her, but not as he pitied the peasant
Menshov with his hands and face white as potato sprouts, and
innocently languishing in an ill-smelling prison. He pitied her on
account of the evident confusion that reigned in her head. She seemed
to consider herself a heroine, and showed off before him. And this
made her particularly pitiful. This trait Nekhludoff noticed in other
people then in the room. His arrival attracted their attention, and he
felt that they changed their demeanor because of his presence. This
trait was also present in the young man in the rubber jacket, in the
woman in prison clothes, and even in the actions of the two lovers.
The only people who did not possess this trait were the consumptive
young man, the beautiful girl with sheep eyes, and the dark-featured
man who was talking to the beardless man who resembled a Skopetz.

The affair of which Vera Efremovna wished to speak to Nekhludoff
consisted of the following: A chum of hers, Shustova, who did not even
belong to her sub-section, was arrested because in her dwelling were
found books and papers which had been left with her for safe keeping.
Vera Efremovna thought that it was partly her fault that Shustova was
imprisoned, and implored Nekhludoff, who was well connected, to do
everything in his power to effect her release.

Of herself, she related that, after having graduated as midwife, she
joined some party. At first everything went on smoothly, but afterward
one of the party was caught, the papers were seized, and then all were
taken in a police drag-net.

"They also took me, and now I am going to be transported," she wound
up her story. "But that is nothing. I feel excellently," and she
smiled piteously.

Nekhludoff asked her about the girl with the sheep eyes, and Vera
Efremovna told him that she was the daughter of a general, that she
had assumed the guilt of another person, and was now going to serve at
hard labor in Siberia.

"An altruistic, honest person," said Vera Efremovna.

The other case of which Vera Efremovna wished to speak concerned
Maslova. As the history of every prisoner was known to everyone in
prison, she knew Maslova's history, and advised him to procure her
removal to the ward for politicals, or, at least, to the hospital,
which was just now crowded, requiring a larger staff of nurses.

Nekhludoff said that he could hardly do anything, but promised to make
an attempt when he reached St. Petersburg.


Their conversation was interrupted by the inspector, who announced
that it was time to depart. Nekhludoff rose, took leave of Vera
Efremovna, and strode to the door, where he stopped to observe what
was taking place before him.

"Ladies and gentlemen, the time is up," said the inspector as he was
going out. But neither visitors nor prisoners stirred.

The inspector's demand only called forth greater animation, but no one
thought of departing. Some got up and talked standing; some continued
to talk sitting; others began to cry and take leave. The young man
continued to crumple the bit of paper, and he made such a good effort
to remain calm that his face seemed to bear an angry expression. His
mother, hearing that the visit was over, fell on his shoulder and
began to sob. The girl with the sheep eyes--Nekhludoff involuntarily
followed her movements--stood before the sobbing mother, pouring words
of consolation into her ear. The old man with the blue eye-glasses
held his daughter by the hand and nodded affirmatively to her words.
The young lovers rose, holding each other's hands and silently looking
into each other's eyes.

"Those are the only happy people here," said the young man in the
rubber jacket who stood near Nekhludoff, pointing to the young lovers.

Seeing the glances of Nekhludoff and the young man, the lovers--the
convict and the flaxen-haired girl--stretched their clasping hands,
threw back their heads, and began to dance in a circle.

"They will be married this evening in the prison, and she will go with
him to Siberia," said the young man.

"Who is he, then?"

"He is a penal convict. Although they are making merry, it is very
painful to listen," added the young man, listening to the sobbing of
the old man with the blue eye-glasses.

"Please, please don't compel me to take severe measures," said the
inspector, several times repeating the same thing. "Please, please,"
he said, weakly and irresolutely. "Well, now, this cannot go on.
Please, now come. For the last time I repeat it," he said, in a sad
voice, seating himself and rising again; lighting and then
extinguishing his cigarette.

Finally the prisoners and visitors began to depart--the former passing
through the inner, the latter through the outer, door. First the man
in the rubber coat passed out; then the consumptive and the
dark-featured convict; next Vera Efremovna and Maria Pavlovna, and the
boy who was born in the prison.

The visitors also filed out. The old man with the blue eye-glasses
started with a heavy gait, and after him came Nekhludoff.

"What a peculiar state of things!" said the talkative young man to
Nekhludoff on the stairs, as though continuing the interrupted
conversation. "It is fortunate that the captain is a kind-hearted
man, and does not enforce the rules. But for him it would be
tantalizing. As it is, they talk together and relieve their feelings."

When Nekhludoff, talking to this man, who gave his name as Medyntzev,
reached the entrance-hall, the inspector, with weary countenance,
approached him.

"So, if you wish to see Maslova, then please call to-morrow," he said,
evidently desiring to be pleasant.

"Very well," said Nekhludoff, and hastened away. As on the former
occasion, besides pity he was seized with a feeling of doubt and a
sort of moral nausea.

"What is all that for?" he asked himself, but found no answer.


On the following day Nekhludoff drove to the lawyer and told him of
the Menshovs' case, asking him to take up their defense. The lawyer
listened to him attentively, and said that if the facts were really as
told to Nekhludoff, he would undertake their defense without
compensation. Nekhludoff also told him of the hundred and thirty men
kept in prison through some misunderstanding, and asked him whose
fault he thought it was. The lawyer was silent for a short while,
evidently desiring to give an accurate answer.

"Whose fault it is? No one's," he said decisively. "If you ask the
prosecutor, he will tell you that it is Maslenikoff's fault, and if
you ask Maslenikoff, he will tell you that it is the prosecutor's
fault. It is no one's fault."

"I will go to Maslenikoff and tell him."

"That is useless," the lawyer retorted, smiling. "He is--he is not
your friend or relative, is he? He is such a blockhead, and, saving
your presence, at the same time such a sly beast!"

Nekhludoff recalled what Maslenikoff had said about the lawyer, made
no answer, and, taking leave, directed his steps toward Maslenikoff's

Two things Nekhludoff wanted of Maslenikoff. First, to obtain
Maslova's transfer to the hospital, and to help, if possible, the
hundred and thirty unfortunates. Although it was hard for him to be
dealing with this man, and especially to ask favors of him, yet it was
the only way of gaining his end, and he had to go through it.

As Nekhludoff approached Maslenikoff's house, he saw a number of
carriages, cabs and traps standing in front of it, and he recalled
that this was the reception day to which he had been invited. While
Nekhludoff was approaching the house a carriage was standing near the
curb, opposite the door, and a lackey in a cockaded silk hat and cape,
was seating a lady, who, raising the long train of her skirt,
displayed the sharp joints of her toes through the thin slippers.
Among the carriages he recognized the covered landau of the
Korchagins. The gray-haired, rosy-cheeked driver deferentially raised
his hat. Nekhludoff had scarcely asked the porter where Michael
Ivanovich (Maslenikoff) was, when the latter appeared on the carpeted
stairway, escorting a very important guest, such as he usually
escorted not to the upper landing, but to the vestibule. This very
important military guest, while descending the stairs, was conversing
in French about a lottery for the benefit of orphan asylums, giving
his opinion that it was a good occupation for ladies. "They enjoy
themselves while they are raising money."

"Qu'elles s'amusent et que le bon Dieu les bénisse. Ah, Nekhludoff,
how do you do? You haven't shown yourself for a long time," he greeted
Nekhludoff. "Allez présenter vos devoirs à madame. The Korchagins are
here, too. Toutes les jolies femmes de la ville," he said, holding out
and somewhat raising his military shoulders for his overcoat, which
was being placed on him by his own magnificent lackey in gold-braided
uniform. "Au revoir, mon cher." Then he shook Maslenikoff's hand.

"Well, now let us go upstairs. How glad I am," Maslenikoff began
excitedly, seizing Nekhludoff by the arm, and, notwithstanding his
corpulence, nimbly leading him up the stairs. Maslenikoff was in a
particularly happy mood, which Nekhludoff could not help ascribing to
the attention shown him by the important person. Every attention shown
him by an important person put him into such an ecstasy as may be
observed in a fawning little dog when its master pats it, strokes it,
and scratches under its ears. It wags its tail, shrinks, wriggles,
and, straightening its ears, madly runs in a circle. Maslenikoff was
ready to do the same thing. He did not notice the grave expression on
Nekhludoff's face, nor hear what he was saying, but irresistibly
dragged him into the reception-room. Nekhludoff involuntarily

"Business afterward. I will do anything you wish," said Maslenikoff,
leading him through the parlor. "Announce Prince Nekhludoff to Her
Excellency," he said on the way to a lackey. The lackey, in an ambling
gait, ran ahead of them. "Vous n'avez qu'à ordonner. But you must see
my wife without fail. She would not forgive my failure to present you
last time you were here."

The lackey had already announced him when they entered, and Anna
Ignatievna, the vice-governess--Mrs. General, as she called
herself--sat on a couch surrounded by ladies. As Nekhludoff approached
she was already leaning forward with a radiant smile on her face. At
the other end of the reception-room women sat around a table, while
men in military uniforms and civil attire stood over them. An
incessant cackle came from that direction.

"Enfin! Why do you estrange yourself? Have we offended you in any

With these words, presupposing an intimacy between her and Nekhludoff,
which never existed, Anna Ignatievna greeted him.

"Are you acquainted? Madam Beliavskaia--Michael Ivanovich Chernoff.
Take a seat here."

"Missy, venez donc à notre table. On vous opportera votre thé. And
you," she turned to the officer who was conversing with Missy,
evidently forgetting his name, "come here, please. Will you have some
tea, Prince?"

"No, no; I will never agree with you. She simply did not love him,"
said a woman's voice.

"But she loved pie."

"Eternally those stupid jests," laughingly interfered another lady in
a high hat and dazzling with gold and diamonds.

"C'est excellent, these waffles, and so light! Let us have some more."

"Well, how soon are you going to leave us?"

"Yes, this is the last day. That is why we came here."

"Such a beautiful spring! How pleasant it is in the country!"

Missy in her hat and some dark, striped dress which clasped her waist
without a wrinkle, was very pretty. She blushed when she saw

"I thought you had left the city," she said to him.

"Almost. Business keeps me here. I come here also for business."

"Call on mamma. She is very anxious to see you," she said, and,
feeling that she was lying, and that he understood it, her face turned
a still deeper purple.

"I shall hardly have the time," gloomily answered Nekhludoff,
pretending not to see that she was blushing.

Missy frowned angrily, shrugged her shoulders, and turned to an
elegant officer, who took from her hands the empty teacup and
valiantly carried it to another table, his sword striking every object
it encountered.

"You must also contribute toward the asylum."

"I am not refusing, only I wish to keep my contribution for the
lottery. There I will show all my liberality."

"Don't forget, now," a plainly dissimulating laugh was heard.

The reception day was brilliant, and Anna Ignatievna was delighted.

"Mika told me that you busy yourself in the prisons. I understand it
very well," she said to Nekhludoff. "Mika"--she meant her stout
husband, Maslenikoff--"may have his faults, but you know that he is
kind. All these unfortunate prisoners are his children. He does not
look on them in any other light. Il est d'une bonté----"

She stopped, not finding words to express bonté of a husband, and
immediately, smiling, turned to an old, wrinkled woman in
lilac-colored bows who had just entered.

Having talked as much and as meaninglessly as it was necessary to
preserve the decorum, Nekhludoff arose and went over to Maslenikoff.

"Will you please hear me now?"

"Ah! yes. Well, what is it?"

"Come in here."

They entered a small Japanese cabinet and seated themselves near the


"Well, je suis à vous. Will you smoke a cigarette? But wait; we must
not soil the things here," and he brought an ash-holder. "Well?"

"I want two things of you."

"Is that so?"

Maslenikoff's face became gloomy and despondent. All traces of that
animation of the little dog whom its master had scratched under the
ears entirely disappeared. Voices came from the reception-room. One, a
woman's voice, said: "Jamais, jamais je ne croirais;" another, a man's
voice from the other corner, was telling something, constantly
repeating: "La Comtesse Vorouzoff" and "Victor Apraksine." From the
third side only a humming noise mingled with laughter was heard.
Maslenikoff listened to the voices; so did Nekhludoff.

"I want to talk to you again about that woman."

"Yes; who was innocently condemned. I know, I know."

"I would like her to be transferred to the hospital. I was told that
it can be done."

Maslenikoff pursed up his lips and began to meditate.

"It can hardly be done," he said. "However, I will consult about it,
and will wire you to-morrow."

"I was told that there are many sick people in the hospital, and they
need assistants."

"Well, yes. But I will let you know, as I said."

"Please do," said Nekhludoff.

There was a burst of general and even natural laughter in the

"That is caused by Victor," said Maslenikoff, smiling. "He is
remarkably witty when in high spirits."

"Another thing," said Nekhludoff. "There are a hundred and thirty men
languishing in prison for the only reason that their passports were
not renewed in time. They have been in prison now for a month."

And he related the causes that kept them there.

"How did you come to know it?" asked Nekhludoff, and his face showed
disquietude and displeasure.

"I was visiting a prisoner, and these people surrounded me and

"What prisoner were you visiting?"

"The peasant who is innocently accused, and for whom I have obtained
counsel. But that is not to the point. Is it possible that these
innocent people are kept in prison only because they failed to renew
their passports?"

"That is the prosecutor's business," interrupted Maslenikoff, somewhat
vexed. "Now, you say that trials must be speedy and just. It is the
duty of the assistant prosecutor to visit the prisons and see that no
one is innocently kept there. But these assistants do nothing but play

"So you can do nothing for them?" Nekhludoff asked gloomily, recalling
the words of the lawyer, that the governor would shift the

"I will see to it. I will make inquiries immediately."

"So much the worse for her. C'est un souffre-douleur," came from the
reception-room, the voice of a woman apparently entirely indifferent
to what she was saying.

"So much the better; I will take this," from the other side was heard
a man's playful voice, and the merry laughter of a woman who refused
him something.

"No, no, for no consideration," said a woman's voice.

"Well, then, I will do everything," repeated Maslenikoff,
extinguishing the cigarette with his white hand, on which was a
turquoise ring. "Now, let us go to the ladies."

"And yet another question," said Nekhludoff, without going into the
reception-room, and stopping at the door. "I was told that some people
in the prison were subjected to corporal punishment. Is it true?"

Maslenikoff's face flushed.

"Ah! you have reference to that affair? No, mon cher, you must
positively not be admitted there--you want to know everything. Come,
come; Annette is calling us," he said, seizing Nekhludoff's arm with
the same excitement he evinced after the attention shown him by the
important person, but this time alarming, and not joyful.

Nekhludoff tore himself loose, and, without bowing or saying
anything, gloomily passed through the reception-room, the parlor and
by the lackeys, who sprang to their feet in the ante-chamber, to the

"What is the matter with him? What did you do to him?" Annette asked
her husband.

"That is à la française," said some one.

"Rather à la zoulon."

"Oh, he has always been queer."

Some one arose, some one arrived, and the chirping continued.

The following morning Nekhludoff received from Maslenikoff a letter on
heavy, glossy paper, bearing a coat-of-arms and seals, written in a
fine, firm hand, in which he said that he had written to the prison
physician asking that Maslova be transferred, and that he hoped his
request would be acceded to. It was signed, "Your loving senior
comrade," followed by a remarkably skillful flourish.

"Fool!" Nekhludoff could not help exclaiming, especially because he
felt that by the word "comrade" Maslenikoff was condescending, i. e.,
although he considered himself a very important personage, he
nevertheless was not too proud of his greatness, and called himself
his comrade.


One of the most popular superstitions consists in the belief that
every man is endowed with definite qualities--that some men are kind,
some wicked; some wise, some foolish; some energetic, some apathetic,
etc. This is not true. We may say of a man that he is oftener kind
than wicked; oftener wise than foolish; oftener energetic than
apathetic, and vice versa. But it would not be true to say of one man
that he is always kind or wise, and of another that he is always
wicked or foolish. And yet we thus divide people. This is erroneous.
Men are like rivers--the water in all of them, and at every point, is
the same, but every one of them is now narrow, now swift, now wide,
now calm, now clear, now cold, now muddy, now warm. So it is with
men. Every man bears within him the germs of all human qualities,
sometimes manifesting one quality, sometimes another; and often does
not resemble himself at all, manifesting no change. With some people
these changes are particularly sharp. And to this class Nekhludoff
belonged. These changes in him had both physical and spiritual causes;
and one of these changes he was now undergoing.

That feeling of solemnity and joy of rejuvenation which he had
experienced after the trial and after his first meeting with Katiousha
had passed away, and, after the last meeting, fear and even disgust
toward her had taken its place. He was also conscious that his duty
was burdensome to him. He had decided not to leave her, to carry out
his intention of marrying her, if she so desired; but this was painful
and tormenting to him.

On the day following his visit to Maslenikoff he again went to the
prison to see her.

The inspector permitted him to see her; not in the office, however,
nor in the lawyer's room, but in the women's visiting-room.
Notwithstanding his kind-heartedness, the inspector was more reserved
than formerly. Evidently Nekhludoff's conversations with Maslenikoff
had resulted in instructions being given to be more careful with this

"You may see her," he said, "only please remember what I told you as
to giving her money. And as to her transfer to the hospital, about
which His Excellency has written, there is no objection to it, and the
physician also consented. But she herself does not wish it. 'I don't
care to be chambermaid to that scurvy lot,' she said. That is the kind
of people they are, Prince," he added.

Nekhludoff made no answer and asked to be admitted to her. The
inspector sent the warden, and Nekhludoff followed him into the empty

Maslova was already there, quietly and timidly emerging from behind
the grating. She approached close to Nekhludoff, and, looking past
him, quietly said:

"Forgive me, Dmitri Ivanovich; I have spoken improperly the other

"It is not for me to forgive you----" Nekhludoff began.

"But you must leave me," she added, and in the fearfully squinting
eyes with which she glanced at him Nekhludoff again saw a strained and
spiteful expression.

[Illustration: EASTER SERVICES.]

"But why should I leave you?"


"Why so?"

She again looked at him with that spiteful glance, as it seemed to

"Well, then, I will tell you," she said. "You leave me--I tell you
that truly. I cannot. You must drop that entirely," she said, with
quivering lips, and became silent. "That is true. I would rather hang

Nekhludoff felt that in this answer lurked a hatred for him, an
unforgiven wrong, but also something else--something good and
important. This reiteration of her refusal in a perfectly calm state
destroyed in Nekhludoff's soul all his doubts, and brought him back to
his former grave, solemn and benign state of mind.

"Katiousha, I repeat what I said," he said, with particular gravity.
"I ask you to marry me. If, however, you do not wish to, and so long
as you do not wish to, I will be wherever you will be, and follow you
wherever you may be sent."

"That is your business. I will speak no more," she said, and again her
lips quivered.

He was also silent, feeling that he had no strength to speak.

"I am now going to the country, and from there to St. Petersburg," he
said finally. "I will press your--our case, and with God's help the
sentence will be set aside."

"I don't care if they don't. I deserved it, if not for that, for
something else," she said, and he saw what great effort she had to
make to repress her tears.

"Well, have you seen Menshova?" she asked suddenly, in order to hide
her agitation. "They are innocent, are they not?"

"Yes, I think so."

"Such a wonderful little woman!" she said.

He related everything he had learned from Menshova, and asked her if
she needed anything. She said she needed nothing.

They were silent again.

"Well, and as to the hospital," she said suddenly, casting on him her
squinting glance, "if you wish me to go, I will go; and I will stop
wine drinking, too."

Nekhludoff silently looked in her eyes. They were smiling.

"That is very good," was all he could say.

"Yes, yes; she is an entirely different person," thought Nekhludoff,
for the first time experiencing, after his former doubts, the to him
entirely new feeling of confidence in the invincibility of love.

       *       *       *       *       *

Returning to her ill-smelling cell, Maslova removed her coat and sat
down on her cot, her hands resting on her knees. In the cell were only
the consumptive with her babe, the old woman, Menshova, and the
watch-woman with her two children. The deacon's daughter had been
removed to the hospital; the others were washing. The old woman lay on
the cot sleeping; the children were in the corridor, the door to which
was open. The consumptive with the child in her arms and the
watch-woman, who did not cease knitting a stocking with her nimble
fingers, approached Maslova.

"Well, have you seen him?" they asked.

Maslova dangled her feet, which did not reach the floor, and made no

"What are you whimpering about?" said the watch-woman. "Above all,
keep up your spirits. Oh, Katiousha! Well?" she said, rapidly moving
her fingers.

Maslova made no answer.

"The women went washing. They say that to-day's alms were larger. Many
things have been brought, they say," said the consumptive.

"Finashka!" shouted the watch-woman. "Where are you, you little
rogue?" She drew out one of the knitting needles, stuck it into the
ball of thread and stocking, and went out into the corridor.

At this moment the inmates of the cell, with bare feet in their prison
shoes, entered, each bearing a loaf of twisted bread, some even two.
Theodosia immediately approached Maslova.

"Why, anything wrong?" she asked, lovingly, looking with her bright,
blue eyes at Maslova. "And here is something for our tea," and she
placed the leaves on the shelf.

"Well, has he changed his mind about marrying you?" asked Korableva.

"No, he has not, but I do not wish to," answered Maslova, "and I told
him so."

"What a fool!" said Korableva, in her basso voice.

"What is the good of marrying if they cannot live together?" asked

"Is not your husband going with you?" answered the watch-woman.

"We are legally married," said Theodosia. "But why should he marry her
legally if he cannot live with her?"

"What a fool! Why, if he marries her he will make her rich!"

"He said: 'Wherever you may be, I will be with you,'" said Maslova.

"He may go if he likes; he needn't if he don't. I will not ask him. He
is now going to St. Petersburg to try to get me out. All the ministers
there are his relatives," she continued, "but I don't care for them."

"Sure enough," Korableva suddenly assented, reaching down into her
bag, and evidently thinking of something else. "What do you say--shall
we have some wine?"

"Not I," answered Maslova. "Drink yourselves."



The Senate could hear the case in two weeks, and by that time
Nekhludoff intended to be in St. Petersburg, and, in case of an
adverse decision, to petition the Emperor, as the lawyer had advised.
In case the appeal failed, for which, his lawyer had told him, he must
be prepared, as the grounds of appeal were very weak, the party of
convicts to which Maslova belonged would be transported in May. It was
therefore necessary, in order to be prepared to follow Maslova to
Siberia, upon which Nekhludoff was firmly resolved, to go to the
villages and arrange his affairs there.

First of all, he went to the Kusminskoie estate, the nearest, largest
black-earth estate, which brought the greatest income. He had lived on
the estate in his childhood and youth, and had also twice visited it
in his manhood, once when, upon the request of his mother, he brought
a German manager with whom he went over the affairs of the estate. So
that he knew its condition and the relations the peasants sustained
toward the office, i. e., the landowner. Their relations toward the
office were such that they have always been in absolute dependence
upon it. Nekhludoff had already known it when as a student he
professed and preached the doctrines of Henry George, and in carrying
out which he had distributed his father's estate among the peasants.
True, after his military career, when he was spending twenty thousand
rubles a year, those doctrines ceased to be necessary to the life he
was leading, were forgotten, and not only did he not ask himself where
the money came from, but tried not to think of it. But the death of
his mother, the inheritance, and the necessity of taking care of his
property, i. e., his lands, again raised the question in his mind of
his relation to private ownership of land. A month before Nekhludoff
would have argued that he was powerless to change the existing order
of things; that he was not managing the estate, and living and
receiving his income far away from the estate, would feel more or less
at ease. But now he resolved that, although there was before him a
trip to Siberia and complex and difficult relations to the prison
world, for which social standing, and especially money, were
necessary, he could not, nevertheless, leave his affairs in their
former condition, but must, to his own detriment, change them. For
this purpose he had decided not to work the land himself, but, by
renting it at a low price to the peasants, to make it possible for
them to live independent of the landlord. Often, while comparing the
position of the landlord with that of the owner of serfs, Nekhludoff
found a parallel in the renting of the land to the peasants, instead
of working it by hired labor, to what the slave-owners did when they
substituted tenancy for serfdom. That did not solve the question, but
it was a step toward its solution; it was a transition from a grosser
to a less gross form of ownership of man. He also intended to act

Nekhludoff arrived at Kusminskoie about noon. In everything
simplifying his life, he did not wire from the station of his arrival,
but hired a two-horse country coach. The driver was a young fellow in
a nankeen regulation coat, belted below the waist, sitting sidewise on
the box. He was the more willing to carry on a conversation because
the broken-down, lame, emaciated, foaming shaft-horse could then walk,
which these horses always preferred.

The driver spoke about the manager of the Kusminskoie estate, not
knowing that he was carrying its master, Nekhludoff purposely
refrained from enlightening him.

"A dandy German," he said, turning half around, cracking his long whip
now over the heads, now under the horses. "There is nothing here to
compare with his fine team of three bay horses. You ought to see him
driving out with his wife! I took some guests to his house last
Christmas--he had a fine tree. You couldn't find the like of it in the
whole district! He robbed everybody, right and left. But what does he
care? He is bossing everybody. They say he bought a fine estate."

Nekhludoff thought that he was indifferent to the manner of the
German's management, and to the way he was profiting by it. But the
story of the driver with the long waist was unpleasant to him. He was
enchanted with the fine weather; the darkening clouds, sometimes
obscuring the sun; the fields over which the larks soared; the woods,
just covering up the top and bottom with green; the meadows on which
the flocks and horses browsed, and the fields on which plowmen were
already seen--but a feeling of dissatisfaction crept over him. And
when he asked himself the reason for it, he recalled the driver's
account of the German's management.

But by the time he was busying himself with the affairs of Kusminskoie
he had forgotten it.

After an examination of the books and his conversation with the clerk,
who artlessly set forth the advantages of the peasants having small
holdings and the fact that they were hemmed in by the master's land,
Nekhludoff grew only more determined to put an end to his ownership,
and give the land to the peasants. From the books and his
conversations with the clerk he learned that, as before, two-thirds of
the best arable land was cultivated by his own men, and the rest by
peasants who were paid five rubles per acre--that is to say, for five
rubles the peasant undertook to plow, harrow and sow an acre of land
three times, then mow it, bind or press it, and carry it to the barn.
In other words, he was paid five rubles for what hired, cheap labor
would cost at least ten rubles. Again, the prices paid by the peasants
to the office for necessaries were enormous. They worked for meadow,
for wood, for potatoe seed, and they were almost all in debt to the
office. Thus, the rent charged the peasants for lands beyond the
fields was four times as great as it could bring on a five per cent.

Nekhludoff knew all that before, but he was now learning it as
something new, and only wondered why he and all those who stood in a
similar position could fail to see the enormity of such relations. The
arguments of the clerk that not one-fourth of the value of the stock
could be realized on a sale, that the peasants would permit the land
to run to waste, only strengthened his determination and confirmed
him in his belief that he was doing a good deed by giving the land to
the peasants, and depriving himself of the greater part of his income.
Desiring to dispose of the land forthwith, he asked the manager to
call together the peasants of the three villages surrounded by his
lands the very next day, for the purpose of declaring to them his
intention and agreeing with them as to the price.

With a joyful consciousness of his firmness, in spite of the arguments
of the manager, and his readiness to make sacrifices for the peasants,
Nekhludoff left the office, and, reflecting on the coming arrangement,
he strolled around the house, through the flower-garden, which lay
opposite the manager's house, and was neglected this year; over the
lawn-tennis ground, overgrown with chicory, and through the alleys
lined with lindens, where it had been his wont to smoke his cigar, and
where, three years before, the pretty visitor, Kirimova, flirted with
him. Having made an outline of a speech, which he was to deliver to
the peasants the following day, Nekhludoff went to the manager's
house, and after further deliberating upon the proper disposition of
the stock, he calmly and contentedly retired to a room prepared for
him in the large building.

In this clean room, the walls of which were covered with views of
Venice, and with a mirror hung between two windows, there was placed a
clean spring bedstead and a small table with water and matches. On a
large table near the mirror lay his open traveling-bag with toilet
articles and books which he brought with him; one Russian book on
criminology, one in German, and a third in English treating of the
same subject. He intended to read them in spare moments while
traveling through the villages, but as he looked on them now he felt
that his mind was far from these subjects. Something entirely
different occupied him.

In one corner of the room there stood an ancient arm-chair with
incrustations, and the sight of this chair standing in his mother's
bed-room suddenly raised in his soul an unexpected feeling. He
suddenly felt sorry for the house that would decay, the gardens which
would be neglected, the woods which would be cut down, and all the
cattle-houses, courts, stables, sheds, machinery, horses, cows which
had been accumulated with such effort, although not by him. At first
it seemed to him easy to abandon all that, but now he was loth to part
with it, as well as the land and one-half of the income which would be
so useful now. And immediately serviceable arguments come to his aid,
by which it appeared that it was not wise to give the land to the
peasants and destroy his estate.

