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Title: Resurrection
Author: Tolstoy, Leo, graf
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 "Resurrection" ***

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RESURRECTION

By Leo Tolstoy


Translated by Mrs. Louise Maude



[Transcriber’s Note: The following paragraph is on a page of its own, in
cursive writing, apparently in Tolstoy’s own hand.]

     This English version
     of “Resurrection” is pub-
     lished by Dodd, Mead and
     Company by my authority.
                 Leo Tolstoy



TRANSLATOR’S PREFACE

Opinions about Tolstoy and his work differ, but on one point there
surely might be unanimity. A writer of world-wide reputation should be
at least allowed to know how to spell his own name. Why should any one
insist on spelling it “Tolstoi” (with one, two or three dots over the
“i”), when he himself writes it “Tolstoy”? The only reason I have ever
heard suggested is, that in England and America such outlandish views
are attributed to him, that an outlandish spelling is desirable to match
those views.

This novel, written in the rough by Tolstoy some years ago and founded
upon an actual occurrence, was completely rewritten by him during the
last year and a half, and all the proceeds have been devoted by him
to aiding the Doukhobors, a sect who were persecuted in the Caucasus
(especially from 1895 to 1898) for refusing to learn war. About seven
thousand three hundred of them are settled in Canada, and about a
hundred of the leaders are exiled to the remote parts of Siberia.

Anything I may receive for my work in translating the book will go to
the same cause. “Prevention is better than cure,” and I would rather
help people to abstain from killing and wounding each other than devote
the money to patch up their wounds after the battle.

LOUISE MAUDE



RESURRECTION



CHAPTER I.

MASLOVA IN PRISON.

Though hundreds of thousands had done their very best to disfigure the
small piece of land on which they were crowded together, by paving the
ground with stones, scraping away every vestige of vegetation, cutting
down the trees, turning away birds and beasts, and filling the air with
the smoke of naphtha and coal, still spring was spring, even in the
town.

The sun shone warm, the air was balmy; everywhere, where it did not get
scraped away, the grass revived and sprang up between the paving-stones
as well as on the narrow strips of lawn on the boulevards. The birches,
the poplars, and the wild cherry unfolded their gummy and fragrant
leaves, the limes were expanding their opening buds; crows, sparrows,
and pigeons, filled with the joy of spring, were getting their nests
ready; the flies were buzzing along the walls, warmed by the sunshine.
All were glad, the plants, the birds, the insects, and the children. But
men, grown-up men and women, did not leave off cheating and tormenting
themselves and each other. It was not this spring morning men thought
sacred and worthy of consideration not the beauty of God’s world, given
for a joy to all creatures, this beauty which inclines the heart to
peace, to harmony, and to love, but only their own devices for enslaving
one another.

Thus, in the prison office of the Government town, it was not the fact
that men and animals had received the grace and gladness of spring that
was considered sacred and important, but that a notice, numbered and
with a superscription, had come the day before, ordering that on this
28th day of April, at 9 a.m., three prisoners at present detained in the
prison, a man and two women (one of these women, as the chief criminal,
to be conducted separately), had to appear at Court. So now, on the 28th
of April, at 8 o’clock, a jailer and soon after him a woman warder with
curly grey hair, dressed in a jacket with sleeves trimmed with gold,
with a blue-edged belt round her waist, and having a look of suffering
on her face, came into the corridor.

“You want Maslova?” she asked, coming up to the cell with the jailer who
was on duty.

The jailer, rattling the iron padlock, opened the door of the cell, from
which there came a whiff of air fouler even than that in the corridor,
and called out, “Maslova! to the Court,” and closed the door again.

Even into the prison yard the breeze had brought the fresh vivifying air
from the fields. But in the corridor the air was laden with the germs of
typhoid, the smell of sewage, putrefaction, and tar; every newcomer felt
sad and dejected in it. The woman warder felt this, though she was
used to bad air. She had just come in from outside, and entering the
corridor, she at once became sleepy.

From inside the cell came the sound of bustle and women’s voices, and
the patter of bare feet on the floor.

“Now, then, hurry up, Maslova, I say!” called out the jailer, and in a
minute or two a small young woman with a very full bust came briskly out
of the door and went up to the jailer. She had on a grey cloak over a
white jacket and petticoat. On her feet she wore linen stockings and
prison shoes, and round her head was tied a white kerchief, from under
which a few locks of black hair were brushed over the forehead with
evident intent. The face of the woman was of that whiteness peculiar to
people who have lived long in confinement, and which puts one in mind of
shoots of potatoes that spring up in a cellar. Her small broad hands and
full neck, which showed from under the broad collar of her cloak, were
of the same hue. Her black, sparkling eyes, one with a slight squint,
appeared in striking contrast to the dull pallor of her face.

She carried herself very straight, expanding her full bosom.

With her head slightly thrown back, she stood in the corridor, looking
straight into the eyes of the jailer, ready to comply with any order.

The jailer was about to lock the door when a wrinkled and severe-looking
old woman put out her grey head and began speaking to Maslova. But the
jailer closed the door, pushing the old woman’s head with it. A woman’s
laughter was heard from the cell, and Maslova smiled, turning to the
little grated opening in the cell door. The old woman pressed her face
to the grating from the other side, and said, in a hoarse voice:

“Now mind, and when they begin questioning you, just repeat over the
same thing, and stick to it; tell nothing that is not wanted.”

“Well, it could not be worse than it is now, anyhow; I only wish it was
settled one way or another.”

“Of course, it will be settled one way or another,” said the jailer,
with a superior’s self-assured witticism. “Now, then, get along! Take
your places!”

The old woman’s eyes vanished from the grating, and Maslova stepped out
into the middle of the corridor. The warder in front, they descended
the stone stairs, past the still fouler, noisy cells of the men’s
ward, where they were followed by eyes looking out of every one of the
gratings in the doors, and entered the office, where two soldiers were
waiting to escort her. A clerk who was sitting there gave one of the
soldiers a paper reeking of tobacco, and pointing to the prisoner,
remarked, “Take her.”

The soldier, a peasant from Nijni Novgorod, with a red, pock-marked
face, put the paper into the sleeve of his coat, winked to his
companion, a broad-shouldered Tchouvash, and then the prisoner and the
soldiers went to the front entrance, out of the prison yard, and through
the town up the middle of the roughly-paved street.

Isvostchiks [cabmen], tradespeople, cooks, workmen, and government
clerks, stopped and looked curiously at the prisoner; some shook their
heads and thought, “This is what evil conduct, conduct unlike ours,
leads to.” The children stopped and gazed at the robber with frightened
looks; but the thought that the soldiers were preventing her from doing
more harm quieted their fears. A peasant, who had sold his charcoal, and
had had some tea in the town, came up, and, after crossing himself, gave
her a copeck. The prisoner blushed and muttered something; she noticed
that she was attracting everybody’s attention, and that pleased her. The
comparatively fresh air also gladdened her, but it was painful to step
on the rough stones with the ill-made prison shoes on her feet, which
had become unused to walking. Passing by a corn-dealer’s shop, in front
of which a few pigeons were strutting about, unmolested by any one, the
prisoner almost touched a grey-blue bird with her foot; it fluttered up
and flew close to her ear, fanning her with its wings. She smiled, then
sighed deeply as she remembered her present position.



CHAPTER II.

MASLOVA’S EARLY LIFE.

The story of the prisoner Maslova’s life was a very common one.

Maslova’s mother was the unmarried daughter of a village woman,
employed on a dairy farm, which belonged to two maiden ladies who were
landowners. This unmarried woman had a baby every year, and, as often
happens among the village people, each one of these undesired babies,
after it had been carefully baptised, was neglected by its mother, whom
it hindered at her work, and left to starve. Five children had died in
this way. They had all been baptised and then not sufficiently fed, and
just left to die. The sixth baby, whose father was a gipsy tramp, would
have shared the same fate, had it not so happened that one of the maiden
ladies came into the farmyard to scold the dairymaids for sending up
cream that smelt of the cow. The young woman was lying in the cowshed
with a fine, healthy, new-born baby. The old maiden lady scolded the
maids again for allowing the woman (who had just been confined) to lie
in the cowshed, and was about to go away, but seeing the baby her heart
was touched, and she offered to stand godmother to the little girl, and
pity for her little god-daughter induced her to give milk and a little
money to the mother, so that she should feed the baby; and the little
girl lived. The old ladies spoke of her as “the saved one.” When the
child was three years old, her mother fell ill and died, and the maiden
ladies took the child from her old grandmother, to whom she was nothing
but a burden.

The little black-eyed maiden grew to be extremely pretty, and so full of
spirits that the ladies found her very entertaining.

The younger of the ladies, Sophia Ivanovna, who had stood godmother to
the girl, had the kinder heart of the two sisters; Maria Ivanovna, the
elder, was rather hard. Sophia Ivanovna dressed the little girl in nice
clothes, and taught her to read and write, meaning to educate her like a
lady. Maria Ivanovna thought the child should be brought up to work, and
trained her to be a good servant. She was exacting; she punished, and,
when in a bad temper, even struck the little girl. Growing up under
these two different influences, the girl turned out half servant, half
young lady. They called her Katusha, which sounds less refined than
Katinka, but is not quite so common as Katka. She used to sew, tidy up
the rooms, polish the metal cases of the icons and do other light work,
and sometimes she sat and read to the ladies.

Though she had more than one offer, she would not marry. She felt that
life as the wife of any of the working men who were courting her would
be too hard; spoilt as she was by a life of case.

She lived in this manner till she was sixteen, when the nephew of the
old ladies, a rich young prince, and a university student, came to
stay with his aunts, and Katusha, not daring to acknowledge it even to
herself, fell in love with him.

Then two years later this same nephew stayed four days with his aunts
before proceeding to join his regiment, and the night before he left he
betrayed Katusha, and, after giving her a 100-rouble note, went away.
Five months later she knew for certain that she was to be a mother.
After that everything seemed repugnant to her, her only thought being
how to escape from the shame that awaited her. She began not only to
serve the ladies in a half-hearted and negligent way, but once, without
knowing how it happened, was very rude to them, and gave them notice,
a thing she repented of later, and the ladies let her go, noticing
something wrong and very dissatisfied with her. Then she got a
housemaid’s place in a police-officer’s house, but stayed there only
three months, for the police officer, a man of fifty, began to torment
her, and once, when he was in a specially enterprising mood, she fired
up, called him “a fool and old devil,” and gave him such a knock in the
chest that he fell. She was turned out for her rudeness. It was useless
to look for another situation, for the time of her confinement was
drawing near, so she went to the house of a village midwife, who also
sold wine. The confinement was easy; but the midwife, who had a case of
fever in the village, infected Katusha, and her baby boy had to be sent
to the foundlings’ hospital, where, according to the words of the old
woman who took him there, he at once died. When Katusha went to the
midwife she had 127 roubles in all, 27 which she had earned and 100
given her by her betrayer. When she left she had but six roubles; she
did not know how to keep money, but spent it on herself, and gave to
all who asked. The midwife took 40 roubles for two months’ board and
attendance, 25 went to get the baby into the foundlings’ hospital, and
40 the midwife borrowed to buy a cow with. Twenty roubles went just for
clothes and dainties. Having nothing left to live on, Katusha had to
look out for a place again, and found one in the house of a forester.
The forester was a married man, but he, too, began to annoy her from the
first day. He disgusted her, and she tried to avoid him. But he, more
experienced and cunning, besides being her master, who could send her
wherever he liked, managed to accomplish his object. His wife found it
out, and, catching Katusha and her husband in a room all by themselves,
began beating her. Katusha defended herself, and they had a fight, and
Katusha got turned out of the house without being paid her wages.

Then Katusha went to live with her aunt in town. The aunt’s husband,
a bookbinder, had once been comfortably off, but had lost all his
customers, and had taken to drink, and spent all he could lay hands
on at the public-house. The aunt kept a little laundry, and managed to
support herself, her children, and her wretched husband. She offered
Katusha the place of an assistant laundress; but seeing what a life of
misery and hardship her aunt’s assistants led, Katusha hesitated, and
applied to a registry office for a place. One was found for her with a
lady who lived with her two sons, pupils at a public day school. A
week after Katusha had entered the house the elder, a big fellow with
moustaches, threw up his studies and made love to her, continually
following her about. His mother laid all the blame on Katusha, and gave
her notice.

It so happened that, after many fruitless attempts to find a situation,
Katusha again went to the registry office, and there met a woman with
bracelets on her bare, plump arms and rings on most of her fingers.
Hearing that Katusha was badly in want of a place, the woman gave her
her address, and invited her to come to her house. Katusha went. The
woman received her very kindly, set cake and sweet wine before her,
then wrote a note and gave it to a servant to take to somebody. In the
evening a tall man, with long, grey hair and a white beard, entered the
room, and sat down at once near Katusha, smiling and gazing at her with
glistening eyes. He began joking with her. The hostess called him away
into the next room, and Katusha heard her say, “A fresh one from the
country,” Then the hostess called Katusha aside and told her that the
man was an author, and that he had a great deal of money, and that if
he liked her he would not grudge her anything. He did like her, and gave
her 25 roubles, promising to see her often. The 25 roubles soon went;
some she paid to her aunt for board and lodging; the rest was spent on
a hat, ribbons, and such like. A few days later the author sent for her,
and she went. He gave her another 25 roubles, and offered her a separate
lodging.

Next door to the lodging rented for her by the author there lived a
jolly young shopman, with whom Katusha soon fell in love. She told
the author, and moved to a little lodging of her own. The shopman, who
promised to marry her, went to Nijni on business without mentioning it
to her, having evidently thrown her up, and Katusha remained alone. She
meant to continue living in the lodging by herself, but was informed
by the police that in this case she would have to get a license. She
returned to her aunt. Seeing her fine dress, her hat, and mantle, her
aunt no longer offered her laundry work. As she understood things, her
niece had risen above that sort of thing. The question as to whether she
was to become a laundress or not did not occur to Katusha, either. She
looked with pity at the thin, hard-worked laundresses, some already in
consumption, who stood washing or ironing with their thin arms in the
fearfully hot front room, which was always full of soapy steam and
draughts from the windows, and thought with horror that she might have
shared the same fate.

Katusha had begun to smoke some time before, and since the young shopman
had thrown her up she was getting more and more into the habit of
drinking. It was not so much the flavour of wine that tempted her as the
fact that it gave her a chance of forgetting the misery she suffered,
making her feel more unrestrained and more confident of her own worth,
which she was not when quite sober; without wine she felt sad and
ashamed. Just at this time a woman came along who offered to place her
in one of the largest establishments in the city, explaining all the
advantages and benefits of the situation. Katusha had the choice before
her of either going into service or accepting this offer--and she chose
the latter. Besides, it seemed to her as though, in this way, she could
revenge herself on her betrayer and the shopman and all those who had
injured her. One of the things that tempted her, and was the cause
of her decision, was the woman telling her she might order her own
dresses--velvet, silk, satin, low-necked ball dresses, anything she
liked. A mental picture of herself in a bright yellow silk trimmed with
black velvet with low neck and short sleeves conquered her, and she gave
up her passport. On the same evening the procuress took an isvostchik
and drove her to the notorious house kept by Carolina Albertovna
Kitaeva.

From that day a life of chronic sin against human and divine laws
commenced for Katusha Maslova, a life which is led by hundreds of
thousands of women, and which is not merely tolerated but sanctioned by
the Government, anxious for the welfare of its subjects; a life
which for nine women out of ten ends in painful disease, premature
decrepitude, and death.

Katusha Maslova lived this life for seven years. During these years she
twice changed houses, and had once been to the hospital. In the seventh
year of this life, when she was twenty-six years old, happened that for
which she was put in prison and for which she was now being taken to
be tried, after more than three months of confinement with thieves and
murderers in the stifling air of a prison.



CHAPTER III.

NEKHLUDOFF.

When Maslova, wearied out by the long walk, reached the building,
accompanied by two soldiers, Prince Dmitri Ivanovitch Nekhludoff, who
had seduced her, was still lying on his high bedstead, with a feather
bed on the top of the spring mattress, in a fine, clean, well-ironed
linen night shirt, smoking a cigarette, and considering what he had to
do to-day, and what had happened yesterday.

Recalling the evening he had spent with the Korchagins, a wealthy and
aristocratic family, whose daughter every one expected he would marry,
he sighed, and, throwing away the end of his cigarette, was going
to take another out of the silver case; but, changing his mind, he
resolutely raised his solid frame, and, putting down his smooth, white
legs, stepped into his slippers, threw his silk dressing gown over his
broad shoulders, and passed into his dressing-room, walking heavily
and quickly. There he carefully cleaned his teeth, many of which were
filled, with tooth powder, and rinsed his mouth with scented elixir.
After that he washed his hands with perfumed soap, cleaned his long
nails with particular care, then, from a tap fixed to his marble
washstand, he let a spray of cold water run over his face and stout
neck. Having finished this part of the business, he went into a third
room, where a shower bath stood ready for him. Having refreshed his
full, white, muscular body, and dried it with a rough bath sheet, he put
on his fine undergarments and his boots, and sat down before the glass
to brush his black beard and his curly hair, that had begun to get thin
above the forehead. Everything he used, everything belonging to his
toilet, his linen, his clothes, boots, necktie, pin, studs, was of the
best quality, very quiet, simple, durable and costly.

Nekhludoff dressed leisurely, and went into the dining-room. A table,
which looked very imposing with its four legs carved in the shape of
lions’ paws, and a huge side-board to match, stood in the oblong room,
the floor of which had been polished by three men the day before. On
the table, which was covered with a fine, starched cloth, stood a silver
coffeepot full of aromatic coffee, a sugar basin, a jug of fresh cream,
and a bread basket filled with fresh rolls, rusks, and biscuits; and
beside the plate lay the last number of the _Revue des Deux Mondes_, a
newspaper, and several letters.

Nekhludoff was just going to open his letters, when a stout, middle-aged
woman in mourning, a lace cap covering the widening parting of her hair,
glided into the room. This was Agraphena Petrovna, formerly lady’s maid
to Nekhludoff’s mother. Her mistress had died quite recently in this
very house, and she remained with the son as his housekeeper. Agraphena
Petrovna had spent nearly ten years, at different times, abroad with
Nekhludoff’s mother, and had the appearance and manners of a lady. She
had lived with the Nekhludoffs from the time she was a child, and had
known Dmitri Ivanovitch at the time when he was still little Mitinka.

“Good-morning, Dmitri Ivanovitch.”

“Good-morning, Agraphena Petrovna. What is it you want?” Nekhludoff
asked.

“A letter from the princess; either from the mother or the daughter.
The maid brought it some time ago, and is waiting in my room,” answered
Agraphena Petrovna, handing him the letter with a significant smile.

“All right! Directly!” said Nekhludoff, taking the letter and frowning
as he noticed Agraphena Petrovna’s smile.

That smile meant that the letter was from the younger Princess
Korchagin, whom Agraphena Petrovna expected him to marry. This
supposition of hers annoyed Nekhludoff.

“Then I’ll tell her to wait?” and Agraphena Petrovna took a crumb brush
which was not in its place, put it away, and sailed out of the room.

Nekhludoff opened the perfumed note, and began reading it.

The note was written on a sheet of thick grey paper, with rough edges;
the writing looked English. It said:

Having assumed the task of acting as your memory, I take the liberty of
reminding you that on this the 28th day of April you have to appear
at the Law Courts, as juryman, and, in consequence, can on no account
accompany us and Kolosoff to the picture gallery, as, with your habitual
flightiness, you promised yesterday; _a moins que vous ne soyez dispose
a payer la cour d’assise les 300 roubles d’amende que vous vous refusez
pour votre cheval,_ for not appearing in time. I remembered it last
night after you were gone, so do not forget.

                      Princess M. Korchagin.

On the other side was a postscript.

_Maman vous fait dire que votre convert vous attendra jusqu’a la nuit.
Venez absolument a quelle heure que cela soit._

                                    M. K.

Nekhludoff made a grimace. This note was a continuation of that skilful
manoeuvring which the Princess Korchagin had already practised for two
months in order to bind him closer and closer with invisible threads.
And yet, beside the usual hesitation of men past their youth to marry
unless they are very much in love, Nekhludoff had very good reasons why,
even if he did make up his mind to it, he could not propose at once. It
was not that ten years previously he had betrayed and forsaken Maslova;
he had quite forgotten that, and he would not have considered it a
reason for not marrying. No! The reason was that he had a liaison with a
married woman, and, though he considered it broken off, she did not.

Nekhludoff was rather shy with women, and his very shyness awakened in
this married woman, the unprincipled wife of the marechal de noblesse
of a district where Nekhludoff was present at an election, the desire
of vanquishing him. This woman drew him into an intimacy which entangled
him more and more, while it daily became more distasteful to him. Having
succumbed to the temptation, Nekhludoff felt guilty, and had not the
courage to break the tie without her consent. And this was the reason he
did not feel at liberty to propose to Korchagin even if he had wished to
do so. Among the letters on the table was one from this woman’s husband.
Seeing his writing and the postmark, Nekhludoff flushed, and felt his
energies awakening, as they always did when he was facing any kind of
danger.

But his excitement passed at once. The marechal do noblesse, of the
district in which his largest estate lay, wrote only to let Nekhludoff
know that there was to be a special meeting towards the end of May, and
that Nekhludoff was to be sure and come to “_donner un coup d’epaule_,”
 at the important debates concerning the schools and the roads, as a
strong opposition by the reactionary party was expected.

The marechal was a liberal, and was quite engrossed in this fight, not
even noticing the misfortune that had befallen him.

Nekhludoff remembered the dreadful moments he had lived through; once
when he thought that the husband had found him out and was going to
challenge him, and he was making up his mind to fire into the air; also
the terrible scene he had with her when she ran out into the park, and
in her excitement tried to drown herself in the pond.

“Well, I cannot go now, and can do nothing until I get a reply from
her,” thought Nekhludoff. A week ago he had written her a decisive
letter, in which he acknowledged his guilt, and his readiness to atone
for it; but at the same time he pronounced their relations to be at an
end, for her own good, as he expressed it. To this letter he had as yet
received no answer. This might prove a good sign, for if she did not
agree to break off their relations, she would have written at once, or
even come herself, as she had done before. Nekhludoff had heard that
there was some officer who was paying her marked attention, and this
tormented him by awakening jealousy, and at the same time encouraged him
with the hope of escape from the deception that was oppressing him.

The other letter was from his steward. The steward wrote to tell
him that a visit to his estates was necessary in order to enter into
possession, and also to decide about the further management of his
lands; whether it was to continue in the same way as when his mother was
alive, or whether, as he had represented to the late lamented princess,
and now advised the young prince, they had not better increase their
stock and farm all the land now rented by the peasants themselves. The
steward wrote that this would be a far more profitable way of managing
the property; at the same time, he apologised for not having forwarded
the 3,000 roubles income due on the 1st. This money would be sent on by
the next mail. The reason for the delay was that he could not get the
money out of the peasants, who had grown so untrustworthy that he had
to appeal to the authorities. This letter was partly disagreeable, and
partly pleasant. It was pleasant to feel that he had power over so
large a property, and yet disagreeable, because Nekhludoff had been an
enthusiastic admirer of Henry George and Herbert Spencer. Being himself
heir to a large property, he was especially struck by the position
taken up by Spencer in Social Statics, that justice forbids private
landholding, and with the straightforward resoluteness of his age, had
not merely spoken to prove that land could not be looked upon as private
property, and written essays on that subject at the university, but had
acted up to his convictions, and, considering it wrong to hold landed
property, had given the small piece of land he had inherited from his
father to the peasants. Inheriting his mother’s large estates, and thus
becoming a landed proprietor, he had to choose one of two things: either
to give up his property, as he had given up his father’s land ten years
before, or silently to confess that all his former ideas were mistaken
and false.

He could not choose the former because he had no means but the landed
estates (he did not care to serve); moreover, he had formed luxurious
habits which he could not easily give up. Besides, he had no longer the
same inducements; his strong convictions, the resoluteness of youth, and
the ambitious desire to do something unusual were gone. As to the second
course, that of denying those clear and unanswerable proofs of the
injustice of landholding, which he had drawn from Spencer’s Social
Statics, and the brilliant corroboration of which he had at a later
period found in the works of Henry George, such a course was impossible
to him.



CHAPTER IV.

MISSY.

When Nekhludoff had finished his coffee, he went to his study to look
at the summons, and find out what time he was to appear at the court,
before writing his answer to the princess. Passing through his studio,
where a few studies hung on the walls and, facing the easel, stood an
unfinished picture, a feeling of inability to advance in art, a sense of
his incapacity, came over him. He had often had this feeling, of late,
and explained it by his too finely-developed aesthetic taste; still, the
feeling was a very unpleasant one. Seven years before this he had given
up military service, feeling sure that he had a talent for art, and had
looked down with some disdain at all other activity from the height of
his artistic standpoint. And now it turned out that he had no right
to do so, and therefore everything that reminded him of all this was
unpleasant. He looked at the luxurious fittings of the studio with a
heavy heart, and it was in no cheerful mood that he entered his study,
a large, lofty room fitted up with a view to comfort, convenience,
and elegant appearance. He found the summons at once in a pigeon hole,
labelled “immediate,” of his large writing table. He had to appear at
the court at 11 o’clock.

Nekhludoff sat down to write a note in reply to the princess, thanking
her for the invitation, and promising to try and come to dinner. Having
written one note, he tore it up, as it seemed too intimate. He wrote
another, but it was too cold; he feared it might give offence, so he
tore it up, too. He pressed the button of an electric bell, and his
servant, an elderly, morose-looking man, with whiskers and shaved chin
and lip, wearing a grey cotton apron, entered at the door.

“Send to fetch an isvostchik, please.”

“Yes, sir.”

“And tell the person who is waiting that I send thanks for the
invitation, and shall try to come.”

“Yes, sir.”

“It is not very polite, but I can’t write; no matter, I shall see her
today,” thought Nekhludoff, and went to get his overcoat.

When he came out of the house, an isvostchik he knew, with india-rubber
tires to his trap, was at the door waiting for him. “You had hardly gone
away from Prince Korchagin’s yesterday,” he said, turning half round,
“when I drove up, and the Swiss at the door says, ‘just gone.’” The
isvostchik knew that Nekhludoff visited at the Korchagins, and called
there on the chance of being engaged by him.

“Even the isvostchiks know of my relations with the Korchagins,” thought
Nekhludoff, and again the question whether he should not marry Princess
Korchagin presented itself to him, and he could not decide it either
way, any more than most of the questions that arose in his mind at this
time.

It was in favour of marriage in general, that besides the comforts
of hearth and home, it made a moral life possible, and chiefly that a
family would, so Nekhludoff thought, give an aim to his now empty life.

Against marriage in general was the fear, common to bachelors past
their first youth, of losing freedom, and an unconscious awe before this
mysterious creature, a woman.

In this particular case, in favour of marrying Missy (her name was Mary,
but, as is usual among a certain set, a nickname had been given her)
was that she came of good family, and differed in everything, manner
of speaking, walking, laughing, from the common people, not by anything
exceptional, but by her “good breeding”--he could find no other term
for this quality, though he prized it very highly---and, besides, she
thought more of him than of anybody else, therefore evidently understood
him. This understanding of him, i.e., the recognition of his superior
merits, was to Nekhludoff a proof of her good sense and correct
judgment. Against marrying Missy in particular, was, that in all
likelihood, a girl with even higher qualities could be found, that she
was already 27, and that he was hardly her first love. This last idea
was painful to him. His pride would not reconcile itself with the
thought that she had loved some one else, even in the past. Of course,
she could not have known that she should meet him, but the thought that
she was capable of loving another offended him. So that he had as many
reasons for marrying as against it; at any rate, they weighed equally
with Nekhludoff, who laughed at himself, and called himself the ass of
the fable, remaining like that animal undecided which haycock to turn
to.

“At any rate, before I get an answer from Mary Vasilievna (the
marechal’s wife), and finish completely with her, I can do nothing,” he
said to himself. And the conviction that he might, and was even obliged,
to delay his decision, was comforting. “Well, I shall consider all that
later on,” he said to himself, as the trap drove silently along the
asphalt pavement up to the doors of the Court.

“Now I must fulfil my public duties conscientiously, as I am in the
habit of always doing, and as I consider it right to do. Besides, they
are often interesting.” And he entered the hall of the Law Courts, past
the doorkeeper.



CHAPTER V.

THE JURYMEN.

The corridors of the Court were already full of activity. The attendants
hurried, out of breath, dragging their feet along the ground without
lifting them, backwards and forwards, with all sorts of messages and
papers. Ushers, advocates, and law officers passed hither and thither.
Plaintiffs, and those of the accused who were not guarded, wandered
sadly along the walls or sat waiting.

“Where is the Law Court?” Nekhludoff asked of an attendant.

“Which? There is the Civil Court and the Criminal Court.”

“I am on the jury.”

“The Criminal Court you should have said. Here to the right, then to the
left--the second door.”

Nekhludoff followed the direction.

Meanwhile some of the Criminal Court jurymen who were late had hurriedly
passed into a separate room. At the door mentioned two men stood
waiting.

One, a tall, fat merchant, a kind-hearted fellow, had evidently partaken
of some refreshments and a glass of something, and was in most pleasant
spirits. The other was a shopman of Jewish extraction. They were talking
about the price of wool when Nekhludoff came up and asked them if this
was the jurymen’s room.

“Yes, my dear sir, this is it. One of us? On the jury, are you?” asked
the merchant, with a merry wink.

“Ah, well, we shall have a go at the work together,” he continued, after
Nekhludoff had answered in the affirmative. “My name is Baklasheff,
merchant of the Second Guild,” he said, putting out his broad, soft,
flexible hand.

“With whom have I the honour?”

Nekhludoff gave his name and passed into the jurymen’s room.

Inside the room were about ten persons of all sorts. They had come but
a short while ago, and some were sitting, others walking up and down,
looking at each other, and making each other’s acquaintance. There was a
retired colonel in uniform; some were in frock coats, others in morning
coats, and only one wore a peasant’s dress.

Their faces all had a certain look of satisfaction at the prospect of
fulfilling a public duty, although many of them had had to leave their
businesses, and most were complaining of it.

The jurymen talked among themselves about the weather, the early spring,
and the business before them, some having been introduced, others just
guessing who was who. Those who were not acquainted with Nekhludoff made
haste to get introduced, evidently looking upon this as an honour, and
he taking it as his due, as he always did when among strangers. Had he
been asked why he considered himself above the majority of people, he
could not have given an answer; the life he had been living of late was
not particularly meritorious. The fact of his speaking English, French,
and German with a good accent, and of his wearing the best linen,
clothes, ties, and studs, bought from the most expensive dealers in
these goods, he quite knew would not serve as a reason for claiming
superiority. At the same time he did claim superiority, and accepted the
respect paid him as his due, and was hurt if he did not get it. In the
jurymen’s room his feelings were hurt by disrespectful treatment. Among
the jury there happened to be a man whom he knew, a former teacher of
his sister’s children, Peter Gerasimovitch. Nekhludoff never knew his
surname, and even bragged a bit about this. This man was now a master
at a public school. Nekhludoff could not stand his familiarity, his
self-satisfied laughter, his vulgarity, in short.

“Ah ha! You’re also trapped.” These were the words, accompanied with
boisterous laughter, with which Peter Gerasimovitch greeted Nekhludoff.
“Have you not managed to get out of it?”

“I never meant to get out of it,” replied Nekhludoff, gloomily, and in a
tone of severity.

“Well, I call this being public spirited. But just wait until you get
hungry or sleepy; you’ll sing to another tune then.”

“This son of a priest will be saying ‘thou’ [in Russian, as in many
other languages, ‘thou’ is used generally among people very familiar
with each other, or by superiors to inferiors] to me next,” thought
Nekhludoff, and walked away, with such a look of sadness on his face,
as might have been natural if he had just heard of the death of all
his relations. He came up to a group that had formed itself round a
clean-shaven, tall, dignified man, who was recounting something with
great animation. This man was talking about the trial going on in the
Civil Court as of a case well known to himself, mentioning the judges
and a celebrated advocate by name. He was saying that it seemed
wonderful how the celebrated advocate had managed to give such a clever
turn to the affair that an old lady, though she had the right on her
side, would have to pay a large sum to her opponent. “The advocate is a
genius,” he said.

The listeners heard it all with respectful attention, and several of
them tried to put in a word, but the man interrupted them, as if he
alone knew all about it.

Though Nekhludoff had arrived late, he had to wait a long time. One
of the members of the Court had not yet come, and everybody was kept
waiting.



CHAPTER VI.

THE JUDGES.

The president, who had to take the chair, had arrived early. The
president was a tall, stout man, with long grey whiskers. Though
married, he led a very loose life, and his wife did the same, so they
did not stand in each other’s way. This morning he had received a note
from a Swiss girl, who had formerly been a governess in his house, and
who was now on her way from South Russia to St. Petersburg. She wrote
that she would wait for him between five and six p.m. in the Hotel
Italia. This made him wish to begin and get through the sitting as soon
as possible, so as to have time to call before six p.m. on the little
red-haired Clara Vasilievna, with whom he had begun a romance in the
country last summer. He went into a private room, latched the door, took
a pair of dumb-bells out of a cupboard, moved his arms 20 times upwards,
downwards, forwards, and sideways, then holding the dumb-bells above his
head, lightly bent his knees three times.

“Nothing keeps one going like a cold bath and exercise,” he said,
feeling the biceps of his right arm with his left hand, on the third
finger of which he wore a gold ring. He had still to do the moulinee
movement (for he always went through those two exercises before a long
sitting), when there was a pull at the door. The president quickly put
away the dumb-bells and opened the door, saying, “I beg your pardon.”

One of the members, a high-shouldered, discontented-looking man, with
gold spectacles, came into the room. “Matthew Nikitich has again not
come,” he said, in a dissatisfied tone.

“Not yet?” said the president, putting on his uniform. “He is always
late.”

“It is extraordinary. He ought to be ashamed of himself,” said the
member, angrily, and taking out a cigarette.

This member, a very precise man, had had an unpleasant encounter with
his wife in the morning, because she had spent her allowance before the
end of the month, and had asked him to give her some money in advance,
but he would not give way to her, and they had a quarrel. The wife told
him that if he were going to behave so, he need not expect any dinner;
there would be no dinner for him at home. At this point he left, fearing
that she might carry out her threat, for anything might be expected from
her. “This comes of living a good, moral life,” he thought, looking at
the beaming, healthy, cheerful, and kindly president, who, with elbows
far apart, was smoothing his thick grey whiskers with his fine white
hands over the embroidered collar of his uniform. “He is always
contented and merry while I am suffering.”

The secretary came in and brought some document.

“Thanks, very much,” said the president, lighting a cigarette. “Which
case shall we take first, then?”

“The poisoning case, I should say,” answered the secretary, with
indifference.

“All right; the poisoning case let it be,” said the president, thinking
that he could get this case over by four o’clock, and then go away. “And
Matthew Nikitich; has he come?”

“Not yet.”

“And Breve?”

“He is here,” replied the secretary.

“Then if you see him, please tell him that we begin with the poisoning
case.” Breve was the public prosecutor, who was to read the indictment
in this case.

In the corridor the secretary met Breve, who, with up lifted shoulders,
a portfolio under one arm, the other swinging with the palm turned to
the front, was hurrying along the corridor, clattering with his heels.

“Michael Petrovitch wants to know if you are ready?” the secretary
asked.

“Of course; I am always ready,” said the public prosecutor. “What are we
taking first?”

“The poisoning case.”

“That’s quite right,” said the public prosecutor, but did not think it
at all right. He had spent the night in a hotel playing cards with a
friend who was giving a farewell party. Up to five in the morning they
played and drank, so he had no time to look at this poisoning case,
and meant to run it through now. The secretary, happening to know this,
advised the president to begin with the poisoning case. The secretary
was a Liberal, even a Radical, in opinion.

Breve was a Conservative; the secretary disliked him, and envied him his
position.

“Well, and how about the Skoptzy?” [a religious sect] asked the
secretary.

“I have already said that I cannot do it without witnesses, and so I
shall say to the Court.”

“Dear me, what does it matter?”

“I cannot do it,” said Breve; and, waving his arm, he ran into his
private room.

He was putting off the case of the Skoptzy on account of the absence
of a very unimportant witness, his real reason being that if they were
tried by an educated jury they might possibly be acquitted.

By an agreement with the president this case was to be tried in the
coming session at a provincial town, where there would be more peasants,
and, therefore, more chances of conviction.

The movement in the corridor increased. The people crowded most at
the doors of the Civil Court, in which the case that the dignified man
talked about was being heard.

An interval in the proceeding occurred, and the old woman came out of
the court, whose property that genius of an advocate had found means of
getting for his client, a person versed in law who had no right to it
whatever. The judges knew all about the case, and the advocate and his
client knew it better still, but the move they had invented was such
that it was impossible not to take the old woman’s property and not to
hand it over to the person versed in law.

The old woman was stout, well dressed, and had enormous flowers on her
bonnet; she stopped as she came out of the door, and spreading out her
short fat arms and turning to her advocate, she kept repeating. “What
does it all mean? just fancy!”

The advocate was looking at the flowers in her bonnet, and evidently not
listening to her, but considering some question or other.

Next to the old woman, out of the door of the Civil Court, his broad,
starched shirt front glistening from under his low-cut waistcoat, with
a self-satisfied look on his face, came the celebrated advocate who had
managed to arrange matters so that the old woman lost all she had, and
the person versed in the law received more than 100,000 roubles. The
advocate passed close to the old woman, and, feeling all eyes directed
towards him, his whole bearing seemed to say: “No expressions of
deference are required.”



CHAPTER VII.

THE OFFICIALS OF THE COURT.

At last Matthew Nikitich also arrived, and the usher, a thin man, with a
long neck and a kind of sideways walk, his nether lip protruding to one
side, which made him resemble a turkey, came into the jurymen’s room.

This usher was an honest man, and had a university education, but could
not keep a place for any length of time, as he was subject to fits of
drunkenness. Three months before a certain countess, who patronised his
wife, had found him this place, and he was very pleased to have kept it
so long.

“Well, sirs, is everybody here?” he asked, putting his pince-nez on his
nose, and looking round.

“Everybody, I think,” said the jolly merchant.

“All right; we’ll soon see.” And, taking a list from his pocket, he
began calling out the names, looking at the men, sometimes through and
sometimes over his pince-nez.

“Councillor of State, [grades such as this are common in Russia, and
mean very little] J. M. Nikiforoff!”

“I am he,” said the dignified-looking man, well versed in the habits of
the law court.

“Ivan Semionovitch Ivanoff, retired colonel!”

“Here!” replied a thin man, in the uniform of a retired officer.

“Merchant of the Second Guild, Peter Baklasheff!”

“Here we are, ready!” said the good-humoured merchant, with a broad
smile.

“Lieutenant of the Guards, Prince Dmitri Nekhludoff!”

“I am he,” answered Nekhludoff.

The usher bowed to him, looking over his pince-nez, politely and
pleasantly, as if wishing to distinguish him from the others.

“Captain Youri Demitrievitch-Dantchenko, merchant; Grigori Euphimitch
Kouleshoff,” etc. All but two were present.

“Now please to come to the court, gentlemen,” said the usher, pointing
to the door, with an amiable wave of his hand.

All moved towards the door, pausing to let each other pass. Then they
went through the corridor into the court.

The court was a large, long room. At one end there was a raised
platform, with three steps leading up to it, on which stood a table,
covered with a green cloth trimmed with a fringe of a darker shade. At
the table were placed three arm-chairs, with high-carved oak backs; on
the wall behind them hung a full-length, brightly-coloured portrait of
the Emperor in uniform and ribbon, with one foot in advance, and holding
a sword. In the right corner hung a case, with an image of Christ
crowned with thorns, and beneath it stood a lectern, and on the same
side the prosecuting attorney’s desk. On the left, opposite the desk,
was the secretary’s table, and in front of it, nearer the public, an
oak grating, with the prisoners’ bench, as yet unoccupied, behind
it. Besides all this, there were on the right side of the platform
high-backed ashwood chairs for the jury, and on the floor below tables
for the advocates. All this was in the front part of the court, divided
from the back by a grating.

The back was all taken up by seats in tiers. Sitting on the front seats
were four women, either servant or factory girls, and two working men,
evidently overawed by the grandeur of the room, and not venturing to
speak above a whisper.

Soon after the jury had come in the usher entered, with his sideward
gait, and stepping to the front, called out in a loud voice, as if he
meant to frighten those present, “The Court is coming!” Every one got
up as the members stepped on to the platform. Among them the president,
with his muscles and fine whiskers. Next came the gloomy member of the
Court, who was now more gloomy than ever, having met his brother-in-law,
who informed him that he had just called in to see his sister (the
member’s wife), and that she had told him that there would be no dinner
there.

“So that, evidently, we shall have to call in at a cook shop,” the
brother-in-law added, laughing.

“It is not at all funny,” said the gloomy member, and became gloomier
still.

Then at last came the third member of the Court, the same Matthew
Nikitich, who was always late. He was a bearded man, with large, round,
kindly eyes. He was suffering from a catarrh of the stomach, and,
according to his doctor’s advice, he had begun trying a new treatment,
and this had kept him at home longer than usual. Now, as he was
ascending the platform, he had a pensive air. He was in the habit of
making guesses in answer to all sorts of self-put questions by different
curious means. Just now he had asked whether the new treatment would be
beneficial, and had decided that it would cure his catarrh if the number
of steps from the door to his chair would divide by three. He made 26
steps, but managed to get in a 27th just by his chair.

The figures of the president and the members in their uniforms, with
gold-embroidered collars, looked very imposing. They seemed to feel this
themselves, and, as if overpowered by their own grandeur, hurriedly sat
down on the high backed chairs behind the table with the green cloth,
on which were a triangular article with an eagle at the top, two glass
vases--something like those in which sweetmeats are kept in refreshment
rooms--an inkstand, pens, clean paper, and good, newly-cut pencils of
different kinds.

The public prosecutor came in with the judges. With his portfolio under
one arm, and swinging the other, he hurriedly walked to his seat near
the window, and was instantly absorbed in reading and looking through
the papers, not wasting a single moment, in hope of being ready when the
business commenced. He had been public prosecutor but a short time, and
had only prosecuted four times before this. He was very ambitious,
and had firmly made up his mind to get on, and therefore thought it
necessary to get a conviction whenever he prosecuted. He knew the chief
facts of the poisoning case, and had already formed a plan of action. He
only wanted to copy out a few points which he required.

The secretary sat on the opposite side of the platform, and, having
got ready all the papers he might want, was looking through an article,
prohibited by the censor, which he had procured and read the day before.
He was anxious to have a talk about this article with the bearded
member, who shared his views, but wanted to look through it once more
before doing so.



CHAPTER VIII.

SWEARING IN THE JURY.

The president, having looked through some papers and put a few questions
to the usher and the secretary, gave the order for the prisoners to be
brought in.

The door behind the grating was instantly opened, and two gendarmes,
with caps on their heads, and holding naked swords in their hands,
came in, followed by the prisoners, a red-haired, freckled man, and two
women. The man wore a prison cloak, which was too long and too wide for
him. He stuck out his thumbs, and held his arms close to his sides, thus
keeping the sleeves, which were also too long, from slipping over his
hands. Without looking at the judges he gazed steadfastly at the form,
and passing to the other side of it, he sat down carefully at the very
edge, leaving plenty of room for the others. He fixed his eyes on the
president, and began moving the muscles of his cheeks, as if whispering
something. The woman who came next was also dressed in a prison cloak,
and had a prison kerchief round her head. She had a sallow complexion,
no eyebrows or lashes, and very red eyes. This woman appeared perfectly
calm. Having caught her cloak against something, she detached it
carefully, without any haste, and sat down.

The third prisoner was Maslova.

As soon as she appeared, the eyes of all the men in the court turned
her way, and remained fixed on her white face, her sparklingly-brilliant
black eyes and the swelling bosom under the prison cloak. Even the
gendarme whom she passed on her way to her seat looked at her fixedly
till she sat down, and then, as if feeling guilty, hurriedly turned
away, shook himself, and began staring at the window in front of him.

The president paused until the prisoners had taken their seats, and when
Maslova was seated, turned to the secretary.

Then the usual procedure commenced; the counting of the jury, remarks
about those who had not come, the fixing of the fines to be exacted
from them, the decisions concerning those who claimed exemption, the
appointing of reserve jurymen.

Having folded up some bits of paper and put them in one of the glass
vases, the president turned up the gold-embroidered cuffs of his uniform
a little way, and began drawing the lots, one by one, and opening them.
Nekhludoff was among the jurymen thus drawn. Then, having let down his
sleeves, the president requested the priest to swear in the jury.

The old priest, with his puffy, red face, his brown gown, and his gold
cross and little order, laboriously moving his stiff legs, came up to
the lectern beneath the icon.

The jurymen got up, and crowded towards the lectern.

“Come up, please,” said the priest, pulling at the cross on his breast
with his plump hand, and waiting till all the jury had drawn near. When
they had all come up the steps of the platform, the priest passed his
bald, grey head sideways through the greasy opening of the stole, and,
having rearranged his thin hair, he again turned to the jury. “Now,
raise your right arms in this way, and put your fingers together, thus,”
 he said, with his tremulous old voice, lifting his fat, dimpled hand,
and putting the thumb and two first fingers together, as if taking a
pinch of something. “Now, repeat after me, ‘I promise and swear, by the
Almighty God, by His holy gospels, and by the life-giving cross of
our Lord, that in this work which,’” he said, pausing between each
sentence--“don’t let your arm down; hold it like this,” he remarked to a
young man who had lowered his arm--“‘that in this work which . . . ’”

The dignified man with the whiskers, the colonel, the merchant, and
several more held their arms and fingers as the priest required of
them, very high, very exactly, as if they liked doing it; others did it
unwillingly and carelessly. Some repeated the words too loudly, and with
a defiant tone, as if they meant to say, “In spite of all, I will and
shall speak.” Others whispered very low, and not fast enough, and
then, as if frightened, hurried to catch up the priest. Some kept their
fingers tightly together, as if fearing to drop the pinch of invisible
something they held; others kept separating and folding theirs. Every
one save the old priest felt awkward, but he was sure he was fulfilling
a very useful and important duty.

After the swearing in, the president requested the jury to choose
a foreman, and the jury, thronging to the door, passed out into
the debating-room, where almost all of them at once began to smoke
cigarettes. Some one proposed the dignified man as foreman, and he was
unanimously accepted. Then the jurymen put out their cigarettes and
threw them away and returned to the court. The dignified man informed
the president that he was chosen foreman, and all sat down again on the
high-backed chairs.

Everything went smoothly, quickly, and not without a certain solemnity.
And this exactitude, order, and solemnity evidently pleased those
who took part in it: it strengthened the impression that they were
fulfilling a serious and valuable public duty. Nekhludoff, too, felt
this.

As soon as the jurymen were seated, the president made a speech on
their rights, obligations, and responsibilities. While speaking he kept
changing his position; now leaning on his right, now on his left hand,
now against the back, then on the arms of his chair, now putting the
papers straight, now handling his pencil and paper-knife.

According to his words, they had the right of interrogating the
prisoners through the president, to use paper and pencils, and to
examine the articles put in as evidence. Their duty was to judge not
falsely, but justly. Their responsibility meant that if the secrecy of
their discussion were violated, or communications were established with
outsiders, they would be liable to punishment. Every one listened with
an expression of respectful attention. The merchant, diffusing a smell
of brandy around him, and restraining loud hiccups, approvingly nodded
his head at every sentence.



CHAPTER IX.

THE TRIAL--THE PRISONERS QUESTIONED.

When he had finished his speech, the president turned to the male
prisoner.

“Simeon Kartinkin, rise.”

Simeon jumped up, his lips continuing to move nervously and inaudibly.

“Your name?”

“Simon Petrov Kartinkin,” he said, rapidly, with a cracked voice, having
evidently prepared the answer.

“What class do you belong to?”

“Peasant.”

“What government, district, and parish?”

“Toula Government, Krapivinskia district, Koupianovski parish, the
village Borki.”

“Your age?”

“Thirty-three; born in the year one thousand eight--”

“What religion?”

“Of the Russian religion, orthodox.”

“Married?”

“Oh, no, sir.”

“Your occupation?”

“I had a place in the Hotel Mauritania.”

“Have you ever been tried before?”

“I never got tried before, because, as we used to live formerly--”

“So you never were tried before?”

“God forbid, never.”

“Have you received a copy of the indictment?”

“I have.”

“Sit down.”

“Euphemia Ivanovna Botchkova,” said the president, turning to the next
prisoner.

But Simon continued standing in front of Botchkova.

“Kartinkin, sit down!” Kartinkin continued standing.

“Kartinkin, sit down!” But Kartinkin sat down only when the usher, with
his head on one side, and with preternaturally wide-open eyes, ran up,
and said, in a tragic whisper, “Sit down, sit down!”

Kartinkin sat down as hurriedly as he had risen, wrapping his cloak
round him, and again began moving his lips silently.

“Your name?” asked the president, with a weary sigh at being obliged to
repeat the same questions, without looking at the prisoner, but glancing
over a paper that lay before him. The president was so used to his task
that, in order to get quicker through it all, he did two things at a
time.

Botchkova was forty-three years old, and came from the town of Kalomna.
She, too, had been in service at the Hotel Mauritania.

“I have never been tried before, and have received a copy of the
indictment.” She gave her answers boldly, in a tone of voice as if she
meant to add to each answer, “And I don’t care who knows it, and I won’t
stand any nonsense.”

She did not wait to be told, but sat down as soon as she had replied to
the last question.

“Your name?” turning abruptly to the third prisoner. “You will have to
rise,” he added, softly and gently, seeing that Maslova kept her seat.

Maslova got up and stood, with her chest expanded, looking at the
president with that peculiar expression of readiness in her smiling
black eyes.

“What is your name?”

“Lubov,” she said.

Nekhludoff had put on his pince-nez, looking at the prisoners while they
were being questioned.

“No, it is impossible,” he thought, not taking his eyes off the
prisoner. “Lubov! How can it be?” he thought to himself, after hearing
her answer. The president was going to continue his questions, but
the member with the spectacles interrupted him, angrily whispering
something. The president nodded, and turned again to the prisoner.

“How is this,” he said, “you are not put down here as Lubov?”

The prisoner remained silent.

“I want your real name.”

“What is your baptismal name?” asked the angry member.

“Formerly I used to be called Katerina.”

“No, it cannot be,” said Nekhludoff to himself; and yet he was now
certain that this was she, that same girl, half ward, half servant to
his aunts; that Katusha, with whom he had once been in love, really
in love, but whom he had betrayed and then abandoned, and never again
brought to mind, for the memory would have been too painful, would
have convicted him too clearly, proving that he who was so proud of his
integrity had treated this woman in a revolting, scandalous way.

Yes, this was she. He now clearly saw in her face that strange,
indescribable individuality which distinguishes every face from all
others; something peculiar, all its own, not to be found anywhere else.
In spite of the unhealthy pallor and the fulness of the face, it was
there, this sweet, peculiar individuality; on those lips, in the slight
squint of her eyes, in the voice, particularly in the naive smile, and
in the expression of readiness on the face and figure.

“You should have said so,” remarked the president, again in a gentle
tone. “Your patronymic?”

“I am illegitimate.”

“Well, were you not called by your godfather’s name?”

“Yes, Mikhaelovna.”

“And what is it she can be guilty of?” continued Nekhludoff, in his
mind, unable to breathe freely.

“Your family name--your surname, I mean?” the president went on.

“They used to call me by my mother’s surname, Maslova.”

“What class?”

“Meschanka.” [the lowest town class or grade]

“Religion--orthodox?”

“Orthodox.”

“Occupation. What was your occupation?”

Maslova remained silent.

“What was your employment?”

“You know yourself,” she said, and smiled. Then, casting a hurried look
round the room, again turned her eyes on the president.

There was something so unusual in the expression of her face, so
terrible and piteous in the meaning of the words she had uttered, in
this smile, and in the furtive glance she had cast round the room, that
the president was abashed, and for a few minutes silence reigned in the
court. The silence was broken by some one among the public laughing,
then somebody said “Ssh,” and the president looked up and continued:

“Have you ever been tried before?”

“Never,” answered Maslova, softly, and sighed.

“Have you received a copy of the indictment?”

“I have,” she answered.

“Sit down.”

The prisoner leant back to pick up her skirt in the way a fine lady
picks up her train, and sat down, folding her small white hands in the
sleeves of her cloak, her eyes fixed on the president. Her face was calm
again.

The witnesses were called, and some sent away; the doctor who was to act
as expert was chosen and called into the court.

Then the secretary got up and began reading the indictment. He read
distinctly, though he pronounced the “I” and “r” alike, with a loud
voice, but so quickly that the words ran into one another and formed one
uninterrupted, dreary drone.

The judges bent now on one, now on the other arm of their chairs, then
on the table, then back again, shut and opened their eyes, and whispered
to each other. One of the gendarmes several times repressed a yawn.

The prisoner Kartinkin never stopped moving his cheeks. Botchkova sat
quite still and straight, only now and then scratching her head under
the kerchief.

Maslova sat immovable, gazing at the reader; only now and then she gave
a slight start, as if wishing to reply, blushed, sighed heavily, and
changed the position of her hands, looked round, and again fixed her
eyes on the reader.

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



CHAPTER X.

THE TRIAL--THE INDICTMENT.

The indictment ran as follows: On the 17th of January, 18--, in the
lodging-house Mauritania, occurred the sudden death of the Second Guild
merchant, Therapont Emilianovich Smelkoff, of Kourgan.

The local police doctor of the fourth district certified that death was
due to rupture of the heart, owing to the excessive use of alcoholic
liquids. The body of the said Smelkoff was interred. After several days
had elapsed, the merchant Timokhin, a fellow-townsman and companion
of the said Smelkoff, returned from St. Petersburg, and hearing the
circumstances that accompanied the death of the latter, notified his
suspicions that the death was caused by poison, given with intent to
rob the said Smelkoff of his money. This suspicion was corroborated on
inquiry, which proved:

1. That shortly before his death the said Smelkoff had received the sum
of 3,800 roubles from the bank. When an inventory of the property of the
deceased was made, only 312 roubles and 16 copecks were found.

2. The whole day and night preceding his death the said Smelkoff spent
with Lubka (alias Katerina Maslova) at her home and in the lodging-house
Mauritania, which she also visited at the said Smelkoff’s request during
his absence, to get some money, which she took out of his portmanteau in
the presence of the servants of the lodging-house Mauritania, Euphemia
Botchkova and Simeon Kartinkin, with a key given her by the said
Smelkoff. In the portmanteau opened by the said Maslova, the said
Botchkova and Kartinkin saw packets of 100-rouble bank-notes.

3. On the said Smelkoff’s return to the lodging-house Mauritania,
together with Lubka, the latter, in accordance with the attendant
Kartinkin’s advice, gave the said Smelkoff some white powder given to
her by the said Kartinkin, dissolved in brandy.

4. The next morning the said Lubka (alias Katerina Maslova) sold to her
mistress, the witness Kitaeva, a brothel-keeper, a diamond ring given to
her, as she alleged, by the said Smelkoff.

5. The housemaid of the lodging-house Mauritania, Euphemia Botchkova,
placed to her account in the local Commercial Bank 1,800 roubles. The
postmortem examination of the body of the said Smelkoff and the chemical
analysis of his intestines proved beyond doubt the presence of poison
in the organism, so that there is reason to believe that the said
Smelkoff’s death was caused by poisoning.

When cross-examined, the accused, Maslova, Botchkova, and Kartinkin,
pleaded not guilty, deposing--Maslova, that she had really been sent by
Smelkoff from the brothel, where she “works,” as she expresses it, to
the lodging-house Mauritania to get the merchant some money, and that,
having unlocked the portmanteau with a key given her by the merchant,
she took out 40 roubles, as she was told to do, and that she had taken
nothing more; that Botchkova and Kartinkin, in whose presence she
unlocked and locked the portmanteau, could testify to the truth of the
statement.

She gave this further evidence--that when she came to the lodging-house
for the second time she did, at the instigation of Simeon Kartinkin,
give Smelkoff some kind of powder, which she thought was a narcotic,
in a glass of brandy, hoping he would fall asleep and that she would be
able to get away from him; and that Smelkoff, having beaten her, himself
gave her the ring when she cried and threatened to go away.

The accused, Euphemia Botchkova, stated that she knew nothing about the
missing money, that she had not even gone into Smelkoff’s room, but
that Lubka had been busy there all by herself; that if anything had
been stolen, it must have been done by Lubka when she came with the
merchant’s key to get his money.

At this point Maslova gave a start, opened her mouth, and looked at
Botchkova. “When,” continued the secretary, “the receipt for 1,800
roubles from the bank was shown to Botchkova, and she was asked where
she had obtained the money, she said that it was her own earnings for
12 years, and those of Simeon, whom she was going to marry. The accused
Simeon Kartinkin, when first examined, confessed that he and Botchkova,
at the instigation of Maslova, who had come with the key from the
brothel, had stolen the money and divided it equally among themselves
and Maslova.” Here Maslova again started, half-rose from her seat, and,
blushing scarlet, began to say something, but was stopped by the usher.
“At last,” the secretary continued, reading, “Kartinkin confessed also
that he had supplied the powders in order to get Smelkoff to sleep. When
examined the second time he denied having had anything to do with the
stealing of the money or giving Maslova the powders, accusing her of
having done it alone.”

Concerning the money placed in the bank by Botchkova, he said the same
as she, that is, that the money was given to them both by the lodgers in
tips during 12 years’ service.

The indictment concluded as follows:

In consequence of the foregoing, the peasant of the village Borki,
Simeon Kartinkin, 33 years of age, the meschanka Euphemia Botchkova, 43
years of age, and the meschanka Katerina Maslova, 27 years of age, are
accused of having on the 17th day of January, 188--, jointly stolen from
the said merchant, Smelkoff, a ring and money, to the value of 2,500
roubles, and of having given the said merchant, Smelkoff, poison to
drink, with intent of depriving him of life, and thereby causing his
death. This crime is provided for in clause 1,455 of the Penal Code,
paragraphs 4 and 5.



CHAPTER XI.

THE TRIAL--MASLOVA CROSS-EXAMINED.

When the reading of the indictment was over, the president, after having
consulted the members, turned to Kartinkin, with an expression that
plainly said: Now we shall find out the whole truth down to the minutest
detail.

“Peasant Simeon Kartinkin,” he said, stooping to the left.

Simeon Kartinkin got up, stretched his arms down his sides, and leaning
forward with his whole body, continued moving his cheeks inaudibly.

“You are accused of having on the 17th January, 188--, together with
Euphemia Botchkova and Katerina Maslova, stolen money from a portmanteau
belonging to the merchant Smelkoff, and then, having procured some
arsenic, persuaded Katerina Maslova to give it to the merchant Smelkoff
in a glass of brandy, which was the cause of Smelkoff’s death. Do you
plead guilty?” said the president, stooping to the right.

“Not nohow, because our business is to attend on the lodgers, and--”

“You’ll tell us that afterwards. Do you plead guilty?”

“Oh, no, sir. I only,--”

“You’ll tell us that afterwards. Do you plead guilty?” quietly and
firmly asked the president.

“Can’t do such a thing, because that--”

The usher again rushed up to Simeon Kartinkin, and stopped him in a
tragic whisper.

The president moved the hand with which he held the paper and placed the
elbow in a different position with an air that said: “This is finished,”
 and turned to Euphemia Botchkova.

“Euphemia Botchkova, you are accused of having, on the 17th of January,
188-, in the lodging-house Mauritania, together with Simeon Kartinkin
and Katerina Maslova, stolen some money and a ring out of the merchant
Smelkoff’s portmanteau, and having shared the money among yourselves,
given poison to the merchant Smelkoff, thereby causing his death. Do you
plead guilty?”

“I am not guilty of anything,” boldly and firmly replied the prisoner.
“I never went near the room, but when this baggage went in she did the
whole business.”

“You will say all this afterwards,” the president again said, quietly
and firmly. “So you do not plead guilty?”

“I did not take the money nor give the drink, nor go into the room. Had
I gone in I should have kicked her out.”

“So you do not plead guilty?”

“Never.”

“Very well.”

“Katerina Maslova,” the president began, turning to the third prisoner,
“you are accused of having come from the brothel with the key of the
merchant Smelkoff’s portmanteau, money, and a ring.” He said all this
like a lesson learned by heart, leaning towards the member on his left,
who was whispering into his ear that a bottle mentioned in the list
of the material evidence was missing. “Of having stolen out of the
portmanteau money and a ring,” he repeated, “and shared it. Then,
returning to the lodging house Mauritania with Smelkoff, of giving
him poison in his drink, and thereby causing his death. Do you plead
guilty?”

“I am not guilty of anything,” she began rapidly. “As I said before
I say again, I did not take it--I did not take it; I did not take
anything, and the ring he gave me himself.”

“You do not plead guilty of having stolen 2,500 roubles?” asked the
president.

“I’ve said I took nothing but the 40 roubles.”

“Well, and do you plead guilty of having given the merchant Smelkoff a
powder in his drink?”

“Yes, that I did. Only I believed what they told me, that they were
sleeping powders, and that no harm could come of them. I never thought,
and never wished. . . God is my witness; I say, I never meant this,” she
said.

“So you do not plead guilty of having stolen the money and the ring from
the merchant Smelkoff, but confess that you gave him the powder?” said
the president.

“Well, yes, I do confess this, but I thought they were sleeping powders.
I only gave them to make him sleep; I never meant and never thought of
worse.”

“Very well,” said the president, evidently satisfied with the results
gained. “Now tell us how it all happened,” and he leaned back in his
chair and put his folded hands on the table. “Tell us all about it. A
free and full confession will be to your advantage.”

Maslova continued to look at the president in silence, and blushing.

“Tell us how it happened.”

“How it happened?” Maslova suddenly began, speaking quickly. “I came to
the lodging-house, and was shown into the room. He was there, already
very drunk.” She pronounced the word _he_ with a look of horror in her
wide-open eyes. “I wished to go away, but he would not let me.” She
stopped, as if having lost the thread, or remembered some thing else.

“Well, and then?”

“Well, what then? I remained a bit, and went home again.”

At this moment the public prosecutor raised himself a little, leaning on
one elbow in an awkward manner.

“You would like to put a question?” said the president, and having
received an answer in the affirmative, he made a gesture inviting the
public prosecutor to speak.

“I want to ask, was the prisoner previously acquainted with Simeon
Kartinkin?” said the public prosecutor, without looking at Maslova, and,
having put the question, he compressed his lips and frowned.

The president repeated the question. Maslova stared at the public
prosecutor, with a frightened look.

“With Simeon? Yes,” she said.

“I should like to know what the prisoner’s acquaintance with Kartinkin
consisted in. Did they meet often?”

“Consisted in? . . . He invited me for the lodgers; it was not an
acquaintance at all,” answered Maslova, anxiously moving her eyes from
the president to the public prosecutor and back to the president.

“I should like to know why Kartinkin invited only Maslova, and none
of the other girls, for the lodgers?” said the public prosecutor, with
half-closed eyes and a cunning, Mephistophelian smile.

“I don’t know. How should I know?” said Maslova, casting a frightened
look round, and fixing her eyes for a moment on Nekhludoff. “He asked
whom he liked.”

“Is it possible that she has recognised me?” thought Nekhludoff, and the
blood rushed to his face. But Maslova turned away without distinguishing
him from the others, and again fixed her eyes anxiously on the public
prosecutor.

“So the prisoner denies having had any intimate relations with
Kartinkin? Very well, I have no more questions to ask.”

And the public prosecutor took his elbow off the desk, and began writing
something. He was not really noting anything down, but only going over
the letters of his notes with a pen, having seen the procureur and
leading advocates, after putting a clever question, make a note, with
which, later on, to annihilate their adversaries.

The president did not continue at once, because he was consulting the
member with the spectacles, whether he was agreed that the questions
(which had all been prepared be forehand and written out) should be put.

“Well! What happened next?” he then went on.

“I came home,” looking a little more boldly only at the president, “and
went to bed. Hardly had I fallen asleep when one of our girls, Bertha,
woke me. ‘Go, your merchant has come again!’ He”--she again uttered the
word _he_ with evident horror--“he kept treating our girls, and then
wanted to send for more wine, but his money was all gone, and he sent me
to his lodgings and told me where the money was, and how much to take.
So I went.”

The president was whispering to the member on his left, but, in order to
appear as if he had heard, he repeated her last words.

“So you went. Well, what next?”

“I went, and did all he told me; went into his room. I did not go alone,
but called Simeon Kartinkin and her,” she said, pointing to Botchkova.

“That’s a lie; I never went in,” Botchkova began, but was stopped.

“In their presence I took out four notes,” continued Maslova, frowning,
without looking at Botchkova.

“Yes, but did the prisoner notice,” again asked the prosecutor, “how
much money there was when she was getting out the 40 roubles?”

Maslova shuddered when the prosecutor addressed her; she did not know
why it was, but she felt that he wished her evil.

“I did not count it, but only saw some 100-rouble notes.”

“Ah! The prisoner saw 100-rouble notes. That’s all?”

“Well, so you brought back the money,” continued the president, looking
at the clock.

“I did.”

“Well, and then?”

“Then he took me back with him,” said Maslova.

“Well, and how did you give him the powder? In his drink?”

“How did I give it? I put them in and gave it him.”

“Why did you give it him?”

She did not answer, but sighed deeply and heavily.

“He would not let me go,” she said, after a moment’s silence, “and I was
quite tired out, and so I went out into the passage and said to Simeon,
‘If he would only let me go, I am so tired.’ And he said, ‘We are also
sick of him; we were thinking of giving him a sleeping draught; he will
fall asleep, and then you can go.’ So I said all right. I thought they
were harmless, and he gave me the packet. I went in. He was lying behind
the partition, and at once called for brandy. I took a bottle of ‘fine
champagne’ from the table, poured out two glasses, one for him and one
for myself, and put the powders into his glass, and gave it him. Had I
known how could I have given them to him?”

“Well, and how did the ring come into your possession?” asked the
president. “When did he give it you?”

“That was when we came back to his lodgings. I wanted to go away, and he
gave me a knock on the head and broke my comb. I got angry and said I’d
go away, and he took the ring off his finger and gave it to me so that I
should not go,” she said.

Then the public prosecutor again slightly raised himself, and, putting
on an air of simplicity, asked permission to put a few more questions,
and, having received it, bending his head over his embroidered collar,
he said: “I should like to know how long the prisoner remained in the
merchant Smelkoff’s room.”

Maslova again seemed frightened, and she again looked anxiously from the
public prosecutor to the president, and said hurriedly:

“I do not remember how long.”

“Yes, but does the prisoner remember if she went anywhere else in the
lodging-house after she left Smelkoff?”

Maslova considered for a moment. “Yes, I did go into an empty room next
to his.”

“Yes, and why did you go in?” asked the public prosecutor, forgetting
himself, and addressing her directly.

“I went in to rest a bit, and to wait for an isvostchik.”

“And was Kartinkin in the room with the prisoner, or not?”

“He came in.”

“Why did he come in?”

“There was some of the merchant’s brandy left, and we finished it
together.”

“Oh, finished it together. Very well! And did the prisoner talk to
Kartinkin, and, if so, what about?”

Maslova suddenly frowned, blushed very red, and said, hurriedly, “What
about? I did not talk about anything, and that’s all I know. Do what you
like with me; I am not guilty, and that’s all.”

“I have nothing more to ask,” said the prosecutor, and, drawing up his
shoulders in an unnatural manner, began writing down, as the prisoner’s
own evidence, in the notes for his speech, that she had been in the
empty room with Kartinkin.

There was a short silence.

“You have nothing more to say?”

“I have told everything,” she said, with a sigh, and sat down.

Then the president noted something down, and, having listened to
something that the member on his left whispered to him, he announced
a ten-minutes’ interval, rose hurriedly, and left the court. The
communication he had received from the tall, bearded member with
the kindly eyes was that the member, having felt a slight stomach
derangement, wished to do a little massage and to take some drops. And
this was why an interval was made.

When the judges had risen, the advocates, the jury, and the witnesses
also rose, with the pleasant feeling that part of the business was
finished, and began moving in different directions.

Nekhludoff went into the jury’s room, and sat down by the window.



CHAPTER XII.

TWELVE YEARS BEFORE.

“Yes, this was Katusha.”

The relations between Nekhludoff and Katusha had been the following:

Nekhludoff first saw Katusha when he was a student in his third year
at the University, and was preparing an essay on land tenure during
the summer vacation, which he passed with his aunts. Until then he had
always lived, in summer, with his mother and sister on his mother’s
large estate near Moscow. But that year his sister had married, and his
mother had gone abroad to a watering-place, and he, having his essay to
write, resolved to spend the summer with his aunts. It was very quiet
in their secluded estate and there was nothing to distract his mind; his
aunts loved their nephew and heir very tenderly, and he, too, was fond
of them and of their simple, old-fashioned life.

During that summer on his aunts’ estate, Nekhludoff passed through that
blissful state of existence when a young man for the first time, without
guidance from any one outside, realises all the beauty and significance
of life, and the importance of the task allotted in it to man; when he
grasps the possibility of unlimited advance towards perfection for one’s
self and for all the world, and gives himself to this task, not only
hopefully, but with full conviction of attaining to the perfection
he imagines. In that year, while still at the University, he had read
Spencer’s Social Statics, and Spencer’s views on landholding especially
impressed him, as he himself was heir to large estates. His father had
not been rich, but his mother had received 10,000 acres of land for her
dowry. At that time he fully realised all the cruelty and injustice of
private property in land, and being one of those to whom a sacrifice
to the demands of conscience gives the highest spiritual enjoyment, he
decided not to retain property rights, but to give up to the peasant
labourers the land he had inherited from his father. It was on this land
question he wrote his essay.

He arranged his life on his aunts’ estate in the following manner. He
got up very early, sometimes at three o’clock, and before sunrise went
through the morning mists to bathe in the river, under the hill.
He returned while the dew still lay on the grass and the flowers.
Sometimes, having finished his coffee, he sat down with his books of
reference and his papers to write his essay, but very often, instead of
reading or writing, he left home again, and wandered through the fields
and the woods. Before dinner he lay down and slept somewhere in the
garden. At dinner he amused and entertained his aunts with his bright
spirits, then he rode on horseback or went for a row on the river, and
in the evening he again worked at his essay, or sat reading or playing
patience with his aunts.

His joy in life was so great that it agitated him, and kept him awake
many a night, especially when it was moonlight, so that instead of
sleeping he wandered about in the garden till dawn, alone with his
dreams and fancies.

And so, peacefully and happily, he lived through the first month of his
stay with his aunts, taking no particular notice of their half-ward,
half-servant, the black-eyed, quick-footed Katusha. Then, at the age
of nineteen, Nekhludoff, brought up under his mother’s wing, was still
quite pure. If a woman figured in his dreams at all it was only as a
wife. All the other women, who, according to his ideas he could not
marry, were not women for him, but human beings.

But on Ascension Day that summer, a neighbour of his aunts’, and her
family, consisting of two young daughters, a schoolboy, and a young
artist of peasant origin who was staying with them, came to spend the
day. After tea they all went to play in the meadow in front of the
house, where the grass had already been mown. They played at the game
of gorelki, and Katusha joined them. Running about and changing partners
several times, Nekhludoff caught Katusha, and she became his partner.
Up to this time he had liked Katusha’s looks, but the possibility of any
nearer relations with her had never entered his mind.

“Impossible to catch those two,” said the merry young artist, whose turn
it was to catch, and who could run very fast with his short, muscular
legs.

“You! And not catch us?” said Katusha.

“One, two, three,” and the artist clapped his hands. Katusha, hardly
restraining her laughter, changed places with Nekhludoff, behind the
artist’s back, and pressing his large hand with her little rough one,
and rustling with her starched petticoat, ran to the left. Nekhludoff
ran fast to the right, trying to escape from the artist, but when he
looked round he saw the artist running after Katusha, who kept well
ahead, her firm young legs moving rapidly. There was a lilac bush in
front of them, and Katusha made a sign with her head to Nekhludoff to
join her behind it, for if they once clasped hands again they were safe
from their pursuer, that being a rule of the game. He understood the
sign, and ran behind the bush, but he did not know that there was a
small ditch overgrown with nettles there. He stumbled and fell into the
nettles, already wet with dew, stinging his bands, but rose immediately,
laughing at his mishap.

Katusha, with her eyes black as sloes, her face radiant with joy, was
flying towards him, and they caught hold of each other’s hands.

“Got stung, I daresay?” she said, arranging her hair with her free hand,
breathing fast and looking straight up at him with a glad, pleasant
smile.

“I did not know there was a ditch here,” he answered, smiling also, and
keeping her hand in his. She drew nearer to him, and he himself, not
knowing how it happened, stooped towards her. She did not move away, and
he pressed her hand tight and kissed her on the lips.

“There! You’ve done it!” she said; and, freeing her hand with a swift
movement, ran away from him. Then, breaking two branches of white lilac
from which the blossoms were already falling, she began fanning her hot
face with them; then, with her head turned back to him, she walked away,
swaying her arms briskly in front of her, and joined the other players.

After this there grew up between Nekhludoff and Katusha those peculiar
relations which often exist between a pure young man and girl who are
attracted to each other.

When Katusha came into the room, or even when he saw her white apron
from afar, everything brightened up in Nekhludoff’s eyes, as when the
sun appears everything becomes more interesting, more joyful, more
important. The whole of life seemed full of gladness. And she felt the
same. But it was not only Katusha’s presence that had this effect on
Nekhludoff. The mere thought that Katusha existed (and for her that
Nekhludoff existed) had this effect.

When he received an unpleasant letter from his mother, or could not get
on with his essay, or felt the unreasoning sadness that young people are
often subject to, he had only to remember Katusha and that he should see
her, and it all vanished. Katusha had much work to do in the house, but
she managed to get a little leisure for reading, and Nekhludoff gave her
Dostoievsky and Tourgeneff (whom he had just read himself) to read. She
liked Tourgeneff’s Lull best. They had talks at moments snatched when
meeting in the passage, on the veranda, or the yard, and sometimes
in the room of his aunts’ old servant, Matrona Pavlovna, with whom he
sometimes used to drink tea, and where Katusha used to work.

These talks in Matrona Pavlovna’s presence were the pleasantest. When
they were alone it was worse. Their eyes at once began to say something
very different and far more important than what their mouths uttered.
Their lips puckered, and they felt a kind of dread of something that
made them part quickly. These relations continued between Nekhludoff
and Katusha during the whole time of his first visit to his aunts’.
They noticed it, and became frightened, and even wrote to Princess
Elena Ivanovna, Nekhludoff’s mother. His aunt, Mary Ivanovna, was
afraid Dmitri would form an intimacy with Katusha; but her fears were
groundless, for Nekhludoff, himself hardly conscious of it, loved
Katusha, loved her as the pure love, and therein lay his safety--his and
hers. He not only did not feel any desire to possess her, but the very
thought of it filled him with horror. The fears of the more poetical
Sophia Ivanovna, that Dmitri, with his thoroughgoing, resolute
character, having fallen in love with a girl, might make up his mind to
marry her, without considering either her birth or her station, had more
ground.

Had Nekhludoff at that time been conscious of his love for Katusha, and
especially if he had been told that he could on no account join his life
with that of a girl in her position, it might have easily happened
that, with his usual straight-forwardness, he would have come to the
conclusion that there could be no possible reason for him not to marry
any girl whatever, as long as he loved her. But his aunts did not
mention their fears to him; and, when he left, he was still unconscious
of his love for Katusha. He was sure that what he felt for Katusha was
only one of the manifestations of the joy of life that filled his whole
being, and that this sweet, merry little girl shared this joy with him.
Yet, when he was going away, and Katusha stood with his aunts in the
porch, and looked after him, her dark, slightly-squinting eyes filled
with tears, he felt, after all, that he was leaving something beautiful,
precious, something which would never reoccur. And he grew very sad.

“Good-bye, Katusha,” he said, looking across Sophia Ivanovna’s cap as he
was getting into the trap. “Thank you for everything.”

“Good-bye, Dmitri Ivanovitch,” she said, with her pleasant, tender
voice, keeping back the tears that filled her eyes--and ran away into
the hall, where she could cry in peace.



CHAPTER XIII.

LIFE IN THE ARMY.

After that Nekhludoff did not see Katusha for more than three years.
When he saw her again he had just been promoted to the rank of officer
and was going to join his regiment. On the way he came to spend a few
days with his aunts, being now a very different young man from the one
who had spent the summer with them three years before. He then had been
an honest, unselfish lad, ready to sacrifice himself for any good cause;
now he was depraved and selfish, and thought only of his own enjoyment.
Then God’s world seemed a mystery which he tried enthusiastically and
joyfully to solve; now everything in life seemed clear and simple,
defined by the conditions of the life he was leading. Then he had felt
the importance of, and had need of intercourse with, nature, and with
those who had lived and thought and felt before him--philosophers
and poets. What he now considered necessary and important were human
institutions and intercourse with his comrades. Then women seemed
mysterious and charming--charming by the very mystery that enveloped
them; now the purpose of women, all women except those of his own family
and the wives of his friends, was a very definite one: women were the
best means towards an already experienced enjoyment. Then money was not
needed, and he did not require even one-third of what his mother allowed
him; but now this allowance of 1,500 roubles a month did not suffice,
and he had already had some unpleasant talks about it with his mother.

Then he had looked on his spirit as the I; now it was his healthy strong
animal I that he looked upon as himself.

And all this terrible change had come about because he had ceased to
believe himself and had taken to believing others. This he had done
because it was too difficult to live believing one’s self; believing
one’s self, one had to decide every question not in favour of one’s own
animal life, which is always seeking for easy gratifications, but almost
in every case against it. Believing others there was nothing to decide;
everything had been decided already, and decided always in favour of the
animal I and against the spiritual. Nor was this all. Believing in his
own self he was always exposing himself to the censure of those around
him; believing others he had their approval. So, when Nekhludoff had
talked of the serious matters of life, of God, truth, riches, and
poverty, all round him thought it out of place and even rather funny,
and his mother and aunts called him, with kindly irony, notre cher
philosophe. But when he read novels, told improper anecdotes, went
to see funny vaudevilles in the French theatre and gaily repeated the
jokes, everybody admired and encouraged him. When he considered it
right to limit his needs, wore an old overcoat, took no wine, everybody
thought it strange and looked upon it as a kind of showing off; but
when he spent large sums on hunting, or on furnishing a peculiar and
luxurious study for himself, everybody admired his taste and gave him
expensive presents to encourage his hobby. While he kept pure and meant
to remain so till he married his friends prayed for his health, and even
his mother was not grieved but rather pleased when she found out that
he had become a real man and had gained over some French woman from his
friend. (As to the episode with Katusha, the princess could not without
horror think that he might possibly have married her.) In the same way,
when Nekhludoff came of age, and gave the small estate he had inherited
from his father to the peasants because he considered the holding
of private property in land wrong, this step filled his mother and
relations with dismay and served as an excuse for making fun of him to
all his relatives. He was continually told that these peasants, after
they had received the land, got no richer, but, on the contrary, poorer,
having opened three public-houses and left off doing any work. But when
Nekhludoff entered the Guards and spent and gambled away so much with
his aristocratic companions that Elena Ivanovna, his mother, had to draw
on her capital, she was hardly pained, considering it quite natural
and even good that wild oats should be sown at an early age and in good
company, as her son was doing. At first Nekhludoff struggled, but all
that he had considered good while he had faith in himself was considered
bad by others, and what he had considered evil was looked upon as good
by those among whom he lived, and the struggle grew too hard. And at
last Nekhludoff gave in, i.e., left off believing himself and began
believing others. At first this giving up of faith in himself was
unpleasant, but it did not long continue to be so. At that time he
acquired the habit of smoking, and drinking wine, and soon got over this
unpleasant feeling and even felt great relief.

Nekhludoff, with his passionate nature, gave himself thoroughly to the
new way of life so approved of by all those around, and he entirely
stifled the inner voice which demanded something different. This began
after he moved to St. Petersburg, and reached its highest point when he
entered the army.

Military life in general depraves men. It places them in conditions of
complete idleness, i.e., absence of all useful work; frees them of their
common human duties, which it replaces by merely conventional ones to
the honour of the regiment, the uniform, the flag; and, while giving
them on the one hand absolute power over other men, also puts them into
conditions of servile obedience to those of higher rank than themselves.

But when, to the usual depraving influence of military service with its
honours, uniforms, flags, its permitted violence and murder, there is
added the depraving influence of riches and nearness to and intercourse
with members of the Imperial family, as is the case in the chosen
regiment of the Guards in which all the officers are rich and of good
family, then this depraving influence creates in the men who succumb
to it a perfect mania of selfishness. And this mania of selfishness
attacked Nekhludoff from the moment he entered the army and began living
in the way his companions lived. He had no occupation whatever except
to dress in a uniform, splendidly made and well brushed by other people,
and, with arms also made and cleaned and handed to him by others, ride
to reviews on a fine horse which had been bred, broken in and fed by
others. There, with other men like himself, he had to wave a sword,
shoot off guns, and teach others to do the same. He had no other work,
and the highly-placed persons, young and old, the Tsar and those near
him, not only sanctioned his occupation but praised and thanked him for
it.

After this was done, it was thought important to eat, and particularly
to drink, in officers’ clubs or the salons of the best restaurants,
squandering large sums of money, which came from some invisible source;
then theatres, ballets, women, then again riding on horseback, waving
of swords and shooting, and again the squandering of money, the wine,
cards, and women. This kind of life acts on military men even more
depravingly than on others, because if any other than a military man
lead such a life he cannot help being ashamed of it in the depth of his
heart. A military man is, on the contrary, proud of a life of this kind
especially at war time, and Nekhludoff had entered the army just after
war with the Turks had been declared. “We are prepared to sacrifice
our lives at the wars, and therefore a gay, reckless life is not only
pardonable, but absolutely necessary for us, and so we lead it.”

Such were Nekhludoff’s confused thoughts at this period of his
existence, and he felt all the time the delight of being free of the
moral barriers he had formerly set himself. And the state he lived in
was that of a chronic mania of selfishness. He was in this state when,
after three years’ absence, he came again to visit his aunts.



CHAPTER XIV.

THE SECOND MEETING WITH MASLOVA.

Nekhludoff went to visit his aunts because their estate lay near the
road he had to travel in order to join his regiment, which had gone
forward, because they had very warmly asked him to come, and especially
because he wanted to see Katusha. Perhaps in his heart he had already
formed those evil designs against Katusha which his now uncontrolled
animal self suggested to him, but he did not acknowledge this as his
intention, but only wished to go back to the spot where he had been so
happy, to see his rather funny, but dear, kind-hearted old aunts, who
always, without his noticing it, surrounded him with an atmosphere of
love and admiration, and to see sweet Katusha, of whom he had retained
so pleasant a memory.

He arrived at the end of March, on Good Friday, after the thaw had set
in. It was pouring with rain so that he had not a dry thread on him and
was feeling very cold, but yet vigorous and full of spirits, as always
at that time. “Is she still with them?” he thought, as he drove into the
familiar, old-fashioned courtyard, surrounded by a low brick wall, and
now filled with snow off the roofs.

He expected she would come out when she heard the sledge bells but she
did not. Two bare-footed women with pails and tucked-up skirts, who had
evidently been scrubbing the floors, came out of the side door. She was
not at the front door either, and only Tikhon, the man-servant, with his
apron on, evidently also busy cleaning, came out into the front porch.
His aunt Sophia Ivanovna alone met him in the ante-room; she had a silk
dress on and a cap on her head. Both aunts had been to church and had
received communion.

“Well, this is nice of you to come,” said Sophia Ivanovna, kissing him.
“Mary is not well, got tired in church; we have been to communion.”

“I congratulate you, Aunt Sophia,” [it is usual in Russia to
congratulate those who have received communion] said Nekhludoff, kissing
Sophia Ivanovna’s hand. “Oh, I beg your pardon, I have made you wet.”

“Go to your room--why you are soaking wet. Dear me, you have got
moustaches! . . . Katusha! Katusha! Get him some coffee; be quick.”

“Directly,” came the sound of a well-known, pleasant voice from the
passage, and Nekhludoff’s heart cried out “She’s here!” and it was as if
the sun had come out from behind the clouds.

Nekhludoff, followed by Tikhon, went gaily to his old room to change his
things. He felt inclined to ask Tikhon about Katusha; how she was,
what she was doing, was she not going to be married? But Tikhon was so
respectful and at the same time so severe, insisted so firmly on pouring
the water out of the jug for him, that Nekhludoff could not make up
his mind to ask him about Katusha, but only inquired about Tikhon’s
grandsons, about the old so-called “brother’s” horse, and about the
dog Polkan. All were alive except Polkan, who had gone mad the summer
before.

When he had taken off all his wet things and just begun to dress again,
Nekhludoff heard quick, familiar footsteps and a knock at the door.
Nekhludoff knew the steps and also the knock. No one but she walked and
knocked like that.

Having thrown his wet greatcoat over his shoulders, he opened the door.

“Come in.” It was she, Katusha, the same, only sweeter than before. The
slightly squinting naive black eyes looked up in the same old way. Now
as then, she had on a white apron. She brought him from his aunts
a piece of scented soap, with the wrapper just taken off, and two
towels--one a long Russian embroidered one, the other a bath towel. The
unused soap with the stamped inscription, the towels, and her own self,
all were equally clean, fresh, undefiled and pleasant. The irrepressible
smile of joy at the sight of him made the sweet, firm lips pucker up as
of old.

“How do you do, Dmitri Ivanovitch?” she uttered with difficulty, her
face suffused with a rosy blush.

“Good-morning! How do you do?” he said, also blushing. “Alive and well?”

“Yes, the Lord be thanked. And here is your favorite pink soap and
towels from your aunts,” she said, putting the soap on the table and
hanging the towels over the back of a chair.

“There is everything here,” said Tikhon, defending the visitor’s
independence, and pointing to Nekhludoff’s open dressing case filled
with brushes, perfume, fixatoire, a great many bottles with silver lids
and all sorts of toilet appliances.

“Thank my aunts, please. Oh, how glad I am to be here,” said Nekhludoff,
his heart filling with light and tenderness as of old.

She only smiled in answer to these words, and went out. The aunts, who
had always loved Nekhludoff, welcomed him this time more warmly than
ever. Dmitri was going to the war, where he might be wounded or killed,
and this touched the old aunts. Nekhludoff had arranged to stay only a
day and night with his aunts, but when he had seen Katusha he agreed to
stay over Easter with them and telegraphed to his friend Schonbock, whom
he was to have joined in Odessa, that he should come and meet him at his
aunts’ instead.

As soon as he had seen Katusha Nekhludoff’s old feelings toward her
awoke again. Now, just as then, he could not see her white apron without
getting excited; he could not listen to her steps, her voice, her laugh,
without a feeling of joy; he could not look at her eyes, black as sloes,
without a feeling of tenderness, especially when she smiled; and, above
all, he could not notice without agitation how she blushed when they
met. He felt he was in love, but not as before, when this love was a
kind of mystery to him and he would not own, even to himself, that he
loved, and when he was persuaded that one could love only once; now he
knew he was in love and was glad of it, and knew dimly what this love
consisted of and what it might lead to, though he sought to conceal
it even from himself. In Nekhludoff, as in every man, there were two
beings: one the spiritual, seeking only that kind of happiness for him
self which should tend towards the happiness of all; the other, the
animal man, seeking only his own happiness, and ready to sacrifice to it
the happiness of the rest of the world. At this period of his mania of
self-love brought on by life in Petersburg and in the army, this animal
man ruled supreme and completely crushed the spiritual man in him.

But when he saw Katusha and experienced the same feelings as he had had
three years before, the spiritual man in him raised its head once more
and began to assert its rights. And up to Easter, during two whole days,
an unconscious, ceaseless inner struggle went on in him.

He knew in the depths of his soul that he ought to go away, that there
was no real reason for staying on with his aunts, knew that no good
could come of it; and yet it was so pleasant, so delightful, that he did
not honestly acknowledge the facts to himself and stayed on. On Easter
eve, the priest and the deacon who came to the house to say mass had had
(so they said) the greatest difficulty in getting over the three miles
that lay between the church and the old ladies’ house, coming across the
puddles and the bare earth in a sledge.

Nekhludoff attended the mass with his aunts and the servants, and kept
looking at Katusha, who was near the door and brought in the censers
for the priests. Then having given the priests and his aunts the Easter
kiss, though it was not midnight and therefore not Easter yet, he was
already going to bed when he heard the old servant Matrona Pavlovna
preparing to go to the church to get the koulitch and paski [Easter
cakes] blest after the midnight service. “I shall go too,” he thought.

The road to the church was impassable either in a sledge or on wheels,
so Nekhludoff, who behaved in his aunts’ house just as he did at home,
ordered the old horse, “the brother’s horse,” to be saddled, and instead
of going to bed he put on his gay uniform, a pair of tight-fitting
riding breeches and his overcoat, and got on the old over-fed and heavy
horse, which neighed continually all the way as he rode in the dark
through the puddles and snow to the church.



CHAPTER XV.

THE EARLY MASS.

For Nekhludoff this early mass remained for ever after one of the
brightest and most vivid memories of his life. When he rode out of the
darkness, broken only here and there by patches of white snow, into the
churchyard illuminated by a row of lamps around the church, the service
had already begun.

The peasants, recognising Mary Ivanovna’s nephew, led his horse, which
was pricking up its ears at the sight of the lights, to a dry place
where he could get off, put it up for him, and showed him into the
church, which was full of people. On the right stood the peasants; the
old men in home-spun coats, and clean white linen bands [long strips of
linen are worn by the peasants instead of stockings] wrapped round their
legs, the young men in new cloth coats, bright-coloured belts round
their waists, and top-boots.

On the left stood the women, with red silk kerchiefs on their
heads, black velveteen sleeveless jackets, bright red shirt-sleeves,
gay-coloured green, blue, and red skirts, and thick leather boots.
The old women, dressed more quietly, stood behind them, with white
kerchiefs, homespun coats, old-fashioned skirts of dark home-spun
material, and shoes on their feet. Gaily-dressed children, their hair
well oiled, went in and out among them.

The men, making the sign of the cross, bowed down and raised their heads
again, shaking back their hair.

The women, especially the old ones, fixed their eyes on an icon
surrounded with candies and made the sign of the cross, firmly pressing
their folded fingers to the kerchief on their foreheads, to their
shoulders, and their stomachs, and, whispering something, stooped
or knelt down. The children, imitating the grown-up people, prayed
earnestly when they knew that they were being observed. The gilt case
containing the icon glittered, illuminated on all sides by tall candles
ornamented with golden spirals. The candelabra was filled with tapers,
and from the choir sounded most merry tunes sung by amateur choristers,
with bellowing bass and shrill boys’ voices among them.

Nekhludoff passed up to the front. In the middle of the church stood
the aristocracy of the place: a landed proprietor, with his wife and
son (the latter dressed in a sailor’s suit), the police officer, the
telegraph clerk, a tradesman in top-boots, and the village elder, with
a medal on his breast; and to the right of the ambo, just behind the
landed proprietor’s wife, stood Matrona Pavlovna in a lilac dress and
fringed shawl and Katusha in a white dress with a tucked bodice, blue
sash, and red bow in her black hair.

Everything seemed festive, solemn, bright, and beautiful: the priest in
his silver cloth vestments with gold crosses; the deacon, the clerk and
chanter in their silver and gold surplices; the amateur choristers in
their best clothes, with their well-oiled hair; the merry tunes of the
holiday hymns that sounded like dance music; and the continual blessing
of the people by the priests, who held candles decorated with flowers,
and repeated the cry of “Christ is risen!” “Christ is risen!” All was
beautiful; but, above all, Katusha, in her white dress, blue sash, and
the red bow on her black head, her eyes beaming with rapture.

Nekhludoff knew that she felt his presence without looking at him. He
noticed this as he passed her, walking up to the altar. He had nothing
to tell her, but he invented something to say and whispered as he passed
her: “Aunt told me that she would break her fast after the late mass.”
 The young blood rushed up to Katusha’s sweet face, as it always did
when she looked at him. The black eyes, laughing and full of joy, gazed
naively up and remained fixed on Nekhludoff.

“I know,” she said, with a smile.

At this moment the clerk was going out with a copper coffee-pot
[coffee-pots are often used for holding holy water in Russia] of holy
water in his hand, and, not noticing Katusha, brushed her with his
surplice. Evidently he brushed against Katusha through wishing to pass
Nekhludoff at a respectful distance, and Nekhludoff was surprised that
he, the clerk, did not understand that everything here, yes, and in
all the world, only existed for Katusha, and that everything else might
remain unheeded, only not she, because she was the centre of all. For
her the gold glittered round the icons; for her all these candles in
candelabra and candlesticks were alight; for her were sung these
joyful hymns, “Behold the Passover of the Lord” “Rejoice, O ye people!”
 All--all that was good in the world was for her. And it seemed to him
that Katusha was aware that it was all for her when he looked at her
well-shaped figure, the tucked white dress, the wrapt, joyous expression
of her face, by which he knew that just exactly the same that was
singing in his own soul was also singing in hers.

In the interval between the early and the late mass Nekhludoff left the
church. The people stood aside to let him pass, and bowed. Some knew
him; others asked who he was.

He stopped on the steps. The beggars standing there came clamouring
round him, and he gave them all the change he had in his purse and went
down. It was dawning, but the sun had not yet risen. The people grouped
round the graves in the churchyard. Katusha had remained inside.
Nekhludoff stood waiting for her.

The people continued coming out, clattering with their nailed boots on
the stone steps and dispersing over the churchyard. A very old man with
shaking head, his aunts’ cook, stopped Nekhludoff in order to give
him the Easter kiss, his old wife took an egg, dyed yellow, out of her
handkerchief and gave it to Nekhludoff, and a smiling young peasant in a
new coat and green belt also came up.

“Christ is risen,” he said, with laughing eyes, and coming close to
Nekhludoff he enveloped him in his peculiar but pleasant peasant smell,
and, tickling him with his curly beard, kissed him three times straight
on the mouth with his firm, fresh lips.

While the peasant was kissing Nekhludoff and giving him a dark brown
egg, the lilac dress of Matrona Pavlovna and the dear black head with
the red bow appeared.

Katusha caught sight of him over the heads of those in front of her, and
he saw how her face brightened up.

She had come out with Matrona Pavlovna on to the porch, and stopped
there distributing alms to the beggars. A beggar with a red scab in
place of a nose came up to Katusha. She gave him something, drew nearer
him, and, evincing no sign of disgust, but her eyes still shining with
joy, kissed him three times. And while she was doing this her eyes met
Nekhludoff’s with a look as if she were asking, “Is this that I am doing
right?” “Yes, dear, yes, it is right; everything is right, everything is
beautiful. I love!”

They came down the steps of the porch, and he came up to them.

He did not mean to give them the Easter kiss, but only to be nearer to
her. Matrona Pavlovna bowed her head, and said with a smile, “Christ is
risen!” and her tone implied, “To-day we are all equal.” She wiped her
mouth with her handkerchief rolled into a ball and stretched her lips
towards him.

“He is, indeed,” answered Nekhludoff, kissing her. Then he looked
at Katusha; she blushed, and drew nearer. “Christ is risen, Dmitri
Ivanovitch.”

“He is risen, indeed,” answered Nekhludoff, and they kissed twice, then
paused as if considering whether a third kiss were necessary, and,
having decided that it was, kissed a third time and smiled.

“You are going to the priests?” asked Nekhludoff.

“No, we shall sit out here a bit, Dmitri Ivanovitch,” said Katusha with
effort, as if she had accomplished some joyous task, and, her whole
chest heaving with a deep sigh, she looked straight in his face with
a look of devotion, virgin purity, and love, in her very slightly
squinting eyes.

In the love between a man and a woman there always comes a moment when
this love has reached its zenith--a moment when it is unconscious,
unreasoning, and with nothing sensual about it. Such a moment had come
for Nekhludoff on that Easter eve. When he brought Katusha back to his
mind, now, this moment veiled all else; the smooth glossy black head,
the white tucked dress closely fitting her graceful maidenly form, her,
as yet, un-developed bosom, the blushing cheeks, the tender shining
black eyes with their slight squint heightened by the sleepless night,
and her whole being stamped with those two marked features, purity and
chaste love, love not only for him (he knew that), but for everybody and
everything, not for the good alone, but for all that is in the world,
even for that beggar whom she had kissed.

He knew she had that love in her because on that night and morning
he was conscious of it in himself, and conscious that in this love he
became one with her. Ah! if it had all stopped there, at the point it
had reached that night. “Yes, all that horrible business had not yet
happened on that Easter eve!” he thought, as he sat by the window of the
jurymen’s room.



CHAPTER XVI.

THE FIRST STEP.

When he returned from church Nekhludoff broke the fast with his aunts
and took a glass of spirits and some wine, having got into that habit
while with his regiment, and when he reached his room fell asleep at
once, dressed as he was. He was awakened by a knock at the door. He knew
it was her knock, and got up, rubbing his eyes and stretching himself.

“Katusha, is it you? Come in,” said he.

She opened the door.

“Dinner is ready,” she said. She still had on the same white dress, but
not the bow in her hair. She looked at him with a smile, as if she had
communicated some very good news to him.

“I am coming,” he answered, as he rose, taking his comb to arrange his
hair.

She stood still for a minute, and he, noticing it, threw down his comb
and made a step towards her, but at that very moment she turned suddenly
and went with quick light steps along the strip of carpet in the middle
of the passage.

“Dear me, what a fool I am,” thought Nekhludoff. “Why did I not stop
her?” What he wanted her for he did not know himself, but he felt that
when she came into his room something should have been done, something
that is generally done on such occasions, and that he had left it
undone.

“Katusha, wait,” he said.

“What do you want?” she said, stopping.

“Nothing, only--” and, with an effort, remembering how men in his
position generally behave, he put his arm round her waist.

She stood still and looked into his eyes.

“Don’t, Dmitri Ivanovitch, you must not,” she said, blushing to tears
and pushing away his arm with her strong hard hand. Nekhludoff let her
go, and for a moment he felt not only confused and ashamed but disgusted
with himself. He should now have believed himself, and then he would
have known that this confusion and shame were caused by the best
feelings of his soul demanding to be set free; but he thought it was
only his stupidity and that he ought to behave as every one else did. He
caught her up and kissed her on the neck.

This kiss was very different from that first thoughtless kiss behind
the lilac bush, and very different to the kiss this morning in the
churchyard. This was a dreadful kiss, and she felt it.

“Oh, what are you doing?” she cried, in a tone as if he had irreparably
broken something of priceless value, and ran quickly away.

He came into the dining-room. His aunts, elegantly dressed, their family
doctor, and a neighbour were already there. Everything seemed so very
ordinary, but in Nekhludoff a storm was raging. He understood nothing
of what was being said and gave wrong answers, thinking only of Katusha.
The sound of her steps in the passage brought back the thrill of that
last kiss and he could think of nothing else. When she came into the
room he, without looking round, felt her presence with his whole being
and had to force himself not to look at her.

After dinner he at once went into his bedroom and for a long time walked
up and down in great excitement, listening to every sound in the house
and expecting to hear her steps. The animal man inside him had now not
only lifted its head, but had succeeded in trampling under foot the
spiritual man of the days of his first visit, and even of that every
morning. That dreadful animal man alone now ruled over him.

Though he was watching for her all day he could not manage to meet her
alone. She was probably trying to evade him. In the evening, however,
she was obliged to go into the room next to his. The doctor had been
asked to stay the night, and she had to make his bed. When he heard her
go in Nekhludoff followed her, treading softly and holding his breath as
if he were going to commit a crime.

She was putting a clean pillow-case on the pillow, holding it by two of
its corners with her arms inside the pillow-case. She turned round
and smiled, not a happy, joyful smile as before, but in a frightened,
piteous way. The smile seemed to tell him that what he was doing was
wrong. He stopped for a moment. There was still the possibility of a
struggle. The voice of his real love for her, though feebly, was still
speaking of her, her feelings, her life. Another voice was saying,
“Take care I don’t let the opportunity for your own happiness, your own
enjoyment, slip by!” And this second voice completely stifled the first.
He went up to her with determination and a terrible, ungovernable animal
passion took possession of him.

With his arm round he made her sit down on the bed; and feeling that
there was something more to be done he sat down beside her.

“Dmitri Ivanovitch, dear! please let me go,” she said, with a piteous
voice. “Matrona Pavlovna is coming,” she cried, tearing herself away.
Some one was really coming to the door.

“Well, then, I’ll come to you in the night,” he whispered. “You’ll be
alone?”

“What are you thinking of? On no account. No, no!” she said, but only
with her lips; the tremulous confusion of her whole being said something
very different.

It was Matrona Pavlovna who had come to the door. She came in with a
blanket over her arm, looked reproachfully at Nekhludoff, and began
scolding Katusha for having taken the wrong blanket.

Nekhludoff went out in silence, but he did not even feel ashamed. He
could see by Matrona Pavlovna’s face that she was blaming him, he knew
that she was blaming him with reason and felt that he was doing wrong,
but this novel, low animal excitement, having freed itself of all the
old feelings of real love for Katusha, ruled supreme, leaving room for
nothing else. He went about as if demented all the evening, now into his
aunts’, then back into his own room, then out into the porch, thinking
all the time how he could meet her alone; but she avoided him, and
Matrona Pavlovna watched her closely.



CHAPTER XVII.

NEKHLUDOFF AND KATUSHA.

And so the evening passed and night came. The doctor went to bed.
Nekhludoff’s aunts had also retired, and he knew that Matrona Pavlovna
was now with them in their bedroom so that Katusha was sure to be alone
in the maids’ sitting-room. He again went out into the porch. It was
dark, damp and warm out of doors, and that white spring mist which
drives away the last snow, or is diffused by the thawing of the last
snow, filled the air. From the river under the hill, about a hundred
steps from the front door, came a strange sound. It was the ice
breaking. Nekhludoff came down the steps and went up to the window of
the maids’ room, stepping over the puddles on the bits of glazed snow.
His heart was beating so fiercely in his breast that he seemed to hear
it, his laboured breath came and went in a burst of long-drawn sighs. In
the maids’ room a small lamp was burning, and Katusha sat alone by the
table, looking thoughtfully in front of her. Nekhludoff stood a long
time without moving and waited to see what she, not knowing that she
was observed, would do. For a minute or two she did not move; then she
lifted her eyes, smiled and shook her head as if chiding herself, then
changed her pose and dropped both her arms on the table and again began
gazing down in front of her. He stood and looked at her, involuntarily
listening to the beating of his own heart and the strange sounds from
the river. There on the river, beneath the white mist, the unceasing
labour went on, and sounds as of something sobbing, cracking, dropping,
being shattered to pieces mixed with the tinkling of the thin bits of
ice as they broke against each other like glass.

There he stood, looking at Katusha’s serious, suffering face, which
betrayed the inner struggle of her soul, and he felt pity for her; but,
strange though it may seem, this pity only confirmed him in his evil
intention.

He knocked at the window. She started as if she had received an electric
shock, her whole body trembled, and a look of horror came into her face.
Then she jumped up, approached the window and brought her face up to the
pane. The look of terror did not leave her face even when, holding her
hands up to her eyes like blinkers and peering through the glass, she
recognised him. Her face was unusually grave; he had never seen it so
before. She returned his smile, but only in submission to him; there was
no smile in her soul, only fear. He beckoned her with his hand to come
out into the yard to him. But she shook her head and remained by the
window. He brought his face close to the pane and was going to call out
to her, but at that moment she turned to the door; evidently some one
inside had called her. Nekhludoff moved away from the window. The fog
was so dense that five steps from the house the windows could not be
seen, but the light from the lamp shone red and huge out of a shapeless
black mass. And on the river the same strange sounds went on, sobbing
and rustling and cracking and tinkling. Somewhere in the fog, not
far off, a cock crowed; another answered, and then others, far in the
village took up the cry till the sound of the crowing blended into one,
while all around was silent excepting the river. It was the second time
the cocks crowed that night.

Nekhludoff walked up and down behind the corner of the house, and once
or twice got into a puddle. Then again came up to the window. The lamp
was still burning, and she was again sitting alone by the table as
if uncertain what to do. He had hardly approached the window when she
looked up. He knocked. Without looking who it was she at once ran out of
the room, and he heard the outside door open with a snap. He waited
for her near the side porch and put his arms round her without saying a
word. She clung to him, put up her face, and met his kiss with her lips.
Then the door again gave the same sort of snap and opened, and the voice
of Matrona Pavlovna called out angrily, “Katusha!”

She tore herself away from him and returned into the maids’ room. He
heard the latch click, and then all was quiet. The red light disappeared
and only the mist remained, and the bustle on the river went on.
Nekhludoff went up to the window, nobody was to be seen; he knocked, but
got no answer. He went back into the house by the front door, but could
not sleep. He got up and went with bare feet along the passage to her
door, next to Matrona Pavlovna’s room. He heard Matrona Pavlovna snoring
quietly, and was about to go on when she coughed and turned on her
creaking bed, and his heart fell, and he stood immovable for about five
minutes. When all was quiet and she began to snore peacefully again, he
went on, trying to step on the boards that did not creak, and came to
Katusha’s door. There was no sound to be heard. She was probably
awake, or else he would have heard her breathing. But as soon as he
had whispered “Katusha” she jumped up and began to persuade him, as if
angrily, to go away.

“Open! Let me in just for a moment! I implore you!” He hardly knew what
he was saying.

                   * * * * * * *

When she left him, trembling and silent, giving no answer to his words,
he again went out into the porch and stood trying to understand the
meaning of what had happened.

It was getting lighter. From the river below the creaking and tinkling
and sobbing of the breaking ice came still louder and a gurgling sound
could now also be heard. The mist had begun to sink, and from above it
the waning moon dimly lighted up something black and weird.

“What was the meaning of it all? Was it a great joy or a great
misfortune that had befallen him?” he asked himself.



CHAPTER XVIII.

AFTERWARDS.

The next day the gay, handsome, and brilliant Schonbock joined
Nekhludoff at his aunts’ house, and quite won their hearts by his
refined and amiable manner, his high spirits, his generosity, and his
affection for Dmitri.

But though the old ladies admired his generosity it rather perplexed
them, for it seemed exaggerated. He gave a rouble to some blind beggars
who came to the gate, gave 15 roubles in tips to the servants, and
when Sophia Ivanovna’s pet dog hurt his paw and it bled, he tore his
hemstitched cambric handkerchief into strips (Sophia Ivanovna knew that
such handkerchiefs cost at least 15 roubles a dozen) and bandaged the
dog’s foot. The old ladies had never met people of this kind, and did
not know that Schonbock owed 200,000 roubles which he was never going to
pay, and that therefore 25 roubles more or less did not matter a bit to
him. Schonbock stayed only one day, and he and Nekhludoff both, left
at night. They could not stay away from their regiment any longer, for
their leave was fully up.

At the stage which Nekhludoff’s selfish mania had now reached he could
think of nothing but himself. He was wondering whether his conduct, if
found out, would be blamed much or at all, but he did not consider what
Katusha was now going through, and what was going to happen to her.

He saw that Schonbock guessed his relations to her and this flattered
his vanity.

“Ah, I see how it is you have taken such a sudden fancy to your aunts
that you have been living nearly a week with them,” Schonbock remarked
when he had seen Katusha. “Well, I don’t wonder--should have done the
same. She’s charming.” Nekhludoff was also thinking that though it was
a pity to go away before having fully gratified the cravings of his
love for her, yet the absolute necessity of parting had its advantages
because it put a sudden stop to relations it would have been very
difficult for him to continue. Then he thought that he ought to give her
some money, not for her, not because she might need it, but because it
was the thing to do.

So he gave her what seemed to him a liberal amount, considering his and
her station. On the day of his departure, after dinner, he went out and
waited for her at the side entrance. She flushed up when she saw him
and wished to pass by, directing his attention to the open door of the
maids’ room by a look, but he stopped her.

“I have come to say good-bye,” he said, crumbling in his hand an
envelope with a 100-rouble note inside. “There, I . . . ”

She guessed what he meant, knit her brows, and shaking her head pushed
his hand away.

“Take it; oh, you must!” he stammered, and thrust the envelope into the
bib of her apron and ran back to his room, groaning and frowning as if
he had hurt himself. And for a long time he went up and down writhing as
in pain, and even stamping and groaning aloud as he thought of this last
scene. “But what else could I have done? Is it not what happens to every
one? And if every one does the same . . . well I suppose it can’t be
helped.” In this way he tried to get peace of mind, but in vain. The
recollection of what had passed burned his conscience. In his soul--in
the very depths of his soul--he knew that he had acted in a base, cruel,
cowardly manner, and that the knowledge of this act of his must prevent
him, not only from finding fault with any one else, but even from
looking straight into other people’s eyes; not to mention the
impossibility of considering himself a splendid, noble, high-minded
fellow, as he did and had to do to go on living his life boldly and
merrily. There was only one solution of the problem--i.e., not to think
about it. He succeeded in doing so. The life he was now entering upon,
the new surroundings, new friends, the war, all helped him to forget.
And the longer he lived, the less he thought about it, until at last he
forgot it completely.

Once only, when, after the war, he went to see his aunts in hopes of
meeting Katusha, and heard that soon after his last visit she had left,
and that his aunts had heard she had been confined somewhere or other
and had gone quite to the bad, his heart ached. According to the time of
her confinement, the child might or might not have been his. His aunts
said she had gone wrong, that she had inherited her mother’s depraved
nature, and he was pleased to hear this opinion of his aunts’. It seemed
to acquit him. At first he thought of trying to find her and her child,
but then, just because in the depths of his soul he felt so ashamed and
pained when thinking about her, he did not make the necessary effort to
find her, but tried to forget his sin again and ceased to think about
it. And now this strange coincidence brought it all back to his memory,
and demanded from him the acknowledgment of the heartless, cruel
cowardice which had made it possible for him to live these nine years
with such a sin on his conscience. But he was still far from such an
acknowledgment, and his only fear was that everything might now be found
out, and that she or her advocate might recount it all and put him to
shame before every one present.



CHAPTER XIX.

THE TRIAL--RESUMPTION.

In this state of mind Nekhludoff left the Court and went into the
jurymen’s room. He sat by the window smoking all the while, and hearing
what was being said around him.

The merry merchant seemed with all his heart to sympathise with
Smelkoff’s way of spending his time. “There, old fellow, that was
something like! Real Siberian fashion! He knew what he was about, no
fear! That’s the sort of wench for me.”

The foreman was stating his conviction, that in some way or other the
expert’s conclusions were the important thing. Peter Gerasimovitch
was joking about something with the Jewish clerk, and they burst out
laughing. Nekhludoff answered all the questions addressed to him in
monosyllables and longed only to be left in peace.

When the usher, with his sideways gait, called the jury back to the
Court, Nekhludoff was seized with fear, as if he were not going to
judge, but to be judged. In the depth of his soul he felt that he was a
scoundrel, who ought to be ashamed to look people in the face, yet,
by sheer force of habit, he stepped on to the platform in his usual
self-possessed manner, and sat down, crossing his legs and playing with
his pince-nez.

The prisoners had also been led out, and were now brought in again.
There were some new faces in the Court witnesses, and Nekhludoff noticed
that Maslova could not take her eyes off a very fat woman who sat in the
row in front of the grating, very showily dressed in silk and velvet, a
high hat with a large bow on her head, and an elegant little reticule on
her arm, which was bare to the elbow. This was, as he subsequently found
out, one of the witnesses, the mistress of the establishment to which
Maslova had belonged.

The examination of the witnesses commenced: they were asked their names,
religion, etc. Then, after some consultation as to whether the witnesses
were to be sworn in or not, the old priest came in again, dragging
his legs with difficulty, and, again arranging the golden cross on his
breast, swore the witnesses and the expert in the same quiet manner,
and with the same assurance that he was doing something useful and
important.

The witnesses having been sworn, all but Kitaeva, the keeper of the
house, were led out again. She was asked what she knew about this
affair. Kitaeva nodded her head and the big hat at every sentence
and smiled affectedly. She gave a very full and intelligent account,
speaking with a strong German accent. First of all, the hotel servant
Simeon, whom she knew, came to her establishment on behalf of a rich
Siberian merchant, and she sent Lubov back with him. After a time
Lubov returned with the merchant. The merchant was already somewhat
intoxicated--she smiled as she said this--and went on drinking and
treating the girls. He was short of money. He sent this same Lubov to
his lodgings. He had taken a “predilection” to her. She looked at the
prisoner as she said this.

Nekhludoff thought he saw Maslova smile here, and this seemed disgusting
to him. A strange, indefinite feeling of loathing, mingled with
suffering, arose in him.

“And what was your opinion of Maslova?” asked the blushing and confused
applicant for a judicial post, appointed to act as Maslova’s advocate.

“Zee ferry pesht,” answered Kitaeva. “Zee yoong voman is etucated and
elecant. She was prought up in a coot family and can reat French. She
tid have a trop too moch sometimes, put nefer forcot herself. A ferry
coot girl.”

Katusha looked at the woman, then suddenly turned her eyes on the jury
and fixed them on Nekhludoff, and her face grew serious and even severe.
One of her serious eyes squinted, and those two strange eyes for some
time gazed at Nekhludoff, who, in spite of the terrors that seized him,
could not take his look off these squinting eyes, with their bright,
clear whites.

He thought of that dreadful night, with its mist, the ice breaking on
the river below, and when the waning moon, with horns turned upwards,
that had risen towards morning, lit up something black and weird. These
two black eyes now looking at him reminded him of this weird, black
something. “She has recognised me,” he thought, and Nekhludoff shrank as
if expecting a blow. But she had not recognised him. She sighed quietly
and again looked at the president. Nekhludoff also sighed. “Oh, if it
would only get on quicker,” he thought.

He now felt the same loathing and pity and vexation as when, out
shooting, he was obliged to kill a wounded bird. The wounded bird
struggles in the game bag. One is disgusted and yet feels pity, and one
is in a hurry to kill the bird and forget it.

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



CHAPTER XX.

THE TRIAL--THE MEDICAL REPORT.

But, as if to spite him, the case dragged out to a great length. After
each witness had been examined separately and the expert last of all,
and a great number of useless questions had been put, with the usual
air of importance, by the public prosecutor and by both advocates, the
president invited the jury to examine the objects offered as material
evidence. They consisted of an enormous diamond ring, which had
evidently been worn on the first finger, and a test tube in which the
poison had been analysed. These things had seals and labels attached to
them.

Just as the witnesses were about to look at these things, the public
prosecutor rose and demanded that before they did this the results of
the doctor’s examination of the body should be read. The president, who
was hurrying the business through as fast as he could in order to visit
his Swiss friend, though he knew that the reading of this paper could
have no other effect than that of producing weariness and putting off
the dinner hour, and that the public prosecutor wanted it read simply
because he knew he had a right to demand it, had no option but to
express his consent.

The secretary got out the doctor’s report and again began to read in his
weary lisping voice, making no distinction between the “r’s” and “l’s.”

The external examination proved that:

“1. Theropont Smelkoff’s height was six feet five inches.

“Not so bad, that. A very good size,” whispered the merchant, with
interest, into Nekhludoff’s ear.

“2. He looked about 40 years of age.

“3. The body was of a swollen appearance.

“4. The flesh was of a greenish colour, with dark spots in several
places.

“5. The skin was raised in blisters of different sizes and in places had
come off in large pieces.

“6. The hair was chestnut; it was thick, and separated easily from the
skin when touched.

“7. The eye-balls protruded from their sockets and the cornea had grown
dim.

“8. Out of the nostrils, both ears, and the mouth oozed serous liquid;
the mouth was half open.

“9. The neck had almost disappeared, owing to the swelling of the face
and chest.”

And so on and so on.

Four pages were covered with the 27 paragraphs describing all the
details of the external examination of the enormous, fat, swollen, and
decomposing body of the merchant who had been making merry in the
town. The indefinite loathing that Nekhludoff felt was increased by the
description of the corpse. Katusha’s life, and the scrum oozing from
the nostrils of the corpse, and the eyes that protruded out of their
sockets, and his own treatment of her--all seemed to belong to the same
order of things, and he felt surrounded and wholly absorbed by things of
the same nature.

When the reading of the report of the external examination was ended,
the president heaved a sigh and raised his hand, hoping it was finished;
but the secretary at once went on to the description of the internal
examination. The president’s head again dropped into his hand and he
shut his eyes. The merchant next to Nekhludoff could hardly keep awake,
and now and then his body swayed to and fro. The prisoners and the
gendarmes sat perfectly quiet.

The internal examination showed that:

“1. The skin was easily detachable from the bones of the skull, and
there was no coagulated blood.

“2. The bones of the skull were of average thickness and in sound
condition.

“3. On the membrane of the brain there were two discoloured spots about
four inches long, the membrane itself being of a dull white.” And so on
for 13 paragraphs more. Then followed the names and signatures of
the assistants, and the doctor’s conclusion showing that the changes
observed in the stomach, and to a lesser degree in the bowels and
kidneys, at the postmortem examination, and described in the official
report, gave great probability to the conclusion that Smelkoff’s death
was caused by poison which had entered his stomach mixed with alcohol.
To decide from the state of the stomach what poison had been introduced
was difficult; but it was necessary to suppose that the poison entered
the stomach mixed with alcohol, since a great quantity of the latter was
found in Smelkoff’s stomach.

“He could drink, and no mistake,” again whispered the merchant, who had
just waked up.

The reading of this report had taken a full hour, but it had not
satisfied the public prosecutor, for, when it had been read through and
the president turned to him, saying, “I suppose it is superfluous to
read the report of the examination of the internal organs?” he answered
in a severe tone, without looking at the president, “I shall ask to have
it read.”

He raised himself a little, and showed by his manner that he had a right
to have this report read, and would claim this right, and that if that
were not granted it would serve as a cause of appeal.

The member of the Court with the big beard, who suffered from catarrh of
the stomach, feeling quite done up, turned to the president:

“What is the use of reading all this? It is only dragging it out. These
new brooms do not sweep clean; they only take a long while doing it.”

The member with the gold spectacles said nothing, but only looked
gloomily in front of him, expecting nothing good, either from his wife
or life in general. The reading of the report commenced.

“In the year 188-, on February 15th, I, the undersigned, commissioned
by the medical department, made an examination, No. 638,” the secretary
began again with firmness and raising the pitch of his voice as if to
dispel the sleepiness that had overtaken all present, “in the presence
of the assistant medical inspector, of the internal organs:

“1. The right lung and the heart (contained in a 6-lb. glass jar).

“2. The contents of the stomach (in a 6-lb. glass jar).

“3. The stomach itself (in a 6-lb. glass jar).

“4. The liver, the spleen and the kidneys (in a 9-lb. glass jar).

“5. The intestines (in a 9-lb. earthenware jar).”

The president here whispered to one of the members, then stooped to the
other, and having received their consent, he said: “The Court considers
the reading of this report superfluous.” The secretary stopped reading
and folded the paper, and the public prosecutor angrily began to write
down something. “The gentlemen of the jury may now examine the articles
of material evidence,” said the president. The foreman and several of
the others rose and went to the table, not quite knowing what to do with
their hands. They looked in turn at the glass, the test tube, and the
ring. The merchant even tried on the ring.

“Ah! that was a finger,” he said, returning to his place; “like a
cucumber,” he added. Evidently the image he had formed in his mind of
the gigantic merchant amused him.



CHAPTER XXI.

THE TRIAL--THE PROSECUTOR AND THE ADVOCATES.

When the examination of the articles of material evidence was finished,
the president announced that the investigation was now concluded and
immediately called on the prosecutor to proceed, hoping that as the
latter was also a man, he, too, might feel inclined to smoke or dine,
and show some mercy on the rest. But the public prosecutor showed mercy
neither to himself nor to any one else. He was very stupid by nature,
but, besides this, he had had the misfortune of finishing school with a
gold medal and of receiving a reward for his essay on “Servitude” when
studying Roman Law at the University, and was therefore self-confident
and self-satisfied in the highest degree (his success with the ladies
also conducing to this) and his stupidity had become extraordinary.

When the word was given to him, he got up slowly, showing the whole of
his graceful figure in his embroidered uniform. Putting his hand on the
desk he looked round the room, slightly bowing his head, and, avoiding
the eyes of the prisoners, began to read the speech he had prepared
while the reports were being read.

“Gentlemen of the jury! The business that now lies before you is, if I
may so express myself, very characteristic.”

The speech of a public prosecutor, according to his views, should always
have a social importance, like the celebrated speeches made by the
advocates who have become distinguished. True, the audience consisted of
three women--a semptress, a cook, and Simeon’s sister--and a coachman;
but this did not matter. The celebrities had begun in the same way. To
be always at the height of his position, i.e., to penetrate into the
depths of the psychological significance of crime and to discover the
wounds of society, was one of the prosecutor’s principles.

“You see before you, gentlemen of the jury, a crime characteristic, if
I may so express myself, of the end of our century; bearing, so to say,
the specific features of that very painful phenomenon, the corruption to
which those elements of our present-day society, which are, so to say,
particularly exposed to the burning rays of this process, are subject.”

The public prosecutor spoke at great length, trying not to forget any of
the notions he had formed in his mind, and, on the other hand, never to
hesitate, and let his speech flow on for an hour and a quarter without a
break.

Only once he stopped and for some time stood swallowing his saliva, but
he soon mastered himself and made up for the interruption by heightened
eloquence. He spoke, now with a tender, insinuating accent, stepping
from foot to foot and looking at the jury, now in quiet, business-like
tones, glancing into his notebook, then with a loud, accusing voice,
looking from the audience to the advocates. But he avoided looking at
the prisoners, who were all three fixedly gazing at him. Every new craze
then in vogue among his set was alluded to in his speech; everything
that then was, and some things that still are, considered to be the last
words of scientific wisdom: the laws of heredity and inborn criminality,
evolution and the struggle for existence, hypnotism and hypnotic
influence.

According to his definition, the merchant Smelkoff was of the genuine
Russian type, and had perished in consequence of his generous, trusting
nature, having fallen into the hands of deeply degraded individuals.

Simeon Kartinkin was the atavistic production of serfdom, a stupefied,
ignorant, unprincipled man, who had not even any religion. Euphemia was
his mistress, and a victim of heredity; all the signs of degeneration
were noticeable in her. The chief wire-puller in this affair was
Maslova, presenting the phenomenon of decadence in its lowest form.
“This woman,” he said, looking at her, “has, as we have to-day heard
from her mistress in this court, received an education; she cannot only
read and write, but she knows French; she is illegitimate, and probably
carries in her the germs of criminality. She was educated in an
enlightened, noble family and might have lived by honest work, but she
deserts her benefactress, gives herself up to a life of shame in which
she is distinguished from her companions by her education, and chiefly,
gentlemen of the jury, as you have heard from her mistress, by her power
of acting on the visitors by means of that mysterious capacity lately
investigated by science, especially by the school of Charcot, known by
the name of hypnotic influence. By these means she gets hold of this
Russian, this kind-hearted Sadko, [Sadko, the hero of a legend] the rich
guest, and uses his trust in order first to rob and then pitilessly to
murder him.”

“Well, he is piling it on now, isn’t he?” said the president with a
smile, bending towards the serious member.

“A fearful blockhead!” said the serious member.

Meanwhile the public prosecutor went on with his speech. “Gentlemen of
the jury,” gracefully swaying his body, “the fate of society is to a
certain extent in your power. Your verdict will influence it. Grasp the
full meaning of this crime, the danger that awaits society from those
whom I may perhaps be permitted to call pathological individuals, such
as Maslova. Guard it from infection; guard the innocent and strong
elements of society from contagion or even destruction.”

And as if himself overcome by the significance of the expected verdict,
the public prosecutor sank into his chair, highly delighted with his
speech.

The sense of the speech, when divested of all its flowers of rhetoric,
was that Maslova, having gained the merchant’s confidence, hypnotised
him and went to his lodgings with his key meaning to take all the money
herself, but having been caught in the act by Simeon and Euphemia had to
share it with them. Then, in order to hide the traces of the crime, she
had returned to the lodgings with the merchant and there poisoned him.

After the prosecutor had spoken, a middle-aged man in swallow-tail coat
and low-cut waistcoat showing a large half-circle of starched white
shirt, rose from the advocates’ bench and made a speech in defence of
Kartinkin and Botchkova; this was an advocate engaged by them for 300
roubles. He acquitted them both and put all the blame on Maslova. He
denied the truth of Maslova’s statements that Botchkova and Kartinkin
were with her when she took the money, laying great stress on the
point that her evidence could not be accepted, she being charged with
poisoning. “The 2,500 roubles,” the advocate said, “could have been
easily earned by two honest people getting from three to five roubles
per day in tips from the lodgers. The merchant’s money was stolen by
Maslova and given away, or even lost, as she was not in a normal state.”

The poisoning was committed by Maslova alone; therefore he begged the
jury to acquit Kartinkin and Botchkova of stealing the money; or if they
could not acquit them of the theft, at least to admit that it was done
without any participation in the poisoning.

In conclusion the advocate remarked, with a thrust at the public
prosecutor, that “the brilliant observations of that gentleman on
heredity, while explaining scientific facts concerning heredity, were
inapplicable in this case, as Botchkova was of unknown parentage.” The
public prosecutor put something down on paper with an angry look, and
shrugged his shoulders in contemptuous surprise.

Then Maslova’s advocate rose, and timidly and hesitatingly began his
speech in her defence.

Without denying that she had taken part in the stealing of the money,
he insisted on the fact that she had no intention of poisoning Smelkoff,
but had given him the powder only to make him fall asleep. He tried to
go in for a little eloquence in giving a description of how Maslova was
led into a life of debauchery by a man who had remained unpunished while
she had to bear all the weight of her fall; but this excursion into the
domain of psychology was so unsuccessful that it made everybody feel
uncomfortable. When he muttered something about men’s cruelty and
women’s helplessness, the president tried to help him by asking him to
keep closer to the facts of the case. When he had finished the public
prosecutor got up to reply. He defended his position against the first
advocate, saying that even if Botchkova was of unknown parentage the
truth of the doctrine of heredity was thereby in no way invalidated,
since the laws of heredity were so far proved by science that we can not
only deduce the crime from heredity, but heredity from the crime. As to
the statement made in defence of Maslova, that she was the victim of an
imaginary (he laid a particularly venomous stress on the word imaginary)
betrayer, he could only say that from the evidence before them it was
much more likely that she had played the part of temptress to many and
many a victim who had fallen into her hands. Having said this he sat
down in triumph. Then the prisoners were offered permission to speak in
their own defence.

Euphemia Botchkova repeated once more that she knew nothing about it and
had taken part in nothing, and firmly laid the whole blame on Maslova.
Simeon Kartinkin only repeated several times: “It is your business, but
I am innocent; it’s unjust.” Maslova said nothing in her defence. Told
she might do so by the president, she only lifted her eyes to him, cast
a look round the room like a hunted animal, and, dropping her head,
began to cry, sobbing aloud.

“What is the matter?” the merchant asked Nekhludoff, hearing him utter
a strange sound. This was the sound of weeping fiercely kept back.
Nekhludoff had not yet understood the significance of his present
position, and attributed the sobs he could hardly keep back and the
tears that filled his eyes to the weakness of his nerves. He put on his
pince-nez in order to hide the tears, then got out his handkerchief and
began blowing his nose.

Fear of the disgrace that would befall him if every one in the court
knew of his conduct stifled the inner working of his soul. This fear
was, during this first period, stronger than all else.



CHAPTER XXII.

THE TRIAL--THE SUMMING UP.

After the last words of the prisoners had been heard, the form in which
the questions were to be put to the jury was settled, which also took
some time. At last the questions were formulated, and the president
began the summing up.

Before putting the case to the jury, he spoke to them for some time in a
pleasant, homely manner, explaining that burglary was burglary and theft
was theft, and that stealing from a place which was under lock and key
was stealing from a place under lock and key. While he was explaining
this, he looked several times at Nekhludoff as if wishing to impress
upon him these important facts, in hopes that, having understood it,
Nekhludoff would make his fellow-jurymen also understand it. When he
considered that the jury were sufficiently imbued with these facts, he
proceeded to enunciate another truth--namely, that a murder is an
action which has the death of a human being as its consequence, and that
poisoning could therefore also be termed murder. When, according to his
opinion, this truth had also been received by the jury, he went on to
explain that if theft and murder had been committed at the same time,
the combination of the crimes was theft with murder.

Although he was himself anxious to finish as soon as possible, although
he knew that his Swiss friend would be waiting for him, he had grown so
used to his occupation that, having begun to speak, he could not stop
himself, and therefore he went on to impress on the jury with much
detail that if they found the prisoners guilty, they would have the
right to give a verdict of guilty; and if they found them not guilty,
to give a verdict of not guilty; and if they found them guilty of one of
the crimes and not of the other, they might give a verdict of guilty
on the one count and of not guilty on the other. Then he explained that
though this right was given them they should use it with reason.

He was going to add that if they gave an affirmative answer to any
question that was put to them they would thereby affirm everything
included in the question, so that if they did not wish to affirm the
whole of the question they should mention the part of the question they
wished to be excepted. But, glancing at the clock, and seeing it was
already five minutes to three, he resolved to trust to their being
intelligent enough to understand this without further comment.

“The facts of this case are the following,” began the president, and
repeated all that had already been said several times by the advocates,
the public prosecutor and the witnesses.

The president spoke, and the members on each side of him listened with
deeply-attentive expressions, but looked from time to time at the clock,
for they considered the speech too long though very good--i.e., such
as it ought to be. The public prosecutor, the lawyers, and, in fact,
everyone in the court, shared the same impression. The president
finished the summing up. Then he found it necessary to tell the jury
what they all knew, or might have found out by reading it up--i.e., how
they were to consider the case, count the votes, in case of a tie to
acquit the prisoners, and so on.

Everything seemed to have been told; but no, the president could not
forego his right of speaking as yet. It was so pleasant to hear the
impressive tones of his own voice, and therefore he found it necessary
to say a few words more about the importance of the rights given to the
jury, how carefully they should use the rights and how they ought not
to abuse them, about their being on their oath, that they were the
conscience of society, that the secrecy of the debating-room should be
considered sacred, etc.

From the time the president commenced his speech, Maslova watched him
without moving her eyes as if afraid of losing a single word; so that
Nekhludoff was not afraid of meeting her eyes and kept looking at her
all the time. And his mind passed through those phases in which a face
which we have not seen for many years first strikes us with the outward
changes brought about during the time of separation, and then gradually
becomes more and more like its old self, when the changes made by
time seem to disappear, and before our spiritual eyes rises only the
principal expression of one exceptional, unique individuality. Yes,
though dressed in a prison cloak, and in spite of the developed figure,
the fulness of the bosom and lower part of the face, in spite of a few
wrinkles on the forehead and temples and the swollen eyes, this was
certainly the same Katusha who, on that Easter eve, had so innocently
looked up to him whom she loved, with her fond, laughing eyes full of
joy and life.

“What a strange coincidence that after ten years, during which I never
saw her, this case should have come up today when I am on the jury, and
that it is in the prisoners’ dock that I see her again! And how will it
end? Oh, dear, if they would only get on quicker.”

Still he would not give in to the feelings of repentance which began to
arise within him. He tried to consider it all as a coincidence, which
would pass without infringing his manner of life. He felt himself in
the position of a puppy, when its master, taking it by the scruff of
its neck, rubs its nose in the mess it has made. The puppy whines, draws
back and wants to get away as far as possible from the effects of its
misdeed, but the pitiless master does not let go.

And so, Nekhludoff, feeling all the repulsiveness of what he had done,
felt also the powerful hand of the Master, but he did not feel the whole
significance of his action yet and would not recognise the Master’s
hand. He did not wish to believe that it was the effect of his deed that
lay before him, but the pitiless hand of the Master held him and he felt
he could not get away. He was still keeping up his courage and sat on
his chair in the first row in his usual self-possessed pose, one leg
carelessly thrown over the other, and playing with his pince-nez. Yet
all the while, in the depths of his soul, he felt the cruelty, cowardice
and baseness, not only of this particular action of his but of his whole
self-willed, depraved, cruel, idle life; and that dreadful veil which
had in some unaccountable manner hidden from him this sin of his and
the whole of his subsequent life was beginning to shake, and he caught
glimpses of what was covered by that veil.



CHAPTER XXIII.

THE TRIAL--THE VERDICT.

At last the president finished his speech, and lifting the list of
questions with a graceful movement of his arm he handed it to the
foreman, who came up to take it. The jury, glad to be able to get
into the debating-court, got up one after the other and left the room,
looking as if a bit ashamed of themselves and again not knowing what
to do with their hands. As soon as the door was closed behind them
a gendarme came up to it, pulled his sword out of the scabbard, and,
holding it up against his shoulder, stood at the door. The judges got up
and went away. The prisoners were also led out. When the jury came
into the debating-room the first thing they did was to take out their
cigarettes, as before, and begin smoking. The sense of the unnaturalness
and falseness of their position, which all of them had experienced
while sitting in their places in the court, passed when they entered the
debating-room and started smoking, and they settled down with a feeling
of relief and at once began an animated conversation.

“‘Tisn’t the girl’s fault. She’s got mixed up in it,” said the kindly
merchant. “We must recommend her to mercy.”

“That’s just what we are going to consider,” said the foreman. “We must
not give way to our personal impressions.”

“The president’s summing up was good,” remarked the colonel.

“Good? Why, it nearly sent me to sleep!”

“The chief point is that the servants could have known nothing about the
money if Maslova had not been in accord with them,” said the clerk of
Jewish extraction.

“Well, do you think that it was she who stole the money?” asked one of
the jury.

“I will never believe it,” cried the kindly merchant; “it was all that
red-eyed hag’s doing.”

“They are a nice lot, all of them,” said the colonel.

“But she says she never went into the room.”

“Oh, believe her by all means.”

“I should not believe that jade, not for the world.”

“Whether you believe her or not does not settle the question,” said the
clerk.

“The girl had the key,” said the colonel.

“What if she had?” retorted the merchant.

“And the ring?”

“But didn’t she say all about it?” again cried the merchant. “The fellow
had a temper of his own, and had had a drop too much besides, and gave
the girl a licking; what could be simpler? Well, then he’s sorry--quite
naturally. ‘There, never mind,’ says he; ‘take this.’ Why, I heard them
say he was six foot five high; I should think he must have weighed about
20 stones.”

“That’s not the point,” said Peter Gerasimovitch. “The question is,
whether she was the instigator and inciter in this affair, or the
servants?”

“It was not possible for the servants to do it alone; she had the key.”

This kind of random talk went on for a considerable time. At last the
foreman said: “I beg your pardon, gentlemen, but had we not better take
our places at the table and discuss the matter? Come, please.” And he
took the chair.

The questions were expressed in the following manner.

1. Is the peasant of the village Borki, Krapivinskia district, Simeon
Petrov Kartinkin, 33 years of age, guilty of having, in agreement with
other persons, given the merchant Smelkoff, on the 17th January, 188-,
in the town of N-----, with intent to deprive him of life, for the
purpose of robbing him, poisoned brandy, which caused Smelkoff’s death,
and of having stolen from him about 2,500 roubles in money and a diamond
ring?

2. Is the meschanka Euphemia Ivanovna Botchkova, 43 years of age, guilty
of the crimes described above?

3. Is the meschanka Katerina Michaelovna Maslova, 27 years of age,
guilty of the crimes described in the first question?

4. If the prisoner Euphemia Botchkova is not guilty according to the
first question, is she not guilty of having, on the 17th January, in the
town of N----, while in service at the hotel Mauritania, stolen from a
locked portmanteau, belonging to the merchant Smelkoff, a lodger in that
hotel, and which was in the room occupied by him, 2,500 roubles, for
which object she unlocked the portmanteau with a key she brought and
fitted to the lock?

The foreman read the first question.

“Well, gentlemen, what do you think?” This question was quickly
answered. All agreed to say “Guilty,” as if convinced that Kartinkin
had taken part both in the poisoning and the robbery. An old artelshik,
[member of an artel, an association of workmen, in which the members
share profits and liabilities] whose answers were all in favour of
acquittal, was the only exception.

The foreman thought he did not understand, and began to point out to him
that everything tended to prove Kartinkin’s guilt. The old man answered
that he did understand, but still thought it better to have pity on him.
“We are not saints ourselves,” and he kept to his opinion.

The answer to the second question concerning Botchkova was, after much
dispute and many exclamations, answered by the words, “Not guilty,”
 there being no clear proofs of her having taken part in the poisoning--a
fact her advocate had strongly insisted on. The merchant, anxious to
acquit Maslova, insisted that Botchkova was the chief instigator of it
all. Many of the jury shared this view, but the foreman, wishing to be
in strict accord with the law, declared they had no grounds to consider
her as an accomplice in the poisoning. After much disputing the
foreman’s opinion triumphed.

To the fourth question concerning Botchkova the answer was “Guilty.” But
on the artelshik’s insistence she was recommended to mercy.

The third question, concerning Maslova, raised a fierce dispute. The
foreman maintained she was guilty both of the poisoning and the theft,
to which the merchant would not agree. The colonel, the clerk and the
old artelshik sided with the merchant, the rest seemed shaky, and the
opinion of the foreman began to gain ground, chiefly because all the
jurymen were getting tired, and preferred to take up the view that would
bring them sooner to a decision and thus liberate them.

From all that had passed, and from his former knowledge of Maslova,
Nekhludoff was certain that she was innocent of both the theft and the
poisoning. And he felt sure that all the others would come to the same
conclusion. When he saw that the merchant’s awkward defence (evidently
based on his physical admiration for her, which he did not even try
to hide) and the foreman’s insistence, and especially everybody’s
weariness, were all tending to her condemnation, he longed to state his
objections, yet dared not, lest his relations with Maslova should be
discovered. He felt he could not allow things to go on without stating
his objection; and, blushing and growing pale again, was about to speak
when Peter Gerasimovitch, irritated by the authoritative manner of
the foreman, began to raise his objections and said the very things
Nekhludoff was about to say.

“Allow me one moment,” he said. “You seem to think that her having the
key proves she is guilty of the theft; but what could be easier than
for the servants to open the portmanteau with a false key after she was
gone?”

“Of course, of course,” said the merchant.

“She could not have taken the money, because in her position she would
hardly know what to do with it.”

“That’s just what I say,” remarked the merchant.

“But it is very likely that her coming put the idea into the servants’
heads and that they grasped the opportunity and shoved all the blame
on her.” Peter Gerasimovitch spoke so irritably that the foreman became
irritated too, and went on obstinately defending the opposite views; but
Peter Gerasimovitch spoke so convincingly that the majority agreed with
him, and decided that Maslova was not guilty of stealing the money and
that the ring was given her.

But when the question of her having taken part in the poisoning was
raised, her zealous defender, the merchant, declared that she must
be acquitted, because she could have no reason for the poisoning. The
foreman, however, said that it was impossible to acquit her, because she
herself had pleaded guilty to having given the powder.

“Yes, but thinking it was opium,” said the merchant.

“Opium can also deprive one of life,” said the colonel, who was fond
of wandering from the subject, and he began telling how his
brother-in-law’s wife would have died of an overdose of opium if there
had not been a doctor near at hand to take the necessary measures. The
colonel told his story so impressively, with such self-possession and
dignity, that no one had the courage to interrupt him. Only the clerk,
infected by his example, decided to break in with a story of his own:
“There are some who get so used to it that they can take 40 drops. I
have a relative--,” but the colonel would not stand the interruption,
and went on to relate what effects the opium had on his brother-in-law’s
wife.

“But, gentlemen, do you know it is getting on towards five o’clock?”
 said one of the jury.

“Well, gentlemen, what are we to say, then?” inquired the foreman.
“Shall we say she is guilty, but without intent to rob? And without
stealing any property? Will that do?” Peter Gerasimovitch, pleased with
his victory, agreed.

“But she must be recommended to mercy,” said the merchant.

All agreed; only the old artelshik insisted that they should say “Not
guilty.”

“It comes to the same thing,” explained the foreman; “without intent to
rob, and without stealing any property. Therefore, ‘Not guilty,’ that’s
evident.”

“All right; that’ll do. And we recommend her to mercy,” said the
merchant, gaily.

They were all so tired, so confused by the discussions, that nobody
thought of saying that she was guilty of giving the powder but without
the intent of taking life. Nekhludoff was so excited that he did not
notice this omission, and so the answers were written down in the form
agreed upon and taken to the court.

Rabelais says that a lawyer who was trying a case quoted all sorts of
laws, read 20 pages of judicial senseless Latin, and then proposed to
the judges to throw dice, and if the numbers proved odd the defendant
would be right, if not, the plaintiff.

It was much the same in this case. The resolution was taken, not because
everybody agreed upon it, but because the president, who had been
summing up at such length, omitted to say what he always said on such
occasions, that the answer might be, “Yes, guilty, but without the
intent of taking life;” because the colonel had related the story of his
brother-in-law’s wife at such great length; because Nekhludoff was too
excited to notice that the proviso “without intent to take life” had
been omitted, and thought that the words “without intent” nullified the
conviction; because Peter Gerasimovitch had retired from the room while
the questions and answers were being read, and chiefly because, being
tired, and wishing to get away as soon as possible, all were ready to
agree with the decision which would bring matters to an end soonest.

The jurymen rang the bell. The gendarme who had stood outside the door
with his sword drawn put the sword back into the scabbard and stepped
aside. The judges took their seats and the jury came out one by one.

The foreman brought in the paper with an air of solemnity and handed
it to the president, who looked at it, and, spreading out his hands
in astonishment, turned to consult his companions. The president was
surprised that the jury, having put in a proviso--without intent to
rob--did not put in a second proviso--without intent to take life. From
the decision of the jury it followed that Maslova had not stolen, nor
robbed, and yet poisoned a man without any apparent reason.

“Just see what an absurd decision they have come to,” he whispered to
the member on his left. “This means penal servitude in Siberia, and she
is innocent.”

“Surely you do not mean to say she is innocent?” answered the serious
member.

“Yes, she is positively innocent. I think this is a case for putting
Article 817 into practice (Article 817 states that if the Court
considers the decision of the jury unjust it may set it aside).”

“What do you think?” said the president, turning to the other member.
The kindly member did not answer at once. He looked at the number on a
paper before him and added up the figures; the sum would not divide
by three. He had settled in his mind that if it did divide by three he
would agree to the president’s proposal, but though the sum would not so
divide his kindness made him agree all the same.

“I, too, think it should be done,” he said.

“And you?” asked the president, turning to the serious member.

“On no account,” he answered, firmly. “As it is, the papers accuse the
jury of acquitting prisoners. What will they say if the Court does it?
I, shall not agree to that on any account.”

The president looked at his watch. “It is a pity, but what’s to be
done?” and handed the questions to the foreman to read out. All got
up, and the foreman, stepping from foot to foot, coughed, and read the
questions and the answers. All the Court, secretary, advocates, and even
the public prosecutor, expressed surprise. The prisoners sat impassive,
evidently not understanding the meaning of the answers. Everybody sat
down again, and the president asked the prosecutor what punishments the
prisoners were to be subjected to.

The prosecutor, glad of his unexpected success in getting Maslova
convicted, and attributing the success entirely to his own eloquence,
looked up the necessary information, rose and said: “With Simeon
Kartinkin I should deal according to Statute 1,452 paragraph 93.
Euphemia Botchkova according to Statute . . ., etc. Katerina Maslova
according to Statute . . ., etc.”

All three punishments were the heaviest that could be inflicted.

“The Court will adjourn to consider the sentence,” said the president,
rising. Everybody rose after him, and with the pleasant feeling of a
task well done began to leave the room or move about in it.

“D’you know, sirs, we have made a shameful hash of it?” said Peter
Gerasimovitch, approaching Nekhludoff, to whom the foreman was relating
something. “Why, we’ve got her to Siberia.”

“What are you saying?” exclaimed Nekhludoff. This time he did not notice
the teacher’s familiarity.

“Why, we did not put in our answer ‘Guilty, but without intent of
causing death.’ The secretary just told me the public prosecutor is for
condemning her to 15 years’ penal servitude.”

“Well, but it was decided so,” said the foreman.

Peter Gerasimovitch began to dispute this, saying that since she did
not take the money it followed naturally that she could not have had any
intention of committing murder.

“But I read the answer before going out,” said the foreman, defending
himself, “and nobody objected.”

“I had just then gone out of the room,” said Peter Gerasimovitch,
turning to Nekhludoff, “and your thoughts must have been wool-gathering
to let the thing pass.”

“I never imagined this,” Nekhludoff replied.

“Oh, you didn’t?”

“Oh, well, we can get it put right,” said Nekhludoff.

“Oh, dear no; it’s finished.”

Nekhludoff looked at the prisoners. They whose fate was being decided
still sat motionless behind the grating in front of the soldiers.
Maslova was smiling. Another feeling stirred in Nekhludoff’s soul. Up to
now, expecting her acquittal and thinking she would remain in the town,
he was uncertain how to act towards her. Any kind of relations with her
would be so very difficult. But Siberia and penal servitude at once cut
off every possibility of any kind of relations with her. The wounded
bird would stop struggling in the game-bag, and no longer remind him of
its existence.



CHAPTER XXIV.

THE TRIAL--THE SENTENCE.

Peter Gerasimovitch’s assumption was correct. The president came back
from the debating room with a paper, and read as follows:--“April 28th,
188-. By His Imperial Majesty’s ukase No. ----- The Criminal Court, on
the strength of the decision of the jury, in accordance with Section
3 of Statute 771, Section 3 of Statutes 770 and 777, decrees that the
peasant, Simeon Kartinkin, 33 years of age, and the meschanka Katerina
Maslova, 27 years of age, are to be deprived of all property rights and
to be sent to penal servitude in Siberia, Kartinkin for eight, Maslova
for four years, with the consequences stated in Statute 25 of the code.
The meschanka Botchkova, 43 years of age, to be deprived of all special
personal and acquired rights, and to be imprisoned for three years with
consequences in accord with Statute 48 of the code. The costs of the
case to be borne equally by the prisoners; and, in the case of their
being without sufficient property, the costs to be transferred to the
Treasury. Articles of material evidence to be sold, the ring to be
returned, the phials destroyed.” Botchkova was condemned to prison,
Simeon Kartinken and Katerina Maslova to the loss of all special rights
and privileges and to penal servitude in Siberia, he for eight and she
for four years.

Kartinkin stood holding his arms close to his sides and moving his lips.
Botchkova seemed perfectly calm. Maslova, when she heard the sentence,
blushed scarlet. “I’m not guilty, not guilty!” she suddenly cried, so
that it resounded through the room. “It is a sin! I am not guilty! I
never wished--I never thought! It is the truth I am saying--the truth!”
 and sinking on the bench she burst into tears and sobbed aloud. When
Kartinkin and Botchkova went out she still sat crying, so that a
gendarme had to touch the sleeve of her cloak.

“No; it is impossible to leave it as it is,” said Nekhludoff to himself,
utterly forgetting his bad thoughts. He did not know why he wished to
look at her once more, but hurried out into the corridor. There was
quite a crowd at the door. The advocates and jury were going out,
pleased to have finished the business, and he was obliged to wait a few
seconds, and when he at last got out into the corridor she was far
in front. He hurried along the corridor after her, regardless of the
attention he was arousing, caught her up, passed her, and stopped. She
had ceased crying and only sobbed, wiping her red, discoloured face with
the end of the kerchief on her head. She passed without noticing him.
Then he hurried back to see the president. The latter had already left
the court, and Nekhludoff followed him into the lobby and went up to
him just as he had put on his light grey overcoat and was taking the
silver-mounted walking-stick which an attendant was handing him.

“Sir, may I have a few words with you concerning some business I have
just decided upon?” said Nekhludoff. “I am one of the jury.”

“Oh, certainly, Prince Nekhludoff. I shall be delighted. I think we
have met before,” said the president, pressing Nekhludoff’s hand and
recalling with pleasure the evening when he first met Nekhludoff, and
when he had danced so gaily, better than all the young people. “What can
I do for you?”

“There is a mistake in the answer concerning Maslova. She is not guilty
of the poisoning and yet she is condemned to penal servitude,” said
Nekhludoff, with a preoccupied and gloomy air.

“The Court passed the sentence in accordance with the answers you
yourselves gave,” said the president, moving towards the front door;
“though they did not seem to be quite in accord.” And he remembered
that he had been going to explain to the jury that a verdict of “guilty”
 meant guilty of intentional murder unless the words “without intent to
take life” were added, but had, in his hurry to get the business over,
omitted to do so.

“Yes, but could not the mistake be rectified?”

“A reason for an appeal can always be found. You will have to speak to
an advocate,” said the president, putting on his hat a little to one
side and continuing to move towards the door.

“But this is terrible.”

“Well, you see, there were two possibilities before Maslova,” said the
president, evidently wishing to be as polite and pleasant to Nekhludoff
as he could. Then, having arranged his whiskers over his coat collar, he
put his hand lightly under Nekhludoff’s elbow, and, still directing his
steps towards the front door, he said, “You are going, too?”

“Yes,” said Nekhludoff, quickly getting his coat, and following him.

They went out into the bright, merry sunlight, and had to raise their
voices because of the rattling of the wheels on the pavement.

“The situation is a curious one, you see,” said the president; “what lay
before this Maslova was one of two things: either to be almost acquitted
and only imprisoned for a short time, or, taking the preliminary
confinement into consideration, perhaps not at all--or Siberia. There is
nothing between. Had you but added the words, ‘without intent to cause
death,’ she would have been acquitted.”

“Yes, it was inexcusable of me to omit that,” said Nekhludoff.

“That’s where the whole matter lies,” said the president, with a smile,
and looked at his watch. He had only three-quarters of an hour left
before the time appointed by his Clara would elapse.

“Now, if you like to speak to the advocates you’ll have to find a reason
for an appeal; that can be easily done.” Then, turning to an isvostchik,
he called out, “To the Dvoryanskaya 30 copecks; I never give more.”

“All right, your honour; here you are.”

“Good-afternoon. If I can be of any use, my address is House Dvornikoff,
on the Dvoryanskaya; it’s easy to remember.” And he bowed in a friendly
manner as he got into the trap and drove off.



CHAPTER XXV.

NEKHLUDOFF CONSULTS AN ADVOCATE.

His conversation with the president and the fresh air quieted Nekhludoff
a little. He now thought that the feelings experienced by him had been
exaggerated by the unusual surroundings in which he had spent the whole
of the morning, and by that wonderful and startling coincidence. Still,
it was absolutely necessary to take some steps to lighten Maslova’s
fate, and to take them quickly. “Yes, at once! It will be best to find
out here in the court where the advocate Fanarin or Mikishin lives.”
 These were two well-known advocates whom Nekhludoff called to mind. He
returned to the court, took off his overcoat, and went upstairs. In the
first corridor he met Fanarin himself. He stopped him, and told him that
he was just going to look him up on a matter of business.

Fanarin knew Nekhludoff by sight and name, and said he would be very
glad to be of service to him.

“Though I am rather tired, still, if your business will not take very
long, perhaps you might tell me what it is now. Will you step in here?”
 And he led Nekhludoff into a room, probably some judge’s cabinet. They
sat down by the table.

“Well, and what is your business?”

“First of all, I must ask you to keep the business private. I do not
want it known that I take an interest in the affair.”

“Oh, that of course. Well?”

“I was on the jury to-day, and we have condemned a woman to Siberia,
an innocent woman. This bothers me very much.” Nekhludoff, to his own
surprise, blushed and became confused. Fanarin glanced at him rapidly,
and looked down again, listening.

“Well?”

“We have condemned a woman, and I should like to appeal to a higher
court.”

“To the Senate, you mean,” said Fanarin, correcting him.

“Yes, and I should like to ask you to take the case in hand.” Nekhludoff
wanted to get the most difficult part over, and added, “I shall take the
costs of the case on myself, whatever they may be.”

“Oh, we shall settle all that,” said the advocate, smiling with
condescension at Nekhludoff’s inexperience in these matters. “What is
the case?”

Nekhludoff stated what had happened.

“All right. I shall look the case through to-morrow or the day
after--no--better on Thursday. If you will come to me at six o’clock I
will give you an answer. Well, and now let us go; I have to make a few
inquiries here.”

Nekhludoff took leave of him and went out. This talk with the advocate,
and the fact that he had taken measures for Maslova’s defence, quieted
him still further. He went out into the street. The weather was
beautiful, and he joyfully drew in a long breath of spring air. He was
at once surrounded by isvostchiks offering their services, but he went
on foot. A whole swarm of pictures and memories of Katusha and his
conduct to her began whirling in his brain, and he felt depressed and
everything appeared gloomy. “No, I shall consider all this later on; I
must now get rid of all these disagreeable impressions,” he thought to
himself.

He remembered the Korchagin’s dinner and looked at his watch. It was
not yet too late to get there in time. He heard the ring of a passing
tramcar, ran to catch it, and jumped on. He jumped off again when they
got to the market-place, took a good isvostchik, and ten minutes later
was at the entrance of the Korchagins’ big house.



CHAPTER XXVI.

THE HOUSE OF KORCHAGIN.

“Please to walk in, your excellency,” said the friendly, fat doorkeeper
of the Korchagins’ big house, opening the door, which moved noiselessly
on its patent English hinges; “you are expected. They are at dinner.
My orders were to admit only you.” The doorkeeper went as far as the
staircase and rang.

“Are there any strangers?” asked Nekhludoff, taking off his overcoat.

“Mr. Kolosoff and Michael Sergeivitch only, besides the family.”

A very handsome footman with whiskers, in a swallow-tail coat and white
gloves, looked down from the landing.

“Please to walk up, your excellency,” he said. “You are expected.”