"I have no right to own the land. And if I do not own the land, I
cannot keep the property intact. Besides, I will now go to Siberia,
and for that reason I need neither the house nor the estate,"
whispered one voice. "All that is true," whispered another voice, "but
you will not pass all your life in Siberia. If you should marry, you
may have children. And you must hand over the estate to them in the
same condition in which you found it. There are duties toward the
land. It is easy to give away the land, to destroy everything; but it
is very hard to accumulate it. Above all, you must mark out a plan of
your life, and dispose of your property accordingly. And, then, are
you acting as you do in order to satisfy conscientious scruples, or
for the praise you expect of people?" Nekhludoff asked himself, and
could not help acknowledging that the talk that it would occasion
influenced his decision. And the more he thought the more questions
raised themselves, and the more perplexing they appeared. To rid
himself of these thoughts he lay down on the fresh-made bed, intending
to go over them again the next day with a clearer mind. But he could
not fall asleep for a long time. Along with the fresh air, through the
open window, came the croaking of frogs, interrupted by the whistling
of nightingales, one of which was in a lilac bush under the window.
Listening to the nightingales and the frogs, Nekhludoff recalled the
music of the inspector's daughter; and, thinking of that music, he
recalled Maslova--how, like the croaking of a frog, her lips trembled
when she said, "You must drop that." Then the German manager descended
to the frogs. He should have been held back, but not only did he come
down, but he was transformed into Maslova and started to taunt him: "I
am a convict, and you are a Prince." "No, I shall not yield," thought
Nekhludoff, and came to. "Am I acting properly or improperly?" he
asked himself. "I don't know; I will know to-morrow." And he began to
descend to where the manager and Maslova were. And there everything


With a feeling of timidity and shame Nekhludoff the following morning,
walked out to meet the peasants who had gathered at a small square in
front of the house. As he approached them the peasants removed their
caps, and for a long time Nekhludoff could not say anything. Although
he was going to do something for the peasants which they never dared
even to think of, his conscience was troubled. The peasants stood in a
fine, drizzling rain, waiting to hear what their master had to say,
and Nekhludoff was so confused that he could not open his mouth. The
calm, self-confident German came to his relief. This strong, overfed
man, like Nekhludoff himself, made a striking contrast to the
emaciated, wrinkled faces of the peasants, and the bare shoulder-bones
sticking out from under their caftans.

"The Prince came to befriend you--to give you the land, but you are
not worthy of it," said the German.

"Why not worthy, Vasily Karlych? Have we not labored for you? We are
much satisfied with our late mistress--may she enjoy eternal
life!--and we are grateful to the young Prince for thinking of us,"
began a red-haired peasant with a gift of gab.

"We are not complaining of our masters," said a broad-faced peasant
with a long beard. "Only we are too crowded here."

"That is what I called you here for--to give you the land, if you wish
it," said Nekhludoff.

The peasants were silent, as if misunderstanding him, or incredulous.

"In what sense do you mean to give us the land?" asked a middle-aged
peasant in a caftan.

"To rent it to you, that you might use it at a low price."

"That is the loveliest thing," said an old man.

"If the payment is not above our means," said another.

"Of course we will take the land."

"It is our business--we get our sustenance from the land."

"So much the better for you. All you have to do is to take the money.
And what sins you will spare yourself----"

"The sin is on you," said the German. "If you would only work and keep
things in order----"

"We cannot, Vasily Karlych," said a lean old man with a pointed nose.
"You ask, Who let the horse feed in the field? But who did it? Day in
and day out--and every day is as long as a year--I worked with the
scythe, and as I fell asleep the horse went among the oats. And now
you are fleecing me."

"You should keep order."

"It is easy for you to say keep order. But we have no strength,"
retorted a middle-aged peasant, all covered with hair.

"I told you to fence it in."

"You give us the timber," said an unsightly little peasant. "When I
cut a joist last summer, intending to make a fence, you locked me up
for three months in the castle to feed the insects. There was a fence
for you!"

"Is that true?" asked Nekhludoff of the manager.

"Der erste dich im dorfe," said the manager in German. "He was caught
every year in the woods. You must learn to respect other people's

"Do we not respect you?" said an old man. "We cannot help respecting
you, because you have us in your hands, and you are twisting us into

"If you would only abstain from doing wrong," said the manager. "It is
pretty hard to wrong you."

"And who battered my face last summer? Of course, there is no use
going to law with a rich man."

"You only keep within bounds of the law."

This was evidently a wordy tourney of which the participants hardly
knew the purpose. Nekhludoff tried to get back to business.

"Well, what do you say? Do you wish the land, and what price do you
set on it?"

"It is your goods; you name the price."

Nekhludoff set the price, and though much lower than the prevailing
price, the peasants began to bargain, finding it high. He expected
that his offer would be accepted with pleasure, but there was no sign
of satisfaction. Only when the question was raised whether the whole
community would take the land, or have individual arrangements did he
know that it was profitable for them. For there resulted fierce
quarrels between those who wished to exclude the weak ones and bad
payers from participating in the land, and those whom it was sought to
exclude. But the German finally arranged the price and time of
payment, and the peasants, noisily talking, returned to the village.

The price was about thirty per cent. lower than the one prevailing in
the district, and Nekhludoff's income was reduced to almost one-half,
but, with money realized from the sale of the timber and yet to be
realized from the sale of the stock, it was amply sufficient for him.
Everything seemed to be satisfactory, and yet Nekhludoff felt sad and
lonesome, but, above all, his conscience troubled him. He saw that
although the peasants spoke words of thanks, they were not satisfied
and expected something more. The result was that while he deprived
himself of much, he failed to do that which the peasants expected.

On the following day, after the contract was signed, Nekhludoff, with
an unpleasant feeling of having left something undone, seated himself
in the "dandy" three-horse team and took leave of the peasants, who
were shaking their heads in doubt and dissatisfaction. Nekhludoff was
dissatisfied with himself--he could not tell why, but he felt sad, and
was ashamed of something.


From Kusminskoie Nekhludoff went to Panovo, the estate left him by his
aunts, and where he had first seen Katiousha. He intended to dispose
of this land in the same manner as he disposed of the other, and also
desired to learn all there was known about Katiousha, and to find out
if it was true that their child had died.

As he sat at the window observing the familiar scenery of the now
somewhat neglected estate, he not only recalled, but felt himself as
he was fourteen years ago; fresh, pure and filled with the hope of
endless possibilities. But as it happens in a dream, he knew that that
was gone, and he became very sad.

Before breakfast he made his way to the hut of Matrena Kharina,
Katiousha's aunt, who was selling liquor surreptitiously, for
information about the child, but all he could learn from her was that
the child had died on the way to a Moskow asylum; in proof of which
the midwife had brought a certificate.

On his way back he entered the huts of some peasants, and inquired
about their mode of living. The same complaints of the paucity of
land, hunger and degradation he heard everywhere. He saw the same
pinched faces, threadbare homespuns, bare feet and bent shoulders.

In front of a particularly dilapidated hut stood a number of women
with children in their arms, and among them he noticed a lean,
pale-faced woman, easily holding a bloodless child in a short garment
made of pieces of stuff. This child was incessantly smiling.
Nekhludoff knew that it was the smile of suffering. He asked who that
woman was.

It transpired that the woman's husband had been in prison for the past
six months--"feeding the insects"--as they termed it, for cutting down
two lindens.

Nekhludoff turned to the woman, Anisia.

"How do you fare?" he asked. "What do you live on?"

"How do I live? I sometimes get some food," and she began to sob.

The grave face of the child, however, spread into a broad smile, and
its thin legs began to wriggle.

Nekhludoff produced his pocketbook and gave the woman ten rubles. He
had scarcely made ten steps when he was overtaken by another woman
with a child; then an old woman, and again another woman. They all
spoke of their poverty and implored his help. Nekhludoff distributed
the sixty rubles that were in his pocketbook and returned home, i. e.,
to the wing inhabited by the clerk. The clerk, smiling, met Nekhludoff
with the information that the peasants would gather in the evening,
as he had ordered. Nekhludoff thanked him and strolled about the
garden, meditating on what he had seen. "The people are dying in large
numbers, and are used to it; they have acquired modes of living
natural to a people who are becoming extinct--the death of children,
exhausting toil for women, insufficiency of food for all, especially
for the aged--all comes and is received naturally. They were reduced
to this condition gradually, so that they cannot see the horror of it,
and bear it uncomplainingly. Afterward, we, too, come to consider this
condition natural; that it ought to be so."

All this was so clear to him now that he could not cease wondering how
it was that people could not see it; that he himself could not see
that which is so patent. It was perfectly clear that children and old
people were dying for want of milk, and they had no milk because they
had not land enough to feed the cattle and also raise bread and hay.
And he devised a scheme by which he was to give the land to the
people, and they were to pay an annual rent which was to go to the
community, to be used for common utilities and taxes. This was not the
single-tax, but it was the nearest approach to it under present
conditions. The important part consisted in that he renounced his
right to own land.

When he returned to the house, the clerk, with a particularly happy
smile on his face, offered him dinner, expressing his fear that it
might spoil.

The table was covered with a gloomy cloth, an embroidered towel
serving as a napkin, and on the table, in vieux-saxe, stood a
soup-bowl with a broken handle, filled with potato soup and containing
the same rooster that he had seen carried into the house on his
arrival. After the soup came the same rooster, fried with feathers,
and cakes made of cheese-curds, bountifully covered with butter and
sugar. Although the taste of it all was poor, Nekhludoff kept on
eating, being absorbed in the thoughts which relieved him of the
sadness that oppressed him on his return from the village.

After dinner Nekhludoff with difficulty seated the superserviceable
clerk, and in order to make sure of himself and at the same time to
confide to some one the thoughts uppermost in his mind, told him of
his project and asked his opinion. The clerk smiled, as though he had
been thinking of the same thing, and was very glad to hear it, but in
reality did not understand it, not because Nekhludoff did not express
himself plainly enough, but because, according to this project,
Nekhludoff deprived himself of advantages for the benefit of others,
whereas the truth that every man strives to obtain advantages at the
expense of others, was so firmly rooted in the clerk's mind, that he
thought that he misunderstood Nekhludoff when the latter said that the
entire income of the land was to go into the community's treasury.

"I understand. So you will draw the interest on the capital?" he said,
becoming radiant.

"No, no. I transfer the land to them entirely."

"In that case you will get no income?" asked the clerk and he ceased
to smile.

"I relinquish that."

The clerk sighed deeply, then began to smile again. Now he understood.
He understood that Nekhludoff's mind was not entirely sound, and he
immediately tried to find a way of profiting by Nekhludoff's project,
and endeavored to so construe it that he might turn it to his own

When, however, he understood that there was no such opportunity, he
ceased to take interest in the projects, and continued to smile only
to please his master. Seeing that the clerk could not understand him,
Nekhludoff dismissed him from his presence, seated himself at the
ink-stained table and proceeded to commit his project to paper.

The sun was already descending behind the unfolding lindens, and the
mosquitos filled the room, stinging him. While he was finishing his
notes, Nekhludoff heard the lowing of cattle in the village, the
creaking of the opening gates and the voices of the peasants who were
coming to meet their master. Nekhludoff told the clerk not to call
them before the office, that he would go and meet them at any place in
the village, and gulping down a glass of tea offered him by the clerk,
he went to the village.


The crowd stood talking in front of the house of the bailiff, and as
Nekhludoff approached, the conversation ceased and the peasants, like
those of Kusminskoie, removed their caps. It was a coarser crowd than
the peasants of Kusminskoie, and almost all the peasants wore bast
shoes and homespun shirts and caftans. Some of them were bare-footed
and only in their shirts.

With some effort Nekhludoff began his speech by declaring that he
intended to surrender the land to them. The peasants were silent, and
there was no change in the expression of their faces.

"Because I consider," said Nekhludoff, blushing, "that every man ought
to have the right to use the land."

"Why, certainly." "That is quite right," voices of peasants were

Nekhludoff continued, saying that the income from the land should be
distributed among all, and he therefore proposed that they take the
land and pay into the common treasury such rent as they may decide
upon, such money to be used for their own benefit. Exclamations of
consent and approbation continued to be heard, but the faces of the
peasants became more and more grave, and the eyes that at first were
fixed on the master were lowered, as if desiring not to shame him with
the fact that his cunning was understood by all, and that he could not
fool anybody.

Nekhludoff spoke very clearly, and the peasants were sensible folks;
but he was not understood, and could not be understood by them for the
same reason which prevented the clerk from understanding him for a
long time. They were convinced that it was natural for every man to
look out for his own interest. And as to the land owners, the
experience of several generations had taught them long ago that these
were always serving their own interests.

"Well, what rate do you intend to assess," asked Nekhludoff.

"Why assess? We cannot do that? The land is yours; it is for you to
say," some in the crowd said.

"But understand that you are to use the money for the common wants."

"We cannot do it. The community is one thing, and this is another

"You must understand," said the smiling clerk, wishing to explain the
offer, "that the Prince is giving you the land for money which is to
go into the community's treasury."

"We understand it very well," said a toothless old man without raising
his eyes. "Something like a bank, only we must pay in time. We cannot
do it; it is hard enough as it is. That will ruin us entirely."

"That is to no purpose. We would rather continue as before," said
several dissatisfied and even rough voices.

The resistance was particularly hot when Nekhludoff mentioned that he
would draw a contract which he himself and they would have to sign.

"What is the good of a contract? We will keep on working as we did
before. We don't care for it. We are ignorant people."

"We cannot consent, because that is an uncustomary thing. Let it be as
it was before. If you would only do away with the seed," several
voices were heard.

"Doing away with the seed" meant that under the present regime the
sowing-seed was chargeable to the peasants, and they asked that it be
furnished by the master.

"So you refuse to take the land?" asked Nekhludoff, turning to a
middle-aged, bare-footed peasant in tattered caftan and with a radiant
face who held his cap straight in front of him, like a soldier hearing
"Hats off!"

"Yes, sir," said this peasant.

"Then you have enough land?" asked Nekhludoff.

"No, sir," said the ex-soldier, with artificial cheerfulness, holding
his torn cap before him, as though offering it to anyone deserving to
take it.

"Think it over at your leisure," said the surprised Nekhludoff, again
repeating his offer.

"There is nothing to think over; as we said, so it will be," the
toothless, gloomy old man said angrily.

"I will stay here all day to-morrow. If you alter your decision, let
me know."

The peasants made no answer.

On their return to the office the clerk explained to Nekhludoff that
it was not a want of good sense that prevented their acceptance of the
offer; that when gathered in assembly they always acted in that
stubborn manner.

Nekhludoff then asked him to summon for the following day several of
the most intelligent peasants to whom he would explain his project at
greater length.

Immediately after the departure of the smiling clerk, Nekhludoff heard
angry women's voices interrupted by the voice of the clerk. He

"I have no more strength. You want the cross on my breast," said an
exasperated voice.

"She only ran in," said another voice. "Give her up, I say. Why do you
torture the beast, and keep the milk from the children?"

Nekhludoff walked around the house where he saw two disheveled women,
one of whom was evidently pregnant, standing near the staircase. On
the stairs, with his hands in the pockets of his crash overcoat, stood
the clerk. Seeing their master, the women became silent and began to
arrange their 'kerchiefs, which had fallen from their heads, while the
clerk took his hands out of his pockets and began to smile.

The clerk explained that the peasants purposely permitted their
calves, and even cows, to roam over the master's meadows. That two
cows belonging to these women had been caught on the meadow and driven
into an inclosure. The clerk demanded from the women thirty copecks
per cow, or two days' work.

"Time and again I told them," said the smiling clerk, looking around
at Nekhludoff, as if calling him to witness, "to look out for cows
when driving them to feed."

"I just went to see to the child, and they walked away."

"Don't leave them when you undertake to look after them."

"And who would feed my child?"

"If they had only grazed, at least, they would have no pains in their
stomachs. But they only walked in."

"All the meadows are spoiled," the clerk turned to Nekhludoff. "If
they are not made to pay there will be no hay left."

"Don't be sinning," cried the pregnant woman. "My cow was never

"But now that she was caught, pay for her, or work."

"Well, then, I will work. But return me the cow; don't torture her,"
she cried angrily. "It is bad enough as it is; I get no rest, either
day or night. Mother-in-law is sick; my husband is drunk.
Single-handed I have to do all the work, and I have no strength. May
you choke yourself!" she shouted and began to weep.

Nekhludoff asked the clerk to release the cows and returned to the
house, wondering why people do not see what is so plain.


Whether it was because there were fewer peasants present, or because
he was not occupied with himself, but with the matter in hand,
Nekhludoff felt no agitation when the seven peasants chosen from the
villagers responded to the summons.

He first of all expressed his views on private ownership of land.

"As I look upon it," he said, "land ought not to be the subject of
purchase and sale, for if land can be sold, then those who have money
will buy it all in and charge the landless what they please for the
use of it. People will then be compelled to pay for the right to stand
on the earth," he added, quoting Spencer's argument.

"There remains to put on wings and fly," said an old man with smiling
eyes and gray beard.

"That's so," said a long-nosed peasant in a deep basso.

"Yes, sir," said the ex-soldier.

"The old woman took some grass for the cow. They caught her, and to
jail she went," said a good-natured, lame peasant.

"There is land for five miles around, but the rent is higher than the
land can produce," said the toothless, angry old man.

"I am of the same opinion as you," said Nekhludoff, "and that is the
reason I want to give you the land."

"Well, that would be a kind deed," said a broad-shouldered old peasant
with a curly, grayish beard like that of Michael Angelo's Moses,
evidently thinking that Nekhludoff intended to rent out the land.

"That is why I came here. I do not wish to own the land any longer,
but it is necessary to consider how to dispose of it."

"You give it to the peasants--that's all," said the toothless, angry

For a moment Nekhludoff was confused, seeing in these words doubt of
the sincerity of his purpose. But he shook it off, and took advantage
of the remark to say what he intended.

"I would be only too glad to give it," he said, "but to whom and how
shall I give it? Why should I give it to your community rather than to
the Deminsky community?" Deminsky was a neighboring village with very
little land.

They were all silent. Only the ex-soldier said, "Yes, sir."

"And now tell me how would you distribute the land?"

"How? We would give each an equal share," said an oven-builder,
rapidly raising and lowering his eyebrows.

"How else? Of course divide it equally," said a good-natured, lame
peasant, whose feet, instead of socks, were wound in a white strip of

This decision was acquiesced in by all as being satisfactory.

"But how?" asked Nekhludoff, "are the domestics also to receive equal

"No, sir," said the ex-soldier, assuming a cheerful mood. But the
sober-minded tall peasant disagreed with him.

"If it is to be divided, everybody is to get an equal share," after
considering awhile, he said in a deep basso.

"That is impossible," said Nekhludoff, who was already prepared with
his objection. "If everyone was to get an equal share, then those who
do not themselves work would sell their shares to the rich. Thus the
land would again get into the hands of the rich. Again, the people
that worked their own shares would multiply, and the landlords would
again get the landless into their power."

"Yes, sir," the ex-soldier hastily assented.

"The selling of land should be prohibited; only those that cultivate
it themselves should be allowed to own it," said the oven-builder,
angrily interrupting the soldier.

To this Nekhludoff answered that it would be difficult to determine
whether one cultivated the land for himself or for others.

Then the sober-minded old man suggested that the land should be given
to them as an association, and that only those that took part in
cultivating it should get their share.

Nekhludoff was ready with arguments against this communistic scheme,
and he retorted that in such case it would be necessary that all
should have plows, that each should have the same number of horses,
and that none should lag behind, or that everything should belong to
society, for which the consent of every one was necessary.

"Our people will never agree," said the angry old man.

"There will be incessant fighting among them," said the white-bearded
peasant with the shining eyes. "The women will scratch each other's
eyes out."

"The next important question is," said Nekhludoff, "how to divide the
land according to quality. You cannot give black soil to some and clay
and sand to others."

"Let each have a part of both," said the oven-builder.

To this Nekhludoff answered that it was not a question of dividing the
land in one community, but of the division of land generally among all
the communities. If the land is to be given gratis to the peasants,
then why should some get good land, and others poor land? There would
be a rush for the good land.

"Yes, sir," said the ex-soldier.

The others were silent.

"You see, it is not as simple as it appears at first sight," said
Nekhludoff. "We are not the only ones, there are other people thinking
of the same thing. And now, there is an American, named George, who
devised the following scheme, and I agree with him."

"What is that to you? You are the master; you distribute the land,
and there is an end to it," said the angry peasant.

This interruption somewhat confused Nekhludoff, but he was glad to see
that others were also dissatisfied with this interruption.

"Hold on, Uncle Semen; let him finish," said the old man in an
impressive basso.

This encouraged Nekhludoff, and he proceeded to explain the single-tax
theory of Henry George.

"The land belongs to no one--it belongs to the Creator."

"That's so!"

"Yes, sir."

"The land belongs to all in common. Every one has an equal right to
it. But there is good land, and there is poor land. And the question
is, how to divide the land equally. The answer to this is, that those
who own the better land should pay to those who own the poorer the
value of the better land. But as it is difficult to determine how much
anyone should pay, and to whom, and as society needs money for common
utilities, let every land owner pay to society the full value of his
land--less, if it is poorer; more, if it is better. And those who do
not wish to own land will have their taxes paid by the land owners."

"That's correct," said the oven-builder. "Let the owner of the better
land pay more."

"What a head that Jhorga had on him!" said the portly old peasant with
the curls.

"If only the payments were reasonable," said the tall peasant,
evidently understanding what it was leading to.

"The payments should be such that it would be neither too cheap nor
too dear. If too dear, it would be unprofitable; if too cheap, people
would begin to deal in land. This is the arrangement I would like you
to make."

Voices of approval showed that the peasants understood him perfectly.

"What a head!" repeated the broad-shouldered peasant with the curls,
meaning "Jhorga."

"And what if I should choose to take land?" said the clerk, smiling.

"If there is an unoccupied section, take and cultivate it," said

"What do you want land for? You are not hungering without land," said
the old man with the smiling eyes.

Here the conference ended.

Nekhludoff repeated his offer, telling the peasants to consult the
wish of the community, before giving their answer.

The peasants said that they would do so, took leave of Nekhludoff and
departed in a state of excitement. For a long time their loud voices
were heard, and finally died away about midnight.

       *       *       *       *       *

The peasants did not work the following day, but discussed their
master's proposition. The community was divided into two factions. One
declared the proposition profitable and safe; the other saw in the
proposition a plot which it feared the more because it could not
understand it. On the third day, however, the proposition was
accepted, the fears of the peasants having been allayed by an old
woman who explained the master's action by the suggestion that he
began to think of saving his soul. This explanation was confirmed by
the large amount of money Nekhludoff had distributed while he remained
in Panov. These money gifts were called forth by the fact that here,
for the first time, he learned to what poverty the peasants had been
reduced and though he knew that it was unwise, he could not help
distributing such money as he had, which was considerable.

As soon as it became known that the master was distributing money,
large crowds of people from the entire surrounding country came to him
asking to be helped. He had no means of determining the respective
needs of the individuals, and yet he could not help giving these
evidently poor people money. Again, to distribute money
indiscriminately was absurd. His only way out of the difficulty was to
depart, which he hastened to do.

On the third day of his visit to Panov, Nekhludoff, while looking over
the things in the house, in one of the drawers of his aunt's
chiffonnier, found a picture representing a group of Sophia Ivanovna,
Catherine Ivanovna, himself, as student, and Katiousha--neat, fresh,
beautiful and full of life. Of all the things in the house Nekhludoff
removed this picture and the letters. The rest he sold to the miller
for a tenth part of its value.

Recalling now the feeling of pity over the loss of his property which
he had experienced in Kusminskoie, Nekhludoff wondered how he could
have done so. Now he experienced the gladness of release and the
feeling of novelty akin to that experienced by an explorer who
discovers new lands.


It was evening when Nekhludoff arrived in the city, and as he drove
through the gas-lit streets to his house, it looked to him like a new
city. The odor of camphor still hung in the air through all the rooms,
and Agrippina, Petrovna and Kornei seemed tired out and dissatisfied,
and even quarreled about the packing of the things, the use of which
seemed to consist chiefly in being hung out, dried and packed away
again. His room was not occupied, but was not arranged for his coming,
and the trunks blocked all the passages, so that his coming interfered
with those affairs which, by some strange inertia, were taking place
in this house. This evident foolishness, to which he had once been a
party, seemed so unpleasant to Nekhludoff, after the impressions he
had gained of the want in the villages, that he decided to move to a
hotel the very next day, leaving the packing to Agrippina until the
arrival of his sister.

He left the house in the morning, hired two modest and not over-clean
furnished rooms near the prison, and went to his lawyer.

After the storms and rains came those cold, piercing winds that
usually occur in the fall. Protected only by a light overcoat,
Nekhludoff was chilled to the bone. He walked quickly in order to warm

The village scenes came to his mind--the women, children and old men,
whose poverty and exhaustion he had noticed as if for the first time,
especially that oldish child which twisted its little calfless
legs--and he involuntarily compared them with the city folks. Passing
by the butcher, fish and clothing shops, he was struck, as if it was
the first time he looked upon them--by the physical evidences of the
well-being of such a large number of clean, well-fed shopkeepers which
was not to be seen anywhere in the villages. Equally well fed were the
drivers in quilted coats and buttons on their backs, porters, servant
girls, etc. In all these people he now involuntarily saw those same
village folks whom privation had driven to the city. Some of them were
able to take advantage of the conditions in the city and became happy
proprietors themselves; others were reduced to even greater straits
and became even more wretched. Such wretchedness Nekhludoff saw in a
number of shoemakers that he saw working near the window of a
basement; in the lean, pale, disheveled washerwomen ironing with bare
hands before open windows from which soap-laden steam poured out; in
two painters, aproned and bare-footed, who were covered with paint
from temple to heel. In their sunburnt, sinewy, weak hands, bared
above the elbows, they carried a bucket of paint and incessantly
cursed each other. Their faces were wearied and angry. The same
expression of weariness and anger he saw in the dusty faces of the
truck drivers; on the swollen and tattered men, women and children who
stood begging on the street corners. Similar faces were seen in the
windows of the tea-houses which Nekhludoff passed. Around the dirty
tables, loaded with bottles and tea services, perspiring men with red,
stupefied faces sat shouting and singing, and white-aproned servants
flitted to and fro.

"Why have they all gathered here?" thought Nekhludoff, involuntarily
inhaling, together with the dust, the odor of rancid oil spread by the
fresh paint.

On one of the streets he suddenly heard his name called above the
rattling of the trucks. It was Shenbok, with curled and stiffened
mustache and radiant face. Nekhludoff had lost sight of him long ago,
but heard that on leaving his regiment and joining the cavalry,
notwithstanding his debts he managed to hold his own in rich society.

"I am glad I met you. There is not a soul in the city. How old you
have grown, my boy! I only recognized you by your walk. Well, shall
we have dinner together? Where can we get a good meal here?"

"I hardly think I will have the time," answered Nekhludoff, who wished
to get rid of his friend without offending him. "What brings you
here?" he asked.

"Business, my boy. Guardianship affairs. I am a guardian, you know. I
have charge of Samanoff's business--the rich Samanoff, you know. He is
a spendthrift, and there are fifty-four thousand acres of land!" he
said with particular pride, as if he had himself made all these acres.
"The affairs were fearfully neglected. The land was rented to the
peasants, who did not pay anything and were eighty thousand rubles in
arrears. In one year I changed everything, and realized seventy per
cent. more for the estate. Eh?" he asked, with pride.

Nekhludoff recalled a rumor that for the very reason that Shenbok
squandered his own wealth and was inextricably in debt, he was
appointed guardian over a rich old spendthrift, and was now evidently
obtaining an income from the guardianship.

Nekhludoff refused to take dinner with Shenbok, or accompany him to
the horse races, to which the latter invited him, and after an
exchange of commonplaces the two parted.

"Is it possible that I was like him?" thought Nekhludoff. "Not
exactly, but I sought to be like him, and thought that I would thus
pass my life."

       *       *       *       *       *

The lawyer received him immediately on his arrival, although it was
not his turn. The lawyer expressed himself strongly on the detention
of the Menshovs, declaring that there was not a particle of evidence
against them on record.

"If the case is tried here, and not in the district, I will stake
anything on their discharge. And the petition in behalf of Theodosia
Brinkova is ready. You had better take it with you to St. Petersburg
and present it there. Otherwise there will begin an inquiry which will
have no end. Try to reach some people who have influence with the
commission on petitions. Well, that's all, isn't it?"