Nekhludoff went up and passed through the splendid large dancing-room,
which he knew so well, into the dining-room. There the whole Korchagin
family--except the mother, Sophia Vasilievna, who never left her
cabinet--were sitting round the table. At the head of the table sat old
Korchagin; on his left the doctor, and on his right, a visitor, Ivan
Ivanovitch Kolosoff, a former Marechal de Noblesse, now a bank director,
Korchagin’s friend and a Liberal. Next on the left side sat Miss Rayner,
the governess of Missy’s little sister, and the four-year-old girl
herself. Opposite them, Missy’s brother, Petia, the only son of the
Korchagins, a public-school boy of the Sixth Class. It was because of
his examinations that the whole family were still in town. Next to
him sat a University student who was coaching him, and Missy’s cousin,
Michael Sergeivitch Telegin, generally called Misha; opposite him,
Katerina Alexeevna, a 40-year-old maiden lady, a Slavophil; and at the
foot of the table sat Missy herself, with an empty place by her side.

“Ah! that’s right! Sit down. We are still at the fish,” said old
Korchagin with difficulty, chewing carefully with his false teeth,
and lifting his bloodshot eyes (which had no visible lids to them) to
Nekhludoff.

“Stephen!” he said, with his mouth full, addressing the stout, dignified
butler, and pointing with his eyes to the empty place. Though Nekhludoff
knew Korchagin very well, and had often seen him at dinner, to-day this
red face with the sensual smacking lips, the fat neck above the napkin
stuck into his waistcoat, and the whole over-fed military figure, struck
him very disagreeably. Then Nekhludoff remembered, without wishing to,
what he knew of the cruelty of this man, who, when in command, used
to have men flogged, and even hanged, without rhyme or reason, simply
because he was rich and had no need to curry favour.

“Immediately, your excellency,” said Stephen, getting a large soup ladle
out of the sideboard, which was decorated with a number of silver vases.
He made a sign with his head to the handsome footman, who began at once
to arrange the untouched knives and forks and the napkin, elaborately
folded with the embroidered family crest uppermost, in front of the
empty place next to Missy. Nekhludoff went round shaking hands with
every one, and all, except old Korchagin and the ladies, rose when he
approached. And this walk round the table, this shaking the hands of
people, with many of whom he never talked, seemed unpleasant and odd. He
excused himself for being late, and was about to sit down between Missy
and Katerina Alexeevna, but old Korchagin insisted that if he would not
take a glass of vodka he should at least take a bit of something to whet
his appetite, at the side table, on which stood small dishes of lobster,
caviare, cheese, and salt herrings. Nekhludoff did not know how hungry
he was until he began to eat, and then, having taken some bread and
cheese, he went on eating eagerly.

“Well, have you succeeded in undermining the basis of society?”
 asked Kolosoff, ironically quoting an expression used by a retrograde
newspaper in attacking trial by jury. “Acquitted the culprits and
condemned the innocent, have you?”

“Undermining the basis--undermining the basis,” repeated Prince
Korchagin, laughing. He had a firm faith in the wisdom and learning of
his chosen friend and companion.

At the risk of seeming rude, Nekhludoff left Kolosoff’s question
unanswered, and sitting down to his steaming soup, went on eating.

“Do let him eat,” said Missy, with a smile. The pronoun him she used as
a reminder of her intimacy with Nekhludoff. Kolosoff went on in a loud
voice and lively manner to give the contents of the article against
trial by jury which had aroused his indignation. Missy’s cousin, Michael
Sergeivitch, endorsed all his statements, and related the contents of
another article in the same paper. Missy was, as usual, very distinguee,
and well, unobtrusively well, dressed.

“You must be terribly tired,” she said, after waiting until Nekhludoff
had swallowed what was in his mouth.

“Not particularly. And you? Have you been to look at the pictures?” he
asked.

“No, we put that off. We have been playing tennis at the Salamatoffs’.
It is quite true, Mr. Crooks plays remarkably well.”

Nekhludoff had come here in order to distract his thoughts, for he
used to like being in this house, both because its refined luxury had a
pleasant effect on him and because of the atmosphere of tender flattery
that unobtrusively surrounded him. But to-day everything in the house
was repulsive to him--everything: beginning with the doorkeeper, the
broad staircase, the flowers, the footman, the table decorations, up to
Missy herself, who to-day seemed unattractive and affected. Kolosoff’s
self-assured, trivial tone of liberalism was unpleasant, as was also the
sensual, self-satisfied, bull-like appearance of old Korchagin, and the
French phrases of Katerina Alexeevna, the Slavophil. The constrained
looks of the governess and the student were unpleasant, too, but most
unpleasant of all was the pronoun _him_ that Missy had used. Nekhludoff
had long been wavering between two ways of regarding Missy; sometimes he
looked at her as if by moonlight, and could see in her nothing but what
was beautiful, fresh, pretty, clever and natural; then suddenly, as
if the bright sun shone on her, he saw her defects and could not help
seeing them. This was such a day for him. To-day he saw all the wrinkles
of her face, knew which of her teeth were false, saw the way her hair
was crimped, the sharpness of her elbows, and, above all, how large her
thumb-nail was and how like her father’s.

“Tennis is a dull game,” said Kolosoff; “we used to play lapta when we
were children. That was much more amusing.”

“Oh, no, you never tried it; it’s awfully interesting,” said Missy,
laying, it seemed to Nekhludoff, a very affected stress on the word
“awfully.” Then a dispute arose in which Michael Sergeivitch, Katerina
Alexeevna and all the others took part, except the governess, the
student and the children, who sat silent and wearied.

“Oh, these everlasting disputes!” said old Korchagin, laughing, and he
pulled the napkin out of his waistcoat, noisily pushed back his chair,
which the footman instantly caught hold of, and left the table.

Everybody rose after him, and went up to another table on which stood
glasses of scented water. They rinsed their mouths, then resumed the
conversation, interesting to no one.

“Don’t you think so?” said Missy to Nekhludoff, calling for a
confirmation of the statement that nothing shows up a man’s character
like a game. She noticed that preoccupied and, as it seemed to her,
dissatisfied look which she feared, and she wanted to find out what had
caused it.

“Really, I can’t tell; I have never thought about it,” Nekhludoff
answered.

“Will you come to mamma?” asked Missy.

“Yes, yes,” he said, in a tone which plainly proved that he did not want
to go, and took out a cigarette.

She looked at him in silence, with a questioning look, and he felt
ashamed. “To come into a house and give the people the dumps,” he
thought about himself; then, trying to be amiable, said that he would go
with pleasure if the princess would admit him.

“Oh, yes! Mamma will be pleased. You may smoke there; and Ivan
Ivanovitch is also there.”

The mistress of the house, Princess Sophia Vasilievna, was a recumbent
lady. It was the eighth year that, when visitors were present, she lay
in lace and ribbons, surrounded with velvet, gilding, ivory, bronze,
lacquer and flowers, never going out, and only, as she put it, receiving
intimate friends, i.e., those who according to her idea stood out from
the common herd.

Nekhludoff was admitted into the number of these friends because he was
considered clever, because his mother had been an intimate friend of the
family, and because it was desirable that Missy should marry him.

Sophia Vasilievna’s room lay beyond the large and the small
drawing-rooms. In the large drawing-room, Missy, who was in front of
Nekhludoff, stopped resolutely, and taking hold of the back of a small
green chair, faced him.

Missy was very anxious to get married, and as he was a suitable match
and she also liked him, she had accustomed herself to the thought that
he should be hers (not she his). To lose him would be very mortifying.
She now began talking to him in order to get him to explain his
intentions.

“I see something has happened,” she said. “Tell me, what is the matter
with you?”

He remembered the meeting in the law court, and frowned and blushed.

“Yes, something has happened,” he said, wishing to be truthful; “a very
unusual and serious event.”

“What is it, then? Can you not tell me what it is?” She was pursuing her
aim with that unconscious yet obstinate cunning often observable in the
mentally diseased.

“Not now. Please do not ask me to tell you. I have not yet had time
fully to consider it,” and he blushed still more.

“And so you will not tell me?” A muscle twitched in her face and she
pushed back the chair she was holding. “Well then, come!” She shook her
head as if to expel useless thoughts, and, faster than usual, went on in
front of him.

He fancied that her mouth was unnaturally compressed in order to keep
back the tears. He was ashamed of having hurt her, and yet he knew that
the least weakness on his part would mean disaster, i.e., would bind
him to her. And to-day he feared this more than anything, and silently
followed her to the princess’s cabinet.



CHAPTER XXVII.

MISSY’S MOTHER.

Princess Sophia Vasilievna, Missy’s mother, had finished her very
elaborate and nourishing dinner. (She had it always alone, that no one
should see her performing this unpoetical function.) By her couch stood
a small table with her coffee, and she was smoking a pachitos. Princess
Sophia Vasilievna was a long, thin woman, with dark hair, large black
eyes and long teeth, and still pretended to be young.

Her intimacy with the doctor was being talked about. Nekhludoff had
known that for some time; but when he saw the doctor sitting by her
couch, his oily, glistening beard parted in the middle, he not only
remembered the rumours about them, but felt greatly disgusted. By
the table, on a low, soft, easy chair, next to Sophia Vasilievna, sat
Kolosoff, stirring his coffee. A glass of liqueur stood on the table.
Missy came in with Nekhludoff, but did not remain in the room.

“When mamma gets tired of you and drives you away, then come to me,”
 she said, turning to Kolosoff and Nekhludoff, speaking as if nothing had
occurred; then she went away, smiling merrily and stepping noiselessly
on the thick carpet.

“How do you do, dear friend? Sit down and talk,” said Princess Sophia
Vasilievna, with her affected but very naturally-acted smile, showing
her fine, long teeth--a splendid imitation of what her own had
once been. “I hear that you have come from the Law Courts very much
depressed. I think it must be very trying to a person with a heart,” she
added in French.

“Yes, that is so,” said Nekhludoff. “One often feels one’s own de--one
feels one has no right to judge.”

“Comme, c’est vrai,” she cried, as if struck by the truth of this
remark. She was in the habit of artfully flattering all those with whom
she conversed. “Well, and what of your picture? It does interest me so.
If I were not such a sad invalid I should have been to see it long ago,”
 she said.

“I have quite given it up,” Nekhludoff replied drily. The falseness of
her flattery seemed as evident to him to-day as her age, which she was
trying to conceal, and he could not put himself into the right state to
behave politely.

“Oh, that _is_ a pity! Why, he has a real talent for art; I have it from
Repin’s own lips,” she added, turning to Kolosoff.

“Why is it she is not ashamed of lying so?” Nekhludoff thought, and
frowned.

When she had convinced herself that Nekhludoff was in a bad temper and
that one could not get him into an agreeable and clever conversation,
Sophia Vasilievna turned to Kolosoff, asking his opinion of a new play.
She asked it in a tone as if Kolosoff’s opinion would decide all doubts,
and each word of this opinion be worthy of being immortalised. Kolosoff
found fault both with the play and its author, and that led him to
express his views on art. Princess Sophia Vasilievna, while trying at
the same time to defend the play, seemed impressed by the truth of his
arguments, either giving in at once, or at least modifying her opinion.
Nekhludoff looked and listened, but neither saw nor heard what was going
on before him.

Listening now to Sophia Vasilievna, now to Kolosoff, Nekhludoff noticed
that neither he nor she cared anything about the play or each other, and
that if they talked it was only to gratify the physical desire to
move the muscles of the throat and tongue after having eaten; and that
Kolosoff, having drunk vodka, wine and liqueur, was a little tipsy.
Not tipsy like the peasants who drink seldom, but like people to
whom drinking wine has become a habit. He did not reel about or talk
nonsense, but he was in a state that was not normal; excited and
self-satisfied. Nekhludoff also noticed that during the conversation
Princess Sophia Vasilievna kept glancing uneasily at the window, through
which a slanting ray of sunshine, which might vividly light up her aged
face, was beginning to creep up.

“How true,” she said in reference to some remark of Kolosoff’s, touching
the button of an electric bell by the side of her couch. The doctor
rose, and, like one who is at home, left the room without saying
anything. Sophia Vasilievna followed him with her eyes and continued the
conversation.

“Please, Philip, draw these curtains,” she said, pointing to the window,
when the handsome footman came in answer to the bell. “No; whatever you
may say, there is some mysticism in him; without mysticism there can be
no poetry,” she said, with one of her black eyes angrily following the
footman’s movements as he was drawing the curtains. “Without poetry,
mysticism is superstition; without mysticism, poetry is--prose,” she
continued, with a sorrowful smile, still not losing sight of the footman
and the curtains. “Philip, not that curtain; the one on the large
window,” she exclaimed, in a suffering tone. Sophia Vasilievna was
evidently pitying herself for having to make the effort of saying these
words; and, to soothe her feelings, she raised to her lips a scented,
smoking cigarette with her jewel-bedecked fingers.

The broad-chested, muscular, handsome Philip bowed slightly, as
if begging pardon; and stepping lightly across the carpet with his
broad-calved, strong, legs, obediently and silently went to the other
window, and, looking at the princess, carefully began to arrange the
curtain so that not a single ray dared fall on her. But again he did
not satisfy her, and again she had to interrupt the conversation about
mysticism, and correct in a martyred tone the unintelligent Philip,
who was tormenting her so pitilessly. For a moment a light flashed in
Philip’s eyes.

“‘The devil take you! What do you want?’ was probably what he said to
himself,” thought Nekhludoff, who had been observing all this scene. But
the strong, handsome Philip at once managed to conceal the signs of his
impatience, and went on quietly carrying out the orders of the worn,
weak, false Sophia Vasilievna.

“Of course, there is a good deal of truth in Lombroso’s teaching,” said
Kolosoff, lolling back in the low chair and looking at Sophia Vasilievna
with sleepy eyes; “but he over-stepped the mark. Oh, yes.”

“And you? Do you believe in heredity?” asked Sophia Vasilievna, turning
to Nekhludoff, whose silence annoyed her. “In heredity?” he asked. “No,
I don’t.” At this moment his whole mind was taken up by strange images
that in some unaccountable way rose up in his imagination. By the side
of this strong and handsome Philip he seemed at this minute to see the
nude figure of Kolosoff as an artist’s model; with his stomach like a
melon, his bald head, and his arms without muscle, like pestles. In the
same dim way the limbs of Sophia Vasilievna, now covered with silks and
velvets, rose up in his mind as they must be in reality; but this mental
picture was too horrid and he tried to drive it away.

“Well, you know Missy is waiting for you,” she said. “Go and find her.
She wants to play a new piece by Grieg to you; it is most interesting.”

“She did not mean to play anything; the woman is simply lying, for
some reason or other,” thought Nekhludoff, rising and pressing Sophia
Vasilievna’s transparent and bony, ringed hand.

Katerina Alexeevna met him in the drawing-room, and at once began, in
French, as usual:

“I see the duties of a juryman act depressingly upon you.”

“Yes; pardon me, I am in low spirits to-day, and have no right to weary
others by my presence,” said Nekhludoff.

“Why are you in low spirits?”

“Allow me not to speak about that,” he said, looking round for his hat.

“Don’t you remember how you used to say that we must always tell the
truth? And what cruel truths you used to tell us all! Why do you not
wish to speak out now? Don’t you remember, Missy?” she said, turning to
Missy, who had just come in.

“We were playing a game then,” said Nekhludoff, seriously; “one may
tell the truth in a game, but in reality we are so bad--I mean I am so
bad--that I, at least, cannot tell the truth.”

“Oh, do not correct yourself, but rather tell us why _we_ are so bad,”
 said Katerina Alexeevna, playing with her words and pretending not to
notice how serious Nekhludoff was.

“Nothing is worse than to confess to being in low spirits,” said Missy.
“I never do it, and therefore am always in good spirits.”

Nekhludoff felt as a horse must feel when it is being caressed to make
it submit to having the bit put in its mouth and be harnessed, and
to-day he felt less than ever inclined to draw.

“Well, are you coming into my room? We will try to cheer you up.”

He excused himself, saying he had to be at home, and began taking leave.
Missy kept his hand longer than usual.

“Remember that what is important to you is important to your friends,”
 she said. “Are you coming tomorrow?”

“I hardly expect to,” said Nekhludoff; and feeling ashamed, without
knowing whether for her or for himself, he blushed and went away.

“What is it? _Comme cela m’intrigue_,” said Katerina Alexeevna. “I must
find it out. I suppose it is some _affaire d’amour propre; il est tres
susceptible, notre cher Mitia_.”

“_Plutot une affaire d’amour sale_,” Missy was going to say, but stopped
and looked down with a face from which all the light had gone--a very
different face from the one with which she had looked at him. She would
not mention to Katerina Alexeevna even, so vulgar a pun, but only said,
“We all have our good and our bad days.”

“Is it possible that he, too, will deceive?” she thought; “after all
that has happened it would be very bad of him.”

If Missy had had to explain what she meant by “after all that has
happened,” she could have said nothing definite, and yet she knew that
he had not only excited her hopes but had almost given her a promise. No
definite words had passed between them--only looks and smiles and hints;
and yet she considered him as her own, and to lose him would be very
hard.



CHAPTER XXVIII.

THE AWAKENING.

“Shameful and stupid, horrid and shameful!” Nekhludoff kept saying to
himself, as he walked home along the familiar streets. The depression
he had felt whilst speaking to Missy would not leave him. He felt that,
looking at it externally, as it were, he was in the right, for he had
never said anything to her that could be considered binding, never made
her an offer; but he knew that in reality he had bound himself to her,
had promised to be hers. And yet to-day he felt with his whole being
that he could not marry her.

“Shameful and horrid, horrid and shameful!” he repeated to himself, with
reference not only to his relations with Missy but also to the rest.
“Everything is horrid and shameful,” he muttered, as he stepped into the
porch of his house. “I am not going to have any supper,” he said to
his manservant Corney, who followed him into the dining-room, where the
cloth was laid for supper and tea. “You may go.”

“Yes, sir,” said Corney, yet he did not go, but began clearing the
supper off the table. Nekhludoff looked at Corney with a feeling
of ill-will. He wished to be left alone, and it seemed to him that
everybody was bothering him in order to spite him. When Corney had gone
away with the supper things, Nekhludoff moved to the tea urn and
was about to make himself some tea, but hearing Agraphena Petrovna’s
footsteps, he went hurriedly into the drawing-room, to avoid being seen
by her, and shut the door after him. In this drawing-room his mother had
died three months before. On entering the room, in which two lamps with
reflectors were burning, one lighting up his father’s and the other his
mother’s portrait, he remembered what his last relations with his mother
had been. And they also seemed shameful and horrid. He remembered how,
during the latter period of her illness, he had simply wished her to
die. He had said to himself that he wished it for her sake, that she
might be released from her suffering, but in reality he wished to be
released from the sight of her sufferings for his own sake.

Trying to recall a pleasant image of her, he went up to look at her
portrait, painted by a celebrated artist for 800 roubles. She was
depicted in a very low-necked black velvet dress. There was something
very revolting and blasphemous in this representation of his mother as
a half-nude beauty. It was all the more disgusting because three months
ago, in this very room, lay this same woman, dried up to a mummy. And he
remembered how a few days before her death she clasped his hand with her
bony, discoloured fingers, looked into his eyes, and said: “Do not judge
me, Mitia, if I have not done what I should,” and how the tears came
into her eyes, grown pale with suffering.

“Ah, how horrid!” he said to himself, looking up once more at the
half-naked woman, with the splendid marble shoulders and arms, and the
triumphant smile on her lips. “Oh, how horrid!” The bared shoulders of
the portrait reminded him of another, a young woman, whom he had seen
exposed in the same way a few days before. It was Missy, who had devised
an excuse for calling him into her room just as she was ready to go to
a ball, so that he should see her in her ball dress. It was with disgust
that he remembered her fine shoulders and arms. “And that father of
hers, with his doubtful past and his cruelties, and the bel-esprit her
mother, with her doubtful reputation.” All this disgusted him, and also
made him feel ashamed. “Shameful and horrid; horrid and shameful!”

“No, no,” he thought; “freedom from all these false relations with the
Korchagins and Mary Vasilievna and the inheritance and from all the rest
must be got. Oh, to breathe freely, to go abroad, to Rome and work at
my picture!” He remembered the doubts he had about his talent for art.
“Well, never mind; only just to breathe freely. First Constantinople,
then Rome. Only just to get through with this jury business, and arrange
with the advocate first.”

Then suddenly there arose in his mind an extremely vivid picture of a
prisoner with black, slightly-squinting eyes, and how she began to cry
when the last words of the prisoners had been heard; and he hurriedly
put out his cigarette, pressing it into the ash-pan, lit another, and
began pacing up and down the room. One after another the scenes he had
lived through with her rose in his mind. He recalled that last interview
with her. He remembered the white dress and blue sash, the early mass.
“Why, I loved her, really loved her with a good, pure love, that night;
I loved her even before: yes, I loved her when I lived with my aunts the
first time and was writing my composition.” And he remembered himself as
he had been then. A breath of that freshness, youth and fulness of life
seemed to touch him, and he grew painfully sad. The difference between
what he had been then and what he was now, was enormous--just as great,
if not greater than the difference between Katusha in church that night,
and the prostitute who had been carousing with the merchant and whom
they judged this morning. Then he was free and fearless, and innumerable
possibilities lay ready to open before him; now he felt himself caught
in the meshes of a stupid, empty, valueless, frivolous life, out of
which he saw no means of extricating himself even if he wished to,
which he hardly did. He remembered how proud he was at one time of
his straightforwardness, how he had made a rule of always speaking the
truth, and really had been truthful; and how he was now sunk deep in
lies: in the most dreadful of lies--lies considered as the truth by all
who surrounded him. And, as far as he could see, there was no way out of
these lies. He had sunk in the mire, got used to it, indulged himself in
it.

How was he to break off his relations with Mary Vasilievna and her
husband in such a way as to be able to look him and his children in the
eyes? How disentangle himself from Missy? How choose between the two
opposites--the recognition that holding land was unjust and the heritage
from his mother? How atone for his sin against Katusha? This last, at
any rate, could not be left as it was. He could not abandon a woman he
had loved, and satisfy himself by paying money to an advocate to save
her from hard labour in Siberia. She had not even deserved hard labour.
Atone for a fault by paying money? Had he not then, when he gave her the
money, thought he was atoning for his fault?

And he clearly recalled to mind that moment when, having caught her up
in the passage, he thrust the money into her bib and ran away. “Oh, that
money!” he thought with the same horror and disgust he had then felt.
“Oh, dear! oh, dear! how disgusting,” he cried aloud as he had done
then. “Only a scoundrel, a knave, could do such a thing. And I am that
knave, that scoundrel!” He went on aloud: “But is it possible?”--he
stopped and stood still--“is it possible that I am really a scoundrel?
. . . Well, who but I?” he answered himself. “And then, is this the only
thing?” he went on, convicting himself. “Was not my conduct towards Mary
Vasilievna and her husband base and disgusting? And my position with
regard to money? To use riches considered by me unlawful on the plea
that they are inherited from my mother? And the whole of my idle,
detestable life? And my conduct towards Katusha to crown all? Knave and
scoundrel! Let men judge me as they like, I can deceive them; but myself
I cannot deceive.”

And, suddenly, he understood that the aversion he had lately, and
particularly to-day, felt for everybody--the Prince and Sophia
Vasilievna and Corney and Missy--was an aversion for himself. And,
strange to say, in this acknowledgement of his baseness there was
something painful yet joyful and quieting.

More than once in Nekhludoff’s life there had been what he called a
“cleansing of the soul.” By “cleansing of the soul” he meant a state
of mind in which, after a long period of sluggish inner life, a total
cessation of its activity, he began to clear out all the rubbish that
had accumulated in his soul, and was the cause of the cessation of the
true life. His soul needed cleansing as a watch does. After such an
awakening Nekhludoff always made some rules for himself which he meant
to follow forever after, wrote his diary, and began afresh a life which
he hoped never to change again. “Turning over a new leaf,” he called
it to himself in English. But each time the temptations of the world
entrapped him, and without noticing it he fell again, often lower than
before.

Thus he had several times in his life raised and cleansed himself. The
first time this happened was during the summer he spent with his aunts;
that was his most vital and rapturous awakening, and its effects had
lasted some time. Another awakening was when he gave up civil service
and joined the army at war time, ready to sacrifice his life. But here
the choking-up process was soon accomplished. Then an awakening came
when he left the army and went abroad, devoting himself to art.

From that time until this day a long period had elapsed without
any cleansing, and therefore the discord between the demands of his
conscience and the life he was leading was greater than it had ever been
before. He was horror-struck when he saw how great the divergence was.
It was so great and the defilement so complete that he despaired of the
possibility of getting cleansed. “Have you not tried before to perfect
yourself and become better, and nothing has come of it?” whispered the
voice of the tempter within. “What is the use of trying any more? Are
you the only one?--All are alike, such is life,” whispered the voice.
But the free spiritual being, which alone is true, alone powerful,
alone eternal, had already awakened in Nekhludoff, and he could not but
believe it. Enormous though the distance was between what he wished
to be and what he was, nothing appeared insurmountable to the
newly-awakened spiritual being.

“At any cost I will break this lie which binds me and confess
everything, and will tell everybody the truth, and act the truth,” he
said resolutely, aloud. “I shall tell Missy the truth, tell her I am a
profligate and cannot marry her, and have only uselessly upset her.
I shall tell Mary Vasilievna. . . Oh, there is nothing to tell her. I
shall tell her husband that I, scoundrel that I am, have been deceiving
him. I shall dispose of the inheritance in such a way as to acknowledge
the truth. I shall tell her, Katusha, that I am a scoundrel and have
sinned towards her, and will do all I can to ease her lot. Yes, I will
see her, and will ask her to forgive me.

“Yes, I will beg her pardon, as children do.” . . . He stopped---“will
marry her if necessary.” He stopped again, folded his hands in front of
his breast as he used to do when a little child, lifted his eyes, and
said, addressing some one: “Lord, help me, teach me, come enter within
me and purify me of all this abomination.”

He prayed, asking God to help him, to enter into him and cleanse him;
and what he was praying for had happened already: the God within him had
awakened his consciousness. He felt himself one with Him, and therefore
felt not only the freedom, fulness and joy of life, but all the power of
righteousness. All, all the best that a man could do he felt capable of
doing.

His eyes filled with tears as he was saying all this to himself, good
and bad tears: good because they were tears of joy at the awakening
of the spiritual being within him, the being which had been asleep all
these years; and bad tears because they were tears of tenderness to
himself at his own goodness.

He felt hot, and went to the window and opened it. The window opened
into a garden. It was a moonlit, quiet, fresh night; a vehicle rattled
past, and then all was still. The shadow of a tall poplar fell on the
ground just opposite the window, and all the intricate pattern of its
bare branches was clearly defined on the clean swept gravel. To the left
the roof of a coach-house shone white in the moonlight, in front the
black shadow of the garden wall was visible through the tangled branches
of the trees.

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

“How delightful, how delightful; oh, God, how delightful,” he said,
meaning that which was going on in his soul.



CHAPTER XXIX.

MASLOVA IN PRISON.

Maslova reached her cell only at six in the evening, tired and footsore,
having, unaccustomed as she was to walking, gone 10 miles on the stony
road that day. She was crushed by the unexpectedly severe sentence and
tormented by hunger. During the first interval of her trial, when the
soldiers were eating bread and hard-boiled eggs in her presence, her
mouth watered and she realised she was hungry, but considered it beneath
her dignity to beg of them. Three hours later the desire to eat had
passed, and she felt only weak. It was then she received the unexpected
sentence. At first she thought she had made a mistake; she could not
imagine herself as a convict in Siberia, and could not believe what she
heard. But seeing the quiet, business-like faces of judges and jury, who
heard this news as if it were perfectly natural and expected, she grew
indignant, and proclaimed loudly to the whole Court that she was not
guilty. Finding that her cry was also taken as something natural
and expected, and feeling incapable of altering matters, she was
horror-struck and began to weep in despair, knowing that she must submit
to the cruel and surprising injustice that had been done her. What
astonished her most was that young men--or, at any rate, not old
men--the same men who always looked so approvingly at her (one of them,
the public prosecutor, she had seen in quite a different humour) had
condemned her. While she was sitting in the prisoners’ room before the
trial and during the intervals, she saw these men looking in at the open
door pretending they had to pass there on some business, or enter the
room and gaze on her with approval. And then, for some unknown reason,
these same men had condemned her to hard labour, though she was innocent
of the charge laid against her. At first she cried, but then quieted
down and sat perfectly stunned in the prisoners’ room, waiting to be led
back. She wanted only two things now--tobacco and strong drink. In this
state Botchkova and Kartinkin found her when they were led into the same
room after being sentenced. Botchkova began at once to scold her, and
call her a “convict.”

“Well! What have you gained? justified yourself, have you? What you have
deserved, that you’ve got. Out in Siberia you’ll give up your finery, no
fear!”

Maslova sat with her hands inside her sleeves, hanging her head and
looking in front of her at the dirty floor without moving, only saying:
“I don’t bother you, so don’t you bother me. I don’t bother you, do I?”
 she repeated this several times, and was silent again. She did brighten
up a little when Botchkova and Kartinkin were led away and an attendant
brought her three roubles.

“Are you Maslova?” he asked. “Here you are; a lady sent it you,” he
said, giving her the money.

“A lady--what lady?”

“You just take it. I’m not going to talk to you.”

This money was sent by Kitaeva, the keeper of the house in which she
used to live. As she was leaving the court she turned to the usher with
the question whether she might give Maslova a little money. The usher
said she might. Having got permission, she removed the three-buttoned
Swedish kid glove from her plump, white hand, and from an elegant purse
brought from the back folds of her silk skirt took a pile of coupons,
[in Russia coupons cut off interest-bearing papers are often used as
money] just cut off from the interest-bearing papers which she had
earned in her establishment, chose one worth 2 roubles and 50 copecks,
added two 20 and one 10-copeck coins, and gave all this to the usher.
The usher called an attendant, and in his presence gave the money.

“Belease to giff it accurately,” said Carolina Albertovna Kitaeva.

The attendant was hurt by her want of confidence, and that was why he
treated Maslova so brusquely. Maslova was glad of the money, because
it could give her the only thing she now desired. “If I could but get
cigarettes and take a whiff!” she said to herself, and all her thoughts
centred on the one desire to smoke and drink. She longed for spirits so
that she tasted them and felt the strength they would give her; and she
greedily breathed in the air when the fumes of tobacco reached her from
the door of a room that opened into the corridor. But she had to wait
long, for the secretary, who should have given the order for her to go,
forgot about the prisoners while talking and even disputing with one of
the advocates about the article forbidden by the censor.

At last, about five o’clock, she was allowed to go, and was led away
through the back door by her escort, the Nijni man and the Tchoovash.
Then, still within the entrance to the Law Courts, she gave them 50
copecks, asking them to get her two rolls and some cigarettes. The
Tchoovash laughed, took the money, and said, “All right; I’ll get ‘em,”
 and really got her the rolls and the cigarettes and honestly returned
the change. She was not allowed to smoke on the way, and, with her
craving unsatisfied, she continued her way to the prison. When she was
brought to the gate of the prison, a hundred convicts who had arrived by
rail were being led in. The convicts, bearded, clean-shaven, old, young,
Russians, foreigners, some with their heads shaved and rattling with the
chains on their feet, filled the anteroom with dust, noise and an acid
smell of perspiration. Passing Maslova, all the convicts looked at her,
and some came up to her and brushed her as they passed.

“Ay, here’s a wench--a fine one,” said one.

“My respects to you, miss,” said another, winking at her. One dark man
with a moustache, the rest of his face and the back of his head clean
shaved, rattling with his chains and catching her feet in them, sprang
near and embraced her.

“What! don’t you know your chum? Come, come; don’t give yourself airs,”
 showing his teeth and his eyes glittering when she pushed him away.

“You rascal! what are you up to?” shouted the inspector’s assistant,
coming in from behind. The convict shrank back and jumped away. The
assistant assailed Maslova.

“What are you here for?”

Maslova was going to say she had been brought back from the Law Courts,
but she was so tired that she did not care to speak.

“She has returned from the Law Courts, sir,” said one of the soldiers,
coming forward with his fingers lifted to his cap.

“Well, hand her over to the chief warder. I won’t have this sort of
thing.”

“Yes, sir.”

“Sokoloff, take her in!” shouted the assistant inspector.

The chief warder came up, gave Maslova a slap on the shoulder, and
making a sign with his head for her to follow led her into the corridor
of the women’s ward. There she was searched, and as nothing prohibited
was found on her (she had hidden her box of cigarettes inside a roll)
she was led to the cell she had left in the morning.



CHAPTER XXX.

THE CELL.

The cell in which Maslova was imprisoned was a large room 21 feet long
and 10 feet broad; it had two windows and a large stove. Two-thirds of
the space were taken up by shelves used as beds. The planks they were
made of had warped and shrunk. Opposite the door hung a dark-coloured
icon with a wax candle sticking to it and a bunch of everlastings
hanging down from it. By the door to the right there was a dark spot on
the floor on which stood a stinking tub. The inspection had taken place
and the women were locked up for the night.

The occupants of this room were 15 persons, including three children.
It was still quite light. Only two of the women were lying down: a
consumptive woman imprisoned for theft, and an idiot who spent most of
her time in sleep and who was arrested because she had no passport. The
consumptive woman was not asleep, but lay with wide open eyes, her cloak
folded under her head, trying to keep back the phlegm that irritated her
throat, and not to cough.

Some of the other women, most of whom had nothing on but coarse brown
holland chemises, stood looking out of the window at the convicts down
in the yard, and some sat sewing. Among the latter was the old woman,
Korableva, who had seen Maslova off in the morning. She was a tall,
strong, gloomy-looking woman; her fair hair, which had begun to turn
grey on the temples, hung down in a short plait. She was sentenced to
hard labour in Siberia because she had killed her husband with an axe
for making up to their daughter. She was at the head of the women in
the cell, and found means of carrying on a trade in spirits with them.
Beside her sat another woman sewing a coarse canvas sack. This was the
wife of a railway watchman, [There are small watchmen’s cottages at
distances of about one mile from each other along the Russian railways,
and the watchmen or their wives have to meet every train.] imprisoned
for three months because she did not come out with the flags to meet a
train that was passing, and an accident had occurred. She was a short,
snub-nosed woman, with small, black eyes; kind and talkative. The third
of the women who were sewing was Theodosia, a quiet young girl, white
and rosy, very pretty, with bright child’s eyes, and long fair plaits
which she wore twisted round her head. She was in prison for attempting
to poison her husband. She had done this immediately after her wedding
(she had been given in marriage without her consent at the age of 16)
because her husband would give her no peace. But in the eight months
during which she had been let out on bail, she had not only made it up
with her husband, but come to love him, so that when her trial came
they were heart and soul to one another. Although her husband, her
father-in-law, but especially her mother-in-law, who had grown very fond
of her, did all they could to get her acquitted, she was sentenced to
hard labour in Siberia. The kind, merry, ever-smiling Theodosia had a
place next Maslova’s on the shelf bed, and had grown so fond of her that
she took it upon herself as a duty to attend and wait on her. Two
other women were sitting without any work at the other end of the shelf
bedstead. One was a woman of about 40, with a pale, thin face, who once
probably had been very handsome. She sat with her baby at her thin,
white breast. The crime she had committed was that when a recruit was,
according to the peasants’ view, unlawfully taken from their village,
and the people stopped the police officer and took the recruit away from
him, she (an aunt of the lad unlawfully taken) was the first to catch
hold of the bridle of the horse on which he was being carried off.
The other, who sat doing nothing, was a kindly, grey-haired old woman,
hunchbacked and with a flat bosom. She sat behind the stove on the
bedshelf, and pretended to catch a fat four-year-old boy, who ran
backwards and forwards in front of her, laughing gaily. This boy had
only a little shirt on and his hair was cut short. As he ran past the
old woman he kept repeating, “There, haven’t caught me!” This old woman
and her son were accused of incendiarism. She bore her imprisonment with
perfect cheerfulness, but was concerned about her son, and chiefly about
her “old man,” who she feared would get into a terrible state with no
one to wash for him. Besides these seven women, there were four standing
at one of the open windows, holding on to the iron bars. They were
making signs and shouting to the convicts whom Maslova had met when
returning to prison, and who were now passing through the yard. One
of these women was big and heavy, with a flabby body, red hair, and
freckled on her pale yellow face, her hands, and her fat neck. She
shouted something in a loud, raucous voice, and laughed hoarsely. This
woman was serving her term for theft. Beside her stood an awkward, dark
little woman, no bigger than a child of ten, with a long waist and very
short legs, a red, blotchy face, thick lips which did not hide her
long teeth, and eyes too far apart. She broke by fits and starts into
screeching laughter at what was going on in the yard. She was to be
tried for stealing and incendiarism. They called her Khoroshavka. Behind
her, in a very dirty grey chemise, stood a thin, miserable-looking
pregnant woman, who was to be tried for concealment of theft. This woman
stood silent, but kept smiling with pleasure and approval at what was
going on below. With these stood a peasant woman of medium height,
the mother of the boy who was playing with the old woman and of a
seven-year-old girl. These were in prison with her because she had no
one to leave them with. She was serving her term of imprisonment for
illicit sale of spirits. She stood a little further from the window
knitting a stocking, and though she listened to the other prisoners’
words she shook her head disapprovingly, frowned, and closed her eyes.
But her seven-year-old daughter stood in her little chemise, her flaxen
hair done up in a little pigtail, her blue eyes fixed, and, holding
the red-haired woman by the skirt, attentively listened to the words of
abuse that the women and the convicts flung at each other, and repeated
them softly, as if learning them by heart. The twelfth prisoner, who
paid no attention to what was going on, was a very tall, stately girl,
the daughter of a deacon, who had drowned her baby in a well. She went
about with bare feet, wearing only a dirty chemise. The thick, short
plait of her fair hair had come undone and hung down dishevelled, and
she paced up and down the free space of the cell, not looking at any
one, turning abruptly every time she came up to the wall.



CHAPTER XXXI.

THE PRISONERS.

When the padlock rattled and the door opened to let Maslova into the
cell, all turned towards her. Even the deacon’s daughter stopped for a
moment and looked at her with lifted brows before resuming her steady
striding up and down.

Korableva stuck her needle into the brown sacking and looked
questioningly at Maslova through her spectacles. “Eh, eh, deary me, so
you have come back. And I felt sure they’d acquit you. So you’ve got
it?” She took off her spectacles and put her work down beside her on the
shelf bed.

“And here have I and the old lady been saying, ‘Why, it may well be
they’ll let her go free at once.’ Why, it happens, ducky, they’ll even
give you a heap of money sometimes, that’s sure,” the watchman’s wife
began, in her singing voice: “Yes, we were wondering, ‘Why’s she so
long?’ And now just see what it is. Well, our guessing was no use. The
Lord willed otherwise,” she went on in musical tones.

“Is it possible? Have they sentenced you?” asked Theodosia, with
concern, looking at Maslova with her bright blue, child-like eyes; and
her merry young face changed as if she were going to cry.

Maslova did not answer, but went on to her place, the second from the
end, and sat down beside Korableva.

“Have you eaten anything?” said Theodosia, rising and coming up to
Maslova.

Maslova gave no reply, but putting the rolls on the bedstead, took
off her dusty cloak, the kerchief off her curly black head, and began
pulling off her shoes. The old woman who had been playing with the boy
came up and stood in front of Maslova. “Tz, tz, tz,” she clicked with
her tongue, shaking her head pityingly. The boy also came up with her,
and, putting out his upper lip, stared with wide open eyes at the roll
Maslova had brought. When Maslova saw the sympathetic faces of her
fellow-prisoners, her lips trembled and she felt inclined to cry, but
she succeeded in restraining herself until the old woman and the boy
came up. When she heard the kind, pitying clicking of the old woman’s
tongue, and met the boy’s serious eyes turned from the roll to her face,
she could bear it no longer; her face quivered and she burst into sobs.

“Didn’t I tell you to insist on having a proper advocate?” said
Norableva. “Well, what is it? Exile?”

Maslova could not answer, but took from inside the roll a box of
cigarettes, on which was a picture of a lady with hair done up very high
and dress cut low in front, and passed the box to Korableva. Korableva
looked at it and shook her head, chiefly because see did not approve of
Maslova’s putting her money to such bad use; but still she took out a
cigarette, lit it at the lamp, took a puff, and almost forced it into
Maslova’s hand. Maslova, still crying, began greedily to inhale the
tobacco smoke. “Penal servitude,” she muttered, blowing out the smoke
and sobbing.

“Don’t they fear the Lord, the cursed soul-slayers?” muttered Korableva,
“sentencing the lass for nothing.” At this moment the sound of loud,
coarse laughter came from the women who were still at the window. The
little girl also laughed, and her childish treble mixed with the hoarse
and screeching laughter of the others. One of the convicts outside had
done something that produced this effect on the onlookers.

“Lawks! see the shaved hound, what he’s doing,” said the red-haired
woman, her whole fat body shaking with laughter; and leaning against the
grating she shouted meaning less obscene words.

“Ugh, the fat fright’s cackling,” said Korableva, who disliked the
red-haired woman. Then, turning to Maslova again, she asked: “How many
years?”

“Four,” said Maslova, and the tears ran down her cheeks in such
profusion that one fell on the cigarette. Maslova crumpled it up angrily
and took another.

Though the watchman’s wife did not smoke she picked up the cigarette
Maslova had thrown away and began straightening it out, talking
unceasingly.

“There, now, ducky, so it’s true,” she said. “Truth’s gone to the dogs
and they do what they please, and here we were guessing that you’d go
free. Norableva says, ‘She’ll go free.’ I say, ‘No,’ say I. ‘No, dear,
my heart tells me they’ll give it her.’ And so it’s turned out,” she
went on, evidently listening with pleasure to her own voice.

The women who had been standing by the window now also came up to
Maslova, the convicts who had amused them having gone away. The first to
come up were the woman imprisoned for illicit trade in spirits, and her
little girl. “Why such a hard sentence?” asked the woman, sitting down
by Maslova and knitting fast.

“Why so hard? Because there’s no money. That’s why! Had there been
money, and had a good lawyer that’s up to their tricks been hired,
they’d have acquitted her, no fear,” said Korableva. “There’s
what’s-his-name--that hairy one with the long nose. He’d bring you out
clean from pitch, mum, he would. Ah, if we’d only had him!”

“Him, indeed,” said Khoroshavka. “Why, he won’t spit at you for less
than a thousand roubles.”

“Seems you’ve been born under an unlucky star,” interrupted the old
woman who was imprisoned for incendiarism. “Only think, to entice the
lad’s wife and lock him himself up to feed vermin, and me, too, in my
old days--” she began to retell her story for the hundredth time. “If
it isn’t the beggar’s staff it’s the prison. Yes, the beggar’s staff and
the prison don’t wait for an invitation.”

“Ah, it seems that’s the way with all of them,” said the spirit trader;
and after looking at her little girl she put down her knitting, and,
drawing the child between her knees, began to search her head with deft
fingers. “Why do you sell spirits?” she went on. “Why? but what’s one to
feed the children on?”

These words brought back to Maslova’s mind her craving for drink.

“A little vodka,” she said to Korableva, wiping the tears with her
sleeve and sobbing less frequently.

“All right, fork out,” said Korableva.



CHAPTER XXXII.

A PRISON QUARREL.

Maslova got the money, which she had also hidden in a roll, and passed
the coupon to Korableva. Korableva accepted it, though she could not
read, trusting to Khoroshavka, who knew everything, and who said that
the slip of paper was worth 2 roubles 50 copecks, then climbed up to the
ventilator, where she had hidden a small flask of vodka. Seeing this,
the women whose places were further off went away. Meanwhile Maslova
shook the dust out of her cloak and kerchief, got up on the bedstead,
and began eating a roll.

“I kept your tea for you,” said Theodosia, getting down from the shelf
a mug and a tin teapot wrapped in a rag, “but I’m afraid it is quite
cold.” The liquid was quite cold and tasted more of tin than of tea, yet
Maslova filled the mug and began drinking it with her roll. “Finashka,
here you are,” she said, breaking off a bit of the roll and giving it to
the boy, who stood looking at her mouth.

Meanwhile Korableva handed the flask of vodka and a mug to Maslova, who
offered some to her and to Khoroshavka. These prisoners were considered
the aristocracy of the cell because they had some money, and shared what
they possessed with the others.

In a few moments Maslova brightened up and related merrily what had
happened at the court, and what had struck her most, i.e., how all the
men had followed her wherever she went. In the court they all looked at
her, she said, and kept coming into the prisoners’ room while she was
there.

“One of the soldiers even says, ‘It’s all to look at you that they
come.’ One would come in, ‘Where is such a paper?’ or something, but I
see it is not the paper he wants; he just devours me with his eyes,” she
said, shaking her head. “Regular artists.”

“Yes, that’s so,” said the watchman’s wife, and ran on in her musical
strain, “they’re like flies after sugar.”

“And here, too,” Maslova interrupted her, “the same thing. They can
do without anything else. But the likes of them will go without bread
sooner than miss that! Hardly had they brought me back when in comes a
gang from the railway. They pestered me so, I did not know how to
rid myself of them. Thanks to the assistant, he turned them off. One
bothered so, I hardly got away.”

“What’s he like?” asked Khoroshevka.

“Dark, with moustaches.”

“It must be him.”

“Him--who?”

“Why, Schegloff; him as has just gone by.”

“What’s he, this Schegloff?”

“What, she don’t know Schegloff? Why, he ran twice from Siberia. Now
they’ve got him, but he’ll run away. The warders themselves are afraid
of him,” said Khoroshavka, who managed to exchange notes with the male
prisoners and knew all that went on in the prison. “He’ll run away,
that’s flat.”

“If he does go away you and I’ll have to stay,” said Korableva, turning
to Maslova, “but you’d better tell us now what the advocate says about
petitioning. Now’s the time to hand it in.”

Maslova answered that she knew nothing about it.

At that moment the red-haired woman came up to the “aristocracy” with
both freckled hands in her thick hair, scratching her head with her
nails.

“I’ll tell you all about it, Katerina,” she began. “First and foremost,
you’ll have to write down you’re dissatisfied with the sentence, then
give notice to the Procureur.”

“What do you want here?” said Korableva angrily; “smell the vodka, do
you? Your chatter’s not wanted. We know what to do without your advice.”

“No one’s speaking to you; what do you stick your nose in for?”

“It’s vodka you want; that’s why you come wriggling yourself in here.”

“Well, offer her some,” said Maslova, always ready to share anything she
possessed with anybody.

“I’ll offer her something.”

“Come on then,” said the red-haired one, advancing towards Korableva.
“Ah! think I’m afraid of such as you?”

“Convict fright!”

“That’s her as says it.”

“Slut!”

“I? A slut? Convict! Murderess!” screamed the red-haired one.

“Go away, I tell you,” said Korableva gloomily, but the red-haired one
came nearer and Korableva struck her in the chest. The red-haired woman
seemed only to have waited for this, and with a sudden movement caught
hold of Korableva’s hair with one hand and with the other struck her in
the face. Korableva seized this hand, and Maslova and Khoroshavka caught
the red-haired woman by her arms, trying to pull her away, but she let
go the old woman’s hair with her hand only to twist it round her fist.
Korableva, with her head bent to one side, was dealing out blows with
one arm and trying to catch the red-haired woman’s hand with her teeth,
while the rest of the women crowded round, screaming and trying to
separate the fighters; even the consumptive one came up and stood
coughing and watching the fight. The children cried and huddled
together. The noise brought the woman warder and a jailer. The fighting
women were separated; and Korableva, taking out the bits of torn hair
from her head, and the red-haired one, holding her torn chemise together
over her yellow breast, began loudly to complain.

“I know, it’s all the vodka. Wait a bit; I’ll tell the inspector
tomorrow. He’ll give it you. Can’t I smell it? Mind, get it all out of
the way, or it will be the worse for you,” said the warder. “We’ve no
time to settle your disputes. Get to your places and be quiet.”

But quiet was not soon re-established. For a long time the women went on
disputing and explaining to one another whose fault it all was. At last
the warder and the jailer left the cell, the women grew quieter and
began going to bed, and the old woman went to the icon and commenced
praying.

“The two jailbirds have met,” the red-haired woman suddenly called out
in a hoarse voice from the other end of the shelf beds, accompanying
every word with frightfully vile abuse.

“Mind you don’t get it again,” Korableva replied, also adding words of
abuse, and both were quiet again.

“Had I not been stopped I’d have pulled your damned eyes out,” again
began the red-haired one, and an answer of the same kind followed from
Korableva. Then again a short interval and more abuse. But the intervals
became longer and longer, as when a thunder-cloud is passing, and at
last all was quiet.

All were in bed, some began to snore; and only the old woman, who always
prayed a long time, went on bowing before the icon and the deacon’s
daughter, who had got up after the warder left, was pacing up and
down the room again. Maslova kept thinking that she was now a convict
condemned to hard labour, and had twice been reminded of this--once by
Botchkova and once by the red-haired woman--and she could not reconcile
herself to the thought. Korableva, who lay next to her, turned over in
her bed.

“There now,” said Maslova in a low voice; “who would have thought it?
See what others do and get nothing for it.”

“Never mind, girl. People manage to live in Siberia. As for you, you’ll
not be lost there either,” Korableva said, trying to comfort her.

“I know I’ll not be lost; still it is hard. It’s not such a fate I
want--I, who am used to a comfortable life.”

“Ah, one can’t go against God,” said Korableva, with a sigh. “One can’t,
my dear.”

“I know, granny. Still, it’s hard.”

They were silent for a while.

“Do you hear that baggage?” whispered Korableva, drawing Maslova’s
attention to a strange sound proceeding from the other end of the room.

This sound was the smothered sobbing of the red-haired woman. The
red-haired woman was crying because she had been abused and had not got
any of the vodka she wanted so badly; also because she remembered
how all her life she had been abused, mocked at, offended, beaten.
Remembering this, she pitied herself, and, thinking no one heard her,
began crying as children cry, sniffing with her nose and swallowing the
salt tears.

“I’m sorry for her,” said Maslova.

“Of course one is sorry,” said Korableva, “but she shouldn’t come
bothering.”



CHAPTER XXXIII.

THE LEAVEN AT WORK--NEKHLUDOFF’S DOMESTIC CHANGES.

The next morning Nekhludoff awoke, conscious that something had happened
to him, and even before he had remembered what it was he knew it to be
something important and good.

“Katusha--the trial!” Yes, he must stop lying and tell the whole truth.

By a strange coincidence on that very morning he received the
long-expected letter from Mary Vasilievna, the wife of the Marechal
de Noblesse, the very letter he particularly needed. She gave him full
freedom, and wished him happiness in his intended marriage.

“Marriage!” he repeated with irony. “How far I am from all that at
present.”

And he remembered the plans he had formed the day before, to tell
the husband everything, to make a clean breast of it, and express his
readiness to give him any kind of satisfaction. But this morning this
did not seem so easy as the day before. And, then, also, why make a man
unhappy by telling him what he does not know? Yes, if he came and
asked, he would tell him all, but to go purposely and tell--no! that was
unnecessary.

And telling the whole truth to Missy seemed just as difficult this
morning. Again, he could not begin to speak without offence. As in many
worldly affairs, something had to remain unexpressed. Only one thing he
decided on, i.e., not to visit there, and to tell the truth if asked.

But in connection with Katusha, nothing was to remain unspoken. “I shall
go to the prison and shall tell her every thing, and ask her to forgive
me. And if need be--yes, if need be, I shall marry her,” he thought.

This idea, that he was ready to sacrifice all on moral grounds, and
marry her, again made him feel very tender towards himself. Concerning
money matters he resolved this morning to arrange them in accord with
his conviction, that the holding of landed property was unlawful. Even
if he should not be strong enough to give up everything, he would still
do what he could, not deceiving himself or others.

It was long since he had met the coming day with so much energy. When
Agraphena Petrovna came in, he told her, with more firmness than he
thought himself capable of, that he no longer needed this lodging nor
her services. There had been a tacit understanding that he was keeping
up so large and expensive an establishment because he was thinking of
getting married. The giving up of the house had, therefore, a special
meaning. Agraphena Petrovna looked at him in surprise.

“I thank you very much, Agraphena Petrovna, for all your care for me,
but I no longer require so large a house nor so many servants. If you
wish to help me, be so good as to settle about the things, put them away
as it used to be done during mamma’s life, and when Natasha comes she
will see to everything.” Natasha was Nekhludoff’s sister.

Agraphena Petrovna shook her head. “See about the things? Why, they’ll
be required again,” she said.

“No, they won’t, Agraphena Petrovna; I assure you they won’t be
required,” said Nekhludoff, in answer to what the shaking of her head
had expressed. “Please tell Corney also that I shall pay him two months’
wages, but shall have no further need of him.”

“It is a pity, Dmitri Ivanovitch, that you should think of doing this,”
 she said. “Well, supposing you go abroad, still you’ll require a place
of residence again.”

“You are mistaken in your thoughts, Agraphena Petrovna; I am not going
abroad. If I go on a journey, it will be to quite a different place.”
 He suddenly blushed very red. “Yes, I must tell her,” he thought; “no
hiding; everybody must be told.”

“A very strange and important thing happened to me yesterday. Do you
remember my Aunt Mary Ivanovna’s Katusha?”

“Oh, yes. Why, I taught her how to sew.”

“Well, this Katusha was tried in the Court and I was on the jury.”

“Oh, Lord! What a pity!” cried Agraphena Petrovna. “What was she being
tried for?”

“Murder; and it is I have done it all.”

“Well, now this is very strange; how could you do it all?”

“Yes, I am the cause of it all; and it is this that has altered all my
plans.”

“What difference can it make to you?”

“This difference: that I, being the cause of her getting on to that
path, must do all I can to help her.”

“That is just according to your own good pleasure; you are not
particularly in fault there. It happens to every one, and if one’s
reasonable, it all gets smoothed over and forgotten,” she said,
seriously and severely. “Why should you place it to your account?
There’s no need. I had already heard before that she had strayed from
the right path. Well, whose fault is it?”

“Mine! that’s why I want to put it right.”

“It is hard to put right.”

“That is my business. But if you are thinking about yourself, then I
will tell you that, as mamma expressed the wish--”

“I am not thinking about myself. I have been so bountifully treated by
the dear defunct, that I desire nothing. Lisenka” (her married niece)
“has been inviting me, and I shall go to her when I am not wanted any
longer. Only it is a pity you should take this so to heart; it happens
to everybody.”

“Well, I do not think so. And I still beg that you will help me let this
lodging and put away the things. And please do not be angry with me. I
am very, very grateful to you for all you have done.”

And, strangely, from the moment Nekhludoff realised that it was he who
was so bad and disgusting to himself, others were no longer disgusting
to him; on the contrary, he felt a kindly respect for Agraphena
Petrovna, and for Corney.

He would have liked to go and confess to Corney also, but Corney’s
manner was so insinuatingly deferential that he had not the resolution
to do it.

On the way to the Law Courts, passing along the same streets with the
same isvostchik as the day before, he was surprised what a different
being he felt himself to be. The marriage with Missy, which only
yesterday seemed so probable, appeared quite impossible now. The day
before he felt it was for him to choose, and had no doubts that she
would be happy to marry him; to-day he felt himself unworthy not only of
marrying, but even of being intimate with her. “If she only knew what
I am, nothing would induce her to receive me. And only yesterday I was
finding fault with her because she flirted with N---. Anyhow, even if
she consented to marry me, could I be, I won’t say happy, but at peace,
knowing that the other was here in prison, and would to-day or to-morrow
he taken to Siberia with a gang of other prisoners, while I accepted
congratulations and made calls with my young wife; or while I count the
votes at the meetings, for and against the motion brought forward by the
rural inspection, etc., together with the Marechal de Noblesse, whom I
abominably deceive, and afterwards make appointments with his wife
(how abominable!) or while I continue to work at my picture, which will
certainly never get finished? Besides, I have no business to waste
time on such things. I can do nothing of the kind now,” he continued
to himself, rejoicing at the change he felt within himself. “The first
thing now is to see the advocate and find out his decision, and then
. . . then go and see her and tell her everything.”

And when he pictured to himself how he would see her, and tell her all,
confess his sin to her, and tell her that he would do all in his power
to atone for his sin, he was touched at his own goodness, and the tears
came to his eyes.



CHAPTER XXXIV.

THE ABSURDITY OF LAW--REFLECTIONS OF A JURYMAN.

On coming into the Law Courts Nekhludoff met the usher of yesterday, who
to-day seemed to him much to be pitied, in the corridor, and asked him
where those prisoners who had been sentenced were kept, and to whom one
had to apply for permission to visit them. The usher told him that the
condemned prisoners were kept in different places, and that, until they
received their sentence in its final form, the permission to visit them
depended on the president. “I’ll come and call you myself, and take you
to the president after the session. The president is not even here at
present. After the session! And now please come in; we are going to
commence.”

Nekhludoff thanked the usher for his kindness, and went into the
jurymen’s room. As he was approaching the room, the other jurymen were
just leaving it to go into the court. The merchant had again partaken
of a little refreshment, and was as merry as the day before, and greeted
Nekhludoff like an old friend. And to-day Peter Gerasimovitch did not
arouse any unpleasant feelings in Nekhludoff by his familiarity and his
loud laughter. Nekhludoff would have liked to tell all the jurymen about
his relations to yesterday’s prisoner. “By rights,” he thought, “I ought
to have got up yesterday during the trial and disclosed my guilt.”

He entered the court with the other jurymen, and witnessed the same
procedure as the day before.

“The judges are coming,” was again proclaimed, and again three men,
with embroidered collars, ascended the platform, and there was the same
settling of the jury on the high-backed chairs, the same gendarmes, the
same portraits, the same priest, and Nekhludoff felt that, though he
knew what he ought to do, he could not interrupt all this solemnity.
The preparations for the trials were just the same as the day before,
excepting that the swearing in of the jury and the president’s address
to them were omitted.

The case before the Court this day was one of burglary. The prisoner,
guarded by two gendarmes with naked swords, was a thin, narrow-chested
lad of 20, with a bloodless, sallow face, dressed in a grey cloak.
He sat alone in the prisoner’s dock. This boy was accused of having,
together with a companion, broken the lock of a shed and stolen several
old mats valued at 3 roubles [the rouble is worth a little over two
shillings, and contains 100 copecks] and 67 copecks. According to the
indictment, a policeman had stopped this boy as he was passing with his
companion, who was carrying the mats on his shoulder. The boy and
his companion confessed at once, and were both imprisoned. The boy’s
companion, a locksmith, died in prison, and so the boy was being tried
alone. The old mats were lying on the table as the objects of material
evidence. The business was conducted just in the same manner as the day
before, with the whole armoury of evidence, proofs, witnesses, swearing
in, questions, experts, and cross-examinations. In answer to every
question put to him by the president, the prosecutor, or the advocate,
the policeman (one of the witnesses) in variably ejected the words:
“just so,” or “Can’t tell.” Yet, in spite of his being stupefied, and
rendered a mere machine by military discipline, his reluctance to speak
about the arrest of this prisoner was evident. Another witness, an old
house proprietor, and owner of the mats, evidently a rich old man, when
asked whether the mats were his, reluctantly identified them as such.
When the public prosecutor asked him what he meant to do with these
mats, what use they were to him, he got angry, and answered: “The devil
take those mats; I don’t want them at all. Had I known there would be
all this bother about them I should not have gone looking for them, but
would rather have added a ten-rouble note or two to them, only not to
be dragged here and pestered with questions. I have spent a lot
on isvostchiks. Besides, I am not well. I have been suffering from
rheumatism for the last seven years.” It was thus the witness spoke.

The accused himself confessed everything, and looking round stupidly,
like an animal that is caught, related how it had all happened. Still
the public prosecutor, drawing up his shoulders as he had done the day
before, asked subtle questions calculated to catch a cunning criminal.

In his speech he proved that the theft had been committed from a
dwelling-place, and a lock had been broken; and that the boy, therefore,
deserved a heavy punishment. The advocate appointed by the Court proved
that the theft was not committed from a dwelling-place, and that, though
the crime was a serious one, the prisoner was not so very dangerous
to society as the prosecutor stated. The president assumed the role of
absolute neutrality in the same way as he had done on the previous day,
and impressed on the jury facts which they all knew and could not help
knowing. Then came an interval, just as the day before, and they smoked;
and again the usher called out “The judges are coming,” and in the
same way the two gendarmes sat trying to keep awake and threatening the
prisoner with their naked weapons.

The proceedings showed that this boy was apprenticed by his father at
a tobacco factory, where he remained five years. This year he had been
discharged by the owner after a strike, and, having lost his place, he
wandered about the town without any work, drinking all he possessed. In
a traktir [cheap restaurant] he met another like himself, who had lost
his place before the prisoner had, a locksmith by trade and a drunkard.
One night, those two, both drunk, broke the lock of a shed and took the
first thing they happened to lay hands on. They confessed all and were
put in prison, where the locksmith died while awaiting the trial. The
boy was now being tried as a dangerous creature, from whom society must
be protected.

“Just as dangerous a creature as yesterday’s culprit,” thought
Nekhludoff, listening to all that was going on before him. “They are
dangerous, and we who judge them? I, a rake, an adulterer, a deceiver.
We are not dangerous. But, even supposing that this boy is the most
dangerous of all that are here in the court, what should be done from a
common-sense point of view when he has been caught? It is clear that he
is not an exceptional evil-doer, but a most ordinary boy; every one
sees it--and that he has become what he is simply because he got into
circumstances that create such characters, and, therefore, to prevent
such a boy from going wrong the circumstances that create these
unfortunate beings must be done away with.

“But what do we do? We seize one such lad who happens to get caught,
knowing well that there are thousands like him whom we have not caught,
and send him to prison, where idleness, or most unwholesome, useless
labour is forced on him, in company of others weakened and ensnared by
the lives they have led. And then we send him, at the public expense,
from the Moscow to the Irkoutsk Government, in company with the most
depraved of men.

“But we do nothing to destroy the conditions in which people like these
are produced; on the contrary, we support the establishments where
they are formed. These establishments are well known: factories, mills,
workshops, public-houses, gin-shops, brothels. And we do not destroy
these places, but, looking at them as necessary, we support and regulate
them. We educate in this way not one, but millions of people, and then
catch one of them and imagine that we have done something, that we have
guarded ourselves, and nothing more can be expected of us. Have we
not sent him from the Moscow to the Irkoutsk Government?” Thus thought
Nekhludoff with unusual clearness and vividness, sitting in his
high-backed chair next to the colonel, and listening to the different
intonations of the advocates’, prosecutor’s, and president’s voices, and
looking at their self-confident gestures. “And how much and what hard
effort this pretence requires,” continued Nekhludoff in his mind,
glancing round the enormous room, the portraits, lamps, armchairs,
uniforms, the thick walls and large windows; and picturing to himself
the tremendous size of the building, and the still more ponderous
dimensions of the whole of this organisation, with its army of
officials, scribes, watchmen, messengers, not only in this place, but
all over Russia, who receive wages for carrying on this comedy which no
one needs. “Supposing we spent one-hundredth of these efforts helping
these castaways, whom we now only regard as hands and bodies, required
by us for our own peace and comfort. Had some one chanced to take pity
on him and given some help at the time when poverty made them send him
to town, it might have been sufficient,” Nekhludoff thought, looking at
the boy’s piteous face. “Or even later, when, after 12 hours’ work
at the factory, he was going to the public-house, led away by his
companions, had some one then come and said, ‘Don’t go, Vania; it is
not right,’ he would not have gone, nor got into bad ways, and would not
have done any wrong.

“But no; no one who would have taken pity on him came across this
apprentice in the years he lived like a poor little animal in the town,
and with his hair cut close so as not to breed vermin, and ran errands
for the workmen. No, all he heard and saw, from the older workmen and
his companions, since he came to live in town, was that he who cheats,
drinks, swears, who gives another a thrashing, who goes on the loose,
is a fine fellow. Ill, his constitution undermined by unhealthy labour,
drink, and debauchery--bewildered as in a dream, knocking aimlessly
about town, he gets into some sort of a shed, and takes from there some
old mats, which nobody needs--and here we, all of us educated people,
rich or comfortably off, meet together, dressed in good clothes and fine
uniforms, in a splendid apartment, to mock this unfortunate brother of
ours whom we ourselves have ruined.

“Terrible! It is difficult to say whether the cruelty or the absurdity
is greater, but the one and the other seem to reach their climax.”

Nekhludoff thought all this, no longer listening to what was going on,
and he was horror-struck by that which was being revealed to him. He
could not understand why he had not been able to see all this before,
and why others were unable to see it.



CHAPTER XXXV.

THE PROCUREUR--NEKHLUDOFF REFUSES TO SERVE.

During an interval Nekhludoff got up and went out into the corridor,
with the intention of not returning to the court. Let them do what they
liked with him, he could take no more part in this awful and horrid
tomfoolery.

Having inquired where the Procureur’s cabinet was he went straight to
him. The attendant did not wish to let him in, saying that the Procureur
was busy, but Nekhludoff paid no heed and went to the door, where he was
met by an official. He asked to be announced to the Procureur, saying he
was on the jury and had a very important communication to make.

His title and good clothes were of assistance to him. The official
announced him to the Procureur, and Nekhludoff was let in. The Procureur
met him standing, evidently annoyed at the persistence with which
Nekhludoff demanded admittance.

“What is it you want?” the Procureur asked, severely.

“I am on the jury; my name is Nekhludoff, and it is absolutely necessary
for me to see the prisoner Maslova,” Nekhludoff said, quickly and
resolutely, blushing, and feeling that he was taking a step which would
have a decisive influence on his life.

The Procureur was a short, dark man, with short, grizzly hair, quick,
sparkling eyes, and a thick beard cut close on his projecting lower jaw.

“Maslova? Yes, of course, I know. She was accused of poisoning,” the
Procureur said, quietly. “But why do you want to see her?” And then, as
if wishing to tone down his question, he added, “I cannot give you the
permission without knowing why you require it.”

“I require it for a particularly important reason.”

“Yes?” said the Procureur, and, lifting his eyes, looked attentively at
Nekhludoff. “Has her case been heard or not?”

“She was tried yesterday, and unjustly sentenced; she is innocent.”

“Yes? If she was sentenced only yesterday,” went on the Procureur,
paying no attention to Nekhludoff’s statement concerning Maslova’s
innocence, “she must still be in the preliminary detention prison until
the sentence is delivered in its final form. Visiting is allowed there
only on certain days; I should advise you to inquire there.”

“But I must see her as soon as possible,” Nekhludoff said, his jaw
trembling as he felt the decisive moment approaching.

“Why must you?” said the Procureur, lifting his brows with some
agitation.

“Because I betrayed her and brought her to the condition which exposed
her to this accusation.”

“All the same, I cannot see what it has to do with visiting her.”

“This: that whether I succeed or not in getting the sentence changed I
want to follow her, and--marry her,” said Nekhludoff, touched to tears
by his own conduct, and at the same time pleased to see the effect he
produced on the Procureur.

“Really! Dear me!” said the Procureur. “This is certainly a very
exceptional case. I believe you are a member of the Krasnoporsk rural
administration?” he asked, as if he remembered having heard before of
this Nekhludoff, who was now making so strange a declaration.

“I beg your pardon, but I do not think that has anything to do with my
request,” answered Nekhludoff, flushing angrily.

“Certainly not,” said the Procureur, with a scarcely perceptible smile
and not in the least abashed; “only your wish is so extraordinary and so
out of the common.”

“Well; but can I get the permission?”

“The permission? Yes, I will give you an order of admittance directly.
Take a seat.”

He went up to the table, sat down, and began to write. “Please sit
down.”

Nekhludoff continued to stand.

Having written an order of admittance, and handed it to Nekhludoff, the
Procureur looked curiously at him.

“I must also state that I can no longer take part in the sessions.”

“Then you will have to lay valid reasons before the Court, as you, of
course, know.”

“My reasons are that I consider all judging not only useless, but
immoral.”

“Yes,” said the Procureur, with the same scarcely perceptible smile,
as if to show that this kind of declaration was well known to him and
belonged to the amusing sort. “Yes, but you will certainly understand
that I as Procureur, can not agree with you on this point. Therefore,
I should advise you to apply to the Court, which will consider your
declaration, and find it valid or not valid, and in the latter case will
impose a fine. Apply, then, to the Court.”

“I have made my declaration, and shall apply nowhere else,” Nekhludoff
said, angrily.

“Well, then, good-afternoon,” said the Procureur, bowing his head,
evidently anxious to be rid of this strange visitor.

“Who was that you had here?” asked one of the members of the Court, as
he entered, just after Nekhludoff left the room.

“Nekhludoff, you know; the same that used to make all sorts of strange
statements at the Krasnoporsk rural meetings. Just fancy! He is on the
jury, and among the prisoners there is a woman or girl sentenced to
penal servitude, whom he says he betrayed, and now he wants to marry
her.”

“You don’t mean to say so.”

“That’s what he told me. And in such a strange state of excitement!”

“There is something abnormal in the young men of to-day.”

“Oh, but he is not so very young.”

“Yes. But how tiresome your famous Ivoshenka was. He carries the day by
wearying one out. He talked and talked without end.”

“Oh, that kind of people should be simply stopped, or they will become
real obstructionists.”



CHAPTER XXXVI.

NEKHLUDOFF ENDEAVOURS TO VISIT MASLOVA.

From the Procureur Nekhludoff went straight to the preliminary detention
prison. However, no Maslova was to be found there, and the inspector
explained to Nekhludoff that she would probably be in the old temporary
prison. Nekhludoff went there.

Yes, Katerina Maslova was there.

The distance between the two prisons was enormous, and Nekhludoff only
reached the old prison towards evening. He was going up to the door of
the large, gloomy building, but the sentinel stopped him and rang. A
warder came in answer to the bell. Nekhludoff showed him his order of
admittance, but the warder said he could not let him in without the
inspector’s permission. Nekhludoff went to see the inspector. As he was
going up the stairs he heard distant sounds of some complicated bravura,
played on the piano. When a cross servant girl, with a bandaged eye,
opened the door to him, those sounds seemed to escape from the room
and to strike his car. It was a rhapsody of Liszt’s, that everybody was
tired of, splendidly played but only to one point. When that point was
reached the same thing was repeated. Nekhludoff asked the bandaged maid
whether the inspector was in. She answered that he was not in.

“Will he return soon?”

The rhapsody again stopped and recommenced loudly and brilliantly again
up to the same charmed point.

“I will go and ask,” and the servant went away.

“Tell him he is not in and won’t be to-day; he is out visiting. What do
they come bothering for?” came the sound of a woman’s voice from behind
the door, and again the rhapsody rattled on and stopped, and the sound
of a chair pushed back was heard. It was plain the irritated pianist
meant to rebuke the tiresome visitor, who had come at an untimely hour.
“Papa is not in,” a pale girl with crimped hair said, crossly, coming
out into the ante-room, but, seeing a young man in a good coat, she
softened.

“Come in, please. . . . What is it you want?”

“I want to see a prisoner in this prison.”

“A political one, I suppose?”

“No, not a political one. I have a permission from the Procureur.”

“Well, I don’t know, and papa is out; but come in, please,” she said,
again, “or else speak to the assistant. He is in the office at present;
apply there. What is your name?”

“I thank you,” said Nekhludoff, without answering her question, and went
out.

The door was not yet closed after him when the same lively tones
recommenced. In the courtyard Nekhludoff met an officer with bristly
moustaches, and asked for the assistant-inspector. It was the assistant
himself. He looked at the order of admittance, but said that he could
not decide to let him in with a pass for the preliminary prison.
Besides, it was too late. “Please to come again to-morrow. To morrow, at
10, everybody is allowed to go in. Come then, and the inspector himself
will be at home. Then you can have the interview either in the common
room or, if the inspector allows it, in the office.”

And so Nekhludoff did not succeed in getting an interview that day,
and returned home. As he went along the streets, excited at the idea of
meeting her, he no longer thought about the Law Courts, but recalled his
conversations with the Procureur and the inspector’s assistant. The
fact that he had been seeking an interview with her, and had told the
Procureur, and had been in two prisons, so excited him that it was long
before he could calm down. When he got home he at once fetched out his
diary, that had long remained untouched, read a few sentences out of it,
and then wrote as follows:

“For two years I have not written anything in my diary, and thought I
never should return to this childishness. Yet it is not childishness,
but converse with my own self, with this real divine self which lives
in every man. All this time that I slept there was no one for me to
converse with. I was awakened by an extraordinary event on the 28th
of April, in the Law Court, when I was on the jury. I saw her in the
prisoners’ dock, the Katusha betrayed by me, in a prisoner’s cloak,
condemned to penal servitude through a strange mistake, and my own
fault. I have just been to the Procureur’s and to the prison, but I was
not admitted. I have resolved to do all I can to see her, to confess to
her, and to atone for my sin, even by a marriage. God help me. My soul
is at peace and I am full of joy.”



CHAPTER XXXVII.

MASLOVA RECALLS THE PAST.

That night Maslova lay awake a long time with her eyes open looking at
the door, in front of which the deacon’s daughter kept passing. She was
thinking that nothing would induce her to go to the island of Sakhalin
and marry a convict, but would arrange matters somehow with one of the
prison officials, the secretary, a warder, or even a warder’s assistant.
“Aren’t they all given that way? Only I must not get thin, or else I am
lost.”

She thought of how the advocate had looked at her, and also the
president, and of the men she met, and those who came in on purpose at
the court. She recollected how her companion, Bertha, who came to see
her in prison, had told her about the student whom she had “loved” while
she was with Kitaeva, and who had inquired about her, and pitied her
very much. She recalled many to mind, only not Nekhludoff. She never
brought back to mind the days of her childhood and youth, and her love
to Nekhludoff. That would have been too painful. These memories lay
untouched somewhere deep in her soul; she had forgotten him, and never
recalled and never even dreamt of him. To-day, in the court, she did not
recognise him, not only because when she last saw him he was in uniform,
without a beard, and had only a small moustache and thick, curly, though
short hair, and now was bald and bearded, but because she never thought
about him. She had buried his memory on that terrible dark night when
he, returning from the army, had passed by on the railway without
stopping to call on his aunts. Katusha then knew her condition. Up to
that night she did not consider the child that lay beneath her heart
a burden. But on that night everything changed, and the child became
nothing but a weight.

His aunts had expected Nekhludoff, had asked him to come and see them in
passing, but he had telegraphed that he could not come, as he had to be
in Petersburg at an appointed time. When Katusha heard this she made up
her mind to go to the station and see him. The train was to pass by at
two o’clock in the night. Katusha having helped the old ladies to bed,
and persuaded a little girl, the cook’s daughter, Mashka, to come with
her, put on a pair of old boots, threw a shawl over her head, gathered
up her dress, and ran to the station.

It was a warm, rainy, and windy autumn night. The rain now pelted down
in warm, heavy drops, now stopped again. It was too dark to see the path
across the field, and in the wood it was pitch black, so that although
Katusha knew the way well, she got off the path, and got to the little
station where the train stopped for three minutes, not before, as she
had hoped, but after the second bell had been rung. Hurrying up the
platform, Katusha saw him at once at the windows of a first-class
carriage. Two officers sat opposite each other on the velvet-covered
seats, playing cards. This carriage was very brightly lit up; on the
little table between the seats stood two thick, dripping candles. He sat
in his closefitting breeches on the arm of the seat, leaning against
the back, and laughed. As soon as she recognised him she knocked at the
carriage window with her benumbed hand, but at that moment the last bell
rang, and the train first gave a backward jerk, and then gradually the
carriages began to move forward. One of the players rose with the cards
in his hand, and looked out. She knocked again, and pressed her face to
the window, but the carriage moved on, and she went alongside looking
in. The officer tried to lower the window, but could not. Nekhludoff
pushed him aside and began lowering it himself. The train went faster,
so that she had to walk quickly. The train went on still faster and the
window opened. The guard pushed her aside, and jumped in. Katusha ran
on, along the wet boards of the platform, and when she came to the end
she could hardly stop herself from falling as she ran down the steps
of the platform. She was running by the side of the railway, though the
first-class carriage had long passed her, and the second-class carriages
were gliding by faster, and at last the third-class carriages still
faster. But she ran on, and when the last carriage with the lamps at
the back had gone by, she had already reached the tank which fed the
engines, and was unsheltered from the wind, which was blowing her shawl
about and making her skirt cling round her legs. The shawl flew off her
head, but still she ran on.

“Katerina Michaelovna, you’ve lost your shawl!” screamed the little
girl, who was trying to keep up with her.

Katusha stopped, threw back her head, and catching hold of it with both
hands sobbed aloud. “Gone!” she screamed.

“He is sitting in a velvet arm-chair and joking and drinking, in a
brightly lit carriage, and I, out here in the mud, in the darkness, in
the wind and the rain, am standing and weeping,” she thought to herself;
and sat down on the ground, sobbing so loud that the little girl got
frightened, and put her arms round her, wet as she was.

“Come home, dear,” she said.

“When a train passes--then under a carriage, and there will be an end,”
 Katusha was thinking, without heeding the girl.

And she made up her mind to do it, when, as it always happens, when a
moment of quiet follows great excitement, he, the child--his child--made
himself known within her. Suddenly all that a moment before had been
tormenting her, so that it had seemed impossible to live, all her
bitterness towards him, and the wish to revenge herself, even by dying,
passed away; she grew quieter, got up, put the shawl on her head, and
went home.

Wet, muddy, and quite exhausted, she returned, and from that day the
change which brought her where she now was began to operate in her soul.
Beginning from that dreadful night, she ceased believing in God and
in goodness. She had herself believed in God, and believed that other
people also believed in Him; but after that night she became convinced
that no one believed, and that all that was said about God and His
laws was deception and untruth. He whom she loved, and who had loved
her--yes, she knew that--had thrown her away; had abused her love. Yet
he was the best of all the people she knew. All the rest were still
worse. All that afterwards happened to her strengthened her in this
belief at every step. His aunts, the pious old ladies, turned her out
when she could no longer serve them as she used to. And of all those she
met, the women used her as a means of getting money, the men, from the
old police officer down to the warders of the prison, looked at her as
on an object for pleasure. And no one in the world cared for aught but
pleasure. In this belief the old author with whom she had come together
in the second year of her life of independence had strengthened her. He
had told her outright that it was this that constituted the happiness of
life, and he called it poetical and aesthetic.

Everybody lived for himself only, for his pleasure, and all the talk
concerning God and righteousness was deception. And if sometimes doubts
arose in her mind and she wondered why everything was so ill-arranged
in the world that all hurt each other, and made each other suffer, she
thought it best not to dwell on it, and if she felt melancholy she could
smoke, or, better still, drink, and it would pass.



CHAPTER XXXVIII.

SUNDAY IN PRISON--PREPARING FOR MASS.

On Sunday morning at five o’clock, when a whistle sounded in the
corridor of the women’s ward of the prison, Korableva, who was already
awake, called Maslova.

“Oh, dear! life again,” thought Maslova, with horror, involuntarily
breathing in the air that had become terribly noisome towards the
morning. She wished to fall asleep again, to enter into the region of
oblivion, but the habit of fear overcame sleepiness, and she sat up and
looked round, drawing her feet under her. The women had all got up; only
the elder children were still asleep. The spirit-trader was carefully
drawing a cloak from under the children, so as not to wake them. The
watchman’s wife was hanging up the rags to dry that served the baby
as swaddling clothes, while the baby was screaming desperately in
Theodosia’s arms, who was trying to quiet it. The consumptive woman was
coughing with her hands pressed to her chest, while the blood rushed to
her face, and she sighed loudly, almost screaming, in the intervals of
coughing. The fat, red-haired woman was lying on her back, with
knees drawn up, and loudly relating a dream. The old woman accused of
incendiarism was standing in front of the image, crossing herself and
bowing, and repeating the same words over and over again. The deacon’s
daughter sat on the bedstead, looking before her, with a dull, sleepy
face. Khoroshavka was twisting her black, oily, coarse hair round her
fingers. The sound of slipshod feet was heard in the passage, and the
door opened to let in two convicts, dressed in jackets and grey trousers
that did not reach to their ankles. With serious, cross faces they
lifted the stinking tub and carried it out of the cell. The women went
out to the taps in the corridor to wash. There the red-haired woman
again began a quarrel with a woman from another cell.

“Is it the solitary cell you want?” shouted an old jailer, slapping the
red-haired woman on her bare, fat back, so that it sounded through the
corridor. “You be quiet.”

“Lawks! the old one’s playful,” said the woman, taking his action for a
caress.

“Now, then, be quick; get ready for the mass.” Maslova had hardly time
to do her hair and dress when the inspector came with his assistants.

“Come out for inspection,” cried a jailer.

Some more prisoners came out of other cells and stood in two rows along
the corridor; each woman had to place her hand on the shoulder of the
woman in front of her. They were all counted.

After the inspection the woman warder led the prisoners to church.
Maslova and Theodosia were in the middle of a column of over a hundred
women, who had come out of different cells. All were dressed in white
skirts, white jackets, and wore white kerchiefs on their heads, except
a few who had their own coloured clothes on. These were wives who, with
their children, were following their convict husbands to Siberia. The
whole flight of stairs was filled by the procession. The patter of
softly-shod feet mingled with the voices and now and then a laugh. When
turning, on the landing, Maslova saw her enemy, Botchkova, in front, and
pointed out her angry face to Theodosia. At the bottom of the stairs the
women stopped talking. Bowing and crossing themselves, they entered the
empty church, which glistened with gilding. Crowding and pushing one
another, they took their places on the right.

After the women came the men condemned to banishment, those serving
their term in the prison, and those exiled by their Communes; and,
coughing loudly, they took their stand, crowding the left side and the
middle of the church.

On one side of the gallery above stood the men sentenced to penal
servitude in Siberia, who had been let into the church before the
others. Each of them had half his head shaved, and their presence was
indicated by the clanking of the chains on their feet. On the other side
of the gallery stood those in preliminary confinement, without chains,
their heads not shaved.

The prison church had been rebuilt and ornamented by a rich merchant,
who spent several tens of thousands of roubles on it, and it glittered
with gay colours and gold. For a time there was silence in the church,
and only coughing, blowing of noses, the crying of babies, and now and
then the rattling of chains, was heard. But at last the convicts that
stood in the middle moved, pressed against each other, leaving a passage
in the centre of the church, down which the prison inspector passed to
take his place in front of every one in the nave.



CHAPTER XXXIX.

THE PRISON CHURCH--BLIND LEADERS OF THE BLIND.

The service began.

It consisted of the following. The priest, having dressed in a strange
and very inconvenient garb, made of gold cloth, cut and arranged little
bits of bread on a saucer, and then put them into a cup with wine,
repeating at the same time different names and prayers. Meanwhile
the deacon first read Slavonic prayers, difficult to understand in
themselves, and rendered still more incomprehensible by being read very
fast, and then sang them turn and turn about with the convicts. The
contents of the prayers were chiefly the desire for the welfare of
the Emperor and his family. These petitions were repeated many times,
separately and together with other prayers, the people kneeling. Besides
this, several verses from the Acts of the Apostles were read by the
deacon in a peculiarly strained voice, which made it impossible to
understand what he read, and then the priest read very distinctly a
part of the Gospel according to St. Mark, in which it said that Christ,
having risen from the dead before flying up to heaven to sit down at His
Father’s right hand, first showed Himself to Mary Magdalene, out of whom
He had driven seven devils, and then to eleven of His disciples, and
ordered them to preach the Gospel to the whole creation, and the priest
added that if any one did not believe this he would perish, but he that
believed it and was baptised should be saved, and should besides drive
out devils and cure people by laying his hands on them, should talk in
strange tongues, should take up serpents, and if he drank poison should
not die, but remain well.

The essence of the service consisted in the supposition that the bits
cut up by the priest and put by him into the wine, when manipulated and
prayed over in a certain way, turned into the flesh and blood of God.

These manipulations consisted in the priest’s regularly lifting and
holding up his arms, though hampered by the gold cloth sack he had on,
then, sinking on to his knees and kissing the table and all that was on
it, but chiefly in his taking a cloth by two of its corners and waving
it regularly and softly over the silver saucer and golden cup. It was
supposed that, at this point, the bread and the wine turned into flesh
and blood; therefore, this part of the service was performed with the
greatest solemnity.

“Now, to the blessed, most pure, and most holy Mother of God,” the
priest cried from the golden partition which divided part of the church
from the rest, and the choir began solemnly to sing that it was very
right to glorify the Virgin Mary, who had borne Christ without losing
her virginity, and was therefore worthy of greater honour than some kind
of cherubim, and greater glory than some kind of seraphim. After this
the transformation was considered accomplished, and the priest having
taken the napkin off the saucer, cut the middle bit of bread in four,
and put it into the wine, and then into his mouth. He was supposed to
have eaten a bit of God’s flesh and swallowed a little of His blood.
Then the priest drew a curtain, opened the middle door in the partition,
and, taking the gold cup in his hands, came out of the door, inviting
those who wished to do so also to come and eat some of God’s flesh and
blood that was contained in the cup. A few children appeared to wish to
do so.

After having asked the children their names, the priest carefully took
out of the cup, with a spoon, and shoved a bit of bread soaked in wine
deep into the mouth of each child in turn, and the deacon, while wiping
the children’s mouths, sang, in a merry voice, that the children were
eating the flesh and drinking the blood of God. After this the priest
carried the cup back behind the partition, and there drank all the
remaining blood and ate up all the bits of flesh, and after having
carefully sucked his moustaches and wiped his mouth, he stepped briskly
from behind the partition, the soles of his calfskin boots creaking.
The principal part of this Christian service was now finished, but
the priest, wishing to comfort the unfortunate prisoners, added to the
ordinary service another. This consisted of his going up to the gilt
hammered-out image (with black face and hands) supposed to represent
the very God he had been eating, illuminated by a dozen wax candles, and
proceeding, in a strange, discordant voice, to hum or sing the following
words:

“Jesu sweetest, glorified of the Apostles, Jesu lauded by the martyrs,
almighty Monarch, save me, Jesu my Saviour. Jesu, most beautiful, have
mercy on him who cries to Thee, Saviour Jesu. Born of prayer Jesu, all
thy saints, all thy prophets, save and find them worthy of the joys of
heaven. Jesu, lover of men.”

Then he stopped, drew breath, crossed himself, bowed to the ground, and
every one did the same--the inspector, the warders, the prisoners; and
from above the clinking of the chains sounded more unintermittently.
Then he continued: “Of angels the Creator and Lord of powers, Jesu most
wonderful, the angels’ amazement, Jesu most powerful, of our forefathers
the Redeemer. Jesu sweetest, of patriarchs the praise. Jesu most
glorious, of kings the strength. Jesu most good, of prophets the
fulfilment. Jesu most amazing, of martyrs the strength. Jesu most
humble, of monks the joy. Jesu most merciful, of priests the sweetness.
Jesu most charitable, of the fasting the continence. Jesu most sweet,
of the just the joy. Jesu most pure, of the celibates the chastity. Jesu
before all ages of sinners the salvation. Jesu, son of God, have mercy
on me.”

Every time he repeated the word “Jesu” his voice became more and
more wheezy. At last he came to a stop, and holding up his silk-lined
cassock, and kneeling down on one knee, he stooped down to the ground
and the choir began to sing, repeating the words, “Jesu, Son of God,
have mercy on me,” and the convicts fell down and rose again, shaking
back the hair that was left on their heads, and rattling with the chains
that were bruising their thin ankles.

This continued for a long time. First came the glorification, which
ended with the words, “Have mercy on me.” Then more glorifications,
ending with “Alleluia!” And the convicts made the sign of the cross,
and bowed, first at each sentence, then after every two and then after
three, and all were very glad when the glorification ended, and the
priest shut the book with a sigh of relief and retired behind the
partition. One last act remained. The priest took a large, gilt cross,
with enamel medallions at the ends, from a table, and came out into the
centre of the church with it. First the inspector came up and kissed
the cross, then the jailers, then the convicts, pushing and abusing
each other in whispers. The priest, talking to the inspector, pushed the
cross and his hand now against the mouths and now against the noses of
the convicts, who were trying to kiss both the cross and the hand of the
priest. And thus ended the Christian service, intended for the comfort
and the teaching of these strayed brothers.



CHAPTER XL.

THE HUSKS OF RELIGION.

And none of those present, from the inspector down to Maslova, seemed
conscious of the fact that this Jesus, whose name the priest repeated
such a great number of times, and whom he praised with all these curious
expressions, had forbidden the very things that were being done there;
that He had prohibited not only this meaningless much-speaking and the
blasphemous incantation over the bread and wine, but had also, in the
clearest words, forbidden men to call other men their master, and to
pray in temples; and had ordered that every one should pray in solitude,
had forbidden to erect temples, saying that He had come to destroy
them, and that one should worship, not in a temple, but in spirit and
in truth; and, above all, that He had forbidden not only to judge, to
imprison, to torment, to execute men, as was being done here, but had
prohibited any kind of violence, saying that He had come to give freedom
to the captives.

No one present seemed conscious that all that was going on here was the
greatest blasphemy and a supreme mockery of that same Christ in whose
name it was being done. No one seemed to realise that the gilt cross
with the enamel medallions at the ends, which the priest held out to the
people to be kissed, was nothing but the emblem of that gallows on which
Christ had been executed for denouncing just what was going on here.
That these priests, who imagined they were eating and drinking the body
and blood of Christ in the form of bread and wine, did in reality eat
and drink His flesh and His blood, but not as wine and bits of bread,
but by ensnaring “these little ones” with whom He identified Himself,
by depriving them of the greatest blessings and submitting them to most
cruel torments, and by hiding from men the tidings of great joy which
He had brought. That thought did not enter into the mind of any one
present.

The priest did his part with a quiet conscience, because he was brought
up from childhood to consider that the only true faith was the faith
which had been held by all the holy men of olden times and was still
held by the Church, and demanded by the State authorities. He did not
believe that the bread turned into flesh, that it was useful for the
soul to repeat so many words, or that he had actually swallowed a bit of
God. No one could believe this, but he believed that one ought to hold
this faith. What strengthened him most in this faith was the fact that,
for fulfilling the demands of this faith, he had for the last 15 years
been able to draw an income, which enabled him to keep his family, send
his son to a gymnasium and his daughter to a school for the daughters of
the clergy. The deacon believed in the same manner, and even more firmly
than the priest, for he had forgotten the substance of the dogmas of
this faith, and knew only that the prayers for the dead, the masses,
with and without the acathistus, all had a definite price, which real
Christians readily paid, and, therefore, he called out his “have mercy,
have mercy,” very willingly, and read and said what was appointed, with
the same quiet certainty of its being necessary to do so with which
other men sell faggots, flour, or potatoes. The prison inspector and the
warders, though they had never understood or gone into the meaning of
these dogmas and of all that went on in church, believed that they must
believe, because the higher authorities and the Tsar himself believed in
it. Besides, though faintly (and themselves unable to explain why), they
felt that this faith defended their cruel occupations. If this faith
did not exist it would have been more difficult, perhaps impossible, for
them to use all their powers to torment people, as they were now doing,
with a quiet conscience. The inspector was such a kind-hearted man that
he could not have lived as he was now living unsupported by his faith.
Therefore, he stood motionless, bowed and crossed himself zealously,
tried to feel touched when the song about the cherubims was being sung,
and when the children received communion he lifted one of them, and held
him up to the priest with his own hands.

The great majority of the prisoners believed that there lay a mystic
power in these gilt images, these vestments, candles, cups, crosses,
and this repetition of incomprehensible words, “Jesu sweetest” and “have
mercy”--a power through which might be obtained much convenience in this
and in the future life. Only a few clearly saw the deception that was
practised on the people who adhered to this faith, and laughed at it in
their hearts; but the majority, having made several attempts to get the
conveniences they desired, by means of prayers, masses, and candles, and
not having got them (their prayers remaining unanswered), were each of
them convinced that their want of success was accidental, and that
this organisation, approved by the educated and by archbishops, is very
important and necessary, if not for this, at any rate for the next life.

Maslova also believed in this way. She felt, like the rest, a mixed
sensation of piety and dulness. She stood at first in a crowd behind a
railing, so that she could see no one but her companions; but when those
to receive communion moved on, she and Theodosia stepped to the front,
and they saw the inspector, and, behind him, standing among the warders,
a little peasant, with a very light beard and fair hair. This was
Theodosia’s husband, and he was gazing with fixed eyes at his wife.
During the acathistus Maslova occupied herself in scrutinising him and
talking to Theodosia in whispers, and bowed and made the sign of the
cross only when every one else did.



CHAPTER XLI.

VISITING DAY--THE MEN’S WARD.

Nekhludoff left home early. A peasant from the country was still driving
along the side street and calling out in a voice peculiar to his trade,
“Milk! milk! milk!”

The first warm spring rain had fallen the day before, and now wherever
the ground was not paved the grass shone green. The birch trees in the
gardens looked as if they were strewn with green fluff, the wild cherry
and the poplars unrolled their long, balmy buds, and in shops and
dwelling-houses the double window-frames were being removed and the
windows cleaned.

In the Tolkoochi [literally, jostling market, where second-hand clothes
and all sorts of cheap goods are sold] market, which Nekhludoff had to
pass on his way, a dense crowd was surging along the row of booths, and
tattered men walked about selling top-boots, which they carried under
their arms, and renovated trousers and waistcoats, which hung over their
shoulders.

Men in clean coats and shining boots, liberated from the factories, it
being Sunday, and women with bright silk kerchiefs on their heads and
cloth jackets trimmed with jet, were already thronging at the door of
the traktir. Policemen, with yellow cords to their uniforms and carrying
pistols, were on duty, looking out for some disorder which might
distract the ennui that oppressed them. On the paths of the boulevards
and on the newly-revived grass, children and dogs ran about, playing,
and the nurses sat merrily chattering on the benches. Along the streets,
still fresh and damp on the shady side, but dry in the middle, heavy
carts rumbled unceasingly, cabs rattled and tramcars passed ringing by.
The air vibrated with the pealing and clanging of church bells, that
were calling the people to attend to a service like that which was now
being conducted in the prison. And the people, dressed in their Sunday
best, were passing on their way to their different parish churches.

The isvostchik did not drive Nekhludoff up to the prison itself, but to
the last turning that led to the prison.

Several persons--men and women--most of them carrying small bundles,
stood at this turning, about 100 steps from the prison. To the right
there were several low wooden buildings; to the left, a two-storeyed
house with a signboard. The huge brick building, the prison proper, was
just in front, and the visitors were not allowed to come up to it. A
sentinel was pacing up and down in front of it, and shouted at any one
who tried to pass him.

At the gate of the wooden buildings, to the right, opposite the
sentinel, sat a warder on a bench, dressed in uniform, with gold cords,
a notebook in his hands. The visitors came up to him, and named the
persons they wanted to see, and he put the names down. Nekhludoff also
went up, and named Katerina Maslova. The warder wrote down the name.

“Why--don’t they admit us yet?” asked Nekhludoff.

“The service is going on. When the mass is over, you’ll be admitted.”

Nekhludoff stepped aside from the waiting crowd. A man in tattered
clothes, crumpled hat, with bare feet and red stripes all over his face,
detached himself from the crowd, and turned towards the prison.

“Now, then, where are you going?” shouted the sentinel with the gun.

“And you hold your row,” answered the tramp, not in the least abashed by
the sentinel’s words, and turned back. “Well, if you’ll not let me in,
I’ll wait. But, no! Must needs shout, as if he were a general.”

The crowd laughed approvingly. The visitors were, for the greater
part, badly-dressed people; some were ragged, but there were also
some respectable-looking men and women. Next to Nekhludoff stood a
clean-shaven, stout, and red-cheeked man, holding a bundle, apparently
containing under-garments. This was the doorkeeper of a bank; he had
come to see his brother, who was arrested for forgery. The good-natured
fellow told Nekhludoff the whole story of his life, and was going to
question him in turn, when their attention was aroused by a student and
a veiled lady, who drove up in a trap, with rubber tyres, drawn by a
large thoroughbred horse. The student was holding a large bundle. He
came up to Nekhludoff, and asked if and how he could give the rolls he
had brought in alms to the prisoners. His fiancee wished it (this lady
was his fiancee), and her parents had advised them to take some rolls to
the prisoners.

“I myself am here for the first time,” said Nekhludoff, “and don’t know;
but I think you had better ask this man,” and he pointed to the warder
with the gold cords and the book, sitting on the right.

As they were speaking, the large iron door with a window in it opened,
and an officer in uniform, followed by another warder, stepped out.
The warder with the notebook proclaimed that the admittance of visitors
would now commence. The sentinel stepped aside, and all the visitors
rushed to the door as if afraid of being too late; some even ran. At
the door there stood a warder who counted the visitors as they came
in, saying aloud, 16, 17, and so on. Another warder stood inside the
building and also counted the visitors as they entered a second door,
touching each one with his hand, so that when they went away again
not one visitor should be able to remain inside the prison and not
one prisoner might get out. The warder, without looking at whom he was
touching, slapped Nekhludoff on the back, and Nekhludoff felt hurt by
the touch of the warder’s hand; but, remembering what he had come about,
he felt ashamed of feeling dissatisfied and taking offence.

The first apartment behind the entrance doors was a large vaulted room
with iron bars to the small windows. In this room, which was called the
meeting-room, Nekhludoff was startled by the sight of a large picture of
the Crucifixion.

“What’s that for?” he thought, his mind involuntarily connecting the
subject of the picture with liberation and not with imprisonment.

He went on, slowly letting the hurrying visitors pass before, and
experiencing a mingled feeling of horror at the evil-doers locked up in
this building, compassion for those who, like Katusha and the boy they
tried the day before, must be here though guiltless, and shyness and
tender emotion at the thought of the interview before him. The warder
at the other end of the meeting-room said something as they passed, but
Nekhludoff, absorbed by his own thoughts, paid no attention to him, and
continued to follow the majority of the visitors, and so got into the
men’s part of the prison instead of the women’s.

Letting the hurrying visitors pass before him, he was the last to get
into the interviewing-room. As soon as Nekhludoff opened the door of
this room, he was struck by the deafening roar of a hundred voices
shouting at once, the reason of which he did not at once understand. But
when he came nearer to the people, he saw that they were all pressing
against a net that divided the room in two, like flies settling on
sugar, and he understood what it meant. The two halves of the room,
the windows of which were opposite the door he had come in by, were
separated, not by one, but by two nets reaching from the floor to the
ceiling. The wire nets were stretched 7 feet apart, and soldiers were
walking up and down the space between them. On the further side of the
nets were the prisoners, on the nearer, the visitors. Between them was
a double row of nets and a space of 7 feet wide, so that they could not
hand anything to one another, and any one whose sight was not very
good could not even distinguish the face on the other side. It was also
difficult to talk; one had to scream in order to be heard.

On both sides were faces pressed close to the nets, faces of wives,
husbands, fathers, mothers, children, trying to see each other’s
features and to say what was necessary in such a way as to be
understood.

But as each one tried to be heard by the one he was talking to, and
his neighbour tried to do the same, they did their best to drown each
other’s voices’ and that was the cause of the din and shouting which
struck Nekhludoff when he first came in. It was impossible to understand
what was being said and what were the relations between the different
people. Next Nekhludoff an old woman with a kerchief on her head stood
trembling, her chin pressed close to the net, and shouting something to
a young fellow, half of whose head was shaved, who listened attentively
with raised brows. By the side of the old woman was a young man in
a peasant’s coat, who listened, shaking his head, to a boy very like
himself. Next stood a man in rags, who shouted, waving his arm and
laughing. Next to him a woman, with a good woollen shawl on her
shoulders, sat on the floor holding a baby in her lap and crying
bitterly. This was apparently the first time she saw the greyheaded man
on the other side in prison clothes, and with his head shaved. Beyond
her was the doorkeeper, who had spoken to Nekhludoff outside; he was
shouting with all his might to a greyhaired convict on the other side.

When Nekhludoff found that he would have to speak in similar conditions,
a feeling of indignation against those who were able to make and enforce
these conditions arose in him; he was surprised that, placed in such
a dreadful position, no one seemed offended at this outrage on human
feelings. The soldiers, the inspector, the prisoners themselves, acted
as if acknowledging all this to be necessary.

Nekhludoff remained in this room for about five minutes, feeling
strangely depressed, conscious of how powerless he was, and at variance
with all the world. He was seized with a curious moral sensation like
seasickness.



CHAPTER XLII.

VISITING DAY--THE WOMEN’S WARD.

“Well, but I must do what I came here for,” he said, trying to pick up
courage. “What is to be done now?” He looked round for an official, and
seeing a thin little man in the uniform of an officer going up and down
behind the people, he approached him.

“Can you tell me, sir,” he said, with exceedingly strained politeness of
manner, “where the women are kept, and where one is allowed to interview
them?”

“Is it the women’s ward you want to go to?”

“Yes, I should like to see one of the women prisoners,” Nekhludoff said,
with the same strained politeness.

“You should have said so when you were in the hall. Who is it, then,
that you want to see?”

“I want to see a prisoner called Katerina Maslova.”

“Is she a political one?”

“No, she is simply . . .”

“What! Is she sentenced?”

“Yes; the day before yesterday she was sentenced,” meekly answered
Nekhludoff, fearing to spoil the inspector’s good humour, which seemed
to incline in his favour.

“If you want to go to the women’s ward please to step this way,” said
the officer, having decided from Nekhludoff’s appearance that he was
worthy of attention. “Sideroff, conduct the gentleman to the women’s
ward,” he said, turning to a moustached corporal with medals on his
breast.

“Yes, sir.”

At this moment heart-rending sobs were heard coming from some one near
the net.

Everything here seemed strange to Nekhludoff; but strangest of all was
that he should have to thank and feel obligation towards the inspector
and the chief warders, the very men who were performing the cruel deeds
that were done in this house.

The corporal showed Nekhludoff through the corridor, out of the men’s
into the women’s interviewing-room.

This room, like that of the men, was divided by two wire nets; but it
was much smaller, and there were fewer visitors and fewer prisoners, so
that there was less shouting than in the men’s room. Yet the same thing
was going on here, only, between the nets instead of soldiers there was
a woman warder, dressed in a blue-edged uniform jacket, with gold cords
on the sleeves, and a blue belt. Here also, as in the men’s room, the
people were pressing close to the wire netting on both sides; on the
nearer side, the townspeople in varied attire; on the further side, the
prisoners, some in white prison clothes, others in their own coloured
dresses. The whole length of the net was taken up by the people standing
close to it. Some rose on tiptoe to be heard across the heads of others;
some sat talking on the floor.

The most remarkable of the prisoners, both by her piercing screams and
her appearance, was a thin, dishevelled gipsy. Her kerchief had slipped
off her curly hair, and she stood near a post in the middle of the
prisoner’s division, shouting something, accompanied by quick gestures,
to a gipsy man in a blue coat, girdled tightly below the waist. Next
the gipsy man, a soldier sat on the ground talking to prisoner; next the
soldier, leaning close to the net, stood a young peasant, with a fair
beard and a flushed face, keeping back his tears with difficulty. A
pretty, fair-haired prisoner, with bright blue eyes, was speaking to
him. These two were Theodosia and her husband. Next to them was a tramp,
talking to a broad-faced woman; then two women, then a man, then again a
woman, and in front of each a prisoner. Maslova was not among them. But
some one stood by the window behind the prisoners, and Nekhludoff knew
it was she. His heart began to beat faster, and his breath stopped. The
decisive moment was approaching. He went up to the part of the net where
he could see the prisoner, and recognised her at once. She stood behind
the blue-eyed Theodosia, and smiled, listening to what Theodosia was
saying. She did not wear the prison cloak now, but a white dress,
tightly drawn in at the waist by a belt, and very full in the bosom.
From under her kerchief appeared the black ringlets of her fringe, just
the same as in the court.

“Now, in a moment it will be decided,” he thought.

“How shall I call her? Or will she come herself?”

She was expecting Bertha; that this man had come to see her never
entered her head.

“Whom do you want?” said the warder who was walking between the nets,
coming up to Nekhludoff.

“Katerina Maslova,” Nekhludoff uttered, with difficulty.

“Katerina Maslova, some one to see you,” cried the warder.



CHAPTER XLIII.

NEKHLUDOFF VISITS MASLOVA.

Maslova looked round, and with head thrown back and expanded chest,
came up to the net with that expression of readiness which he well
knew, pushed in between two prisoners, and gazed at Nekhludoff with a
surprised and questioning look. But, concluding from his clothing he was
a rich man, she smiled.

“Is it me you want?” she asked, bringing her smiling face, with the
slightly squinting eyes, nearer the net.

“I, I--I wished to see--” Nekhludoff did not know how to address her. “I
wished to see you--I--” He was not speaking louder than usual.

“No; nonsense, I tell you!” shouted the tramp who stood next to him.
“Have you taken it or not?”

“Dying, I tell you; what more do you want?” some one else was screaming
at his other side. Maslova could not hear what Nekhludoff was saying,
but the expression of his face as he was speaking reminded her of him.
She did not believe her own eyes; still the smile vanished from her face
and a deep line of suffering appeared on her brow.

“I cannot hear what you are saying,” she called out, wrinkling her brow
and frowning more and more.

“I have come,” said Nekhludoff. “Yes, I am doing my duty--I am
confessing,” thought Nekhludoff; and at this thought the tears came in
his eyes, and he felt a choking sensation in his throat, and holding on
with both hands to the net, he made efforts to keep from bursting into
tears.

“I say, why do you shove yourself in where you’re not wanted?” some one
shouted at one side of him.

“God is my witness; I know nothing,” screamed a prisoner from the other
side.

Noticing his excitement, Maslova recognised him.

“You’re like . . . but no; I don’t know you,” she shouted, without
looking at him, and blushing, while her face grew still more stern.

“I have come to ask you to forgive me,” he said, in a loud but
monotonous voice, like a lesson learnt by heart. Having said these words
he became confused; but immediately came the thought that, if he felt
ashamed, it was all the better; he had to bear this shame, and he
continued in a loud voice:

“Forgive me; I have wronged you terribly.”

She stood motionless and without taking her squinting eyes off him.

He could not continue to speak, and stepping away from the net he tried
to suppress the sobs that were choking him.

The inspector, the same officer who had directed Nekhludoff to the
women’s ward, and whose interest he seemed to have aroused, came into
the room, and, seeing Nekhludoff not at the net, asked him why he was
not talking to her whom he wanted to see. Nekhludoff blew his nose, gave
himself a shake, and, trying to appear calm, said:

“It’s so inconvenient through these nets; nothing can be heard.”

Again the inspector considered for a moment.

“Ah, well, she can be brought out here for awhile. Mary Karlovna,”
 turning to the warder, “lead Maslova out.”

A minute later Maslova came out of the side door. Stepping softly, she
came up close to Nekhludoff, stopped, and looked up at him from under
her brows. Her black hair was arranged in ringlets over her forehead in
the same way as it had been two days ago; her face, though unhealthy and
puffy, was attractive, and looked perfectly calm, only the glittering
black eyes glanced strangely from under the swollen lids.

“You may talk here,” said the inspector, and shrugging his shoulders he
stepped aside with a look of surprise. Nekhludoff moved towards a seat
by the wall.

Maslova cast a questioning look at the inspector, and then, shrugging
her shoulders in surprise, followed Nekhludoff to the bench, and having
arranged her skirt, sat down beside him.

“I know it is hard for you to forgive me,” he began, but stopped. His
tears were choking him. “But though I can’t undo the past, I shall now
do what is in my power. Tell me--”

“How have you managed to find me?” she said, without answering his
question, neither looking away from him nor quite at him, with her
squinting eyes.

“O God, help me! Teach me what to do,” Nekhludoff thought, looking at
her changed face. “I was on the jury the day before yesterday,” he said.
“You did not recognise me?”

“No, I did not; there was not time for recognitions. I did not even
look,” she said.

“There was a child, was there not?” he asked.

“Thank God! he died at once,” she answered, abruptly and viciously.

“What do you mean? Why?”

“I was so ill myself, I nearly died,” she said, in the same quiet voice,
which Nekhludoff had not expected and could not understand.

“How could my aunts have let you go?”

“Who keeps a servant that has a baby? They sent me off as soon as
they noticed. But why speak of this? I remember nothing. That’s all
finished.”

“No, it is not finished; I wish to redeem my sin.”

“There’s nothing to redeem. What’s been has been and is passed,” she
said; and, what he never expected, she looked at him and smiled in an
unpleasantly luring, yet piteous, manner.

Maslova never expected to see him again, and certainly not here and not
now; therefore, when she first recognised him, she could not keep back
the memories which she never wished to revive. In the first moment she
remembered dimly that new, wonderful world of feeling and of thought
which had been opened to her by the charming young man who loved her
and whom she loved, and then his incomprehensible cruelty and the whole
string of humiliations and suffering which flowed from and followed that
magic joy. This gave her pain, and, unable to understand it, she did
what she was always in the habit of doing, she got rid of these memories
by enveloping them in the mist of a depraved life. In the first moment,
she associated the man now sitting beside her with the lad she had
loved; but feeling that this gave her pain, she dissociated them again.
Now, this well-dressed, carefully-got-up gentleman with perfumed beard
was no longer the Nekhludoff whom she had loved but only one of the
people who made use of creatures like herself when they needed them,
and whom creatures like herself had to make use of in their turn as
profitably as they could; and that is why she looked at him with a
luring smile and considered silently how she could best make use of him.

“That’s all at an end,” she said. “Now I’m condemned to Siberia,” and
her lip trembled as she was saying this dreadful word.

“I knew; I was certain you were not guilty,” said Nekhludoff.

“Guilty! of course not; as if I could be a thief or a robber.” She
stopped, considering in what way she could best get something out of
him.

“They say here that all depends on the advocate,” she began. “A petition
should be handed in, only they say it’s expensive.”

“Yes, most certainly,” said Nekhludoff. “I have already spoken to an
advocate.”

“No money ought to be spared; it should be a good one,” she said.

“I shall do all that is possible.”

They were silent, and then she smiled again in the same way.

“And I should like to ask you . . . a little money if you can . . . not
much; ten roubles, I do not want more,” she said, suddenly.

“Yes, yes,” Nekhludoff said, with a sense of confusion, and felt for his
purse.

She looked rapidly at the inspector, who was walking up and down the
room. “Don’t give it in front of him; he’d take it away.”

Nekhludoff took out his purse as soon as the inspector had turned his
back; but had no time to hand her the note before the inspector faced
them again, so he crushed it up in his hand.

“This woman is dead,” Nekhludoff thought, looking at this once sweet,
and now defiled, puffy face, lit up by an evil glitter in the black,
squinting eyes which were now glancing at the hand in which he held
the note, then following the inspector’s movements, and for a moment he
hesitated. The tempter that had been speaking to him in the night again
raised its voice, trying to lead him out of the realm of his inner into
the realm of his outer life, away from the question of what he should
do to the question of what the consequences would be, and what would be
practical.

“You can do nothing with this woman,” said the voice; “you will only
tie a stone round your neck, which will help to drown you and hinder you
from being useful to others.

“Is it not better to give her all the money that is here, say good-bye,
and finish with her forever?” whispered the voice.

But here he felt that now, at this very moment, something most important
was taking place in his soul--that his inner life was, as it were,
wavering in the balance, so that the slightest effort would make it sink
to this side or the other. And he made this effort by calling to his
assistance that God whom he had felt in his soul the day before, and
that God instantly responded. He resolved to tell her everything now--at
once.

“Katusha, I have come to ask you to forgive me, and you have given me no
answer. Have you forgiven me? Will you ever forgive me?” he asked.

She did not listen to him, but looked at his hand and at the inspector,
and when the latter turned she hastily stretched out her hand, grasped
the note, and hid it under her belt.

“That’s odd, what you are saying there,” she said, with a smile of
contempt, as it seemed to him.

Nekhludoff felt that there was in her soul one who was his enemy and who
was protecting her, such as she was now, and preventing him from getting
at her heart. But, strange to say, this did not repel him, but drew him
nearer to her by some fresh, peculiar power. He knew that he must waken
her soul, that this was terribly difficult, but the very difficulty
attracted him. He now felt towards her as he had never felt towards her
or any one else before. There was nothing personal in this feeling: he
wanted nothing from her for himself, but only wished that she might not
remain as she now was, that she might awaken and become again what she
had been.

“Katusha, why do you speak like that? I know you; I remember you--and
the old days in Papovo.”

“What’s the use of recalling what’s past?” she remarked, drily.

“I am recalling it in order to put it right, to atone for my sin,
Katusha,” and he was going to say that he would marry her, but,
meeting her eyes, he read in them something so dreadful, so coarse, so
repellent, that he could not go on.

At this moment the visitors began to go. The inspector came up to
Nekhludoff and said that the time was up.

“Good-bye; I have still much to say to you, but you see it is impossible
to do so now,” said Nekhludoff, and held out his hand. “I shall come
again.”

“I think you have said all.”

She took his hand but did not press it.

“No; I shall try to see you again, somewhere where we can talk, and then
I shall tell you what I have to say-something very important.”

“Well, then, come; why not?” she answered, and smiled with that
habitual, inviting, and promising smile which she gave to the men whom
she wished to please.

“You are more than a sister to me,” said Nekhludoff.

“That’s odd,” she said again, and went behind the grating.



CHAPTER XLIV.

MASLOVA’S VIEW OF LIFE.

Before the first interview, Nekhludoff thought that when she saw him
and knew of his intention to serve her, Katusha would be pleased and
touched, and would be Katusha again; but, to his horror, he found
that Katusha existed no more, and there was Maslova in her place. This
astonished and horrified him.

What astonished him most was that Katusha was not ashamed of her
position--not the position of a prisoner (she was ashamed of that), but
her position as a prostitute. She seemed satisfied, even proud of it.
And, yet, how could it be otherwise? Everybody, in order to be able to
act, has to consider his occupation important and good. Therefore, in
whatever position a person is, he is certain to form such a view of the
life of men in general which will make his occupation seem important and
good.

It is usually imagined that a thief, a murderer, a spy, a prostitute,
acknowledging his or her profession as evil, is ashamed of it. But the
contrary is true. People whom fate and their sin-mistakes have placed in
a certain position, however false that position may be, form a view of
life in general which makes their position seem good and admissible. In
order to keep up their view of life, these people instinctively keep to
the circle of those people who share their views of life and their own
place in it. This surprises us, where the persons concerned are thieves,
bragging about their dexterity, prostitutes vaunting their depravity, or
murderers boasting of their cruelty. This surprises us only because the
circle, the atmosphere in which these people live, is limited, and we
are outside it. But can we not observe the same phenomenon when the rich
boast of their wealth, i.e., robbery; the commanders in the army pride
themselves on victories, i.e., murder; and those in high places vaunt
their power, i.e., violence? We do not see the perversion in the views
of life held by these people, only because the circle formed by them is
more extensive, and we ourselves are moving inside of it.

And in this manner Maslova had formed her views of life and of her own
position. She was a prostitute condemned to Siberia, and yet she had a
conception of life which made it possible for her to be satisfied with
herself, and even to pride herself on her position before others.

According to this conception, the highest good for all men without
exception--old, young, schoolboys, generals, educated and uneducated,
was connected with the relation of the sexes; therefore, all men, even
when they pretended to be occupied with other things, in reality
took this view. She was an attractive woman, and therefore she was an
important and necessary person. The whole of her former and present life
was a confirmation of the correctness of this conception.

With such a view of life, she was by no means the lowest, but a very
important person. And Maslova prized this view of life more than
anything; she could not but prize it, for, if she lost the importance
that such a view of life gave her among men, she would lose the meaning
of her life. And, in order not to lose the meaning of her life, she
instinctively clung to the set that looked at life in the same way as
she did. Feeling that Nekhludoff wanted to lead her out into another
world, she resisted him, foreseeing that she would have to lose her
place in life, with the self-possession and self-respect it gave her.
For this reason she drove from her the recollections of her early youth
and her first relations with Nekhludoff. These recollections did not
correspond with her present conception of the world, and were therefore
quite rubbed out of her mind, or, rather, lay somewhere buried and
untouched, closed up and plastered over so that they should not escape,
as when bees, in order to protect the result of their labour, will
sometimes plaster a nest of worms. Therefore, the present Nekhludoff
was not the man she had once loved with a pure love, but only a rich
gentleman whom she could, and must, make use of, and with whom she could
only have the same relations as with men in general.

“No, I could not tell her the chief thing,” thought Nekhludoff, moving
towards the front doors with the rest of the people. “I did not tell her
that I would marry her; I did not tell her so, but I will,” he thought.

The two warders at the door let out the visitors, counting them again,
and touching each one with their hands, so that no extra person should
go out, and none remain within. The slap on his shoulder did not offend
Nekhludoff this time; he did not even notice it.



CHAPTER XLV.

FANARIN, THE ADVOCATE--THE PETITION.

Nekhludoff meant to rearrange the whole of his external life, to let
his large house and move to an hotel, but Agraphena Petrovna pointed out
that it was useless to change anything before the winter. No one would
rent a town house for the summer; anyhow, he would have to live and keep
his things somewhere. And so all his efforts to change his manner
of life (he meant to live more simply: as the students live) led to
nothing. Not only did everything remain as it was, but the house was
suddenly filled with new activity. All that was made of wool or fur was
taken out to be aired and beaten. The gate-keeper, the boy, the cook,
and Corney himself took part in this activity. All sorts of strange
furs, which no one ever used, and various uniforms were taken out and
hung on a line, then the carpets and furniture were brought out, and the
gate-keeper and the boy rolled their sleeves up their muscular arms and
stood beating these things, keeping strict time, while the rooms were
filled with the smell of naphthaline.

When Nekhludoff crossed the yard or looked out of the window and saw
all this going on, he was surprised at the great number of things there
were, all quite useless. Their only use, Nekhludoff thought, was the
providing of exercise for Agraphena Petrovna, Corney, the gate-keeper,
the boy, and the cook.

“But it’s not worth while altering my manner of life now,” he thought,
“while Maslova’s case is not decided. Besides, it is too difficult. It
will alter of itself when she will be set free or exiled, and I follow
her.”

On the appointed day Nekhludoff drove up to the advocate Fanarin’s own
splendid house, which was decorated with huge palms and other plants,
and wonderful curtains, in fact, with all the expensive luxury
witnessing to the possession of much idle money, i.e., money acquired
without labour, which only those possess who grow rich suddenly. In
the waiting-room, just as in a doctor’s waiting-room, he found many
dejected-looking people sitting round several tables, on which lay
illustrated papers meant to amuse them, awaiting their turns to be
admitted to the advocate. The advocate’s assistant sat in the room at a
high desk, and having recognised Nekhludoff, he came up to him and said
he would go and announce him at once. But the assistant had not reached
the door before it opened and the sounds of loud, animated voices were
heard; the voice of a middle-aged, sturdy merchant, with a red face and
thick moustaches, and the voice of Fanarin himself. Fanarin was also
a middle-aged man of medium height, with a worn look on his face. Both
faces bore the expression which you see on the faces of those who have
just concluded a profitable but not quite honest transaction.

“Your own fault, you know, my dear sir,” Fanarin said, smiling.

“We’d all be in ‘eaven were it not for hour sins.”

“Oh, yes, yes; we all know that,” and both laughed un-naturally.

“Oh, Prince Nekhludoff! Please to step in,” said Fanarin, seeing him,
and, nodding once more to the merchant, he led Nekhludoff into his
business cabinet, furnished in a severely correct style.

“Won’t you smoke?” said the advocate, sitting down opposite Nekhludoff
and trying to conceal a smile, apparently still excited by the success
of the accomplished transaction.

“Thanks; I have come about Maslova’s case.”

“Yes, yes; directly! But oh, what rogues these fat money bags are!”
 he said. “You saw this here fellow. Why, he has about twelve million
roubles, and he cannot speak correctly; and if he can get a twenty-five
rouble note out of you he’ll have it, if he’s to wrench it out with his
teeth.”

“He says ‘’eaven’ and ‘hour,’ and you say ‘this here fellow,’”
 Nekhludoff thought, with an insurmountable feeling of aversion towards
this man who wished to show by his free and easy manner that he and
Nekhludoff belonged to one and the same camp, while his other clients
belonged to another.

“He has worried me to death--a fearful scoundrel. I felt I must relieve
my feelings,” said the advocate, as if to excuse his speaking about
things that had no reference to business. “Well, how about your case?
I have read it attentively, but do not approve of it. I mean that
greenhorn of an advocate has left no valid reason for an appeal.”

“Well, then, what have you decided?”

“One moment. Tell him,” he said to his assistant, who had just come in,
“that I keep to what I have said. If he can, it’s all right; if not, no
matter.”

“But he won’t agree.”

“Well, no matter,” and the advocate frowned.

“There now, and it is said that we advocates get our money for nothing,”
 he remarked, after a pause. “I have freed one insolvent debtor from a
totally false charge, and now they all flock to me. Yet every such case
costs enormous labour. Why, don’t we, too, ‘lose bits of flesh in the
inkstand?’ as some writer or other has said. Well, as to your case, or,
rather, the case you are taking an interest in. It has been conducted
abominably. There is no good reason for appealing. Still,” he continued,
“we can but try to get the sentence revoked. This is what I have noted
down.” He took up several sheets of paper covered with writing, and
began to read rapidly, slurring over the uninteresting legal terms and
laying particular stress on some sentences. “To the Court of Appeal,
criminal department, etc., etc. According to the decisions, etc., the
verdict, etc., So-and-so Maslova pronounced guilty of having caused the
death through poison of the merchant Smelkoff, and has, according to
Statute 1454 of the penal code, been sentenced to Siberia,” etc., etc.
He stopped. Evidently, in spite of his being so used to it, he still
felt pleasure in listening to his own productions. “This sentence is
the direct result of the most glaring judicial perversion and error,”
 he continued, impressively, “and there are grounds for its revocation.
Firstly, the reading of the medical report of the examination of
Smelkoff’s intestines was interrupted by the president at the very
beginning. This is point one.”

“But it was the prosecuting side that demanded this reading,” Nekhludoff
said, with surprise.

“That does not matter. There might have been reasons for the defence to
demand this reading, too.”

“Oh, but there could have been no reason whatever for that.”

“It is a ground for appeal, though. To continue: ‘Secondly,’ he went
on reading, ‘when Maslova’s advocate, in his speech for the defence,
wishing to characterise Maslova’s personality, referred to the causes of
her fall, he was interrupted by the president calling him to order
for the alleged deviation from the direct subject. Yet, as has been
repeatedly pointed out by the Senate, the elucidation of the criminal’s
characteristics and his or her moral standpoint in general has a
significance of the first importance in criminal cases, even if only
as a guide in the settling of the question of imputation.’ That’s point
two,” he said, with a look at Nekhludoff.

“But he spoke so badly that no one could make anything of it,”
 Nekhludoff said, still more astonished.

“The fellow’s quite a fool, and of course could not be expected to say
anything sensible,” Fanarin said, laughing; “but, all the same, it will
do as a reason for appeal. Thirdly: ‘The president, in his summing up,
contrary to the direct decree of section 1, statute 801, of the criminal
code, omitted to inform the jury what the judicial points are that
constitute guilt; and did not mention that having admitted the fact of
Maslova having administered the poison to Smelkoff, the jury had a right
not to impute the guilt of murder to her, since the proofs of wilful
intent to deprive Smelkoff of life were absent, and only to pronounce
her guilty of carelessness resulting in the death of the merchant, which
she did not desire.’ This is the chief point.”

“Yes; but we ought to have known that ourselves. It was our mistake.”

“And now the fourth point,” the advocate continued. “The form of the
answer given by the jury contained an evident contradiction. Maslova
is accused of wilfully poisoning Smelkoff, her one object being that of
cupidity, the only motive to commit murder she could have had. The jury
in their verdict acquit her of the intent to rob, or participation in
the stealing of valuables, from which it follows that they intended
also to acquit her of the intent to murder, and only through a
misunderstanding, which arose from the incompleteness of the president’s
summing up, omitted to express it in due form in their answer. Therefore
an answer of this kind by the jury absolutely demanded the application
of statutes 816 and 808 of the criminal code of procedure, i.e., an
explanation by the president to the jury of the mistake made by them,
and another debate on the question of the prisoner’s guilt.”

“Then why did the president not do it?”

“I, too, should like to know why,” Fanarin said, laughing.

“Then the Senate will, of course, correct this error?”

“That will all depend on who will preside there at the time. Well, now,
there it is. I have further said,” he continued, rapidly, “a verdict of
this kind gave the Court no right to condemn Maslova to be punished as
a criminal, and to apply section 3, statute 771 of the penal code to her
case. This is a decided and gross violation of the basic principles of
our criminal law. In view of the reasons stated, I have the honour of
appealing to you, etc., etc., the refutation, according to 909, 910, and
section 2, 912 and 928 statute of the criminal code, etc., etc. . . .
to carry this case before another department of the same Court for a
further examination. There; all that can be done is done, but, to be
frank, I have little hope of success, though, of course, it all depends
on what members will be present at the Senate. If you have any influence
there you can but try.”

“I do know some.”

“All right; only be quick about it. Else they’ll all go off for a change
of air; then you may have to wait three months before they return. Then,
in case of failure, we have still the possibility of appealing to His
Majesty. This, too, depends on the private influence you can bring to
work. In this case, too, I am at your service; I mean as to the working
of the petition, not the influence.”

“Thank you. Now as to your fees?”

“My assistant will hand you the petition and tell you.”

“One thing more. The Procureur gave me a pass for visiting this person
in prison, but they tell me I must also get a permission from the
governor in order to get an interview at another time and in another
place than those appointed. Is this necessary?”

“Yes, I think so. But the governor is away at present; a vice-governor
is in his place. And he is such an impenetrable fool that you’ll
scarcely be able to do anything with him.”

“Is it Meslennikoff?”

“Yes.”

“I know him,” said Nekhludoff, and got up to go. At this moment a
horribly ugly, little, bony, snub-nosed, yellow-faced woman flew into
the room. It was the advocate’s wife, who did not seem to be in the
least bit troubled by her ugliness. She was attired in the most original
manner; she seemed enveloped in something made of velvet and silk,
something yellow and green, and her thin hair was crimped.

She stepped out triumphantly into the ante-room, followed by a tall,
smiling man, with a greenish complexion, dressed in a coat with silk
facings, and a white tie. This was an author. Nekhludoff knew him by
sight.

She opened the cabinet door and said, “Anatole, you must come to
me. Here is Simeon Ivanovitch, who will read his poems, and you must
absolutely come and read about Garshin.”

Nekhludoff noticed that she whispered something to her husband, and,
thinking it was something concerning him, wished to go away, but she
caught him up and said: “I beg your pardon, Prince, I know you, and,
thinking an introduction superfluous, I beg you to stay and take part
in our literary matinee. It will be most interesting. M. Fanarin will
read.”

“You see what a lot I have to do,” said Fanarin, spreading out his hands
and smilingly pointing to his wife, as if to show how impossible it was
to resist so charming a creature.

Nekhludoff thanked the advocate’s wife with extreme politeness for the
honour she did him in inviting him, but refused the invitation with a
sad and solemn look, and left the room.

“What an affected fellow!” said the advocate’s wife, when he had gone
out.

In the ante-room the assistant handed him a ready-written petition,
and said that the fees, including the business with the Senate and the
commission, would come to 1,000 roubles, and explained that M. Fanarin
did not usually undertake this kind of business, but did it only to
oblige Nekhludoff.

“And about this petition. Who is to sign it?”

“The prisoner may do it herself, or if this is inconvenient, M. Fanarin
can, if he gets a power of attorney from her.”

“Oh, no. I shall take the petition to her and get her to sign it,” said
Nekhludoff, glad of the opportunity of seeing her before the appointed
day.



CHAPTER XLVI.

A PRISON FLOGGING.

At the usual time the jailer’s whistle sounded in the corridors of the
prison, the iron doors of the cells rattled, bare feet pattered, heels
clattered, and the prisoners who acted as scavengers passed along the
corridors, filling the air with disgusting smells. The prisoners washed,
dressed, and came out for revision, then went to get boiling water for
their tea.

The conversation at breakfast in all the cells was very lively. It was
all about two prisoners who were to be flogged that day. One, Vasiliev,
was a young man of some education, a clerk, who had killed his mistress
in a fit of jealousy. His fellow-prisoners liked him because he
was merry and generous and firm in his behaviour with the prison
authorities. He knew the laws and insisted on their being carried out.
Therefore he was disliked by the authorities. Three weeks before a
jailer struck one of the scavengers who had spilt some soup over his new
uniform. Vasiliev took the part of the scavenger, saying that it was not
lawful to strike a prisoner.

“I’ll teach you the law,” said the jailer, and gave Vasiliev a scolding.
Vasiliev replied in like manner, and the jailer was going to hit him,
but Vasiliev seized the jailer’s hands, held them fast for about three
minutes, and, after giving the hands a twist, pushed the jailer out of
the door. The jailer complained to the inspector, who ordered Vasiliev
to be put into a solitary cell.

The solitary cells were a row of dark closets, locked from outside, and
there were neither beds, nor chairs, nor tables in them, so that the
inmates had to sit or lie on the dirty floor, while the rats, of which
there were a great many in those cells, ran across them. The rats were
so bold that they stole the bread from the prisoners, and even attacked
them if they stopped moving. Vasiliev said he would not go into the
solitary cell, because he had not done anything wrong; but they used
force. Then he began struggling, and two other prisoners helped him to
free himself from the jailers. All the jailers assembled, and among them
was Petrov, who was distinguished for his strength. The prisoners got
thrown down and pushed into the solitary cells.

The governor was immediately informed that something very like a
rebellion had taken place. And he sent back an order to flog the two
chief offenders, Vasiliev and the tramp, Nepomnishy, giving each thirty
strokes with a birch rod. The flogging was appointed to take place in
the women’s interviewing-room.

All this was known in the prison since the evening, and it was being
talked about with animation in all the cells.

Korableva, Khoroshevka, Theodosia, and Maslova sat together in their
corner, drinking tea, all of them flushed and animated by the vodka they
had drunk, for Maslova, who now had a constant supply of vodka, freely
treated her companions to it.

“He’s not been a-rioting, or anything,” Korableva said, referring to
Vasiliev, as she bit tiny pieces off a lump of sugar with her strong
teeth. “He only stuck up for a chum, because it’s not lawful to strike
prisoners nowadays.”

“And he’s a fine fellow, I’ve heard say,” said Theodosia, who sat
bareheaded, with her long plaits round her head, on a log of wood
opposite the shelf bedstead on which the teapot stood.

“There, now, if you were to ask _him_,” the watchman’s wife said to
Maslova (by him she meant Nekhludoff).

“I shall tell him. He’ll do anything for me,” Maslova said, tossing her
head, and smiling.

“Yes, but when is he coming? and they’ve already gone to fetch them,”
 said Theodosia. “It is terrible,” she added, with a sigh.

“I once did see how they flogged a peasant in the village.
Father-in-law, he sent me once to the village elder. Well, I went,
and there . . . “ The watchman’s wife began her long story, which was
interrupted by the sound of voices and steps in the corridor above them.

The women were silent, and sat listening.

“There they are, hauling him along, the devils!” Khoroshavka said.
“They’ll do him to death, they will. The jailers are so enraged with him
because he never would give in to them.”

All was quiet again upstairs, and the watchman’s wife finished her story
of how she was that frightened when she went into the barn and saw
them flogging a peasant, her inside turned at the sight, and so on.
Khoroshevka related how Schegloff had been flogged, and never uttered
a sound. Then Theodosia put away the tea things, and Korableva and the
watchman’s wife took up their sewing. Maslova sat down on the bedstead,
with her arms round her knees, dull and depressed. She was about to lie
down and try to sleep, when the woman warder called her into the office
to see a visitor.

“Now, mind, and don’t forget to tell him about us,” the old woman
(Menshova) said, while Maslova was arranging the kerchief on her head
before the dim looking-glass. “We did not set fire to the house, but he
himself, the fiend, did it; his workman saw him do it, and will not damn
his soul by denying it. You just tell to ask to see my Mitri. Mitri
will tell him all about it, as plain as can be. Just think of our being
locked up in prison when we never dreamt of any ill, while he, the
fiend, is enjoying himself at the pub, with another man’s wife.”

“That’s not the law,” remarked Korableva.

“I’ll tell him--I’ll tell him,” answered Maslova. “Suppose I have
another drop, just to keep up courage,” she added, with a wink; and
Korableva poured out half a cup of vodka, which Maslova drank. Then,
having wiped her mouth and repeating the words “just to keep up
courage,” tossing her head and smiling gaily, she followed the warder
along the corridor.



CHAPTER XLVII.

NEKHLUDOFF AGAIN VISITS MASLOVA.

Nekhludoff had to wait in the hall for a long time. When he had arrived
at the prison and rung at the entrance door, he handed the permission of
the Procureur to the jailer on duty who met him.

“No, no,” the jailer on duty said hurriedly, “the inspector is engaged.”

“In the office?” asked Nekhludoff.

“No, here in the interviewing-room.”.

“Why, is it a visiting day to-day?”

“No; it’s special business.”

“I should like to see him. What am I to do?” said Nekhludoff.

“When the inspector comes out you’ll tell him--wait a bit,” said the
jailer.

At this moment a sergeant-major, with a smooth, shiny face and
moustaches impregnated with tobacco smoke, came out of a side door, with
the gold cords of his uniform glistening, and addressed the jailer in a
severe tone.

“What do you mean by letting any one in here? The office. . . .”

“I was told the inspector was here,” said Nekhludoff, surprised at the
agitation he noticed in the sergeant-major’s manner.

At this moment the inner door opened, and Petrov came out, heated and
perspiring.

“He’ll remember it,” he muttered, turning to the sergeant major. The
latter pointed at Nekhludoff by a look, and Petrov knitted his brows and
went out through a door at the back.

“Who will remember it? Why do they all seem so confused? Why did the
sergeant-major make a sign to him?” Nekhludoff thought.

The sergeant-major, again addressing Nekhludoff, said: “You cannot meet
here; please step across to the office.” And Nekhludoff was about to
comply when the inspector came out of the door at the back, looking even
more confused than his subordinates, and sighing continually. When he
saw Nekhludoff he turned to the jailer.

“Fedotoff, have Maslova, cell 5, women’s ward, taken to the office.”

“Will you come this way, please,” he said, turning to Nekhludoff. They
ascended a steep staircase and entered a little room with one window, a
writing-table, and a few chairs in it. The inspector sat down.

“Mine are heavy, heavy duties,” he remarked, again addressing
Nekhludoff, and took out a cigarette.

“You are tired, evidently,” said Nekhludoff.

“Tired of the whole of the service--the duties are very trying. One
tries to lighten their lot and only makes it worse; my only thought is
how to get away. Heavy, heavy duties!”

Nekhludoff did not know what the inspector’s particular difficulties
were, but he saw that to-day he was in a peculiarly dejected and
hopeless condition, calling for pity.

“Yes, I should think the duties were heavy for a kind-hearted man,” he
said. “Why do you serve in this capacity?”

“I have a family.”

“But, if it is so hard--”

“Well, still you know it is possible to be of use in some measure; I
soften down all I can. Another in my place would conduct the affairs
quite differently. Why, we have more than 2,000 persons here. And what
persons! One must know how to manage them. It is easier said than done,
you know. After all, they are also men; one cannot help pitying them.”
 The inspector began telling Nekhludoff of a fight that had lately taken
place among the convicts, which had ended by one man being killed.

The story was interrupted by the entrance of Maslova, who was
accompanied by a jailer.

Nekhludoff saw her through the doorway before she had noticed the
inspector. She was following the warder briskly, smiling and tossing her
head. When she saw the inspector she suddenly changed, and gazed at
him with a frightened look; but, quickly recovering, she addressed
Nekhludoff boldly and gaily.

“How d’you do?” she said, drawling out her words, and smilingly took his
hand and shook it vigorously, not like the first time.

“Here, I’ve brought you a petition to sign,” said Nekhludoff, rather
surprised by the boldness with which she greeted him to-day.

“The advocate has written out a petition which you will have to sign,
and then we shall send it to Petersburg.”

“All right! That can be done. Anything you like,” she said, with a wink
and a smile.

And Nekhludoff drew a folded paper from his pocket and went up to the
table.

“May she sign it here?” asked Nekhludoff, turning to the inspector.

“It’s all right, it’s all right! Sit down. Here’s a pen; you can write?”
 said the inspector.

“I could at one time,” she said; and, after arranging her skirt and the
sleeves of her jacket, she sat down at the table, smiled awkwardly, took
the pen with her small, energetic hand, and glanced at Nekhludoff with a
laugh.

Nekhludoff told her what to write and pointed out the place where to
sign.

Sighing deeply as she dipped her pen into the ink, and carefully shaking
some drops off the pen, she wrote her name.

“Is it all?” she asked, looking from Nekhludoff to the inspector, and
putting the pen now on the inkstand, now on the papers.

“I have a few words to tell you,” Nekhludoff said, taking the pen from
her.

“All right; tell me,” she said. And suddenly, as if remembering
something, or feeling sleepy, she grew serious.

The inspector rose and left the room, and Nekhludoff remained with her.



CHAPTER XLVIII.

MASLOVA REFUSES TO MARRY.

The jailer who had brought Maslova in sat on a windowsill at some
distance from them.

The decisive moment had come for Nekhludoff. He had been incessantly
blaming himself for not having told her the principal thing at the first
interview, and was now determined to tell her that he would marry her.
She was sitting at the further side of the table. Nekhludoff sat down
opposite her. It was light in the room, and Nekhludoff for the first
time saw her face quite near. He distinctly saw the crowsfeet round her
eyes, the wrinkles round her mouth, and the swollen eyelids. He felt
more sorry than before. Leaning over the table so as not to be heard by
the jailer--a man of Jewish type with grizzly whiskers, who sat by the
window--Nekhludoff said:

“Should this petition come to nothing we shall appeal to the Emperor.
All that is possible shall be done.”

“There, now, if we had had a proper advocate from the first,” she
interrupted. “My defendant was quite a silly. He did nothing but pay me
compliments,” she said, and laughed. “If it had then been known that I
was acquainted with you, it would have been another matter. They think
every one’s a thief.”

“How strange she is to-day,” Nekhludoff thought, and was just going to
say what he had on his mind when she began again:

“There’s something I want to say. We have here an old woman; such a fine
one, d’you know, she just surprises every one; she is imprisoned for
nothing, and her son, too, and everybody knows they are innocent, though
they are accused of having set fire to a house. D’you know, hearing I
was acquainted with you, she says: ‘Tell him to ask to see my son; he’ll
tell him all about it.”’ Thus spoke Maslova, turning her head from side
to side, and glancing at Nekhludoff. “Their name’s Menshoff. Well, will
you do it? Such a fine old thing, you know; you can see at once she’s
innocent. You’ll do it, there’s a dear,” and she smiled, glanced up at
him, and then cast down her eyes.

“All right. I’ll find out about them,” Nekhludoff said, more and more
astonished by her free-and-easy manner. “But I was going to speak to you
about myself. Do you remember what I told you last time?”

“You said a lot last time. What was it you told me?” she said,
continuing to smile and to turn her head from side to side.

“I said I had come to ask you to forgive me,” he began.

“What’s the use of that? Forgive, forgive, where’s the good of--”

“To atone for my sin, not by mere words, but in deed. I have made up my
mind to marry you.”

An expression of fear suddenly came over her face. Her squinting eyes
remained fixed on him, and yet seemed not to be looking at him.

“What’s that for?” she said, with an angry frown.

“I feel that it is my duty before God to do it.”

“What God have you found now? You are not saying what you ought to. God,
indeed! What God? You ought to have remembered God then,” she said, and
stopped with her mouth open. It was only now that Nekhludoff noticed
that her breath smelled of spirits, and that he understood the cause of
her excitement.

“Try and be calm,” he said.

“Why should I be calm?” she began, quickly, flushing scarlet. “I am a
convict, and you are a gentleman and a prince. There’s no need for you
to soil yourself by touching me. You go to your princesses; my price is
a ten-rouble note.”

“However cruelly you may speak, you cannot express what I myself am
feeling,” he said, trembling all over; “you cannot imagine to what
extent I feel myself guilty towards you.”

“Feel yourself guilty?” she said, angrily mimicking him. “You did not
feel so then, but threw me 100 roubles. That’s your price.”

“I know, I know; but what is to be done now?” said Nekhludoff. “I have
decided not to leave you, and what I have said I shall do.”

“And I say you sha’n’t,” she said, and laughed aloud.

“Katusha,” he said, touching her hand.

“You go away. I am a convict and you a prince, and you’ve no business
here,” she cried, pulling away her hand, her whole appearance
transformed by her wrath. “You’ve got pleasure out of me in this life,
and want to save yourself through me in the life to come. You are
disgusting to me--your spectacles and the whole of your dirty fat mug.
Go, go!” she screamed, starting to her feet.

The jailer came up to them.

“What are you kicking up this row for?’ That won’t--”

“Let her alone, please,” said Nekhludoff.

“She must not forget herself,” said the jailer. “Please wait a little,”
 said Nekhludoff, and the jailer returned to the window.

Maslova sat down again, dropping her eyes and firmly clasping her small
hands.

Nekhludoff stooped over her, not knowing what to do.

“You do not believe me?” he said.

“That you mean to marry me? It will never be. I’ll rather hang myself.
So there!”

“Well, still I shall go on serving you.”

“That’s your affair, only I don’t want anything from you. I am telling
you the plain truth,” she said. “Oh, why did I not die then?” she added,
and began to cry piteously.

Nekhludoff could not speak; her tears infected him.

She lifted her eyes, looked at him in surprise, and began to wipe her
tears with her kerchief.

The jailer came up again and reminded them that it was time to part.

Maslova rose.

“You are excited. If it is possible, I shall come again tomorrow; you
think it over,” said Nekhludoff.

She gave him no answer and, without looking up, followed the jailer out
of the room.

“Well, lass, you’ll have rare times now,” Korableva said, when Maslova
returned to the cell. “Seems he’s mighty sweet on you; make the most
of it while he’s after you. He’ll help you out. Rich people can do
anything.”

“Yes, that’s so,” remarked the watchman’s wife, with her musical voice.
“When a poor man thinks of getting married, there’s many a slip ‘twixt
the cup and the lip; but a rich man need only make up his mind and it’s
done. We knew a toff like that duckie. What d’you think he did?”

“Well, have you spoken about my affairs?” the old woman asked.

But Maslova gave her fellow-prisoners no answer; she lay down on the
shelf bedstead, her squinting eyes fixed on a corner of the room, and
lay there until the evening.

A painful struggle went on in her soul. What Nekhludoff had told her
called up the memory of that world in which she had suffered and which
she had left without having understood, hating it. She now feared to
wake from the trance in which she was living. Not having arrived at any
conclusion when evening came, she again bought some vodka and drank with
her companions.



CHAPTER XLIX.

VERA DOUKHOVA.

“So this is what it means, this,” thought Nekhludoff as he left the
prison, only now fully understanding his crime. If he had not tried to
expiate his guilt he would never have found out how great his crime was.
Nor was this all; she, too, would never have felt the whole horror of
what had been done to her. He only now saw what he had done to the soul
of this woman; only now she saw and understood what had been done to
her.

Up to this time Nekhludoff had played with a sensation of
self-admiration, had admired his own remorse; now he was simply filled
with horror. He knew he could not throw her up now, and yet he could not
imagine what would come of their relations to one another.

Just as he was going out, a jailer, with a disagreeable, insinuating
countenance, and a cross and medals on his breast, came up and handed
him a note with an air of mystery.

“Here is a note from a certain person, your honour,” he said to
Nekhludoff as he gave him the envelope.

“What person?”

“You will know when you read it. A political prisoner. I am in that
ward, so she asked me; and though it is against the rules, still
feelings of humanity--” The jailer spoke in an unnatural manner.

Nekhludoff was surprised that a jailer of the ward where political
prisoners were kept should pass notes inside the very prison walls, and
almost within sight of every one; he did not then know that this was
both a jailer and a spy. However, he took the note and read it on coming
out of the prison.

The note was written in a bold hand, and ran as follows: “Having heard
that you visit the prison, and are interested in the case of a criminal
prisoner, the desire of seeing you arose in me. Ask for a permission
to see me. I can give you a good deal of information concerning your
protegee, and also our group.--Yours gratefully, VERA DOUKHOVA.”

Vera Doukhova had been a school-teacher in an out-of-the-way village of
the Novgorod Government, where Nekhludoff and some friends of his had
once put up while bear hunting. Nekhludoff gladly and vividly recalled
those old days, and his acquaintance with Doukhova. It was just before
Lent, in an isolated spot, 40 miles from the railway. The hunt had
been successful; two bears had been killed; and the company were having
dinner before starting on their return journey, when the master of the
hut where they were putting up came in to say that the deacon’s daughter
wanted to speak to Prince Nekhludoff. “Is she pretty?” some one asked.
“None of that, please,” Nekhludoff said, and rose with a serious look
on his face. Wiping his mouth, and wondering what the deacon’s daughter
might want of him, he went into the host’s private hut.

There he found a girl with a felt hat and a warm cloak on--a sinewy,
ugly girl; only her eyes with their arched brows were beautiful.

“Here, miss, speak to him,” said the old housewife; “this is the prince
himself. I shall go out meanwhile.”

“In what way can I be of service to you?” Nekhludoff asked.

“I--I--I see you are throwing away your money on such nonsense--on
hunting,” began the girl, in great confusion. “I know--I only want one
thing--to be of use to the people, and I can do nothing because I know
nothing--” Her eyes were so truthful, so kind, and her expression of
resoluteness and yet bashfulness was so touching, that Nekhludoff, as
it often happened to him, suddenly felt as if he were in her position,
understood, and sympathised.

“What can I do, then?”

“I am a teacher, but should like to follow a course of study; and I
am not allowed to do so. That is, not that I am not allowed to; they’d
allow me to, but I have not got the means. Give them to me, and when I
have finished the course I shall repay you. I am thinking the rich kill
bears and give the peasants drink; all this is bad. Why should they not
do good? I only want 80 roubles. But if you don’t wish to, never mind,”
 she added, gravely.

“On the contrary, I am very grateful to you for this opportunity. . . .
I will bring it at once,” said Nekhludoff.

He went out into the passage, and there met one of his comrades, who
had been overhearing his conversation. Paying no heed to his chaffing,
Nekhludoff got the money out of his bag and took it to her.

“Oh, please, do not thank me; it is I who should thank you,” he said.

It was pleasant to remember all this now; pleasant to remember that
he had nearly had a quarrel with an officer who tried to make an
objectionable joke of it, and how another of his comrades had taken his
part, which led to a closer friendship between them. How successful the
whole of that hunting expedition had been, and how happy he had felt
when returning to the railway station that night. The line of sledges,
the horses in tandem, glide quickly along the narrow road that lies
through the forest, now between high trees, now between low firs weighed
down by the snow, caked in heavy lumps on their branches. A red light
flashes in the dark, some one lights an aromatic cigarette. Joseph, a
bear driver, keeps running from sledge to sledge, up to his knees in
snow, and while putting things to rights he speaks about the elk which
are now going about on the deep snow and gnawing the bark off the aspen
trees, of the bears that are lying asleep in their deep hidden dens, and
his breath comes warm through the opening in the sledge cover. All this
came back to Nekhludoff’s mind; but, above all, the joyous sense of
health, strength, and freedom from care: the lungs breathing in the
frosty air so deeply that the fur cloak is drawn tightly on his chest,
the fine snow drops off the low branches on to his face, his body
is warm, his face feels fresh, and his soul is free from care,
self-reproach, fear, or desire. How beautiful it was. And now, O God!
what torment, what trouble!

Evidently Vera Doukhova was a revolutionist and imprisoned as such. He
must see her, especially as she promised to advise him how to lighten
Maslova’s lot.



CHAPTER L.

THE VICE-GOVERNOR OF THE PRISON.

Awaking early the next morning, Nekhludoff remembered what he had done
the day before, and was seized with fear.

But in spite of this fear, he was more determined than ever to continue
what he had begun.

Conscious of a sense of duty, he left the house and went to see
Maslennikoff in order to obtain from him a permission to visit Maslova
in prison, and also the Menshoffs--mother and son--about whom Maslova
had spoken to him. Nekhludoff had known this Maslennikoff a long time;
they had been in the regiment together. At that time Maslennikoff was
treasurer to the regiment.

He was a kind-hearted and zealous officer, knowing and wishing to know
nothing beyond the regiment and the Imperial family. Now Nekhludoff
saw him as an administrator, who had exchanged the regiment for an
administrative office in the government where he lived. He was married
to a rich and energetic woman, who had forced him to exchange military
for civil service. She laughed at him, and caressed him, as if he were
her own pet animal. Nekhludoff had been to see them once during the
winter, but the couple were so uninteresting to him that he had not gone
again.

At the sight of Nekhludoff Maslennikoff’s face beamed all over. He had
the same fat red face, and was as corpulent and as well dressed as in
his military days. Then, he used to be always dressed in a well-brushed
uniform, made according to the latest fashion, tightly fitting his chest
and shoulders; now, it was a civil service uniform he wore, and that,
too, tightly fitted his well-fed body and showed off his broad chest,
and was cut according to the latest fashion. In spite of the difference
in age (Maslennikoff was 40), the two men were very familiar with one
another.

“Halloo, old fellow! How good of you to come! Let us go and see my wife.
I have just ten minutes to spare before the meeting. My chief is away,
you know. I am at the head of the Government administration,” he said,
unable to disguise his satisfaction.

“I have come on business.”

“What is it?” said Maslennikoff, in an anxious and severe tone, putting
himself at once on his guard.

“There is a person, whom I am very much interested in, in prison” (at
the word “prison” Maslennikoff’s face grew stern); “and I should like to
have an interview in the office, and not in the common visiting-room. I
have been told it depended on you.”

“Certainly, mon cher,” said Maslennikoff, putting both hands on
Nekhludoff’s knees, as if to tone down his grandeur; “but remember, I am
monarch only for an hour.”

“Then will you give me an order that will enable me to see her?”

“It’s a woman?”

“Yes.”

“What is she there for?”

“Poisoning, but she has been unjustly condemned.”

“Yes, there you have it, your justice administered by jury, ils n’en
font point d’autres,” he said, for some unknown reason, in French. “I
know you do not agree with me, but it can’t be helped, c’est mon opinion
bien arretee,” he added, giving utterance to an opinion he had for the
last twelve months been reading in the retrograde Conservative paper. “I
know you are a Liberal.”

“I don’t know whether I am a Liberal or something else,” Nekhludoff
said, smiling; it always surprised him to find himself ranked with a
political party and called a Liberal, when he maintained that a man
should be heard before he was judged, that before being tried all men
were equal, that nobody at all ought to be ill-treated and beaten, but
especially those who had not yet been condemned by law. “I don’t know
whether I am a Liberal or not; but I do know that however had the
present way of conducting a trial is, it is better than the old.”

“And whom have you for an advocate?”

“I have spoken to Fanarin.”

“Dear me, Fanarin!” said Meslennikoff, with a grimace, recollecting how
this Fanarin had examined him as a witness at a trial the year before
and had, in the politest manner, held him up to ridicule for half an
hour.

“I should not advise you to have anything to do with him. _Fanarin est
un homme tare_.”

“I have one more request to make,” said Nekhludoff, without answering
him. “There’s a girl whom I knew long ago, a teacher; she is a very
pitiable little thing, and is now also imprisoned, and would like to see
me. Could you give me a permission to visit her?”

Meslennikoff bent his head on one side and considered.

“She’s a political one?”

“Yes, I have been told so.”

“Well, you see, only relatives get permission to visit political
prisoners. Still, I’ll give you an open order. _Je sais que vous
n’abuserez pas_. What’s the name of your protegee? Doukhova? _Elle est
jolie?_”

“Hideuse.”

Maslennikoff shook his head disapprovingly, went up to the table, and
wrote on a sheet of paper, with a printed heading: “The bearer, Prince
Dmitri Ivanovitch Nekhludoff, is to be allowed to interview in the
prison office the meschanka Maslova, and also the medical assistant,
Doukhova,” and he finished with an elaborate flourish.

“Now you’ll be able to see what order we have got there. And it is
very difficult to keep order, it is so crowded, especially with people
condemned to exile; but I watch strictly, and love the work. You will
see they are very comfortable and contented. But one must know
how to deal with them. Only a few days ago we had a little
trouble--insubordination; another would have called it mutiny, and would
have made many miserable, but with us it all passed quietly. We must
have solicitude on one hand, firmness and power on the other,” and he
clenched the fat, white, turquoise-ringed fist, which issued out of
the starched cuff of his shirt sleeve, fastened with a gold stud.
“Solicitude and firm power.”

“Well, I don’t know about that,” said Nekhludoff. “I went there twice,
and felt very much depressed.”

“Do you know, you ought to get acquainted with the Countess Passek,”
 continued Maslennikoff, growing talkative. “She has given herself up
entirely to this sort of work. Elle fait beaucoup de bien. Thanks to
her--and, perhaps I may add without false modesty, to me--everything has
been changed, changed in such a way that the former horrors no longer
exist, and they are really quite comfortable there. Well, you’ll see.
There’s Fanarin. I do not know him personally; besides, my social
position keeps our ways apart; but he is positively a bad man, and
besides, he takes the liberty of saying such things in the court--such
things!”

“Well, thank you,” Nekhludoff said, taking the paper, and without
listening further he bade good-day to his former comrade.

“And won’t you go in to see my wife?”

“No, pray excuse me; I have no time now.”

“Dear me, why she will never forgive me,” said Maslennikoff,
accompanying his old acquaintance down to the first landing, as he was
in the habit of doing to persons of not the greatest, but the second
greatest importance, with whom he classed Nekhludoff; “now do go in, if
only for a moment.”

But Nekhludoff remained firm; and while the footman and the door-keeper
rushed to give him his stick and overcoat, and opened the door, outside
of which there stood a policeman, Nekhludoff repeated that he really
could not come in.

“Well, then; on Thursday, please. It is her ‘at-home.’ I will tell her
you will come,” shouted Maslennikoff from the stairs.