"No. Here they write me----"

"You seem to be the funnel into which all the prison complaints are
poured. I fear you will not hold them all."

"But this case is simply shocking," said Nekhludoff, and related the
substance of it.

"What is it that surprises you?"

"Everything. I can understand the orderly who acted under orders, but
the assistant prosecutor who drew the indictment is an educated man----"

"That is the mistake. We are used to think that the prosecuting
officers--the court officers generally--are a kind of new, liberal
men. And so they were at one time, but not now. The only thing that
concerns these officers is to draw their salaries on the 20th of every
month. Their principles begin and end with their desire to get more.
They will arrest, try and convict anybody----. I am always telling these
court officers that I never look upon them without gratitude,"
continued the lawyer, "because it is due to their kindness that I, you
and all of us are not in jail. To deprive any one of us of all civil
rights and send him to Siberia is the easiest thing imaginable."

"But if everything depends on the pleasure of the prosecutor, who can
enforce the law or not, then what is the use of the courts?"

The lawyer laughed merrily.

"That is the question you are raising. Well, my dear sir, that is
philosophy. However, we can discuss that. Come to my house next
Saturday. You will find there scholars, litterateurs, artists. We will
have a talk on social questions," said the lawyer, pronouncing the
words "social questions" with ironical pathos. "Are you acquainted
with my wife? Call on Saturday."

"I will try," answered Nekhludoff, feeling that he was saying an
untruth; that if there was anything he would try hard to do it was not
to be present at the lawyer's amid the scholars, litterateurs and

The laughter with which the lawyer met Nekhludoff's remark concerning
the uselessness of courts if the prosecutors can do what they please,
and the intonation with which he pronounced the words "philosophy" and
"social questions," showed how utterly unlike himself were the lawyer
and the people of his circle, both in character and in views of life.


It was late and the distance to the prison was long, so Nekhludoff
hired a trap. On one of the streets the driver, who was a middle-aged
man with an intelligent and good-natured face, turned to Nekhludoff
and pointed to an immense building going up.

"What a huge building there is going up!" he said with pride, as if he
had a part in the building of it.

It was really a huge structure, built in a complex, unusual style. A
scaffolding of heavy pine logs surrounded the structure, which was
fenced in by deal boards. It was as busy a scene as an ant hill.

Nekhludoff wondered that these people, while their wives were killing
themselves with work at home, and their children starving, should
think it necessary to build that foolish and unnecessary house for
some foolish and unnecessary man.

"Yes, a foolish building," he spoke his thought aloud.

"How foolish?" retorted the offended driver. "Thanks to them, the
people get work. It is not foolish."

"But the work is unnecessary."

"It must be necessary if they are building it," said the driver. "It
gives the people food."

Nekhludoff became silent, the more so because it was too noisy to be
heard. When they had reached the macadamized road near the prison the
driver again turned to Nekhludoff.

"And what a lot of people are coming to the city--awful," he said,
turning around on the box and pointing to a party of laborers with
saws, axes, coats and sacks thrown over their shoulders, and coming
from the opposite direction.

"More than in former years?" asked Nekhludoff.

"No comparison. The masters are kicking them about like shavings. The
market places are glutted with them."

"What is the reason?"

"They have multiplied. They have no homes."

"And what if they have multiplied! Why do they not remain in the

"There is nothing to do there. There is no land."

Nekhludoff experienced that which happens with a sore place--it is
struck oftener than any other part of the body. But it only seems so
because it is more noticeable.

"Can it be possible that it is everywhere the same?" he thought, and
asked the driver how much land there was in his village; how much he
himself owned, and why he lived in the city.

"There is but an acre to every person. We are renting three acres.
There is my father and brother. Another brother is in the army. They
are managing it. But there is really nothing to manage, and my brother
intended to go to Moskow."

"Is there no land for rent?"

"Where could one get land nowadays? The masters' children have
squandered theirs. The merchants have it all in their hands. One
cannot rent it from them; they cultivate it themselves. Our lands are
held by a Frenchman who bought them of the former landlord. He won't
rent any of it, and that is all."

"What Frenchman?"

"Dufar, the Frenchman--you may have heard. He is making wigs for the
actors. He is now our master, and does what he pleases with us. He is
a good man himself, but his wife is Russian--and what a cur! She is
robbing the people--simply awful! But here is the prison. Shall I
drive up to the front? I think they don't admit through the front."


With a faint heart and with horror at the thought that he might find
Maslova in an inebriate condition and persistently antagonistic, and
at the mystery which she was to him, Nekhludoff rang the bell and
inquired of the inspector about Maslova. She was in the hospital.

A young physician, impregnated with carbolic acid, came out into the
corridor and sternly asked Nekhludoff what he wanted. The physician
indulged the prisoners' shortcomings and often relaxed the rules in
their favor, for which he often ran afoul of the prison officials and
even the head physician. Fearing that Nekhludoff might ask something
not permitted by the rules, and, moreover, desiring to show that he
made no exceptions in favor of anybody, he feigned anger.

"There are no women here; this is the children's ward," he said.

"I know it, but there is a nurse here who had been transferred from
the prison."

"Yes, there are two. What do you wish, then?"

"I am closely related to one of them, Maslova," said Nekhludoff, "and
would like to see her. I am going to St. Petersburg to enter an appeal
in her case. I would like to hand her this; it is only a photograph,"
and he produced an envelope from his pocket.

"Yes, you may do that," said the softened physician, and turning to an
old nurse in a white apron, told her to call Maslova. "Won't you take
a seat, or come into the reception-room?"

"Thank you," said Nekhludoff, and taking advantage of the favorable
change in the physician's demeanor, asked him what they thought of
Maslova in the hospital.

"Her work is fair, considering the conditions amid which she had
lived," answered the physician. "But there she comes."

The old nurse appeared at one of the doors, and behind her came
Maslova. She wore a white apron over a striped skirt; a white cap on
her head hid her hair. Seeing Nekhludoff she flushed, stopped
waveringly, then frowned, and with downcast eyes approached him with
quick step. Coming near him she stood for a moment without offering
her hand, then she did offer her hand and became even more flushed.
Nekhludoff had not seen her since the conversation in which she
excused herself for her impetuosity, and he expected to find her in a
similar mood. But she was entirely different to-day; there was
something new in the expression of her face; something timid and
reserved, and, as it seemed to him, malevolent toward him. He repeated
the words he had said to the physician and handed her the envelope
with the photograph which he had brought from Panov.

"It is an old picture which I came across in Panov. It may please you
to have it. Take it."

Raising her black eyebrows she looked at him with her squinting eyes,
as though asking, "What is that for?" Then she silently took the
envelope and tucked it under her apron.

"I saw your aunt there," said Nekhludoff.

"Did you?" she said, with indifference.

"How do you fare here?" asked Nekhludoff.

"Fairly well," she said.

"It is not very hard?"

"Not very. I am not used to it yet."

"I am very glad. At any rate, it is better than there."

"Than where?" she said, and her face became purple.

"There, in the prison," Nekhludoff hastened to say.

"Why better?" she asked.

"I think the people here are better. There are no such people here as

"There are many good people there."

"I did what I could for the Menshovs and hope they will be freed,"
said Nekhludoff.

"May God grant it. Such a wonderful little woman," she said, repeating
her description of the old woman, and slightly smiled.

"I am going to-day to St. Petersburg. Your case will be heard soon,
and, I hope, will be reversed."

"It is all the same now, whether they reverse it or not," she said.

"Why now?"

"So," she answered, and stealthily glanced at him inquiringly.

Nekhludoff understood this answer and this glance as a desire on her
part to know if he were still holding to his decision, or had changed
it since her refusal.

"I don't know why it is all the same to you," he said, "but to me it
really is all the same whether you are acquitted or not. In either
case, I am ready to do what I said," he said, with determination.

She raised her head, and her black, squinting eyes fixed themselves on
his face and past it, and her whole face became radiant with joy. But
her words were in an entirely different strain.

"Oh, you needn't talk that way," she said.

"I say it that you may know."

"Everything has been already said, and there is no use talking any
more," she said, with difficulty repressing a smile.

There was some noise in the ward. A child was heard crying.

"I think I am called," she said, looking around with anxiety.

"Well, then, good-by," he said.

She pretended not to see his extended hand, turned round, and
endeavoring to hide her elation, she walked away with quick step.

"What is taking place in her? What is she thinking? What are her
feelings? Is she putting me to a test, or is she really unable to
forgive me? Can she not say what she thinks and feels, or simply will
not? Is she pacified or angered?" Nekhludoff asked himself, but could
give no answer. One thing he knew, however, and that was that she had
changed; that a spiritual transformation was taking place in her, and
this transformation united him not only to her, but to Him in whose
name it was taking place. And this union caused him joyful agitation.

Returning to the ward where eight children lay in their beds, Maslova
began to remake one of the beds, by order of the Sister, and, leaning
over too far with the sheet, slipped and nearly fell. The convalescing
boy, wound in bandages to his neck, began to laugh. Maslova could
restrain herself no longer, and seating herself on the bedstead she
burst into loud laughter, infecting several children, who also began
to laugh. The Sister angrily shouted:

"What are you roaring about? Think you this is like the place you came
from? Go fetch the rations."

Maslova stopped laughing, and taking a dish went on her errand, but
exchanging looks with the bandaged boy, who giggled again.

Several times during the day, when Maslova remained alone, she drew
out a corner of the picture and looked at it with admiration, but in
the evening, when she and another nurse retired for the night, she
removed the picture from the envelope and immovably looked with
admiration at the faces; her own, his and the aunt's, their dresses,
the stairs of the balcony, the bushes in the background, her eyes
feasting especially on herself, her young, beautiful face with the
hair hanging over her forehead. She was so absorbed that she failed to
notice that the other nurse had entered.

"What is that? Did he give it you?" asked the stout, good-natured
nurse, leaning over the photograph.

"Is it possible that that is you?"

"Who else?" Maslova said, smiling and looking into her companion's

"And who is that? He himself? And that is his mother?"

"His aunt. Couldn't you recognize me?" asked Maslova.

"Why, no. I could never recognize you. The face is entirely different.
That must have been taken about ten years ago."

"Not years, but a lifetime," said Maslova, and suddenly her face
became sullen and a wrinkle formed between her eyebrows.

"Yours was an easy life, wasn't it?"

"Yes, easy," Maslova repeated, closing her eyes and shaking her head.
"Worse than penal servitude."

"Why so?"

"Because. From eight in the evening to four in the morning--every day
the same."

"Then why don't they get out?"

"They like to, but cannot. But what is the use of talking!" cried
Maslova, and she sprang to her feet, threw the photograph into the
drawer of the table, and suppressing her angry tears, ran into the
corridor, slamming the door. Looking on the photograph she imagined
herself as she had been at the time the photograph was made, and
dreamed how happy she had been and might still be with him. The words
of her companion reminded her what she was now--reminded her of all
the horror of that life which she then felt but confusedly, and would
not allow herself to admit. Only now she vividly recalled all those
terrible nights, particularly one Shrovetide night. She recalled how
she, in a low-cut, wine-bespattered, red silk dress, with a red bow in
her dishevelled hair, weak, jaded and tipsy, after dancing attendance
upon the guest, had seated herself, at two in the morning, near the
thin, bony, pimpled girl-pianist and complained of her hard life. The
girl said that her life was also disagreeable to her, and that she
wished to change her occupation. Afterward their friend Clara joined
them, and all three suddenly decided to change their life. They were
about to leave the place when the drunken guests became noisy, the
fiddler struck up a lively song of the first figure of a Russian
quadrille, the pianist began to thump in unison, a little drunken man
in a white necktie and dress coat caught her up. Another man, stout
and bearded, and also in a dress coat, seized Clara, and for a long
time they whirled, danced, shouted and drank. Thus a year passed, a
second and a third. How could she help changing! And the cause of it
all was he. And suddenly her former wrath against him rose in her; and
she felt like chiding and reproving him. She was sorry that she had
missed the opportunity of telling him again that she knew him, and
would not yield to him; that she would not allow him to take advantage
of her spiritually as he had done corporeally; that she would not
allow him to make her the subject of his magnanimity. And in order to
deaden the painful feeling of pity for herself and the useless
reprobation of him, she yearned for wine. And she would have broken
her word and drunk some wine had she been in the prison. But here wine
could only be obtained from the assistant surgeon, and she was afraid
of him, because he pursued her with his attentions, and all relations
with men were disgusting to her. For some time she sat on a bench in
the corridor, and returning to her closet, without heeding her
companion's questions, she wept for a long time over her ruined life.


Nekhludoff had four cases in hand: Maslova's appeal, the petition of
Theodosia Birukova, the case of Shustova's release, by request of Vera
Bogodukhovskaia, and the obtaining of permission for a mother to visit
her son kept in a fortress, also by Bogodukhovskaia's request.

Since his visit to Maslenikoff, especially since his trip to the
country, Nekhludoff felt an aversion for that sphere in which he had
been living heretofore, and in which the sufferings borne by millions
of people in order to secure the comforts and pleasures of a few, were
so carefully concealed that the people of that sphere did not and
could not see these sufferings, and consequently the cruelty and
criminality of their own lives.

Nekhludoff could no longer keep up relations with these people without
reproving himself. And yet the habits of his past life, the ties of
friendship and kinship, and especially his one great aim of helping
Maslova and the other unfortunates, drew him into that sphere against
his will; and he was compelled to ask the aid and services of people
whom he had not only ceased to respect but who called forth his
indignation and contempt.

Arriving at St. Petersburg, and stopping at his aunt's, the wife of an
ex-Minister of State, he found himself in the very heart of the
aristocratic circle. It was unpleasant to him, but he could do no
different. Not to stop at his aunt's was to offend her. Besides,
through her connections she could be of great service to him in those
affairs for the sake of which he came to St. Petersburg.

"What wonders I hear about you!" said Countess Catherine Ivanovna
Charskaia, while Nekhludoff was drinking the coffee brought him
immediately after his arrival. "Vous posez pour un Howard. You are
helping the convicts; making the rounds of the prisons; reforming

"You are mistaken; I never had such intentions."

"Why, that is not bad. Only, I understand, there is some love
affair--come, tell me."

Nekhludoff related the story of Maslova, exactly as it happened.

"Yes, yes, I remember. Poor Hellen told me at the time you lived at
the old maids' house that, I believe, they wished you to marry their
ward." Countess Catherine Ivanovna always hated Nekhludoff's aunts on
his father's side. "So, that is she? Elle est encore jolie?"

Aunt Catherine Ivanovna was a sixty-year-old, healthy, jolly,
energetic, talkative woman. She was tall, very stout, with a black,
downy mustache on her upper lip. Nekhludoff loved her, and since
childhood had been accustomed to get infected with her energy and

"No, ma tante, all that belongs to the past. I only wish to help her,
because she is innocent, and it is my fault that she was condemned,
her whole wrecked life is upon my conscience. I feel it to be my duty
to do for her what I can."

"But how is it? I was told that you wish to marry her."

"I do wish it, it is true; but she doesn't."

Catherine Ivanovna raised her eyebrows and silently looked at
Nekhludoff in surprise. Suddenly her face changed and assumed a
pleased expression.

"Well, she is wiser than you are. Ah! what a fool you are! And you
would marry her?"


"After what she has been?"

"The more so--is it not all my fault?"

"Well, you are simply a crank," said the aunt, suppressing a smile.
"You are an awful crank, but I love you for the very reason that you
are such an awful crank," she repeated, the word evidently well
describing, according to her view, the mental and moral condition of
her nephew. "And how opportune. You know, Aline has organized a
wonderful asylum for Magdalens. I visited it once. How disgusting they
are! I afterward washed myself from head to foot. But Aline is corps
et ame in this affair. So we will send her, your Magdalen, to her. If
any one will reform her, it is Aline."

"But she was sentenced to penal servitude. I came here for the
express purpose of obtaining a reversal of her sentence. That is my
first business to you."

"Is that so? Where is the case now?"

"In the Senate."

"In the Senate? Why, my dear cousin Levoushka is in the Senate.
However, he is in the Heraldry Department. Let me see. No, of the real
ones I do not know any. Heaven knows what a mixture they are: either
Germans, such as Ge, Fe, De--tout l'alphabet--or all sorts of Ivanvas,
Semenovs, Nikitins, or Ivaneukos, Semeneukos, Nikitenkas pour varier.
Des gens de l'autre monde. However, I will tell my husband. He knows
all sorts of people. I will tell him. You explain it to him, for he
never understands me. No matter what I may say, he always says that he
cannot understand me. C'est un parti pris. Everybody understands, only
he does not understand."

At that moment a servant in knee-breeches entered with a letter on a
silver tray.

"Ah, that is from Aline. Now you will have an opportunity to hear

"Who is that Kisiweather?"

"Kisiweather? Come around to-day and you will find out who he is. He
speaks so that the most hardened criminals fall on their knees and
weep, and repent."

Countess Catherine Ivanovna, however strange it might be, and how so
little it agreed with her character, was a follower of that teaching
which held that essence of Christianity consisted in a belief in
redemption. She visited the meetings where sermons were delivered on
this teaching then in vogue, and invited the adherents to her own
house. Although this teaching rejected all rites, images and even the
sacraments, the Princess had images hanging in all her rooms, even
over her bedstead, and she complied with all the ritual requirements
of the church, seeing nothing contradictory in that.

"Your Magdalen ought to hear him; she would become converted," said
the Countess. "Don't fail to come to-night. You will hear him then. He
is a remarkable man."

"It is not interesting to me, ma tante."

"I tell you it is interesting. You must come to-night. Now, what else
do you want me to do? Videz votre sac."

"There is the man in the fortress."

"In the fortress? Well, I can give you a note to Baron Kriegmuth.
C'est un très-brave homme. But you know him yourself. He was your
father's comrade. Il donne dans le spiritisme. But that is nothing. He
is a kind man. What do you want there?"

"It is necessary to obtain permission for a mother to visit her son
who is incarcerated there. But I was told that Cherviansky and not
Kriegmuth is the person to be applied to."

"I do not like Cherviansky, but he is Mariette's husband. I will ask
her; she will do it for me. Elle est très gentille."

"There is another woman I wish you would speak to her about. She has
been in prison for several months, and no one knows for what."

"Oh, no; she herself surely knows for what. They know very well. And
it serves them right, those short-haired ones."

"I do not know whether it serves them right or not. But they are
suffering. You are a Christian, and believe in the Gospel, and yet are
so pitiless."

"That has nothing to do with it. The Gospel is one thing; what I
dislike is another thing. It would be worse if I pretended to like the
Nihilists, especially the female Nihilists, when as a matter of fact I
hate them."

"Why do you hate them?"

"Why do they meddle in other people's affairs? It is not a woman's

"But you have nothing against Mariette occupying herself with
business," said Nekhludoff.

"Mariette? Mariette is Mariette, but who is she? A conceited ignoramus
who wants to teach everybody."

"They do not wish to teach; they only wish to help the people."

"We know without them who should and who should not be helped."

"But the people are impoverished. I have just been in the country. Is
it proper that peasants should overwork themselves without getting
enough to eat, while we are living in such wasteful luxury?"

"What do you wish me to do? You would like to see me work and not eat

"No, I do not wish you not to eat," smiling involuntarily, answered
Nekhludoff. "I only wish that we should all work, and all have enough
to eat."

The aunt again raised her eyebrows and gazed at him with curiosity.

"Mon cher, vous finirez mal," she said.

At that moment a tall, broad-shouldered general entered the room. It
was Countess Charskaia's husband, a retired Minister of State.

"Ah, Dmitri, how do you do?" he said, putting out his clean-shaven
cheek. "When did you get here?"

He silently kissed his wife on the forehead.

"Non, il est impayable." Countess Catherine Ivanovna turned to her
husband. "He wants me to do washing on the river and feast on
potatoes. He is an awful fool, but, nevertheless, do for him what he
asks. An awful crank," she corrected herself. "By the way, they say
that Kamenskaia is in a desperate condition; her life is despaired
of," she turned to her husband. "You ought to visit her."

"Yes, it is awful," said the husband.

"Go, now, and have a talk together; I must write some letters."

Nekhludoff had just reached the room next to the reception-room when
she shouted after him:

"Shall I write then to Mariette?"

"If you please, ma tante."

"I will learn that which you want to say about the short-haired en
blanc, and she will have her husband attend to it. Don't think that I
am angry. They are hateful, your protegees, but--je ne leur veux pas
de mal. But God forgive them. Now, go, and don't forget to come in the
evening; you will hear Kisiweather. We will also pray. And if you do
not resist, ca vous fera beaucoup de bien. I know that Hellen and all
of you are very backward in that respect. Now, au revoir."


The man in whose power it was to lighten the condition of the
prisoners in St. Petersburg had earned a great number of medals,
which, except for a white cross in his button-hole, he did not wear,
however. The old general was of the German barons, and, as it was said
of him, had become childish. He had served in the Caucasus, where he
had received this cross; then in Poland and in some other place, and
now he held the office which gave him good quarters, maintenance and
honor. He always strictly carried out the orders of his superiors, and
considered their execution of great importance and significance, so
much so that while everything in the world could be changed, these
orders, according to him, were above the possibility of any

As Nekhludoff was approaching the old general's house the tower clock
struck two. The general was at the time sitting with a young artist in
the darkened reception-room, at a table, the top of which was of
inlaid work, both of them turning a saucer on a sheet of paper.
Holding each others fingers over the saucer, placed face downward,
they pulled in different directions over the paper on which were
printed all the letters of the alphabet. The saucer was answering the
general's question. How would souls recognize each other after death?

At the moment one of the servants entered with Nekhludoff's card, the
soul of Jeanne D'Arc was speaking through the saucer. The soul had
already said, "They will recognize each other," which was duly entered
on a sheet of paper. When the servant entered, the saucer, stopping
first on the letter p, then on the letter o, reached the letter s and
began to jerk one way and another. That was because, as the general
thought, the next letter was to be l, that is to say, Jeanne D'Arc,
according to his idea, intended to say that souls would recognize each
other only after they had been purged of everything mundane, or
something to that effect, and that therefore the next letter ought to
be l (_posl, i. e._, after); the artist, on the other hand, thought
that the next letter would be v; that the soul intended to say that
souls would recognize each other by the light--_posv_ (_ietu_) that
would issue from the ethereal body of the souls. The general, gloomily
knitting his brow, gazed fixedly on the hands, and imagining that the
saucer moved itself, pulled it toward the letter l. The young, anaemic
artist, with his oily hair brushed behind his ears, looked into the
dark corner of the room, with his blue, dull eyes, and nervously
twitching his lips, pulled toward the letter v. The general frowned at
the interruption, and, after a moment's silence, took the card, put on
his pince-nez and, groaning from pain in his loins, rose to his full
height, rubbing his benumbed fingers.

"Show him into the cabinet."

"Permit me, Your Excellency, to finish it myself," said the artist,
rising. "I feel a presence."

"Very well; finish it," said the general with austerity, and went,
with firm, long strides, into the cabinet.

"Glad to see you," said the general in a rough voice to Nekhludoff,
pointing to an arm-chair near the desk. "How long have you been in St.

Nekhludoff said that he had but lately arrived.

"Is your mother, the Princess, well?"

"My mother is dead."

"Beg pardon; I was very sorry. My son told me that he had met you."

The general's son was making the same career as his father, and was
very proud of the business with which he was entrusted.

"Why, I served with your father. We were friends, comrades. Are you in

"No, I am not."

The general disapprovingly shook his head.

"I have a request to make of you, general," said Nekhludoff.

"Very glad. What can I do for you?"

"If my request be out of season, please forgive me. But I must state

"What is it?"

"There is a man, Gurkevitch, kept in prison under your jurisdiction.
His mother asks to be permitted to visit him, or, at least to send him

The general expressed neither satisfaction nor dissatisfaction at
Nekhludoff's request, but, inclining his head to one side, seemed to
reflect. As a matter of fact he was not reflecting; Nekhludoff's
question did not even interest him, knowing very well that his answer
would be as the law requires. He was simply resting mentally without
thinking of anything.

"That is not in my discretion, you know," he said, having rested
awhile. "There is a law relating to visits, and whatever that law
permits, that is permitted. And as to books, there is a library, and
they are given such books as are allowed."

"Yes, but he wants scientific books; he wishes to study."

"Don't believe that." The general paused. "It is not for study that
they want them, but so, it is simply unrest."

"But their time must be occupied somehow?"

"They are always complaining," retorted the general. "We know them."

He spoke of them in general as of some peculiar race of people.

"They have such conveniences here as is seldom seen in a prison," he

And as though justifying himself, he began to recount all the
conveniences enjoyed by the prisoners in a manner to make one believe
that the chief aim of the institution consisted in making it a
pleasant place of abode.

"Formerly, it is true, the regulations were very harsh, but now their
condition is excellent. They get three dishes, one of which is always
of meat--chopped meat or cutlet. Sundays they get a fourth
dish--dessert. May God grant that every Russian could feed so well."

The general, like all old men, evidently having committed to memory
the oft-repeated words, proceeded to prove how exacting and ungrateful
the prisoners were by repeating what he had told many times before.

"They are furnished books on spiritual topics, also old journals. We
have a library of suitable books, but they seldom read them. At first
they appear to be interested, and then it is found that the pages of
all the new books are barely half cut, and of the old ones there is no
evidence of any thumb-marks at all. We even tried," with a remote
semblance of a smile the general continued, "to put a piece of paper
between the pages, and it remained untouched. Writing, too, is
allowed. A slate is given them, also a slate-pencil, so that they may
write for diversion. They can wipe it out and write again. And yet
they don't write. No, they become quiet very soon. At first they are
uneasy, but afterward they even grow stout and become very quiet."

Nekhludoff listened to the hoarse, feeble voice; looked on that
fleshless body, those faded eyes under the gray eyebrows, those
sunken, shaved cheeks, supported by a military collar, that white
cross, and understood that to argue and explain to him the meaning of
those words were futile. But, making another effort, he asked him
about the prisoner, Shustova, whose release, he had received
information, had been ordered, through the efforts of Mariette.

"Shustova? Shustova--I don't remember them all by name. There are so
many of them," he said, evidently reproving them for being so
numerous. He rang the bell and called for the secretary.

While a servant was going after the secretary he admonished Nekhludoff
to go into service, saying that the country was in need of honest,
noble men.

"I am old, and yet I am serving to the extent of my ability."

The secretary came and reported that there were no papers received
relating to Shustova, who was still in prison.

"As soon as we receive an order we release them the very same day. We
do not keep them; we do not particularly value their presence," said
the general, again with a waggish smile, which had the effect only of
making his face wry.

"Good-by, my dear," he continued. "Don't be offended for advising you,
for I do so only because I love you. Have nothing to do with the
prisoners. You will never find innocent people among them. They are
the most immoral set. We know them," he said, in a tone of voice which
did not permit the possibility of doubt. "You had better take an
office. The Emperor and the country need honest people. What if I and
such as you refused to serve? Who would be left? We are complaining
of conditions, but refuse to aid the government."

Nekhludoff sighed deeply, made a low bow, pressed the bony hand
condescendingly extended, and departed.

The general disapprovingly shook his head, and, rubbing his loins,
went to the reception-room, where the artist awaited him with the
answer of Jeanne D'Arc. The general put on his pince-nez and read:
"They will recognize each other by the light issuing from the ethereal

"Ah!" said the general, approvingly, closing his eyes. "But how will
one recognize another when all have the same light?" he asked, and
again crossing his fingers with those of the artist, seated himself at
the table.

       *       *       *       *       *

Nekhludoff's driver drove up to the gate.

"It is very dull here, sir," he said, turning to Nekhludoff. "It was
very tiresome, and I was about to drive away."

"Yes, tiresome," assented Nekhludoff with a deep sigh, resting his
eyes on the clouds and the Neva, dotted with variegated boats and


With a note from Prince Ivan Michaelovitch, Nekhludoff went to Senator
Wolf--un homme très comme il faut, as the Prince had described him.

Wolf had just breakfasted and, as usual, was smoking a cigar, to aid
his digestion, when Nekhludoff arrived. Vladimir Vasilievitch Wolf was
really un homme très comme il faut, and this quality he placed above
all else; from the height of it he looked upon all other people, and
could not help valuing this quality, because, thanks to it, he had
gained a brilliant career--the same career he strove for; that is to
say, through marriage he obtained a fortune, which brought him a
yearly income of eighteen thousand rubles, and by his own efforts he
obtained a senatorship. He considered himself not only un homme très
comme il faut, but a man of chivalric honesty. By honesty he
understood the refusal to take bribes from private people. But to do
everything in his power to obtain all sorts of traveling expenses,
rents and disbursements he did not consider dishonest. Nor did he
consider it dishonest to rob his wife and sister-in-law of their
fortunes. On the contrary, he considered that a wise arrangement of
his family affairs.

The home circle of Vladimir Vasilievitch consisted of his
characterless wife, her sister, whose fortune he managed to get into
his own hands by selling her property and depositing the money in his
own name, and his gentle, scared, homely daughter, who was leading a
solitary, hard life, and whose only diversion consisted in visiting
the religious meetings at Aline's and Countess Catherine Ivanovna's.

The son of Vladimir Vasilievitch, a good-natured, bearded boy of
fifteen, who at that age had already commenced to drink and lead a
depraved life which lasted till he was twenty years old, was driven
from the house for the reason that he did not pass examinations in any
school, and keeping bad company, and, running into debt, he had
compromised his father. The father paid once for his son two hundred
and thirty rubles, and paid six hundred rubles a second time, but
declared that that was the last time, and if the son did not reform he
would drive him from the house and have nothing to do with him. Not
only did the son not reform, but contracted another debt of a thousand
rubles, and told his father that he did not care if he was driven from
the house, since life at home was torture to him. Then Vladimir
Vasilievitch told his son that he could go where he pleased; that he
was no longer his son. Since then no one in the house dared to speak
of his son to him. And Vladimir Vasilievitch was quite certain that he
had arranged his family affairs in the best possible manner.

Wolf, with a flattering and somewhat derisive smile--it was an
involuntary expression of his consciousness of his comme il faut
superiority--halted in his exercise long enough to greet Nekhludoff
and read the note.

"Please take a seat, but you must excuse me. If you have no objection
I will walk," he said, putting his hands in the pockets of his
jacket, and treading lightly up and down the diagonal of the large
cabinet, furnished in an austere style. "Very glad to make your
acquaintance, and, of course, to please the Count Ivan Michaelovitch,"
emitting the fragrant, blue smoke, and carefully removing the cigar
from his mouth so as not to lose the ashes.

"I would like to ask you to hasten the hearing of the appeal, because
if the prisoner is to go to Siberia, it would be desirable that she go
as soon as possible," said Nekhludoff.

"Yes, yes, with the first steamer from Nijhni; I know," said Wolf,
with his condescending smile, who always knew everything in advance,
whatever the subject mentioned to him. "What is the name of the


Wolf walked to the table and looked into the papers.

"That's right--Maslova. Very well; I will ask my associates. We will
hear the case Wednesday."

"May I wire my lawyer?"

"So you have a lawyer? What for? But if you wish it, all right."

"The grounds of appeal may be insufficient," said Nekhludoff, "but I
think it may be seen from the case that the sentence was the result of
a misunderstanding."

"Yes, yes; that may be so, but the Senate cannot enter into the merits
of the case," said Vladimir Vasilievitch, sternly, glancing at the
ashes of his cigar. "The Senate only looks after the proper
interpretation and application of the law."

"This, I think, is an exceptional case."

"I know; I know. All cases are exceptional. We will do what the law
requires. That is all." The ashes were still intact, but had already
cracked and were in danger of collapse. "And do you often visit St.
Petersburg?" asked Wolf, holding the cigar so that the ashes would not
fall. The ashes were unstable, however, and Wolf carefully carried
them to the ash-holder, into which they were finally precipitated.

"What an awful catastrophe Kamensky met with," said Wolf. "A fine
young man, and an only son. Especially the condition of the
mother"--he went on repeating almost word for word the story of a duel
of which all St. Petersburg was talking at the time. After a few more
words about Countess Catherine Ivanovna and her passion for the new
religious tendency which Vladimir Vasilievitch neither praised nor
condemned, but which, for un homme très comme il faut, was evidently
superfluous, he rang the bell.

Nekhludoff bowed himself out.

"If it is convenient for you, come to dinner," said Wolf, extending
his hand, "say on Wednesday. I will then give you a definite answer."

It was already late, and Nekhludoff drove home, that is, to his


Maslova's case was to be heard the following day, and Nekhludoff went
to the Senate. He met Fanirin at the entrance to the magnificent
Senate building, where several carriages were already waiting. Walking
up the grand, solemn staircase to the second floor, the lawyer, who
was familiar with all the passages, turned into a room to the left, on
the door of which was carved the year of the institution of the Code.
The lawyer removed his overcoat, remaining in his dress-coat and black
tie on a white bosom, and with cheerful self-confidence walked into
the next room. There were about fifteen spectators present, among whom
were a young woman in a pince-nez, and a gray-haired lady. A
gray-haired old man of patriarchal mien, wearing a box-coat and gray
trousers, and attended by two men, attracted particular attention. He
crossed the room and entered a wardrobe.

An usher, a handsome man with red cheeks and in a pompous uniform,
approached Fanirin with a piece of paper in his hand and asked him in
what case he appeared. Being told that in Maslova's case, the usher
made a note of something and went away. At that time the door of the
wardrobe opened and the patriarchal looking old man came forth, no
longer in the coat, but in a brilliant uniform which made him resemble
a bird. His uniform evidently embarrassed the old man, and he walked
into the room opposite the entrance with quicker than his ordinary

Fanirin pointed him out to Nekhludoff as Bé, "a most honorable
gentleman." The spectators, including Fanirin, went into the next room
and seated themselves behind the grating on benches reserved for
spectators. Only the St. Petersburg lawyer took a seat behind a desk
on the other side of the grating.

The session room of the Senate was smaller than the room of the
Circuit Court, was furnished in simpler style, only the table behind
which the Senators sat was of crimson plush instead of green cloth,
bordered with gold lace.

There were four Senators. The President, Nikitin, with a closely
shaved, narrow face and steel-gray eyes; Wolf, with thin lips and
small white hands, with which he was turning over the papers before
him; then Skovorodnikoff, stout, massive and pock-marked, and a very
learned jurist, and finally, Bé, the same partriarchal old man, who
was the last to arrive. Immediately behind the Senators came the Chief
Secretary and Associate Attorney General. He was a young man of medium
height, shaved, lean, with a very dark face and black, sad eyes.
Nekhludoff recognized him, notwithstanding his strange uniform and the
fact that he had not seen him for about six years, as one of his best
friends during his student life.

"Is the associate's name Selenin?" he asked the lawyer.

"Yes, why?"

"I know him very well; he is an excellent man----"

"And a good associate of the Attorney General--very sensible. It would
have been well to see him," said Fanirin.

"At all events, he will follow the dictates of his conscience," said
Nekhludoff, remembering his close relations with and friendship for
Selenin, and the latter's charming qualities of purity, honesty and
good breeding, in the best sense of the word.

The first case before the Senate was an appeal from the decision of
the Circuit Court of Appeals affirming a judgment in favor of the
publisher of a newspaper in a libel suit brought against him.

Nekhludoff listened and tried to understand the arguments in the
case, but as in the Circuit Court, the chief difficulty in
understanding what was going on was found in the fact that the
discussion centered not on what appeared naturally to be the main
point, but on side issues.

The libel consisted in an article accusing the president of a stock
company of swindling. It seemed, then, that the main point to consider
was, whether or not the president was guilty of swindling the
stockholders, and what was to be done to stop his swindling. But this
was never mentioned. The questions discussed were: Had the publisher
the legal right to print the article of its reporter? What crime has
he committed by printing it--defamation or libel? And does defamation
include libel, or libel defamation? And a number of other things
unintelligible to ordinary people, including various laws and
decisions of some "General Department."

The only thing Nekhludoff did understand was that, though Wolf had
sternly suggested but yesterday that the Senate could not consider the
substance of a case, in the case at bar he argued with evident
partiality in favor of reversing the judgment, and that Selenin, in
spite of his characteristic reserve, argued in favor of affirming the
judgment with unexpected fervor. The cause of Selenin's ardor lay in
the fact that he knew the president of the stock company to be
dishonest in money affairs, while he accidentally learned that Wolf,
almost on the eve of the hearing of the case, had attended a sumptuous
dinner at the president's house. And now, when Wolf, though with great
caution, showed undoubted partiality, Selenin became excited and
expressed his opinion with more nervousness than an ordinary case
would justify. Wolf was evidently offended by the speech; he twitched
nervously, changed color, made silent gestures of wonder, and with an
haughty air of being offended he departed with the other Senators into
the deliberation-room.

"What case are you interested in?" the usher again asked Fanirin, as
soon as the Senators had left the room.

"I have already told you that I am here in behalf of Maslova."

"That is so. The case will be heard to-day. But----"

"What is that?" asked the lawyer.

"You see, the case was to be argued without counsel, so that the
Senators would hardly consider it in open session. But--I will
announce----" and he made a note on the piece of paper.

The Senators really intended, after announcing their decision in the
libel case, to consider the other cases, including Maslova's, while
drinking their tea and smoking cigarettes in the consultation-room.


As soon as the Senators seated themselves at the table in the
consultation-room, Wolf began to set forth in an animated manner the
grounds upon which he thought the case ought to be reversed.

The President, always an ill-natured man, was in a particularly bad
humor to-day. While listening to the case during the session he formed
his opinion, and sat, absorbed in his thoughts, without listening to
Wolf. These thoughts consisted in a recollection of what note he had
made the other day in his memoirs anent the appointment of Velianoff
to an important post which he desired for himself. The President,
Nikitin, quite sincerely thought that the officials with whom his
duties brought him in contact were worthy of a place in history.
Having written an article the other day in which some of these
officials were vehemently denounced for interfering with his plan to
save Russia from ruin, as he put it, but in reality for interfering
with his getting a larger salary than he was now getting, he was now
thinking that posterity would give an entirely new interpretation to
that incident.

"Why, certainly," he said to Wolf, who was addressing him, although he
did not hear what Wolf said.

Bé listened to Wolf with a sad face, drawing garlands on a piece of
paper which lay before him. Bé was a liberal of the deepest dye. He
scarcely held to the traditions of the sixties, and if he ever
deviated from strict impartiality, it was invariably in favor of
liberality. Thus, in this case, besides the consideration that the
complaining president of the stock company was an unclean man, Bé was
in favor of affirming the judgment, also because this charge of libel
against a journalist was a restriction on the freedom of the press.
When Wolf had finished his argument, Bé, leaving the garland
unfinished, in a sad--it was sad for him to be obliged to prove such
truisms--soft, pleasant voice, convincingly proved in a few simple
words that the charge had no foundation, and, again drooping his hoary
head, continued to complete the garland.

Skovorodnikoff, who was sitting opposite Wolf, continually gathering
with his thick fingers his beard and mustache into his mouth, as soon
as Bé was through with his argument, stopped chewing his beard, and,
in a loud, rasping voice, said that although the president of the
stock company was a villain, he should favor a reversal if there were
legal grounds to sustain it, but as there were none, he joined in the
opinion of Ivan Semenovitch (Bé), and he invariably rejoiced at this
shot aimed at Wolf. The President supported Skovorodnikoff's opinion,
and the judgment was confirmed.

Wolf was dissatisfied, especially because by this judgment he seemed
to stand convicted of arguing in bad faith; but, feigning
indifference, he opened his papers in the next case, Maslova's, and
began to peruse it attentively. The other Senators in the meantime
called for tea, and began a talk about Kamensky's duel and his death,
which was then the subject of conversation throughout the city.

The usher entered and announced the desire of the lawyer and
Nekhludoff to be present at the hearing of the case.

"This case here," said Wolf, "is a whole romantic story," and he
related what he knew of Nekhludoff's relations to Maslova.

After talking awhile of the story, smoking cigarettes and finishing
their tea, the Senators returned to the session-room, announced their
decision in the preceding case, and began to consider Maslova's case.

Wolf very circumstantially set forth Maslova's appeal from the
sentence, and again not without partiality, but with the evident
desire to reverse the judgment.

"Have you anything to add?" the President asked Fanirin.

Fanirin rose, and, projecting his broad, starched front, with
remarkable precision of expression began to discuss the errors of the
court below in the application of the law on the six points raised,
and permitted himself, though briefly, to touch upon the merits of the
case and the crying injustice of the decision. By the tone of his
short but strong speech, he seemed to excuse himself, to insist that
the honorable Senators with their power of penetration and judicial
wisdom saw and understood better than he, but that he was speaking
only because his duties demanded it. After Fanirin's speech there
seemed to be no doubt left that the Senate had to reverse the
judgment. When he was through, Fanirin smiled triumphantly. Looking at
his lawyer and seeing that smile, Nekhludoff was convinced that the
case was won. But as he looked at the Senators Nekhludoff saw that
Fanirin alone was smiling and triumphant. The Senators and Associate
Attorney General were neither smiling nor triumphant, but wore the air
of people suffering from ennui and saying: "Oh, we know these cases!
You are wasting your time." They were all evidently relieved only when
the lawyer had finished, and they were no longer unnecessarily
detained. After the speech the President turned to Selenin, who
plainly, briefly and accurately expressed himself against a reversal.
Then the Senators arose and went to consult.

The Senators were divided. Wolf favored a reversal. Bé, who thoroughly
understood the case, warmly argued also in favor of a reversal, and in
glowing terms pictured the court scene and the misunderstanding of the
jury. Nikitin, who, as usual, stood for severity and for strict
formality, was against it. The whole case, then, depended on
Skovorodnikoff's vote. And his vote was thrown against a reversal,
principally for the reason that Nekhludoff's determination to marry
the girl on moral grounds was extremely repugnant to him.

Skovorodnikoff was a materialist, a Darwinist, and considered every
manifestation of abstract morality, or, worse still, piety, not only
as contemptible and absurd but as an affront to his person. All this
bustle about a fallen girl, and the presence there in the Senate of
her famous counsel and Nekhludoff himself, was to him simply
disgusting. And, stuffing his mouth with his beard, and making
grimaces, he in a very natural manner pretended to know nothing of the
entire affair, except that the grounds of appeal were insufficient,
and therefore agreed with the President to affirm the judgment.

The appeal was denied.


"It is awful!" said Nekhludoff to the lawyer, as they entered the
waiting-room. "In the plainest possible case they cavil at idle forms.
It is awful!"

"The case was spoiled at the trial," said Fanirin.

"Selenin, too, was against reversal. It is awful, awful!" Nekhludoff
continued to repeat. "What is to be done now?"

"We will petition the Emperor. Head it yourself while you are here. I
will prepare the petition."

At that moment Wolf in his uniform and stars hung on his breast
entered the waiting-room and approached Nekhludoff.

"I am sorry, my dear Prince, but the grounds were insufficient," he
said, shrugging his narrow shoulders; and, closing his eyes, he
proceeded on his way.

After Wolf came Selenin, who had learned from the Senators that
Nekhludoff, his former friend, was present.

"I did not expect to meet you here," he said, approaching Nekhludoff
and smiling with his lips, while his eyes remained sad.

"And I did not know that you were the Attorney General."

"Associate," Selenin corrected him. "But what brought you to the

"I came here hoping to find justice, and to save an innocent woman."

"What woman?"

"The case that has just been decided."

"Oh, the Maslova case!" said Selenin. "An entirely groundless

"The question is not of the appeal, but of the woman, who is innocent
and undergoing punishment."

Selenin sighed.

"Quite possible, but----"

"It is not merely possible, but certain."

"How do you know?"

"I know because I was on the jury. I know wherein we made the

Selenin became thoughtful.

"It should have been declared on the trial," he said.

"I did so."

"It should have been made part of the record. If that had appeared in
the appeal----"

Selenin, who was always busy, and did not mingle in society, had
evidently not heard of Nekhludoff's romance. Nekhludoff, however,
decided not to speak to him of his relations to Maslova.

"But it is evident even now that the verdict was preposterous," he

"The Senate has no right to say so. If the Senate attempted to
interfere with the verdicts of the courts upon its own view of the
justness of the verdicts themselves, there would be greater risks of
justice being miscarried than established," he said, recalling the
preceding case. "Besides, the verdicts of juries would lose their

"I only know one thing, and that is that the woman is entirely
innocent, and the last hope of saving her from an undeserved
punishment is gone. The highest judicial institution has affirmed what
was absolutely unjust."

"It has not affirmed because it has not and could not consider the
merits of the case," said Selenin, blinking his eyes. "You have
probably stopped at your aunts," he added, evidently wishing to change
the subject of conversation. "I learned yesterday that you were in St.
Petersburg. Countess Catherine Ivanovna had invited me and you to be
present at the meeting of the English preacher," said Selenin, smiling
only with his lips.

"Yes, I was present, but left with disgust," Nekhludoff said angrily,
vexed at Selenin's leading away from the conversation.

"Why should you be disgusted? At all events it is a manifestation of
religious feeling, although one-sided and sectarian," said Selenin.

"It is such strange nonsense," said Nekhludoff.

"Well, no. The only strange thing here is that we know so little of
the teachings of our church that we receive an exposition of its
fundamental dogmas as a new revelation," said Selenin, as though
hastening to tell his former friends his new views.

Nekhludoff gazed at Selenin with wonder. Selenin did not lower his
eyes, in which there was an expression not only of sadness, but of

"But we will discuss it later," said Selenin. "I am coming," he turned
to the usher who approached him deferentially. "We must meet again,"
he added, sighing; "but you can never be found. You will always find
me at home at seven. I live on Nadeghinskaia," and he mentioned the
number. "It is a long time since we met," he added, again smiling with
his lips.

"I will come if I have the time," said Nekhludoff, feeling that the
man whom he had once loved was made strange and incomprehensible to
him, if not hostile, by this short conversation.

       *       *       *       *       *

As student Nekhludoff knew Selenin as a dutiful son, a true friend,
and, for his years, an educated, worldly man, with great tact, always
elegant and handsome, and uncommonly truthful and honest withal. He
studied diligently, without any difficulty and without the slightest
ostentation, receiving gold medals for his compositions.

He had made it the aim of his young life, not merely by word, but in
reality, to serve others, and thought he saw his chance of doing so in
government service. Systematically looking over the various activities
to which he might devote his energies, he decided that he could be
most useful in the legislative department, and entered it. But
notwithstanding his most accurate and conscientious attention to his
duties, he found nothing in them to satisfy his desire to be useful.
His discontent, due to the pettiness and vanity of his immediate
superiors, grew until an opportunity offered to enter the Senate. He
was better off in the Senate, but the same feeling of dissatisfaction
pursued him. He constantly felt that things were not what he expected
them to be, and what they should be. During his service in the Senate,
his relations obtained for him the post of gentleman of the Emperor's
bed-chamber, and he was obliged to drive around in gorgeous uniform to
thank various people. In this post he felt even more than before out
of place. At the same time, on the one hand, he could not refuse the
appointment, because he would not disappoint those who thought they
were pleasing him by it, and, on the other hand, the appointment
flattered his vanity. It pleased him to see himself in a looking-glass
in a gold embroidered uniform, and to receive the tokens of respect
shown him by some people on his appointment.

The same thing happened with respect to his marriage. A brilliant
match was arranged for him, as it is regarded from the world's
standpoint. And he married principally because to refuse would have
been to offend and cause pain to the bride and those who had arranged
the match. Hence the marriage to a young, pretty, distinguished girl
flattered his vanity and gave him pleasure. But the marriage soon
turned out to be "not the thing, you know," more so even than Court
service. After her first child, his wife did not wish to have any
more, and plunged into luxurious social life, in which he was obliged
to participate nolens volens. Although this poisoned the life of her
husband, and brought her only exertion and fatigue, she nevertheless
diligently pursued it. All his efforts to change her mode of life
could not alter her confidence, supported by all her relatives and
acquaintances, that it was quite proper.

The child, a girl with long, golden curls, was an entire stranger to
her father, mainly because she was brought up not in accord with his
desires. The result was the customary misunderstanding between the
husband and wife, and even in a want of desire to understand each
other, and a quiet, silent struggle, hidden from strangers and
tempered by propriety, which made Selenin's life at home very
burdensome. So that his family life turned out to be "not the thing,
you know," in still greater degree than his service or the Court

These were the reasons why his eyes were always sad. And this was why,
seeing Nekhludoff, whom he had known before all these lies had
fastened themselves upon him, he thought of himself as he had been
then, and more than ever felt the discord between his character and
his surroundings, and he became painfully sad. The same feeling came
over Nekhludoff, after the first impression of joy at meeting an old

That was why, having promised that they would meet each other, neither
sought that meeting, nor had they seen each other on this visit of
Nekhludoff to St. Petersburg.


On leaving the Senate, Nekhludoff and his lawyer walked along the
sidewalk. Fanirin told his driver to follow him, and he began to
relate to Nekhludoff how the mistress of so-and-so had made millions
on 'Change, how so-and-so had sold, and another had bought, his wife.
He also related some stories of swindling and all sorts of crimes
committed by well-known people who were not occupying cells in prison,
but presidents' chairs in various institutions. These stories, of
which he seemed to possess an inexhaustible source, afforded the
lawyer great pleasure, as showing most conclusively that the means
employed by him as a lawyer to make money were perfectly innocent in
comparison with those used by the more noted public men of St.
Petersburg. And the lawyer was greatly surprised when Nekhludoff, in
the middle of one of these stories, hailed a trap, took leave and
drove home. Nekhludoff was very sad. He was sad because the Senate's
judgment continued the unreasonable suffering of the innocent Maslova,
and also because it made it more difficult for him to carry out his
unalterable intention of joining his fate to hers. His sadness
increased as the lawyer related with so much pleasure the frightful
stories of the prevailing wickedness. Besides, the unkind, cold,
repelling gaze of the once charming, open-hearted and noble Selenin
constantly recurred to his mind. Nekhludoff, after the impressions of
his stay in St. Petersburg, was almost in despair of ever reaching any
results. All the plans he had laid out in Moskow seemed to him like
those youthful dreams which usually end in disappointment. However, he
considered it his duty, while in St. Petersburg, to exhaust his
resources in endeavoring to fulfill his mission.

Soon after he reached his room, a servant called him upstairs for tea.
Mariette, in a multi-colored dress, was sitting beside the Countess,
sipping tea. On Nekhludoff's entering the room, Mariette had just
dropped some funny, indecent joke. Nekhludoff noticed it by the
character of their laughter. The good-natured, mustached Countess
Catherine Ivanovna was shaking in all her stout body with laughter,
while Mariette, with a particularly mischievous expression, and her
energetic and cheerful face somewhat bent to one side, was silently
looking at her companion.

"You will be the death of me," said the Countess, in a fit of

No sooner had Nekhludoff seated himself than Mariette, noticing the
serious and slightly displeased expression on his face, immediately
changed not only her expression, but her frame of mind. This was with
the intention she had in mind since she first saw him--to get him to
like her. She suddenly became grave, dissatisfied with her life,
seeking something, striving after something. She not merely feigned,
but actually induced in herself a state of mind similar to that in
which Nekhludoff was, although she would not be able to say what it
consisted of. In a sympathetic conversation about the injustice of the
strong, the poverty of the people, the awful condition of the
prisoners, she succeeded in rousing in him the least expected feeling
of physical attraction, and under the din of conversation their eyes
plainly queried, "Can you love me?" and they answered, "Yes, I can."

On leaving, she told him that she was always ready to be of service to
him, and asked him to visit her at the theatre the next day, if only
for a minute, saying that she wished to have a talk with him on a
matter of importance.

"When will I see you again?" she added, sighing, and carefully
putting the gloves on her ring-bedecked hand. "Tell me that you will

Nekhludoff promised to come.

For a long time that night Nekhludoff could not fall asleep. When he
recalled Maslova, the decision of the Senate, and his determination to
follow her; when he recalled his relinquishment of his right to the
land, there suddenly appeared before him, as if in answer to these
questions, the face of Mariette; her sigh and glance when she said,
"When will I see you again?" and her smile--all so distinct that she
seemed to stand before him, and he smiled himself. "Would it be proper
for me to follow her to Siberia? And would it be proper to deprive
myself of my property?" he asked himself.

And the answers to these questions on that bright St. Petersburg night
were indefinite. His mind was all in confusion. He called forth his
former trend of thought, but those thoughts had lost their former
power of conviction.

"And what if all my ideas are due to an over-wrought imagination, and
I should be unable to live up to them? If I should repent of what I
have done?" he asked himself, and, being unable to find answers to
these questions, he was stricken with such sadness and despair as he
had rarely experienced before, and he fell into that deep slumber
which had been habitual with him after heavy losses at cards.


Nekhludoff's first feeling on rising the following morning was that he
had committed something abominable the preceding evening.

He began to recall what had happened. There was nothing abominable; he
had done nothing wrong. He had only thought that all his present
intentions--that of marrying Katiousha, giving the land to the
peasants--artificial, unnatural, and that he must continued to live as
he had lived before.

He could recall no wrong act, but he remembered what was worse than a
wrong act--there were the bad thoughts in which all bad acts have
their origin. Bad acts may not be repeated; one may repent of them,
while bad thoughts give birth to bad acts.

A bad act only smooths the way to other bad acts, while bad thoughts
irresistibly lead toward them.

Recalling his thoughts of the day before, Nekhludoff wondered how he
could have believed them. How so novel and difficult might be that
which he intended to do, he knew that it was the only life possible to
him now, and that, however easy it might be for him to return to his
old mode of life, he knew that that was death, not life. This
temptation of the day before was similar to that of a man who, after a
night's sound sleep, feels like taking his ease on the soft mattress
for a while, although he knows that it is time to be up and away on an
important affair.

       *       *       *       *       *

Nekhludoff would have left the same evening but for his promise to
Mariette to visit her at the theatre. Though he knew that it was wrong
to do it, he went there, contrary to the dictates of his own
conscience, considering himself bound to keep his word. Besides his
wish to see Mariette again, he also wished, as he thought, to measure
himself against that world lately so near, but now so strange to him.

"Could I withstand these temptations?" he thought, but not with entire
sincerity. "I will try it for the last time."

Attired in a dress-coat, he arrived in the theatre where the eternal
"Dame aux Camelias" was being played. A French actress was showing in
a novel way how consumptive women die.

Nekhludoff was shown to the box occupied by Mariette. In the corridor
a liveried servant bowed and opened the door for him.

All the spectators in the circle of boxes--sitting and standing,
gray-haired, bald and pomaded heads--were intently following the
movements of a slim actress making wry faces and in an unnatural voice
reading a monologue. Some one hissed when the door was opened, and
two streams of cold and warm air were wafted on Nekhludoff's face.

In the box he found Mariette and a strange lady with a red mantle over
her shoulders and high head-dress, and two men--a general, Mariette's
husband, a handsome, tall man with a high, artificial, military
breast, and a flaxen haired, bald-headed man with shaved chin and
solemn side-whiskers. Mariette, graceful, slim, elegant, decolette,
with her strong, muscular shoulders sloping down from the neck, at the
jointure of which was a darkening little mole, immediately turned
around, and, pointing with her fan to a chair behind her, greeted him
with a welcome, grateful, and, as it seemed to Nekhludoff, significant
smile. Her husband calmly, as was his wont, looked at Nekhludoff and
bowed his head. In the glance which he exchanged with his wife, as in
everything else, he looked the master, the owner, of a beautiful

There was a thunder of applause when the monologue ended. Mariette
rose, and, holding in one hand her rustling silk skirt, walked to the
rear of the box and introduced Nekhludoff to her husband. The general
incessantly smiled with his eyes, said he was glad, and remained calm
and mute.

"I had to leave to-day, but I promised you," said Nekhludoff, turning
to Mariette.

"If you don't wish to see me, you will see a remarkable actress,"
Mariette said, answering the meaning of his words. "Wasn't she great
in the last scene?" she turned to her husband.

The general bowed his head.

"That does not affect me," said Nekhludoff. "I have seen so much real
misfortune to-day that----"

"Sit down and tell us what you have seen."

The husband listened, and ironically smiled with his eyes.

"I went to see that woman who has been released. She is entirely
broken down."

"That is the woman of whom I have spoken to you," Mariette said to her

"Yes; I was very glad that she could be released," he calmly said,
nodding his head and smiling ironically, as it seemed to Nekhludoff,
under his mustache. "I will go to the smoking-room."

Nekhludoff waited, expecting that Mariette would tell him that
something which she said she had to tell him, but instead she only
jested and talked of the performance, which, she thought, ought to
affect him particularly.

Nekhludoff understood that the only purpose for which she had brought
him to the theatre was to display her evening toilet with her
shoulders and mole, and he was both pleased and disgusted. Now he saw
what was under the veil of the charm that at first attracted him.
Looking on Mariette, he admired her, but he knew that she was a
prevaricator who was living with her career-making husband; that what
she had said the other day was untrue, and that she only wished--and
neither knew why--to make him love her. And, as has been said, he was
both pleased and disgusted. Several times he attempted to leave, took
his hat but still remained. But finally, when the general, his thick
mustache reeking with tobacco, returned to the box and glanced at
Nekhludoff patronizingly disdainful, as if he did not recognize him,
Nekhludoff walked out before the door closed behind the general, and,
finding his overcoat, left the theatre.