CHAPTER LI.

THE CELLS.

Nekhludoff drove that day straight from Maslennikoff’s to the prison,
and went to the inspector’s lodging, which he now knew. He was again
struck by the sounds of the same piano of inferior quality; but this
time it was not a rhapsody that was being played, but exercises by
Clementi, again with the same vigour, distinctness, and quickness. The
servant with the bandaged eye said the inspector was in, and showed
Nekhludoff to a small drawing-room, in which there stood a sofa and,
in front of it, a table, with a large lamp, which stood on a piece of
crochet work, and the paper shade of which was burnt on one side. The
chief inspector entered, with his usual sad and weary look.

“Take a seat, please. What is it you want?” he said, buttoning up the
middle button of his uniform.

“I have just been to the vice-governor’s, and got this order from him. I
should like to see the prisoner Maslova.”

“Markova?” asked the inspector, unable to bear distinctly because of the
music.

“Maslova!”

“Well, yes.” The inspector got up and went to the door whence proceeded
Clementi’s roulades.

“Mary, can’t you stop just a minute?” he said, in a voice that showed
that this music was the bane of his life. “One can’t hear a word.”

The piano was silent, but one could hear the sound of reluctant steps,
and some one looked in at the door.

The inspector seemed to feel eased by the interval of silence, lit a
thick cigarette of weak tobacco, and offered one to Nekhludoff.

Nekhludoff refused.

“What I want is to see Maslova.”

“Oh, yes, that can be managed. Now, then, what do you want?” he said,
addressing a little girl of five or six, who came into the room and
walked up to her father with her head turned towards Nekhludoff, and her
eyes fixed on him.

“There, now, you’ll fall down,” said the inspector, smiling, as the
little girl ran up to him, and, not looking where she was going, caught
her foot in a little rug.

“Well, then, if I may, I shall go.”

“It’s not very convenient to see Maslova to-day,” said the inspector.

“How’s that?”

“Well, you know, it’s all your own fault,” said the inspector, with a
slight smile. “Prince, give her no money into her hands. If you like,
give it me. I will keep it for her. You see, you gave her some money
yesterday; she got some spirits (it’s an evil we cannot manage to root
out), and to-day she is quite tipsy, even violent.”

“Can this be true?”

“Oh, yes, it is. I have even been obliged to have recourse to severe
measures, and to put her into a separate cell. She is a quiet woman in
an ordinary way. But please do not give her any money. These people are
so--” What had happened the day before came vividly back to Nekhludoff’s
mind, and again he was seized with fear.

“And Doukhova, a political prisoner; might I see her?”

“Yes, if you like,” said the inspector. He embraced the little girl,
who was still looking at Nekhludoff, got up, and, tenderly motioning
her aside, went into the ante-room. Hardly had he got into the overcoat
which the maid helped him to put on, and before he had reached the door,
the distinct sounds of Clementi’s roulades again began.

“She entered the Conservatoire, but there is such disorder there. She
has a great gift,” said the inspector, as they went down the stairs.
“She means to play at concerts.”

The inspector and Nekhludoff arrived at the prison. The gates were
instantly opened as they appeared. The jailers, with their fingers
lifted to their caps, followed the inspector with their eyes. Four
men, with their heads half shaved, who were carrying tubs filled with
something, cringed when they saw the inspector. One of them frowned
angrily, his black eyes glaring.

“Of course a talent like that must be developed; it would not do to bury
it, but in a small lodging, you know, it is rather hard.” The inspector
went on with the conversation, taking no notice of the prisoners.

“Who is it you want to see?”

“Doukhova.”

“Oh, she’s in the tower. You’ll have to wait a little,” he said.

“Might I not meanwhile see the prisoners Menshoff, mother and son, who
are accused of incendiarism?”

“Oh, yes. Cell No. 21. Yes, they can be sent for.”

“But might I not see Menshoff in his cell?”

“Oh, you’ll find the waiting-room more pleasant.”

“No. I should prefer the cell. It is more interesting.”

“Well, you have found something to be interested in!”

Here the assistant, a smartly-dressed officer, entered the side door.

“Here, see the Prince into Menshoff’s cell, No. 21,” said the inspector
to his assistant, “and then take him to the office. And I’ll go and
call--What’s her name? Vera Doukhova.”

The inspector’s assistant was young, with dyed moustaches, and diffusing
the smell of eau-de-cologne. “This way, please,” he said to Nekhludoff,
with a pleasant smile. “Our establishment interests you?”

“Yes, it does interest me; and, besides, I look upon it as a duty to
help a man who I heard was confined here, though innocent.”

The assistant shrugged his shoulders.

“Yes, that may happen,” he said quietly, politely stepping aside to let
the visitor enter, the stinking corridor first. “But it also happens
that they lie. Here we are.”

The doors of the cells were open, and some of the prisoners were in the
corridor. The assistant nodded slightly to the jailers, and cast a side
glance at the prisoners, who, keeping close to the wall, crept back to
their cells, or stood like soldiers, with their arms at their sides,
following the official with their eyes. After passing through one
corridor, the assistant showed Nekhludoff into another to the left,
separated from the first by an iron door. This corridor was darker, and
smelt even worse than the first. The corridor had doors on both sides,
with little holes in them about an inch in diameter. There was only an
old jailer, with an unpleasant face, in this corridor.

“Where is Menshoff?” asked the inspector’s assistant.

“The eighth cell to the left.”

“And these? Are they occupied?” asked Nekhludoff.

“Yes, all but one.”



CHAPTER LII.

NO. 21.

“May I look in?” asked Nekhludoff.

“Oh, certainly,” answered the assistant, smiling, and turned to the
jailer with some question.

Nekhludoff looked into one of the little holes, and saw a tall young man
pacing up and down the cell. When the man heard some one at the door he
looked up with a frown, but continued walking up and down.

Nekhludoff looked into another hole. His eye met another large eye
looking out of the hole at him, and he quickly stepped aside. In the
third cell he saw a very small man asleep on the bed, covered, head and
all, with his prison cloak. In the fourth a broad-faced man was sitting
with his elbows on his knees and his head low down. At the sound of
footsteps this man raised his head and looked up. His face, especially
his large eyes, bore the expression of hopeless dejection. One could see
that it did not even interest him to know who was looking into his
cell. Whoever it might be, he evidently hoped for nothing good from him.
Nekhludoff was seized with dread, and went to Menshoff’s cell, No. 21,
without stopping to look through any more holes. The jailer unlocked the
door and opened it. A young man, with long neck, well-developed muscles,
a small head, and kind, round eyes, stood by the bed, hastily putting
on his cloak, and looking at the newcomers with a frightened face.
Nekhludoff was specially struck by the kind, round eyes that were
throwing frightened and inquiring glances in turns at him, at the
jailer, and at the assistant, and back again.

“Here’s a gentleman wants to inquire into your affair.”

“Thank you kindly.”

“Yes, I was told about you,” Nekhludoff said, going through the cell up
to the dirty grated window, “and I should like to hear all about it from
yourself.”

Menshoff also came up to the window, and at once started telling his
story, at first looking shyly at the inspector’s assistant, but growing
gradually bolder. When the assistant left the cell and went into the
corridor to give some order the man grew quite bold. The story was told
with the accent and in the manner common to a most ordinary good peasant
lad. To hear it told by a prisoner dressed in this degrading clothing,
and inside a prison, seemed very strange to Nekhludoff. Nekhludoff
listened, and at the same time kept looking around him--at the low
bedstead with its straw mattress, the window and the dirty, damp wall,
and the piteous face and form of this unfortunate, disfigured peasant
in his prison cloak and shoes, and he felt sadder and sadder, and would
have liked not to believe what this good-natured fellow was saying. It
seemed too dreadful to think that men could do such a thing as to take
a man, dress him in convict clothes, and put him in this horrible place
without any reason only because he himself had been injured. And yet the
thought that this seemingly true story, told with such a good-natured
expression on the face, might be an invention and a lie was still
more dreadful. This was the story: The village public-house keeper had
enticed the young fellow’s wife. He tried to get justice by all sorts
of means. But everywhere the public-house keeper managed to bribe the
officials, and was acquitted. Once, he took his wife back by force, but
she ran away next day. Then he came to demand her back, but, though he
saw her when he came in, the public-house keeper told him she was not
there, and ordered him to go away. He would not go, so the public-house
keeper and his servant beat him so that they drew blood. The next day
a fire broke out in the public-house, and the young man and his mother
were accused of having set the house on fire. He had not set it on fire,
but was visiting a friend at the time.

“And it is true that you did not set it on fire?”

“It never entered my head to do it, sir. It must be my enemy that did
it himself. They say he had only just insured it. Then they said it was
mother and I that did it, and that we had threatened him. It is true I
once did go for him, my heart couldn’t stand it any longer.”

“Can this be true?”

“God is my witness it is true. Oh, sir, be so good--” and Nekhludoff had
some difficulty to prevent him from bowing down to the ground. “You see
I am perishing without any reason.” His face quivered and he turned
up the sleeve of his cloak and began to cry, wiping the tears with the
sleeve of his dirty shirt.

“Are you ready?” asked the assistant.

“Yes. Well, cheer up. We will consult a good lawyer, and will do what we
can,” said Nekhludoff, and went out. Menshoff stood close to the door,
so that the jailer knocked him in shutting it, and while the jailer was
locking it he remained looking out through the little hole.



CHAPTER LIII.

VICTIMS OF GOVERNMENT.

Passing back along the broad corridor (it was dinner time, and the cell
doors were open), among the men dressed in their light yellow cloaks,
short, wide trousers, and prison shoes, who were looking eagerly at him,
Nekhludoff felt a strange mixture of sympathy for them, and horror and
perplexity at the conduct of those who put and kept them here, and,
besides, he felt, he knew not why, ashamed of himself calmly examining
it all.

In one of the corridors, some one ran, clattering with his shoes, in
at the door of a cell. Several men came out from here, and stood in
Nekhludoff’s way, bowing to him.

“Please, your honour (we don’t know what to call you), get our affair
settled somehow.”

“I am not an official. I know nothing about it.”

“Well, anyhow, you come from outside; tell somebody--one of the
authorities, if need be,” said an indignant voice. “Show some pity
on us, as a human being. Here we are suffering the second month for
nothing.”

“What do you mean? Why?” said Nekhludoff.

“Why? We ourselves don’t know why, but are sitting here the second
month.”

“Yes, it’s quite true, and it is owing to an accident,” said the
inspector. “These people were taken up because they had no passports,
and ought to have been sent back to their native government; but the
prison there is burnt, and the local authorities have written, asking us
not to send them on. So we have sent all the other passportless people
to their different governments, but are keeping these.”

“What! For no other reason than that?” Nekhludoff exclaimed, stopping at
the door.

A crowd of about forty men, all dressed in prison clothes, surrounded
him and the assistant, and several began talking at once. The assistant
stopped them.

“Let some one of you speak.”

A tall, good-looking peasant, a stone-mason, of about fifty, stepped out
from the rest. He told Nekhludoff that all of them had been ordered back
to their homes and were now being kept in prison because they had no
passports, yet they had passports which were only a fortnight overdue.
The same thing had happened every year; they had many times omitted to
renew their passports till they were overdue, and nobody had ever said
anything; but this year they had been taken up and were being kept in
prison the second month, as if they were criminals.

“We are all masons, and belong to the same artel. We are told that the
prison in our government is burnt, but this is not our fault. Do help
us.”

Nekhludoff listened, but hardly understood what the good-looking old
man was saying, because his attention was riveted to a large, dark-grey,
many-legged louse that was creeping along the good-looking man’s cheek.

“How’s that? Is it possible for such a reason?” Nekhludoff said, turning
to the assistant.

“Yes, they should have been sent off and taken back to their homes,”
 calmly said the assistant, “but they seem to have been forgotten or
something.”

Before the assistant had finished, a small, nervous man, also in prison
dress, came out of the crowd, and, strangely contorting his mouth, began
to say that they were being ill-used for nothing.

“Worse than dogs,” he began.

“Now, now; not too much of this. Hold your tongue, or you know--”

“What do I know?” screamed the little man, desperately. “What is our
crime?”

“Silence!” shouted the assistant, and the little man was silent.

“But what is the meaning of all this?” Nekhludoff thought to himself
as he came out of the cell, while a hundred eyes were fixed upon him
through the openings of the cell doors and from the prisoners that met
him, making him feel as if he were running the gauntlet.

“Is it really possible that perfectly innocent people are kept here?”
 Nekhludoff uttered when they left the corridor.

“What would you have us do? They lie so. To hear them talk they are all
of them innocent,” said the inspector’s assistant. “But it does happen
that some are really imprisoned for nothing.”

“Well, these have done nothing.”

“Yes, we must admit it. Still, the people are fearfully spoilt. There
are such types--desperate fellows, with whom one has to look sharp.
To-day two of that sort had to be punished.”

“Punished? How?”

“Flogged with a birch-rod, by order.”

“But corporal punishment is abolished.”

“Not for such as are deprived of their rights. They are still liable to
it.”

Nekhludoff thought of what he had seen the day before while waiting
in the hall, and now understood that the punishment was then being
inflicted, and the mixed feeling of curiosity, depression, perplexity,
and moral nausea, that grew into physical sickness, took hold of him
more strongly than ever before.

Without listening to the inspector’s assistant, or looking round, he
hurriedly left the corridor, and went to the office. The inspector was
in the office, occupied with other business, and had forgotten to send
for Doukhova. He only remembered his promise to have her called when
Nekhludoff entered the office.

“Sit down, please. I’ll send for her at once,” said the inspector.



CHAPTER LIV.

PRISONERS AND FRIENDS.

The office consisted of two rooms. The first room, with a large,
dilapidated stove and two dirty windows, had a black measure for
measuring the prisoners in one corner, and in another corner hung a
large image of Christ, as is usual in places where they torture people.
In this room stood several jailers. In the next room sat about twenty
persons, men and women in groups and in pairs, talking in low voices.
There was a writing table by the window.

The inspector sat down by the table, and offered Nekhludoff a chair
beside him. Nekhludoff sat down, and looked at the people in the room.

The first who drew his attention was a young man with a pleasant face,
dressed in a short jacket, standing in front of a middle-aged woman
with dark eyebrows, and he was eagerly telling her something and
gesticulating with his hands. Beside them sat an old man, with blue
spectacles, holding the hand of a young woman in prisoner’s clothes, who
was telling him something. A schoolboy, with a fixed, frightened look on
his face, was gazing at the old man. In one corner sat a pair of
lovers. She was quite young and pretty, and had short, fair hair, looked
energetic, and was elegantly dressed; he had fine features, wavy hair,
and wore a rubber jacket. They sat in their corner and seemed stupefied
with love. Nearest to the table sat a grey-haired woman dressed in
black, evidently the mother of a young, consumptive-looking fellow, in
the same kind of jacket. Her head lay on his shoulder. She was trying
to say something, but the tears prevented her from speaking; she began
several times, but had to stop. The young man held a paper in his hand,
and, apparently not knowing what to do, kept folding and pressing it
with an angry look on his face.

Beside them was a short-haired, stout, rosy girl, with very prominent
eyes, dressed in a grey dress and a cape; she sat beside the weeping
mother, tenderly stroking her. Everything about this girl was beautiful;
her large, white hands, her short, wavy hair, her firm nose and lips,
but the chief charm of her face lay in her kind, truthful hazel eyes.
The beautiful eyes turned away from the mother for a moment when
Nekhludoff came in, and met his look. But she turned back at once and
said something to the mother.

Not far from the lovers a dark, dishevelled man, with a gloomy face, sat
angrily talking to a beardless visitor, who looked as if he belonged to
the Scoptsy sect.

At the very door stood a young man in a rubber jacket, who seemed more
concerned about the impression he produced on the onlooker than about
what he was saying. Nekhludoff, sitting by the inspector’s side, looked
round with strained curiosity. A little boy with closely-cropped hair
came up to him and addressed him in a thin little voice.

“And whom are you waiting for?”

Nekhludoff was surprised at the question, but looking at the boy, and
seeing the serious little face with its bright, attentive eyes fixed
on him, answered him seriously that he was waiting for a woman of his
acquaintance.

“Is she, then, your sister?” the boy asked.

“No, not my sister,” Nekhludoff answered in surprise.

“And with whom are you here?” he inquired of the boy.

“I? With mamma; she is a political one,” he replied.

“Mary Pavlovna, take Kolia!” said the inspector, evidently considering
Nekhludoff’s conversation with the boy illegal.

Mary Pavlovna, the beautiful girl who had attracted Nekhludoff’s
attention, rose tall and erect, and with firm, almost manly steps,
approached Nekhludoff and the boy.

“What is he asking you? Who you are?” she inquired with a slight smile,
and looking straight into his face with a trustful look in her kind,
prominent eyes, and as simply as if there could be no doubt whatever
that she was and must be on sisterly terms with everybody.

“He likes to know everything,” she said, looking at the boy with so
sweet and kind a smile that both the boy and Nekhludoff were obliged to
smile back.

“He was asking me whom I have come to see.”

“Mary Pavlovna, it is against the rules to speak to strangers. You know
it is,” said the inspector.

“All right, all right,” she said, and went back to the consumptive lad’s
mother, holding Kolia’s little hand in her large, white one, while he
continued gazing up into her face.

“Whose is this little boy?” Nekhludoff asked of the inspector.

“His mother is a political prisoner, and he was born in prison,”
 said the inspector, in a pleased tone, as if glad to point out how
exceptional his establishment was.

“Is it possible?”

“Yes, and now he is going to Siberia with her.”

“And that young girl?”

“I cannot answer your question,” said the inspector, shrugging his
shoulders. “Besides, here is Doukhova.”



CHAPTER LV.

VERA DOUKHOVA EXPLAINS.

Through a door, at the back of the room, entered, with a wriggling gait,
the thin, yellow Vera Doukhova, with her large, kind eyes.

“Thanks for having come,” she said, pressing Nekhludoff’s hand. “Do you
remember me? Let us sit down.”

“I did not expect to see you like this.”

“Oh, I am very happy. It is so delightful, so delightful, that I desire
nothing better,” said Vera Doukhova, with the usual expression of fright
in the large, kind, round eyes fixed on Nekhludoff, and twisting the
terribly thin, sinewy neck, surrounded by the shabby, crumpled, dirty
collar of her bodice. Nekhludoff asked her how she came to be in prison.

In answer she began relating all about her affairs with great animation.
Her speech was intermingled with a great many long words, such as
propaganda, disorganisation, social groups, sections and sub-sections,
about which she seemed to think everybody knew, but which Nekhludoff had
never heard of.

She told him all the secrets of the Nardovolstvo, [literally, “People’s
Freedom,” a revolutionary movement] evidently convinced that he was
pleased to hear them. Nekhludoff looked at her miserable little neck,
her thin, unkempt hair, and wondered why she had been doing all these
strange things, and why she was now telling all this to him. He pitied
her, but not as he had pitied Menshoff, the peasant, kept for no fault
of his own in the stinking prison. She was pitiable because of the
confusion that filled her mind. It was clear that she considered herself
a heroine, and was ready to give her life for a cause, though she could
hardly have explained what that cause was and in what its success would
lie.

The business that Vera Doukhova wanted to see Nekhludoff about was
the following: A friend of hers, who had not even belonged to their
“sub-group,” as she expressed it, had been arrested with her about five
months before, and imprisoned in the Petropavlovsky fortress because
some prohibited books and papers (which she had been asked to keep) had
been found in her possession. Vera Doukhova felt herself in some measure
to blame for her friend’s arrest, and implored Nekhludoff, who had
connections among influential people, to do all he could in order to set
this friend free.

Besides this, Doukhova asked him to try and get permission for
another friend of hers, Gourkevitch (who was also imprisoned in the
Petropavlovsky fortress), to see his parents, and to procure some
scientific books which he required for his studies. Nekhludoff promised
to do what he could when he went to Petersburg.

As to her own story, this is what she said: Having finished a course
of midwifery, she became connected with a group of adherents to the
Nardovolstvo, and made up her mind to agitate in the revolutionary
movement. At first all went on smoothly. She wrote proclamations
and occupied herself with propaganda work in the factories; then, an
important member having been arrested, their papers were seized and all
concerned were arrested. “I was also arrested, and shall be exiled. But
what does it matter? I feel perfectly happy.” She concluded her story
with a piteous smile.

Nekhludoff made some inquiries concerning the girl with the prominent
eyes. Vera Doukhova told him that this girl was the daughter of a
general, and had been long attached to the revolutionary party, and was
arrested because she had pleaded guilty to having shot a gendarme.
She lived in a house with some conspirators, where they had a secret
printing press. One night, when the police came to search this house,
the occupiers resolved to defend themselves, put out the light, and
began destroying the things that might incriminate them. The police
forced their way in, and one of the conspirators fired, and mortally
wounded a gendarme. When an inquiry was instituted, this girl said that
it was she who had fired, although she had never had a revolver in her
hands, and would not have hurt a fly. And she kept to it, and was now
condemned to penal servitude in Siberia.

“An altruistic, fine character,” said Vera Doukhova, approvingly.

The third business that Vera Doukhova wanted to talk about concerned
Maslova. She knew, as everybody does know in prison, the story of
Maslova’s life and his connection with her, and advised him to take
steps to get her removed into the political prisoner’s ward, or into
the hospital to help to nurse the sick, of which there were very many at
that time, so that extra nurses were needed.

Nekhludoff thanked her for the advice, and said he would try to act upon
it.



CHAPTER LVI.

NEKHLUDOFF AND THE PRISONERS.

Their conversation was interrupted by the inspector, who said that the
time was up, and the prisoners and their friends must part. Nekhludoff
took leave of Vera Doukhova and went to the door, where he stopped to
watch what was going on.

The inspector’s order called forth only heightened animation among the
prisoners in the room, but no one seemed to think of going. Some rose
and continued to talk standing, some went on talking without rising.
A few began crying and taking leave of each other. The mother and
her consumptive son seemed especially pathetic. The young fellow kept
twisting his bit of paper and his face seemed angry, so great were his
efforts not to be infected by his mother’s emotion. The mother, hearing
that it was time to part, put her head on his shoulder and sobbed and
sniffed aloud.

The girl with the prominent eyes--Nekhludoff could not help watching
her--was standing opposite the sobbing mother, and was saying something
to her in a soothing tone. The old man with the blue spectacles stood
holding his daughter’s hand and nodding in answer to what she said. The
young lovers rose, and, holding each other’s hands, looked silently into
one another’s eyes.

“These are the only two who are merry,” said a young man with a short
coat who stood by Nekhludoff’s side, also looking at those who were
about to part, and pointed to the lovers. Feeling Nekhludoff’s and
the young man’s eyes fixed on them, the lovers--the young man with the
rubber coat and the pretty girl--stretched out their arms, and with
their hands clasped in each other’s, danced round and round again.
“To-night they are going to be married here in prison, and she will
follow him to Siberia,” said the young man.

“What is he?”

“A convict, condemned to penal servitude. Let those two at least have a
little joy, or else it is too painful,” the young man added, listening
to the sobs of the consumptive lad’s mother.

“Now, my good people! Please, please do not oblige me to have recourse
to severe measures,” the inspector said, repeating the same words
several times over. “Do, please,” he went on in a weak, hesitating
manner. “It is high time. What do you mean by it? This sort of thing is
quite impossible. I am now asking you for the last time,” he repeated
wearily, now putting out his cigarette and then lighting another.

It was evident that, artful, old, and common as were the devices
enabling men to do evil to others without feeling responsible for it,
the inspector could not but feel conscious that he was one of those who
were guilty of causing the sorrow which manifested itself in this
room. And it was apparent that this troubled him sorely. At length the
prisoners and their visitors began to go--the first out of the inner,
the latter out of the outer door. The man with the rubber jacket passed
out among them, and the consumptive youth and the dishevelled man. Mary
Pavlovna went out with the boy born in prison.

The visitors went out too. The old man with the blue spectacles,
stepping heavily, went out, followed by Nekhludoff.

“Yes, a strange state of things this,” said the talkative young man, as
if continuing an interrupted conversation, as he descended the stairs
side by side with Nekhludoff. “Yet we have reason to be grateful to the
inspector who does not keep strictly to the rules, kind-hearted fellow.
If they can get a talk it does relieve their hearts a bit, after all!”

While talking to the young man, who introduced himself as Medinzeff,
Nekhludoff reached the hall. There the inspector came up to them with
weary step.

“If you wish to see Maslova,” he said, apparently desiring to be polite
to Nekhludoff, “please come to-morrow.”

“Very well,” answered Nekhludoff, and hurried away, experiencing
more than ever that sensation of moral nausea which he always felt on
entering the prison.

The sufferings of the evidently innocent Menshoff seemed terrible, and
not so much his physical suffering as the perplexity, the distrust in
the good and in God which he must feel, seeing the cruelty of the people
who tormented him without any reason.

Terrible were the disgrace and sufferings cast on these hundreds of
guiltless people simply because something was not written on paper as it
should have been. Terrible were the brutalised jailers, whose occupation
is to torment their brothers, and who were certain that they were
fulfilling an important and useful duty; but most terrible of all seemed
this sickly, elderly, kind-hearted inspector, who was obliged to part
mother and son, father and daughter, who were just the same sort of
people as he and his own children.

“What is it all for?” Nekhludoff asked himself, and could not find an
answer.



CHAPTER LVII.

THE VICE-GOVERNOR’S “AT-HOME”.

The next day Nekhludoff went to see the advocate, and spoke to him
about the Menshoffs’ case, begging him to undertake their defence. The
advocate promised to look into the case, and if it turned out to be as
Nekhludoff said he would in all probability undertake the defence free
of charge. Then Nekhludoff told him of the 130 men who were kept in
prison owing to a mistake. “On whom did it depend? Whose fault was it?”

The advocate was silent for a moment, evidently anxious to give a
correct reply.

“Whose fault is it? No one’s,” he said, decidedly. “Ask the Procureur,
he’ll say it is the Governor’s; ask the Governor, he’ll say it is the
Procureur’s fault. No one is in fault.”

“I am just going to see the Vice-Governor. I shall tell him.”

“Oh, that’s quite useless,” said the advocate, with a smile. “He is such
a--he is not a relation or friend of yours?--such a blockhead, if I may
say so, and yet a crafty animal at the same time.”

Nekhludoff remembered what Maslennikoff had said about the advocate, and
did not answer, but took leave and went on to Maslennikoff’s. He had
to ask Maslennikoff two things: about Maslova’s removal to the prison
hospital, and about the 130 passportless men innocently imprisoned.
Though it was very hard to petition a man whom he did not respect, and
by whose orders men were flogged, yet it was the only means of gaining
his end, and he had to go through with it.

As he drove up to Maslennikoff’s house Nekhludoff saw a number of
different carriages by the front door, and remembered that it was
Maslennikoff’s wife’s “at-home” day, to which he had been invited. At
the moment Nekhludoff drove up there was a carriage in front of the
door, and a footman in livery, with a cockade in his hat, was helping
a lady down the doorstep. She was holding up her train, and showing her
thin ankles, black stockings, and slippered feet. Among the carriages
was a closed landau, which he knew to be the Korchagins’.

The grey-haired, red-checked coachman took off his hat and bowed in a
respectful yet friendly manner to Nekhludoff, as to a gentleman he knew
well. Nekhludoff had not had time to inquire for Maslennikoff, when the
latter appeared on the carpeted stairs, accompanying a very important
guest not only to the first landing but to the bottom of the stairs.
This very important visitor, a military man, was speaking in French
about a lottery for the benefit of children’s homes that were to be
founded in the city, and expressed the opinion that this was a good
occupation for the ladies. “It amuses them, and the money comes.”

_“Qu’elles s’amusent et que le bon dieu les benisse. M. Nekhludoff!_ How
d’you do? How is it one never sees you?” he greeted Nekhludoff. “_Allez
presenter vos devoirs a Madame._ And the Korchagins are here et Nadine
Bukshevden. _Toutes les jolies femmes de la ville,_” said the important
guest, slightly raising his uniformed shoulders as he presented them to
his own richly liveried servant to have his military overcoat put on.
“_Au revoir, mon cher._” And he pressed Maslennikoff’s hand.

“Now, come up; I am so glad,” said Maslennikoff, grasping Nekhludoff’s
hand. In spite of his corpulency Maslennikoff hurried quickly up the
stairs. He was in particularly good spirits, owing to the attention paid
him by the important personage. Every such attention gave him the same
sense of delight as is felt by an affectionate dog when its master pats
it, strokes it, or scratches its ears. It wags its tail, cringes,
jumps about, presses its ears down, and madly rushes about in a circle.
Maslennikoff was ready to do the same. He did not notice the serious
expression on Nekhludoff’s face, paid no heed to his words, but pulled
him irresistibly towards the drawing-room, so that it was impossible for
Nekhludoff not to follow. “Business after wards. I shall do whatever
you want,” said Meslennikoff, as he drew Nekhludoff through the dancing
hall. “Announce Prince Nekhludoff,” he said to a footman, without
stopping on his way. The footman started off at a trot and passed them.

“_Vous n’avez qu’ a ordonner._ But you must see my wife. As it is, I got
it for letting you go without seeing her last time.”

By the time they reached the drawing-room the footman had already
announced Nekhludoff, and from between the bonnets and heads that
surrounded it the smiling face of Anna Ignatievna, the Vice-Governor’s
wife, beamed on Nekhludoff. At the other end of the drawing-room several
ladies were seated round the tea-table, and some military men and some
civilians stood near them. The clatter of male and female voices went on
unceasingly.

“Enfin! you seem to have quite forgotten us. How have we offended?”
 With these words, intended to convey an idea of intimacy which had never
existed between herself and Nekhludoff, Anna Ignatievna greeted the
newcomer.

“You are acquainted?--Madam Tilyaevsky, M. Chernoff. Sit down a bit
nearer. Missy _vene donc a notre table on vous apportera votre_ the
. . . And you,” she said, having evidently forgotten his name, to an officer
who was talking to Missy, “do come here. A cup of tea, Prince?”

“I shall never, never agree with you. It’s quite simple; she did not
love,” a woman’s voice was heard saying.

“But she loved tarts.”

“Oh, your eternal silly jokes!” put in, laughingly, another lady
resplendent in silks, gold, and jewels.

“C’est excellent these little biscuits, and so light. I think I’ll take
another.”

“Well, are you moving soon?”

“Yes, this is our last day. That’s why we have come. Yes, it must be
lovely in the country; we are having a delightful spring.”

Missy, with her hat on, in a dark-striped dress of some kind that fitted
her like a skin, was looking very handsome. She blushed when she saw
Nekhludoff.

“And I thought you had left,” she said to him.

“I am on the point of leaving. Business is keeping me in town, and it is
on business I have come here.”

“Won’t you come to see mamma? She would like to see you,” she said, and
knowing that she was saying what was not true, and that he knew it also,
she blushed still more.

“I fear I shall scarcely have time,” Nekhludoff said gloomily, trying
to appear as if he had not noticed her blush. Missy frowned angrily,
shrugged her shoulders, and turned towards an elegant officer, who
grasped the empty cup she was holding, and knocking his sword against
the chairs, manfully carried the cup across to another table.

“You must contribute towards the Home fund.”

“I am not refusing, but only wish to keep my bounty fresh for the
lottery. There I shall let it appear in all its glory.”

“Well, look out for yourself,” said a voice, followed by an evidently
feigned laugh.

Anna Ignatievna was in raptures; her “at-home” had turned out a
brilliant success. “Micky tells me you are busying yourself with prison
work. I can understand you so well,” she said to Nekhludoff. “Micky (she
meant her fat husband, Maslennikoff) may have other defects, but you
know how kind-hearted he is. All these miserable prisoners are his
children. He does not regard them in any other light. _Il est d’une
bonte---_” and she stopped, finding no words to do justice to this bonte
of his, and quickly turned to a shrivelled old woman with bows of lilac
ribbon all over, who came in just then.

Having said as much as was absolutely necessary, and with as little
meaning as conventionality required, Nekhludoff rose and went up to
Meslennikoff. “Can you give me a few minutes’ hearing, please?”

“Oh, yes. Well, what is it?”

“Let us come in here.”

They entered a small Japanese sitting-room, and sat down by the window.



CHAPTER LVIII.

THE VICE-GOVERNOR SUSPICIOUS.

“Well? _Je suis a vous_. Will you smoke? But wait a bit; we must be
careful and not make a mess here,” said Maslennikoff, and brought an
ashpan. “Well?”

“There are two matters I wish to ask you about.”

“Dear me!”

An expression of gloom and dejection came over Maslennikoff’s
countenance, and every trace of the excitement, like that of the dog’s
whom its master has scratched behind the cars, vanished completely. The
sound of voices reached them from the drawing-room. A woman’s voice was
heard, saying, _“Jamais je ne croirais,”_ and a man’s voice from
the other side relating something in which the names of la Comtesse
Voronzoff and Victor Apraksine kept recurring. A hum of voices, mixed
with laughter, came from another side. Maslennikoff tried to listen to
what was going on in the drawing-room and to what Nekhludoff was saying
at the same time.

“I am again come about that same woman,” said Nekhludoff.

“Oh, yes; I know. The one innocently condemned.”

“I would like to ask that she should be appointed to serve in the prison
hospital. I have been told that this could be arranged.”

Maslennikoff compressed his lips and meditated. “That will be scarcely
possible,” he said. “However, I shall see what can be done, and shall
wire you an answer tomorrow.”

“I have been told that there were many sick, and help was needed.”

“All right, all right. I shall let you know in any case.”

“Please do,” said Nekhludoff.

The sound of a general and even a natural laugh came from the
drawing-room.

“That’s all that Victor. He is wonderfully sharp when he is in the right
vein,” said Maslennikoff.

“The next thing I wanted to tell you,” said Nekhludoff, “is that 130
persons are imprisoned only because their passports are overdue. They
have been kept here a month.”

And he related the circumstances of the case.

“How have you come to know of this?” said Maslennikoff, looking uneasy
and dissatisfied.

“I went to see a prisoner, and these men came and surrounded me in the
corridor, and asked . . .”

“What prisoner did you go to see?”

“A peasant who is kept in prison, though innocent. I have put his case
into the hands of a lawyer. But that is not the point.”

“Is it possible that people who have done no wrong are imprisoned only
because their passports are overdue? And . . .”

“That’s the Procureur’s business,” Maslennikoff interrupted, angrily.
“There, now, you see what it is you call a prompt and just form of
trial. It is the business of the Public Prosecutor to visit the prison
and to find out if the prisoners are kept there lawfully. But that set
play cards; that’s all they do.”

“Am I to understand that you can do nothing?” Nekhludoff said,
despondently, remembering that the advocate had foretold that the
Governor would put the blame on the Procureur.

“Oh, yes, I can. I shall see about it at once.”

“So much the worse for her. _C’est un souffre douleur_,” came the voice
of a woman, evidently indifferent to what she was saying, from the
drawing-room.

“So much the better. I shall take it also,” a man’s voice was heard to
say from the other side, followed by the playful laughter of a woman,
who was apparently trying to prevent the man from taking something away
from her.

“No, no; not on any account,” the woman’s voice said.

“All right, then. I shall do all this,” Maslennikoff repeated, and put
out the cigarette he held in his white, turquoise-ringed hand. “And now
let us join the ladies.”

“Wait a moment,” Nekhludoff said, stopping at the door of the
drawing-room. “I was told that some men had received corporal punishment
in the prison yesterday. Is this true?”

Maslennikoff blushed.

“Oh, that’s what you are after? No, mon cher, decidedly it won’t do to
let you in there; you want to get at everything. Come, come; Anna is
calling us,” he said, catching Nekhludoff by the arm, and again becoming
as excited as after the attention paid him by the important person, only
now his excitement was not joyful, but anxious.

Nekhludoff pulled his arm away, and without taking leave of any one
and without saying a word, he passed through the drawing-room with a
dejected look, went down into the hall, past the footman, who sprang
towards him, and out at the street door.

“What is the matter with him? What have you done to him?” asked Anna of
her husband.

“This is _a la Francaise_,” remarked some one.

“_A la Francaise_, indeed--it is _a la Zoulou_.”

“Oh, but he’s always been like that.”

Some one rose, some one came in, and the clatter went on its course.
The company used this episode with Nekhludoff as a convenient topic of
conversation for the rest of the “at-home.”

On the day following his visit to Maslennikoff, Nekhludoff received a
letter from him, written in a fine, firm hand, on thick, glazed paper,
with a coat-of-arms, and sealed with sealing-wax. Maslennikoff said
that he had written to the doctor concerning Maslova’s removal to the
hospital, and hoped Nekhludoff’s wish would receive attention. The
letter was signed, “Your affectionate elder comrade,” and the signature
ended with a large, firm, and artistic flourish. “Fool!” Nekhludoff
could not refrain from saying, especially because in the word
“comrade” he felt Maslennikoff’s condescension towards him, i.e., while
Maslennikoff was filling this position, morally most dirty and shameful,
he still thought himself a very important man, and wished, if not
exactly to flatter Nekhludoff, at least to show that he was not too
proud to call him comrade.



CHAPTER LIX.

NEKHLUDOFF’S THIRD INTERVIEW WITH MASLOVA IN PRISON.

One of the most widespread superstitions is that every man has his own
special, definite qualities; that a man is kind, cruel, wise, stupid,
energetic, apathetic, etc. Men are not like that. We may say of a man
that he is more often kind than cruel, oftener wise than stupid, oftener
energetic than apathetic, or the reverse; but it would be false to say
of one man that he is kind and wise, of another that he is wicked and
foolish. And yet we always classify mankind in this way. And this is
untrue. Men are like rivers: the water is the same in each, and alike in
all; but every river is narrow here, is more rapid there, here slower,
there broader, now clear, now cold, now dull, now warm. It is the same
with men. Every man carries in himself the germs of every human quality,
and sometimes one manifests itself, sometimes another, and the man often
becomes unlike himself, while still remaining the same man, In some
people these changes are very rapid, and Nekhludoff was such a man.
These changes in him were due to physical and to spiritual causes. At
this time he experienced such a change.

That feeling of triumph and joy at the renewal of life which he had
experienced after the trial and after the first interview with Katusha,
vanished completely, and after the last interview fear and revulsion
took the place of that joy. He was determined not to leave her, and not
to change his decision of marrying her, if she wished it; but it seemed
very hard, and made him suffer.

On the day after his visit to Maslennikoff, he again went to the prison
to see her.

The inspector allowed him to speak to her, only not in the advocate’s
room nor in the office, but in the women’s visiting-room. In spite
of his kindness, the inspector was more reserved with Nekhludoff than
hitherto.

An order for greater caution had apparently been sent, as a result of
his conversation with Meslennikoff.

“You may see her,” the inspector said; “but please remember what I
said as regards money. And as to her removal to the hospital, that his
excellency wrote to me about, it can be done; the doctor would agree.
Only she herself does not wish it. She says, ‘Much need have I to carry
out the slops for the scurvy beggars.’ You don’t know what these people
are, Prince,” he added.

Nekhludoff did not reply, but asked to have the interview. The
inspector called a jailer, whom Nekhludoff followed into the women’s
visiting-room, where there was no one but Maslova waiting. She came from
behind the grating, quiet and timid, close up to him, and said, without
looking at him:

“Forgive me, Dmitri Ivanovitch, I spoke hastily the day before
yesterday.”

“It is not for me to forgive you,” Nekhludoff began.

“But all the same, you must leave me,” she interrupted, and in the
terribly squinting eyes with which she looked at him Nekhludoff read the
former strained, angry expression.

“Why should I leave you?”

“So.”

“But why so?”

She again looked up, as it seemed to him, with the same angry look.

“Well, then, thus it is,” she said. “You must leave me. It is true
what I am saying. I cannot. You just give it up altogether.” Her lips
trembled and she was silent for a moment. “It is true. I’d rather hang
myself.”

Nekhludoff felt that in this refusal there was hatred and unforgiving
resentment, but there was also something besides, something good. This
confirmation of the refusal in cold blood at once quenched all the
doubts in Nekhludoff’s bosom, and brought back the serious, triumphant
emotion he had felt in relation to Katusha.

“Katusha, what I have said I will again repeat,” he uttered, very
seriously. “I ask you to marry me. If you do not wish it, and for as
long as you do not wish it, I shall only continue to follow you, and
shall go where you are taken.”

“That is your business. I shall not say anything more,” she answered,
and her lips began to tremble again.

He, too, was silent, feeling unable to speak.

“I shall now go to the country, and then to Petersburg,” he said, when
he was quieter again. “I shall do my utmost to get your--our case, I
mean, reconsidered, and by the help of God the sentence may be revoked.”

“And if it is not revoked, never mind. I have deserved it, if not in
this case, in other ways,” she said, and he saw how difficult it was for
her to keep down her tears.

“Well, have you seen Menshoff?” she suddenly asked, to hide her emotion.
“It’s true they are innocent, isn’t it?”

“Yes, I think so.”

“Such a splendid old woman,” she said.

There was another pause.

“Well, and as to the hospital?” she suddenly said, and looking at him
with her squinting eyes. “If you like, I will go, and I shall not drink
any spirits, either.”

Nekhludoff looked into her eyes. They were smiling.

“Yes, yes, she is quite a different being,” Nekhludoff thought. After
all his former doubts, he now felt something he had never before
experienced--the certainty that love is invincible.

When Maslova returned to her noisome cell after this interview, she took
off her cloak and sat down in her place on the shelf bedstead with her
hands folded on her lap. In the cell were only the consumptive woman,
the Vladimir woman with her baby, Menshoff’s old mother, and the
watchman’s wife. The deacon’s daughter had the day before been declared
mentally diseased and removed to the hospital. The rest of the women
were away, washing clothes. The old woman was asleep, the cell door
stood open, and the watchman’s children were in the corridor outside.
The Vladimir woman, with her baby in her arms, and the watchman’s
wife, with the stocking she was knitting with deft fingers, came up to
Maslova. “Well, have you had a chat?” they asked. Maslova sat silent on
the high bedstead, swinging her legs, which did not reach to the floor.

“What’s the good of snivelling?” said the watchman’s wife. “The chief
thing’s not to go down into the dumps. Eh, Katusha? Now, then!” and she
went on, quickly moving her fingers.

Maslova did not answer.

“And our women have all gone to wash,” said the Vladimir woman. “I
heard them say much has been given in alms to-day. Quite a lot has been
brought.”

“Finashka,” called out the watchman’s wife, “where’s the little imp gone
to?”

She took a knitting needle, stuck it through both the ball and the
stocking, and went out into the corridor.

At this moment the sound of women’s voices was heard from the corridor,
and the inmates of the cell entered, with their prison shoes, but
no stockings on their feet. Each was carrying a roll, some even two.
Theodosia came at once up to Maslova.

“What’s the matter; is anything wrong?” Theodosia asked, looking
lovingly at Maslova with her clear, blue eyes. “This is for our tea,”
 and she put the rolls on a shelf.

“Why, surely he has not changed his mind about marrying?” asked
Korableva.

“No, he has not, but I don’t wish to,” said Maslova, “and so I told
him.”

“More fool you!” muttered Korableva in her deep tones.

“If one’s not to live together, what’s the use of marrying?” said
Theodosia.

“There’s your husband--he’s going with you,” said the watchman’s wife.

“Well, of course, we’re married,” said Theodosia. “But why should he go
through the ceremony if he is not to live with her?”

“Why, indeed! Don’t be a fool! You know if he marries her she’ll roll in
wealth,” said Korableva.

“He says, ‘Wherever they take you, I’ll follow,’” said Maslova. “If he
does, it’s well; if he does not, well also. I am not going to ask him
to. Now he is going to try and arrange the matter in Petersburg. He is
related to all the Ministers there. But, all the same, I have no need of
him,” she continued.

“Of course not,” suddenly agreed Korableva, evidently thinking about
something else as she sat examining her bag. “Well, shall we have a
drop?”

“You have some,” replied Maslova. “I won’t.”

END OF BOOK I.



BOOK II.



CHAPTER I.

PROPERTY IN LAND.

It was possible for Maslova’s case to come before the Senate in a
fortnight, at which time Nekhludoff meant to go to Petersburg, and, if
need be, to appeal to the Emperor (as the advocate who had drawn up the
petition advised) should the appeal be disregarded (and, according to
the advocate, it was best to be prepared for that, since the causes for
appeal were so slight). The party of convicts, among whom was Maslova,
would very likely leave in the beginning of June. In order to be able to
follow her to Siberia, as Nekhludoff was firmly resolved to do, he was
now obliged to visit his estates, and settle matters there. Nekhludoff
first went to the nearest, Kousminski, a large estate that lay in the
black earth district, and from which he derived the greatest part of his
income.

He had lived on that estate in his childhood and youth, and had been
there twice since, and once, at his mother’s request, he had taken a
German steward there, and had with him verified the accounts. The state
of things there and the peasants’ relations to the management, i.e.,
the landlord, had therefore been long known to him. The relations of the
peasants to the administration were those of utter dependence on that
management. Nekhludoff knew all this when still a university student,
he had confessed and preached Henry Georgeism, and, on the basis of that
teaching, had given the land inherited from his father to the peasants.
It is true that after entering the army, when he got into the habit of
spending 20,000 roubles a year, those former occupations ceased to be
regarded as a duty, and were forgotten, and he not only left off asking
himself where the money his mother allowed him came from, but even
avoided thinking about it. But his mother’s death, the coming into the
property, and the necessity of managing it, again raised the question
as to what his position in reference to private property in land was. A
month before Nekhludoff would have answered that he had not the strength
to alter the existing order of things; that it was not he who was
administering the estate; and would one way or another have eased his
conscience, continuing to live far from his estates, and having the
money sent him. But now he decided that he could not leave things to go
on as they were, but would have to alter them in a way unprofitable
to himself, even though he had all these complicated and difficult
relations with the prison world which made money necessary, as well as a
probable journey to Siberia before him. Therefore he decided not to farm
the land, but to let it to the peasants at a low rent, to enable them
to cultivate it without depending on a landlord. More than once, when
comparing the position of a landowner with that of an owner of serfs,
Nekhludoff had compared the renting of land to the peasants instead
of cultivating it with hired labour, to the old system by which serf
proprietors used to exact a money payment from their serfs in place of
labour. It was not a solution of the problem, and yet a step towards the
solution; it was a movement towards a less rude form of slavery. And it
was in this way he meant to act.

Nekhludoff reached Kousminski about noon. Trying to simplify his life
in every way, he did not telegraph, but hired a cart and pair at the
station. The driver was a young fellow in a nankeen coat, with a belt
below his long waist. He was glad to talk to the gentleman, especially
because while they were talking his broken-winded white horse and the
emaciated spavined one could go at a foot-pace, which they always liked
to do.

The driver spoke about the steward at Kousminski without knowing that he
was driving “the master.” Nekhludoff had purposely not told him who he
was.

“That ostentatious German,” said the driver (who had been to town and
read novels) as he sat sideways on the box, passing his hand from
the top to the bottom of his long whip, and trying to show off his
accomplishments--“that ostentatious German has procured three light
bays, and when he drives out with his lady---oh, my! At Christmas he had
a Christmas-tree in the big house. I drove some of the visitors there.
It had ‘lectric lights; you could not see the like of it in the whole
of the government. What’s it to him, he has cribbed a heap of money. I
heard say he has bought an estate.”

Nekhludoff had imagined that he was quite indifferent to the way the
steward managed his estate, and what advantages the steward derived from
it. The words of the long-waisted driver, however, were not pleasant to
hear.

A dark cloud now and then covered the sun; the larks were soaring above
the fields of winter corn; the forests were already covered with fresh
young green; the meadows speckled with grazing cattle and horses. The
fields were being ploughed, and Nekhludoff enjoyed the lovely day. But
every now and then he had an unpleasant feeling, and, when he asked
himself what it was caused by, he remembered what the driver had told
him about the way the German was managing Kousminski. When he got to his
estate and set to work this unpleasant feeling vanished.

Looking over the books in the office, and a talk with the foreman, who
naively pointed out the advantages to be derived from the facts that the
peasants had very little land of their own and that it lay in the midst
of the landlord’s fields, made Nekhludoff more than ever determined to
leave off farming and to let his land to the peasants.

From the office books and his talk with the foreman, Nekhludoff found
that two-thirds of the best of the cultivated land was still being
tilled with improved machinery by labourers receiving fixed wages, while
the other third was tilled by the peasants at the rate of five roubles
per desiatin [about two and three-quarter acres]. So that the peasants
had to plough each desiatin three times, harrow it three times, sow
and mow the corn, make it into sheaves, and deliver it on the threshing
ground for five roubles, while the same amount of work done by wage
labour came to at least 10 roubles. Everything the peasants got from the
office they paid for in labour at a very high price. They paid in labour
for the use of the meadows, for wood, for potato-stalks, and were nearly
all of them in debt to the office. Thus, for the land that lay beyond
the cultivated fields, which the peasants hired, four times the price
that its value would bring in if invested at five per cent was taken
from the peasants.

Nekhludoff had known all this before, but he now saw it in a new light,
and wondered how he and others in his position could help seeing how
abnormal such conditions are. The steward’s arguments that if the land
were let to the peasants the agricultural implements would fetch next to
nothing, as it would be impossible to get even a quarter of their value
for them, and that the peasants would spoil the land, and how great a
loser Nekhludoff would be, only strengthened Nekhludoff in the opinion
that he was doing a good action in letting the land to the peasants
and thus depriving himself of a large part of his income. He decided to
settle this business now, at once, while he was there. The reaping and
selling of the corn he left for the steward to manage in due season, and
also the selling of the agricultural implements and useless buildings.
But he asked his steward to call the peasants of the three neighbouring
villages that lay in the midst of his estate (Kousminski) to a meeting,
at which he would tell them of his intentions and arrange about the
price at which they were to rent the land.

With the pleasant sense of the firmness he had shown in the face of the
steward’s arguments, and his readiness to make a sacrifice, Nekhludoff
left the office, thinking over the business before him, and strolled
round the house, through the neglected flower-garden--this year the
flowers were planted in front of the steward’s house--over the tennis
ground, now overgrown with dandelions, and along the lime-tree walk,
where he used to smoke his cigar, and where he had flirted with the
pretty Kirimova, his mother’s visitor. Having briefly prepared in his
mind the speech he was going to make to the peasants, he again went in
to the steward, and, after tea, having once more arranged his thoughts,
he went into the room prepared for him in the big house, which used to
be a spare bedroom.

In this clean little room, with pictures of Venice on the walls, and a
mirror between the two windows, there stood a clean bed with a spring
mattress, and by the side of it a small table, with a decanter of water,
matches, and an extinguisher. On a table by the looking-glass lay his
open portmanteau, with his dressing-case and some books in it; a Russian
book, The Investigation of the Laws of Criminality, and a German and
an English book on the same subject, which he meant to read while
travelling in the country. But it was too late to begin to-day, and he
began preparing to go to bed.

An old-fashioned inlaid mahogany arm-chair stood in the corner of
the room, and this chair, which Nekhludoff remembered standing in his
mother’s bedroom, suddenly raised a perfectly unexpected sensation in
his soul. He was suddenly filled with regret at the thought of the house
that would tumble to ruin, and the garden that would run wild, and the
forest that would be cut down, and all these farmyards, stables, sheds,
machines, horses, cows which he knew had cost so much effort, though not
to himself, to acquire and to keep. It had seemed easy to give up all
this, but now it was hard, not only to give this, but even to let the
land and lose half his income. And at once a consideration, which proved
that it was unreasonable to let the land to the peasants, and thus to
destroy his property, came to his service. “I must not hold property in
land. If I possess no property in land, I cannot keep up the house and
farm. And, besides, I am going to Siberia, and shall not need either
the house or the estate,” said one voice. “All this is so,” said another
voice, “but you are not going to spend all your life in Siberia. You may
marry, and have children, and must hand the estate on to them in as good
a condition as you received it. There is a duty to the land, too.
To give up, to destroy everything is very easy; to acquire it very
difficult. Above all, you must consider your future life, and what
you will do with yourself, and you must dispose of your property
accordingly. And are you really firm in your resolve? And then, are you
really acting according to your conscience, or are you acting in order
to be admired of men?” Nekhludoff asked himself all this, and had to
acknowledge that he was influenced by the thought of what people would
say about him. And the more he thought about it the more questions
arose, and the more unsolvable they seemed.

In hopes of ridding himself of these thoughts by falling asleep, and
solving them in the morning when his head would be fresh, he lay down on
his clean bed. But it was long before he could sleep. Together with the
fresh air and the moonlight, the croaking of the frogs entered the room,
mingling with the trills of a couple of nightingales in the park and
one close to the window in a bush of lilacs in bloom. Listening to
the nightingales and the frogs, Nekhludoff remembered the inspector’s
daughter, and her music, and the inspector; that reminded him of
Maslova, and how her lips trembled, like the croaking of the frogs, when
she said, “You must just leave it.” Then the German steward began going
down to the frogs, and had to be held back, but he not only went down
but turned into Maslova, who began reproaching Nekhludoff, saying, “You
are a prince, and I am a convict.” “No, I must not give in,” thought
Nekhludoff, waking up, and again asking himself, “Is what I am doing
right? I do not know, and no matter, no matter, I must only fall asleep
now.” And he began himself to descend where he had seen the inspector
and Maslova climbing down to, and there it all ended.



CHAPTER II.

EFFORTS AT LAND RESTORATION.

The next day Nekhludoff awoke at nine o’clock. The young office clerk
who attended on “the master” brought him his boots, shining as they had
never shone before, and some cold, beautifully clear spring water, and
informed him that the peasants were already assembling.

Nekhludoff jumped out of bed, and collected his thoughts. Not a trace
of yesterday’s regret at giving up and thus destroying his property
remained now. He remembered this feeling of regret with surprise; he was
now looking forward with joy to the task before him, and could not help
being proud of it. He could see from the window the old tennis ground,
overgrown with dandelions, on which the peasants were beginning to
assemble. The frogs had not croaked in vain the night before; the day
was dull. There was no wind; a soft warm rain had begun falling in the
morning, and hung in drops on leaves, twigs, and grass. Besides the
smell of the fresh vegetation, the smell of damp earth, asking for more
rain, entered in at the window. While dressing, Nekhludoff several times
looked out at the peasants gathered on the tennis ground. One by one
they came, took off their hats or caps to one another, and took their
places in a circle, leaning on their sticks. The steward, a stout,
muscular, strong young man, dressed in a short pea-jacket, with a
green stand-up collar, and enormous buttons, came to say that all had
assembled, but that they might wait until Nekhludoff had finished his
breakfast--tea and coffee, whichever he pleased; both were ready.

“No, I think I had better go and see them at once,” said Nekhludoff,
with an unexpected feeling of shyness and shame at the thought of the
conversation he was going to have with the peasants. He was going to
fulfil a wish of the peasants, the fulfilment of which they did not
even dare to hope for--to let the land to them at a low price, i.e.,
to confer a great boon; and yet he felt ashamed of something. When
Nekhludoff came up to the peasants, and the fair, the curly, the bald,
the grey heads were bared before him, he felt so confused that he
could say nothing. The rain continued to come down in small drops,
that remained on the hair, the beards, and the fluff of the men’s rough
coats. The peasants looked at “the master,” waiting for him to speak,
and he was so abashed that he could not speak. This confused silence
was broken by the sedate, self-assured German steward, who considered
himself a good judge of the Russian peasant, and who spoke Russian
remarkably well. This strong, over-fed man, and Nekhludoff himself,
presented a striking contrast to the peasants, with their thin, wrinkled
faces and the shoulder blades protruding beneath their coarse coats.

“Here’s the Prince wanting to do you a favor, and to let the land to
you; only you are not worthy of it,” said the steward.

“How are we not worthy of it, Vasili Karlovitch? Don’t we work for you?
We were well satisfied with the deceased lady--God have mercy on her
soul--and the young Prince will not desert us now. Our thanks to him,”
 said a redhaired, talkative peasant.

“Yes, that’s why I have called you together. I should like to let you
have all the land, if you wish it.”

The peasants said nothing, as if they did not understand or did not
believe it.

“Let’s see. Let us have the land? What do you mean?” asked a middle-aged
man.

“To let it to you, that you might have the use of it, at a low rent.”

“A very agreeable thing,” said an old man.

“If only the pay is such as we can afford,” said another.

“There’s no reason why we should not rent the land.”

“We are accustomed to live by tilling the ground.”

“And it’s quieter for you, too, that way. You’ll have to do nothing
but receive the rent. Only think of all the sin and worry now!” several
voices were heard saying.

“The sin is all on your side,” the German remarked. “If only you did
your work, and were orderly.”

“That’s impossible for the likes of us,” said a sharp-nosed old man.
“You say, ‘Why do you let the horse get into the corn?’ just as if I
let it in. Why, I was swinging my scythe, or something of the kind,
the livelong day, till the day seemed as long as a year, and so I fell
asleep while watching the herd of horses at night, and it got into your
oats, and now you’re skinning me.”

“And you should keep order.”

“It’s easy for you to talk about order, but it’s more than our strength
will bear,” answered a tall, dark, hairy middleaged man.

“Didn’t I tell you to put up a fence?”

“You give us the wood to make it of,” said a short, plain-looking
peasant. “I was going to put up a fence last year, and you put me to
feed vermin in prison for three months. That was the end of that fence.”

“What is it he is saying?” asked Nekhludoff, turning to the steward.

“Der ersto Dieb im Dorfe,” [The greatest thief in the village] answered
the steward in German. “He is caught stealing wood from the forest every
year.” Then turning to the peasant, he added, “You must learn to respect
other people’s property.”

“Why, don’t we respect you?” said an old man. “We are obliged to respect
you. Why, you could twist us into a rope; we are in your hands.”

“Eh, my friend, it’s impossible to do you. It’s you who are ever ready
to do us,” said the steward.

“Do you, indeed. Didn’t you smash my jaw for me, and I got nothing for
it? No good going to law with the rich, it seems.”

“You should keep to the law.”

A tournament of words was apparently going on without those who took
part in it knowing exactly what it was all about; but it was noticeable
that there was bitterness on one side, restricted by fear, and on the
other a consciousness of importance and power. It was very trying to
Nekhludoff to listen to all this, so he returned to the question of
arranging the amount and the terms of the rent.

“Well, then, how about the land? Do you wish to take it, and what price
will you pay if I let you have the whole of it?”

“The property is yours: it is for you to fix the price.”

Nekhludoff named the price. Though it was far below that paid in the
neighbourhood, the peasants declared it too high, and began bargaining,
as is customary among them. Nekhludoff thought his offer would be
accepted with pleasure, but no signs of pleasure were visible.

One thing only showed Nekhludoff that his offer was a profitable one
to the peasants. The question as to who would rent the land, the whole
commune or a special society, was put, and a violent dispute arose among
those peasants who were in favour of excluding the weak and those not
likely to pay the rent regularly, and the peasants who would have to be
excluded on that score. At last, thanks to the steward, the amount and
the terms of the rent were fixed, and the peasants went down the hill
towards their villages, talking noisily, while Nekhludoff and the
steward went into the office to make up the agreement. Everything was
settled in the way Nekhludoff wished and expected it to be. The peasants
had their land 30 per cent. cheaper than they could have got it anywhere
in the district, the revenue from the land was diminished by half, but
was more than sufficient for Nekhludoff, especially as there would be
money coming in for a forest he sold, as well as for the agricultural
implements, which would be sold, too. Everything seemed excellently
arranged, yet he felt ashamed of something. He could see that the
peasants, though they spoke words of thanks, were not satisfied, and
had expected something greater. So it turned out that he had deprived
himself of a great deal, and yet not done what the peasants had
expected.

The next day the agreement was signed, and accompanied by several old
peasants, who had been chosen as deputies, Nekhludoff went out, got
into the steward’s elegant equipage (as the driver from the station had
called it), said “good-bye” to the peasants, who stood shaking their
heads in a dissatisfied and disappointed manner, and drove off to the
station. Nekhludoff was dissatisfied with himself without knowing why,
but all the time he felt sad and ashamed of something.



CHAPTER III.

OLD ASSOCIATIONS.

From Kousminski Nekhludoff went to the estate he had inherited from his
aunts, the same where he first met Katusha. He meant to arrange about
the land there in the way he had done in Kousminski. Besides this, he
wished to find out all he could about Katusha and her baby, and when and
how it had died. He got to Panovo early one morning, and the first thing
that struck him when he drove up was the look of decay and dilapidation
that all the buildings bore, especially the house itself. The iron
roofs, which had once been painted green, looked red with rust, and
a few sheets of iron were bent back, probably by a storm. Some of the
planks which covered the house from outside were torn away in several
places; these were easier to get by breaking the rusty nails that held
them. Both porches, but especially the side porch he remembered so well,
were rotten and broken; only the banister remained. Some of the windows
were boarded up, and the building in which the foreman lived, the
kitchen, the stables--all were grey and decaying. Only the garden had
not decayed, but had grown, and was in full bloom; from over the fence
the cherry, apple, and plum trees looked like white clouds. The lilac
bushes that formed the hedge were in full bloom, as they had been
when, 14 years ago, Nekhludoff had played gorelki with the 15-year-old
Katusha, and had fallen and got his hand stung by the nettles behind one
of those lilac bushes. The larch that his aunt Sophia had planted near
the house, which then was only a short stick, had grown into a tree,
the trunk of which would have made a beam, and its branches were covered
with soft yellow green needles as with down. The river, now within its
banks, rushed noisily over the mill dam. The meadow the other side of
the river was dotted over by the peasants’ mixed herds. The foreman,
a student, who had left the seminary without finishing the course, met
Nekhludoff in the yard, with a smile on his face, and, still smiling,
asked him to come into the office, and, as if promising something
exceptionally good by this smile, he went behind a partition. For a
moment some whispering was heard behind the partition. The isvostchik
who had driven Nekhludoff from the station, drove away after receiving
a tip, and all was silent. Then a barefooted girl passed the window;
she had on an embroidered peasant blouse, and long earrings in her ears;
then a man walked past, clattering with his nailed boots on the trodden
path.

Nekhludoff sat down by the little casement, and looked out into the
garden and listened. A soft, fresh spring breeze, smelling of newly-dug
earth, streamed in through the window, playing with the hair on his damp
forehead and the papers that lay on the window-sill, which was all cut
about with a knife.

“Tra-pa-trop, tra-pa-trop,” comes a sound from the river, as the women
who were washing clothes there slapped them in regular measure with
their wooden bats, and the sound spread over the glittering surface of
the mill pond while the rhythmical sound of the falling water came from
the mill, and a frightened fly suddenly flew loudly buzzing past his
ear.

And all at once Nekhludoff remembered how, long ago, when he was young
and innocent, he had heard the women’s wooden bats slapping the wet
clothes above the rhythmical sound from the mill, and in the same way
the spring breeze had blown about the hair on his wet forehead and the
papers on the window-sill, which was all cut about with a knife, and
just in the same way a fly had buzzed loudly past his car.

It was not exactly that he remembered himself as a lad of 15, but he
seemed to feel himself the same as he was then, with the same freshness
and purity, and full of the same grand possibilities for the future, and
at the same time, as it happens in a dream, he knew that all this could
be no more, and he felt terribly sad. “At what time would you like
something to eat?” asked the foreman, with a smile.

“When you like; I am not hungry. I shall go for a walk through the
village.”

“Would you not like to come into the house? Everything is in order
there. Have the goodness to look in. If the outside---”

“Not now; later on. Tell me, please, have you got a woman here called
Matrona Kharina?” (This was Katusha’s aunt, the village midwife.)

“Oh, yes; in the village she keeps a secret pot-house. I know she does,
and I accuse her of it and scold her; but as to taking her up, it would
be a pity. An old woman, you know; she has grandchildren,” said the
foreman, continuing to smile in the same manner, partly wishing to
be pleasant to the master, and partly because he was convinced that
Nekhludoff understood all these matters just as well as he did himself.

“Where does she live? I shall go across and see her.”

“At the end of the village; the further side, the third from the end. To
the left there is a brick cottage, and her hut is beyond that. But I’d
better see you there,” the foreman said with a graceful smile.

“No, thanks, I shall find it; and you be so good as to call a meeting
of the peasants, and tell them that I want to speak to them about
the land,” said Nekhludoff, with the intention of coming to the same
agreement with the peasants here as he had done in Kousminski, and, if
possible, that same evening.



CHAPTER IV.

THE PEASANTS’ LOT.

When Nekhludoff came out of the gate he met the girl with the long
earrings on the well-trodden path that lay across the pasture
ground, overgrown with dock and plantain leaves. She had a long,
brightly-coloured apron on, and was quickly swinging her left arm in
front of herself as she stepped briskly with her fat, bare feet. With
her right arm she was pressing a fowl to her stomach. The fowl, with
red comb shaking, seemed perfectly calm; he only rolled up his eyes and
stretched out and drew in one black leg, clawing the girl’s apron. When
the girl came nearer to “the master,” she began moving more slowly, and
her run changed into a walk. When she came up to him she stopped, and,
after a backward jerk with her head, bowed to him; and only when he had
passed did she recommence to run homeward with the cock. As he went down
towards the well, he met an old woman, who had a coarse dirty blouse on,
carrying two pails full of water, that hung on a yoke across her bent
back. The old woman carefully put down the pails and bowed, with the
same backward jerk of her head.

After passing the well Nekhludoff entered the village. It was a bright,
hot day, and oppressive, though only ten o’clock. At intervals the sun
was hidden by the gathering clouds. An unpleasant, sharp smell of manure
filled the air in the street. It came from carts going up the hillside,
but chiefly from the disturbed manure heaps in the yards of the huts,
by the open gates of which Nekhludoff had to pass. The peasants,
barefooted, their shirts and trousers soiled with manure, turned to look
at the tall, stout gentleman with the glossy silk ribbon on his grey hat
who was walking up the village street, touching the ground every other
step with a shiny, bright-knobbed walking-stick. The peasants returning
from the fields at a trot and jotting in their empty carts, took
off their hats, and, in their surprise, followed with their eyes the
extraordinary man who was walking up their street. The women came out
of the gates or stood in the porches of their huts, pointing him out to
each other and gazing at him as he passed.

When Nekhludoff was passing the fourth gate, he was stopped by a cart
that was coming out, its wheels creaking, loaded high with manure, which
was pressed down, and was covered with a mat to sit on. A six-year-old
boy, excited by the prospect of a drive, followed the cart. A young
peasant, with shoes plaited out of bark on his feet, led the horse out
of the yard. A long-legged colt jumped out of the gate; but, seeing
Nekhludoff, pressed close to the cart, and scraping its legs against the
wheels, jumped forward, past its excited, gently-neighing mother, as she
was dragging the heavy load through the gateway. The next horse was led
out by a barefooted old man, with protruding shoulder-blades, in a dirty
shirt and striped trousers.

When the horses got out on to the hard road, strewn over with bits
of dry, grey manure, the old man returned to the gate, and bowed to
Nekhludoff.

“You are our ladies’ nephew, aren’t you?”

“Yes, I am their nephew.”

“You’ve kindly come to look us up, eh?” said the garrulous old man.

“Yes, I have. Well, how are you getting on?”

“How do we get on? We get on very badly,” the old man drawled, as if it
gave him pleasure.

“Why so badly?” Nekhludoff asked, stepping inside the gate.

“What is our life but the very worst life?” said the old man, following
Nekhludoff into that part of the yard which was roofed over.

Nekhludoff stopped under the roof.

“I have got 12 of them there,” continued the old man, pointing to two
women on the remainder of the manure heap, who stood perspiring with
forks in their hands, the kerchiefs tumbling off their heads, with their
skirts tucked up, showing the calves of their dirty, bare legs. “Not a
month passes but I have to buy six poods [a pood is 36 English pounds]
of corn, and where’s the money to come from?”

“Have you not got enough corn of your own?”

“My own?” repeated the old man, with a smile of contempt; “why I have
only got land for three, and last year we had not enough to last till
Christmas.”

“What do you do then?”

“What do we do? Why, I hire out as a labourer; and then I borrowed some
money from your honour. We spent it all before Lent, and the tax is not
paid yet.”

“And how much is the tax?”

“Why, it’s 17 roubles for my household. Oh, Lord, such a life! One
hardly knows one’s self how one manages to live it.”

“May I go into your hut?” asked Nekhludoff, stepping across the yard
over the yellow-brown layers of manure that had been raked up by the
forks, and were giving off a strong smell.

“Why not? Come in,” said the old man, and stepping quickly with his
bare feet over the manure, the liquid oozing between his toes, he passed
Nekhludoff and opened the door of the hut.

The women arranged the kerchiefs on their heads and let down their
skirts, and stood looking with surprise at the clean gentleman with gold
studs to his sleeves who was entering their house. Two little girls,
with nothing on but coarse chemises, rushed out of the hut. Nekhludoff
took off his hat, and, stooping to get through the low door, entered,
through a passage into the dirty, narrow hut, that smelt of sour food,
and where much space was taken up by two weaving looms. In the hut an
old woman was standing by the stove, with the sleeves rolled up over her
thin, sinewy brown arms.

“Here is our master come to see us,” said the old man.

“I’m sure he’s very welcome,” said the old woman, kindly.

“I would like to see how you live.”

“Well, you see how we live. The hut is coming down, and might kill one
any day; but my old man he says it’s good enough, and so we live like
kings,” said the brisk old woman, nervously jerking her head. “I’m
getting the dinner; going to feed the workers.”

“And what are you going to have for dinner?”

“Our food is very good. First course, bread and kvas; [kvas is a kind of
sour, non-intoxicant beer made of rye] second course, kvas and bread,”
 said the old woman, showing her teeth, which were half worn away.

“No,” seriously; “let me see what you are going to eat.”

“To eat?” said the old man, laughing. “Ours is not a very cunning meal.
You just show him, wife.”

“Want to see our peasant food? Well, you are an inquisitive gentleman,
now I come to look at you. He wants to know everything. Did I not tell
you bread and kvas and then we’ll have soup. A woman brought us some
fish, and that’s what the soup is made of, and after that, potatoes.”

“Nothing more?”

“What more do you want? We’ll also have a little milk,” said the old
woman, looking towards the door. The door stood open, and the passage
outside was full of people--boys, girls, women with babies--thronged
together to look at the strange gentleman who wanted to see the
peasants’ food. The old woman seemed to pride herself on the way she
behaved with a gentleman.

“Yes, it’s a miserable life, ours; that goes without saying, sir,” said
the old man. “What are you doing there?” he shouted to those in the
passage. “Well, good-bye,” said Nekhludoff, feeling ashamed and uneasy,
though unable to account for the feeling.

“Thank you kindly for having looked us up,” said the old man.

The people in the passage pressed closer together to let Nekhludoff
pass, and he went out and continued his way up the street.

Two barefooted boys followed him out of the passage the elder in a
shirt that had once been white, the other in a worn and faded pink one.
Nekhludoff looked back at them.

“And where are you going now?” asked the boy with the white shirt.
Nekhludoff answered: “To Matrona Kharina. Do you know her?” The boy
with the pink shirt began laughing at something; but the elder asked,
seriously:

“What Matrona is that? Is she old?”

“Yes, she is old.”

“Oh--oh,” he drawled; “that one; she’s at the other end of the village;
we’ll show you. Yes, Fedka, we’ll go with him. Shall we?”

“Yes, but the horses?”

“They’ll be all right, I dare say.”

Fedka agreed, and all three went up the street.



CHAPTER V.

MASLOVA’S AUNT.

Nekhludoff felt more at ease with the boys than with the grown-up
people, and he began talking to them as they went along. The little
one with the pink shirt stopped laughing, and spoke as sensibly and as
exactly as the elder one.

“Can you tell me who are the poorest people you have got here?” asked
Nekhludoff.

“The poorest? Michael is poor, Simon Makhroff, and Martha, she is very
poor.”

“And Anisia, she is still poorer; she’s not even got a cow. They go
begging,” said little Fedka.

“She’s not got a cow, but they are only three persons, and Martha’s
family are five,” objected the elder boy.

“But the other’s a widow,” the pink boy said, standing up for Anisia.

“You say Anisia is a widow, and Martha is no better than a widow,” said
the elder boy; “she’s also no husband.”

“And where is her husband?” Nekhludoff asked.

“Feeding vermin in prison,” said the elder boy, using this expression,
common among the peasants.

“A year ago he cut down two birch trees in the land-lord’s forest,” the
little pink boy hurried to say, “so he was locked up; now he’s sitting
the sixth month there, and the wife goes begging. There are three
children and a sick grandmother,” he went on with his detailed account.

“And where does she live?” Nekhludoff asked.

“In this very house,” answered the boy, pointing to a hut, in front
of which, on the footpath along which Nekhludoff was walking, a tiny,
flaxen-headed infant stood balancing himself with difficulty on his
rickety legs.

“Vaska! Where’s the little scamp got to?” shouted a woman, with a dirty
grey blouse, and a frightened look, as she ran out of the house, and,
rushing forward, seized the baby before Nekhludoff came up to it, and
carried it in, just as if she were afraid that Nekhludoff would hurt her
child.

This was the woman whose husband was imprisoned for Nekhludoff’s birch
trees.

“Well, and this Matrona, is she also poor?” Nekhludoff asked, as they
came up to Matrona’s house.

“She poor? No. Why, she sells spirits,” the thin, pink little boy
answered decidedly.

When they reached the house Nekhludoff left the boys outside and went
through the passage into the hut. The hut was 14 feet long. The bed
that stood behind the big stove was not long enough for a tall person
to stretch out on. “And on this very bed,” Nekhludoff thought, “Katusha
bore her baby and lay ill afterwards.” The greater part of the hut was
taken up by a loom, on which the old woman and her eldest granddaughter
were arranging the warp when Nekhludoff came in, striking his forehead
against the low doorway. Two other grandchildren came rushing in after
Nekhludoff, and stopped, holding on to the lintels of the door.

“Whom do you want?” asked the old woman, crossly. She was in a bad
temper because she could not manage to get the warp right, and, besides,
carrying on an illicit trade in spirits, she was always afraid when any
stranger came in.

“I am--the owner of the neighbouring estates, and should like to speak
to you.”

“Dear me; why, it’s you, my honey; and I, fool, thought it was just some
passer-by. Dear me, you--it’s you, my precious,” said the old woman,
with simulated tenderness in her voice.

“I should like to speak to you alone,” said Nekhludoff, with a glance
towards the door, where the children were standing, and behind them a
woman holding a wasted, pale baby, with a sickly smile on its face, who
had a little cap made of different bits of stuff on its head.

“What are you staring at? I’ll give it you. Just hand me my crutch,” the
old woman shouted to those at the door.

“Shut the door, will you!” The children went away, and the woman closed
the door.

“And I was thinking, who’s that? And it’s ‘the master’ himself. My
jewel, my treasure. Just think,” said the old woman, “where he has
deigned to come. Sit down here, your honour,” she said, wiping the seat
with her apron. “And I was thinking what devil is it coming in, and it’s
your honour, ‘the master’ himself, the good gentleman, our benefactor.
Forgive me, old fool that I am; I’m getting blind.”

Nekhludoff sat down, and the old woman stood in front of him, leaning
her cheek on her right hand, while the left held up the sharp elbow of
her right arm.

“Dear me, you have grown old, your honour; and you used to be as fresh
as a daisy. And now! Cares also, I expect?”

“This is what I have come about: Do you remember Katusha Maslova?”

“Katerina? I should think so. Why, she is my niece. How could I help
remembering; and the tears I have shed because of her. Why, I know all
about it. Eh, sir, who has not sinned before God? who has not offended
against the Tsar? We know what youth is. You used to be drinking tea and
coffee, so the devil got hold of you. He is strong at times. What’s to
be done? Now, if you had chucked her; but no, just see how you rewarded
her, gave her a hundred roubles. And she? What has she done? Had she
but listened to me she might have lived all right. I must say the truth,
though she is my niece: that girl’s no good. What a good place I found
her! She would not submit, but abused her master. Is it for the likes
of us to scold gentlefolk? Well, she was sent away. And then at the
forester’s. She might have lived there; but no, she would not.”

“I want to know about the child. She was confined at your house, was she
not? Where’s the child?”

“As to the child, I considered that well at the time. She was so bad
I never thought she would get up again. Well, so I christened the baby
quite properly, and we sent it to the Foundlings’. Why should one let
an innocent soul languish when the mother is dying? Others do like this:
they just leave the baby, don’t feed it, and it wastes away. But, thinks
I, no; I’d rather take some trouble, and send it to the Foundlings’.
There was money enough, so I sent it off.”

“Did you not get its registration number from the Foundlings’ Hospital?”

“Yes, there was a number, but the baby died,” she said. “It died as soon
as she brought it there.”

“Who is she?”

“That same woman who used to live in Skorodno. She made a business of
it. Her name was Malania. She’s dead now. She was a wise woman. What do
you think she used to do? They’d bring her a baby, and she’d keep it and
feed it; and she’d feed it until she had enough of them to take to the
Foundlings’. When she had three or four, she’d take them all at once.
She had such a clever arrangement, a sort of big cradle--a double one
she could put them in one way or the other. It had a handle. So she’d
put four of them in, feet to feet and the heads apart, so that they
should not knock against each other. And so she took four at once. She’d
put some pap in a rag into their mouths to keep ‘em silent, the pets.”