On his way home he suddenly noticed before him a tall, well-built,
loudly-dressed woman. Every passer-by turned to look at her.
Nekhludoff walked quicker than the woman, and also involuntarily
looked her in the face. Her face, probably rouged, was pretty; her
eyes flashed at him, and she smiled. Nekhludoff involuntarily thought
of Mariette, for he experienced the same feeling of attraction and
disgust which took hold of him in the theatre. Passing her hastily,
Nekhludoff turned the corner of the street, and, to the surprise of
the policeman, began to walk up and down the water-front.

"That one in the theatre also smiled that way when I entered," he
thought, "and the smile of the former conveyed the same meaning as
that of the latter. The only difference between them is that this one
speaks openly and plainly, while the other pretends to be exercising
higher and refined feelings. But in reality they are alike. This one
is at least truthful, while the other is lying." Nekhludoff recalled
his relations with the wife of the district commander, and a flood of
shameful recollections came upon him. "There is a disgusting
bestiality in man," he thought; "but when it is in a primitive state,
one looks down upon and despises it, whether he is carried away with
or withstands it. But when this same bestiality hides itself under a
so-called aesthetic, poetic cover, and demands to be worshiped, then,
deifying the beast, one gives himself up to it, without distinguishing
between the good and the bad. Then it is horrible."

As there was no soothing, rest-giving darkness that night, but instead
there was a hazy, cheerless, unnatural light, so even was there no
rest-giving darkness--ignorance--for Nekhludoff's soul. Everything was
clear. It was plain that all that is considered important and useful
is really insignificant and wicked, and that all that splendor and
luxury were hiding old crimes, familiar to every one, and not only
stalking unpunished, but triumphing and adorned with all the
allurements man is capable of conceiving.

Nekhludoff wished to forget it, not to see it, but he could no longer
help seeing it. Although he did not see the source of the light which
revealed these things to him, as he did not see the source of the
light which spread over St. Petersburg, and though this light seemed
to him hazy, cheerless and unnatural, he could not help seeing that
which the light revealed to him, and he felt at the same time both joy
and alarm.


Immediately upon his arrival in Moskow, Nekhludoff made his way to the
prison hospital, intending to make known to Maslova the Senate's
decision and to tell her to prepare for the journey to Siberia.

Of the petition which he brought for Maslova's signature, he had
little hope. And, strange to say, he no longer wished to succeed. He
had accustomed himself to the thought of going to Siberia, and living
among the exiles and convicts, and it was difficult for him to imagine
how he should order his life and that of Maslova if she were freed.

The door-keeper at the hospital, recognizing Nekhludoff, immediately
informed him that Maslova was no longer there.

"Where is she, then?"

"Why, again in the prison."

"Why was she transferred?" asked Nekhludoff.

"Your Excellency knows their kind," said the door-keeper, with a
contemptuous smile. "She was making love to the assistant, so the
chief physician sent her back."

Nekhludoff did not suspect that Maslova and her spiritual condition
were so close to him. This news stunned him. The feeling he
experienced was akin to that which people experience when hearing
suddenly of some great misfortune. He was deeply grieved. The first
feeling he experienced was that of shame. His joyful portraying of her
spiritual awakening now seemed to him ridiculous. Her reluctance to
accept his sacrifice, the reproaches and the tears, were the mere
cunning, he thought, of a dissolute woman who wished to make the most
use of him. It seemed to him now that at his last visit he had seen in
her the symptoms of incorrigibility which were now evident. All this
flashed through his mind at the time he instinctively donned his hat
and left the hospital.

"But what's to be done now?" he asked himself. "Am I bound to her? Am
I not released now by this, her act?"

But no sooner did he form the question than he understood that in
considering himself released and leaving her to her fate he would be
punishing not her, which he desired, but himself, and he was

"No! That will not alter my decision--it will only strengthen it. Let
her do whatever her soul prompts her to do; if she would make love to
the assistant, let her do so. It is her business. It is my business to
do what my conscience demands," he said to himself. "And my conscience
demands that I sacrifice my liberty in expiation of my sin, and my
decision to marry her, although but fictitiously, and follow her
wherever she may be sent, remains unaltered," he said to himself, with
spiteful obstinacy, and, leaving the hospital, he made his way with
resolute step to the prison gate.

Coming to the gate, he asked the officer on duty to tell the
inspector that he wished to see Maslova. The officer knew Nekhludoff,
and told him an important piece of prison news. The captain had
resigned, and another man, who was very strict, had taken his place.

The inspector, who was in the prison at the time, soon made his
appearance. He was tall, bony, very slow in his movements, and gloomy.

"Visitors are allowed only on certain days," he said, without looking
at Nekhludoff.

"But I have a petition here which she must sign."

"You may give it to me."

"I must see the prisoner myself. I was always permitted to see her

"That was before," said the inspector, glancing at Nekhludoff.

"I have a pass from the Governor," Nekhludoff insisted, producing his

"Let me see it," said the inspector, without looking in Nekhludoff's
eyes, and taking the document with his skinny, long, white hand, on
the index finger of which there was a gold ring, he slowly read it.
"Walk into the office, please," he said.

On this occasion there was no one in the office. The inspector seated
himself at the table, looking through the papers that lay on it,
evidently intending to stay through the meeting. When Nekhludoff asked
him if Bogodukhovskaia could be seen, he answered: "Visiting the
politicals is not allowed," and again buried his head in the papers.

When Maslova entered the room, the inspector raised his eyes, and,
without looking either at Maslova or Nekhludoff, said: "You may go
ahead," and continued to busy himself with his papers.

Maslova was again dressed in a white skirt, waist and 'kerchief.
Coming near Nekhludoff and seeing his cold, angry face, her own turned
a purple color, and, with downcast eyes, she began to pick a corner of
her waist. Her confusion Nekhludoff considered as confirmation of the
hospital porter's words.

So abhorent was she to him now that he _could not_ extend his hand to
her, as he desired.

[Illustration: WARDEN AND MATRON.]

"I bring you bad news," he said in an even voice, without looking at
her. "The Senate affirmed the verdict."

"I knew it would be so," she said in a strange voice, as if choking.

If it had happened before, Nekhludoff would have asked her why she
knew it; now he only looked at her. Her eyes were filled with tears,
but this not only did not soften him, but made him even more inflamed
against her.

The inspector rose and began to walk up and down the room.

Notwithstanding the abhorence Nekhludoff felt for Maslova, he thought
it proper to express his regret at the Senate's action.

"Do not despair," he said. "This petition may be more successful, and
I hope that----"

"Oh, it is not that," she said, looking at him with the tearful and
squinting eyes.

"What, then?"

"You have been in the hospital, and they must have told you there
about me."

"What of it? That is your business," frowning, Nekhludoff said with
indifference. The cruel feeling of offended pride rose in him with
greater force at her mention of the hospital. "I, a man of the world,
whom any girl of the upper class would be only too happy to marry,
offered to become the husband of that woman, and she could not wait,
but made love to the assistant surgeon," he thought, looking at her
with hatred.

"Sign this petition," he said, and, taking from his pocket a large
envelope, placed it on the table. She wiped her tears with a corner of
her 'kerchief, seated herself at the table, and asked him where to

He showed her where, and she, seating herself, smoothed with her left
hand the sleeve of the right. He stood over her, silently looking at
her back bent over the table, and now and then shaking from the sobs
she tried to suppress, and his soul was convulsed by a struggle
between good and evil, between offended pride and pity for her
sufferings. The feeling of pity conquered.

Whether it was the feeling of pity that first asserted itself, or the
recollection of his own deeds of the same character for which he
reproached her, he scarcely knew, but suddenly he felt himself guilty
and pitied her.

Having signed the petition and wiped her soiled fingers on her skirt,
she rose and glanced at him.

"Whatever the result, and no matter what happens, I shall keep my
word," said Nekhludoff.

The thought that he was forgiving her strengthened in him the feeling
of pity and tenderness for her, and he wished to console her.

"I will do what I said. I will be with you wherever you may be."

"That's no use," she hastened to say, and her face became radiant.

"Make note of what you need for the road."

"Nothing particular, I think. Thank you."

The inspector approached them, and Nekhludoff, without waiting to be
told that the time was up, took leave of her, experiencing a new
feeling of quiet happiness, calmness and love for all mankind. It was
the consciousness that no act of Maslova could alter his love for her
that raised his spirit and made him feel happy. Let her make love to
the assistant--that was her business. He loved her not for himself,
but for her and for God.

       *       *       *       *       *

The love-making for which Maslova was expelled from the hospital, and
to which Nekhludoff gave credence, consisted only in that, when
Maslova, coming to the drug department for some pectoral herbs,
prescribed by her superior, she found there an assistant, named
Ustinoff. This Ustinoff had been pursuing her with his attentions for
a long time, and as he tried to embrace her she pushed him away with
such force that he struck the shelving, and two bottles came crashing
to the floor.

The chief physician was passing at the time, and, hearing the sound of
the breaking glass, and seeing Maslova running out, all flushed, he
angrily shouted to her:

"Well, girl, if you begin to flirt here, I will send you back. What is
the matter?" he turned to the assistant, sternly looking over his

The assistant, smiling, began to apologize. The doctor, without
hearing him to the last, raised his head so that he began to look
through the glasses, and walked into the ward. On the same day he
asked the inspector to send a more sedate nurse in place of Maslova.
Maslova's expulsion from the hospital on the ground of flirting was
particularly painful to her by reason of the fact that, after her
meeting with Nekhludoff, all association with men, which had _been_ so
repugnant to her, became even more disgusting.

The fact that, judging her by her past and present condition,
everybody, including the pimpled assistant, thought that they had the
right to insult her, and were surprised when she refused their
attentions, was very painful to her and called forth her tears and
pity for herself. Now, coming out to see Nekhludoff, she wished to
explain the injustice of the charge which he had probably heard. But
as she attempted to do so, she felt that he would not believe her;
that her explanation would only tend to corroborate the suspicion, and
her tears welled up in her throat, and she became silent.

Maslova was still thinking, and continued to assure herself that, as
she had told him on his second visit, she had not forgiven him; that
she hated him, but, in reality, she had long since begun to love him
again, and loved him so that she involuntarily carried out his wishes.
She ceased to drink and smoke, she gave up flirting, and willingly
went as servant to the hospital. All this she did because she knew he
wished it. Her repeated refusal to accept his sacrifice was partly due
to the fact that she wished to repeat those proud words which she had
once told him, and mainly because she knew that their marriage would
make him unhappy. She was firmly resolved not to accept his sacrifice,
and yet it was painful for her to think that he despised her; that he
thought her to be the same as she had been, and did not see the change
she was undergoing. The fact that he was at that moment thinking that
she did something wrong in the hospital pained her more than the news
that she was finally sentenced to hard labor.


Maslova might be sent away with the first party of exiles; hence
Nekhludoff was preparing for departure. But he had so many things to
attend to that he felt that he could never get through with them, no
matter how much time there might be left for preparations. It was
different in former times. Then it was necessary to devise something
to do, and the interest in all his affairs centered in Dmitri
Ivanovich Nekhludoff. But though all interest in life centered in
Dmitri Ivanovich, he always suffered from ennui. Now, however, all his
affairs related to people other than Dmitri Ivanovich, and were all
interesting and attractive, as well as inexhaustible.

Besides, formerly the occupation with the affairs of Dmitri Ivanovich
always caused vexation and irritation; while these affairs of others
for the most part put him in a happy mood.

Nekhludoff's affairs were now divided into three parts. He himself, in
his habitual pedantism, thus divided them, and according placed them
in three different portfolios.

The first was that of Maslova. This consisted in efforts to obtain a
successful result in the pending petition, and preparations for
departure to Siberia.

The second part related to the settlement of his estates. The Panov
land was granted to the peasants on condition of their paying a rent
to be used for common necessities. But, in order to complete that
arrangement, it was necessary to sign an agreement and also make his
will. The arrangement made for the Kusminskoie estate was to remain in
force, only there remained to be determined what part of the rent he
was to appropriate to himself, and what was to be left for the benefit
of the peasants. Without knowing what his necessary disbursements
would be on his trip to Siberia, he could not make up his mind to
deprive himself of his income, although he reduced it by one-half.

The third part related to aid to prisoners, who were now applying to
him more and more frequently.

At first, when written to for aid, he proceeded immediately to
intercede for the applicants, endeavoring to relieve their condition,
but in the end their number became so great that he found it
impossible to help every one, and was involuntarily brought to a
fourth matter, which had of late occupied him more than either of the

His fourth concern consisted in solving the question, Why, how and
whence came that remarkable institution called the Criminal Court, to
which was due the existence of that prison, with the inmates of which
he had become somewhat familiar, and all those places of confinement,
beginning with the fortress dedicated to two saints, Peter and Paul,
and ending with the island of Saghalin, where hundreds and thousands
of victims of that wonderful criminal law were languishing?

From personal contact with prisoners, and from information received
from the lawyer, the prison chaplain, the inspector, and from the
prison register, Nekhludoff came to the conclusion that the prisoners,
so-called criminals, could be divided into five classes. The first
class consisted of people entirely innocent, victims of judicial
mistakes, such as that would-be incendiary, Menshov, or Maslova, and
others. There were comparatively few people of this class, according
to the observations of the chaplain--about seven per cent.--but their
condition attracted particular attention. The second class consisted
of people convicted for offenses committed under exceptional
circumstances, such as anger, jealousy, drunkenness, etc.--offenses
which, under similar circumstances, would almost invariably have been
committed by all those who judged and punished them. This class made
up, according to Nekhludoff's observations, more than one-half of all
the prisoners. To the third class belonged those who committed,
according to their own ideas, the most indifferent or even good acts,
but which were considered criminal by people--entire strangers to
them--who were making the laws. To this class belonged all those who
carried on a secret trade in wine, or were bringing in contraband
goods, or were picking herbs, or gathering wood, in private or
government forests. To this class also belonged the predatory

The fourth class consisted of people who, according to Nekhludoff,
were reckoned among the criminals only because they were morally above
the average level of society. Among these the percentage of those who
resisted interference with their affairs, or were sentenced for
resisting the authorities, was very large.

The fifth class, finally, was composed of people who were more sinned
against by society than they sinned themselves. These were the
helpless people, blunted by constant oppression and temptation, like
that boy with the mats, and hundreds of others whom Nekhludoff saw
both in and out of prison, and the conditions of those whose lives
systematically drove them to the necessity of committing those acts
which are called crimes. To these people belonged, according to
Nekhludoff's observations, many thieves and murderers, with some of
whom Nekhludoff had come in contact. Among these Nekhludoff found, on
close acquaintance, those spoiled and depraved people whom the new
school calls the criminal type, and the existence of which in society
is given as the reason for the necessity of criminal law and
punishment. These so-called depraved types, deviating from the normal,
were, according to Nekhludoff, none other than those very people who
have sinned less against society than society has sinned against them,
and against whom society has sinned, not directly, but through their

Nekhludoff's attention was attracted by a habitual thief, Okhotin, who
came under this head. He was the son of a fallen woman; had grown up
in lodging-houses, and till the age of thirty had never met a moral
man. In childhood he had fallen in with a gang of thieves, but he
possessed a humorous vein which attracted people to him. While asking
Nekhludoff for aid he jested at himself, the judges, the prison and
all the laws, not only criminal, but even divine. There was also a
fine-looking man, Fedorff, who, in company with a gang of which he was
the leader, had killed and robbed an old official. This one was a
peasant whose father's house had been illegally taken from him, and
who, while in the army, suffered for falling in love with an officer's
mistress. He was attractive and passionate. His sole desire in life
was to enjoy himself, and he had never met any people who, out of any
consideration, tempered their passions, nor had he ever heard that
there was any other aim in life than personal enjoyment. It was plain
to Nekhludoff that these two were richly endowed by nature, and were
only neglected and mutilated as plants are sometimes neglected and
mutilated. He also came across a vagabond, and a woman, whose
stupidity and apparent cruelty were repulsive, but he failed to find
in them that criminal type spoken of by the Italian school. He only
saw in them people who were disagreeable to him personally, like some
he had met in dress-coats, uniforms, and laces.

Thus the investigation of the question: Why are people of such great
variety of character confined in prisons, while others, no different
than those, enjoy freedom and even judge those people? was the fourth
concern of Nekhludoff.

At first he hoped to find an answer to this question in books, and
bought every book bearing on the subject. He bought the works of
Lombroso, Garofalo, Ferri, Mandsley and Tard, and read them carefully.
But the more he read them, the greater was his disappointment. The
same thing happened with him that happens with people who appeal to
science with direct, simple, vital questions, and not with a view of
playing the part of an expounder, writer or teacher in it. Science
solved a thousand and one various abstruse, complicated questions
bearing on criminal law, but failed to give an answer to the question
he had formed. His question was very simple: Why and by what right do
some people confine, torture, exile, flog and kill other people no
different than they are themselves? And in answer they argued the
questions: Whether or not man is a free agent? Can a criminal be
distinguished by the measurements of his cranium? To what extent is
crime due to heredity? What is morality? What is insanity? What is
degeneracy? What is temperament? How does climate, food, ignorance,
emulation, hypnotism, passion affect crime? What is society? What are
its duties? etc., etc.

These arguments reminded Nekhludoff of an answer he had once received
from a schoolboy. He asked the boy whether he had learned the
declension of nouns. "Yes," answered the boy. "Well, then decline
'Paw.'" "What paw? A dog's paw?" the boy answered, with a sly
expression on his face. Similar answers in the form of questions
Nekhludoff found in scientific books to his one basic question.

He found there many wise, learned and interesting things, but there
was no answer to his principal question: By what right do some people
punish others? Not only was there no answer, but all reasoning tended
to explain and justify punishment, the necessity of which was
considered an axiom. Nekhludoff read much, but only by fits and
starts, and the want of an answer he ascribed to such superficial
reading. He, therefore, refused to believe in the justice of the
answer which constantly occurred to him.


The deportation of the party of convicts to which Maslova belonged was
set for the fifth of July, and Nekhludoff was prepared to follow her
on that day. The day before his departure his sister, with her
husband, arrived in town to see him.

Nekhludoff's sister, Natalie Ivanovna Ragojhinsky, was ten years his
senior. He had grown up partly under her influence. She loved him when
he was a boy, and before her marriage they treated each other as
equals; she was twenty-five and he was fifteen. She had been in love
then with his deceased friend, Nikolenka Irtenieff. They both loved
Nikolenka, and loved in him and in themselves the good that was in
them, and which unifies all people.

Since that time they had both became corrupted--he by the bad life he
was leading; she by her marriage to a man whom she loved sensually,
but who not only did not love all that which she and Dimitri at one
time considered most holy and precious, but did not even understand
it, and all those aspirations to moral perfection and to serving
others, to which she had once devoted herself, he ascribed to
selfishness and a desire to show off before people.

Ragojhinsky was a man without reputation or fortune, but a clever
fortune hunter, who, by skillful manoeuvering between liberalism and
conservatism, availing himself of that dominating tendency which
promised bitter results in life, but principally by something peculiar
which attracted women to him, he succeeded in making a relatively
brilliant judicial career. He was already past his youth when he met
Nekhludoff abroad, made Natalie, who was also not very young, to fall
in love with him, and married her almost against the wish of her
mother, who said that it would be a mésalliance. Nekhludoff, although
he concealed it from himself and struggled against the feeling, hated
his brother-in-law. He disliked his vulgar feelings, his
self-confident narrowness of mind, but, principally, because of his
sister, who should so passionately, egotistically and sensually love
such a poor nature, and to please whom she should stifle all her noble
sentiments. It was always painful to Nekhludoff to think of Natalie as
the wife of that hairy, self-confident man, with shining bald head. He
could not even suppress his aversion to his children. And whenever he
heard that she was about to become a mother, he experienced a feeling
of compassion for her being again infected with something bad by the
man who was so unlike all of them.

The Ragojhinskys arrived without their children, and engaged the best
suite in the best hotel. Natalie Ivanovna immediately went to the old
home of her mother, and learning there that her brother had moved to
furnished rooms, she went to his new home. The dirty servant, meeting
her in the dark, ill-smelling corridor, which was lit up by a lamp
during the day, announced that the Prince was away.

Desiring to leave a note, Natalie Ivanovna was shown into his
apartments. She closely examined the two small rooms. She noticed in
every corner the familiar cleanliness and order, and she was struck by
the modesty of the appointments. On the writing table she saw a
familiar paper-press, with the bronze figure of a dog, neatly arranged
portfolios, papers, volumes of the Criminal Code and an English book
of Henry George, and a French one by Tard, between the leaves of which
was an ivory paper knife.

She left a note asking him to call on her the same evening, and,
shaking her head in wonder at what she had seen, returned to her

There were two questions relating to her brother that interested
Natalie Ivanovna--his marriage to Katiousha, of which she had heard in
her city, where it was a matter of common gossip, and the distribution
by him of his land to the peasants, upon which some people looked as
something political and dangerous. From one point of view, she rather
liked the idea of his marrying Katiousha. She admired his resolution,
seeing in it herself and him as they had been before her marriage. At
the same time, she was horror-stricken at the thought that her brother
was to marry such an awful woman. The latter feeling was the stronger,
and she decided to dissuade him from marrying her, although she knew
how hard that would be.

The other affair, that of his parting with his land, she did not take
so close to heart, but her husband was indignant at such folly, and
demanded that she influence her brother to abandon the attempt.
Ignatius Nikiforovitch said that it was the height of inconsistency,
foolhardiness and pride; that such an act could only be explained, if
at all, by a desire to be odd, to have something to brag about, and to
make people talk about one's self.

"What sense is there in giving the land to the peasants and making
them pay rent to themselves?" he said. "If his mind was set on doing
it, he could sell them the land through the bank. There would be some
sense in that. Taking all in all, his act is very eccentric," said
Ignatius Nikiforovitch, already considering the necessity of a
guardianship, and he demanded that his wife should seriously speak to
her brother of this, his strange intention.


In the evening Nekhludoff went to his sister. Ignatius Nikiforovitch
was resting in another room, and Natalie Ivanovna alone met him. She
wore a tight-fitting black silk dress, with a knot of red ribbon, and
her hair was done up according to the latest fashion. She was
evidently making herself look young for her husband. Seeing her
brother, she quickly rose from the divan, and, rustling with her silk
skirt, she went out to meet him. They kissed and, smiling, looked at
each other. There was an exchange of those mysterious, significant
glances in which everything was truth; then followed an exchange of
words in which that truth was lacking. They had not met since the
death of their mother.

"You have grown stout and young," he said.

Her lips contracted with pleasure.

"And you have grown thin."

"Well, how is Ignatius Nikiforovitch?" asked Nekhludoff.

"He is resting. He has not slept all night."

A great deal should have been said here, but their words said nothing,
and their glances said that that which interested them most was left

"I have been at your lodging."

"Yes, I know it. I have moved from the house. I am so lonely and
weary. I do not need any of those things, so you take them--the

"Yes, Agrippina Petrovna told me. I have been there. I thank you very
much. But----"

At that moment the servant brought in a silver tea service. Natalie
Ivanovna busied herself with making the tea. Nekhludoff was silent.

"Well, Dimitri, I know everything," Natalie said, resolutely, glancing
at him.

"I am very glad that you know."

"Do you think it possible to reform her after such a life?"

He was sitting erect on a small chair, attentively listening to her,
prepared to answer satisfactorily her every question. He was still in
that frame of mind which, after his last meeting with Maslova, filled
his soul with tranquil happiness and love for all mankind.

"It is not her that I intend to reform, but myself," he answered.

Natalie Ivanovna sighed.

"There are other means besides marriage."

"And I think that that is the best. Besides, that will bring me into
that world in which I can be useful."

"I do not think," said Natalie Ivanovna, "that you could be happy."

"It is not a question of my happiness."

"Of course; but if she possesses a heart, she cannot be happy--she
cannot even desire it."

"She does not."

"I understand, but life--demands something different."

"Life only demands that we do what is right," said Nekhludoff, looking
at her face, still beautiful, although covered with fine wrinkles
around the eyes and mouth.

"Poor dear! How she has changed!" thought Nekhludoff, recalling
Natalie as she had been before her marriage, and a tender feeling,
woven of countless recollections of their childhood, rose in his
breast toward her.

At that moment Ignatius Nikiforovitch, as usual holding his head high
and projecting his broad chest, entered the room, with shining
eye-glasses, bald head and black beard.

"How do you do? How do you do?" he greeted Nekhludoff, unnaturally
accentuating his words.

They pressed each other's hand, and Ignatius Nikiforovitch lowered
himself into an arm-chair.

"Am I disturbing you?"

"No, I do not conceal anything I say or do from anybody."

As soon as Nekhludoff saw that face, those hairy hands and heard that
patronizing tone, his gentle disposition immediately disappeared.

"Yes, we have been speaking about his intention," said Natalie
Ivanovna. "Shall I pour out some tea for you?" she added, taking the

"Yes, if you please. What intention do you refer to?"

"My intention of going to Siberia with that party of convicts, among
whom there is a woman I have wronged," said Nekhludoff.

"I heard that you intended more than that."

"Yes, and marry her, if she only desires it."

"I see! And may I ask you to explain your motives, if it is not
unpleasant to you? I do not understand them."

"My motives are that that woman--that the first step on her downward
career----" Nekhludoff became angry because he could not find the proper
expression. "My motives are that I am guilty, while she is punished."

"If she is punished, then she is also, probably, guilty."

"She is perfectly innocent."

And, with unnecessary agitation, Nekhludoff related the whole case.

"Yes, that was an omission by the presiding justice. But in such cases
there is the Senate."

"The Senate sustained the verdict."

"Ah, then there were no grounds of appeal," said Ignatius
Nikiforovitch, evidently sharing the well-known opinion that truth is
the product of court proceedings. "The Senate cannot go into the
merits of a case. But if there is really a judicial error, a petition
should be made to the Emperor."

"That was done, but there is no chance of success. Inquiries will be
made at the Ministry, which will refer them to the Senate, and the
Senate will repeat its decision, and, as usual, the innocent will be

"In the first place, the Ministry will not refer to the Senate," and
Ignatius Nikiforovitch smiled condescendingly, "but will call for all
the documents in the case, and, if it finds an error, will so decide.
In the second place, an innocent person is never, or, at least, very
seldom punished. Only the guilty is punished."

"And I am convinced that the contrary is true," said Nekhludoff, with
an unkind feeling toward his brother-in-law. "I am convinced that the
majority of the people convicted by courts are innocent."

"How so?"

"They are innocent in the ordinary sense of the word, as that woman
was innocent of poisoning; as that peasant is innocent of the murder
which he has not committed; as that mother and son are innocent of the
arson which was committed by the owner himself, and for which they
came near being convicted."

"Of course, there always have been and always will be judicial errors.
Human institutions cannot be perfect."

"And, then, a large part of the innocent, because they have been
brought up amid certain conditions, do not consider the acts committed
by them criminal."

"Pardon me; that is unfair. Every thief knows that stealing is wrong;
that theft is immoral," Ignatius Nikiforovitch said, with the calm,
self-confident, and, at the same time, somewhat contemptuous, smile
which particularly provoked Nekhludoff.

"No, he does not know. He is told not to steal, but he sees and knows
that the employers steal his labor, keep back his pay, and that the
officials are constantly robbing him."

"That is anarchism," Ignatius calmly defined the meaning of his
brother-in-law's words.

"I do not know what it is, but I am speaking of facts," Nekhludoff
continued. "He knows that the officials are robbing him. He knows that
we, the landlords, own the land which ought to be common property, and
when he gathers some twigs for his oven we send him to jail and try to
convince him that he is a thief."

"I do not understand, and if I do, I cannot agree with you. The land
cannot be nobody's property. If you divide it," Ignatius Nikiforovitch
began, being fully convinced that Nekhludoff was a socialist, and that
the theory of socialism demands that all the land should be divided
equally; that such division is foolish, and that he can easily refute
it. "If you should divide the land to-day, giving each inhabitant an
equal share, to-morrow it will again find its way into the hands of
the more industrious and able among them----"

"Nobody even thinks of dividing the land into equal shares. There
ought to be no property in land, and it ought not to be the subject of
purchase and sale or renting."

"The right of property is a natural right. Without property right
there would be no interest in cultivating the land. Destroy property
right and we will return to the condition of the savage,"
authoritatively said Ignatius Nikiforovitch.

"On the contrary, only then will land not lie idle, as it is now."