“Well, go on.”

“Well, she took Katerina’s baby in the same way, after keeping it a
fortnight, I believe. It was in her house it began to sicken.”

“And was it a fine baby?” Nekhludoff asked.

“Such a baby, that if you wanted a finer you could not find one. Your
very image,” the old woman added, with a wink.

“Why did it sicken? Was the food bad?”

“Eh, what food? Only just a pretence of food. Naturally, when it’s not
one’s own child. Only enough to get it there alive. She said she
just managed to get it to Moscow, and there it died. She brought a
certificate--all in order. She was such a wise woman.”

That was all Nekhludoff could find out concerning his child.



CHAPTER VI.

REFLECTIONS OF A LANDLORD.

Again striking his head against both doors, Nekhludoff went out into the
street, where the pink and the white boys were waiting for him. A few
newcomers were standing with them. Among the women, of whom several
had babies in their arms, was the thin woman with the baby who had the
patchwork cap on its head. She held lightly in her arms the bloodless
infant, who kept strangely smiling all over its wizened little face, and
continually moving its crooked thumbs.

Nekhludoff knew the smile to be one of suffering. He asked who the woman
was.

“It is that very Anisia I told you about,” said the elder boy.

Nekhludoff turned to Anisia.

“How do you live?” he asked. “By what means do you gain your
livelihood?”

“How do I live? I go begging,” said Anisia, and began to cry.

Nekhludoff took out his pocket-book, and gave the woman a 10-rouble
note. He had not had time to take two steps before another woman with
a baby caught him up, then an old woman, then another young one. All of
them spoke of their poverty, and asked for help. Nekhludoff gave them
the 60 roubles--all in small notes--which he had with him, and, terribly
sad at heart, turned home, i.e., to the foreman’s house.

The foreman met Nekhludoff with a smile, and informed him that the
peasants would come to the meeting in the evening. Nekhludoff thanked
him, and went straight into the garden to stroll along the paths strewn
over with the petals of apple-blossom and overgrown with weeds, and to
think over all he had seen.

At first all was quiet, but soon Nekhludoff heard from behind the
foreman’s house two angry women’s voices interrupting each other, and
now and then the voice of the ever-smiling foreman. Nekhludoff listened.

“My strength’s at an end. What are you about, dragging the very cross
[those baptized in the Russo-Greek Church always wear a cross round
their necks] off my neck,” said an angry woman’s voice.

“But she only got in for a moment,” said another voice. “Give it her
back, I tell you. Why do you torment the beast, and the children, too,
who want their milk?”

“Pay, then, or work it off,” said the foreman’s voice.

Nekhludoff left the garden and entered the porch, near which stood two
dishevelled women--one of them pregnant and evidently near her time.
On one of the steps of the porch, with his hands in the pockets of his
holland coat, stood the foreman. When they saw the master, the women
were silent, and began arranging the kerchiefs on their heads, and the
foreman took his hands out of his pockets and began to smile.

This is what had happened. From the foreman’s words, it seemed that the
peasants were in the habit of letting their calves and even their cows
into the meadow belonging to the estate. Two cows belonging to the
families of these two women were found in the meadow, and driven into
the yard. The foreman demanded from the women 30 copecks for each cow
or two days’ work. The women, however, maintained that the cows had got
into the meadow of their own accord; that they had no money, and asked
that the cows, which had stood in the blazing sun since morning without
food, piteously lowing, should be returned to them, even if it had to be
on the understanding that the price should be worked off later on.

“How often have I not begged of you,” said the smiling foreman, looking
back at Nekhludoff as if calling upon him to be a witness, “if you drive
your cattle home at noon, that you should have an eye on them?”

“I only ran to my little one for a bit, and they got away.”

“Don’t run away when you have undertaken to watch the cows.”

“And who’s to feed the little one? You’d not give him the breast, I
suppose?” said the other woman. “Now, if they had really damaged the
meadow, one would not take it so much to heart; but they only strayed in
a moment.”

“All the meadows are damaged,” the foreman said, turning to Nekhludoff.
“If I exact no penalty there will be no hay.”

“There, now, don’t go sinning like that; my cows have never been caught
there before,” shouted the pregnant woman.

“Now that one has been caught, pay up or work it off.”

“All right, I’ll work it off; only let me have the cow now, don’t
torture her with hunger,” she cried, angrily. “As it is, I have no rest
day or night. Mother-in-law is ill, husband taken to drink; I’m all
alone to do all the work, and my strength’s at an end. I wish you’d
choke, you and your working it off.”

Nekhludoff asked the foreman to let the women take the cows, and went
back into the garden to go on thinking out his problem, but there was
nothing more to think about.

Everything seemed so clear to him now that he could not stop wondering
how it was that everybody did not see it, and that he himself had for
such a long while not seen what was so clearly evident. The people were
dying out, and had got used to the dying-out process, and had formed
habits of life adapted to this process: there was the great mortality
among the children, the over-working of the women, the under-feeding,
especially of the aged. And so gradually had the people come to this
condition that they did not realise the full horrors of it, and did
not complain. Therefore, we consider their condition natural and as it
should be. Now it seemed as clear as daylight that the chief cause of
the people’s great want was one that they themselves knew and always
pointed out, i.e., that the land which alone could feed them had been
taken from them by the landlords.

And how evident it was that the children and the aged died because they
had no milk, and they had no milk because there was no pasture land, and
no land to grow corn or make hay on. It was quite evident that all the
misery of the people or, at least by far the greater part of it, was
caused by the fact that the land which should feed them was not in their
hands, but in the hands of those who, profiting by their rights to the
land, live by the work of these people. The land so much needed by men
was tilled by these people, who were on the verge of starvation, so
that the corn might be sold abroad and the owners of the land might buy
themselves hats and canes, and carriages and bronzes, etc. He understood
this as clearly as he understood that horses when they have eaten all
the grass in the inclosure where they are kept will have to grow thin
and starve unless they are put where they can get food off other land.

This was terrible, and must not go on. Means must be found to alter it,
or at least not to take part in it. “And I will find them,” he thought,
as he walked up and down the path under the birch trees.

In scientific circles, Government institutions, and in the papers we
talk about the causes of the poverty among the people and the means of
ameliorating their condition; but we do not talk of the only sure means
which would certainly lighten their condition, i.e., giving back to them
the land they need so much.

Henry George’s fundamental position recurred vividly to his mind and how
he had once been carried away by it, and he was surprised that he could
have forgotten it. The earth cannot be any one’s property; it cannot be
bought or sold any more than water, air, or sunshine. All have an equal
right to the advantages it gives to men. And now he knew why he had felt
ashamed to remember the transaction at Kousminski. He had been deceiving
himself. He knew that no man could have a right to own land, yet he had
accepted this right as his, and had given the peasants something which,
in the depth of his heart, he knew he had no right to. Now he would not
act in this way, and would alter the arrangement in Kousminski also. And
he formed a project in his mind to let the land to the peasants, and to
acknowledge the rent they paid for it to be their property, to be kept
to pay the taxes and for communal uses. This was, of course, not the
single-tax system, still it was as near an approach to it as could be
had under existing circumstances. His chief consideration, however, was
that in this way he would no longer profit by the possession of landed
property.

When he returned to the house the foreman, with a specially pleasant
smile, asked him if he would not have his dinner now, expressing the
fear that the feast his wife was preparing, with the help of the girl
with the earrings, might be overdone.

The table was covered with a coarse, unbleached cloth and an embroidered
towel was laid on it in lieu of a napkin. A vieux-saxe soup tureen with
a broken handle stood on the table, full of potato soup, the stock made
of the fowl that had put out and drawn in his black leg, and was now
cut, or rather chopped, in pieces, which were here and there covered
with hairs. After the soup more of the same fowl with the hairs was
served roasted, and then curd pasties, very greasy, and with a great
deal of sugar. Little appetising as all this was, Nekhludoff hardly
noticed what he was eating; he was occupied with the thought which had
in a moment dispersed the sadness with which he had returned from the
village.

The foreman’s wife kept looking in at the door, whilst the frightened
maid with the earrings brought in the dishes; and the foreman smiled
more and more joyfully, priding himself on his wife’s culinary skill.
After dinner, Nekhludoff succeeded, with some trouble, in making the
foreman sit down. In order to revise his own thoughts, and to express
them to some one, he explained his project of letting the land to the
peasants, and asked the foreman for his opinion. The foreman, smiling
as if he had thought all this himself long ago, and was very pleased
to hear it, did not really understand it at all. This was not because
Nekhludoff did not express himself clearly, but because according to
this project it turned out that Nekhludoff was giving up his own
profit for the profit of others, and the thought that every one is only
concerned about his own profit, to the harm of others, was so deeply
rooted in the foreman’s conceptions that he imagined he did not
understand something when Nekhludoff said that all the income from the
land must be placed to form the communal capital of the peasants.

“Oh, I see; then you, of course, will receive the percentages from that
capital,” said the foreman, brightening up.

“Dear me! no. Don’t you see, I am giving up the land altogether.”

“But then you will not get any income,” said the foreman, smiling no
longer.

“Yes, I am going to give it up.”

The foreman sighed heavily, and then began smiling again. Now he
understood. He understood that Nekhludoff was not quite normal, and
at once began to consider how he himself could profit by Nekhludoff’s
project of giving up the land, and tried to see this project in such a
way that he might reap some advantage from it. But when he saw that this
was impossible he grew sorrowful, and the project ceased to interest
him, and he continued to smile only in order to please the master.

Seeing that the foreman did not understand him, Nekhludoff let him go
and sat down by the window-sill, that was all cut about and inked over,
and began to put his project down on paper.

The sun went down behind the limes, that were covered with fresh green,
and the mosquitoes swarmed in, stinging Nekhludoff. Just as he finished
his notes, he heard the lowing of cattle and the creaking of opening
gates from the village, and the voices of the peasants gathering
together for the meeting. He told the foreman not to call the peasants
up to the office, as he meant to go into the village himself and meet
the men where they would assemble. Having hurriedly drank a cup of tea
offered him by the foreman, Nekhludoff went to the village.



CHAPTER VII.

THE DISINHERITED.

From the crowd assembled in front of the house of the village elder
came the sound of voices; but as soon as Nekhludoff came up the talking
ceased, and all the peasants took off their caps, just as those in
Kousminski had done. The peasants here were of a much poorer class than
those in Kousminski. The men wore shoes made of bark and homespun shirts
and coats. Some had come straight from their work in their shirts and
with bare feet.

Nekhludoff made an effort, and began his speech by telling the peasants
of his intention to give up his land to them altogether. The peasants
were silent, and the expression on their faces did not undergo any
change.

“Because I hold,” said Nekhludoff, “and believe that every one has a
right to the use of the land.”

“That’s certain. That’s so, exactly,” said several voices.

Nekhludoff went on to say that the revenue from the land ought to be
divided among all, and that he would therefore suggest that they
should rent the land at a price fixed by themselves, the rent to form
a communal fund for their own use. Words of approval and agreement were
still to be heard, but the serious faces of the peasants grew still more
serious, and the eyes that had been fixed on the gentleman dropped, as
if they were unwilling to put him to shame by letting him see that every
one had understood his trick, and that no one would be deceived by him.

Nekhludoff spoke clearly, and the peasants were intelligent, but they
did not and could not understand him, for the same reason that the
foreman had so long been unable to understand him.

They were fully convinced that it is natural for every man to consider
his own interest. The experience of many generations had proved to them
that the landlords always considered their own interest to the detriment
of the peasants. Therefore, if a landlord called them to a meeting and
made them some kind of a new offer, it could evidently only be in order
to swindle them more cunningly than before.

“Well, then, what are you willing to rent the land at?” asked
Nekhludoff.

“How can we fix a price? We cannot do it. The land is yours, and the
power is in your hands,” answered some voices from among the crowd.

“Oh, not at all. You will yourselves have the use of the money for
communal purposes.”

“We cannot do it; the commune is one thing, and this is another.”

“Don’t you understand?” said the foreman, with a smile (he had followed
Nekhludoff to the meeting), “the Prince is letting the land to you
for money, and is giving you the money back to form a capital for the
commune.”

“We understand very well,” said a cross, toothless old man, without
raising his eyes. “Something like a bank; we should have to pay at a
fixed time. We do not wish it; it is hard enough as it is, and that
would ruin us completely.”

“That’s no go. We prefer to go on the old way,” began several
dissatisfied, and even rude, voices.

The refusals grew very vehement when Nekhludoff mentioned that he would
draw up an agreement which would have to be signed by him and by them.

“Why sign? We shall go on working as we have done hitherto. What is all
this for? We are ignorant men.”

“We can’t agree, because this sort of thing is not what we have been
used to. As it was, so let it continue to be. Only the seeds we should
like to withdraw.”

This meant that under the present arrangement the seeds had to be
provided by the peasants, and they wanted the landlord to provide them.

“Then am I to understand that you refuse to accept the land?” Nekhludoff
asked, addressing a middle-aged, barefooted peasant, with a tattered
coat, and a bright look on his face, who was holding his worn cap
with his left hand, in a peculiarly straight position, in the same way
soldiers hold theirs when commanded to take them off.

“Just so,” said this peasant, who had evidently not yet rid himself of
the military hypnotism he had been subjected to while serving his time.

“It means that you have sufficient land,” said Nekhludoff.

“No, sir, we have not,” said the ex-soldier, with an artificially
pleased look, carefully holding his tattered cap in front of him, as if
offering it to any one who liked to make use of it.

“Well, anyhow, you’d better think over what I have said.” Nekhludoff
spoke with surprise, and again repeated his offer.

“We have no need to think about it; as we have said, so it will be,”
 angrily muttered the morose, toothless old man.

“I shall remain here another day, and if you change your minds, send to
let me know.”

The peasants gave no answer.

So Nekhludoff did not succeed in arriving at any result from this
interview.

“If I might make a remark, Prince,” said the foreman, when they got
home, “you will never come to any agreement with them; they are so
obstinate. At a meeting these people just stick in one place, and there
is no moving them. It is because they are frightened of everything. Why,
these very peasants--say that white-haired one, or the dark one, who
were refusing, are intelligent peasants. When one of them comes to the
office and one makes him sit down to cup of tea it’s like in the Palace
of Wisdom--he is quite diplomatist,” said the foreman, smiling; “he will
consider everything rightly. At a meeting it’s a different man--he keeps
repeating one and the same . . .”

“Well, could not some of the more intelligent men be asked to come
here?” said Nekhludoff. “I would carefully explain it to them.”

“That can be done,” said the smiling foreman.

“Well, then, would you mind calling them here to-morrow?”

“Oh, certainly I will,” said the foreman, and smiled still more
joyfully. “I shall call them to-morrow.”

“Just hear him; he’s not artful, not he,” said a blackhaired peasant,
with an unkempt beard, as he sat jolting from side to side on a well-fed
mare, addressing an old man in a torn coat who rode by his side. The two
men were driving a herd of the peasants’ horses to graze in the night,
alongside the highroad and secretly, in the landlord’s forest.

“Give you the land for nothing--you need only sign--have they not
done the likes of us often enough? No, my friend, none of your humbug.
Nowadays we have a little sense,” he added, and began shouting at a colt
that had strayed.

He stopped his horse and looked round, but the colt had not remained
behind; it had gone into the meadow by the roadside. “Bother that son
of a Turk; he’s taken to getting into the landowner’s meadows,” said the
dark peasant with the unkempt beard, hearing the cracking of the sorrel
stalks that the neighing colt was galloping over as he came running back
from the scented meadow.

“Do you hear the cracking? We’ll have to send the women folk to weed
the meadow when there’s a holiday,” said the thin peasant with the torn
coat, “or else we’ll blunt our scythes.”

“Sign,” he says. The unkempt man continued giving his opinion of the
landlord’s speech. “‘Sign,’ indeed, and let him swallow you up.”

“That’s certain,” answered the old man. And then they were silent, and
the tramping of the horses’ feet along the highroad was the only sound
to be heard.



CHAPTER VIII.

GOD’S PEACE IN THE HEART.

When Nekhludoff returned he found that the office had been arranged as
a bedroom for him. A high bedstead, with a feather bed and two large
pillows, had been placed in the room. The bed was covered with a dark
red doublebedded silk quilt, which was elaborately and finely quilted,
and very stiff. It evidently belonged to the trousseau of the foreman’s
wife. The foreman offered Nekhludoff the remains of the dinner, which
the latter refused, and, excusing himself for the poorness of the fare
and the accommodation, he left Nekhludoff alone.

The peasants’ refusal did not at all bother Nekhludoff. On the contrary,
though at Kousminski his offer had been accepted and he had even been
thanked for it, and here he was met with suspicion and even enmity, he
felt contented and joyful.

It was close and dirty in the office. Nekhludoff went out into the yard,
and was going into the garden, but he remembered: that night, the window
of the maid-servant’s room, the side porch, and he felt uncomfortable,
and did not like to pass the spot desecrated by guilty memories. He
sat down on the doorstep, and breathing in the warm air, balmy with the
strong scent of fresh birch leaves, he sat for a long time looking into
the dark garden and listening to the mill, the nightingales, and some
other bird that whistled monotonously in the bush close by. The light
disappeared from the foreman’s window; in the cast, behind the barn,
appeared the light of the rising moon, and sheet lightning began to
light up the dilapidated house, and the blooming, over-grown garden more
and more frequently. It began to thunder in the distance, and a black
cloud spread over one-third of the sky. The nightingales and the other
birds were silent. Above the murmur of the water from the mill came the
cackling of geese, and then in the village and in the foreman’s yard
the first cocks began to crow earlier than usual, as they do on warm,
thundery nights. There is a saying that if the cocks crow early the
night will be a merry one. For Nekhludoff the night was more than merry;
it was a happy, joyful night. Imagination renewed the impressions of
that happy summer which he had spent here as an innocent lad, and he
felt himself as he had been not only at that but at all the best moments
of his life. He not only remembered but felt as he had felt when, at
the age of 14, he prayed that God would show him the truth; or when as
a child he had wept on his mother’s lap, when parting from her, and
promising to be always good, and never give her pain; he felt as he did
when he and Nikolenka Irtenieff resolved always to support each other in
living a good life and to try to make everybody happy.

He remembered how he had been tempted in Kousminski, so that he had
begun to regret the house and the forest and the farm and the land, and
he asked himself if he regretted them now, and it even seemed strange to
think that he could regret them. He remembered all he had seen to-day;
the woman with the children, and without her husband, who was in prison
for having cut down trees in his (Nekhludoff’s) forest, and the terrible
Matrona, who considered, or at least talked as if she considered,
that women of her position must give themselves to the gentlefolk; he
remembered her relation to the babies, the way in which they were taken
to the Foundlings’ Hospital, and the unfortunate, smiling, wizened
baby with the patchwork cap, dying of starvation. And then he suddenly
remembered the prison, the shaved heads, the cells, the disgusting
smells, the chains, and, by the side of it all, the madly lavish city
lift of the rich, himself included.

The bright moon, now almost full, rose above the barn. Dark shadows fell
across the yard, and the iron roof of the ruined house shone bright.
As if unwilling to waste this light, the nightingales again began their
trills.

Nekhludoff called to mind how he had begun to consider his life in
the garden of Kousminski when deciding what he was going to do, and
remembered how confused he had become, how he could not arrive at any
decision, how many difficulties each question had presented. He asked
himself these questions now, and was surprised how simple it all was. It
was simple because he was not thinking now of what would be the results
for himself, but only thought of what he had to do. And, strange to say,
what he had to do for himself he could not decide, but what he had to do
for others he knew without any doubt. He had no doubt that he must
not leave Katusha, but go on helping her. He had no doubt that he must
study, investigate, clear up, understand all this business concerning
judgment and punishment, which he felt he saw differently to other
people. What would result from it all he did not know, but he knew for
certain that he must do it. And this firm assurance gave him joy.

The black cloud had spread all over the sky; the lightning flashed
vividly across the yard and the old house with its tumble-down porches,
the thunder growled overhead. All the birds were silent, but the leaves
rustled and the wind reached the step where Nekhludoff stood and played
with his hair. One drop came down, then another; then they came drumming
on the dock leaves and on the iron of the roof, and all the air was
filled by a bright flash, and before Nekhludoff could count three a
fearful crash sounded over head and spread pealing all over the sky.

Nekhludoff went in.

“Yes, yes,” he thought. “The work that our life accomplishes, the whole
of this work, the meaning of it is not, nor can be, intelligible to
me. What were my aunts for? Why did Nikolenka Irtenieff die? Why am
I living? What was Katusha for? And my madness? Why that war? Why my
subsequent lawless life? To understand it, to understand the whole
of the Master’s will is not in my power. But to do His will, that is
written down in my conscience, is in my power; that I know for certain.
And when I am fulfilling it I have sureness and peace.”

The rain came down in torrents and rushed from the roof into a tub
beneath; the lightning lit up the house and yard less frequently.
Nekhludoff went into his room, undressed, and lay down, not without
fear of the bugs, whose presence the dirty, torn wall-papers made him
suspect.

“Yes, to feel one’s self not the master but a servant,” he thought, and
rejoiced at the thought. His fears were not vain. Hardly had he put out
his candle when the vermin attacked and stung him. “To give up the land
and go to Siberia. Fleas, bugs, dirt! Ah, well; if it must be borne, I
shall bear it.” But, in spite of the best of intentions, he could not
bear it, and sat down by the open window and gazed with admiration at
the retreating clouds and the reappearing moon.



CHAPTER IX.

THE LAND SETTLEMENT.

It was morning before Nekhludoff could fall asleep, and therefore he
woke up late. At noon seven men, chosen from among the peasants at
the foreman’s invitation, came into the orchard, where the foreman
had arranged a table and benches by digging posts into the ground,
and fixing boards on the top, under the apple trees. It took some time
before the peasants could be persuaded to put on their caps and to sit
down on the benches. Especially firm was the ex-soldier, who to-day had
bark shoes on. He stood erect, holding his cap as they do at
funerals, according to military regulation. When one of them, a
respectable-looking, broad-shouldered old man, with a curly, grizzly
beard like that of Michael Angelo’s “Moses,” and grey hair that curled
round the brown, bald forehead, put on his big cap, and, wrapping his
coat round him, got in behind the table and sat down, the rest followed
his example. When all had taken their places Nekhludoff sat down
opposite them, and leaning on the table over the paper on which he had
drawn up his project, he began explaining it.

Whether it was that there were fewer present, or that he was occupied
with the business in hand and not with himself, anyhow, this
time Nekhludoff felt no confusion. He involuntarily addressed the
broad-shouldered old man with white ringlets in his grizzly beard,
expecting approbation or objections from him. But Nekhludoff’s
conjecture was wrong. The respectable-looking old patriarch, though he
nodded his handsome head approvingly or shook it, and frowned when the
others raised an objection, evidently understood with great difficulty,
and only when the others repeated what Nekhludoff had said in their own
words. A little, almost beardless old fellow, blind in one eye, who sat
by the side of the patriarch, and had a patched nankeen coat and old
boots on, and, as Nekhludoff found out later, was an oven-builder,
understood much better. This man moved his brows quickly, attending to
Nekhludoff’s words with an effort, and at once repeated them in his
own way. An old, thick-set man with a white beard and intelligent eyes
understood as quickly, and took every opportunity to put in an ironical
joke, clearly wishing to show off. The ex-soldier seemed also to
understand matters, but got mixed, being used to senseless soldiers’
talk. A tall man with a small beard, a long nose, and a bass voice, who
wore clean, home-made clothes and new bark-plaited shoes, seemed to be
the one most seriously interested. This man spoke only when there
was need of it. The two other old men, the same toothless one who
had shouted a distinct refusal at the meeting the day before to every
proposal of Nekhludoff’s, and a tall, white lame old man with a kind
face, his thin legs tightly wrapped round with strips of linen, said
little, though they listened attentively. First of all Nekhludoff
explained his views in regard to personal property in land. “The land,
according to my idea, can neither be bought nor sold, because if it
could be, he who has got the money could buy it all, and exact anything
he liked for the use of the land from those who have none.”

“That’s true,” said the long-nosed man, in a deep bass.

“Just so,” said the ex-soldier.

“A woman gathers a little grass for her cow; she’s caught and
imprisoned,” said the white-bearded old man.

“Our own land is five versts away, and as to renting any it’s
impossible; the price is raised so high that it won’t pay,” added the
cross, toothless old man. “They twist us into ropes, worse than during
serfdom.”

“I think as you do, and I count it a sin to possess land, so I wish to
give it away,” said Nekhludoff.

“Well, that’s a good thing,” said the old man, with curls like Angelo’s
“Moses,” evidently thinking that Nekhludoff meant to let the land.

“I have come here because I no longer wish to possess any land, and now
we must consider the best way of dividing it.”

“Just give it to the peasants, that’s all,” said the cross, toothless
old man.

Nekhludoff was abashed for a moment, feeling a suspicion of his not
being honest in these words, but he instantly recovered, and made use of
the remark, in order to express what was in his mind, in reply.

“I should be glad to give it them,” he said, “but to whom, and how?
To which of the peasants? Why, to your commune, and not to that of
Deminsk.” (That was the name of a neighbouring village with very little
land.) All were silent. Then the ex-soldier said, “Just so.”

“Now, then, tell me how would you divide the land among the peasants if
you had to do it?” said Nekhludoff.

“We should divide it up equally, so much for every man,” said the
oven-builder, quickly raising and lowering his brows.

“How else? Of course, so much per man,” said the good natured lame man
with the white strips of linen round his legs.

Every one confirmed this statement, considering it satisfactory.

“So much per man? Then are the servants attached to the house also to
have a share?” Nekhludoff asked.

“Oh, no,” said the ex-soldier, trying to appear bold and merry. But the
tall, reasonable man would not agree with him.

“If one is to divide, all must share alike,” he said, in his deep bass,
after a little consideration.

“It can’t be done,” said Nekhludoff, who had already prepared his reply.
“If all are to share alike, then those who do not work themselves--do
not plough--will sell their shares to the rich. The rich will again get
at the land. Those who live by working the land will multiply, and land
will again be scarce. Then the rich will again get those who need land
into their power.”

“Just so,” quickly said the ex-soldier.

“Forbid to sell the land; let only him who ploughs it have it,” angrily
interrupted the oven-builder.

To this Nekhludoff replied that it was impossible to know who was
ploughing for himself and who for another.

The tall, reasonable man proposed that an arrangement be made so that
they should all plough communally, and those who ploughed should get the
produce and those who did not should get nothing.

To this communistic project Nekhludoff had also an answer ready. He said
that for such an arrangement it would be necessary that all should have
ploughs, and that all the horses should be alike, so that none should
be left behind, and that ploughs and horses and all the implements would
have to be communal property, and that in order to get that, all the
people would have to agree.

“Our people could not be made to agree in a lifetime,” said the cross
old man.

“We should have regular fights,” said the white-bearded old man with the
laughing eyes. “So that the thing is not as simple as it looks,”
 said Nekhludoff, “and this is a thing not only we but many have been
considering. There is an American, Henry George. This is what he has
thought out, and I agree with him.”

“Why, you are the master, and you give it as you like. What’s it to you?
The power is yours,” said the cross old man.

This confused Nekhludoff, but he was pleased to see that not he alone
was dissatisfied with this interruption.

“You wait a bit, Uncle Simon; let him tell us about it,” said the
reasonable man, in his imposing bass.

This emboldened Nekhludoff, and he began to explain Henry George’s
single-tax system “The earth is no man’s; it is God’s,” he began.

“Just so; that it is,” several voices replied.

“The land is common to all. All have the same right to it, but there is
good land and bad land, and every one would like to take the good land.
How is one to do in order to get it justly divided? In this way: he that
will use the good land must pay those who have got no land the value of
the land he uses,” Nekhludoff went on, answering his own question. “As
it would be difficult to say who should pay whom, and money is needed
for communal use, it should be arranged that he who uses the good land
should pay the amount of the value of his land to the commune for its
needs. Then every one would share equally. If you want to use land pay
for it--more for the good, less for the bad land. If you do not wish to
use land, don’t pay anything, and those who use the land will pay the
taxes and the communal expenses for you.”

“Well, he had a head, this George,” said the oven-builder, moving his
brows. “He who has good land must pay more.”

“If only the payment is according to our strength,” said the tall man
with the bass voice, evidently foreseeing how the matter would end.

“The payment should be not too high and not too low. If it is too high
it will not get paid, and there will be a loss; and if it is too low it
will be bought and sold. There would be a trading in land. This is what
I wished to arrange among you here.”

“That is just, that is right; yes, that would do,” said the peasants.

“He has a head, this George,” said the broad-shouldered old man with the
curls. “See what he has invented.”

“Well, then, how would it be if I wished to take some land?” asked the
smiling foreman.

“If there is an allotment to spare, take it and work it,” said
Nekhludoff.

“What do you want it for? You have sufficient as it is,” said the old
man with the laughing eyes.

With this the conference ended.

Nekhludoff repeated his offer, and advised the men to talk it over with
the rest of the commune and to return with the answer.

The peasants said they would talk it over and bring an answer, and left
in a state of excitement. Their loud talk was audible as they went along
the road, and up to late in the night the sound of voices came along the
river from the village.

The next day the peasants did not go to work, but spent it in
considering the landlord’s offer. The commune was divided into two
parties--one which regarded the offer as a profitable one to themselves
and saw no danger in agreeing with it, and another which suspected and
feared the offer it did not understand. On the third day, however, all
agreed, and some were sent to Nekhludoff to accept his offer. They were
influenced in their decision by the explanation some of the old men gave
of the landlord’s conduct, which did away with all fear of deceit. They
thought the gentleman had begun to consider his soul, and was acting as
he did for its salvation. The alms which Nekhludoff had given away while
in Panovo made his explanation seem likely. The fact that Nekhludoff
had never before been face to face with such great poverty and so bare
a life as the peasants had come to in this place, and was so appalled
by it, made him give away money in charity, though he knew that this was
not reasonable. He could not help giving the money, of which he now had
a great deal, having received a large sum for the forest he had sold
the year before, and also the hand money for the implements and stock in
Kousminski. As soon as it was known that the master was giving money in
charity, crowds of people, chiefly women, began to come to ask him for
help. He did not in the least know how to deal with them, how to decide,
how much, and whom to give to. He felt that to refuse to give money, of
which he had a great deal, to poor people was impossible, yet to give
casually to those who asked was not wise. The last day he spent in
Panovo, Nekhludoff looked over the things left in his aunts’ house, and
in the bottom drawer of the mahogany wardrobe, with the brass lions’
heads with rings through them, he found many letters, and amongst them a
photograph of a group, consisting of his aunts, Sophia Ivanovna and Mary
Ivanovna, a student, and Katusha. Of all the things in the house he took
only the letters and the photograph. The rest he left to the miller who,
at the smiling foreman’s recommendation, had bought the house and all it
contained, to be taken down and carried away, at one-tenth of the real
value.

Recalling the feeling of regret at the loss of his property which he had
felt in Kousminski, Nekhludoff was surprised how he could have felt this
regret. Now he felt nothing but unceasing joy at the deliverance, and
a sensation of newness something like that which a traveller must
experience when discovering new countries.



CHAPTER X.

NEKHLUDOFF RETURNS TO TOWN.

The town struck Nekhludoff in a new and peculiar light on his return.
He came back in the evening, when the gas was lit, and drove from
the railway station to his house, where the rooms still smelt of
naphthaline. Agraphena Petrovna and Corney were both feeling tired and
dissatisfied, and had even had a quarrel over those things that seemed
made only to be aired and packed away. Nekhludoff’s room was empty, but
not in order, and the way to it was blocked up with boxes, so that his
arrival evidently hindered the business which, owing to a curious kind
of inertia, was going on in this house. The evident folly of these
proceedings, in which he had once taken part, was so distasteful to
Nekhludoff after the impressions the misery of the life of the peasants
had made on him, that he decided to go to a hotel the next day, leaving
Agraphena Petrovna to put away the things as she thought fit until his
sister should come and finally dispose of everything in the house.

Nekhludoff left home early and chose a couple of rooms in a very modest
and not particularly clean lodging-house within easy reach of the
prison, and, having given orders that some of his things should be sent
there, he went to see the advocate. It was cold out of doors. After some
rainy and stormy weather it had turned out cold, as it often does in
spring. It was so cold that Nekhludoff felt quite chilly in his light
overcoat, and walked fast hoping to get warmer. His mind was filled
with thoughts of the peasants, the women, children, old men, and all the
poverty and weariness which he seemed to have seen for the first time,
especially the smiling, old-faced infant writhing with his calfless
little legs, and he could not help contrasting what was going on in the
town. Passing by the butchers’, fishmongers’, and clothiers’ shops, he
was struck, as if he saw them for the first time, by the appearance
of the clean, well-fed shopkeepers, like whom you could not find one
peasant in the country. These men were apparently convinced that the
pains they took to deceive the people who did not know much about their
goods was not a useless but rather an important business. The coachmen
with their broad hips and rows of buttons down their sides, and the
door-keepers with gold cords on their caps, the servant-girls with their
aprons and curly fringes, and especially the smart isvostchiks with
the nape of their necks clean shaved, as they sat lolling back in their
traps, and examined the passers-by with dissolute and contemptuous
air, looked well fed. In all these people Nekhludoff could not now help
seeing some of these very peasants who had been driven into the town by
lack of land. Some of the peasants driven to the town had found means
of profiting by the conditions of town life and had become like the
gentlefolk and were pleased with their position; others were in a worse
position than they had been in the country and were more to be pitied
than the country people.

Such seemed the bootmakers Nekhludoff saw in the cellar, the pale,
dishevelled washerwomen with their thin, bare, arms ironing at an open
window, out of which streamed soapy steam; such the two house-painters
with their aprons, stockingless feet, all bespattered and smeared with
paint, whom Nekhludoff met--their weak, brown arms bared to above the
elbows--carrying a pailful of paint, and quarrelling with each other.
Their faces looked haggard and cross. The dark faces of the carters
jolting along in their carts bore the same expression, and so did the
faces of the tattered men and women who stood begging at the street
corners. The same kind of faces were to be seen at the open, windows of
the eating-houses which Nekhludoff passed. By the dirty tables on which
stood tea things and bottles, and between which waiters dressed in white
shirts were rushing hither and thither, sat shouting and singing red,
perspiring men with stupefied faces. One sat by the window with
lifted brows and pouting lips and fixed eyes as if trying to remember
something.

“And why are they all gathered here?” Nekhludoff thought, breathing
in together with the dust which the cold wind blew towards him the air
filled with the smell of rank oil and fresh paint.

In one street he met a row of carts loaded with something made of iron,
that rattled so on the uneven pavement that it made his ears and head
ache. He started walking still faster in order to pass the row of carts,
when he heard himself called by name. He stopped and saw an officer with
sharp pointed moustaches and shining face who sat in the trap of a swell
isvostchik and waved his hand in a friendly manner, his smile disclosing
unusually long, white teeth.

“Nekhludoff! Can it be you?”

Nekhludoff’s first feeling was one of pleasure. “Ah, Schonbock!” he
exclaimed joyfully; but he knew the next moment that there was nothing
to be joyful about.

This was that Schonbock who had been in the house of Nekhludoff’s aunts
that day, and whom Nekhludoff had quite lost out of sight, but about
whom he had heard that in spite of his debts he had somehow managed to
remain in the cavalry, and by some means or other still kept his place
among the rich. His gay, contented appearance corroborated this report.

“What a good thing that I have caught you. There is no one in town. Ah,
old fellow; you have grown old,” he said, getting out of the trap and
moving his shoulders about. “I only knew you by your walk. Look here, we
must dine together. Is there any place where they feed one decently?”

“I don’t think I can spare the time,” Nekhludoff answered, thinking only
of how he could best get rid of his companion without hurting him.

“And what has brought you here?” he asked.

“Business, old fellow. Guardianship business. I am a guardian now. I am
managing Samanoff’s affairs--the millionaire, you know. He has softening
of the brain, and he’s got fifty-four thousand desiatins of land,”
 he said, with peculiar pride, as if he had himself made all these
desiatins. “The affairs were terribly neglected. All the land was let
to the peasants. They did not pay anything. There were more than eighty
thousand roubles debts. I changed it all in one year, and have got 70
per cent. more out of it. What do you think of that?” he asked proudly.

Nekhludoff remembered having heard that this Schonbock, just because, he
had spent all he had, had attained by some special influence the post of
guardian to a rich old man who was squandering his property--and was now
evidently living by this guardianship.

“How am I to get rid of him without offending him?” thought Nekhludoff,
looking at this full, shiny face with the stiffened moustache and
listening to his friendly, good-humoured chatter about where one gets
fed best, and his bragging about his doings as a guardian.

“Well, then, where do we dine?”

“Really, I have no time to spare,” said Nekhludoff, glancing at his
watch.

“Then, look here. To-night, at the races--will you be there?”

“No, I shall not be there.”

“Do come. I have none of my own now, but I back Grisha’s horses. You
remember; he has a fine stud. You’ll come, won’t you? And we’ll have
some supper together.”

“No, I cannot have supper with you either,” said Nekhludoff with a
smile.

“Well, that’s too bad! And where are you off to now? Shall I give you a
lift?”

“I am going to see an advocate, close to here round the corner.”

“Oh, yes, of course. You have got something to do with the prisons--have
turned into a prisoners’ mediator, I hear,” said Schonbock, laughing.
“The Korchagins told me. They have left town already. What does it all
mean? Tell me.”

“Yes, yes, it is quite true,” Nekhludoff answered; “but I cannot tell
you about it in the street.”

“Of course; you always were a crank. But you will come to the races?”

“No. I neither can nor wish to come. Please do not be angry with me.”

“Angry? Dear me, no. Where do you live?” And suddenly his face became
serious, his eyes fixed, and he drew up his brows. He seemed to be
trying to remember something, and Nekhludoff noticed the same dull
expression as that of the man with the raised brows and pouting lips
whom he had seen at the window of the eating-house.

“How cold it is! Is it not? Have you got the parcels?” said Schonbock,
turning to the isvostchik.

“All right. Good-bye. I am very glad indeed to have met you,” and
warmly pressing Nekhludoff’s hand, he jumped into the trap and waved
his white-gloved hand in front of his shiny face, with his usual smile,
showing his exceptionally white teeth.

“Can I have also been like that?” Nekhludoff thought, as he continued
his way to the advocate’s. “Yes, I wished to be like that, though I was
not quite like it. And I thought of living my life in that way.”



CHAPTER XI.

AN ADVOCATE’S VIEWS ON JUDGES AND PROSECUTORS.

Nekhludoff was admitted by the advocate before his turn. The advocate at
once commenced to talk about the Menshoffs’ case, which he had read with
indignation at the inconsistency of the accusation.

“This case is perfectly revolting,” he said; “it is very likely that
the owner himself set fire to the building in order to get the insurance
money, and the chief thing is that there is no evidence to prove the
Menshoffs’ guilt. There are no proofs whatever. It is all owing to the
special zeal of the examining magistrate and the carelessness of the
prosecutor. If they are tried here, and not in a provincial court, I
guarantee that they will be acquitted, and I shall charge nothing.
Now then, the next case, that of Theodosia Birukoff. The appeal to the
Emperor is written. If you go to Petersburg, you’d better take it with
you, and hand it in yourself, with a request of your own, or else they
will only make a few inquiries, and nothing will come of it. You must
try and get at some of the influential members of the Appeal Committee.”

“Well, is this all?”

“No; here I have a letter . . . I see you have turned into a pipe--a
spout through which all the complaints of the prison are poured,” said
the advocate, with a smile. “It is too much; you’ll not be able to
manage it.”

“No, but this is a striking case,” said Nekhludoff, and gave a brief
outline of the case of a peasant who began to read the Gospels to the
peasants in the village, and to discuss them with his friends. The
priests regarded this as a crime and informed the authorities. The
magistrate examined him and the public prosecutor drew up an act of
indictment, and the law courts committed him for trial.

“This is really too terrible,” Nekhludoff said. “Can it be true?”

“What are you surprised at?”

“Why, everything. I can understand the police-officer, who simply obeys
orders, but the prosecutor drawing up an act of that kind. An educated
man . . .”

“That is where the mistake lies, that we are in the habit of considering
that the prosecutors and the judges in general are some kind of liberal
persons. There was a time when they were such, but now it is quite
different. They are just officials, only troubled about pay-day.
They receive their salaries and want them increased, and there their
principles end. They will accuse, judge, and sentence any one you like.”

“Yes; but do laws really exist that can condemn a man to Siberia for
reading the Bible with his friends?”

“Not only to be exiled to the less remote parts of Siberia, but even to
the mines, if you can only prove that reading the Bible they took the
liberty of explaining it to others not according to orders, and in this
way condemned the explanations given by the Church. Blaming the Greek
orthodox religion in the presence of the common people means, according
to Statute . . . the mines.”

“Impossible!”

“I assure you it is so. I always tell these gentlemen, the judges,”
 the advocate continued, “that I cannot look at them without gratitude,
because if I am not in prison, and you, and all of us, it is only owing
to their kindness. To deprive us of our privileges, and send us all to
the less remote parts of Siberia, would be an easy thing for them.”

“Well, if it is so, and if everything depends on the Procureur and
others who can, at will, either enforce the laws or not, what are the
trials for?”

The advocate burst into a merry laugh. “You do put strange questions.
My dear sir, that is philosophy. Well, we might have a talk about that,
too. Could you come on Saturday? You will meet men of science, literary
men, and artists at my house, and then we might discuss these general
questions,” said the advocate, pronouncing the words “general questions”
 with ironical pathos. “You have met my wife? Do come.”

“Thank you; I will try to,” said Nekhludoff, and felt that he was saying
an untruth, and knew that if he tried to do anything it would be to keep
away froth the advocate’s literary evening, and the circle of the men of
science, art, and literature.

The laugh with which the advocate met Nekhludoff’s remark that trials
could have no meaning if the judges might enforce the laws or not,
according to their notion, and the tone with which he pronounced the
words “philosophy” and “general questions” proved to Nekhludoff how very
differently he and the advocate and, probably, the advocate’s friends,
looked at things; and he felt that in spite of the distance that now
existed between himself and his former companions, Schonbock, etc.,
the difference between himself and the circle of the advocate and his
friends was still greater.



CHAPTER XII.

WHY THE PEASANTS FLOCK TO TOWN.

The prison was a long way off and it was getting late, so Nekhludoff
took an isvostchik. The isvostchik, a middle-aged man with an
intelligent and kind face, turned round towards Nekhludoff as they were
driving along one of the streets and pointed to a huge house that was
being built there.

“Just see what a tremendous house they have begun to build,” he said, as
if he was partly responsible for the building of the house and proud of
it. The house was really immense and was being built in a very original
style. The strong pine beams of the scaffolding were firmly fixed
together with iron bands and a plank wall separated the building from
the street.

On the boards of the scaffolding workmen, all bespattered with plaster,
moved hither and thither like ants. Some were laying bricks, some hewing
stones, some carrying up the heavy hods and pails and bringing them down
empty. A fat and finely-dressed gentleman--probably the architect--stood
by the scaffolding, pointing upward and explaining something to a
contractor, a peasant from the Vladimir Government, who was respectfully
listening to him. Empty carts were coming out of the gate by which the
architect and the contractor were standing, and loaded ones were going
in. “And how sure they all are--those that do the work as well as those
that make them do it--that it ought to be; that while their wives at
home, who are with child, are labouring beyond their strength, and their
children with the patchwork caps, doomed soon to the cold grave, smile
with suffering and contort their little legs, they must be building this
stupid and useless palace for some stupid and useless person--one of
those who spoil and rob them,” Nekhludoff thought, while looking at the
house.

“Yes, it is a stupid house,” he said, uttering his thought out aloud.

“Why stupid?” replied the isvostchik, in an offended tone. “Thanks to
it, the people get work; it’s not stupid.”

“But the work is useless.”

“It can’t be useless, or why should it be done?” said the isvostchik.
“The people get bread by it.”

Nekhludoff was silent, and it would have been difficult to talk because
of the clatter the wheels made.

When they came nearer the prison, and the isvostchik turned off the
paved on to the macadamised road, it became easier to talk, and he again
turned to Nekhludoff.

“And what a lot of these people are flocking to the town nowadays; it’s
awful,” he said, turning round on the box and pointing to a party of
peasant workmen who were coming towards them, carrying saws, axes,
sheepskins, coats, and bags strapped to their shoulders.

“More than in other years?” Nekhludoff asked.

“By far. This year every place is crowded, so that it’s just terrible.
The employers just fling the workmen about like chaff. Not a job to be
got.”

“Why is that?”

“They’ve increased. There’s no room for them.”

“Well, what if they have increased? Why do not they stay in the
village?”

“There’s nothing for them to do in the village--no land to be had.”

Nekhludoff felt as one does when touching a sore place. It feels as if
the bruised part was always being hit; yet it is only because the place
is sore that the touch is felt.

“Is it possible that the same thing is happening everywhere?” he
thought, and began questioning the isvostchik about the quantity of land
in his village, how much land the man himself had, and why he had left
the country.

“We have a desiatin per man, sir,” he said. “Our family have three men’s
shares of the land. My father and a brother are at home, and manage the
land, and another brother is serving in the army. But there’s nothing to
manage. My brother has had thoughts of coming to Moscow, too.”

“And cannot land be rented?”

“How’s one to rent it nowadays? The gentry, such as they were, have
squandered all theirs. Men of business have got it all into their own
hands. One can’t rent it from them. They farm it themselves. We have
a Frenchman ruling in our place; he bought the estate from our former
landlord, and won’t let it--and there’s an end of it.”

“Who’s that Frenchman?”

“Dufour is the Frenchman’s name. Perhaps you’ve heard of him. He makes
wigs for the actors in the big theatre; it is a good business, so he’s
prospering. He bought it from our lady, the whole of the estate, and now
he has us in his power; he just rides on us as he pleases. The Lord be
thanked, he is a good man himself; only his wife, a Russian, is such a
brute that--God have mercy on us. She robs the people. It’s awful. Well,
here’s the prison. Am I to drive you to the entrance? I’m afraid they’ll
not let us do it, though.”



CHAPTER XIII.

NURSE MASLOVA.

When he rang the bell at the front entrance Nekhludoff’s heart stood
still with horror as he thought of the state he might find Maslova in
to-day, and at the mystery that he felt to be in her and in the people
that were collected in the prison. He asked the jailer who opened the
door for Maslova. After making the necessary inquiry the jailer informed
him that she was in the hospital. Nekhludoff went there. A kindly old
man, the hospital doorkeeper, let him in at once and, after asking
Nekhludoff whom he wanted, directed him to the children’s ward. A young
doctor saturated with carbolic acid met Nekhludoff in the passage and
asked him severely what he wanted. This doctor was always making all
sorts of concessions to the prisoners, and was therefore continually
coming into conflict with the prison authorities and even with the head
doctor. Fearing lest Nekhludoff should demand something unlawful, and
wishing to show that he made no exceptions for any one, he pretended to
be cross. “There are no women here; it is the children’s ward,” he said.

“Yes, I know; but a prisoner has been removed here to be an assistant
nurse.”

“Yes, there are two such here. Then whom do you want?”

“I am closely connected with one of them, named Maslova,” Nekhludoff
answered, “and should like to speak to her. I am going to Petersburg to
hand in an appeal to the Senate about her case and should like to give
her this. It is only a photo,” Nekhludoff said, taking an envelope out
of his pocket.

“All right, you may do that,” said the doctor, relenting, and turning to
an old woman with a white apron, he told her to call the prisoner--Nurse
Maslova.

“Will you take a seat, or go into the waiting-room?”

“Thanks,” said Nekhludoff, and profiting by the favourable change in
the manner of the doctor towards him asked how they were satisfied with
Maslova in the hospital.

“Oh, she is all right. She works fairly well, if you the conditions of
her former life into account. But here she is.”

The old nurse came in at one of the doors, followed by Maslova, who wore
a blue striped dress, a white apron, a kerchief that quite covered her
hair. When she saw Nekhludoff her face flushed, and she stopped as if
hesitating, then frowned, and with downcast eyes went quickly towards
him along the strip of carpet in the middle of the passage. When she
came up to Nekhludoff she did not wish to give him her hand, and then
gave it, growing redder still. Nekhludoff had not seen her since the
day when she begged forgiveness for having been in a passion, and he
expected to find her the same as she was then. But to-day she was
quite different. There was something new in the expression of her face,
reserve and shyness, and, as it seemed to him, animosity towards him. He
told her what he had already said to the doctor, i.e., that he was going
to Petersburg, and he handed her the envelope with the photograph which
he had brought from Panovo.

“I found this in Panovo--it’s an old photo; perhaps you would like it.
Take it.”

Lifting her dark eyebrows, she looked at him with surprise in her
squinting eyes, as if asking, “What is this for?” took the photo
silently and put it in the bib of her apron.

“I saw your aunt there,” said Nekhludoff.

“Did you?” she said, indifferently.

“Are you all right here?” Nekhludoff asked.

“Oh, yes, it’s all right,” she said.

“Not too difficult?”

“Oh, no. But I am not used to it yet.”

“I am glad, for your sake. Anyhow, it is better than there.”

“Than where--there?” she asked, her face flushing again.

“There--in the prison,” Nekhludoff hurriedly answered.

“Why better?” she asked.

“I think the people are better. Here are none such as there must be
there.”

“There are many good ones there,” she said.

“I have been seeing about the Menshoffs, and hope they will be
liberated,” said Nekhludoff.

“God grant they may. Such a splendid old woman,” she said, again
repeating her opinion of the old woman, and slightly smiling.

“I am going to Petersburg to-day. Your case will come on soon, and I
hope the sentence will be repealed.”

“Whether it is repealed or not won’t matter now,” she said.

“Why not now?”

“So,” she said, looking with a quick, questioning glance into his eyes.

Nekhludoff understood the word and the look to mean that she wished
to know whether he still kept firm to his decision or had accepted her
refusal.

“I do not know why it does not matter to you,” he said. “It certainly
does not matter as far as I am concerned whether you are acquitted or
not. I am ready to do what I told you in any case,” he said decidedly.

She lifted her head and her black squinting eyes remained fixed on him
and beyond him, and her face beamed with joy. But the words she spoke
were very different from what her eyes said.

“You should not speak like that,” she said.

“I am saying it so that you should know.”

“Everything has been said about that, and there is no use speaking,” she
said, with difficulty repressing a smile.

A sudden noise came from the hospital ward, and the sound of a child
crying.

“I think they are calling me,” she said, and looked round uneasily.

“Well, good-bye, then,” he said. She pretended not to see his extended
hand, and, without taking it, turned away and hastily walked along the
strip of carpet, trying to hide the triumph she felt.

“What is going on in her? What is she thinking? What does she feel? Does
she mean to prove me, or can she really not forgive me? Is it that she
cannot or that she will not express what she feels and thinks? Has she
softened or hardened?” he asked himself, and could find no answer. He
only knew that she had altered and that an important change was going on
in her soul, and this change united him not only to her but also to Him
for whose sake that change was being wrought. And this union brought on
a state of joyful animation and tenderness.

When she returned to the ward, in which there stood eight small beds,
Maslova began, in obedience to the nurse’s order, to arrange one of the
beds; and, bending over too far with the sheet, she slipped and nearly
fell down.

A little convalescent boy with a bandaged neck, who was looking at her,
laughed. Maslova could no longer contain herself and burst into loud
laughter, and such contagious laughter that several of the children also
burst out laughing, and one of the sisters rebuked her angrily.

“What are you giggling at? Do you think you are where you used to be?
Go and fetch the food.” Maslova obeyed and went where she was sent; but,
catching the eye of the bandaged boy who was not allowed to laugh, she
again burst out laughing.

Whenever she was alone Maslova again and again pulled the photograph
partly out of the envelope and looked at it admiringly; but only in the
evening when she was off duty and alone in the bedroom which she shared
with a nurse, did she take it quite out of the envelope and gaze long
at the faded yellow photograph, caressing with, her eyes every detail
of faces and clothing, the steps of the veranda, and the bushes which
served as a background to his and hers and his aunts’ faces, and could
not cease from admiring especially herself--her pretty young face with
the curly hair round the forehead. She was so absorbed that she did not
hear her fellow-nurse come into the room.

“What is it that he’s given you?” said the good-natured, fat nurse,
stooping over the photograph.

“Who’s this? You?”

“Who else?” said Maslova, looking into her companion’s face with a
smile.

“And who’s this?”

“Himself.”

“And is this his mother?”

“No, his aunt. Would you not have known me?”

“Never. The whole face is altered. Why, it must be 10 years since then.”

“Not years, but a lifetime,” said Maslova. And suddenly her animation
went, her face grew gloomy, and a deep line appeared between her brows.

“Why so? Your way of life must have been an easy one.”

“Easy, indeed,” Maslova reiterated, closing her eyes and shaking her
head. “It is hell.”

“Why, what makes it so?”

“What makes it so! From eight till four in the morning, and every night
the same!”

“Then why don’t they give it up?”

“They can’t give it up if they want to. But what’s the use of talking?”
 Maslova said, jumping up and throwing the photograph into the drawer of
the table. And with difficulty repressing angry tears, she ran out into
the passage and slammed the door.

While looking at the group she imagined herself such as she was there
and dreamt of her happiness then and of the possibility of happiness
with him now. But her companion’s words reminded her of what she was now
and what she had been, and brought back all the horrors of that life,
which she had felt but dimly, and not allowed herself to realise.

It was only now that the memory of all those terrible nights came
vividly back to her, especially one during the carnival when she was
expecting a student who had promised to buy her out. She remembered how
she--wearing her low necked silk dress stained with wine, a red bow in
her untidy hair, wearied, weak, half tipsy, having seen her visitors
off, sat down during an interval in the dancing by the piano beside the
bony pianiste with the blotchy face, who played the accompaniments
to the violin, and began complaining of her hard fate; and how this
pianiste said that she, too, was feeling how heavy her position was and
would like to change it; and how Clara suddenly came up to them; and how
they all three decided to change their life. They thought that the night
was over, and were about to go away, when suddenly the noise of tipsy
voices was heard in the ante-room. The violinist played a tune and the
pianiste began hammering the first figure of a quadrille on the piano,
to the tune of a most merry Russian song. A small, perspiring man,
smelling of spirits, with a white tie and swallow-tail coat, which he
took off after the first figure, came up to her, hiccoughing, and
caught her up, while another fat man, with a beard, and also wearing a
dress-coat (they had come straight from a ball) caught Clara up, and for
a long time they turned, danced, screamed, drank. . . . And so it
went on for another year, and another, and a third. How could she help
changing? And he was the cause of it all. And, suddenly, all her former
bitterness against him reawoke; she wished to scold, to reproach him.
She regretted having neglected the opportunity of repeating to him once
more that she knew him, and would not give in to him--would not let him
make use of her spiritually as he had done physically.

And she longed for drink in order to stifle the feeling of pity to
herself and the useless feeling of reproach to him. And she would have
broken her word if she had been inside the prison. Here she could not
get any spirits except by applying to the medical assistant, and she was
afraid of him because he made up to her, and intimate relations with
men were disgusting to her now. After sitting a while on a form in the
passage she returned to her little room, and without paying any heed to
her companion’s words, she wept for a long time over her wrecked life.



CHAPTER XIV.

AN ARISTOCRATIC CIRCLE.

Nekhludoff had four matters to attend to in Petersburg. The first was
the appeal to the Senate in Maslova’s case; the second, to hand in
Theodosia Birukoff’s petition to the committee; the third, to comply
with Vera Doukhova’s requests--i.e., try to get her friend Shoustova
released from prison, and get permission for a mother to visit her son
in prison. Vera Doukhova had written to him about this, and he was
going to the Gendarmerie Office to attend to these two matters, which he
counted as one.

The fourth matter he meant to attend to was the case of some sectarians
who had been separated from their families and exiled to the Caucasus
because they read and discussed the Gospels. It was not so much to
them as to himself he had promised to do all he could to clear up this
affair.

Since his last visit to Maslennikoff, and especially since he had been
in the country, Nekhludoff had not exactly formed a resolution but felt
with his whole nature a loathing for that society in which he had lived
till then, that society which so carefully hides the sufferings of
millions in order to assure ease and pleasure to a small number of
people, that the people belonging to this society do not and cannot
see these sufferings, nor the cruelty and wickedness of their life.
Nekhludoff could no longer move in this society without feeling ill at
ease and reproaching himself. And yet all the ties of relationship and
friendship, and his own habits, were drawing him back into this society.
Besides, that which alone interested him now, his desire to help Maslova
and the other sufferers, made it necessary to ask for help and service
from persons belonging to that society, persons whom he not only could
not respect, but who often aroused in him indignation and a feeling of
contempt.

When he came to Petersburg and stopped at his aunt’s--his mother’s
sister, the Countess Tcharsky, wife of a former minister--Nekhludoff at
once found himself in the very midst of that aristocratic circle which
had grown so foreign to him. This was very unpleasant, but there was no
possibility of getting out of it. To put up at an hotel instead of at
his aunt’s house would have been to offend his aunt, and, besides, his
aunt had important connections and might be extremely useful in all
these matters he meant to attend to.

“What is this I hear about you? All sorts of marvels,” said the Countess
Katerina Ivanovna Tcharsky, as she gave him his coffee immediately after
his arrival. “_Vous posez pour un Howard_. Helping criminals, going the
round of prisons, setting things right.”

“Oh, no. I never thought of it.”

“Why not? It is a good thing, only there seems to be some romantic story
connected with it. Let us hear all about it.”

Nekhludoff told her the whole truth about his relations to Maslova.

“Yes, yes, I remember your poor mother telling me about it. That was
when you were staying with those old women. I believe they wished to
marry you to their ward (the Countess Katerina Ivanovna had always
despised Nekhludoff’s aunts on his father’s side). So it’s she. _Elle
est encore jolie?_”

Katerina Ivanovna was a strong, bright, energetic, talkative woman of
60. She was tall and very stout, and had a decided black moustache
on her lip. Nekhludoff was fond of her and had even as a child been
infected by her energy and mirth.

“No, ma tante, that’s at an end. I only wish to help her, because she is
innocently accused. I am the cause of it and the cause of her fate being
what it is. I feel it my duty to do all I can for her.”

“But what is this I have heard about your intention of marrying her?”

“Yes, it was my intention, but she does not wish it.”

Katerina Ivanovna looked at her nephew with raised brows and drooping
eyeballs, in silent amazement. Suddenly her face changed, and with a
look of pleasure she said: “Well, she is wiser than you. Dear me, you
are a fool. And you would have married her?”

“Most certainly.”

“After her having been what she was?”

“All the more, since I was the cause of it.”

“Well, you are a simpleton,” said his aunt, repressing a smile, “a
terrible simpleton; but it is just because you are such a terrible
simpleton that I love you.” She repeated the word, evidently liking it,
as it seemed to correctly convey to her mind the idea of her nephew’s
moral state. “Do you know--What a lucky chance. Aline has a wonderful
home--the Magdalene Home. I went there once. They are terribly
disgusting. After that I had to pray continually. But Aline is devoted
to it, body and soul, so we shall place her there--yours, I mean.”

“But she is condemned to Siberia. I have come on purpose to appeal about
it. This is one of my requests to you.”

“Dear me, and where do you appeal to in this case?”

“To the Senate.”

“Ah, the Senate! Yes, my dear Cousin Leo is in the Senate, but he is in
the heraldry department, and I don’t know any of the real ones. They are
all some kind of Germans--Gay, Fay, Day--tout l’alphabet, or else all
sorts of Ivanoffs, Simenoffs, Nikitines, or else Ivanenkos, Simonenkos,
Nikitenkos, pour varier. Des gens de l’autre monde. Well, it is all the
same. I’ll tell my husband, he knows them. He knows all sorts of people.
I’ll tell him, but you will have to explain, he never understands me.
Whatever I may say, he always maintains he does not understand it. C’est
un parti pris, every one understands but only not he.”

At this moment a footman with stockinged legs came in with a note on a
silver platter.

“There now, from Aline herself. You’ll have a chance of hearing
Kiesewetter.”

“Who is Kiesewetter?”

“Kiesewetter? Come this evening, and you will find out who he is. He
speaks in such a way that the most hardened criminals sink on their
knees and weep and repent.”

The Countess Katerina Ivanovna, however strange it may seem, and however
little it seemed in keeping with the rest of her character, was a
staunch adherent to that teaching which holds that the essence of
Christianity lies in the belief in redemption. She went to meetings
where this teaching, then in fashion, was being preached, and assembled
the “faithful” in her own house. Though this teaching repudiated all
ceremonies, icons, and sacraments, Katerina Ivanovna had icons in every
room, and one on the wall above her bed, and she kept all that the
Church prescribed without noticing any contradiction in that.

“There now; if your Magdalene could hear him she would be converted,”
 said the Countess. “Do stay at home to-night; you will hear him. He is a
wonderful man.”

“It does not interest me, ma tante.”

“But I tell you that it is interesting, and you must come home. Now you
may go. What else do you want of me? _Videz votre sac_.”

“The next is in the fortress.”

“In the fortress? I can give you a note for that to the Baron
Kriegsmuth. _Cest un tres brave homme_. Oh, but you know him; he was a
comrade of your father’s. _Il donne dans le spiritisme_. But that does
not matter, he is a good fellow. What do you want there?”

“I want to get leave for a mother to visit her son who is imprisoned
there. But I was told that this did not depend on Kriegsmuth but on
Tcherviansky.”

“I do not like Tcherviansky, but he is Mariette’s husband; we might ask
her. She will do it for me. _Elle est tres gentille_.”

“I have also to petition for a woman who is imprisoned there without
knowing what for.”

“No fear; she knows well enough. They all know it very well, and it
serves them right, those short-haired [many advanced women wear their
hair short, like men] ones.”

“We do not know whether it serves them right or not. But they suffer.
You are a Christian and believe in the Gospel teaching and yet you are
so pitiless.”

“That has nothing to do with it. The Gospels are the Gospels, but what
is disgusting remains disgusting. It would be worse if I pretended to
love Nihilists, especially short-haired women Nihilists, when I cannot
bear them.”

“Why can you not bear them?”

“You ask why, after the 1st of March?” [The Emperor Alexander II was
killed on the first of March, old style.]

“They did not all take part in it on the 1st of March.”

“Never mind; they should not meddle with what is no business of theirs.
It’s not women’s business.”

“Yet you consider that Mariette may take part in business.”

“Mariette? Mariette is Mariette, and these are goodness knows what. Want
to teach everybody.”

“Not to teach but simply to help the people.”

“One knows whom to help and whom not to help without them.”

“But the peasants are in great need. I have just returned from the
country. Is it necessary, that the peasants should work to the very
limits of their strength and never have sufficient to eat while we are
living in the greatest luxury?” said Nekhludoff, involuntarily led on by
his aunt’s good nature into telling her what he was in his thoughts.

“What do you want, then? That I should work and not eat anything?”

“No, I do not wish you not to eat. I only wish that we should all work
and all eat.” He could not help smiling as he said it.

Again raising her brow and drooping her eyeballs his aunt looked at him
curiously. “_Mon cher vous finirez mal_,” she said.

Just then the general, and former minister, Countess Tcharsky’s husband,
a tall, broad-shouldered man, came into the room.

“Ah, Dmitri, how d’you do?” he said, turning his freshly-shaved cheek to
Nekhludoff to be kissed. “When did you get here?” And he silently kissed
his wife on the forehead.

“_Non il est impayable_,” the Countess said, turning to her husband.
“He wants me to go and wash clothes and live on potatoes. He is an awful
fool, but all the same do what he is going to ask of you. A terrible
simpleton,” she added. “Have you heard? Kamenskaya is in such despair
that they fear for her life,” she said to her husband. “You should go
and call there.”

“Yes; it is dreadful,” said her husband.

“Go along, then, and talk to him. I must write some letters.”

Hardly had Nekhludoff stepped into the room next the drawing-room than
she called him back.

“Shall I write to Mariette, then?”

“Please, ma tante.”

“I shall leave a blank for what you want to say about the short-haired
one, and she will give her husband his orders, and he’ll do it. Do not
think me wicked; they are all so disgusting, your prologues, but _je
ne leur veux pas de mal_, bother them. Well, go, but be sure to stay at
home this evening to hear Kiesewetter, and we shall have some prayers.
And if only you do not resist _cela vous fera beaucoup de bien_. I
know your poor mother and all of you were always very backward in these
things.”



CHAPTER XV.

AN AVERAGE STATESMAN.

Count Ivan Michaelovitch had been a minister, and was a man of strong
convictions. The convictions of Count Ivan Michaelovitch consisted in
the belief that, just as it was natural for a bird to feed on worms,
to be clothed in feathers and down, and to fly in the air, so it
was natural for him to feed on the choicest and most expensive food,
prepared by highly-paid cooks, to wear the most comfortable and most
expensive clothing, to drive with the best and fastest horses, and that,
therefore, all these things should be ready found for him. Besides this,
Count Ivan Michaelovitch considered that the more money he could get out
of the treasury by all sorts of means, the more orders he had, including
different diamond insignia of something or other, and the oftener he
spoke to highly-placed individuals of both sexes, so much the better it
was.

All the rest Count Ivan Michaelovitch considered insignificant and
uninteresting beside these dogmas. All the rest might be as it was, or
just the reverse. Count Ivan Michaelovitch lived and acted according
to these lights for 40 years, and at the end of 40 years reached the
position of a Minister of State. The chief qualities that enabled
Count Ivan Michaelovitch to reach this position were his capacity of
understanding the meaning of documents and laws and of drawing up,
though clumsily, intelligible State papers, and of spelling them
correctly; secondly, his very stately appearance, which enabled him,
when necessary, to seem not only extremely proud, but unapproachable
and majestic, while at other times he could be abjectly and almost
passionately servile; thirdly, the absence of any general principles
or rules, either of personal or administrative morality, which made it
possible for him either to agree or disagree with anybody according to
what was wanted at the time. When acting thus his only endeavour was
to sustain the appearance of good breeding and not to seem too plainly
inconsistent. As for his actions being moral or not, in themselves, or
whether they were going to result in the highest welfare or greatest
evil for the whole of the Russian Empire, or even the entire world, that
was quite indifferent to him. When he became minister, not only
those dependent on him (and there were great many of them) and people
connected with him, but many strangers and even he himself were
convinced that he was a very clever statesman. But after some time had
elapsed and he had done nothing and had nothing to show, and when in
accordance with the law of the struggle for existence others, like
himself, who had learnt to write and understand documents, stately and
unprincipled officials, had displaced him, he turned out to be not
only far from clever but very limited and badly educated. Though
self-assured, his views hardly reaching the level of those in the
leading articles of the Conservative papers, it became apparent
that there was nothing in him to distinguish him from those other
badly-educated and self-assured officials who had pushed him out, and
he himself saw it. But this did not shake his conviction that he had to
receive a great deal of money out of the Treasury every year, and new
decorations for his dress clothes. This conviction was so firm that no
one had the pluck to refuse these things to him, and he received yearly,
partly in form of a pension, partly as a salary for being a member in
a Government institution and chairman of all sorts of committees
and councils, several tens of thousands of roubles, besides the
right--highly prized by him--of sewing all sorts of new cords to his
shoulders and trousers, and ribbons to wear under and enamel stars
to fix on to his dress coat. In consequence of this Count Ivan
Michaelovitch had very high connections.

Count Ivan Michaelovitch listened to Nekhludoff as he was wont to listen
to the reports of the permanent secretary of his department, and, having
heard him, said he would give him two notes, one to the Senator Wolff,
of the Appeal Department. “All sorts of things are reported of him, but
dans tous les cas c’est un homme tres comme ii faut,” he said. “He is
indebted to me, and will do all that is possible.” The other note Count
Ivan Michaelovitch gave Nekhludoff was to an influential member of
the Petition Committee. The story of Theodosia Birukoff as told by
Nekhludoff interested him very much. When Nekhludoff said that he
thought of writing to the Empress, the Count replied that it certainly
was a very touching story, and might, if occasion presented itself, he
told her, but he could not promise. Let the petition be handed in in due
form.

Should there be an opportunity, and if a petit comite were called on
Thursday, he thought he would tell her the story. As soon as Nekhludoff
had received these two notes, and a note to Mariette from his aunt, he
at once set off to these different places.

First he went to Mariette’s. He had known her as a half-grown girl, the
daughter of an aristocratic but not wealthy family, and had heard how
she had married a man who was making a career, whom Nekhludoff had heard
badly spoken of; and, as usual, he felt it hard to ask a favour of a man
he did not esteem. In these cases he always felt an inner dissension
and dissatisfaction, and wavered whether to ask the favour or not, and
always resolved to ask. Besides feeling himself in a false position
among those to whose set he no longer regarded himself as belonging, who
yet regarded him as belonging to them, he felt himself getting into the
old accustomed rut, and in spite of himself fell into the thoughtless
and immoral tone that reigned in that circle. He felt that from the
first, with his aunt, he involuntarily fell into a bantering tone while
talking about serious matters.

Petersburg in general affected him with its usual physically
invigorating and mentally dulling effect.

Everything so clean, so comfortably well-arranged and the people so
lenient in moral matters, that life seemed very easy.

A fine, clean, and polite isvostchik drove him past fine, clean, polite
policemen, along the fine, clean, watered streets, past fine, clean
houses to the house in which Mariette lived. At the front door stood
a pair of English horses, with English harness, and an English-looking
coachman on the box, with the lower part of his face shaved, proudly
holding a whip. The doorkeeper, dressed in a wonderfully clean livery,
opened the door into the hall, where in still cleaner livery with gold
cords stood the footman with his splendid whiskers well combed out,
and the orderly on duty in a brand-new uniform. “The general does not
receive, and the generaless does not receive either. She is just going
to drive out.”

Nekhludoff took out Katerina Ivanovna’s letter, and going up to a table
on which lay a visitors’ book, began to write that he was sorry not to
have been able to see any one; when the footman went up the staircase
the doorkeeper went out and shouted to the coachman, and the orderly
stood up rigid with his arms at his sides following with his eyes a
little, slight lady, who was coming down the stairs with rapid steps not
in keeping with all the grandeur.

Mariette had a large hat on, with feathers, a black dress and cape, and
new black gloves. Her face was covered by a veil.

When she saw Nekhludoff she lifted the veil off a very pretty face with
bright eyes that looked inquiringly at him.

“Ah, Prince Dmitri Ivanovitch Nekhludoff,” she said, with a soft,
pleasant voice. “I should have known--”

“What! you even remember my name?”

“I should think so. Why, I and my sisters have even been in love with
you,” she said, in French. “But, dear me, how you have altered. Oh, what
a pity I have to go out. But let us go up again,” she said and stopped
hesitatingly. Then she looked at the clock. “No, I can’t. I am going to
Kamenskaya’s to attend a mass for the dead. She is terribly afflicted.”

“Who is this Kamenskaya?”

“Have you not heard? Her son was killed in a duel. He fought Posen. He
was the only son. Terrible I The mother is very much afflicted.”

“Yes. I have heard of it.”

“No, I had better go, and you must come again, to-night or to-morrow,”
 she said, and went to the door with quick, light steps.

“I cannot come to-night,” he said, going out after her; “but I have
a request to make you,” and he looked at the pair of bays that were
drawing up to the front door.

“What is this?”

“This is a letter from aunt to you,” said Nekhludoff, handing her
a narrow envelope, with a large crest. “You’ll find all about it in
there.”

“I know Countess Katerina Ivanovna thinks I have some influence with my
husband in business matters. She is mistaken. I can do nothing and do
not like to interfere. But, of course, for you I am willing to be false
to my principle. What is this business about?” she said, searching in
vain for her pocket with her little black gloved hand.

“There is a girl imprisoned in the fortress, and she is ill and
innocent.”

“What is her name?”

“Lydia Shoustova. It’s in the note.”

“All right; I’ll see what I can do,” she said, and lightly jumped into
her little, softly upholstered, open carriage, its brightly-varnished
splash-guards glistening in the sunshine, and opened her parasol. The
footman got on the box and gave the coachman a sign. The carriage moved,
but at that moment she touched the coachman with her parasol and the
slim-legged beauties, the bay mares, stopped, bending their beautiful
necks and stepping from foot to foot.

“But you must come, only, please, without interested motives,” and she
looked at him with a smile, the force of which she well knew, and, as if
the performance over and she were drawing the curtain, she dropped
the veil over her face again. “All right,” and she again touched the
coachman.

Nekhludoff raised his hat, and the well-bred bays, slightly snorting,
set off, their shoes clattering on the pavement, and the carriage rolled
quickly and smoothly on its new rubber tyres, giving a jump only now and
then over some unevenness of the road.



CHAPTER XVI.

AN UP-TO-DATE SENATOR.

When Nekhludoff remembered the smiles that had passed between him and
Mariette, he shook his head.

“You have hardly time to turn round before you are again drawn into
this life,” he thought, feeling that discord and those doubts which the
necessity to curry favour from people he did not esteem caused.

After considering where to go first, so as not to have to retrace his
steps, Nekhludoff set off for the Senate. There he was shown into the
office where he found a great many very polite and very clean officials
in the midst of a magnificent apartment. Maslova’s petition was received
and handed on to that Wolf, to whom Nekhludoff had a letter from his
uncle, to be examined and reported on.

“There will be a meeting of the Senate this week,” the official said to
Nekhludoff, “but Maslova’s case will hardly come before that meeting.”

“It might come before the meeting on Wednesday, by special request,” one
of the officials remarked.

During the time Nekhludoff waited in the office, while some information
was being taken, he heard that the conversation in the Senate was all
about the duel, and he heard a detailed account of how a young man,
Kaminski, had been killed. It was here he first heard all the facts of
the case which was exciting the interest of all Petersburg. The story
was this: Some officers were eating oysters and, as usual, drinking very
much, when one of them said something ill-natured about the regiment to
which Kaminski belonged, and Kaminski called him a liar. The other hit
Kaminski. The next day they fought. Kaminski was wounded in the stomach
and died two hours later. The murderer and the seconds were arrested,
but it was said that though they were arrested and in the guardhouse
they would be set free in a fortnight.

From the Senate Nekhludoff drove to see an influential member of the
petition Committee, Baron Vorobioff, who lived in a splendid house
belonging to the Crown. The doorkeeper told Nekhludoff in a severe tone
that the Baron could not be seen except on his reception days; that he
was with His Majesty the Emperor to-day, and the next day he would again
have to deliver a report. Nekhludoff left his uncle’s letter with the
doorkeeper and went on to see the Senator Wolf. Wolf had just had his
lunch, and was as usual helping digestion by smoking a cigar and pacing
up and down the room, when Nekhludoff came in. Vladimir Vasilievitch
Wolf was certainly _un homme tres comme il faut_, and prized this
quality very highly, and from that elevation he looked down at everybody
else. He could not but esteem this quality of his very highly, because
it was thanks to it alone that he had made a brilliant career, the very
career he desired, i.e., by marriage he obtained a fortune which brought
him in 18,000 roubles a year, and by his own exertions the post of a
senator. He considered himself not only _un homme tres comme il faut_,
but also a man of knightly honour. By honour he understood not accepting
secret bribes from private persons. But he did not consider it dishonest
to beg money for payment of fares and all sorts of travelling expenses
from the Crown, and to do anything the Government might require of him
in return. To ruin hundreds of innocent people, to cause them to be
imprisoned, to be exiled because of their love for their people and the
religion of their fathers, as he had done in one of the governments of
Poland when he was governor there. He did not consider it dishonourable,
but even thought it a noble, manly and patriotic action. Nor did he
consider it dishonest to rob his wife and sister-in-law, as he had
done, but thought it a wise way of arranging his family life. His family
consisted of his commonplace wife, his sister-in-law, whose fortune
he had appropriated by selling her estate and putting the money to his
account, and his meek, frightened, plain daughter, who lived a lonely,
weary life, from which she had lately begun to look for relaxation in
evangelicism, attending meetings at Aline’s, and the Countess Katerina
Ivanovna. Wolf’s son, who had grown a beard at the age of 15, and had at
that age begun to drink and lead a depraved life, which he continued to
do till the age of 20, when he was turned out by his father because
he never finished his studies, moved in a low set and made debts which
committed the father. The father had once paid a debt of 250 roubles for
his son, then another of 600 roubles, but warned the son that he did it
for the last time, and that if the son did not reform he would be turned
out of the house and all further intercourse between him and his family
would he put a stop to. The son did not reform, but made a debt of a
thousand roubles, and took the liberty of telling his father that life
at home was a torment anyhow. Then Wolf declared to his son that he
might go where he pleased--that he was no son of his any longer. Since
then Wolf pretended he had no son, and no one at home dared speak to him
about his son, and Vladimir Vasilievitch Wolf was firmly convinced that
he had arranged his family life in the best way. Wolf stopped pacing
up and down his study, and greeted Nekhludoff with a friendly though
slightly ironical smile. This was his way of showing how comme il faut
he was, and how superior to the majority of men. He read the note which
Nekhludoff handed to him.