"But, Dimitri Ivanovich, it is perfect madness! Is it possible in our
time to destroy property in land? I know it is your old hobby. But
permit me to tell you plainly----" Ignatius Nikiforovitch turned pale
and his voice trembled. The question was evidently of particular
concern to him. "I would advise you to consider that question well
before attempting its practical solution."

"You are speaking of my personal affairs?"

"Yes. I assume that we are all placed in a certain position, and must
assume the duties that result from that position, must support those
conditions of existence into which we were born, which we have
inherited from our forefathers, and which we must hand over to our

"I consider it my duty----"

"Excuse me," continued Ignatius Nikiforovitch, who would not be
interrupted. "I am not speaking of myself and my children. The fortune
of my children is secure, and I earn enough to live in easy
circumstances, and, therefore, my protest against your, permit me to
say, ill-considered actions is not based on personal interest, but on
principle. And I would advise you to give it a little more thought, to

"You had better let me decide my own affairs. I think I know what to
read and what not to read," said Nekhludoff, turning pale, and,
feeling that he could not control himself, became silent and began to
drink his tea.


"Well, how are the children?" Nekhludoff asked his sister, having
calmed down.

Thus the unpleasant conversation was changed. Natalie became calm and
talked about her children. She would not speak, however, about those
things which only her brother understood in the presence of her
husband, and in order to continue the conversation she began to talk
of the latest news, the killing of Kanesky in the duel.

Ignatius Nikiforovitch expressed his disapproval of the condition of
things which excluded the killing in a duel from the category of

His remark called forth Nekhludoff's reply, and a hot discussion
followed on the same subject, neither expressing fully his opinion,
and in the end they were again at loggerheads.

Ignatius Nikiforovitch felt that Nekhludoff condemned him, hating all
his activity, and he wished to prove the injustice of his reasoning.
Nekhludoff, on the other hand, to say nothing of the vexation caused
him by his brother-in-law's interference in his affairs (in the depth
of his soul he felt that his brother-in-law, his sister and their
children, as heirs, had the right to do so), was indignant at the calm
and confident manner of that narrow-minded man who continued to
consider legal and just that which to Nekhludoff was undoubtedly
foolish. This self-confidence irritated him.

"What should the court do?" asked Nekhludoff.

"Sentence one of the duelists, as it would a common murderer, to hard

Nekhludoff's hands again turned cold, and he continued with warmth:

"Well, what would be then?"

"Justice would be done."

"As if the aim of courts was to do justice!" said Nekhludoff.

"What else?"

"Their aim is to support class interests. Courts, according to my
idea, are only instruments for the perpetuation of conditions
profitable to our class."

"That is an entirely new view," said Ignatius Nikiforovitch, smiling
calmly. "Usually somewhat different aims are ascribed to courts."

"In theory, but not in practice, as I have learned. The only aim of
the courts is to preserve the existing state of things, and for this
reason they persecute and kill all those who are above the common
level and who wish to raise it as well as those who are below it."

"I cannot agree with the view that criminals are executed because they
are above the level of the average. For the most part they are the
excrescence of society, just as perverted, though in a different
manner, as are those criminal types whom you consider below the level
of the average."

"And I know people who are far above their judges."

But Ignatius Nikiforovitch, not accustomed to being interrupted when
speaking, did not listen to Nekhludoff, which was particularly
irritating to the latter, and continued to talk while Nekhludoff was

"I cannot agree with you that the aim of courts is to support the
existing order of things. The courts have their aims: either the

"Prisons are great places for correction," Nekhludoff put in.

"Or the removal," persistently continued Ignatius Nikiforovitch, "of
those depraved and savage people who threaten the existence of

"That is just where the trouble is. Courts can do neither the one nor
the other. Society has no means of doing it."

"How is that? I don't understand----" asked Ignatius Nikiforovitch, with
a forced smile.

"I mean to say that there are only two sensible modes of
punishment--those that have been used in olden times: corporal
punishment and capital punishment. But with the advance of
civilization they have gone out of existence."

"That is both new and surprising to hear from you."

"Yes, there is sense in inflicting pain on a man that he might not
repeat that for which the pain was inflicted; and it is perfectly
sensible to cut the head off a harmful and dangerous member of
society. But what sense is there in imprisoning a man, who is depraved
by idleness and bad example, and keeping him in secure and compulsory
idleness in the society of the most depraved people? Or to transport
him, for some reason, at an expense to the government of five hundred
roubles, from the District of Tula to the District of Irkutsk, or from

"But people seem to fear these journeys at government expense. And
were it not for these journeys, we would not be sitting here as we are
sitting now."

"Prisons cannot secure our safety, because people are not imprisoned
for life, but are released. On the contrary, these institutions are
the greatest breeders of vice and corruption--_i. e._, they increase
the danger."

"You mean to say that the penitentiary system ought to be perfected?"

"It cannot be perfected. Perfected prisons would cost more than is
spent on popular education and would be a new burden on the populace."

"But the deficiencies of the penitentiary system do not invalidate the
judicial system," Ignatius Nikiforovitch again continued, without
listening to his brother-in-law.

"These deficiencies cannot be corrected," said Nekhludoff, raising
his voice.

"What then? Would you kill? Or, as a certain statesman suggested,
pluck out their eyes?" said Ignatius Nikiforovitch, smiling

"Yes; that would be cruel, but expedient. What we are doing now is
both cruel and inexpedient."

"And I am taking part in it," said Ignatius Nikiforovitch, paling.

"That is your business. But I do not understand it."

"I think there are many things you do not understand," said Ignatius
Nikiforovitch, with a quiver in his voice.

"I saw a public prosecutor in court trying his utmost to convict an
unfortunate boy, who could only arouse compassion in any unperverted

"If I thought so, I should give up my position," said Ignatius
Nikiforovitch, rising.

Nekhludoff noticed a peculiar glitter under his brother-in-law's
eye-glasses. "Can it be tears?" thought Nekhludoff. They really were
tears. Ignatius Nikiforovitch was offended. Going toward the window,
he drew a handkerchief from his pocket, coughed, and began to wipe his
eye-glasses, and, removing them, he also wiped his eyes. Returning to
the couch, Ignatius Nikiforovitch lit a cigar and spoke no more.
Nekhludoff was pained and ashamed at the grief that he had caused his
brother-in-law and sister, especially as he was leaving the next day
and would not see them again. In great agitation he took leave of them
and departed.

"It is quite possible that what I said was true. At any rate, he did
not refute me. But it was wrong to speak that way. Little have I
changed if I could insult him and grieve poor Natalie," he thought.


The party of convicts, which included Maslova, was to leave on the
three o'clock train, and in order to see them coming out of the prison
and follow them to the railroad station Nekhludoff decided to get to
the prison before twelve.

While packing his clothes and papers, Nekhludoff came across his
diary and began to read the entry he had made before leaving for St.
Petersburg. "Katiusha does not desire my sacrifice, but is willing to
sacrifice herself," it ran. "She has conquered, and I have conquered.
I am rejoicing at that inner change which she seems to me to be
undergoing. I fear to believe it, but it appears to me that she is
awakening." Immediately after this was the following entry: "I have
lived through a very painful and very joyous experience. I was told
that she had misbehaved in the hospital. It was very painful to hear
it. Did not think it would so affect me. Have spoken to her with
contempt and hatred, but suddenly remembered how often I myself have
been guilty--am even now, although only in thought, of that for which
I hated her, and suddenly I was seized with disgust for myself and
pity for her, and I became very joyful. If we would only see in time
the beam in our own eye, how much kinder we would be." Then he made
the following entry for the day: "Have seen Katiusha, and, because of
my self-content, was unkind and angry, and departed with a feeling of
oppression. But what can I do? A new life begins to-morrow. Farewell
to the old life! My mind is filled with numberless impressions, but I
cannot yet reduce them to order."

On awakening the following morning, Nekhludoff's first feeling was one
of sorrow for the unpleasant incident with his brother-in-law.

"I must go to see them," he thought, "and smooth it over."

But, looking at the clock, he saw that there was no time left, and
that he must hasten to the prison to see the departure of the
convicts. Hastily packing up his things and sending them to the depot,
Nekhludoff hired a trap and drove to the prison.

       *       *       *       *       *

The hot July days had set in. The stones of the street, the houses,
and the tins of the roofs, failing to cool off during the suffocating
night, exhaled their warmth into the hot, still air. There was no
breeze, and such as rose every now and then was laden with dust and
the stench of oil paint. The few people that were on the streets
sought shelter in the shade of the houses. Only sun-burnt
street-pavers in bast shoes were sitting in the middle of the street,
setting boulders into the hot sand; gloomy policemen in unstarched
blouses and carrying revolvers attached to yellow cords, were lazily
shuffling about, and tram-cars with drawn blinds on the sides exposed
to the sun, and drawn by white-hooded horses, were running up and down
the street.

When Nekhludoff arrived at the prison, the formal delivery and
acceptance of the departing convicts, which began at four in the
morning, were still going on. The party consisted of six hundred and
twenty-three men and sixty-four women; all had to be counted, the weak
and sick had to be separated, and they were to be delivered to the
convoy. The new inspector, two assistants, a physician, his assistant,
the officer of the convoy and a clerk were sitting in the shade around
a table with papers and documents, calling and examining each convict
and making entries in their books.

One-half of the table was already exposed to the sun. It was getting
warm and close from want of air, and from the breathing of the
convicts standing near by.

"Will there ever be an end?" said a tall, stout, red-faced captain of
the convoy, incessantly smoking a cigarette and blowing the smoke
through the moustache which covered his mouth. "I am exhausted. Where
have you taken so many? How many more are there?"

The clerk consulted the books.

"Twenty-four men and the women."

"Why are you standing there? Come forward!" shouted the captain to the
crowding convicts.

The convicts had already been standing three hours in a broiling sun,
waiting their turn.

All this was taking place in the court-yard of the prison, while
without the prison stood the usual armed soldier, about two dozen
trucks for the baggage, and the infirm convicts, and on the corner a
crowd of relatives and friends of the convicts, waiting for a chance
to see the exiles as they emerged from the prison, and, if possible,
to have a last few words with them, or deliver some things they had
brought for them. Nekhludoff joined this crowd.

He stood there about an hour. At the end of the hour, from behind the
gates came the clatter of chains, the tramping of feet, voices of
command, coughing and the low conversation of a large crowd. This
lasted about five minutes, during which time prison officers flitted
in and out through the wicket. Finally there was heard a sharp

The gates were noisily flung open, the clatter of the chains became
more distinct, and a detachment of guardsmen in white blouses and
shouldering guns marched forth and arranged themselves, evidently as a
customary manoeuvre, in a large semi-circle before the gates. Again
a command was heard, and the hard-labor convicts, in pairs, began to
pour out. With pancake-shaped caps on their shaved heads, and sacks on
their shoulders, they dragged their fettered legs, holding up the
sacks with one hand and waving the other. First came the men convicts,
all in gray trousers and long coats with diamond aces on their backs.
All of them--young, old, slim, stout, pale, and red-faced,
dark-haired, moustached, bearded and beardless, Russians, Tartars,
Jews--came, clanging their chains and briskly waving their hands as
though going on a long journey; but after making about ten steps they
stopped and humbly arranged themselves in rows of four. Immediately
behind these came another contingent, also with shaved heads and
similarly dressed, without leg-fetters, but handcuffed to each other.
These were exiles. They walked as briskly as the others, stopped, and
formed in rows of four. Then came the women in the same order, in gray
coats and 'kerchiefs, those sentenced to hard labor coming first; then
the exiles, and finally those voluntarily following their husbands, in
their native costumes. Some of the women carried infants under the
skirts of their coats.

Children--boys and girls--followed them on foot, hanging on to the
skirts of their mothers. The men stood silently, coughing now and
then, or exchanging remarks, while the women carried on incessant
conversation. Nekhludoff thought that he saw Maslova as she was coming
out, but she was soon lost in the large crowd, and he only saw a lot
of gray creatures almost deprived of all womanly features, with their
children and sacks, grouping themselves behind the men.

Although the convicts had been counted within the walls of the prison,
the guard began to count them over again. This counting took a long
time, because the convicts, moving from one place to another, confused
the count of the officers. The officers cursed and pushed the humbly
but angrily compliant convicts and counted them again. When the
counting was finally over, the officer of the guard gave some command,
and suddenly all became confusion in the crowd. Infirm men, women and
children hastened to the trucks, on which they first placed their
sacks, then climbed in themselves, the infants crying in their
mothers' arms, the children quarreling about the places, the men
looking gloomy and despondent.

Some of the convicts, removing their caps, approached the officer and
made some request. As Nekhludoff afterward learned, they were asking
to be taken on the wagons. The guard officer, without looking at the
applicants, silently inhaled the smoke of his cigarette, then suddenly
swung his short hand at one of the convicts that approached him, who
dodged and sprang back.

"I will elevate you to the nobility with a rope! You can walk!"
shouted the officer.

Only a tall, staggering old man in irons was permitted to ride on a
wagon. The old man removed his cap, and making the sign of the cross,
dragged himself to the wagon; but his fettered legs prevented his
climbing up until an old woman, sitting on the wagon, took his hand
and helped him in.

When all the wagons were loaded with sacks and those that were
permitted to ride, the guard officer uncovered his bald head, wiped
with a handkerchief his pate, forehead and red, stout neck, made the
sign of the cross, and gave command to proceed.

There was a clatter of weapons; the convicts, removing their caps,
began to make the sign of the cross, some with their left hands; the
escorting crowd shouted something, the convicts shouted in answer; a
great wailing arose among the women, and the party, surrounded by
soldiers in white blouses moved forward, raising a cloud of dust with
their fettered feet. They marched in the order in which they formed at
the prison gates, in rows of four, preceded by a detachment of
soldiers. The rear was brought up by the wagons loaded with the sacks
and the infirm. On top of one of the wagons, above all the others, sat
a woman, wrapped up in her coat and sobbing incessantly.


When Nekhludoff reached the railroad station the prisoners were
already seated in the cars, behind grated windows. There were a few
people on the platform, come to see their departing relatives, but
they were not allowed to come near the cars. The guards were greatly
troubled this day. On the way from the prison to the station five men
had died from sunstroke. Three of them had been taken to the nearest
police station from the street, while two were stricken at the
railroad station.[F] They were troubled not because five men had died
while under their guard. That did not bother them; but they were
chiefly concerned with doing all that the law required them to do
under the circumstances--to make proper transfer of the dead, their
papers and belongings, and to exclude them from the list of those that
were to be transferred to Nijhni, which was very troublesome,
especially on such a warm day.

This it was that occupied the convoy, and this was the reason why
Nekhludoff and others were not permitted to approach the cars while
the formalities were unfinished. However, upon bribing one of the
sergeants, Nekhludoff was permitted to come near the cars, the
sergeant asking him to do his errand so that the captain would not see
him. There were eighteen cars, and all, except the one reserved for
the authorities, were literally packed with prisoners. Passing by the
windows, Nekhludoff listened to the sounds within. Everywhere he heard
the rattling of chains, bustle, and the hum of conversation,
interspersed with stupid profanity; but nowhere did he hear, as he
expected, any reference to the dead comrades. Their conversation
related more to sacks, drinking-water, and the choice of seats.
Looking into the window of one of the cars, Nekhludoff saw some
guardsmen removing the handcuffs from the wrists of the prisoners. The
prisoners stretched out their hands, while one of the guards with a
key opened the locks of the handcuffs, which were collected by
another. When Nekhludoff reached the second car occupied by the women
he heard a woman's moan, "Oh, heavens! Oh, heavens!"

Nekhludoff passed by and approached one of the windows of the third
car, pointed out to him by one of the guards. Overheated air,
impregnated with a thick odor of perspiration, assailed his nostrils,
and shrill women's voices were distinctly heard. All the benches were
occupied by flushed, perspiring women in waists and coats, loudly
conversing. His approach attracted their attention. Those sitting
nearest to the grated window became silent. Maslova, in a waist and
without headgear, was sitting near the opposite window. The smiling
Theodosia, who was sitting near Maslova, seeing Nekhludoff, pushed her
with her elbow and pointed to Nekhludoff. Maslova hurriedly rose,
threw a 'kerchief over her black hair, and, with an animated, red,
perspiring and smiling face, came near the window and placed her hands
on the grating.

"But how warm it is!" she said, smiling joyously.

"Did you get the things?"

"I did, thank you."

"Do you need anything?" asked Nekhludoff, feeling the heat issuing
from the window as from a steam bath.

"I do not need anything. Thank you."

"If we could only get some water," said Theodosia.

"Yes, some water," repeated Maslova.

"I will ask one of the guards," said Nekhludoff. "We will not meet now
until we reach Nijhni."

"Why, are you going there?" she said, as if she did not know it, but
joyously glancing at Nekhludoff.

"I am going on the next train."

Maslova was silent for a few moments; then sighed deeply.

"Is it true, master, that twelve people have died from the heat?" said
a churlish old woman in a hoarse voice.

It was Korableva.

"I don't know that twelve have died. I have seen two," said

"They say twelve. They ought to be punished for it, the devils!"

"How is it with the women?" asked Nekhludoff.

"Women are stronger," said another prisoner, smiling. "Only there is
one who has taken it into her head to give birth to a child. Listen to
her wailing," she said, pointing to the adjacent car, from which the
moaning proceeded.

"You asked if anything was needed," said Maslova, endeavoring to
restrain a happy smile. "Could not that woman be taken off the train?
She suffers so. Won't you tell the authorities?"

"Yes, I will."

"Another thing--could you not get her to see her husband, Tarass?" she
added, pointing to the smiling Theodosia. "He is going with you, isn't

At this point the voice of a sergeant was heard reminding Nekhludoff
that talking with the prisoners was prohibited. It was not the
sergeant who passed Nekhludoff.

Nekhludoff walked off to find the captain, intending to see him about
the sick woman and Tarass, but for a long time could not find him, the
guards being too busy to answer his inquiries. Some were leading away
one of the convicts; others were hurrying away to buy their
provisions; still others were attending a lady who was traveling with
the captain of the convoy.

Nekhludoff found the captain after the second bell. The captain,
wiping his thick moustache with his short hand and raising his
shoulders, was reprimanding one of the sergeants.

"What is it you want?" he asked Nekhludoff.

"There is a woman giving birth to a child, so I thought it would be

"Well, let her. When the child is born we will see to it," said the
captain, passing to his car.

The conductor came with a whistle in his hand. The third bell
sounded, and a loud wailing rose among the female prisoners and their
friends and relatives on the platform. Nekhludoff was standing beside
Tarass, and watched the cars passing before him, with the grated
windows and the shaved heads seen through them. As the one in which
Maslova was passed, he saw her standing with others at the window,
looking at him and smiling piteously.


[Footnote F: Early in the eighties five prisoners died from sunstroke
while being transferred from the Boutyr prison to the Nijhni railroad
station.--L. T.]


The passenger train which was to carry away Nekhludoff was to start in
two hours. Nekhludoff at first thought of utilizing these two hours in
visiting his sister, but after the impressions of the morning he felt
so excited and exhausted that he seated himself on a sofa in the
saloon for first-class passengers. But he unexpectedly felt so drowsy
that he turned on his side, placed his palm under his cheek, and
immediately fell asleep.

He was awakened by a servant in dress-coat holding a napkin in his

"Mister, mister, are you not Prince Nekhludoff? A lady is looking for

Nekhludoff quickly raised himself, rubbing his eyes, and the incidents
of the morning passed before his mind's eye--the procession of the
convicts, the men who had died from the heat, the grated windows of
the cars, and the women huddled behind them, one of whom was laboring
in child-birth without aid, and another piteously smiling to him from
behind the iron grating. But in reality he saw a table covered with
bottles, vases, chandeliers, and fruit stands; nimble servants
bustling around the table, and in the depth of the saloon, before the
lunch-counter, loaded with viands and fruits, the backs of passengers
leisurely eating their luncheon.

While Nekhludoff was raising himself and shaking off the slumber, he
noticed that everybody in the saloon was curiously watching the
entrance. He turned his eyes in the same direction, and saw a
procession of people who bore an arm-chair in which was seated a lady,
her head covered with tulle. The first bearer was a lackey who seemed
familiar to Nekhludoff. The one behind was also a familiar porter,
with white crown lace around his cap. Behind the arm-chair came an
elegantly dressed maid-servant with curly hair, carrying a round
leather box and a sunshade. Further behind came the short-necked
Prince Korchagin, his shoulders thrown back; then Missy, Misha, their
cousin, and a diplomat Osten, unfamiliar to Nekhludoff, with his long
neck and prominent Adam's apple and an ever cheerful appearance. He
walked impressively, but evidently jestingly talking to the smiling
Missy. Behind them came the doctor, angrily smoking a cigarette.

The Korchagins were moving from their estate to the Prince's sister,
whose estate was situated on the Nijhni road.

The procession passed into the ladies' room. The old Prince, however,
seating himself at the table, immediately called over a waiter and
began to order something. Missy with Osten also stopped in the
dining-room, and were about to sit down when they saw an acquaintance
in the doorway and went to meet her. It was Natalia Ivanovna. She was
escorted by Agrippina Petrovna, and as she entered the dining-room she
looked around. At almost the same moment she noticed Missy and her
brother. She first approached Missy, only nodding her head to
Nekhludoff. But after kissing Missy she immediately turned to him.

"At last I have found you," she said.

After greeting his sister, Nekhludoff entered into conversation with
Missy, who told him that their house had burned down, necessitating
their removal to her aunt's. Osten began to relate a droll anecdote
anent the fire. Nekhludoff, without listening to Osten, turned to his

"How glad I am that you came!"

In the course of their conversation he told her how sorry he felt for
having fallen out with her husband; that he had intended to return and
confess that he was at fault, but that he knew not how her husband
would take it.

"I spoke improperly to him, and it tortured me," he said.

"I knew it. I was sure you didn't intend it," said his sister. "Don't
you know----"

The tears welled up in her eyes, and she touched her brother's hand.
It was spoken tenderly; he understood her, and was affected. The
meaning of her words was that, besides her love for her husband, her
love for her brother was dear and important to her, and that any
disagreement with him caused her suffering.

"Thank you, thank you. Oh, what I have seen to-day!" he said, suddenly
recalling the two dead convicts. "Two convicts have been killed."

"How killed?"

"So, simply killed. They have been brought here in this heat, and two
of them died from sunstroke."

"Impossible! How? To-day? Just now?"

"Yes, just now. I have seen their corpses."

"Why were they killed? Who killed them?" asked Natalia Ivanovna.

"Those who forcibly brought them here," said Nekhludoff excitedly,
feeling that she took the same view of this as her husband.

"Oh, my God!" said Agrippina Petrovna, coming nearer to them.

"Yes, we have no conception of the life these unfortunates are
leading, and it is necessary to know it," Nekhludoff added, looking at
the old Prince, who, sitting at the table with a napkin tucked under
his chin and a large glass before him, at that moment glanced at

"Nekhludoff," he shouted. "Won't you take sauce to cool off? It is
excellent stuff."

Nekhludoff refused and turned away.

"But what will you do?" continued Natalia Ivanovna.

"I will do what I can. I do not know what, but I feel that I must do
something. And I will do what I can."

"Yes, yes, I understand that. And what about him?" she said, smiling
and nodding in the direction of Korchagin. "Is it really all over?"

"Yes, it is and I think without regret on either side."

"I am very sorry. I like her. But I suppose it must be so. But why
should you bind yourself? Why are you following her?"

"Because it is proper that I should," Nekhludoff said dryly, as
though desiring to change the subject.

But he immediately felt ashamed of his coldness to his sister. "Why
should I not tell her what I think?" he thought; "and let Agrippina
Petrovna also know it," he said to himself, looking at the old

The presence of Agrippina Petrovna only encouraged him to repeat his
decision to his sister.

"You are speaking of my intention to marry Katiusha. You see, I have
decided to do it, but she firmly and decidedly refused me," he said,
and his voice trembled, as it always did when he spoke of it. "She
does not desire my sacrifice, and in her position she sacrifices very
much, and I could not accept her sacrifice, even if it were only
momentary. That is why I am following her, and I will be near her, and
will endeavor to relieve her condition as far as I am able."

Natalia Ivanovna was silent. Agrippina Petrovna looked inquiringly at
Natalia Ivanovna, shaking her head. At that moment the procession
started again from the ladies' room. The same handsome Phillip and the
porter were bearing the Princess. She stopped the bearers, beckoned
Nekhludoff to her side, and in a piteously languid manner extended her
white, ring-bedecked hand, with horror anticipating the hard pressure
of his.

"_Epouvantable!_" she said of the heat. "It is unbearable. _Ce climat
me tue._" And having said a few words of the horrors of the Russian
climate, and invited Nekhludoff to visit them, she gave a sign to the
bearers. "Don't fail to come, now," she added, turning her long face
to Nekhludoff.

Nekhludoff went out on the platform. The procession turned to the
right, toward the first-class coaches. Nekhludoff, with a porter who
carried his baggage, and Tarass, with his bags, turned to the left.

"That is my comrade," Nekhludoff said to his sister, pointing to
Tarass, whose story he had told her before.

"What, are you taking the third class?" asked Natalia Ivanovna, when
Nekhludoff stopped before a third-class car and the porter, with
Tarass, entered it.

"Yes, I will have it more convenient then. Tarass is with me. Another
thing," he added. "I have not yet given the Kusminskoie land to the
peasants. So that, in case of my death, your children will inherit

"Dmitri, don't talk that way," said Natalia Ivanovna.

"And if I do give it away, then all I have to tell you is that the
remainder will be theirs, for I shall hardly marry. And if I do, there
will be no children--so that----"

"Dmitri, please stop it," said Natalia Ivanovna; but Nekhludoff saw
that she was glad to hear what he was saying.

The time for parting had come. The conductors were closing the doors,
inviting the passengers to take seats, others to leave the cars.

Nekhludoff entered the heated and ill-smelling car and immediately
appeared on its platform. Natalia Ivanovna was standing opposite, and
evidently wished to say something, but could not find words. She could
not say "_ecrivez_," because they had long been ridiculing the
customary phrase of parting friends. The conversation about financial
affairs and the inheritance at once destroyed the tender relations
they had resumed. They now felt themselves estranged from each other.
So that Natalia Ivanovna was glad when the train began to move and she
could say, with a smile: "Well, Dmitri, good-by!" As soon as the train
left she began to think how to tell her husband of her conversation
with her brother, and her face became grave and worried.

And though Nekhludoff entertained the best sentiments toward his
sister, and he concealed nothing from her, he now felt estranged from
her, and was glad to be rid of her. He felt that the Natasha of old
was no more; that there was only a slave of an unpleasant, dark, hairy
man with whom he had nothing in common. He plainly saw this, because
her face became illumined with peculiar animation only when he spoke
of that which interested her husband--of the distribution of the land
among the peasants, and of the inheritance. This made him sad.


The heat in the large car of the third class, due to its exposure to
the scorching sun rays and the large crowd within, was so suffocating
that Nekhludoff remained on the platform. But there was no relief even
there, and he drew in long breaths when the train rolled out beyond
the houses and the movement of the train created a draught. "Yes,
killed," he repeated to himself. And to his imagination appeared with
unusual vividness the beautiful face of the second dead convict, with
a smile on his lips, the forbidding expression of his forehead, and
the small, strong ear under the shaved, bluish scalp. "And the worst
part of it is that he was killed, and no one knows who killed him. Yet
he was killed. He was forwarded, like the others, at the order of
Maslenikoff. Maslenikoff probably signed the usual order with his
foolish flourish, on a printed letter-head, and, of course, does not
consider himself guilty. The prison physician, who inspected the
convicts, has still less reason for considering himself guilty. He
carefully fulfilled his duties, separated the weak ones, and could not
possibly foresee either the terrible heat, or that they would be taken
away so late and in such a crowd. The inspector? But the inspector
only carried out the order that on such a day so many men and women
prisoners should be sent away. No more guilty was the officer of the
convoy, whose duty consisted in receiving so many people at such a
place and delivering them at another place. He led the party in the
usual way, according to instructions, and could not possibly foresee
that such strong men, like the two whom Nekhludoff had seen, would
succumb and die. No one was guilty, and yet the men were killed by
these very people who were innocent of their death.

"All this happened," thought Nekhludoff, "because all those
people--the governor, inspector and the other officers--saw before
them, not human beings and their duties toward them, but the service
and its requirements. Therein lies the difficulty."

In his meditation Nekhludoff did not notice how the weather had
changed. The sun had hidden behind a low strip of cloud, and from the
southern sky a light-gray mass, from which a slanting rain was already
pouring in the distance over the fields and forests, was coming on.
Now and then a flash of lightning rent the clouds, and the rattle of
the train mingled with the rattle of thunder. The clouds came nearer
and nearer, the slanting drops of rain, driven by the wind, pattered
on the platform of the car and stained Nekhludoff's overcoat. He moved
to the other side, and drawing in the fresh, humid air and the odor of
the wheat coming from the parched ground, he looked on the passing
gardens, forests; the rye fields just turning yellow, the emerald
streaks of oats, and the furrows of the dark-green, flowering potato.
Everything looked as if covered with varnish: the green and yellow
colors became brighter; the black became blacker.

"More, more," said Nekhludoff, rejoicing at the reviving fields and
gardens under the abundant rain.

The heavy rain did not last long. The clouds partly dissipated, and
the last fine shower fell straight on the wet ground. The sun came
forth again, the earth brightened, and a low but brilliant violet
tinged rainbow, broken at one end, appeared in the eastern horizon.

"What was I thinking of?" Nekhludoff asked himself, when all these
changes of nature came to an end and the train descended into a vale.
"Yes, I was thinking that all those people--the inspector, the guard
and all those servants, for the most part gentle, kind people--have
become wicked."

He recalled the indifference of Maslenikoff when he told the latter of
what was going on in the prison, of the severity of the inspector, the
cruelty of the sergeant who refused the use of the wagons to the weak
convicts and paid no attention to the suffering of the woman in
child-birth. All those people were evidently proof against the feeling
of sympathy, "as is this paved ground against rain," he thought,
looking at the incline paved with multi-colored stone, from which the
water streamed off. "May be it is necessary to lay the stones on the
incline, but it is sad to see the soil deprived of vegetation when it
could be made to grow grain, grass, shrubs and trees like those seen
on those heights. It is the same with people," thought Nekhludoff.
"The whole trouble lies in that people think that there are conditions
excluding the necessity of love in their intercourse with man, but
such conditions do not exist. Things may be treated without love; one
may chop wood, make bricks, forge iron without love, but one can no
more deal with people without love than one can handle bees without
care. The nature of bees is such that if you handle them carelessly
you will harm them as well as yourself. It is the same with people.
And it cannot be different, because mutual love is the basic law of
human life. True, man cannot compel himself to love, as he can compel
himself to work, but it does not follow from this that in his dealings
with men he can leave love out of consideration, especially if he
wants something from them. If you feel no love for people, then keep
away from them," Nekhludoff said to himself. "Occupy yourself with
things, yourself--anything; only keep away from people. As it is
harmful to eat except when one is hungry, so is it harmful to have
intercourse with people when one does not love them. If one permits
himself to deal with people without having any love for them, as I did
yesterday with my brother-in-law, there is no limit to the cruelty and
brutality one is liable to display toward others, as I have seen
to-day, and there is no limit to one's own suffering, as I have
learned from all the experiences of my own life. Yes, yes, that is
so," thought Nekhludoff, experiencing the double pleasure of a cool
breeze after the intolerable heat, and the consciousness of having
reached the highest degree of lucidity in the question which had so
long occupied him.



The party of convicts to which Maslova belonged had gone about
thirty-five hundred miles. It was not until Perm was reached that
Nekhludoff succeeded in obtaining Maslova's transfer to the contingent
of politicals, as he was advised to do by Bogodukhovskaia, who was
among them.

The journey to Perm was very burdensome to Maslova, both physically
and morally--physically because of the crowded condition of their
quarters, the uncleanliness and disgusting insects, which gave her no
rest; morally because of the equally loathsome men who, though they
changed at every stopping place, were like the insects, always
insolent, intrusive and gave her little rest. The cynicism prevailing
among the convicts and their overseers was such that every woman,
especially the young women, had to be on the alert. Maslova was
particularly subject to these attacks because of her attractive looks
and her well-known past. This condition of constant dread and struggle
was very burdensome to her. The firm repulse with which she met the
impertinent advances of the men was taken by them as an insult and
exasperated them. Her condition in this respect was somewhat relieved
by the presence of Theodosia and Tarass, who, learning that his wife
was subjected to these insults, had himself included among the
prisoners, and riding as such from Nijhni, was able to protect her to
some extent.

Maslova's transfer to the division of the politicals bettered her
situation in every respect. Besides the improvement in the quarters,
food and treatment, her condition was also made easier by the fact
that the persecution of the men ceased and she was no longer reminded
of her past, which she was so anxious to forget now. The principal
advantage of the transfer, however, lay in the acquaintance she made
of some people who exerted a decisive influence over her.

At stopping places she was permitted to mingle with the politicals,
but, being a strong woman, she was compelled to walk with the other
prisoners. She thus walked from Tomsk. There were two politicals who
traveled on foot with her--Maria Pablovna Stchetinina, the same pretty
girl with the sheepish eyes who had attracted Nekhludoff's attention
when visiting Bogodukhovskaia, and one Simonson, banished to
Yakoutsk--that same shaggy man with deep-set eyes whom Nekhludoff had
noticed on the same occasion. Maria Pablovna walked, because she
yielded her place on the wagon to a pregnant woman; Simonson, because
he would not profit by class advantages. These three started on foot
with the other convicts in the early morning, the politicals following
them later in wagons. It was at the last stopping place, near a large
city, where the party was handed over to another convoy officer.

It was a chill September morning. Snow and rain fell alternately
between cold blasts of wind. All the prisoners--400 men and 50
women--were already in the court-yard, some crowding around the chief
officer of the convoy, who was paying out money to the overseers for
the day's rations; others were buying food of the hucksters who had
been admitted into the court-yard. There were a din of prisoners'
voices counting money and the shrill conversation of the hucksters.

Katiousha and Maria Pablovna, both in boots and short fur coats and
girdled with 'kerchiefs, came into the court-yard from the house and
walked toward the hucksters, who were sitting under the northern wall
and calling out their wares--fresh meat-pies, fish, boiled shred
paste, buckwheat mush, meat, eggs, milk; one woman even offered
roasted pig.

Simonson, in rubber jacket and similar galoshes, bound with whip-cord
over woolen socks (he was a vegetarian and did not use the skin of
animals), was also awaiting the departure of the party. He stood near
the entrance of the house, writing down in a note-book a thought that
occurred to him. "If," he wrote, "a bacterium were to observe and
analyze the nail of a man, it would declare him an inorganic being.
Similarly, from an observation of the earth's surface, we declare it
to be inorganic. That is wrong."

Having bought eggs, buns, fish and fresh wheat bread, Maslova packed
them away in a bag while Maria Pablovna settled for the food, when
among the prisoners there arose a commotion. Every one became silent,
and the prisoners began to form into ranks. An officer came forth and
gave final orders.

Everything proceeded as usual--the prisoners were counted over, the
chains were examined and men were handcuffed in pairs.


After six years of luxurious and pampered life in the city and two
months in prison among the politicals, her present life,
notwithstanding the hard conditions, seemed to Katiousha very
satisfactory. The journeys of fifteen or twenty miles on foot between
stopping places, the food and day's rest after two days' tramp,
strengthened her physically, while her association with her new
comrades opened up to her new phases of life of which she had formerly
no conception.

She was charmed with all her new comrades. But above all, with Maria
Pablovna--nay, she even came to love her with a respectful and
exulting love. She was struck by the fact that a beautiful girl of a
rich and noble family, and speaking three languages, should conduct
herself like a common workingwoman, distribute everything sent her by
her rich brother, dress herself not only simply, but poorly, and pay
no attention to her appearance. This entire absence of coquetry
surprised and completely captivated Maslova. She saw that Maria
Pablovna knew, and that it even pleased her to know, that she was
pretty, but that so far from rejoicing at the impression she was
making on the men, she only feared it, and rather looked at love with
disgust and dread. If her male comrades, who knew her, felt any
attraction toward her they never showed it. But strangers often
attempted familiarities with her, and in such cases her great physical
strength stood her in good stead. "Once," she laughingly related, "I
was approached by a stranger on the street, whom I could not get rid
of. I then gave him such a shaking up that he ran away in fright."

She also said that from childhood she had felt an aversion for the
life of the gentry, but loved the common folks, and was often chidden
for staying in the servants' quarters, the kitchen and the stable,
instead of the parlor.

"But among the cooks and drivers I was always cheerful, while our
ladies and gentlemen used to worry me. Afterward, when I began to
understand, I saw that we were leading a wicked life. I had no mother,
and I did not like my father. At nineteen I left the house with a girl
friend and went to work in a factory," she said.

From the factory she went to the country, then returned to the city,
where she was arrested and sentenced to hard labor. Maria Pablovna
never related it herself, but Katiousha learned from others that she
was sentenced to hard labor because she assumed the guilt of another.

Since Katiousha came to know her she saw that Maria Pablovna,
everywhere and under all circumstances, never thought of herself, but
was always occupied in helping some one else. One of her present
comrades, jesting, said of her that she had given herself up to the
sport of charity. And that was true. Like a sportsman looking for
game, her entire activity consisted in finding occasion for serving
others. And this sport became a habit with her, her life's aim. And
she did it so naturally that all those that knew her ceased to
appreciate it, and demanded it as by right.

When Maslova entered their ranks, Maria Pablovna felt a disgust and
loathing for her. Katiousha noticed it. But she also noticed afterward
that Maria Pablovna, making some effort, became particularly kind and
gentle toward her. The kindness and gentleness of such an uncommon
person so affected Maslova that she gave herself up to her with her
whole soul, unconsciously acquired her glance and involuntarily
imitated her in everything.

They were also drawn together by that disgust which both felt toward
physical love. The one hated it, because she had experienced all the
horror of it; the other, because not having experienced it, she looked
upon it as something strange and at the same time disgusting and
offensive to human dignity.


The influence exerted by Maria Pablovna over Katiousha was due to the
fact that Katiousha loved Maria Pablovna. There was another
influence--that of Simonson, and that was due to the fact that
Simonson loved Katiousha.

Simonson decided everything by the light of his reason, and having
once decided upon a thing, he never swerved. While yet a student he
made up his mind that the wealth of his father, who was an officer of
the Commissary Department, was dishonestly accumulated. He then
declared to him that his wealth ought to be returned to the people.
And when he was reprimanded he left the house and refused to avail
himself of his father's means. Having come to the conclusion that all
evil can be traced to the people's ignorance, he joined the Democrats,
on leaving the university, and obtaining the position of village
teacher, he boldly preached before his pupils and the peasants that
which he considered to be just, and denounced that which he considered
unjust and false.

He was arrested and prosecuted.

During the trial he decided that the court had no right to judge him,
and said so. The judges disagreeing with him and proceeding with the
trial, he concluded not to answer their questions and remained silent.
He was sentenced to exile in the Government of Archangel. There he
formulated a religious creed defining all his actions. According to
this religious teaching nothing in the world is dead, there is life in
everything; all those things which we consider dead, inorganic, are
but parts of a huge organic body which we cannot embrace, and that, as
a part of a huge organism, man's aim should be to conserve the life of
that organism and the lives of all its parts. He therefore considered
it a crime to destroy life; was against war, executions, the killing
in any manner not only of human beings, but of animals. He also had
his theory of marriage, according to which the breeding of people was
man's lower function, his higher function consisting in conserving
life already existing. He found confirmation of this idea in the
existence of phagocites in the blood. Bachelors, according to him,
were the same phagocites whose function was to help the weak, sickly
parts of the organism. And true to his convictions, he had been
performing this function since he became convinced of the truth of the
theory, although as a youth he had led a different life. He called
himself, as well as Maria Pablovna, a phagocite of the world.

His love for Katiousha did not violate this theory, since it was
purely platonic. He assumed that such love not only did not prevent
his phagocite activity, but aided it.

And it was this man who, falling in love with Katiousha, had a
decisive influence over her. With the instincts of a woman, Maslova
soon discovered it, and the consciousness that she could arouse the
feeling of love in such a remarkable man raised her in her own
estimation. Nekhludoff offered to marry her out of magnanimity, and
the obligation for the past, but Simonson loved her as she was now,
and loved her simply because he loved her. She felt, besides, that he
considered her an unusual woman, distinguished from all other women,
and possessing high moral qualities. She did not know exactly what
those qualities were, but, at all events, not to deceive him, she
endeavored with all her power to call forth her best qualities and,
necessarily, be as good as she could be.


Nekhludoff managed to see Maslova only twice between Nijhni and
Perm--once in Nijhni while the prisoners were being placed on a
net-covered lighter, and again in the office of the Perm prison. On
both occasions he found her secretive and unkind. When he asked her
about her prison conditions, or whether she wanted anything, she
became confused and answered evasively and, as it seemed to him, with
that hostile feeling of reproach which she had manifested before. And
this gloomy temper, due only to the persecutions to which she was
being subjected by the men, tormented him.

But at their very first meeting in Tomsk she became again as she was
before her departure. She no longer frowned or became confused when
she saw him, but, on the contrary, met him cheerfully and simply,
thanking him for what he had done for her, especially for bringing her
in contact with her present company.

After two months of journey from prison to prison, this change also
manifested itself in her appearance. She became thin, sun-burnt and
apparently older; wrinkles appeared on her temples and around her
mouth; she no longer curled her hair on her forehead, but wore a
'kerchief on her head, and neither in her dress, coiffure, nor in her
conduct were there any signs of her former coquetry. And this change
called forth in Nekhludoff a particularly joyous feeling. The feeling
he now experienced toward her was unlike any he had experienced
before. It had nothing in common with his first poetic impulse, nor
with that sentimental love which he felt afterward, nor even with that
consciousness of a duty performed, coupled with self-admiration, which
impelled him, after the trial, to resolve on marrying her. It was that
same simple feeling of pity and contrition which he experienced at
their first meeting in the prison and afterward, with greater force,
when he conquered his disgust and forgave her conduct with the
physician's assistant in the hospital (the injustice he had done her
had subsequently become plain). It was the same feeling with the
difference that, while it was temporary then, now it was permanent.

During this period, because of Maslova's transfer to the politicals,
Nekhludoff became acquainted with many political prisoners. On closer
acquaintance he was convinced that they were not all villains, as many
people imagined them to be, nor all heroes, as some of them considered
the members of their party, but that they were ordinary people, among
whom, as in other parties, some were good, some bad, the others

He became particularly attached to a consumptive young man who was on
his way to a life term at hard labor. The story of the young man was a
very short one. His father, a rich Southern landlord, died while he
was a child. He was the only son, and was brought up by his mother. He
was the best scholar in the university, making his specialty
mathematics. He was offered a chair in the university and a course
abroad. But he hesitated. There was a girl of whom he became enamored,
so he contemplated marriage and political activity. He wished
everything, but resolved on nothing. At that time his college chums
asked him for money for a common cause. He knew what that common cause
was, and at the time took no interest in it whatever, but from a
feeling of fellowship and egoism gave the money, that it might not be
thought that he was afraid. Those who took the money were arrested; a
note was found from which it was learned that the money had been given
by Kryltzoff. He was arrested, taken to the police station, then to
the prison.

After his discharge he traveled now South, now to St. Petersburg, then
abroad, and again to Kieff and to Odessa. He was denounced by a man in
whom he placed great faith. He was arrested, tried, kept in prison two
years and finally death sentence was imposed on him, but was afterward
commuted to hard labor for life.

He was stricken with consumption while in prison, and under the
present circumstances had but a few months to live, and he knew it.


At last Nekhludoff succeeded in obtaining permission to visit Maslova
in her cell among the politicals.

While passing the dimly-lighted court-yard from the officers'
headquarters to "No. 5," escorted by a messenger, he heard a stir and
buzzing of voices coming from the one-story dwelling occupied by the
prisoners. And when he came nearer and the door was opened, the
buzzing increased and turned into a Babel of shouting, cursing and
laughing. A rattling of chains was heard, and a familiar noisome air
was wafted from the doorway. The din of voices with the rattle of
chains, and the dreadful odor always produced in Nekhludoff the
tormenting feeling of some moral nausea, turning into physical
nausea. These two impressions, mingling, strengthened each other.

The apartment occupied by the political prisoners consisted of two
small cells, the doors of which opened into the corridor, partitioned
off from the rest. As Nekhludoff got beyond the partition he noticed
Simonson feeding a billet of pine wood into the oven.

Spying Nekhludoff he looked up without rising and extended his hand.

"I am glad you came; I want to see you!" he said, with a significant
glance, looking Nekhludoff straight in the eyes.

"What is it?" asked Nekhludoff.

"I will tell you later; I am busy now."

And Simonson again occupied himself with making the fire, which he did
according to his special theory of the greatest conservation of heat

Nekhludoff was about to enter the first door when Maslova, broom in
hand, and sweeping a heap of dirt and dust toward the oven, emerged
from the second door. She wore a white waist and white stockings and
her skirt was tucked up under the waist. A white 'kerchief covered her
head to her very eyebrows. Seeing Nekhludoff, she unbent herself and,
all red and animated, put aside the broom, and wiping her hands on her
skirt, she stood still.

"You are putting things in order?" asked Nekhludoff, extending his

"Yes, my old occupation," she answered and smiled. "There is such dirt
here; there is no end to our cleaning."

"Well, is the plaid dry?" she turned to Simonson.

"Almost," said Simonson, glancing at her in a manner which struck
Nekhludoff as very peculiar.

"Then I will fetch the furs to dry. All our people are there," she
said to Nekhludoff, going to the further room and pointing to the
nearest door.

Nekhludoff opened the door and walked into a small cell, dimly lighted
by a little metallic lamp standing on a low bunk. The cell was cold
and there was an odor of dust, dampness and tobacco. The tin lamp
threw a bright light on those around it, but the bunks were in the
shade and vacillating shadows moved along the walls. In the small
room were all the prisoners, except two men who had gone for boiling
water and provisions. There was an old acquaintance of Nekhludoff, the
yellow-faced and thin Vera Efremovna, with her large, frightened eyes
and a big vein on her forehead. She was sitting nervously rolling
cigarettes from a heap of tobacco lying on a newspaper in front of

In the far corner there was also Maria Pablovna.

"How opportune your coming! How you seen Katia?" she asked Nekhludoff.

There was also Anatolie Kryltzoff. Pale and wasted, his legs crossed
under him, bending forward and shivering, he sat in the far corner,
his hands hidden in the sleeves of his fur jacket, and with feverish
eyes looked at Nekhludoff. Nekhludoff was about to approach him, but
to the right of the entrance, sorting something in a bag and talking
to the pretty and smiling Grabetz, sat a man with curly red hair, in a
rubber jacket and with spectacles. His name was Novodvoroff, and
Nekhludoff hastened to greet him. Of all political prisoners,
Nekhludoff liked him best. Novodvoroff glanced over his spectacles at
Nekhludoff and, frowning, he extended his thin hand.

"Well, are you enjoying your journey?" he said, evidently in irony.

"Yes, there are many interesting things," answered Nekhludoff,
pretending not to see the irony, and treating it as a civility. Then
he went over to Kryltzoff. In appearance Nekhludoff seemed to be
indifferent, but in reality he was far from being so to Novodvoroff.
These words of Novodvoroff, and his evident desire to say something
unpleasant, jarred upon his kindly sentiments, and he became gloomy
and despondent.

"Well, how is your health?" he said, pressing Kryltzoff's cold and
trembling hand.

"Pretty fair, only I cannot get warm; I am all wet," said Kryltzoff,
hastily hiding his hand in the sleeve of his coat. "Those windows are
broken." He pointed to the windows behind the iron gratings. "Why did
you not come before?"

Expecting to have a private conversation with Katiousha, Nekhludoff
sat conversing with Kryltzoff. Kryltzoff listened attentively, fixedly
gazing at Nekhludoff.

"Yes," he said, suddenly, "I have often thought that we were going
into exile with those very people on account of whom we were banished.
And yet we not only do not know them, but do not wish to know them.
And, worse of all, they hate us and consider us their enemies. This is

"There is nothing dreadful about it," said Novodvoroff, overhearing
the conversation. "The masses are always churlish and ignorant."

At that moment there was an outburst of curses behind the partition
wall, followed by a jostling and banging against walls, a clatter of
chains, screaming and shouting. Some one was being beaten; some one
shouted "Help!"

"See those beasts! What have they in common with us?" calmly asked

"You call them beasts, but you should have heard Nekhludoff telling of
the conduct of one of them," Kryltzoff said excitedly.

"You are sentimental!" Novodvoroff said, ironically. "It is hard for
us to understand the emotions of these people and the motives of their
acts. Where you see magnanimity, there may only be envy."

"Why is it you do not wish to see good in others?" said Maria
Pablovna, suddenly becoming excited.

"I cannot see that which does not exist."

"How can you say it does not exist when a man risks a terrible death?"

"I think," said Novodvoroff, "that if we wish to serve our cause
effectively it is necessary that we stop dreaming and look at things
as they are. We must do everything for the masses, and expect nothing
from them. The masses are the object of our activity, but they cannot
be our collaborators while they are as inert as they are now. And it
is, therefore, perfectly illusive to expect aid from them before they
have gone through the process of development--that process of
development for which we are preparing them."

"What process of development?" said Kryltzoff, becoming red in the
face. "We say that we are against the use of force, but is this not
force in its worst form?"

"There is no force here," calmly said Novodvoroff. "I only said that
I know the path the people must follow, and can point it out."

"But how do you know that yours is the right path? Is it not the same
despotism which gave rise to the Inquisition and the executions of the
Great Revolution? They, too, knew the only scientific path."

"The fact that people erred does not prove that I am erring. Besides,
there is a great difference between the ravings of ideologists and the
data of positive economic science."

Novodvoroff's voice filled the entire cell. He alone was speaking; all
the others were silent.

"Those eternal discussions!" said Maria Pablovna at a momentary lull.

"And what do you think of it?" Nekhludoff asked Maria Pablovna.

"I think that Anatolie is right--that we have no right to force our
ideas on the people."

"That is a strange conception of our ideas," said Novodvoroff, and he
began to smoke angrily.

"I cannot talk to them," Kryltzoff said in a whisper, and became

"And it is much better not to talk," said Nekhludoff.


An officer entered the cell and announced that the time for departing
had arrived. He counted every prisoner, pointing at every one with his
finger. When he reached Nekhludoff he said, familiarly:

"It is too late to remain now, Prince; it is time to go."

Nekhludoff, knowing what that meant, approached him and thrust three
rubles into his hand.

"Nothing can be done with you--stay here a while longer."

Simonson, who was all the while silently sitting on his bunk, his
hands clasped behind his head, firmly arose, and carefully making his
way through those sitting around the bunk, went over to Nekhludoff.

"Can you hear me now?" asked Simonson.

"Certainly," said Nekhludoff, also rising to follow him.

Maslova saw Nekhludoff rising, and their eyes meeting, she turned red
in the face and doubtfully, as it seemed, shook her head.

"My business with you is the following," began Simonson, when they
reached the corridor. "Knowing your relations toward Catherine
Michaelovna," and he looked straight into Nekhludoff's face, "I
consider it my duty----" But at the very door two voices were shouting
at the same time.

"I tell you, heathen, they are not mine," shouted one voice.

"Choke yourself, you devil!" the other said, hoarsely.

At that moment Maria Pablovna entered the corridor.

"You cannot talk here," she said. "Walk in here; only Verotchka is
there." And she opened the door of a tiny cell, evidently intended for
solitary confinement, and now at the disposal of the political
prisoners. On one of the bunks lay Vera Efremovna, with her head

"She is ill and asleep; she cannot hear you, and I will go," said
Maria Pablovna.

"On the contrary, stay here," said Simonson. "I keep nothing secret,
especially from you."

"Very well," said Maria Pablovna, and childishly moving her whole body
from side to side, and thus getting into a snug corner of the bunks,
she prepared to listen, at the same time looking somewhere in the
distance with her beautiful, sheepish eyes.

"Well, then, knowing your relations toward Catherine Michaelovna, I
consider it my duty to let you know my relations to her."

"Well, go on," said Nekhludoff, involuntarily admiring Simonson's
simplicity and straightforwardness.

"I wished to tell you that I would like to marry Catherine

"Remarkable!" exclaimed Maria Pablovna, fixing her gaze on Simonson.

"And I have decided to ask her to be my wife," continued Simonson.

"What, then, can I do? It depends on her," said Nekhludoff.

"Yes; but she would not decide the matter without you."


"Because, while the question of your relations remains undecided, she
cannot choose."

"On my part the question is definitely decided. I only wished to do
that which I considered it my duty to do, and also to relieve her
condition, but in no case did I intend to influence her choice."

"Yes; but she does not wish your sacrifice."

"There is no sacrifice."

"And I also know that her decision is irrevocable."

"Why, then, talk to me?" said Nekhludoff.

"It is necessary for her that you should also approve of it."

"I can only say that I am not free, but she is free to do what she

Simonson began to ponder.

"Very well, I will tell her so. Do not think that I am in love with
her," he continued. "I admire her as a good, rare person who has
suffered much. I wish nothing from her, but I would very much like to
help her, to relieve her----"

Simonson's trembling voice surprised Nekhludoff.

"To relieve her condition," continued Simonson. "If she does not wish
to accept your help, let her accept mine. If she consented, I would
ask permission to join her in prison. Four years is not an eternity. I
would live near her, and perhaps lighten her fate----" His emotion again
compelled him to stop.

"What can I say?" said Nekhludoff. "I am glad that she has found such
a protector."

"That is just what I wanted to know," continued Simonson. "I wished to
know whether you, loving her and seeking her good, could approve of
her marrying me?"

"Oh, yes," Nekhludoff answered, decisively.

"It is all for her; all I wish is that that woman, who had suffered so
much, should have some rest," said Simonson, with a childlike
gentleness that no one would expect from a man of such gloomy aspect.

Simonson rose, took Nekhludoff's hand, smiled bashfully and embraced

"Well, I will so tell her," he said, and left the room.


"What do you think of him?" said Maria Pablovna. "In love, and
earnestly in love! I never thought that Vladimir Simonson could fall
in love in such a very stupid, childish fashion. It is remarkable, and
to tell the truth, sad," she concluded, sighing.

"But Katia? How do you think she will take it?" asked Nekhludoff.

"She?" Maria Pablovna stopped, evidently desiring to give a precise
answer. "She? You see, notwithstanding her past, she is naturally of a
most moral character. And her feelings are so refined. She loves
you--very much so--and is happy to be able to do you the negative good
of not binding you to herself. Marriage with you would be a dreadful
fall to her, worse than all her past. For this reason she would never
consent to it. At the same time, your presence perplexes her."

"Ought I then to disappear?" asked Nekhludoff.

Maria Pablovna smiled in her pleasant, childish way.

"Yes, partly."

"How can I partly disappear?"

"I take it back. But I will tell you that she probably sees the
absurdity of that exalted love of his (he has not spoken to her about
it), is flattered by it, and fears it. You know that I am not
competent in these matters, but I think that his love is that of the
ordinary man, although it is masked. He says that it rouses his energy
and that it is a platonic love; but it has nothing but nastiness for
its basis."

"But what am I to do?" asked Nekhludoff.

"I think it is best that you have a talk with her. It is always better
to make everything clear. Shall I call her?" said Maria Pablovna.

"If you please," answered Nekhludoff, and Maria Pablovna went out.

Nekhludoff was seized with a strange feeling when, alone in the small
cell, he listened to the quiet breathing of Vera Efremovna,
interrupted by an occasional moan, and the constant din coming from
the cells of the convicts.

That which Simonson had told him freed him from his self-imposed
obligation, which, in a moment of weakness, seemed to him burdensome
and dreadful; and yet it was not only unpleasant, but painful. The
offer of Simonson destroyed the exclusiveness of his act, minimized in
his own and other people's eyes the value of the sacrifice he was
making. If such a good man as Simonson, who was under no obligation to
her, wished to join his fate to hers, then his own sacrifice was no
longer so important. Maybe there was also the ordinary feeling of
jealousy; he was so used to her love that he could not think that she
was capable of loving any one else. Besides, his plans were now
shattered, especially the plan of living near her while she served her
sentence. If she married Simonson, his presence was no longer
necessary, and that required a rearrangement of his projects. He could
scarcely collect his thoughts, when Katiousha entered the cell.

With quick step she approached him.

"Maria Pablovna sent me," she said, stopping near him.

"Yes, I would like to talk with you. Take a seat. Vladimir Ivanovitch
spoke to me."

She seated herself, crossed her hands on her knees, and seemed calm.
But as soon as Nekhludoff pronounced Simonson's name, her face turned
a purple color.

"What did he tell you?" she asked.

"He told me that he wishes to marry you."

Her face suddenly became wrinkled, evidencing suffering, but she
remained silent, only looking at the floor.

"He asked my consent or advice. I told him that it all rests with you;
that you must decide."

"Oh, what is it all for?" she said, and looked at Nekhludoff with that
squinting glance that always peculiarly affected him. For a few
seconds they looked silently at each other. That glance was
significant to both.