“Please take a seat, and excuse me if I continue to walk up and down,
with your permission,” he said, putting his hands into his coat pockets,
and began again to walk with light, soft steps across his large, quietly
and stylishly furnished study. “Very pleased to make your acquaintance
and of course very glad to do anything that Count Ivan Michaelovitch
wishes,” he said, blowing the fragrant blue smoke out of his mouth and
removing his cigar carefully so as not to drop the ash.

“I should only like to ask that the case might come on soon, so that
if the prisoner has to go to Siberia she might set off early,” said
Nekhludoff.

“Yes, yes, with one of the first steamers from Nijni. I know,” said
Wolf, with his patronising smile, always knowing in advance whatever one
wanted to tell him.

“What is the prisoner’s name?”

“Maslova.”

Wolf went up to the table and looked at a paper that lay on a piece of
cardboard among other business papers.

“Yes, yes. Maslova. All right, I will ask the others. We shall hear the
case on Wednesday.”

“Then may I telegraph to the advocate?”

“The advocate! What’s that for? But if you like, why not?”

“The causes for appeal may be insufficient,” said Nekhludoff, “but
I think the case will show that the sentence was passed owing to a
misunderstanding.”

“Yes, yes; it may be so, but the Senate cannot decide the case on its
merits,” said Wolf, looking seriously at the ash of his cigar. “The
Senate only considers the exactness of the application of the laws and
their right interpretation.”

“But this seems to me to be an exceptional case.”

“I know, I know! All cases are exceptional. We shall do our duty. That’s
all.” The ash was still holding on, but had began breaking, and was in
danger of falling.

“Do you often come to Petersburg?” said Wolf, holding his cigar so that
the ash should not fall. But the ash began to shake, and Wolf carefully
carried it to the ashpan, into which it fell.

“What a terrible thing this is with regard to Kaminski,” he said. “A
splendid young man. The only son. Especially the mother’s position,” he
went on, repeating almost word for word what every one in Petersburg
was at that time saying about Kaminski. Wolf spoke a little about the
Countess Katerina Ivanovna and her enthusiasm for the new religious
teaching, which he neither approved nor disapproved of, but which was
evidently needless to him who was so comme il faut, and then rang the
bell.

Nekhludoff bowed.

“If it is convenient, come and dine on Wednesday, and I will give you a
decisive answer,” said Wolf, extending his hand.

It was late, and Nekhludoff returned to his aunt’s.



CHAPTER XVII.

COUNTESS KATERINA IVANOVNA’S DINNER PARTY.

Countess Katerina Ivanovna’s dinner hour was half-past seven, and the
dinner was served in a new manner that Nekhludoff had not yet seen
anywhere. After they had placed the dishes on the table the waiters left
the room and the diners helped themselves. The men would not let the
ladies take the trouble of moving, and, as befitted the stronger sex,
they manfully took on themselves the burden of putting the food on
the ladies’ plates and of filling their glasses. When one course was
finished, the Countess pressed the button of an electric bell fitted
to the table and the waiters stepped in noiselessly and quickly carried
away the dishes, changed the plates, and brought in the next course.
The dinner was very refined, the wines very costly. A French chef was
working in the large, light kitchens, with two white-clad assistants.
There were six persons at dinner, the Count and Countess, their son
(a surly officer in the Guards who sat with his elbows on the table),
Nekhludoff, a French lady reader, and the Count’s chief steward, who
had come up from the country. Here, too, the conversation was about the
duel, and opinions were given as to how the Emperor regarded the case.
It was known that the Emperor was very much grieved for the mother’s
sake, and all were grieved for her, and as it was also known that the
Emperor did not mean to be very severe to the murderer, who defended
the honour of his uniform, all were also lenient to the officer who had
defended the honour of his uniform. Only the Countess Katerina Ivanovna,
with her free thoughtlessness, expressed her disapproval.

“They get drunk, and kill unobjectionable young men. I should not
forgive them on any account,” she said.

“Now, that’s a thing I cannot understand,” said the Count.

“I know that you never can understand what I say,” the Countess began,
and turning to Nekhludoff, she added:

“Everybody understands except my husband. I say I am sorry for the
mother, and I do not wish him to be contented, having killed a man.”
 Then her son, who had been silent up to then, took the murderer’s part,
and rudely attacked his mother, arguing that an officer could not behave
in any other way, because his fellow-officers would condemn him and turn
him out of the regiment. Nekhludoff listened to the conversation without
joining in. Having been an officer himself, he understood, though he
did not agree with, young Tcharsky’s arguments, and at the same time
he could not help contrasting the fate of the officer with that of a
beautiful young convict whom he had seen in the prison, and who was
condemned to the mines for having killed another in a fight. Both had
turned murderers through drunkenness. The peasant had killed a man in
a moment of irritation, and he was parted from his wife and family, had
chains on his legs, and his head shaved, and was going to hard labour in
Siberia, while the officer was sitting in a fine room in the guardhouse,
eating a good dinner, drinking good wine, and reading books, and would
be set free in a day or two to live as he had done before, having only
become more interesting by the affair. Nekhludoff said what he had been
thinking, and at first his aunt, Katerina Ivanovna, seemed to agree with
him, but at last she became silent as the rest had done, and Nekhludoff
felt that he had committed something akin to an impropriety. In the
evening, soon after dinner, the large hall, with high-backed carved
chairs arranged in rows as for a meeting, and an armchair next to a
little table, with a bottle of water for the speaker, began to fill
with people come to hear the foreigner, Kiesewetter, preach. Elegant
equipages stopped at the front entrance. In the hall sat richly-dressed
ladies in silks and velvets and lace, with false hair and false busts
and drawn-in waists, and among them men in uniform and evening dress,
and about five persons of the common class, i.e., two men-servants, a
shop-keeper, a footman, and a coachman. Kiesewetter, a thick-set, grisly
man, spoke English, and a thin young girl, with a pince-nez, translated
it into Russian promptly and well. He was saying that our sins were so
great, the punishment for them so great and so unavoidable, that it was
impossible to live anticipating such punishment. “Beloved brothers and
sisters, let us for a moment consider what we are doing, how we are
living, how we have offended against the all-loving Lord, and how
we make Christ suffer, and we cannot but understand that there is no
forgiveness possible for us, no escape possible, that we are all doomed
to perish. A terrible fate awaits us---everlasting torment,” he said,
with tears in his trembling voice. “Oh, how can we be saved, brothers?
How can we be saved from this terrible, unquenchable fire? The house is
in flames; there is no escape.”

He was silent for a while, and real tears flowed down his cheeks. It
was for about eight years that each time when he got to this part of his
speech, which he himself liked so well, he felt a choking in his throat
and an irritation in his nose, and the tears came in his eyes, and these
tears touched him still more. Sobs were heard in the room. The Countess
Katerina Ivanovna sat with her elbows on an inlaid table, leaning her
head on her hands, and her shoulders were shaking. The coachman looked
with fear and surprise at the foreigner, feeling as if he was about to
run him down with the pole of his carriage and the foreigner would
not move out of his way. All sat in positions similar to that Katerina
Ivanovna had assumed. Wolf’s daughter, a thin, fashionably-dressed girl,
very like her father, knelt with her face in her hands.

The orator suddenly uncovered his face, and smiled a very real-looking
smile, such as actors express joy with, and began again with a sweet,
gentle voice:

“Yet there is a way to be saved. Here it is--a joyful, easy way. The
salvation is the blood shed for us by the only son of God, who gave
himself up to torments for our sake. His sufferings, His blood, will
save us. Brothers and sisters,” he said, again with tears in his voice,
“let us praise the Lord, who has given His only begotten son for the
redemption of mankind. His holy blood . . .”

Nekhludoff felt so deeply disgusted that he rose silently, and frowning
and keeping back a groan of shame, he left on tiptoe, and went to his
room.



CHAPTER XVIII.

OFFICIALDOM.

Hardly had Nekhludoff finished dressing the next morning, just as he
was about to go down, the footman brought him a card from the Moscow
advocate. The advocate had come to St. Petersburg on business of his
own, and was going to be present when Maslova’s case was examined in the
Senate, if that would be soon. The telegram sent by Nekhludoff crossed
him on the way. Having found out from Nekhludoff when the case was going
to be heard, and which senators were to be present, he smiled. “Exactly,
all the three types of senators,” he said. “Wolf is a Petersburg
official; Skovorodnikoff is a theoretical, and Bay a practical lawyer,
and therefore the most alive of them all,” said the advocate. “There is
most hope of him. Well, and how about the Petition Committee?”

“Oh, I’m going to Baron Vorobioff to-day. I could not get an audience
with him yesterday.”

“Do you know why he is _Baron_ Vorobioff?” said the advocate, noticing
the slightly ironical stress that Nekhludoff put on this foreign title,
followed by so very Russian a surname.

“That was because the Emperor Paul rewarded the grandfather--I think he
was one of the Court footmen--by giving him this title. He managed to
please him in some way, so he made him a baron. ‘It’s my wish, so don’t
gainsay me!’ And so there’s a _Baron_ Vorobioff, and very proud of the
title. He is a dreadful old humbug.”

“Well, I’m going to see him,” said Nekhludoff.

“That’s good; we can go together. I shall give you a lift.”

As they were going to start, a footman met Nekhludoff in the ante-room,
and handed him a note from Mariette:

_Pour vous faire plaisir, f’ai agi tout a fait contre mes principes et
j’ai intercede aupres de mon mari pour votre protegee. Il se trouve
que cette personne pout etre relaxee immediatement. Mon mari a ecrit au
commandant. Venez donc disinterestedly. Je vous attends._

                          _M._

“Just fancy!” said Nekhludoff to the advocate. “Is this not dreadful?
A woman whom they are keeping in solitary confinement for seven months
turns out to be quite innocent, and only a word was needed to get her
released.”

“That’s always so. Well, anyhow, you have succeeded in getting what you
wanted.”

“Yes, but this success grieves me. Just think what must be going on
there. Why have they been keeping her?”

“Oh, it’s best not to look too deeply into it. Well, then, I shall give
you a lift, if I may,” said the advocate, as they left the house, and
a fine carriage that the advocate had hired drove up to the door. “It’s
Baron Vorobioff you are going to see?”

The advocate gave the driver his directions, and the two good horses
quickly brought Nekhludoff to the house in which the Baron lived. The
Baron was at home. A young official in uniform, with a long, thin neck,
a much protruding Adam’s apple, and an extremely light walk, and two
ladies were in the first room.

“Your name, please?” the young man with the Adam’s apple asked, stepping
with extreme lightness and grace across from the ladies to Nekhludoff.

Nekhludoff gave his name.

“The Baron was just mentioning you,” said the young man, the Baron’s
adjutant, and went out through an inner door. He returned, leading a
weeping lady dressed in mourning. With her bony fingers the lady was
trying to pull her tangled veil over her face in order to hide her
tears.

“Come in, please,” said the young man to Nekhludoff, lightly stepping up
to the door of the study and holding it open. When Nekhludoff came in,
he saw before him a thick-set man of medium height, with short hair,
in a frock coat, who was sitting in an armchair opposite a large
writing-table, and looking gaily in front of himself. The kindly, rosy
red face, striking by its contrast with the white hair, moustaches, and
beard, turned towards Nekhludoff with a friendly smile.

“Very glad to see you. Your mother and I were old acquaintances and
friends. I have seen you as a boy, and later on as an officer. Sit
down and tell me what I can do for you. Yes, yes,” he said, shaking his
cropped white head, while Nekhludoff was telling him Theodosia’s story.
“Go on, go on. I quite understand. It is certainly very touching. And
have you handed in the petition?”

“I have got the petition ready,” Nekhludoff said, getting it out of his
pocket; “but I thought of speaking to you first in hopes that the case
would then get special attention paid to it.”

“You have done very well. I shall certainly report it myself,” said the
Baron, unsuccessfully trying to put an expression of pity on his merry
face. “Very touching! It is clear she was but a child; the husband
treated her roughly, this repelled her, but as time went on they fell in
love with each other. Yes I will report the case.”

“Count Ivan Michaelovitch was also going to speak about it.”

Nekhludoff had hardly got these words out when the Baron’s face changed.

“You had better hand in the petition into the office, after all, and I
shall do what I can,” he said.

At this moment the young official again entered the room, evidently
showing off his elegant manner of walking.

“That lady is asking if she may say a few words more.”

“Well, ask her in. Ah, mon cher, how many tears we have to see shed! If
only we could dry them all. One does all that lies within one’s power.”

The lady entered.

“I forgot to ask you that he should not be allowed to give up the
daughter, because he is ready . . .”

“But I have already told you that I should do all I can.”

“Baron, for the love of God! You will save the mother?”

She seized his hand, and began kissing it.

“Everything shall be done.”

When the lady went out Nekhludoff also began to take leave.

“We shall do what we can. I shall speak about it at the Ministry of
Justice, and when we get their answer we shall do what we can.”

Nekhludoff left the study, and went into the office again. Just as in
the Senate office, he saw, in a splendid apartment, a number of very
elegant officials, clean, polite, severely correct and distinguished in
dress and in speech.

“How many there are of them; how very many and how well fed they all
look! And what clean shirts and hands they all have, and how well all
their boots are polished! Who does it for them? How comfortable they
all are, as compared not only with the prisoners, but even with the
peasants!” These thoughts again involuntarily came to Nekhludoff’s mind.



CHAPTER XIX.

AN OLD GENERAL OF REPUTE.

The man on whom depended the easing of the fate of the Petersburg
prisoners was an old General of repute--a baron of German descent,
who, as it was said of him, had outlived his wits. He had received a
profusion of orders, but only wore one of them, the Order of the White
Cross. He had received this order, which he greatly valued, while
serving in the Caucasus, because a number of Russian peasants, with
their hair cropped, and dressed in uniform and armed with guns and
bayonets, had killed at his command more than a thousand men who were
defending their liberty, their homes, and their families. Later on
he served in Poland, and there also made Russian peasants commit many
different crimes, and got more orders and decorations for his uniform.
Then he served somewhere else, and now that he was a weak, old man
he had this position, which insured him a good house, an income and
respect. He strictly observed all the regulations which were prescribed
“from above,” and was very zealous in the fulfilment of these
regulations, to which he ascribed a special importance, considering that
everything else in the world might be changed except the regulations
prescribed “from above.” His duty was to keep political prisoners,
men and women, in solitary confinement in such a way that half of them
perished in 10 years’ time, some going out of their minds, some dying
of consumption, some committing suicide by starving themselves to death,
cutting their veins with bits of glass, hanging, or burning themselves
to death.

The old General was not ignorant of this; it all happened within his
knowledge; but these cases no more touched his conscience than accidents
brought on by thunderstorms, floods, etc. These cases occurred as a
consequence of the fulfilment of regulations prescribed “from above” by
His Imperial Majesty. These regulations had to be carried out
without fail, and therefore it was absolutely useless to think of the
consequences of their fulfilment. The old General did not even allow
himself to think of such things, counting it his patriotic duty as a
soldier not to think of them for fear of getting weak in the carrying
out of these, according to his opinion, very important obligations. Once
a week the old General made the round of the cells, one of the duties of
his position, and asked the prisoners if they had any requests to make.
The prisoners had all sorts of requests. He listened to them quietly, in
impenetrable silence, and never fulfilled any of their requests, because
they were all in disaccord with the regulations. Just as Nekhludoff
drove up to the old General’s house, the high notes of the bells on the
belfry clock chimed “Great is the Lord,” and then struck two. The sound
of these chimes brought back to Nekhludoff’s mind what he had read
in the notes of the Decembrists [the Decembrists were a group who
attempted, but failed, to put an end to absolutism in Russia at the time
of the accession of Nicholas the First] about the way this sweet music
repeated every hour re-echoes in the hearts of those imprisoned for
life.

Meanwhile the old General was sitting in his darkened drawing-room at
an inlaid table, turning a saucer on a piece of paper with the aid of
a young artist, the brother of one of his subordinates. The thin,
weak, moist fingers of the artist were pressed against the wrinkled and
stiff-jointed fingers of the old General, and the hands joined in this
manner were moving together with the saucer over a paper that had all
the letters of the alphabet written on it. The saucer was answering the
questions put by the General as to how souls will recognise each other
after death.

When Nekhludoff sent in his card by an orderly acting as footman, the
soul of Joan of Arc was speaking by the aid of the saucer. The soul of
Joan of Arc had already spelt letter by letter the words: “They well
knew each other,” and these words had been written down. When the
orderly came in the saucer had stopped first on b, then on y, and began
jerking hither and thither. This jerking was caused by the General’s
opinion that the next letter should be b, i.e., Joan of Arc ought to
say that the souls will know each other by being cleansed of all that
is earthly, or something of the kind, clashing with the opinion of the
artist, who thought the next letter should be l, i.e., that the souls
should know each other by light emanating from their astral bodies. The
General, with his bushy grey eyebrows gravely contracted, sat gazing at
the hands on the saucer, and, imagining that it was moving of its own
accord, kept pulling the saucer towards b. The pale-faced young artist,
with his thin hair combed back behind his cars, was looking with his
lifeless blue eyes into a dark corner of the drawing-room, nervously
moving his lips and pulling the saucer towards l.

The General made a wry face at the interruption, but after a moment’s
pause he took the card, put on his pince-nez, and, uttering a groan,
rose, in spite of the pain in his back, to his full height, rubbing his
numb fingers.

“Ask him into the study.”

“With your excellency’s permission I will finish it alone,” said the
artist, rising. “I feel the presence.”

“All right, finish alone,” the General said, severely and decidedly, and
stepped quickly, with big, firm and measured strides, into his study.

“Very pleased to see you,” said the General to Nekhludoff, uttering the
friendly words in a gruff tone, and pointing to an armchair by the side
of the writing-table. “Have you been in Petersburg long?”

Nekhludoff replied that he had only lately arrived.

“Is the Princess, your mother, well?”

“My mother is dead.”

“Forgive me; I am very sorry. My son told me he had met you.”

The General’s son was making the same kind of career for himself that
the father had done, and, having passed the Military Academy, was now
serving in the Inquiry Office, and was very proud of his duties there.
His occupation was the management of Government spies.

“Why, I served with your father. We were friends--comrades. And you; are
you also in the Service?”

“No, I am not.”

The General bent his head disapprovingly.

“I have a request to make, General.”

“Very pleased. In what way can I be of service to you?”

“If my request is out of place pray pardon me. But I am obliged to make
it.”

“What is it?”

“There is a certain Gourkevitch imprisoned in the fortress; his mother
asks for an interview with him, or at least to be allowed to send him
some books.”

The General expressed neither satisfaction nor dissatisfaction at
Nekhludoff’s request, but bending his head on one side he closed his
eyes as if considering. In reality he was not considering anything, and
was not even interested in Nekhludoff’s questions, well knowing that he
would answer them according to the law. He was simply resting mentally
and not thinking at all.

“You see,” he said at last, “this does not depend on me. There is a
regulation, confirmed by His Majesty, concerning interviews; and as to
books, we have a library, and they may have what is permitted.”

“Yes, but he wants scientific books; he wishes to study.”

“Don’t you believe it,” growled the General. “It’s not study he wants;
it is just only restlessness.”

“But what is to be done? They must occupy their time somehow in their
hard condition,” said Nekhludoff.

“They are always complaining,” said the General. “We know them.”

He spoke of them in a general way, as if they were all a specially bad
race of men. “They have conveniences here which can be found in few
places of confinement,” said the General, and he began to enumerate the
comforts the prisoners enjoyed, as if the aim of the institution was to
give the people imprisoned there a comfortable home.

“It is true it used to be rather rough, but now they are very well kept
here,” he continued. “They have three courses for dinner--and one of
them meat--cutlets, or rissoles; and on Sundays they get a fourth--a
sweet dish. God grant every Russian may eat as well as they do.”

Like all old people, the General, having once got on to a familiar
topic, enumerated the various proofs he had often given before of the
prisoners being exacting and ungrateful.

“They get books on spiritual subjects and old journals. We have a
library. Only they rarely read. At first they seem interested, later on
the new books remain uncut, and the old ones with their leaves unturned.
We tried them,” said the old General, with the dim likeness of a smile.
“We put bits of paper in on purpose, which remained just as they had
been placed. Writing is also not forbidden,” he continued. “A slate is
provided, and a slate pencil, so that they can write as a pastime. They
can wipe the slate and write again. But they don’t write, either. Oh,
they very soon get quite tranquil. At first they seem restless, but
later on they even grow fat and become very quiet.” Thus spoke the
General, never suspecting the terrible meaning of his words.

Nekhludoff listened to the hoarse old voice, looked at the stiff limbs,
the swollen eyelids under the grey brows, at the old, clean-shaved,
flabby jaw, supported by the collar of the military uniform, at the
white cross that this man was so proud of, chiefly because he had gained
it by exceptionally cruel and extensive slaughter, and knew that it was
useless to reply to the old man or to explain the meaning of his own
words to him.

He made another effort, and asked about the prisoner Shoustova, for
whose release, as he had been informed that morning, orders were given.

“Shoustova--Shoustova? I cannot remember all their names, there are so
many of them,” he said, as if reproaching them because there were so
many. He rang, and ordered the secretary to be called. While waiting for
the latter, he began persuading Nekhludoff to serve, saying that “honest
noblemen,” counting himself among the number, “were particularly needed
by the Tsar and--the country,” he added, evidently only to round off
his sentence. “I am old, yet I am serving still, as well as my strength
allows.”

The secretary, a dry, emaciated man, with restless, intelligent eyes,
came in and reported that Shoustova was imprisoned in some queer,
fortified place, and that he had received no orders concerning her.

“When we get the order we shall let her out the same day. We do not keep
them; we do not value their visits much,” said the General, with another
attempt at a playful smile, which only distorted his old face.

Nekhludoff rose, trying to keep from expressing the mixed feelings of
repugnance and pity which he felt towards this terrible old man. The
old man on his part considered that he should not be too severe on the
thoughtless and evidently misguided son of his old comrade, and should
not leave him without advice.

“Good-bye, my dear fellow; do not take it amiss. It is my affection that
makes me say it. Do not keep company with such people as we have at our
place here. There are no innocent ones among them. All these people
are most immoral. We know them,” he said, in a tone that admitted no
possibility of doubt. And he did not doubt, not because the thing was
so, but because if it was not so, he would have to admit himself to
be not a noble hero living out the last days of a good life, but a
scoundrel, who sold, and still continued in his old age to sell, his
conscience.

“Best of all, go and serve,” he continued; “the Tsar needs honest
men--and the country,” he added. “Well, supposing I and the others
refused to serve, as you are doing? Who would be left? Here we are,
finding fault with the order of things, and yet not wishing to help the
Government.”

With a deep sigh Nekhludoff made a low bow, shook the large, bony hand
condescendingly stretched out to him and left the room.

The General shook his head reprovingly, and rubbing his back, he again
went into the drawing-room where the artist was waiting for him. He had
already written down the answer given by the soul of Joan of Arc. The
General put on his pince-nez and read, “Will know one another by light
emanating from their astral bodies.”

“Ah,” said the General, with approval, and closed his eyes. “But how is
one to know if the light of all is alike?” he asked, and again crossed
fingers with the artist on the saucer.

The isvostchik drove Nekhludoff out of the gate.

It is dull here, sir, he said, turning to Nekhludoff. “I almost wished
to drive off without waiting for you.”

Nekhludoff agreed. “Yes, it is dull,” and he took a deep breath, and
looked up with a sense of relief at the grey clouds that were floating
in the sky, and at the glistening ripples made by the boats and steamers
on the Neva.



CHAPTER XX.

MASLOVA’S APPEAL.

The next day Maslova’s case was to be examined at the Senate, and
Nekhludoff and the advocate met at the majestic portal of the building,
where several carriages were waiting. Ascending the magnificent and
imposing staircase to the first floor, the advocate, who knew all the
ins and outs of the place, turned to the left and entered through a door
which had the date of the introduction of the Code of Laws above it.

After taking off his overcoat in the first narrow room, he found out
from the attendant that the Senators had all arrived, and that the last
had just come in. Fanarin, in his swallow-tail coat, a white tie above
the white shirt-front, and a self-confident smile on his lips, passed
into the next room. In this room there were to the right a large
cupboard and a table, and to the left a winding staircase, which an
elegant official in uniform was descending with a portfolio under his
arm. In this room an old man with long, white hair and a patriarchal
appearance attracted every one’s attention. He wore a short coat and
grey trousers. Two attendants stood respectfully beside him. The old man
with white hair entered the cupboard and shut himself in.

Fanarin noticed a fellow-advocate dressed in the same way as himself,
with a white tie and dress coat, and at once entered into an animated
conversation with him.

Nekhludoff was meanwhile examining the people in the room. The public
consisted of about 15 persons, of whom two were ladies--a young one with
a pince-nez, and an old, grey-haired one.

A case of libel was to be heard that day, and therefore the public were
more numerous than usual--chiefly persons belonging to the journalistic
world.

The usher, a red-cheeked, handsome man in a fine uniform, came up to
Fanarin and asked him what his business was. When he heard that it was
the case of Maslova, he noted something down and walked away. Then the
cupboard door opened and the old man with the patriarchal appearance
stepped out, no longer in a short coat but in a gold-trimmed attire,
which made him look like a bird, and with metal plates on his
breast. This funny costume seemed to make the old man himself feel
uncomfortable, and, walking faster than his wont, he hurried out of the
door opposite the entrance.

“That is Bay, a most estimable man,” Fanarin said to Nekhludoff, and
then having introduced him to his colleague, he explained the case that
was about to be heard, which he considered very interesting.

The hearing of the case soon commenced, and Nekhludoff, with the
public, entered the left side of the Senate Chamber. They all, including
Fanarin, took their places behind a grating. Only the Petersburg
advocate went up to a desk in front of the grating.

The Senate Chamber was not so big as the Criminal Court; and was more
simply furnished, only the table in front of the senators was covered
with crimson, gold-trimmed velvet, instead of green cloth; but the
attributes of all places of judgment, i.e., the mirror of justice, the
icon, the emblem of hypocrisy, and the Emperor’s portrait, the emblem of
servility, were there.

The usher announced, in the same solemn manner: “The Court is coming.”
 Every one rose in the same way, and the senators entered in their
uniforms and sat down on highbacked chairs and leant on the table,
trying to appear natural, just in the same way as the judges in the
Court of Law. There were four senators present--Nikitin, who took the
chair, a clean-shaved man with a narrow face and steely eyes; Wolf, with
significantly compressed lips, and little white hands, with which he
kept turning over the pages of the business papers; Skovorodnikoff,
a heavy, fat, pockmarked man--the learned lawyer; and Bay, the
patriarchal-looking man who had arrived last.

With the advocates entered the chief secretary and public prosecutor, a
lean, clean-shaven young man of medium height, a very dark complexion,
and sad, black eyes. Nekhludoff knew him at once, in spite of his
curious uniform and the fact that he had not seen him for six years. He
had been one of his best friends in Nekhludoff’s student days.

“The public prosecutor Selenin?” Nekhludoff asked, turning to the
advocate.

“Yes. Why?”

“I know him well. He is a fine fellow.”

“And a good public prosecutor; business-like. Now he is the man you
should have interested.”

“He will act according to his conscience in any case,” said Nekhludoff,
recalling the intimate relations and friendship between himself and
Selenin, and the attractive qualities of the latter--purity, honesty,
and good breeding in its best sense.

“Yes, there is no time now,” whispered Fanarin, who was listening to the
report of the case that had commenced.

The Court of Justice was accused of having left a decision of the Court
of Law unaltered.

Nekhludoff listened and tried to make out the meaning of what was going
on; but, just as in the Criminal Court, his chief difficulty was
that not the evidently chief point, but some side issues, were being
discussed. The case was that of a newspaper which had published the
account of a swindle arranged by a director of a limited liability
company. It seemed that the only important question was whether the
director of the company really abused his trust, and how to stop him
from doing it. But the questions under consideration were whether the
editor had a right to publish this article of his contributor, and what
he had been guilty of in publishing it: slander or libel, and in what
way slander included libel, or libel included slander, and something
rather incomprehensible to ordinary people about all sorts of statutes
and resolutions passed by some General Department.

The only thing clear to Nekhludoff was that, in spite of what Wolf had
so strenuously insisted on, the day before, i.e., that the Senate could
not try a case on its merits, in this case he was evidently strongly
in favour of repealing the decision of the Court of Justice, and that
Selenin, in spite of his characteristic reticence, stated the opposite
opinion with quite unexpected warmth. The warmth, which surprised
Nekhludoff, evinced by the usually self-controlled Selenin, was due to
his knowledge of the director’s shabbiness in money matters, and the
fact, which had accidentally come to his cars, that Wolf had been to a
swell dinner party at the swindler’s house only a few days before.

Now that Wolf spoke on the case, guardedly enough, but with evident
bias, Selenin became excited, and expressed his opinion with too much
nervous irritation for an ordinary business transaction.

It was clear that Selenin’s speech had offended Wolf. He grew red, moved
in his chair, made silent gestures of surprise, and at last rose, with
a very dignified and injured look, together with the other senators, and
went out into the debating-room.

“What particular case have you come about?” the usher asked again,
addressing Fanarin.

“I have already told you: Maslova’s case.”

“Yes, quite so. It is to be heard to-day, but--”

“But what?” the advocate asked.

“Well, you see, this case was to be examined without taking sides,
so that the senators will hardly come out again after passing the
resolution. But I will inform them.”

“What do you mean?”

“I’ll inform them; I’ll inform them.” And the usher again put something
down on his paper.

The Senators really meant to pronounce their decision concerning the
libel case, and then to finish the other business, Maslova’s case among
it, over their tea and cigarettes, without leaving the debating-room.



CHAPTER XXI.

THE APPEAL DISMISSED.

As soon as the Senators were seated round the table in the
debating-room, Wolf began to bring forward with great animation all the
motives in favour of a repeal. The chairman, an ill-natured man at
best, was in a particularly bad humour that day. His thoughts were
concentrated on the words he had written down in his memoranda on the
occasion when not he but Viglanoff was appointed to the important post
he had long coveted. It was the chairman, Nikitin’s, honest conviction
that his opinions of the officials of the two upper classes with which
he was in connection would furnish valuable material for the historians.
He had written a chapter the day before in which the officials of the
upper classes got it hot for preventing him, as he expressed it, from
averting the ruin towards which the present rulers of Russia were
driving it, which simply meant that they had prevented his getting a
better salary. And now he was considering what a new light to posterity
this chapter would shed on events.

“Yes, certainly,” he said, in reply to the words addressed to him by
Wolf, without listening to them.

Bay was listening to Wolf with a sad face and drawing a garland on the
paper that lay before him. Bay was a Liberal of the very first water. He
held sacred the Liberal traditions of the sixth decade of this century,
and if he ever overstepped the limits of strict neutrality it was always
in the direction of Liberalism. So in this case; beside the fact that
the swindling director, who was prosecuting for libel, was a bad lot,
the prosecution of a journalist for libel in itself tending, as it did,
to restrict the freedom of the press, inclined Bay to reject the appeal.

When Wolf concluded his arguments Bay stopped drawing his garland and
began in a sad and gentle voice (he was sad because he was obliged to
demonstrate such truisms) concisely, simply and convincingly to show
how unfounded the accusation was, and then, bending his white head, he
continued drawing his garland.

Skovorodnikoff, who sat opposite Wolf, and, with his fat fingers, kept
shoving his beard and moustaches into his mouth, stopped chewing his
beard as soon as Bay was silent, and said with a loud, grating voice,
that, notwithstanding the fact of the director being a terrible
scoundrel, he would have been for the repeal of the sentence if there
were any legal reasons for it; but, as there were none, he was of Bay’s
opinion. He was glad to put this spoke in Wolf’s wheel.

The chairman agreed with Skovorodnikoff, and the appeal was rejected.

Wolf was dissatisfied, especially because it was like being caught
acting with dishonest partiality; so he pretended to be indifferent,
and, unfolding the document which contained Maslova’s case, he became
engrossed in it. Meanwhile the Senators rang and ordered tea, and began
talking about the event that, together with the duel, was occupying the
Petersburgers.

It was the case of the chief of a Government department, who was accused
of the crime provided for in Statute 995.

“What nastiness,” said Bay, with disgust.

“Why; where is the harm of it? I can show you a Russian book containing
the project of a German writer, who openly proposes that it should not
be considered a crime,” said Skovorodnikoff, drawing in greedily the
fumes of the crumpled cigarette, which he held between his fingers close
to the palm, and he laughed boisterously.

“Impossible!” said Bay.

“I shall show it you,” said Skovorodnikoff, giving the full title of the
book, and even its date and the name of its editor.

“I hear he has been appointed governor to some town in Siberia.”

“That’s fine. The archdeacon will meet him with a crucifix. They ought
to appoint an archdeacon of the same sort,” said Skovorodnikoff. “I
could recommend them one,” and he threw the end of his cigarette into
his saucer, and again shoved as much of his beard and moustaches as he
could into his mouth and began chewing them.

The usher came in and reported the advocate’s and Nekhludoff’s desire to
be present at the examination of Maslova’s case.

“This case,” Wolf said, “is quite romantic,” and he told them what he
knew about Nekhludoff’s relations with Maslova. When they had spoken
a little about it and finished their tea and cigarettes, the Senators
returned into the Senate Chamber and proclaimed their decision in the
libel case, and began to hear Maslova’s case.

Wolf, in his thin voice, reported Maslova’s appeal very fully, but
again not without some bias and an evident wish for the repeal of the
sentence.

“Have you anything to add?” the chairman said, turning to Fanarin.
Fanarin rose, and standing with his broad white chest expanded, proved
point by point, with wonderful exactness and persuasiveness, how the
Court had in six points strayed from the exact meaning of the law; and
besides this he touched, though briefly, on the merits of the case, and
on the crying injustice of the sentence. The tone of his speech was one
of apology to the Senators, who, with their penetration and judicial
wisdom, could not help seeing and understanding it all better than he
could. He was obliged to speak only because the duty he had undertaken
forced him to do so.

After Fanarin’s speech one might have thought that there could not
remain the least doubt that the Senate ought to repeal the decision of
the Court. When he had finished his speech, Fanarin looked round with a
smile of triumph, seeing which Nekhludoff felt certain that the case was
won. But when he looked at the Senators he saw that Fanarin smiled and
triumphed all alone. The Senators and the Public Prosecutor did not
smile nor triumph, but looked like people wearied, and who were thinking
“We have often heard the like of you; it is all in vain,” and were only
too glad when he stopped and ceased uselessly detaining them there.
Immediately after the end of the advocate’s speech the chairman turned
to the Public Prosecutor. Selenin briefly and clearly expressed
himself in favour of leaving the decision of the Court unaltered, as
he considered all the reasons for appealing inadequate. After this the
Senators went out into the debating-room. They were divided in their
opinions. Wolf was in favour of altering the decision. Bay, when he
had understood the case, took up the same side with fervour, vividly
presenting the scene at the court to his companions as he clearly saw it
himself. Nikitin, who always was on the side of severity and formality,
took up the other side. All depended on Skovorodnikoff’s vote, and he
voted for rejecting the appeal, because Nekhludoff’s determination to
marry the woman on moral grounds was extremely repugnant to him.

Skovorodnikoff was a materialist, a Darwinian, and counted every
manifestation of abstract morality, or, worse still, religion, not only
as a despicable folly, but as a personal affront to himself. All this
bother about a prostitute, and the presence of a celebrated advocate and
Nekhludoff in the Senate were in the highest degree repugnant to him.
So he shoved his beard into his mouth and made faces, and very skilfully
pretended to know nothing of this case, excepting that the reasons for
an appeal were insufficient, and that he, therefore, agreed with the
chairman to leave the decision of the Court unaltered.

So the sentence remained unrepealed.



CHAPTER XXII.

AN OLD FRIEND.

“Terrible,” said Nekhludoff, as he went out into the waiting-room with
the advocate, who was arranging the papers in his portfolio. “In a
matter which is perfectly clear they attach all the importance to the
form and reject the appeal. Terrible!”

“The case was spoiled in the Criminal Court,” said the advocate.

“And Selenin, too, was in favour of the rejection. Terrible! terrible!”
 Nekhludoff repeated. “What is to be done now?”

“We will appeal to His Majesty, and you can hand in the petition
yourself while you are here. I will write it for you.”

At this moment little Wolf, with his stars and uniform, came out into
the waiting-room and approached Nekhludoff. “It could not be helped,
dear Prince. The reasons for an appeal were not sufficient,” he said,
shrugging his narrow shoulders and closing his eyes, and then he went
his way.

After Wolf, Selenin came out too, having heard from the Senators that
his old friend Nekhludoff was there.

“Well, I never expected to see you here,” he said, coming up to
Nekhludoff, and smiling only with his lips while his eyes remained sad.
“I did not know you were in Petersburg.”

“And I did not know you were Public Prosecutor-in-Chief.”

“How is it you are in the Senate?” asked Selenin. “I had heard, by the
way, that you were in Petersburg. But what are you doing here?”

“Here? I am here because I hoped to find justice and save a woman
innocently condemned.”

“What woman?”

“The one whose case has just been decided.”

“Oh! Maslova’s case,” said Selenin, suddenly remembering it. “The appeal
had no grounds whatever.”

“It is not the appeal; it’s the woman who is innocent, and is being
punished.”

Selenin sighed. “That may well be, but----”

“Not _may be_, but is.”

“How do you know?”

“Because I was on the jury. I know how we made the mistake.”

Selenin became thoughtful. “You should have made a statement at the
time,” he said.

“I did make the statement.”

“It should have been put down in an official report. If this had been
added to the petition for the appeal--”

“Yes, but still, as it is, the verdict is evidently absurd.”

“The Senate has no right to say so. If the Senate took upon itself to
repeal the decision of the law courts according to its own views as
to the justice of the decisions in themselves, the verdict of the jury
would lose all its meaning, not to mention that the Senate would have
no basis to go upon, and would run the risk of infringing justice rather
than upholding it,” said Selenin, calling to mind the case that had just
been heard.

“All I know is that this woman is quite innocent, and that the last
hope of saving her from an unmerited punishment is gone. The grossest
injustice has been confirmed by the highest court.”

“It has not been confirmed. The Senate did not and cannot enter into
the merits of the case in itself,” said Selenin. Always busy and rarely
going out into society, he had evidently heard nothing of Nekhludoff’s
romance. Nekhludoff noticed it, and made up his mind that it was best to
say nothing about his special relations with Maslova.

“You are probably staying with your aunt,” Selenin remarked, apparently
wishing to change the subject. “She told me you were here yesterday, and
she invited me to meet you in the evening, when some foreign preacher
was to lecture,” and Selenin again smiled only with his lips.

“Yes, I was there, but left in disgust,” said Nekhludoff angrily, vexed
that Selenin had changed the subject.

“Why with disgust? After all, it is a manifestation of religious
feeling, though one-sided and sectarian,” said Selenin.

“Why, it’s only some kind of whimsical folly.”

“Oh, dear, no. The curious thing is that we know the teaching of our
church so little that we see some new kind of revelation in what are,
after all, our own fundamental dogmas,” said Selenin, as if hurrying to
let his old friend know his new views.

Nekhludoff looked at Selenin scrutinisingly and with surprise, and
Selenin dropped his eyes, in which appeared an expression not only of
sadness but also of ill-will.

“Do you, then, believe in the dogmas of the church?” Nekhludoff asked.

“Of course I do,” replied Selenin, gazing straight into Nekhludoff’s
eyes with a lifeless look.

Nekhludoff sighed. “It is strange,” he said.

“However, we shall have a talk some other time,” said Selenin. “I
am coming,” he added, in answer to the usher, who had respectfully
approached him. “Yes, we must meet again,” he went on with a sigh. “But
will it be possible for me to find you? You will always find me in at
seven o’clock. My address is Nadejdinskaya,” and he gave the number.
“Ah, time does not stand still,” and he turned to go, smiling only with
his lips.

“I will come if I can,” said Nekhludoff, feeling that a man once
near and dear to him had, by this brief conversation, suddenly become
strange, distant, and incomprehensible, if not hostile to him.



CHAPTER XXIII.

THE PUBLIC PROSECUTOR.

When Nekhludoff knew Selenin as a student, he was a good son, a true
friend, and for his years an educated man of the world, with much tact;
elegant, handsome, and at the same time truthful and honest. He learned
well, without much exertion and with no pedantry, receiving gold medals
for his essays. He considered the service of mankind, not only in words
but in acts, to be the aim of his young life. He saw no other way of
being useful to humanity than by serving the State. Therefore, as soon
as he had completed his studies, he systematically examined all the
activities to which he might devote his life, and decided to enter the
Second Department of the Chancellerie, where the laws are drawn up, and
he did so. But, in spite of the most scrupulous and exact discharge of
the duties demanded of him, this service gave no satisfaction to his
desire of being useful, nor could he awake in himself the consciousness
that he was doing “the right thing.”

This dissatisfaction was so much increased by the friction with his very
small-minded and vain fellow officials that he left the Chancellerie and
entered the Senate. It was better there, but the same dissatisfaction
still pursued him; he felt it to be very different from what he had
expected, and from what ought to be.

And now that he was in the Senate his relatives obtained for him the
post of Gentleman of the Bedchamber, and he had to go in a carriage,
dressed in an embroidered uniform and a white linen apron, to thank
all sorts of people for having placed him in the position of a lackey.
However much he tried he could find no reasonable explanation for the
existence of this post, and felt, more than in the Senate, that it
was not “the right thing,” and yet he could not refuse it for fear of
hurting those who felt sure they were giving him much pleasure by this
appointment, and because it flattered the lowest part of his nature. It
pleased him to see himself in a mirror in his gold-embroidered uniform,
and to accept the deference paid him by some people because of his
position.

Something of the same kind happened when he married. A very brilliant
match, from a worldly point of view, was arranged for him, and he
married chiefly because by refusing he would have had to hurt the
young lady who wished to be married to him, and those who arranged the
marriage, and also because a marriage with a nice young girl of noble
birth flattered his vanity and gave him pleasure. But this marriage
very soon proved to be even less “the right thing” than the Government
service and his position at Court.

After the birth of her first child the wife decided to have no more,
and began leading that luxurious worldly life in which he now had to
participate whether he liked or not.

She was not particularly handsome, and was faithful to him, and she
seemed, in spite of all the efforts it cost her, to derive nothing but
weariness from the life she led, yet she perseveringly continued to live
it, though it was poisoning her husband’s life. And all his efforts
to alter this life was shattered, as against a stone wall, by her
conviction, which all her friends and relatives supported, that all was
as it should be.

The child, a little girl with bare legs and long golden curls, was a
being perfectly foreign to him, chiefly because she was trained quite
otherwise than he wished her to be. There sprung up between the husband
and wife the usual misunderstanding, without even the wish to understand
each other, and then a silent warfare, hidden from outsiders and
tempered by decorum. All this made his life at home a burden, and became
even less “the right thing” than his service and his post.

But it was above all his attitude towards religion which was not “the
right thing.” Like every one of his set and his time, by the growth of
his reason he broke without the least effort the nets of the religious
superstitions in which he was brought up, and did not himself exactly
know when it was that he freed himself of them. Being earnest and
upright, he did not, during his youth and intimacy with Nekhludoff as a
student, conceal his rejection of the State religion. But as years
went on and he rose in the service, and especially at the time of the
reaction towards conservatism in society, his spiritual freedom stood in
his way.

At home, when his father died, he had to be present at the masses
said for his soul, and his mother wished him to go to confession or to
communion, and it was in a way expected, by public opinion, but above
all, Government service demanded that he should be present at all sorts
of services, consecrations, thanksgivings, and the like. Hardly a day
passed without some outward religious form having to be observed.

When present at these services he had to pretend that he believed in
something which he did not believe in, and being truthful he could not
do this. The alternative was, having made up his mind that all these
outward signs were deceitful, to alter his life in such a way that he
would not have to be present at such ceremonials. But to do what
seemed so simple would have cost a great deal. Besides encountering the
perpetual hostility of all those who were near to him, he would have to
give up the service and his position, and sacrifice his hopes of being
useful to humanity by his service, now and in the future. To make such a
sacrifice one would have to be firmly convinced of being right.

And he was firmly convinced he was right, as no educated man of our
time can help being convinced who knows a little history and how the
religions, and especially Church Christianity, originated.

But under the stress of his daily life he, a truthful man, allowed a
little falsehood to creep in. He said that in order to do justice to
an unreasonable thing one had to study the unreasonable thing. It was a
little falsehood, but it sunk him into the big falsehood in which he was
now caught.

Before putting to himself the question whether the orthodoxy in which
he was born and bred, and which every one expected him to accept, and
without which he could not continue his useful occupation, contained the
truth, he had already decided the answer. And to clear up the question
he did not read Voltaire, Schopenhauer, Herbert Spencer, or Comte, but
the philosophical works of Hegel and the religious works of Vinet and
Khomyakoff, and naturally found in them what he wanted, i.e., something
like peace of mind and a vindication of that religious teaching in which
he was educated, which his reason had long ceased to accept, but without
which his whole life was filled with unpleasantness which could all be
removed by accepting the teaching.

And so he adopted all the usual sophistries which go to prove that
a single human reason cannot know the truth, that the truth is only
revealed to an association of men, and can only be known by revelation,
that revelation is kept by the church, etc. And so he managed to be
present at prayers, masses for the dead, to confess, make signs of the
cross in front of icons, with a quiet mind, without being conscious of
the lie, and to continue in the service which gave him the feeling of
being useful and some comfort in his joyless family life. Although he
believed this, he felt with his entire being that this religion of his,
more than all else, was not “the right thing,” and that is why his eyes
always looked sad.

And seeing Nekhludoff, whom he had known before all these lies had
rooted themselves within him, reminded him of what he then was. It was
especially after he had hurried to hint at his religious views that he
had most strongly felt all this “not the right thing,” and had become
painfully sad. Nekhludoff felt it also after the first joy of meeting
his old friend had passed, and therefore, though they promised each
other to meet, they did not take any steps towards an interview, and did
not again see each other during this stay of Nekhludoff’s in Petersburg.



CHAPTER XXIV.

MARIETTE TEMPTS NEKHLUDOFF.

When they left the Senate, Nekhludoff and the advocate walked on
together, the advocate having given the driver of his carriage orders
to follow them. The advocate told Nekhludoff the story of the chief of a
Government department, about whom the Senators had been talking: how the
thing was found out, and how the man, who according to law should
have been sent to the mines, had been appointed Governor of a town
in Siberia. Then he related with particular pleasure how several
high-placed persons stole a lot of money collected for the erection of
the still unfinished monument which they had passed that morning; also,
how the mistress of So-and-so got a lot of money at the Stock Exchange,
and how So-and-so agreed with So-and-so to sell him his wife. The
advocate began another story about a swindle, and all sorts of crimes
committed by persons in high places, who, instead of being in prison,
sat on presidential chairs in all sorts of Government institutions.
These tales, of which the advocate seemed to have an unending supply,
gave him much pleasure, showing as they did, with perfect clearness,
that his means of getting money were quite just and innocent compared
to the means which the highest officials in Petersburg made use of.
The advocate was therefore surprised when Nekhludoff took an isvostchik
before hearing the end of the story, said good-bye, and left him.
Nekhludoff felt very sad. It was chiefly the rejection of the appeal by
the Senate, confirming the senseless torments that the innocent Maslova
was enduring, that saddened him, and also the fact that this rejection
made it still harder for him to unite his fate with hers. The stories
about existing evils, which the advocate recounted with such relish,
heightened his sadness, and so did the cold, unkind look that the
once sweet-natured, frank, noble Selenin had given him, and which kept
recurring to his mind.

On his return the doorkeeper handed him a note, and said, rather
scornfully, that some kind of woman had written it in the hall. It was
a note from Shoustova’s mother. She wrote that she had come to thank
her daughter’s benefactor and saviour, and to implore him to come to see
them on the Vasilievsky, 5th Line, house No. --. This was very necessary
because of Vera Doukhova. He need not be afraid that they would weary
him with expressions of gratitude. They would not speak their gratitude,
but be simply glad to see him. Would he not come next morning, if he
could?

There was another note from Bogotyreff, a former fellow-officer,
aide-de-camp to the Emperor, whom Nekhludoff had asked to hand
personally to the Emperor his petition on behalf of the sectarians.
Bogotyreff wrote, in his large, firm hand, that he would put the
petition into the Emperor’s own hands, as he had promised; but that it
had occurred to him that it might be better for Nekhludoff first to go
and see the person on whom the matter depended.

After the impressions received during the last few days, Nekhludoff felt
perfectly hopeless of getting anything done. The plans he had formed
in Moscow seemed now something like the dreams of youth, which are
inevitably followed by disillusion when life comes to be faced. Still,
being now in Petersburg, he considered it his duty to do all he had
intended, and he resolved next day, after consulting Bogotyreff, to
act on his advice and see the person on whom the case of the sectarians
depended.

He got out the sectarians’ petition from his portfolio, and began
reading it over, when there was a knock at his door, and a footman came
in with a message from the Countess Katerina Ivanovna, who asked him to
come up and have a cup of tea with her.

Nekhludoff said he would come at once, and having put the papers back
into the portfolio, he went up to his aunt’s. He looked out of a window
on his way, and saw Mariette’s pair of bays standing in front of the
house, and he suddenly brightened and felt inclined to smile.

Mariette, with a hat on her head, not in black but with a light dress
of many shades, sat with a cup in her hand beside the Countess’s easy
chair, prattling about something while her beautiful, laughing
eyes glistened. She had said something funny--something indecently
funny--just as Nekhludoff entered the room. He knew it by the way she
laughed, and by the way the good-natured Countess Katerina Ivanovna’s
fat body was shaking with laughter; while Mariette, her smiling mouth
slightly drawn to one side, her head a little bent, a peculiarly
mischievous expression in her merry, energetic face, sat silently
looking at her companion. From a few words which he overheard,
Nekhludoff guessed that they were talking of the second piece of
Petersburg news, the episode of the Siberian Governor, and that it was
in reference to this subject that Mariette had said something so funny
that the Countess could not control herself for a long time.

“You will kill me,” she said, coughing.

After saying “How d’you do?” Nekhludoff sat down. He was about to
censure Mariette in his mind for her levity when, noticing the serious
and even slightly dissatisfied look in his eyes, she suddenly, to please
him, changed not only the expression of her face, but also the attitude
of her mind; for she felt the wish to please him as soon as she looked
at him. She suddenly turned serious, dissatisfied with her life, as if
seeking and striving after something; it was not that she pretended, but
she really reproduced in herself the very same state of mind that he was
in, although it would have been impossible for her to express in words
what was the state of Nekhludoff’s mind at that moment.

She asked him how he had accomplished his tasks. He told her about his
failure in the Senate and his meeting Selenin.

“Oh, what a pure soul! He is, indeed, a chevalier sans peur et sans
reproche. A pure soul!” said both ladies, using the epithet commonly
applied to Selenin in Petersburg society.

“What is his wife like?” Nekhludoff asked.

“His wife? Well, I do not wish to judge, but she does not understand
him.”

“Is it possible that he, too, was for rejecting the appeal?” Mariette
asked with real sympathy. “It is dreadful. How sorry I am for her,” she
added with a sigh.

He frowned, and in order to change the subject began to speak about
Shoustova, who had been imprisoned in the fortress and was now set free
through the influence of Mariette’s husband. He thanked her for her
trouble, and was going on to say how dreadful he thought it, that this
woman and the whole of her family had suffered merely, because no one
had reminded the authorities about them, but Mariette interrupted him
and expressed her own indignation.

“Say nothing about it to me,” she said. “When my husband told me she
could be set free, it was this that struck me, ‘What was she kept in
prison for if she is innocent?’” She went on expressing what Nekhludoff
was about to say.

“It is revolting--revolting.”

Countess Katerina Ivanovna noticed that Mariette was coquetting with her
nephew, and this amused her. “What do you think?” she said, when they
were silent. “Supposing you come to Aline’s to-morrow night. Kiesewetter
will be there. And you, too,” she said, turning to Mariette. “_Il vous a
remarque_,” she went on to her nephew. “He told me that what you say (I
repeated it all to him) is a very good sign, and that you will certainly
come to Christ. You must come absolutely. Tell him to, Mariette, and
come yourself.”

“Countess, in the first place, I have no right whatever to give any kind
of advice to the Prince,” said Mariette, and gave Nekhludoff a look that
somehow established a full comprehension between them of their attitude
in relation to the Countess’s words and evangelicalism in general.
“Secondly, I do not much care, you know.”

“Yes, I know you always do things the wrong way round, and according to
your own ideas.”

“My own ideas? I have faith like the most simple peasant woman,” said
Mariette with a smile. “And, thirdly, I am going to the French Theatre
to-morrow night.”

“Ah! And have you seen that--What’s her name?” asked Countess Katerina
Ivanovna. Mariette gave the name of a celebrated French actress.

“You must go, most decidedly; she is wonderful.”

“Whom am I to see first, ma tante--the actress or the preacher?”
 Nekhludoff said with a smile.

“Please don’t catch at my words.”

“I should think the preacher first and then the actress, or else the
desire for the sermon might vanish altogether,” said Nekhludoff.

“No; better begin with the French Theatre, and do penance afterwards.”

“Now, then, you are not to hold me up for ridicule. The preacher is the
preacher and the theatre is the theatre. One need not weep in order to
be saved. One must have faith, and then one is sure to be gay.”

“You, ma tante, preach better than any preacher.”

“Do you know what?” said Mariette. “Come into my box to-morrow.”

“I am afraid I shall not be able to.”

The footman interrupted the conversation by announcing a visitor. It
was the secretary of a philanthropic society of which the Countess was
president.

“Oh, that is the dullest of men. I think I shall receive him out there,
and return to you later on. Mariette, give him his tea,” said the
Countess, and left the room, with her quick, wriggling walk.

Mariette took the glove off her firm, rather flat hand, the fourth
finger of which was covered with rings.

“Want any?” she said, taking hold of the silver teapot, under which a
spirit lamp was burning, and extending her little finger curiously. Her
face looked sad and serious.

“It is always terribly painful to me to notice that people whose opinion
I value confound me with the position I am placed in.” She seemed ready
to cry as she said these last words. And though these words had no
meaning, or at any rate a very indefinite meaning, they seemed to be of
exceptional depth, meaning, or goodness to Nekhludoff, so much was he
attracted by the look of the bright eyes which accompanied the words of
this young, beautiful, and well-dressed woman.

Nekhludoff looked at her in silence, and could not take his eyes from
her face.

“You think I do not understand you and all that goes on in you. Why,
everybody knows what you are doing. _C’est le secret de polichinelle_.
And I am delighted with your work, and think highly of you.”

“Really, there is nothing to be delighted with; and I have done so
little as Yet.”

“No matter. I understand your feelings, and I understand her. All
right, all right. I will say nothing more about it,” she said, noticing
displeasure on his face. “But I also understand that after seeing all
the suffering and the horror in the prisons,” Mariette went on, her only
desire that of attracting him, and guessing with her woman’s instinct
what was dear and important to him, “you wish to help the sufferers,
those who are made to suffer so terribly by other men, and their cruelty
and indifference. I understand the willingness to give one’s life, and
could give mine in such a cause, but we each have our own fate.”

“Are you, then, dissatisfied with your fate?”

“I?” she asked, as if struck with surprise that such a question could
be put to her. “I have to be satisfied, and am satisfied. But there is a
worm that wakes up--”

“And he must not be allowed to fall asleep again. It is a voice that
must be obeyed,” Nekhludoff said, falling into the trap.

Many a time later on Nekhludoff remembered with shame his talk with her.
He remembered her words, which were not so much lies as imitations of
his own, and her face, which seemed looking at him with sympathetic
attention when he told her about the terrors of the prison and of his
impressions in the country.

When the Countess returned they were talking not merely like old, but
like exclusive friends who alone understood one another. They were
talking about the injustice of power, of the sufferings of the
unfortunate, the poverty of the people, yet in reality in the midst of
the sound of their talk their eyes, gazing at each other, kept asking,
“Can you love me?” and answering, “I can,” and the sex-feeling, taking
the most unexpected and brightest forms, drew them to each other. As she
was going away she told him that she would always be willing to serve
him in any way she could, and asked him to come and see her, if only for
a moment, in the theatre next day, as she had a very important thing to
tell him about.

“Yes, and when shall I see you again?” she added, with a sigh, carefully
drawing the glove over her jewelled hand.

“Say you will come.”

Nekhludoff promised.

That night, when Nekhludoff was alone in his room, and lay down after
putting out his candle, he could not sleep. He thought of Maslova, of
the decision of the Senate, of his resolve to follow her in any case, of
his having given up the land. The face of Mariette appeared to him as if
in answer to those thoughts--her look, her sigh, her words, “When shall
I see you again?” and her smile seemed vivid as if he really saw her,
and he also smiled. “Shall I be doing right in going to Siberia? And
have I done right in divesting myself of my wealth?” And the answers to
the questions on this Petersburg night, on which the daylight streamed
into the window from under the blind, were quite indefinite. All seemed
mixed in his head. He recalled his former state of mind, and the former
sequence of his thoughts, but they had no longer their former power or
validity.

“And supposing I have invented all this, and am unable to live it
through--supposing I repent of having acted right,” he thought; and
unable to answer he was seized with such anguish and despair as he had
long not felt. Unable to free himself from his perplexity, he fell into
a heavy sleep, such as he had slept after a heavy loss at cards.



CHAPTER XXV.

LYDIA SHOUSTOVA’S HOME.

Nekhludoff awoke next morning feeling as if he had been guilty of some
iniquity the day before. He began considering. He could not remember
having done anything wrong; he had committed no evil act, but he had had
evil thoughts. He had thought that all his present resolutions to marry
Katusha and to give up his land were unachievable dreams; that he should
be unable to bear it; that it was artificial, unnatural; and that he
would have to go on living as he lived.

He had committed no evil action, but, what was far worse than an
evil action, he had entertained evil thoughts whence all evil actions
proceed. An evil action may not be repeated, and can be repented of; but
evil thoughts generate all evil actions.

An evil action only smooths the path for other evil acts; evil thoughts
uncontrollably drag one along that path.

When Nekhludoff repeated in his mind the thoughts of the day before, he
was surprised that he could for a moment have believed these thoughts.
However new and difficult that which he had decided to do might be, he
knew that it was the only possible way of life for him now, and however
easy and natural it might have been to return to his former state, he
knew that state to be death.

Yesterday’s temptation seemed like the feeling when one awakes from deep
sleep, and, without feeling sleepy, wants to lie comfortably in bed a
little longer, yet knows that it is time to rise and commence the glad
and important work that awaits one.

On that, his last day in Petersburg, he went in the morning to the
Vasilievski Ostrov to see Shoustova. Shoustova lived on the second
floor, and having been shown the back stairs, Nekhludoff entered
straight into the hot kitchen, which smelt strongly of food. An elderly
woman, with turned-up sleeves, with an apron and spectacles, stood by
the fire stirring something in a steaming pan.

“Whom do you want?” she asked severely, looking at him over her
spectacles.

Before Nekhludoff had time to answer, an expression of fright and joy
appeared on her face.

“Oh, Prince!” she exclaimed, wiping her hands on her apron. “But why
have you come the back way? Our Benefactor! I am her mother. They have
nearly killed my little girl. You have saved us,” she said, catching
hold of Nekhludoff’s hand and trying to kiss it.

“I went to see you yesterday. My sister asked me to. She is here. This
way, this way, please,” said Shoustova’s mother, as she led the way
through a narrow door, and a dark passage, arranging her hair and
pulling at her tucked-up skirt. “My sister’s name is Kornilova. You must
have heard of her,” she added, stopping before a closed door. “She was
mixed up in a political affair. An extremely clever woman!”

Shoustova’s mother opened the door and showed Nekhludoff into a little
room where on a sofa with a table before it sat a plump, short girl with
fair hair that curled round her pale, round face, which was very like
her mother’s. She had a striped cotton blouse on.

Opposite her, in an armchair, leaning forward, so that he was nearly
bent double, sat a young fellow with a slight, black beard and
moustaches.

“Lydia, Prince Nekhludoff!” he said.

The pale girl jumped up, nervously pushing back a lock of hair behind
her ear, and gazing at the newcomer with a frightened look in her large,
grey eyes.

“So you are that dangerous woman whom Vera Doukhova wished me to
intercede for?” Nekhludoff asked, with a smile.

“Yes, I am,” said Lydia Shoustova, her broad, kind, child-like smile
disclosing a row of beautiful teeth. “It was aunt who was so anxious to
see you. Aunt!” she called out, in a pleasant, tender voice through a
door.

“Your imprisonment grieved Vera Doukhova very much,” said Nekhludoff.

“Take a seat here, or better here,” said Shoustova, pointing to the
battered easy-chair from which the young man had just risen.

“My cousin, Zakharov,” she said, noticing that Nekhludoff looked at the
young man.

The young man greeted the visitor with a smile as kindly as Shoustova’s,
and when Nekhludoff sat down he brought himself another chair, and sat
by his side. A fair-haired schoolboy of about 10 also came into the room
and silently sat down on the window-sill.

“Vera Doukhova is a great friend of my aunt’s, but I hardly know her,”
 said Shoustova.

Then a woman with a very pleasant face, with a white blouse and leather
belt, came in from the next room.

“How do you do? Thanks for coming,” she began as soon as she had taken
the place next Shoustova’s on the sofa.

“Well, and how is Vera. You have seen her? How does she bear her fate?”

“She does not complain,” said Nekhludoff. “She says she feels perfectly
happy.”’

“Ah, that’s like Vera. I know her,” said the aunt, smiling and shaking
her head. “One must know her. She has a fine character. Everything for
others; nothing for herself.”

“No, she asked nothing for herself, but only seemed concerned about your
niece. What seemed to trouble her most was, as she said, that your niece
was imprisoned for nothing.”

“Yes, that’s true,” said the aunt. “It is a dreadful business. She
suffered, in reality, because of me.”

“Not at all, aunt. I should have taken the papers without you all the
same.”

“Allow me to know better,” said the aunt. “You see,” she went on to
Nekhludoff, “it all happened because a certain person asked me to keep
his papers for a time, and I, having no house at the time, brought them
to her. And that very night the police searched her room and took her
and the papers, and have kept her up to now, demanding that she should
say from whom she had them.”

“But I never told them,” said Shoustova quickly, pulling nervously at a
lock that was not even out of place.

“I never said you did,” answered the aunt.

“If they took Mitin up it was certainly not through me,” said Shoustova,
blushing, and looking round uneasily.

“Don’t speak about it, Lydia dear,” said her mother.

“Why not? I should like to relate it,” said Shoustova, no longer smiling
nor pulling her lock, but twisting it round her finger and getting
redder.

“Don’t forget what happened yesterday when you began talking about it.”

“Not at all---Leave me alone, mamma. I did not tell, I only kept quiet.
When he examined me about Mitin and about aunt, I said nothing, and told
him I would not answer.”

“Then this--Petrov--”

“Petrov is a spy, a gendarme, and a blackguard,” put in the aunt, to
explain her niece’s words to Nekhludoff.

“Then he began persuading,” continued Shoustova, excitedly and
hurriedly. “‘Anything you tell me,’ he said, ‘can harm no one; on the
contrary, if you tell me, we may be able to set free innocent people
whom we may be uselessly tormenting.’ Well, I still said I would not
tell. Then he said, ‘All right, don’t tell, but do not deny what I am
going to say.’ And he named Mitin.”

“Don’t talk about it,” said the aunt.

“Oh, aunt, don’t interrupt,” and she went on pulling the lock of hair
and looking round. “And then, only fancy, the next day I hear--they let
me know by knocking at the wall--that Mitin is arrested. Well, I think
I have betrayed him, and this tormented me so--it tormented me so that I
nearly went mad.”

“And it turned out that it was not at all because of you he was taken
up?”

“Yes, but I didn’t know. I think, ‘There, now, I have betrayed him.’ I
walk and walk up and down from wall to wall, and cannot help thinking.
I think, ‘I have betrayed him.’ I lie down and cover myself up, and hear
something whispering, ‘Betrayed! betrayed Mitin! Mitin betrayed!’ I
know it is an hallucination, but cannot help listening. I wish to
fall asleep, I cannot. I wish not to think, and cannot cease. That is
terrible!” and as Shoustova spoke she got more and more excited, and
twisted and untwisted the lock of hair round her finger.

“Lydia, dear, be calm,” the mother said, touching her shoulder.

But Shoustova could not stop herself.

“It is all the more terrible--” she began again, but did not finish, and
jumping up with a cry rushed out of the room.

Her mother turned to follow her.

“They ought to be hanged, the rascals!” said the schoolboy who was
sitting on the window-sill.

“What’s that?” said the mother.

“I only said--Oh, it’s nothing,” the schoolboy answered, and taking a
cigarette that lay on the table, he began to smoke.



CHAPTER XXVI.

LYDIA’S AUNT.

“Yes, that solitary confinement is terrible for the young,” said the
aunt, shaking her head and also lighting a cigarette.

“I should say for every one,” Nekhludoff replied.

“No, not for all,” answered the aunt. “For the real revolutionists, I
have been told, it is rest and quiet. A man who is wanted by the police
lives in continual anxiety, material want, and fear for himself and
others, and for his cause, and at last, when he is taken up and it is
all over, and all responsibility is off his shoulders, he can sit and
rest. I have been told they actually feel joyful when taken up. But the
young and innocent (they always first arrest the innocent, like Lydia),
for them the first shock is terrible. It is not that they deprive you of
freedom; and the bad food and bad air--all that is nothing. Three times
as many privations would be easily borne if it were not for the moral
shock when one is first taken.”

“Have you experienced it?”

“I? I was twice in prison,” she answered, with a sad, gentle smile.
“When I was arrested for the first time I had done nothing. I was 22,
had a child, and was expecting another. Though the loss of freedom and
the parting with my child and husband were hard, they were nothing when
compared with what I felt when I found out that I had ceased being a
human creature and had become a thing. I wished to say good-bye to my
little daughter. I was told to go and get into the trap. I asked where I
was being taken to. The answer was that I should know when I got there.
I asked what I was accused of, but got no reply. After I had been
examined, and after they had undressed me and put numbered prison
clothes on me, they led me to a vault, opened a door, pushed me in, and
left me alone; a sentinel, with a loaded gun, paced up and down in front
of my door, and every now and then looked in through a crack--I felt
terribly depressed. What struck me most at the time was that the
gendarme officer who examined me offered me a cigarette. So he knew that
people liked smoking, and must know that they liked freedom and light;
and that mothers love their children, and children their mothers. Then
how could they tear me pitilessly from all that was dear to me, and
lock me up in prison like a wild animal? That sort of thing could not
be borne without evil effects. Any one who believes in God and men, and
believes that men love one another, will cease to believe it after all
that. I have ceased to believe in humanity since then, and have grown
embittered,” she finished, with a smile.

Shoustova’s mother came in at the door through which her daughter had
gone out, and said that Lydia was very much upset, and would not come in
again.

“And what has this young life been ruined for?” said the aunt. “What is
especially painful to me is that I am the involuntary cause of it.”

“She will recover in the country, with God’s help,” said the mother. “We
shall send her to her father.”

“Yes, if it were not for you she would have perished altogether,” said
the aunt. “Thank you. But what I wished to see you for is this: I wished
to ask you to take a letter to Vera Doukhova,” and she got the letter
out of her pocket.

“The letter is not closed; you may read and tear it up, or hand it to
her, according to how far it coincides with your principles,” she said.
“It contains nothing compromising.”

Nekhludoff took the letter, and, having promised to give it to Vera
Doukhova, he took his leave and went away. He sealed the letter without
reading it, meaning to take it to its destination.



CHAPTER XXVII.

THE STATE CHURCH AND THE PEOPLE.

The last thing that kept Nekhludoff in Petersburg was the case of the
sectarians, whose petition he intended to get his former fellow-officer,
Aide-de-camp Bogatyreff, to hand to the Tsar. He came to Bogatyreff in
the morning, and found him about to go out, though still at breakfast.
Bogatyreff was not tall, but firmly built and wonderfully strong (he
could bend a horseshoe), a kind, honest, straight, and even liberal man.
In spite of these qualities, he was intimate at Court, and very fond of
the Tsar and his family, and by some strange method he managed, while
living in that highest circle, to see nothing but the good in it and to
take no part in the evil and corruption. He never condemned anybody
nor any measure, and either kept silent or spoke in a bold, loud voice,
almost shouting what he had to say, and often laughing in the same
boisterous manner. And he did not do it for diplomatic reasons, but
because such was his character.

“Ah, that’s right that you have come. Would you like some breakfast?
Sit down, the beefsteaks are fine! I always begin with something
substantial--begin and finish, too. Ha! ha! ha! Well, then, have a glass
of wine,” he shouted, pointing to a decanter of claret. “I have been
thinking of you. I will hand on the petition. I shall put it into his
own hands. You may count on that, only it occurred to me that it would
be best for you to call on Toporoff.”

Nekhludoff made a wry face at the mention of Toporoff.

“It all depends on him. He will be consulted, anyhow. And perhaps he may
himself meet your wishes.”

“If you advise it I shall go.”

“That’s right. Well, and how does Petersburg agree with you?” shouted
Bogatyreff. “Tell me. Eh?”

“I feel myself getting hypnotised,” replied Nekhludoff.

“Hypnotised!” Bogatyreff repeated, and burst out laughing. “You won’t
have anything? Well, just as you please,” and he wiped his moustaches
with his napkin. “Then you’ll go? Eh? If he does not do it, give the
petition to me, and I shall hand it on to-morrow.” Shouting these words,
he rose, crossed himself just as naturally as he had wiped his mouth,
and began buckling on his sword.

“And now good-bye; I must go. We are both going out,” said Nekhludoff,
and shaking Bogatyreff’s strong, broad hand, and with the sense of
pleasure which the impression of something healthy and unconsciously
fresh always gave him, Nekhludoff parted from Bogatyreff on the
door-steps.

Though he expected no good result from his visit, still Nekhludoff,
following Bogatyreff’s advice, went to see Toporoff, on whom the
sectarians’ fate depended.

The position occupied by Toporoff, involving as it did an incongruity of
purpose, could only be held by a dull man devoid of moral sensibility.
Toporoff possessed both these negative qualities. The incongruity of the
position he occupied was this. It was his duty to keep up and to defend,
by external measures, not excluding violence, that Church which, by its
own declaration, was established by God Himself and could not be shaken
by the gates of hell nor by anything human. This divine and immutable
God-established institution had to be sustained and defended by a human
institution--the Holy Synod, managed by Toporoff and his officials.
Toporoff did not see this contradiction, nor did he wish to see it, and
he was therefore much concerned lest some Romish priest, some pastor, or
some sectarian should destroy that Church which the gates of hell could
not conquer.

Toporoff, like all those who are quite destitute of the fundamental
religious feeling that recognises the equality and brotherhood of men,
was fully convinced that the common people were creatures entirely
different from himself, and that the people needed what he could very
well do without, for at the bottom of his heart he believed in nothing,
and found such a state very convenient and pleasant. Yet he feared lest
the people might also come to such a state, and looked upon it as his
sacred duty, as he called it, to save the people therefrom.

A certain cookery book declares that some crabs like to be boiled alive.
In the same way he thought and spoke as if the people liked being kept
in superstition; only he meant this in a literal sense, whereas the
cookery book did not mean its words literally.

His feelings towards the religion he was keeping up were the same as
those of the poultry-keeper towards the carrion he fed his fowls on.
Carrion was very disgusting, but the fowls liked it; therefore it was
right to feed the fowls on carrion. Of course all this worship of the
images of the Iberian, Kasan and Smolensk Mothers of God was a gross
superstition, but the people liked it and believed in it, and therefore
the superstition must be kept up.

Thus thought Toporoff, not considering that the people only liked
superstition because there always have been, and still are, men like
himself who, being enlightened, instead of using their light to help
others to struggle out of their dark ignorance, use it to plunge them
still deeper into it.

When Nekhludoff entered the reception-room Toporoff was in his study
talking with an abbess, a lively and aristocratic lady, who was
spreading the Greek orthodox faith in Western Russia among the Uniates
(who acknowledge the Pope of Rome), and who have the Greek religion
enforced on them. An official who was in the reception-room inquired
what Nekhludoff wanted, and when he heard that Nekhludoff meant to
hand in a petition to the Emperor, he asked him if he would allow the
petition to be read first. Nekhludoff gave it him, and the official took
it into the study. The abbess, with her hood and flowing veil and her
long train trailing behind, left the study and went out, her white hands
(with their well-tended nails) holding a topaz rosary. Nekhludoff was
not immediately asked to come in. Toporoff was reading the petition
and shaking his head. He was unpleasantly surprised by the clear and
emphatic wording of it.

“If it gets into the hands of the Emperor it may cause
misunderstandings, and unpleasant questions may be asked,” he thought
as he read. Then he put the petition on the table, rang, and ordered
Nekhludoff to be asked in.

He remembered the case of the sectarians; he had had a petition from
them before. The case was this: These Christians, fallen away from the
Greek Orthodox Church, were first exhorted and then tried by law, but
were acquitted. Then the Archdeacon and the Governor arranged, on the
plea that their marriages were illegal, to exile these sectarians,
separating the husbands, wives, and children. These fathers and
wives were now petitioning that they should not be parted. Toporoff
recollected the first time the case came to his notice: he had at that
time hesitated whether he had not better put a stop to it. But then
he thought no harm could result from his confirming the decision to
separate and exile the different members of the sectarian families,
whereas allowing the peasant sect to remain where it was might have a
bad effect on the rest of the inhabitants of the place and cause them
to fall away from Orthodoxy. And then the affair also proved the zeal
of the Archdeacon, and so he let the case proceed along the lines it had
taken. But now that they had a defender such as Nekhludoff, who had some
influence in Petersburg, the case might be specially pointed out to the
Emperor as something cruel, or it might get into the foreign papers.
Therefore he at once took an unexpected decision.

“How do you do?” he said, with the air of a very busy man, receiving
Nekhludoff standing, and at once starting on the business. “I know
this case. As soon as I saw the names I recollected this unfortunate
business,” he said, taking up the petition and showing it to Nekhludoff.
“And I am much indebted to you for reminding me of it. It is the
over-zealousness of the provincial authorities.”

Nekhludoff stood silent, looking with no kindly feelings at the
immovable, pale mask of a face before him.

“And I shall give orders that these measures should be revoked and the
people reinstated in their homes.”

“So that I need not make use of this petition?”

“I promise you most assuredly,” answered Toporoff, laying a stress on
the word I, as if quite convinced that his honesty, his word was the
best guarantee. “It will be best if I write at once. Take a seat,
please.”

He went up to the table and began to write. As Nekhludoff sat down he
looked at the narrow, bald skull, at the fat, blue-veined hand that was
swiftly guiding the pen, and wondered why this evidently indifferent man
was doing what he did and why he was doing it with such care.

“Well, here you are,” said Toporoff, sealing the envelope; “you may let
your clients know,” and he stretched his lips to imitate a smile.

“Then what did these people suffer for?” Nekhludoff asked, as he took
the envelope.

Toporoff raised his head and smiled, as if Nekhludoff’s question gave
him pleasure. “That I cannot tell. All I can say is that the interests
of the people guarded by us are so important that too great a zeal
in matters of religion is not so dangerous or so harmful as the
indifference which is now spreading--”

“But how is it that in the name of religion the very first demands of
righteousness are violated--families are separated?”

Toporoff continued to smile patronisingly, evidently thinking what
Nekhludoff said very pretty. Anything that Nekhludoff could say he would
have considered very pretty and very one-sided, from the height of what
he considered his far-reaching office in the State.

“It may seem so from the point of view of a private individual,” he
said, “but from an administrative point of view it appears in a rather
different light. However, I must bid you good-bye, now,” said Toporoff,
bowing his head and holding out his hand, which Nekhludoff pressed.

“The interests of the people! Your interests is what you mean!” thought
Nekhludoff as he went out. And he ran over in his mind the people in
whom is manifested the activity of the institutions that uphold religion
and educate the people. He began with the woman punished for the
illicit sale of spirits, the boy for theft, the tramp for tramping, the
incendiary for setting a house on fire, the banker for fraud, and that
unfortunate Lydia Shoustova imprisoned only because they hoped to get
such information as they required from her. Then he thought of the
sectarians punished for violating Orthodoxy, and Gourkevitch for wanting
constitutional government, and Nekhludoff clearly saw that all these
people were arrested, locked up, exiled, not really because they
transgressed against justice or behaved unlawfully, but only because
they were an obstacle hindering the officials and the rich from enjoying
the property they had taken away from the people. And the woman who sold
wine without having a license, and the thief knocking about the town,
and Lydia Shoustova hiding proclamations, and the sectarians upsetting
superstitions, and Gourkevitch desiring a constitution, were a real
hindrance. It seemed perfectly clear to Nekhludoff that all these
officials, beginning with his aunt’s husband, the Senators, and
Toporoff, down to those clean and correct gentlemen who sat at the
tables in the Ministry Office, were not at all troubled by the fact that
that in such a state of things the innocent had to suffer, but were only
concerned how to get rid of the really dangerous, so that the rule
that ten guilty should escape rather than that one innocent should
be condemned was not observed, but, on the contrary, for the sake of
getting rid of one really dangerous person, ten who seemed dangerous
were punished, as, when cutting a rotten piece out of anything, one has
to cut away some that is good.