"You must decide," repeated Nekhludoff.

"Decide what?" she said. "It has all been decided long ago. It is you
who must decide whether you will accept the offer of Vladimir
Ivanovitch," she continued, frowning.

"But if a pardon should come?" said Nekhludoff.

"Oh, leave me alone. It is useless to talk any more," she answered,
and, rising, left the cell.

Gaining the street, Nekhludoff stopped, and, expanding his chest, drew
in the frosty air.

The following morning a soldier brought him a note from Maria
Pablovna, in which she said that Kryltzoff's condition was worse than
they thought it to be.

"At one time we intended to remain here with him, but they would not
allow it. So we are taking him with us, but we fear the worst. Try to
so arrange in town that if he is left behind some one of us shall
remain with him. If it is necessary for that purpose that I should
marry him, then, of course, I am ready to do it."

Nekhludoff obtained horses and hastened to catch up with the party of
prisoners. He stopped his team near the wagon carrying Kryltzoff on a
bed of hay and pillows. Beside Kryltzoff sat Maria Pablovna.
Kryltzoff, in a fur coat and lambskin cap, seemed thinner and more
pale than before. His beautiful eyes seemed particularly larger and
sparkling. Weakly rolling from side to side from the jostling of the
wagon, he steadily looked at Nekhludoff, and in answer to questions
about his health, he only closed his eyes and angrily shook his head.
It required all his energy to withstand the jostling of the wagon.
Maria Pablovna exchanged glances with Nekhludoff, expressing
apprehension concerning Kryltzoff's condition.

"The officer seems to have some shame in him," she shouted, so as to
be heard above the rattling of the wheels. "He removed the handcuffs
from Bouzovkin, who is now carrying his child. With him are Katia,
Simonson and, in my place, Verotchka."

Kryltzoff, pointing at Maria Pablovna, said something which could not,
however, be heard. Nekhludoff leaned over him in order to hear him.
Then Kryltzoff removed the handkerchief, which was tied around his
mouth, and whispered:

"Now I am better. If I could only keep from catching cold."

Nekhludoff nodded affirmatively and glanced at Maria Pablovna.

"Have you received my note, and will you do it?" asked Maria Pablovna.

"Without fail," said Nekhludoff, and seeing the dissatisfied face of
Kryltzoff, went over to his own team, climbed into the wagon, and
holding fast to the sides of it, drove along the line of gray-coated
and fettered prisoners which stretched for almost a mile.

Nekhludoff crossed the river to a town, and his driver took him to a
hotel, where, notwithstanding the poor appointments, he found a
measure of comfort entirely wanting in the inns of his stopping
places. He took a bath, dressed himself in city clothes and drove to
the governor of the district. He alighted at a large, handsome
building, in front of which stood a sentry and a policeman.

The general was ill, and did not receive. Nekhludoff, nevertheless,
asked the porter to take his card to the general, and the porter
returned with a favorable answer:

"You are asked to step in."

The vestibule, the porter, the messenger, the shining floor of the
hall--everything reminded him of St. Petersburg, only it was somewhat
dirtier and more majestic. Nekhludoff was admitted to the cabinet.

The general, bloated, with a potato nose and prominent bumps on his
forehead, hairless pate and bags under his eyes, a man of sanguine
temperament, was reclining in a silk morning gown, and with a
cigarette in his hand, was drinking tea from a silver saucer.

"How do you do, sir? Excuse my receiving you in a morning gown; it is
better than not receiving at all," he said, covering his stout,
wrinkled neck with the collar of his gown. "I am not quite well, and
do not go out. What brought you into these wilds?"

"I was following a party of convicts, among whom is a person near to
me," said Nekhludoff. "And now I come to see Your Excellency about
that person, and also another affair."

The general inhaled the smoke of his cigarette, took a sip of tea,
placed his cigarette in a malachite ash-holder, and steadily gazing
with his watery, shining eyes at Nekhludoff, listened gravely. He only
interrupted Nekhludoff to ask him if he wished to smoke.

Nekhludoff told the general that the person in whom he was interested
was a woman, that she was unjustly convicted, and that His Majesty's
clemency had been appealed to.

"Yes. Well?" said the general.

"I was promised in St. Petersburg that the news of this woman's fate
would be sent to this place not later than this month."

Looking steadily at Nekhludoff, the general asked:

"Anything else?"

"My second request would be concerning the political prisoner who is
going to Siberia with this detachment."

"Is that so?" said the general.

"He is very sick--he is a dying man. And he will probably be left here
in the hospital; for this reason one of the female prisoners would
like to remain with him."

"Is she a relative of his?"

"No. But she wishes to marry him, if it will allow her to stay with

The general looked sharply at Nekhludoff from his shining eyes, and,
smoking continually, he kept silence, as if wishing to confound his

When Nekhludoff had finished he took a book from the table, and
frequently wetting the fingers with which he turned the leaves, he
lighted on the chapter treating of marriage and perused it.

"What's her sentence?" he asked, lifting his eyes from the book.

"Hers? Hard labor."

"If this is the case, the sentence cannot be changed by marriage."


"I beg your pardon! If a free man would marry her she would have to
serve her sentence all the same. Whose sentence is harder, his or

"Both are sentenced to hard labor."

"So they are quits," the general said, laughing. "An equal share for
both of them. He may be left here on account of his sickness," he
continued, "and, of course, everything will be done to ameliorate his
condition, but she, even if she should marry him, cannot remain here.
Anyhow, I will think it over. What are their names? Write them down

Nekhludoff did as he was asked.

"And this I cannot do either," said the general, concerning his
request to see the patient. "Of course I don't suspect you, but you
are interested in them and in others. You have money, and the people
here are corrupt. How, then, is it possible for me to watch a person
who is five thousand miles distant from me? There he is king, as I am
here," and he began to laugh. "You have surely seen the political
prisoners. You have surely given them money," he added, smiling.
"Isn't it so?"

"Yes, it is true."

"I understand that you must act in this way. You want to see the
political prisoner, and you all sorrow for him, and the soldier on
guard will surely take money, because he has a family, and his salary
amounts to something less than nothing; he cannot afford to refuse. I
would do the same were I in yours or his place. But, being situated as
I am now, I cannot permit myself to disobey one iota of the law, for
the very reason that I, too, am no more than a man, and am liable to
yield to pity. They confide in me under certain conditions, and I, by
my actions, must prove that I am trustworthy. So this question is
settled. Well, now tell me what is going on at the metropolis?"

Then the general put various questions, as if he would like to learn
some news.

"Well, tell me now whom you are stopping with--at Duke's? It is
unpleasant there. Come to us to dinner," he said, finally, dismissing
Nekhludoff, "at five. Do you speak English?"

"Yes, sir."

"Well, that is good. You see, there is an English traveler here. He is
studying the exile system, and the prisons in Siberia. So he will dine
with us, and you come, too. We dine at five, and madam wants us to be
punctual. I will let you know what will be done with that woman, and
also with the patient. Maybe it will be possible to leave somebody
with him."

Having taken leave of the general, Nekhludoff drove to the
postoffice. Receiving his mail, he walked up to a wooden bench, on
which a soldier was sitting, probably waiting for something; he sat
down beside him, and started to look through the letters. Among them
he found a registered letter in a beautiful, large envelope, with a
large seal of red wax on it. He tore open the envelope, and, seeing a
letter from Selenin with some official document, he felt the blood
mounting to his cheeks, and his heart grow weak. This document was the
decision concerning Katiousha's trial. What was it? Was it possible
that it contained a refusal? Nekhludoff hastily ran over the letter,
written in small, hardly legible, broken handwriting, and breathed
freely. The decision was a favorable one.

"Dear friend," wrote Selenin, "our last conversation made a strong
impression upon me. You were right concerning Maslova. I have looked
through the accusation. This could be corrected only through the
Commission for Petitions, to which you sent your petition. They let me
have a copy of the pardon, and here I send it to you, to the address
which the Countess Catherine Ivanovna gave me. I press your hand in

The news was pleasant and important. All that Nekhludoff could wish
for Katiousha and himself was realized. True, those changes in his
life changed his relations to her. But now, he thought, all that was
most important was to see her as quick as possible and bring her the
good news of her freedom. He thought that the copy he had in his hand
was sufficient for that. So he bade the cabman drive at once to the

The superintendent of the prison told him that he could not admit him
without a permit from the general. The copy of the petition from their
majesty's bureau also did not prevail with the superintendent. He
positively refused admittance. He also refused to admit him to see


After the disappointment at the prison, Nekhludoff drove down to the
Governor's Bureau to find out whether they had received there any news
concerning the pardon of Maslova. There was no news there, so he drove
back to his hotel, and wrote at once to the lawyer and to Selenin
concerning it. Having finished the letters, he glanced at his watch;
it was already time to go to the general.

On the way he thought again of how he might hand over the pardon to
Katiousha; of the place she would be sent to, and how he would live
with her.

At dinner in the general's house all were not only very friendly to
Nekhludoff, but, as it seemed, very favorably inclined to him, as he
was a new, interesting personality. The general, who came in to dinner
with a white cross on his breast, greeted Nekhludoff like an old
friend. On the general's inquiry as to what he had done since he saw
him in the morning, Nekhludoff answered that he had been at the
postoffice, that he had found out the facts concerning the pardoning
of the person they were talking of in the morning, and he asked
permission to visit her.

The general seemed displeased, began to frown and said nothing.

"Will you have some whisky?" he said in French to the Englishman who
had walked up to him. The Englishman took some, and related that he
had been to see the cathedral of the city, and the factory, and
expressed the desire to see the great jail in which criminals were
confined on their way to Siberia.

"This idea is excellent!" exclaimed the general, turning to
Nekhludoff. "You may go together. Give them a pass!" he added, turning
to his lieutenant.

"What time do you wish to go?" Nekhludoff asked the Englishman.

"I prefer to visit prisons in the evening," the Englishman replied.
"All are then at home, and there are no preparations."

After dinner, Nekhludoff followed her into the ante-chamber, where
the Englishman was already waiting for him to visit the prison, as
they had agreed. Having taken leave of the whole family, he walked
out, followed by the Englishman.

The sombre looking prison, the soldier on guard, the lantern behind
the gate, notwithstanding the pure white layer of snow which had
covered everything--the sidewalk, the roof and the walls--made a
gloomy impression. The proud looking superintendent, walking out to
the gate and glancing at Nekhludoff's pass in the light of the
lantern, shrugged his broad shoulders, but obeyed the order and
invited the visitors to follow him. He first led them to the yard, and
then to a door on the right hand and up the stairs leading to the
office. Offering them seats, he asked them in what way he could serve
them, and learning from Nekhludoff that he wished to see Maslova, he
sent the jailer for her and prepared himself to answer the questions
which the Englishman wished to ask him, before going to the cell.

Nekhludoff translated the Englishman's questions. While they were
conversing they heard approaching footsteps, the door opened and the
jailer entered, followed by Katiousha in her prison garb, with a scarf
tied around her head.

Nekhludoff rose and made a few steps toward her. She said nothing, but
her excited expression surprised him. Her face was lit up with a
wonderful decision. He had never seen her look like that. Now the
blood rushed to her face, and now she turned pale; now her fingers
twisted convulsively the edges of her jacket, now she looked at him,
and now she dropped her eyes.

"You know what I called you for?" asked Nekhludoff.

"Yes, he told me. But now I am decided. I will ask permission to go
with Vladimir Ivanovitch." She said this quickly, as if she had made
up her mind before what to say.

"How with Vladimir Ivanovitch?" asked Nekhludoff. But she interrupted

"But if he wants me to live with him?" Here she stopped in fear, and
added, "I mean to stay with him. I could expect nothing better, and
perhaps I may be useful to him and others. What difference does it
make to me?"

One of the two things had happened--either she had fallen in love
with Simonson and did not wish his sacrifice, which weighed so heavily
on him, or she was still in love with Nekhludoff and renounced him for
his own good, burning all bridges behind her, and throwing her
fortunes in the same scale with those of Simonson. Nekhludoff
understood it, and felt ashamed.

"If you are in love with him," he said.

"I never knew such people, you know. It is impossible not to love
them. And Vladimir is entirely unlike any person I have ever known."

"Yes, certainly," said Nekhludoff. "He is an excellent man, and I

Here she interrupted him, as if she were afraid that he would speak
too much, or she would not say everything.

"You will forgive me for doing that which you did not wish. You, too,
must love."

She said the very thing that he had just said to himself.

But now he was no longer thinking so, but felt altogether different.
He felt not only shame, but pity.

"Is it possible that all is at an end between us?" he said.

"Yes, it looks like it," she answered, with a strange smile.

"But nevertheless I would like to be useful to you."

"To us," she said, glancing at Nekhludoff. "We don't need anything. I
am very much obliged to you. If it were not for you"--she wished to
say something, but her voice began to tremble.

"I don't know which of us is under greater obligation to the other.
God will settle our accounts," said Nekhludoff.

"Yes, God will settle them," she whispered.

"Are you ready?" asked the Englishman.

"Directly," answered Nekhludoff, and then he inquired of her what she
knew of Kryltzoff.

She quieted down and calmly told him:

"Kryltzoff became very weak on the road and was taken to the hospital.
Maria Pablovna wanted to become a nurse, but there is no answer yet."

"Well, may I go?" she asked, noticing the Englishman who was waiting
for him.

"I am not yet taking leave of you," said Nekhludoff, holding out his
hand to her.

"Pardon me," she said in a low tone.

Their eyes met, and in that strange, stern look, and in that pitiful
smile, with which she said not "good-by," but "pardon me," Nekhludoff
understood, that of the two suppositions concerning her decision the
latter was the right one. She still loved him and thought she would
mar his life by a union with him, and would free him by living with

She pressed his hand, turned quickly, and left the room.


Passing through the hall and the ill-smelling corridors, the
superintendent passed into the first building of the prison in which
those condemned to hard labor were confined. Entering the first room
in that building they found the prisoners stretched on their berths,
which occupied the middle of the room. Hearing the visitors enter they
all jumped down, and, clinking their chains, placed themselves beside
their berths, while their half-shaven heads were distinctly set off
against the gloom of the prison. Only two of the prisoners remained at
their places. One of them was a young man whose face was evidently
heated with fever; the other was an old man, who never left off

The Englishman asked whether the young man had been sick for a long
time. The superintendent replied that he had been taken sick that very
same morning, that the old man had had convulsions for a long time,
and that they kept him in prison because there was no place for him in
the hospital.

The Englishman shook his head discontentedly, said that he would like
to say a few words to the prisoners, and asked Nekhludoff to translate
his remarks. It turned out that, besides the aim of his journey, which
was the description of the exile system--he had another one--the
preaching of the gospel, of salvation through faith.

"Tell them that Christ pitied and loved them," he said to Nekhludoff,
"and that He died for them. He who will believe in Him will be saved."

While he was saying this, all the prisoners were standing erect with
their hands by their sides.

"Tell them," continued the Englishman, "that all I said will be found
in this book. Are there any among them who can read?" It turned out
that there were more than twenty who could.

The Englishman took out a few leather-bound Bibles from his traveling
bag, and soon a number of muscular hands, terminating in long black
nails, were stretched out toward him, pushing each other aside in
order to reach the Testaments. He left two Testaments in this room,
and went to the next one.

There the same thing occurred. There prevailed the same dampness and
ill-smells. But in this room, between the windows, an image of the
Virgin, before which a small lamp burned dimly, was hung up. To the
left side of the door stood the large vat. Here the prisoners were
stretched out on their berths, and in the same way they rose and
placed themselves in a row. Three of them remained in their places.
Two of these three lifted themselves and sat up, but the third one
remained stretched out, and did not even look at the visitors. These
latter ones were sick. The Englishman addressed them in the same
manner, and left two Testaments.

From the cells in which those condemned to hard labor were imprisoned,
they passed over to the cells of the exiles, and finally those in
which the relatives who escorted the prisoners to Siberia were
awaiting the day appointed to start hence.

Everywhere the same cold, hungry, idling, sickly, degraded, brutalized
human beings could be seen.

The Englishman distributed his Bibles, and, being tired out, he walked
through the rooms saying "All right" to whatever the superintendent
told him concerning the prisons.

They went out into the corridor.

The Englishman, pointing to an open door, asked what that room was

"This is the prison morgue."

"Oh!" exclaimed the Englishman, and he expressed a desire to enter.
This room was an ordinary room. A small lamp, fastened to the wall,
lit up the four bodies which were stretched on berths, with their
heads toward the wall and the feet protruding toward the door. The
first body, in a plain shirt, was that of a tall young man, with a
small, pointed beard and half-shaven head. The corpse was already
chilled, and its blue hands were folded over the breast. Beside him,
in a white dress and jacket, lay a bare-footed old woman, with thin
hair and wrinkled, yellowish face. Beside this old woman lay a corpse,
attired in blue.

This color recalled something in Nekhludoff's memory.

"And who is this third one?" he asked, mistrusting his own eyesight.

"This one is a gentleman who was sent hither from the hospital,"
replied the superintendent.

Nekhludoff walked up to the body and touched the icy cold feet of


Nekhludoff, after parting with the Englishman, went straight to his
hotel, and walked about his room for a long time. The affair with
Katiousha was at an end. There was something ugly in the very memory
of it. But it was not that which grieved him. Some other affair of his
was yet unsettled--an affair which tortured him and required his
attention. In his imagination rose the gloomy scenes of the hundreds
and thousands of human beings pent up in the pestiferous air. The
laughter of the prisoners resounded in his ears. He saw again among
the dead bodies the beautiful, angry, waxen face of the dead
Kryltzoff; and the question whether he was mad, or all those who
commit those evils and think themselves wise were mad, bore in upon
his mind with renewed power, and he found no answer to it. The
principal difficulty consisted in finding an answer to the principal
question, which was: What should be done with those who became
brutalized in the struggle for life?

When he became tired walking about the room he sat down on the
lounge, close by the lamp, and mechanically opened the Bible which the
Englishman had presented him, and which he had thrown on the table
while emptying his pockets. They say, he thought, that this Bible
contains the solution to all questions. So, opening it, he began to
read at the place at which it opened itself--Matt. x., 8. After a
while he inclined close to the lamp and became like one petrified. An
exultation, the like of which he had not experienced for a long time,
took possession of his soul, as though, after long suffering and
weariness, he found at last liberty and rest. He did not sleep the
whole night. As is the case with many who read the Bible for the first
time, he now, on reading it again, grasped the full meaning of words
which he had known long ago, but which he had not understood before.
Like a sponge that absorbs everything, so he absorbed everything that
was important, necessary and joyful.

"That is the principal thing," thought Nekhludoff. "We all live in the
silly belief that we ourselves are the lords of our world, that this
world has been given us for our enjoyment. But this is evidently
untrue. Somebody must have sent us here for some reason. And for this
reason it is plain that we will suffer like those laborers suffer who
do not fulfill the wishes of their Master. The will of the Lord is
expressed in the teachings of Christ. Let man obey Him, and the
Kingdom of the Lord will come on earth, and man will derive the
greatest possible good.

"_Seek the truth and the Kingdom of God, and the rest will come of
itself._ We seek that which is to come, and do not find it, and not
only do we not build the Kingdom of God, but we destroy it.

"So this will henceforth be the task of my life!"

And indeed, from that night a new life began for Nekhludoff; not so
much because he had risen into a new stage of existence, but because
all that had happened to him till then assumed for him an altogether
new meaning.


       *       *       *       *       *

(Not part of the original book.)

Below are listed the spelling inconsistencies in the names of certain
characters. The names were transcribed to match the original text
except where typos are assumed to have caused the variations. Changes
from the original are noted below, except for minor punctuation

Absence changed to absent from original sentence (Part 1, Ch. VI,
  Pg. 25):

     He was postponing the case against the Skoptzy, although
     the absence witness was an entirely unnecessary one.

Birukova (Theodosia) (1 time)
Brinkova (Theodosia) (1 time)

Borki (village) (1 time)
Borkoff (village) (1 time)
Barkoff (village) (1 time)

Chapter (3 times)
Chepter (1 time), changed to Chapter from original sentence (Part 1,
  Ch. XLIII, Pg. 153):

    "To the Department of Cassation, etc., etc., Katherine, etc.
    Petition. By the decision, etc., of the etc., rendered, etc.,
    a certain Maslova was found guilty of taking the life, by
    poisoning, of a certain merchant Smelkoff, and in pursuance
    of Chepter 1,454 of the Code, was sentenced to etc., with
    hard labor, etc."

Daus changed to dans, from original sentence (Part 2, Ch. IX, Pg. 229):

    Il donne daus le spiritisme.

Dmitri (22 times)
Dimitri (3 times)

Dvorianskaia (1 time)
Dvorinskaia (1 time)

Fanarin (11 times)
Fanirin (19 times)

Fomer changed to former, from original sentence (Part 1, Ch. XLIII,
  Pg. 151):

     Not only was the old arrangement of things continued, but,
     as in fomer times, the house received a general cleaning.

Gerasimovich (7 times)
Gerasimovitch (8 times)

Ivanova (Bochkova) (1 time)
Ivanovna (Bochkova) (1 time)

Ivanovich (Dmitri) (14 times)
Ivanovitch (Dmitri) (3 time)

Kamensky (2 times)
Kanesky (1 time)

Katherine (Michaelovna Maslova) (15 times)
Catherine (Michaelovna Maslova) (3 times)

Katiousha (122 times)
Katiusha (3 times)

Korableva (39 times)
Korabeva (1 time), changed to Korableva from original sentence (Part 1,
  Ch. XLVI, Pg. 164):

     "Well, girl, good times are coming," said Korabeva to
     Maslova when the latter returned to the cell.

Kornei (8 times)
Kornci (1 time), changed to Kornei from original sentence (Part 2,
  Ch. VI, Pg. 215):

     The odor of camphor still hung in the air through all the
     rooms, and Agrippina, Petrovna and Kornci seemed tired out
     and dissatisfied, and even quarreled about the packing of
     the things, the use of which seemed to consist chiefly in
     being hung out, dried and packed away again.

Kryltzoff (22 times)
Kyrltzoff (1 time), changed to Kryltzoff from original sentence
  (Part 3, Ch. V, Pg. 301):

     "I cannot talk to them," Kyrltzoff said in a whisper, and
     became silent.

Kusminskoie (8 times)
Kusminskoi (1 time), changed to Kusminskoie from original sentence
  (Part 2, Ch. V, Pg. 215):

     Recalling now the feeling of pity over the loss of his
     property which he had experienced in Kusminskoi, Nekhludoff
     wondered how he could have done so.

Kusminskoe (1 time), changed to Kusminskoie from original sentence
  (Part 2, Ch. XXIV, Pg. 286):

     "I have not yet given the Kusminskoe land to the peasants."

Maslova (294 times)
Moslova (3 times)

Two occurrences of Moslova kept as in original, as they could be
interpreted as her name misspelled on the prison list, and Nekhludoff
asking for her by that name. The third was considered a typo and
changed from the original sentence (Part 1, Ch. XI, Pg. 41):

     "What took place?" suddenly said Moslova.

Menshov (9 times)
Menshova (5 times)
Menshoff (1 time)

Michaelovna (5 times)
Michaelova (1 time), changed to Michaelovna from original sentence
  (Part 1, Ch. XXIII, Pg. 82):

     3. Is the burgess Katherine Michaelova Maslova, twenty-seven
     years of age, guilty of the crime mentioned in the first

Natalie (15 times)
Natalia (10 times)
Natasha (3 times)

Nekhludoff (970 times)
Nekludoff (1 time), changed to Nekhludoff from original sentence
  (Part 1, Ch. XXV, Pg. 90):

     Nekludoff called to mind these two well-known lawyers.

Nekhuldoff (1 time), changed to Nekhludoff from original sentence
  (Part 1, Ch. XLII, Pg. 149):

     Nekhuldoff expected that at the first meeting Katiousha,
     learning of his intention to serve her, and of his
     repentance, would be moved to rejoicing, would become again
     Katiousha, but to his surprise and horror, he saw that
     Katiousha was no more; that only Maslova remained.

Nikiforovitch (26 times)
Nikiforvitch (1 time), changed to Nikiforovitch from original sentence
  (Part 2, Ch. XX, Pg. 269):

     "In the first place, the Ministry will not refer to the
     Senate," and Ignatius Nikiforvitch smiled condescendingly,
     "but will call for all the documents in the case, and, if it
     finds an error, will so decide."

Panov (5 times)
Panovo (1 time)
Panoff (1 time)

Petrovna (25 times)
Petrovana (1 time), changed to Petrovna from original sentence (Part 1,
  Ch. III, Pg. 15):

     "Then I will bid her wait," and Agrippina Petrovana glided
     out of the dining-room, first replacing the crumb-brush,
     which lay on the table, in its holder.

Replusive was changed to repulsive from the original sentence (Part 1,
  Ch. XLI, Pg. 148):

     "Because I wish to efface, to expiate my sin. Katiousha----"
     he began, and was about to tell her that he would marry her,
     but he met her eyes in which he read something so terrible,
     rude and replusive that he could not finish.

Selenin (21 times)
Selinin (1 time), changed to Selenin from original sentence (Part 3,
  Ch. VIII, Pg. 311):

     There was no news there, so he drove back to his hotel, and
     wrote at once to the lawyer and to Selinin concerning it.

Silenin (3 times), changed to Selenin from original sentences (Part 2,
  Ch. XII, Pg. 239 and Part 3, Ch. VII, Pg. 310):

     "Is the associate's name Silenin?" he asked the lawyer.

     He tore open the envelope, and, seeing a letter from Silenin
     with some official document, he felt the blood mounting to
     his cheeks, and his heart grow weak.

     "Dear friend," wrote Silenin, "our last conversation made a
     strong impression upon me."

Shouleds was changed to shoulders from the original sentence (Part 2,
  Ch. XVI, Pg. 252):

     In the box he found Mariette and a strange lady with a red
     mantle over her shouleds and high head-dress, and two men--a
     general, Mariette's husband, a handsome, tall man with a
     high, artificial, military breast, and a flaxen haired,
     bald-headed man with shaved chin and solemn side-whiskers.

Simonson (31 times)
Simsonson (1 time), changed to Simonson from the original sentence
  (Part 3, Ch. VII, Pg. 304):

     I never thought that Vladimir Simsonson could fall in love in
     such a very stupid, childish fashion.

Smelkoff (34 times)
Smeldoff (1 time), changed to Smelkoff from the original sentence
  (Part 1, Ch. XI, Pg. 39):

     "You are charged, together with Euphemia Bochkova and
     Katherine Maslova, with stealing from the trunk of the
     merchant Smeldoff money belonging to him, and subsequently
     brought arsenic and induced Maslova to administer it to
     Smelkoff, by reason of which he came to his death."

Smothly changed to smoothly from the original sentence
  (Part 1, Ch. LIII, Pg. 183):

     At first everything went on smothly, but afterward one of
     the party was caught, the papers were seized, and then all
     were taken in a police drag-net.

Tarass (7 times)
Taras (1 time), changed to Tarass from original sentence (Part 3,
  Ch. 1, Pg. 290):

     Her condition in this respect was somewhat relieved by the
     presence of Theodosia and Taras, who, learning that his wife
     was subjected to these insults, had himself included among
     the prisoners, and riding as such from Nijhni, was able to
     protect her to some extent.

Therapout (1 time)
Therapont (1 time)

TOLSTOY (Count Leo, author) (correct spelling) (0 times)
TOLSTOI (Count Leo, author) (2 times) left variation as in original.

Tourgenieff (1 time) (correct spelling.)
Tourgeniff (1 time) Could be misquoted by character, left as original.

Vasilevna (Maria) (1 time)
Vasilieona (Maria) (1 time)

Vodk changed to vodka from original sentence (Part 1, Ch. XLIV,
  Pg. 157):

     Korableva, Miss Dandy, Theodosia and Maslova, flushed and
     animated, for they had already partaken of vodk which Maslova
     now had in abundance, were sitting in their corner, talking
     of the same thing.

Maslenikoff, Nekhludoff character error:

Nekhludoff was kept in the following sentence to match the original,
and because it wasn't a simple printer's typo. It should have been
Maslenikoff speaking in place of Nekhludoff as can be seen by the
surrounding paragraphs (Part 1, Ch. LVI, Pg. 190):

     "How did you come to know it?" asked Nekhludoff, and his
     face showed disquietude and displeasure.

     "I was visiting a prisoner, and these people surrounded me
     and asked----"

     "What prisoner were you visiting?"

     "The peasant who is innocently accused, and for whom I have
     obtained counsel. But that is not to the point. Is it
     possible that these innocent people are kept in prison only
     because they failed to renew their passports?"

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