This explanation seemed very simple and clear to Nekhludoff; but its
very simplicity and clearness made him hesitate to accept it. Was it
possible that so complicated a phenomenon could have so simple and
terrible an explanation? Was it possible that all these words about
justice, law, religion, and God, and so on, were mere words, hiding the
coarsest cupidity and cruelty?



CHAPTER XXVIII.

THE MEANING OF MARIETTE’S ATTRACTION.

Nekhludoff would have left Petersburg on the evening of the same day,
but he had promised Mariette to meet her at the theatre, and though he
knew that he ought not to keep that promise, he deceived himself into
the belief that it would not be right to break his word.

“Am I capable of withstanding these temptations?” he asked himself not
quite honestly. “I shall try for the last time.”

He dressed in his evening clothes, and arrived at the theatre during the
second act of the eternal Dame aux Camelias, in which a foreign actress
once again, and in a novel manner, showed how women die of consumption.

The theatre was quite full. Mariette’s box was at once, and with great
deference, shown to Nekhludoff at his request. A liveried servant stood
in the corridor outside; he bowed to Nekhludoff as to one whom he knew,
and opened the door of the box.

All the people who sat and stood in the boxes on the opposite side,
those who sat near and those who were in the parterre, with their grey,
grizzly, bald, or curly heads--all were absorbed in watching the thin,
bony actress who, dressed in silks and laces, was wriggling before them,
and speaking in an unnatural voice.

Some one called “Hush!” when the door opened, and two streams, one of
cool, the other of hot, air touched Nekhludoff’s face.

Mariette and a lady whom he did not know, with a red cape and a big,
heavy head-dress, were in the box, and two men also, Mariette’s
husband, the General, a tall, handsome man with a severe, inscrutable
countenance, a Roman nose, and a uniform padded round the chest, and a
fair man, with a bit of shaved chin between pompous whiskers.

Mariette, graceful, slight, elegant, her low-necked dress showing her
firm, shapely, slanting shoulders, with a little black mole where they
joined her neck, immediately turned, and pointed with her face to a
chair behind her in an engaging manner, and smiled a smile that seemed
full of meaning to Nekhludoff.

The husband looked at him in the quiet way in which he did everything,
and bowed. In the look he exchanged with his wife, the master, the owner
of a beautiful woman, was to be seen at once.

When the monologue was over the theatre resounded with the clapping of
hands. Mariette rose, and holding up her rustling silk skirt, went into
the back of the box and introduced Nekhludoff to her husband.

The General, without ceasing to smile with his eyes, said he was very
pleased, and then sat inscrutably silent.

“I ought to have left to-day, had I not promised,” said Nekhludoff to
Mariette.

“If you do not care to see me,” said Mariette, in answer to what his
words implied, “you will see a wonderful actress. Was she not splendid
in the last scene?” she asked, turning to her husband.

The husband bowed his head.

“This sort of thing does not touch me,” said Nekhludoff. “I have seen so
much real suffering lately that--”

“Yes, sit down and tell me.”

The husband listened, his eyes smiling more and more ironically. “I have
been to see that woman whom they have set free, and who has been kept in
prison for so long; she is quite broken down.”

“That is the woman I spoke to you about,” Mariette said to her husband.

“Oh, yes, I was very pleased that she could be set free,” said the
husband quietly, nodding and smiling under his moustache with evident
irony, so it seemed to Nekhludoff. “I shall go and have a smoke.”

Nekhludoff sat waiting to hear what the something was that Mariette had
to tell him. She said nothing, and did not even try to say anything, but
joked and spoke about the performance, which she thought ought to touch
Nekhludoff. Nekhludoff saw that she had nothing to tell, but only wished
to show herself to him in all the splendour of her evening toilet, with
her shoulders and little mole; and this was pleasant and yet repulsive
to him.

The charm that had veiled all this sort of thing from Nekhludoff was
not removed, but it was as if he could see what lay beneath. Looking at
Mariette, he admired her, and yet he knew that she was a liar, living
with a husband who was making his career by means of the tears and lives
of hundreds and hundreds of people, and that she was quite indifferent
about it, and that all she had said the day before was untrue. What she
wanted--neither he nor she knew why--was to make him fall in love with
her. This both attracted and disgusted him. Several times, on the point
of going away, he took up his hat, and then stayed on.

But at last, when the husband returned with a strong smell of tobacco
in his thick moustache, and looked at Nekhludoff with a patronising,
contemptuous air, as if not recognising him, Nekhludoff left the box
before the door was closed again, found his overcoat, and went out of
the theatre. As he was walking home along the Nevski, he could not help
noticing a well-shaped and aggressively finely-dressed woman, who was
quietly walking in front of him along the broad asphalt pavement. The
consciousness of her detestable power was noticeable in her face and
the whole of her figure. All who met or passed that woman looked at her.
Nekhludoff walked faster than she did and, involuntarily, also looked
her in the face. The face, which was probably painted, was handsome,
and the woman looked at him with a smile and her eyes sparkled. And,
curiously enough, Nekhludoff was suddenly reminded of Mariette, because
he again felt both attracted and disgusted just as when in the theatre.

Having hurriedly passed her, Nekhludoff turned off on to the Morskaya,
and passed on to the embankment, where, to the surprise of a policeman,
he began pacing up and down the pavement.

“The other one gave me just such a smile when I entered the theatre,” he
thought, “and the meaning of the smile was the same. The only difference
is, that this one said plainly, ‘If you want me, take me; if not, go
your way,’ and the other one pretended that she was not thinking of
this, but living in some high and refined state, while this was really
at the root. Besides, this one was driven to it by necessity, while
the other amused herself by playing with that enchanting, disgusting,
frightful passion. This woman of the street was like stagnant, smelling
water offered to those whose thirst was greater than their disgust; that
other one in the theatre was like the poison which, unnoticed, poisons
everything it gets into.”

Nekhludoff recalled his liaison with the Marechal’s wife, and shameful
memories rose before him.

“The animalism of the brute nature in man is disgusting,” thought he,
“but as long as it remains in its naked form we observe it from the
height of our spiritual life and despise it; and--whether one has
fallen or resisted--one remains what one was before. But when that
same animalism hides under a cloak of poetry and aesthetic feeling and
demands our worship--then we are swallowed up by it completely, and
worship animalism, no longer distinguishing good from evil. Then it is
awful.”

Nekhludoff perceived all this now as clearly as he saw the palace, the
sentinels, the fortress, the river, the boats, and the Stock Exchange.
And just as on this northern summer night there was no restful darkness
on the earth, but only a dismal, dull light coming from an invisible
source, so in Nekhludoff’s soul there was no longer the restful
darkness, ignorance. Everything seemed clear. It was clear that
everything considered important and good was insignificant and
repulsive, and that all the glamour and luxury hid the old, well-known
crimes, which not only remained unpunished but were adorned with all the
splendour which men were capable of inventing.

Nekhludoff wished to forget all this, not to see it, but he could no
longer help seeing it. Though he could not see the source of the light
which revealed it to him any more than he could see the source of the
light which lay over Petersburg; and though the light appeared to
him dull, dismal, and unnatural, yet he could not help seeing what it
revealed, and he felt both joyful and anxious.



CHAPTER XXIX.

FOR HER SAKE AND FOR GOD’S.

On his return to Moscow Nekhludoff went at once to the prison hospital
to bring Maslova the sad news that the Senate had confirmed the decision
of the Court, and that she must prepare to go to Siberia. He had little
hope of the success of his petition to the Emperor, which the advocate
had written for him, and which he now brought with him for Maslova to
sign. And, strange to say, he did not at present even wish to succeed;
he had got used to the thought of going to Siberia and living among the
exiled and the convicts, and he could not easily picture to himself how
his life and Maslova’s would shape if she were acquitted. He remembered
the thought of the American writer, Thoreau, who at the time when
slavery existed in America said that “under a government that
imprisons any unjustly the true place for a just man is also a prison.”
 Nekhludoff, especially after his visit to Petersburg and all he
discovered there, thought in the same way.

“Yes, the only place befitting an honest man in Russia at the present
time is a prison,” he thought, and even felt that this applied to him
personally, when he drove up to the prison and entered its walls.

The doorkeeper recognised Nekhludoff, and told him at once that Maslova
was no longer there.

“Where is she, then?”

“In the cell again.”

“Why has she been removed?” Nekhludoff asked.

“Oh, your excellency, what are such people?” said the doorkeeper,
contemptuously. “She’s been carrying on with the medical assistant, so
the head doctor ordered her back.”

Nekhludoff had had no idea how near Maslova and the state of her mind
were to him. He was stunned by the news.

He felt as one feels at the news of a great and unforeseen misfortune,
and his pain was very severe. His first feeling was one of shame. He,
with his joyful idea of the change that he imagined was going on in her
soul, now seemed ridiculous in his own eyes. He thought that all her
pretence of not wishing to accept his sacrifice, all the reproaches and
tears, were only the devices of a depraved woman, who wished to use
him to the best advantage. He seemed to remember having seen signs of
obduracy at his last interview with her. All this flashed through his
mind as he instinctively put on his hat and left the hospital.

“What am I to do now? Am I still bound to her? Has this action of hers
not set me free?” And as he put these questions to himself he knew at
once that if he considered himself free, and threw her up, he would be
punishing himself, and not her, which was what he wished to do, and he
was seized with fear.

“No, what has happened cannot alter--it can only strengthen my resolve.
Let her do what flows from the state her mind is in. If it is carrying
on with the medical assistant, let her carry on with the medical
assistant; that is her business. I must do what my conscience demands of
me. And my conscience expects me to sacrifice my freedom. My resolution
to marry her, if only in form, and to follow wherever she may be sent,
remains unalterable.” Nekhludoff said all this to himself with vicious
obstinacy as he left the hospital and walked with resolute steps towards
the big gates of the prison. He asked the warder on duty at the gate
to inform the inspector that he wished to see Maslova. The warder knew
Nekhludoff, and told him of an important change that had taken place
in the prison. The old inspector had been discharged, and a new, very
severe official appointed in his place.

“They are so strict nowadays, it’s just awful,” said the jailer. “He is
in here; they will let him know directly.”

The new inspector was in the prison and soon came to Nekhludoff. He was
a tall, angular man, with high cheek bones, morose, and very slow in his
movements.

“Interviews are allowed in the visiting room on the appointed days,” he
said, without looking at Nekhludoff.

“But I have a petition to the Emperor, which I want signed.”

“You can give it to me.”

“I must see the prisoner myself. I was always allowed to before.”

“That was so, before,” said the inspector, with a furtive glance at
Nekhludoff.

“I have a permission from the governor,” insisted Nekhludoff, and took
out his pocket-book.

“Allow me,” said the inspector, taking the paper from Nekhludoff with
his long, dry, white fingers, on the first of which was a gold ring,
still without looking him in the eyes. He read the paper slowly. “Step
into the office, please.”

This time the office was empty. The inspector sat down by the table
and began sorting some papers that lay on it, evidently intending to be
present at the interview.

When Nekhludoff asked whether he might see the political prisoner,
Doukhova, the inspector answered, shortly, that he could not.
“Interviews with political prisoners are not permitted,” he said, and
again fixed his attention on his papers. With a letter to Doukhova in
his pocket, Nekhludoff felt as if he had committed some offence, and his
plans had been discovered and frustrated.

When Maslova entered the room the inspector raised his head, and,
without looking at either her or Nekhludoff, remarked: “You may talk,”
 and went on sorting his papers. Maslova had again the white jacket,
petticoat and kerchief on. When she came up to Nekhludoff and saw his
cold, hard look, she blushed scarlet, and crumbling the hem of her
jacket with her hand, she cast down her eyes. Her confusion, so it
seemed to Nekhludoff, confirmed the hospital doorkeeper’s words.

Nekhludoff had meant to treat her in the same way as before, but could
not bring himself to shake hands with her, so disgusting was she to him
now.

“I have brought you bad news,” he said, in a monotonous voice, without
looking at her or taking her hand. “The Senate has refused.”

“I knew it would,” she said, in a strange tone, as if she were gasping
for breath.

Formerly Nekhludoff would have asked why she said she knew it would;
now he only looked at her. Her eyes were full of tears. But this did not
soften him; it roused his irritation against her even more.

The inspector rose and began pacing up and down the room.

In spite of the disgust Nekhludoff was feeling at the moment, he
considered it right to express his regret at the Senate’s decision.

“You must not despair,” he said. “The petition to the Emperor may meet
with success, and I hope---”

“I’m not thinking of that,” she said, looking piteously at him with her
wet, squinting eyes.

“What is it, then?”

“You have been to the hospital, and they have most likely told you about
me--”

“What of that? That is your affair,” said Nekhludoff coldly, and
frowned. The cruel feeling of wounded pride that had quieted down rose
with renewed force when she mentioned the hospital.

“He, a man of the world, whom any girl of the best families would think
it happiness to marry, offered himself as a husband to this woman,
and she could not even wait, but began intriguing with the medical
assistant,” thought he, with a look of hatred.

“Here, sign this petition,” he said, taking a large envelope from his
pocket, and laying the paper on the table. She wiped the tears with a
corner of her kerchief, and asked what to write and where.

He showed her, and she sat down and arranged the cuff of her right
sleeve with her left hand; he stood behind her, and silently looked
at her back, which shook with suppressed emotion, and evil and good
feelings were fighting in his breast--feelings of wounded pride and of
pity for her who was suffering--and the last feeling was victorious.

He could not remember which came first; did the pity for her first enter
his heart, or did he first remember his own sins--his own repulsive
actions, the very same for which he was condemning her? Anyhow, he both
felt himself guilty and pitied her.

Having signed the petition and wiped her inky finger on her petticoat,
she got up and looked at him.

“Whatever happens, whatever comes of it, my resolve remains unchanged,”
 said Nekhludoff. The thought that he had forgiven her heightened his
feeling of pity and tenderness for her, and he wished to comfort her. “I
will do what I have said; wherever they take you I shall be with you.”

“What’s the use?” she interrupted hurriedly, though her whole face
lighted up.

“Think what you will want on the way--”

“I don’t know of anything in particular, thank you.”

The inspector came up, and without waiting for a remark from him
Nekhludoff took leave, and went out with peace, joy, and love towards
everybody in his heart such as he had never felt before. The certainty
that no action of Maslova could change his love for her filled him with
joy and raised him to a level which he had never before attained. Let
her intrigue with the medical assistant; that was her business. He loved
her not for his own but for her sake and for God’s.

And this intrigue, for which Maslova was turned out of the hospital,
and of which Nekhludoff believed she was really guilty, consisted of the
following:

Maslova was sent by the head nurse to get some herb tea from the
dispensary at the end of the corridor, and there, all alone, she found
the medical assistant, a tall man, with a blotchy face, who had for a
long time been bothering her. In trying to get away from him Maslova
gave him such a push that he knocked his head against a shelf, from
which two bottles fell and broke. The head doctor, who was passing at
that moment, heard the sound of breaking glass, and saw Maslova run out,
quite red, and shouted to her:

“Ah, my good woman, if you start intriguing here, I’ll send you about
your business. What is the meaning of it?” he went on, addressing the
medical assistant, and looking at him over his spectacles.

The assistant smiled, and began to justify himself. The doctor gave no
heed to him, but, lifting his head so that he now looked through his
spectacles, he entered the ward. He told the inspector the same day to
send another more sedate assistant-nurse in Maslova’s place. And this
was her “intrigue” with the medical assistant.

Being turned out for a love intrigue was particularly painful to
Maslova, because the relations with men, which had long been repulsive
to her, had become specially disgusting after meeting Nekhludoff. The
thought that, judging her by her past and present position, every man,
the blotchy assistant among them, considered he had a right to offend
her, and was surprised at her refusal, hurt her deeply, and made her
pity herself and brought tears to her eyes.

When she went out to Nekhludoff this time she wished to clear herself of
the false charge which she knew he would certainly have heard about. But
when she began to justify herself she felt he did not believe her, and
that her excuses would only strengthen his suspicions; tears choked her,
and she was silent.

Maslova still thought and continued to persuade herself that she had
never forgiven him, and hated him, as she told him at their second
interview, but in reality she loved him again, and loved him so that she
did all he wished her to do; left off drinking, smoking, coquetting, and
entered the hospital because she knew he wished it. And if every time he
reminded her of it, she refused so decidedly to accept his sacrifice and
marry him, it was because she liked repeating the proud words she had
once uttered, and because she knew that a marriage with her would be a
misfortune for him.

She had resolutely made up her mind that she would not accept his
sacrifice, and yet the thought that he despised her and believed that
she still was what she had been, and did not notice the change that had
taken place in her, was very painful. That he could still think she had
done wrong while in the hospital tormented her more than the news that
her sentence was confirmed.



CHAPTER XXX.

THE ASTONISHING INSTITUTION CALLED CRIMINAL LAW.

Maslova might be sent off with the first gang of prisoners, therefore
Nekhludoff got ready for his departure. But there was so much to be done
that he felt that he could not finish it, however much time he might
have. It was quite different now from what it had been. Formerly he used
to be obliged to look for an occupation, the interest of which always
centred in one person, i.e., Dmitri Ivanovitch Nekhludoff, and
yet, though every interest of his life was thus centred, all these
occupations were very wearisome. Now all his occupations related to
other people and not to Dmitri Ivanovitch, and they were all interesting
and attractive, and there was no end to them. Nor was this all. Formerly
Dmitri Ivanovitch Nekhludoff’s occupations always made him feel vexed
and irritable; now they produced a joyful state of mind. The business at
present occupying Nekhludoff could be divided under three headings.
He himself, with his usual pedantry, divided it in that way, and
accordingly kept the papers referring to it in three different
portfolios. The first referred to Maslova, and was chiefly that of
taking steps to get her petition to the Emperor attended to, and
preparing for her probable journey to Siberia.

The second was about his estates. In Panovo he had given the land to
the peasants on condition of their paying rent to be put to their own
communal use. But he had to confirm this transaction by a legal deed,
and to make his will, in accordance with it. In Kousminski the state of
things was still as he had first arranged it, i.e., he was to receive
the rent; but the terms had to be fixed, and also how much of the money
he would use to live on, and how much he would leave for the peasants’
use. As he did not know what his journey to Siberia would cost him, he
could not decide to lose this revenue altogether, though he reduced the
income from it by half.

The third part of his business was to help the convicts, who applied
more and more often to him. At first when he came in contact with
the prisoners, and they appealed to him for help, he at once began
interceding for them, hoping to lighten their fate, but he soon had so
many applications that he felt the impossibility of attending to all of
them, and that naturally led him to take up another piece of work, which
at last roused his interest even more than the three first. This new
part of his business was finding an answer to the following questions:
What was this astonishing institution called criminal law, of which the
results were that in the prison, with some of the inmates of which
he had lately become acquainted, and in all those other places of
confinement, from the Peter and Paul Fortress in Petersburg to the
island of Sakhalin, hundreds and thousands of victims were pining? What
did this strange criminal law exist for? How had it originated?

From his personal relations with the prisoners, from notes by some of
those in confinement, and by questioning the advocate and the prison
priest, Nekhludoff came to the conclusion that the convicts, the
so-called criminals, could be divided into five classes. The first were
quite innocent people, condemned by judicial blunder. Such were the
Menshoffs, supposed to be incendiaries, Maslova, and others. There
were not many of these; according to the priest’s words, only seven per
cent., but their condition excited particular interest.

To the second class belong persons condemned for actions done under
peculiar circumstances, i.e., in a fit of passion, jealousy, or
drunkenness, circumstances under which those who judged them would
surely have committed the same actions.

The third class consisted of people punished for having committed
actions which, according to their understanding, were quite natural,
and even good, but which those other people, the men who made the laws,
considered to be crimes. Such were the persons who sold spirits without
a license, smugglers, those who gathered grass and wood on large estates
and in the forests belonging to the Crown; the thieving miners; and
those unbelieving people who robbed churches.

To the fourth class belonged those who were imprisoned only because they
stood morally higher than the average level of society. Such were the
Sectarians, the Poles, the Circassians rebelling in order to regain
their independence, the political prisoners, the Socialists, the
strikers condemned for withstanding the authorities. There was,
according to Nekhludoff’s observations, a very large percentage
belonging to this class; among them some of the best of men.

The fifth class consisted of persons who had been far more sinned
against by society than they had sinned against it. These were
castaways, stupefied by continual oppression and temptation, such as the
boy who had stolen the rugs, and hundreds of others whom Nekhludoff had
seen in the prison and out of it. The conditions under which they lived
seemed to lead on systematically to those actions which are termed
crimes. A great many thieves and murderers with whom he had lately come
in contact, according to Nekhludoff’s estimate, belonged to this class.
To this class Nekhludoff also reckoned those depraved, demoralised
creatures whom the new school of criminology classify as the criminal
type, and the existence of which is considered to be the chief proof
of the necessity of criminal law and punishment. This demoralised,
depraved, abnormal type was, according to Nekhludoff, exactly the same
as that against whom society had sinned, only here society had sinned
not directly against them, but against their parents and forefathers.

Among this latter class Nekhludoff was specially struck by one Okhotin,
an inveterate thief, the illegitimate son of a prostitute, brought up
in a doss-house, who, up to the age of 30, had apparently never met with
any one whose morality was above that of a policeman, and who had
got into a band of thieves when quite young. He was gifted with an
extraordinary sense of humour, by means of which he made himself very
attractive. He asked Nekhludoff for protection, at the same time making
fun of himself, the lawyers, the prison, and laws human and divine.

Another was the handsome Fedoroff, who, with a band of robbers, of
whom he was the chief, had robbed and murdered an old man, an official.
Fedoroff was a peasant, whose father had been unlawfully deprived of his
house, and who, later on, when serving as a soldier, had suffered much
because he had fallen in love with an officer’s mistress. He had a
fascinating, passionate nature, that longed for enjoyment at any cost.
He had never met anybody who restrained himself for any cause whatever,
and had never heard a word about any aim in life other than enjoyment.

Nekhludoff distinctly saw that both these men were richly endowed by
nature, but had been neglected and crippled like uncared-for plants.

He had also met a tramp and a woman who had repelled him by their
dulness and seeming cruelty, but even in them he could find no trace of
the criminal type written about by the Italian school, but only saw in
them people who were repulsive to him personally, just in the same way
as some he had met outside the prison, in swallow-tail coats wearing
epaulettes, or bedecked with lace. And so the investigation of the
reasons why all these very different persons were put in prison, while
others just like them were going about free and even judging them,
formed a fourth task for Nekhludoff.

He hoped to find an answer to this question in books, and bought all
that referred to it. He got the works of Lombroso, Garofalo, Ferry,
List, Maudsley, Tard, and read them carefully. But as he read he became
more and more disappointed. It happened to him as it always happens
to those who turn to science not in order to play a part in it, nor
to write, nor to dispute, nor to teach, but simply for an answer to an
every-day question of life. Science answered thousands of different very
subtle and ingenious questions touching criminal law, but not the one
he was trying to solve. He asked a very simple question: “Why, and
with what right, do some people lock up, torment, exile, flog, and kill
others, while they are themselves just like those whom they torment,
flog, and kill?” And in answer he got deliberations as to whether human
beings had free will or not. Whether signs of criminality could be
detected by measuring the skulls or not. What part heredity played in
crime. Whether immorality could be inherited. What madness is, what
degeneration is, and what temperament is. How climate, food, ignorance,
imitativeness, hypnotism, or passion act. What society is. What are its
duties, etc., etc.

These disquisitions reminded him of the answer he once got from a little
boy whom he met coming home from school. Nekhludoff asked him if he had
learned his spelling.

“I have,” answered the boy.

“Well, then, tell me, how do you spell ‘leg’?”

“A dog’s leg, or what kind of leg?” the boy answered, with a sly look.

Answers in the form of new questions, like the boy’s, was all Nekhludoff
got in reply to his one primary question. He found much that was clever,
learned much that was interesting, but what he did not find was an
answer to the principal question: By what right some people punish
others?

Not only did he not find any answer, but all the arguments were brought
forward in order to explain and vindicate punishment, the necessity of
which was taken as an axiom.

Nekhludoff read much, but only in snatches, and putting down his failure
to this superficial way of reading, hoped to find the answer later on.
He would not allow himself to believe in the truth of the answer which
began, more and more often, to present itself to him.



CHAPTER XXXI.

NEKHLUDOFF’S SISTER AND HER HUSBAND.

The gang of prisoners, with Maslova among them, was to start on the 5th
July. Nekhludoff arranged to start on the same day.

The day before, Nekhludoff’s sister and her husband came to town to see
him.

Nekhludoff’s sister, Nathalie Ivanovna Rogozhinsky, was 10 years older
than her brother. She had been very fond of him when he was a boy, and
later on, just before her marriage, they grew very close to each other,
as if they were equals, she being a young woman of 25, he a lad of 15.
At that time she was in love with his friend, Nikolenka Irtenieff, since
dead. They both loved Nikolenka, and loved in him and in themselves that
which is good, and which unites all men. Since then they had both been
depraved, he by military service and a vicious life, she by marriage
with a man whom she loved with a sensual love, who did not care for the
things that had once been so dear and holy to her and to her brother,
nor even understand the meaning of those aspirations towards moral
perfection and the service of mankind, which once constituted her life,
and put them down to ambition and the wish to show off; that being the
only explanation comprehensible to him.

Nathalie’s husband had been a man without a name and without means, but
cleverly steering towards Liberalism or Conservatism, according to which
best suited his purpose, he managed to make a comparatively brilliant
judicial career. Some peculiarity which made him attractive to women
assisted him when he was no longer in his first youth. While travelling
abroad he made Nekhludoff’s acquaintance, and managed to make Nathalie,
who was also no longer a girl, fall in love with him, rather against her
mother’s wishes who considered a marriage with him to be a misalliance
for her daughter. Nekhludoff, though he tried to hide it from himself,
though he fought against it, hated his brother-in-law.

Nekhludoff had a strong antipathy towards him because of the vulgarity
of his feelings, his assurance and narrowness, but chiefly because of
Nathalie, who managed to love him in spite of the narrowness of his
nature, and loved him so selfishly, so sensually, and stifled for his
sake all the good that had been in her.

It always hurt Nekhludoff to think of Nathalie as the wife of that
hairy, self-assured man with the shiny, bald patch on his head. He could
not even master a feeling of revulsion towards their children, and when
he heard that she was again going to have a baby, he felt something like
sorrow that she had once more been infected with something bad by this
man who was so foreign to him. The Rogozhinskys had come to Moscow
alone, having left their two children--a boy and a girl--at home, and
stopped in the best rooms of the best hotel. Nathalie at once went to
her mother’s old house, but hearing from Agraphena Petrovna that her
brother had left, and was living in a lodging-house, she drove there.
The dirty servant met her in the stuffy passage, dark but for a lamp
which burnt there all day. He told her that the Prince was not in.

Nathalie asked to be shown into his rooms, as she wished to leave a note
for him, and the man took her up.

Nathalie carefully examined her brother’s two little rooms. She noticed
in everything the love of cleanliness and order she knew so well in
him, and was struck by the novel simplicity of the surroundings. On his
writing-table she saw the paper-weight with the bronze dog on the top
which she remembered; the tidy way in which his different portfolios and
writing utensils were placed on the table was also familiar, and so was
the large, crooked ivory paper knife which marked the place in a French
book by Tard, which lay with other volumes on punishment and a book
in English by Henry George. She sat down at the table and wrote a note
asking him to be sure to come that same day, and shaking her head in
surprise at what she saw, she returned to her hotel.

Two questions regarding her brother now interested Nathalie: his
marriage with Katusha, which she had heard spoken about in their
town--for everybody was speaking about it--and his giving away the land
to the peasants, which was also known, and struck many as something of
a political nature, and dangerous. The marriage with Katusha pleased
her in a way. She admired that resoluteness which was so like him and
herself as they used to be in those happy times before her marriage. And
yet she was horrified when she thought her brother was going to marry
such a dreadful woman. The latter was the stronger feeling of the two,
and she decided to use all her influence to prevent him from doing it,
though she knew how difficult this would be.

The other matter, the giving up of the land to the peasants, did not
touch her so nearly, but her husband was very indignant about it, and
expected her to influence her brother against it.

Rogozhinsky said that such an action was the height of inconsistency,
flightiness, and pride, the only possible explanation of which was the
desire to appear original, to brag, to make one’s self talked about.

“What sense could there be in letting the land to the peasants, on
condition that they pay the rent to themselves?” he said. “If he was
resolved to do such a thing, why not sell the land to them through the
Peasants’ Bank? There might have been some sense in that. In fact, this
act verges on insanity.”

And Rogozhinsky began seriously thinking about putting Nekhludoff under
guardianship, and demanded of his wife that she should speak seriously
to her brother about his curious intention.



CHAPTER XXXII.

NEKHLUDOFF’S ANARCHISM.

As soon as Nekhludoff returned that evening and saw his sister’s note
on the table he started to go and see her. He found Nathalie alone,
her husband having gone to take a rest in the next room. She wore a
tightly-fitting black silk dress, with a red bow in front. Her black
hair was crimped and arranged according to the latest fashion.

The pains she took to appear young, for the sake of her husband, whose
equal she was in years, were very obvious.

When she saw her brother she jumped up and hurried towards him, with her
silk dress rustling. They kissed, and looked smilingly at each other.
There passed between them that mysterious exchange of looks, full of
meaning, in which all was true, and which cannot be expressed in words.
Then came words which were not true. They had not met since their
mother’s death.

“You have grown stouter and younger,” he said, and her lips puckered up
with pleasure.

“And you have grown thinner.”

“Well, and how is your husband?” Nekhludoff asked.

“He is taking a rest; he did not sleep all night.” There was much to
say, but it was not said in words; only their looks expressed what their
words failed to say.

“I went to see you.”

“Yes, I know. I moved because the house is too big for me. I was lonely
there, and dull. I want nothing of all that is there, so that you had
better take it all--the furniture, I mean, and things.”

“Yes, Agraphena Petrovna told me. I went there. Thanks, very much.
But--”

At this moment the hotel waiter brought in a silver tea-set. While he
set the table they were silent. Then Nathalie sat down at the table and
made the tea, still in silence. Nekhludoff also said nothing.

At last Nathalie began resolutely. “Well, Dmitri, I know all about it.”
 And she looked at him.

“What of that? l am glad you know.”

“How can you hope to reform her after the life she has led?” she asked.

He sat quite straight on a small chair, and listened attentively, trying
to understand her and to answer rightly. The state of mind called forth
in him by his last interview with Maslova still filled his soul with
quiet joy and good will to all men.

“It is not her but myself I wish to reform,” he replied.

Nathalie sighed.

“There are other means besides marriage to do that.”

“But I think it is the best. Besides, it leads me into that world in
which I can be of use.”

“I cannot believe you will be happy,” said Nathalie.

“It’s not my happiness that is the point.”

“Of course, but if she has a heart she cannot be happy--cannot even wish
it.”

“She does not wish it.”

“I understand; but life--”

“Yes--life?”

“Demands something different.”

“It demands nothing but that we should do what is right,” said
Nekhludoff, looking into her face, still handsome, though slightly
wrinkled round eyes and mouth.

“I do not understand,” she said, and sighed.

“Poor darling; how could she change so?” he thought, calling back to his
mind Nathalie as she had been before her marriage, and feeling towards
her a tenderness woven out of innumerable memories of childhood. At that
moment Rogozhinsky entered the room, with head thrown back and expanded
chest, and stepping lightly and softly in his usual manner, his
spectacles, his bald patch, and his black beard all glistening.

“How do you do? How do you do?” he said, laying an unnatural and
intentional stress on his words. (Though, soon after the marriage,
they had tried to be more familiar with each other, they had never
succeeded.)

They shook hands, and Rogozhinsky sank softly into an easy-chair.

“Am I not interrupting your conversation?”

“No, I do not wish to hide what I am saying or doing from any one.”

As soon as Nekhludoff saw the hairy hands, and heard the patronising,
self-assured tones, his meekness left him in a moment.

“Yes, we were talking about his intentions,” said Nathalie. “Shall I
give you a cup of tea?” she added, taking the teapot.

“Yes, please. What particular intentions do you mean?”

“That of going to Siberia with the gang of prisoners, among whom is the
woman I consider myself to have wronged,” uttered Nekhludoff.

“I hear not only to accompany her, but more than that.”

“Yes, and to marry her if she wishes it.”

“Dear me! But if you do not object I should like to ask you to explain
your motives. I do not understand them.”

“My motives are that this woman--that this woman’s first step on her way
to degradation--” Nekhludoff got angry with himself, and was unable to
find the right expression. “My motives are that I am the guilty one, and
she gets the punishment.”

“If she is being punished she cannot be innocent, either.”

“She is quite innocent.” And Nekhludoff related the whole incident with
unnecessary warmth.

“Yes, that was a case of carelessness on the part of the president, the
result of which was a thoughtless answer on the part of the jury; but
there is the Senate for cases like that.”

“The Senate has rejected the appeal.”

“Well, if the Senate has rejected it, there cannot have been sufficient
reasons for an appeal,” said Rogozhinsky, evidently sharing the
prevailing opinion that truth is the product of judicial decrees. “The
Senate cannot enter into the question on its merits. If there is a real
mistake, the Emperor should be petitioned.”

“That has been done, but there is no probability of success. They will
apply to the Department of the Ministry, the Department will consult the
Senate, the Senate will repeat its decision, and, as usual, the innocent
will get punished.”

“In the first place, the Department of the Ministry won’t consult the
Senate,” said Rogozhinsky, with a condescending smile; “it will give
orders for the original deeds to be sent from the Law Court, and if
it discovers a mistake it will decide accordingly. And, secondly, the
innocent are never punished, or at least in very rare, exceptional
cases. It is the guilty who are punished,” Rogozhinsky said
deliberately, and smiled self-complacently.

“And I have become fully convinced that most of those condemned by law
are innocent.”

“How’s that?”

“Innocent in the literal sense. Just as this woman is innocent of
poisoning any one; as innocent as a peasant I have just come to know, of
the murder he never committed; as a mother and son who were on the point
of being condemned for incendiarism, which was committed by the owner of
the house that was set on fire.”

“Well, of course there always have been and always will be judicial
errors. Human institutions cannot be perfect.”

“And, besides, there are a great many people convicted who are innocent
of doing anything considered wrong by the society they have grown up
in.”

“Excuse me, this is not so; every thief knows that stealing is wrong,
and that we should not steal; that it is immoral,” said Rogozhinsky,
with his quiet, self-assured, slightly contemptuous smile, which
specially irritated Nekhludoff.

“No, he does not know it; they say to him ‘don’t steal,’ and he knows
that the master of the factory steals his labour by keeping back his
wages; that the Government, with its officials, robs him continually by
taxation.”

“Why, this is anarchism,” Rogozhinsky said, quietly defining his
brother-in-law’s words.

“I don’t know what it is; I am only telling you the truth,” Nekhludoff
continued. “He knows that the Government is robbing him, knows that we
landed proprietors have robbed him long since, robbed him of the land
which should be the common property of all, and then, if he picks up dry
wood to light his fire on that land stolen from him, we put him in jail,
and try to persuade him that he is a thief. Of course he knows that not
he but those who robbed him of the land are thieves, and that to get any
restitution of what has been robbed is his duty towards his family.”

“I don’t understand, or if I do I cannot agree with it. The land must
be somebody’s property,” began Rogozhinsky quietly, and, convinced that
Nekhludoff was a Socialist, and that Socialism demands that all the land
should be divided equally, that such a division would be very foolish,
and that he could easily prove it to be so, he said. “If you divided
it equally to-day, it would to-morrow be again in the hands of the most
industrious and clever.”

“Nobody is thinking of dividing the land equally. The land must not
be anybody’s property; must not be a thing to be bought and sold or
rented.”

“The rights of property are inborn in man; without them the cultivation
of land would present no interest. Destroy the rights of property and
we lapse into barbarism.” Rogozhinsky uttered this authoritatively,
repeating the usual argument in favour of private ownership of land
which is supposed to be irrefutable, based on the assumption that
people’s desire to possess land proves that they need it.

“On the contrary, only when the land is nobody’s property will it cease
to lie idle, as it does now, while the landlords, like dogs in the
manger, unable themselves to put it to use, will not let those use it
who are able.”

“But, Dmitri Ivanovitch, what you are saying is sheer madness. Is it
possible to abolish property in land in our age? I know it is your old
hobby. But allow me to tell you straight,” and Rogozhinsky grew pale,
and his voice trembled. It was evident that this question touched him
very nearly. “I should advise you to consider this question well before
attempting to solve it practically.”

“Are you speaking of my personal affairs?”

“Yes, I hold that we who are placed in special circumstances should
bear the responsibilities which spring from those circumstances, should
uphold the conditions in which we were born, and which we have
inherited from our predecessors, and which we ought to pass on to our
descendants.”

“I consider it my duty--”

“Wait a bit,” said Rogozhinsky, not permitting the interruption. “I am
not speaking for myself or my children. The position of my children is
assured, and I earn enough for us to live comfortably, and I expect my
children will live so too, so that my interest in your action--which,
if you will allow me to say so, is not well considered--is not based
on personal motives; it is on principle that I cannot agree with you. I
should advise you to think it well over, to read---?”

“Please allow me to settle my affairs, and to choose what to read and
what not to read, myself,” said Nekhludoff, turning pale. Feeling
his hands grow cold, and that he was no longer master of himself, he
stopped, and began drinking his tea.



CHAPTER XXXIII.

THE AIM OF THE LAW.

“Well, and how are the children?” Nekhludoff asked his sister when he
was calmer. The sister told him about the children. She said they were
staying with their grandmother (their father’s mother), and, pleased
that his dispute with her husband had come to an end, she began telling
him how her children played that they were travelling, just as he used
to do with his three dolls, one of them a negro and another which he
called the French lady.

“Can you really remember it all?” said Nekhludoff, smiling.

“Yes, and just fancy, they play in the very same way.”

The unpleasant conversation had been brought to an end, and Nathalie was
quieter, but she did not care to talk in her husband’s presence of what
could be comprehensible only to her brother, so, wishing to start a
general conversation, she began talking about the sorrow of Kamenski’s
mother at losing her only son, who had fallen in a duel, for this
Petersburg topic of the day had now reached Moscow. Rogozhinsky
expressed disapproval at the state of things that excluded murder in a
duel from the ordinary criminal offences. This remark evoked a rejoinder
from Nekhludoff, and a new dispute arose on the subject. Nothing was
fully explained, neither of the antagonists expressed all he had in
his mind, each keeping to his conviction, which condemned the other.
Rogozhinsky felt that Nekhludoff condemned him and despised his
activity, and he wished to show him the injustice of his opinions.

Nekhludoff, on the other hand, felt provoked by his brother-in-law’s
interference in his affairs concerning the land. And knowing in his
heart of hearts that his sister, her husband, and their children, as his
heirs, had a right to do so, was indignant that this narrow-minded
man persisted with calm assurance to regard as just and lawful what
Nekhludoff no longer doubted was folly and crime.

This man’s arrogance annoyed Nekhludoff.

“What could the law do?” he asked.

“It could sentence one of the two duellists to the mines like an
ordinary murderer.”

Nekhludoff’s hands grew cold.

“Well, and what good would that be?” he asked, hotly.

“It would be just.”

“As if justice were the aim of the law,” said Nekhludoff.

“What else?”

“The upholding of class interests! I think the law is only an instrument
for upholding the existing order of things beneficial to our class.”

“This is a perfectly new view,” said Rogozhinsky with a quiet smile;
“the law is generally supposed to have a totally different aim.”

“Yes, so it has in theory but not in practice, as I have found out. The
law aims only at preserving the present state of things, and therefore
it persecutes and executes those who stand above the ordinary level and
wish to raise it--the so-called political prisoners, as well as those
who are below the average--the so-called criminal types.”

“I do not agree with you. In the first place, I cannot admit that the
criminals classed as political are punished because they are above the
average. In most cases they are the refuse of society, just as much
perverted, though in a different way, as the criminal types whom you
consider below the average.”

“But I happen to know men who are morally far above their judges; all
the sectarians are moral, from--”

But Rogozhinsky, a man not accustomed to be interrupted when he spoke,
did not listen to Nekhludoff, but went on talking at the same time,
thereby irritating him still more.

“Nor can I admit that the object of the law is the upholding of the
present state of things. The law aims at reforming--”

“A nice kind of reform, in a prison!” Nekhludoff put in.

“Or removing,” Rogozhinsky went on, persistently, “the perverted and
brutalised persons that threaten society.”

“That’s just what it doesn’t do. Society has not the means of doing
either the one thing or the other.”

“How is that? I don’t understand,” said Rogozhinsky with a forced smile.

“I mean that only two reasonable kinds of punishment exist. Those used
in the old days: corporal and capital punishment, which, as human nature
gradually softens, come more and more into disuse,” said Nekhludoff.

“There, now, this is quite new and very strange to hear from your lips.”

“Yes, it is reasonable to hurt a man so that he should not do in future
what he is hurt for doing, and it is also quite reasonable to cut a
man’s head off when he is injurious or dangerous to society. These
punishments have a reasonable meaning. But what sense is there in
locking up in a prison a man perverted by want of occupation and bad
example; to place him in a position where he is provided for, where
laziness is imposed on him, and where he is in company with the most
perverted of men? What reason is there to take a man at public cost (it
comes to more than 500 roubles per head) from the Toula to the Irkoatsk
government, or from Koursk--”

“Yes, but all the same, people are afraid of those journeys at public
cost, and if it were not for such journeys and the prisons, you and I
would not be sitting here as we are.”

“The prisons cannot insure our safety, because these people do not
stay there for ever, but are set free again. On the contrary, in those
establishments men are brought to the greatest vice and degradation, so
that the danger is increased.”

“You mean to say that the penitentiary system should be improved.”

“It cannot be improved. Improved prisons would cost more than all that
is being now spent on the people’s education, and would lay a still
heavier burden on the people.”

“The shortcomings of the penitentiary system in nowise invalidate
the law itself,” Rogozhinsky continued again, without heeding his
brother-in-law.

“There is no remedy for these shortcomings,” said Nekhludoff, raising
his voice.

“What of that? Shall we therefore go and kill, or, as a certain
statesman proposed, go putting out people’s eyes?” Rogozhinsky remarked.

“Yes; that would be cruel, but it would be effective. What is done
now is cruel, and not only ineffective, but so stupid that one cannot
understand how people in their senses can take part in so absurd and
cruel a business as criminal law.”

“But I happen to take part in it,” said Rogozhinsky, growing pale.

“That is your business. But to me it is incomprehensible.”

“I think there are a good many things incomprehensible to you,” said
Rogozhinsky, with a trembling voice.

“I have seen how one public prosecutor did his very best to get an
unfortunate boy condemned, who could have evoked nothing but sympathy in
an unperverted mind. I know how another cross-examined a sectarian and
put down the reading of the Gospels as a criminal offence; in fact, the
whole business of the Law Courts consists in senseless and cruel actions
of that sort.”

“I should not serve if I thought so,” said Rogozhinsky, rising.

Nekhludoff noticed a peculiar glitter under his brother-in-law’s
spectacles. “Can it be tears?” he thought. And they were really tears
of injured pride. Rogozhinsky went up to the window, got out his
handkerchief, coughed and rubbed his spectacles, took them off, and
wiped his eyes.

When he returned to the sofa he lit a cigar, and did not speak any more.

Nekhludoff felt pained and ashamed of having offended his brother-in-law
and his sister to such a degree, especially as he was going away the
next day.

He parted with them in confusion, and drove home.

“All I have said may be true--anyhow he did not reply. But it was not
said in the right way. How little I must have changed if I could be
carried away by ill-feeling to such an extent as to hurt and wound poor
Nathalie in such a way!” he thought.



CHAPTER XXXIV.

THE PRISONERS START FOR SIBERIA.

The gang of prisoners, among whom was Maslova, was to leave Moscow by
rail at 3 p.m.; therefore, in order to see the gang start, and walk
to the station with the prisoners Nekhludoff meant to reach the prison
before 12 o’clock.

The night before, as he was packing up and sorting his papers, he came
upon his diary, and read some bits here and there. The last bit written
before he left for Petersburg ran thus: “Katusha does not wish to accept
my sacrifice; she wishes to make a sacrifice herself. She has conquered,
and so have I. She makes me happy by the inner change, which seems
to me, though I fear to believe it, to be going on in her. I fear to
believe it, yet she seems to be coming back to life.” Then further on
he read. “I have lived through something very hard and very joyful. I
learnt that she has behaved very badly in the hospital, and I suddenly
felt great pain. I never expected that it could be so painful. I spoke
to her with loathing and hatred, then all of a sudden I called to mind
how many times I have been, and even still am, though but in thought,
guilty of the thing that I hated her for, and immediately I became
disgusting to myself, and pitied her and felt happy again. If only we
could manage to see the beam in our own eye in time, how kind we
should be.” Then he wrote: “I have been to see Nathalie, and again
self-satisfaction made me unkind and spiteful, and a heavy feeling
remains. Well, what is to be done? Tomorrow a new life will begin. A
final good-bye to the old! Many new impressions have accumulated, but I
cannot yet bring them to unity.”

When he awoke the next morning Nekhludoff’s first feeling was regret
about the affair between him and his brother-in-law.

“I cannot go away like this,” he thought. “I must go and make it up with
them.” But when he looked at his watch he saw that he had not time to
go, but must hurry so as not to be too late for the departure of the
gang. He hastily got everything ready, and sent the things to the
station with a servant and Taras, Theodosia’s husband, who was going
with them. Then he took the first isvostchik he could find and drove off
to the prison.

The prisoners’ train started two hours before the train by which he was
going, so Nekhludoff paid his bill in the lodgings and left for good.

It was July, and the weather was unbearably hot. From the stones, the
walls, the iron of the roofs, which the sultry night had not cooled, the
heat streamed into the motionless air. When at rare intervals a slight
breeze did arise, it brought but a whiff of hot air filled with dust and
smelling of oil paint.

There were few people in the streets, and those who were out tried to
keep on the shady side. Only the sunburnt peasants, with their bronzed
faces and bark shoes on their feet, who were mending the road, sat
hammering the stones into the burning sand in the sun; while the
policemen, in their holland blouses, with revolvers fastened with
orange cords, stood melancholy and depressed in the middle of the road,
changing from foot to foot; and the tramcars, the horses of which wore
holland hoods on their heads, with slits for the ears, kept passing up
and down the sunny road with ringing bells.

When Nekhludoff drove up to the prison the gang had not left the yard.
The work of delivering and receiving the prisoners that had commenced
at 4 A.M. was still going on. The gang was to consist of 623 men and 64
women; they had all to be received according to the registry lists.
The sick and the weak to be sorted out, and all to be delivered to the
convoy. The new inspector, with two assistants, the doctor and medical
assistant, the officer of the convoy, and the clerk, were sitting in the
prison yard at a table covered with writing materials and papers, which
was placed in the shade of a wall. They called the prisoners one by one,
examined and questioned them, and took notes. The rays of the sun had
gradually reached the table, and it was growing very hot and oppressive
for want of air and because of the breathing crowd of prisoners that
stood close by.

“Good gracious, will this never come to an end!” the convoy officer,
a tall, fat, red-faced man with high shoulders, who kept puffing the
smoke, of his cigarette into his thick moustache, asked, as he drew in
a long puff. “You are killing me. From where have you got them all? Are
there many more?” the clerk inquired.

“Twenty-four men and the women.”

“What are you standing there for? Come on,” shouted the convoy officer
to the prisoners who had not yet passed the revision, and who stood
crowded one behind the other. The prisoners had been standing there more
than three hours, packed in rows in the full sunlight, waiting their
turns.

While this was going on in the prison yard, outside the gate, besides
the sentinel who stood there as usual with a gun, were drawn up about 20
carts, to carry the luggage of the prisoners and such prisoners as were
too weak to walk, and a group of relatives and friends waiting to see
the prisoners as they came out and to exchange a few words if a chance
presented itself and to give them a few things. Nekhludoff took his
place among the group. He had stood there about an hour when the
clanking of chains, the noise of footsteps, authoritative voices, the
sound of coughing, and the low murmur of a large crowd became audible.

This continued for about five minutes, during which several jailers went
in and out of the gateway. At last the word of command was given. The
gate opened with a thundering noise, the clattering of the chains became
louder, and the convoy soldiers, dressed in white blouses and carrying
guns, came out into the street and took their places in a large, exact
circle in front of the gate; this was evidently a usual, often-practised
manoeuvre. Then another command was given, and the prisoners began
coming out in couples, with flat, pancake-shaped caps on their shaved
heads and sacks over their shoulders, dragging their chained legs and
swinging one arm, while the other held up a sack.

First came the men condemned to hard labour, all dressed alike in grey
trousers and cloaks with marks on the back. All of them--young and old,
thin and fat, pale and red, dark and bearded and beardless, Russians,
Tartars, and Jews--came out, clattering with their chains and briskly
swinging their arms as if prepared to go a long distance, but stopped
after having taken ten steps, and obediently took their places behind
each other, four abreast. Then without interval streamed out more shaved
men, dressed in the same manner but with chains only on their legs.
These were condemned to exile. They came out as briskly and stopped as
suddenly, taking their places four in a row. Then came those exiled by
their Communes. Then the women in the same order, first those condemned
to hard labour, with grey cloaks and kerchiefs; then the exiled women,
and those following their husbands of their own free will, dressed in
their own town or village clothing. Some of the women were carrying
babies wrapped in the fronts of their grey cloaks.

With the women came the children, boys and girls, who, like colts in a
herd of horses, pressed in among the prisoners.

The men took their places silently, only coughing now and then, or
making short remarks.

The women talked without intermission. Nekhludoff thought he saw Maslova
as they were coming out, but she was at once lost in the large crowd,
and he could only see grey creatures, seemingly devoid of all that was
human, or at any rate of all that was womanly, with sacks on their backs
and children round them, taking their places behind the men.

Though all the prisoners had been counted inside the prison walls, the
convoy counted them again, comparing the numbers with the list. This
took very long, especially as some of the prisoners moved and changed
places, which confused the convoy.

The convoy soldiers shouted and pushed the prisoners (who complied
obediently, but angrily) and counted them over again. When all had
been counted, the convoy officer gave a command, and the crowd became
agitated. The weak men and women and children rushed, racing each
other, towards the carts, and began placing their bags on the carts
and climbing up themselves. Women with crying babies, merry children
quarrelling for places, and dull, careworn prisoners got into the carts.

Several of the prisoners took off their caps and came up to the convoy
officer with some request. Nekhludoff found out later that they were
asking for places on the carts. Nekhludoff saw how the officer, without
looking at the prisoners, drew in a whiff from his cigarette, and then
suddenly waved his short arm in front of one of the prisoners, who
quickly drew his shaved head back between his shoulders as if afraid of
a blow, and sprang back.

“I will give you a lift such that you’ll remember. You’ll get there on
foot right enough,” shouted the officer. Only one of the men was granted
his request--an old man with chains on his legs; and Nekhludoff saw the
old man take off his pancake-shaped cap, and go up to the cart crossing
himself. He could not manage to get up on the cart because of the chains
that prevented his lifting his old legs, and a woman who was sitting in
the cart at last pulled him in by the arm.

When all the sacks were in the carts, and those who were allowed to get
in were seated, the officer took off his cap, wiped his forehead, his
bald head and fat, red neck, and crossed himself.

“March,” commanded the officer. The soldiers’ guns gave a click; the
prisoners took off their caps and crossed themselves, those who were
seeing them off shouted something, the prisoners shouted in answer, a
row arose among the women, and the gang, surrounded by the soldiers in
their white blouses, moved forward, raising the dust with their chained
feet. The soldiers went in front; then came the convicts condemned to
hard labour, clattering with their chains; then the exiled and those
exiled by the Communes, chained in couples by their wrists; then the
women. After them, on the carts loaded with sacks, came the weak. High
up on one of the carts sat a woman closely wrapped up, and she kept
shrieking and sobbing.



CHAPTER XXXV.

NOT MEN BUT STRANGE AND TERRIBLE CREATURES?

The procession was such a long one that the carts with the luggage and
the weak started only when those in front were already out of sight.
When the last of the carts moved, Nekhludoff got into the trap that
stood waiting for him and told the isvostchik to catch up the prisoners
in front, so that he could see if he knew any of the men in the gang,
and then try and find out Maslova among the women and ask her if she had
received the things he sent.

It was very hot, and a cloud of dust that was raised by a thousand
tramping feet stood all the time over the gang that was moving down
the middle of the street. The prisoners were walking quickly, and the
slow-going isvostchik’s horse was some time in catching them up. Row
upon row they passed, those strange and terrible-looking creatures, none
of whom Nekhludoff knew.

On they went, all dressed alike, moving a thousand feet all shod alike,
swinging their free arms as if to keep up their spirits. There were so
many of them, they all looked so much alike, and they were all placed in
such unusual, peculiar circumstances, that they seemed to Nekhludoff
to be not men but some sort of strange and terrible creatures. This
impression passed when he recognised in the crowd of convicts the
murderer Federoff, and among the exiles Okhotin the wit, and another
tramp who had appealed to him for assistance. Almost all the prisoners
turned and looked at the trap that was passing them and at the gentleman
inside. Federoff tossed his head backwards as a sign that he had
recognised Nekhludoff, Okhotin winked, but neither of them bowed,
considering it not the thing.

As soon as Nekhludoff came up to the women he saw Maslova; she was in
the second row. The first in the row was a short-legged, black-eyed,
hideous woman, who had her cloak tucked up in her girdle. This was
Koroshavka. The next was a pregnant woman, who dragged herself along
with difficulty. The third was Maslova; she was carrying her sack on
her shoulder, and looking straight before her. Her face looked calm
and determined. The fourth in the row was a young, lovely woman who was
walking along briskly, dressed in a short cloak, her kerchief tied in
peasant fashion. This was Theodosia.

Nekhludoff got down and approached the women, meaning to ask Maslova if
she had got the things he had sent her, and how she was feeling, but the
convoy sergeant, who was walking on that side, noticed him at once, and
ran towards him.

“You must not do that, sir. It is against the regulations to approach
the gang,” shouted the sergeant as he came up.

But when he recognised Nekhludoff (every one in the prison knew
Nekhludoff) the sergeant raised his fingers to his cap, and, stopping
in front of Nekhludoff, said: “Not now; wait till we get to the railway
station; here it is not allowed. Don’t lag behind; march!” he shouted to
the convicts, and putting on a brisk air, he ran back to his place at a
trot, in spite of the heat and the elegant new boots on his feet.

Nekhludoff went on to the pavement and told the isvostchik to follow
him; himself walking, so as to keep the convicts in sight. Wherever the
gang passed it attracted attention mixed with horror and compassion.
Those who drove past leaned out of the vehicles and followed the
prisoners with their eyes. Those on foot stopped and looked with fear
and surprise at the terrible sight. Some came up and gave alms to the
prisoners. The alms were received by the convoy. Some, as if they were
hypnotised, followed the gang, but then stopped, shook their heads, and
followed the prisoners only with their eyes. Everywhere the people
came out of the gates and doors, and called others to come out, too,
or leaned out of the windows looking, silent and immovable, at the
frightful procession. At a cross-road a fine carriage was stopped by the
gang. A fat coachman, with a shiny face and two rows of buttons on his
back, sat on the box; a married couple sat facing the horses, the wife,
a pale, thin woman, with a light-coloured bonnet on her head and a
bright sunshade in her hand, the husband with a top-hat and a well-cut
light-coloured overcoat. On the seat in front sat their children--a
well-dressed little girl, with loose, fair hair, and as fresh as a
flower, who also held a bright parasol, and an eight-year-old boy, with
a long, thin neck and sharp collarbones, a sailor hat with long ribbons
on his head.

The father was angrily scolding the coachman because he had not passed
in front of the gang when he had a chance, and the mother frowned and
half closed her eyes with a look of disgust, shielding herself from the
dust and the sun with her silk sunshade, which she held close to her
face.

The fat coachman frowned angrily at the unjust rebukes of his
master--who had himself given the order to drive along that street--and
with difficulty held in the glossy, black horses, foaming under their
harness and impatient to go on.

The policeman wished with all his soul to please the owner of the fine
equipage by stopping the gang, yet felt that the dismal solemnity of
the procession could not be broken even for so rich a gentleman. He only
raised his fingers to his cap to show his respect for riches, and looked
severely at the prisoners as if promising in any case to protect the
owners of the carriage from them. So the carriage had to wait till the
whole of the procession had passed, and could only move on when the last
of the carts, laden with sacks and prisoners, rattled by. The hysterical
woman who sat on one of the carts, and had grown calm, again began
shrieking and sobbing when she saw the elegant carriage. Then the
coachman tightened the reins with a slight touch, and the black
trotters, their shoes ringing against the paving stones, drew the
carriage, softly swaying on its rubber tires, towards the country
house where the husband, the wife, the girl, and the boy with the sharp
collar-bones were going to amuse themselves. Neither the father nor the
mother gave the girl and boy any explanation of what they had seen, so
that the children had themselves to find out the meaning of this curious
sight. The girl, taking the expression of her father’s and mother’s
faces into consideration, solved the problem by assuming that these
people were quite another kind of men and women than her father and
mother and their acquaintances, that they were bad people, and that they
had therefore to be treated in the manner they were being treated.

Therefore the girl felt nothing but fear, and was glad when she could no
longer see those people.

But the boy with the long, thin neck, who looked at the procession
of prisoners without taking his eyes off them, solved the question
differently.

He still knew, firmly and without any doubt, for he had it from God,
that these people were just the same kind of people as he was, and like
all other people, and therefore some one had done these people some
wrong, something that ought not to have been done, and he was sorry for
them, and felt no horror either of those who were shaved and chained or
of those who had shaved and chained them. And so the boy’s lips pouted
more and more, and he made greater and greater efforts not to cry,
thinking it a shame to cry in such a case.



CHAPTER XXXVI.

THE TENDER MERCIES OF THE LORD.

Nekhludoff kept up with the quick pace of the convicts. Though lightly
clothed he felt dreadfully hot, and it was hard to breathe in the
stifling, motionless, burning air filled with dust.

When he had walked about a quarter of a mile he again got into the trap,
but it felt still hotter in the middle of the street. He tried to recall
last night’s conversation with his brother-in-law, but the recollections
no longer excited him as they had done in the morning. They were dulled
by the impressions made by the starting and procession of the gang, and
chiefly by the intolerable heat.

On the pavement, in the shade of some trees overhanging a fence, he saw
two schoolboys standing over a kneeling man who sold ices. One of the
boys was already sucking a pink spoon and enjoying his ices, the other
was waiting for a glass that was being filled with something yellowish.

“Where could I get a drink?” Nekhludoff asked his isvostchik, feeling an
insurmountable desire for some refreshment.

“There is a good eating-house close by,” the isvostchik answered, and
turning a corner, drove up to a door with a large signboard. The plump
clerk in a Russian shirt, who stood behind the counter, and the waiters
in their once white clothing who sat at the tables (there being hardly
any customers) looked with curiosity at the unusual visitor and offered
him their services. Nekhludoff asked for a bottle of seltzer water and
sat down some way from the window at a small table covered with a dirty
cloth. Two men sat at another table with tea-things and a white bottle
in front of them, mopping their foreheads, and calculating something in
a friendly manner. One of them was dark and bald, and had just such a
border of hair at the back as Rogozhinsky. This sight again reminded
Nekhludoff of yesterday’s talk with his brother-in-law and his wish to
see him and Nathalie.

“I shall hardly be able to do it before the train starts,” he thought;
“I’d better write.” He asked for paper, an envelope, and a stamp, and as
he was sipping the cool, effervescent water he considered what he should
say. But his thoughts wandered, and he could not manage to compose a
letter.

“My dear Nathalie,--I cannot go away with the heavy impression that
yesterday’s talk with your husband has left,” he began. “What next?
Shall I ask him to forgive me what I said yesterday? But I only said
what I felt, and he will think that I am taking it back. Besides, this
interference of his in my private matters. . . . No, I cannot,” and
again he felt hatred rising in his heart towards that man so foreign
to him. He folded the unfinished letter and put it in his pocket, paid,
went out, and again got into the trap to catch up the gang. It had grown
still hotter. The stones and the walls seemed to be breathing out hot
air. The pavement seemed to scorch the feet, and Nekhludoff felt a
burning sensation in his hand when he touched the lacquered splashguard
of his trap.

The horse was jogging along at a weary trot, beating the uneven, dusty
road monotonously with its hoofs, the isvostchik kept falling into a
doze, Nekhludoff sat without thinking of anything.

At the bottom of a street, in front of a large house, a group of people
had collected, and a convoy soldier stood by.

“What has happened?” Nekhludoff asked of a porter.

“Something the matter with a convict.”

Nekhludoff got down and came up to the group. On the rough stones,
where the pavement slanted down to the gutter, lay a broadly-built,
red-bearded, elderly convict, with his head lower than his feet, and
very red in the face. He had a grey cloak and grey trousers on, and lay
on his back with the palms of his freckled hands downwards, and at
long intervals his broad, high chest heaved, and he groaned, while
his bloodshot eyes were fixed on the sky. By him stood a cross-looking
policeman, a pedlar, a postman, a clerk, an old woman with a parasol,
and a short-haired boy with an empty basket.

“They are weak. Having been locked up in prison they’ve got weak, and
then they lead them through the most broiling heat,” said the clerk,
addressing Nekhludoff, who had just come up.

“He’ll die, most likely,” said the woman with the parasol, in a doleful
tone.

“His shirt should be untied,” said the postman.

The policeman began, with his thick, trembling fingers, clumsily to
untie the tapes that fastened the shirt round the red, sinewy neck. He
was evidently excited and confused, but still thought it necessary to
address the crowd.

“What have you collected here for? It is hot enough without your keeping
the wind off.”

“They should have been examined by a doctor, and the weak ones left
behind,” said the clerk, showing off his knowledge of the law.

The policeman, having undone the tapes of the shirt, rose and looked
round.

“Move on, I tell you. It is not your business, is it? What’s there
to stare at?” he said, and turned to Nekhludoff for sympathy, but not
finding any in his face he turned to the convoy soldier.

But the soldier stood aside, examining the trodden-down heel of his
boot, and was quite indifferent to the policeman’s perplexity.

“Those whose business it is don’t care. Is it right to do men to death
like this? A convict is a convict, but still he is a man,” different
voices were heard saying in the crowd.

“Put his head up higher, and give him some water,” said Nekhludoff.

“Water has been sent for,” said the policeman, and taking the prisoner
under the arms he with difficulty pulled his body a little higher up.

“What’s this gathering here?” said a decided, authoritative voice, and
a police officer, with a wonderfully clean, shiny blouse, and still more
shiny top-boots, came up to the assembled crowd.

“Move on. No standing about here,” he shouted to the crowd, before he
knew what had attracted it.

When he came near and saw the dying convict, he made a sign of approval
with his head, just as if he had quite expected it, and, turning to the
policeman, said, “How is this?”

The policeman said that, as a gang of prisoners was passing, one of the
convicts had fallen down, and the convoy officer had ordered him to be
left behind.

“Well, that’s all right. He must be taken to the police station. Call an
isvostchik.”

“A porter has gone for one,” said the policeman, with his fingers raised
to his cap.

The shopman began something about the heat.

“Is it your business, eh? Move on,” said the police officer, and looked
so severely at him that the clerk was silenced.

“He ought to have a little water,” said Nekhludoff. The police officer
looked severely at Nekhludoff also, but said nothing. When the porter
brought a mug full of water, he told the policeman to offer some to the
convict. The policeman raised the drooping head, and tried to pour a
little water down the mouth; but the prisoner could not swallow it, and
it ran down his beard, wetting his jacket and his coarse, dirty linen
shirt.

“Pour it on his head,” ordered the officer; and the policeman took off
the pancake-shaped cap and poured the water over the red curls and bald
part of the prisoner’s head. His eyes opened wide as if in fear, but his
position remained unchanged.

Streams of dirt trickled down his dusty face, but the mouth continued to
gasp in the same regular way, and his whole body shook.

“And what’s this? Take this one,” said the police officer, pointing to
Nekhludoff’s isvostchik. “You, there, drive up.”

“I am engaged,” said the isvostchik, dismally, and without looking up.

“It is my isvostchik; but take him. I will pay you,” said Nekhludoff,
turning to the isvostchik.

“Well, what are you waiting for?” shouted the officer. “Catch hold.”

The policeman, the porter, and the convoy soldier lifted the dying man
and carried him to the trap, and put him on the seat. But he could not
sit up; his head fell back, and the whole of his body glided off the
seat.

“Make him lie down,” ordered the officer.

“It’s all right, your honour; I’ll manage him like this,” said the
policeman, sitting down by the dying man, and clasping his strong,
right arm round the body under the arms. The convoy soldier lifted the
stockingless feet, in prison shoes, and put them into the trap.

The police officer looked around, and noticing the pancake-shaped hat of
the convict lifted it up and put it on the wet, drooping head.

“Go on,” he ordered.

The isvostchik looked angrily round, shook his head, and, accompanied
by the convoy soldier, drove back to the police station. The policeman,
sitting beside the convict, kept dragging up the body that was
continually sliding down from the seat, while the head swung from side
to side.

The convoy soldier, who was walking by the side of the trap, kept
putting the legs in their place. Nekhludoff followed the trap.



CHAPTER XXXVII.

SPILLED LIKE WATER ON THE GROUND.

The trap passed the fireman who stood sentinel at the entrance, [the
headquarters of the fire brigade and the police stations are generally
together in Moscow] drove into the yard of the police station, and
stopped at one of the doors. In the yard several firemen with their
sleeves tucked up were washing some kind of cart and talking loudly.
When the trap stopped, several policemen surrounded it, and taking the
lifeless body of the convict under the arms, took him out of the trap,
which creaked under him. The policeman who had brought the body got
down, shook his numbed arm, took off his cap, and crossed himself.
The body was carried through the door and up the stairs. Nekhludoff
followed. In the small, dirty room where the body was taken there stood
four beds. On two of them sat a couple of sick men in dressing-gowns,
one with a crooked mouth, whose neck was bandaged, the other one in
consumption. Two of the beds were empty; the convict was laid on one of
them. A little man, with glistening eyes and continually moving brows,
with only his underclothes and stockings on, came up with quick, soft
steps, looked at the convict and then at Nekhludoff, and burst into loud
laughter. This was a madman who was being kept in the police hospital.

“They wish to frighten me, but no, they won’t succeed,” he said.

The policemen who carried the corpse were followed by a police officer
and a medical assistant. The medical assistant came up to the body and
touched the freckled hand, already growing cold, which, though still
soft, was deadly pale. He held it for a moment, and then let it go. It
fell lifelessly on the stomach of the dead man.

“He’s ready,” said the medical assistant, but, evidently to be quite in
order, he undid the wet, brown shirt, and tossing back the curls from
his ear, put it to the yellowish, broad, immovable chest of the convict.
All were silent. The medical assistant raised himself again, shook his
head, and touched with his fingers first one and then the other lid over
the open, fixed blue eyes.

“I’m not frightened, I’m not frightened.” The madman kept repeating
these words, and spitting in the direction of the medical assistant.

“Well?” asked the police officer.

“Well! He must be put into the mortuary.”

“Are you sure? Mind,” said the police officer.

“It’s time I should know,” said the medical assistant, drawing the shirt
over the body’s chest. “However, I will send for Mathew Ivanovitch. Let
him have a look. Petrov, call him,” and the medical assistant stepped
away from the body.

“Take him to the mortuary,” said the police officer. “And then you must
come into the office and sign,” he added to the convoy soldier, who had
not left the convict for a moment.

“Yes, sir,” said the soldier.

The policemen lifted the body and carried it down again. Nekhludoff
wished to follow, but the madman kept him back.

“You are not in the plot! Well, then, give me a cigarette,” he said.
Nekhludoff got out his cigarette case and gave him one.

The madman, quickly moving his brows all the time, began relating how
they tormented him by thought suggestion.

“Why, they are all against me, and torment and torture me through their
mediums.”

“I beg your pardon,” said Nekhludoff, and without listening any further
he left the room and went out into the yard, wishing to know where the
body would be put.

The policemen with their burden had already crossed the yard, and were
coming to the door of a cellar. Nekhludoff wished to go up to them, but
the police officer stopped him.

“What do you want?”

“Nothing.”

“Nothing? Then go away.”

Nekhludoff obeyed, and went back to his isvostchik, who was dozing. He
awoke him, and they drove back towards the railway station.

They had not made a hundred steps when they met a cart accompanied by
a convoy soldier with a gun. On the cart lay another convict, who was
already dead. The convict lay on his back in the cart, his shaved head,
from which the pancake-shaped cap had slid over the black-bearded face
down to the nose, shaking and thumping at every jolt. The driver, in
his heavy boots, walked by the side of the cart, holding the reins;
a policeman followed on foot. Nekhludoff touched his isvostchik’s
shoulder.

“Just look what they are doing,” said the isvostchik, stopping his
horse.

Nekhludoff got down and, following the cart, again passed the sentinel
and entered the gate of the police station. By this time the firemen had
finished washing the cart, and a tall, bony man, the chief of the fire
brigade, with a coloured band round his cap, stood in their place, and,
with his hands in his pockets, was severely looking at a fat-necked,
well-fed, bay stallion that was being led up and down before him by a
fireman. The stallion was lame on one of his fore feet, and the chief of
the firemen was angrily saying something to a veterinary who stood by.

The police officer was also present. When he saw the cart he went up to
the convoy soldier.

“Where did you bring him from?” he asked, shaking his head
disapprovingly.

“From the Gorbatovskaya,” answered the policeman.

“A prisoner?” asked the chief of the fire brigade.

“Yes. It’s the second to-day.”

“Well, I must say they’ve got some queer arrangements. Though of course
it’s a broiling day,” said the chief of the fire brigade; then, turning
to the fireman who was leading the lame stallion, he shouted: “Put him
into the corner stall. And as to you, you hound, I’ll teach you how to
cripple horses which are worth more than you are, you scoundrel.”

The dead man was taken from the cart by the policemen just in the same
way as the first had been, and carried upstairs into the hospital.
Nekhludoff followed them as if he were hypnotised.

“What do you want?” asked one of the policemen. But Nekhludoff did
not answer, and followed where the body was being carried. The madman,
sitting on a bed, was smoking greedily the cigarette Nekhludoff had
given him.

“Ah, you’ve come back,” he said, and laughed. When he saw the body he
made a face, and said, “Again! I am sick of it. I am not a boy, am I,
eh?” and he turned to Nekhludoff with a questioning smile.

Nekhludoff was looking at the dead man, whose face, which had been
hidden by his cap, was now visible. This convict was as handsome in face
and body as the other was hideous. He was a man in the full bloom of
life. Notwithstanding that he was disfigured by the half of his head
being shaved, the straight, rather low forehead, raised a bit over the
black, lifeless eyes, was very fine, and so was the nose above the
thin, black moustaches. There was a smile on the lips that were already
growing blue, a small beard outlined the lower part of the face, and on
the shaved side of the head a firm, well-shaped ear was visible.

One could see what possibilities of a higher life had been destroyed
in this man. The fine bones of his hands and shackled feet, the strong
muscles of all his well-proportioned limbs, showed what a beautiful,
strong, agile human animal this had been. As an animal merely he had
been a far more perfect one of his kind than the bay stallion, about the
laming of which the fireman was so angry.

Yet he had been done to death, and no one was sorry for him as a man,
nor was any one sorry that so fine a working animal had perished. The
only feeling evinced was that of annoyance because of the bother caused
by the necessity of getting this body, threatening putrefaction, out of
the way. The doctor and his assistant entered the hospital, accompanied
by the inspector of the police station. The doctor was a thick-set man,
dressed in pongee silk coat and trousers of the same material, closely
fitting his muscular thighs. The inspector was a little fat fellow, with
a red face, round as a ball, which he made still broader by a habit he
had of filling his cheeks with air, and slowly letting it out again. The
doctor sat down on the bed by the side of the dead man, and touched
the hands in the same way as his assistant had done, put his ear to the
heart, rose, and pulled his trousers straight. “Could not be more dead,”
 he said.

The inspector filled his mouth with air and slowly blew it out again.

“Which prison is he from?” he asked the convoy soldier.

The soldier told him, and reminded him of the chains on the dead man’s
feet.

“I’ll have them taken off; we have got a smith about, the Lord be
thanked,” said the inspector, and blew up his cheeks again; he went
towards the door, slowly letting out the air.

“Why has this happened?” Nekhludoff asked the doctor.

The doctor looked at him through his spectacles.

“Why has what happened? Why they die of sunstroke, you mean? This is
why: They sit all through the winter without exercise and without light,
and suddenly they are taken out into the sunshine, and on a day like
this, and they march in a crowd so that they get no air, and sunstroke
is the result.”

“Then why are they sent out?”

“Oh, as to that, go and ask those who send them. But may I ask who are
you?”

“I am a stranger.”

“Ah, well, good-afternoon; I have no time.” The doctor was vexed; he
gave his trousers a downward pull, and went towards the beds of the
sick.

“Well, how are you getting on?” he asked the pale man with the crooked
mouth and bandaged neck.

Meanwhile the madman sat on a bed, and having finished his cigarette,
kept spitting in the direction of the doctor.

Nekhludoff went down into the yard and out of the gate past the
firemen’s horses and the hens and the sentinel in his brass helmet, and
got into the trap, the driver of which had again fallen asleep.



CHAPTER XXXVIII.

THE CONVICT TRAIN.

When Nekhludoff came to the station, the prisoners were all seated in
railway carriages with grated windows. Several persons, come to see
them off, stood on the platform, but were not allowed to come up to the
carriages.

The convoy was much troubled that day. On the way from the prison to the
station, besides the two Nekhludoff had seen, three other prisoners
had fallen and died of sunstroke. One was taken to the nearest police
station like the first two, and the other two died at the railway
station. [In Moscow, in the beginning of the eighth decade of this
century, five convicts died of sunstroke in one day on their way from
the Boutyrki prison to the Nijni railway station.] The convoy men were
not troubled because five men who might have been alive died while in
their charge. This did not trouble them, but they were concerned lest
anything that the law required in such cases should be omitted. To
convey the bodies to the places appointed, to deliver up their papers,
to take them off the lists of those to be conveyed to Nijni--all this
was very troublesome, especially on so hot a day.

It was this that occupied the convoy men, and before it could all be
accomplished Nekhludoff and the others who asked for leave to go up to
the carriages were not allowed to do so. Nekhludoff, however, was soon
allowed to go up, because he tipped the convoy sergeant. The sergeant
let Nekhludoff pass, but asked him to be quick and get his talk over
before any of the authorities noticed. There were 15 carriages in all,
and except one carriage for the officials, they were full of prisoners.
As Nekhludoff passed the carriages he listened to what was going on in
them. In all the carriages was heard the clanging of chains, the sound
of bustle, mixed with loud and senseless language, but not a word was
being said about their dead fellow-prisoners. The talk was all about
sacks, drinking water, and the choice of seats.

Looking into one of the carriages, Nekhludoff saw convoy soldiers taking
the manacles off the hands of the prisoners. The prisoners held out
their arms, and one of the soldiers unlocked the manacles with a key and
took them off; the other collected them.

After he had passed all the other carriages, Nekhludoff came up to the
women’s carriages. From the second of these he heard a woman’s groans:
“Oh, oh, oh! O God! Oh, oh! O God!”

Nekhludoff passed this carriage and went up to a window of the third
carriage, which a soldier pointed out to him. When he approached his
face to the window, he felt the hot air, filled with the smell of
perspiration, coming out of it, and heard distinctly the shrill sound
of women’s voices. All the seats were filled with red, perspiring,
loudly-talking women, dressed in prison cloaks and white jackets.
Nekhludoff’s face at the window attracted their attention. Those nearest
ceased talking and drew closer. Maslova, in her white jacket and her
head uncovered, sat by the opposite window. The white-skinned, smiling
Theodosia sat a little nearer. When she recognised Nekhludoff, she
nudged Maslova and pointed to the window. Maslova rose hurriedly, threw
her kerchief over her black hair, and with a smile on her hot, red face
came up to the window and took hold of one of the bars.

“Well, it is hot,” she said, with a glad smile.

“Did you get the things?”

“Yes, thank you.”

“Is there anything more you want?” asked Nekhludoff, while the air came
out of the hot carriage as out of an oven.

“I want nothing, thank you.”

“If we could get a drink?” said Theodosia.

“Yes, if we could get a drink,” repeated Maslova.

“Why, have you not got any water?”

“They put some in, but it is all gone.”

“Directly, I will ask one of the convoy men. Now we shall not see each
other till we get to Nijni.”

“Why? Are you going?” said Maslova, as if she did not know it, and
looked joyfully at Nekhludoff.

“I am going by the next train.”

Maslova said nothing, but only sighed deeply.

“Is it true, sir, that 12 convicts have been done to death?” said a
severe-looking old prisoner with a deep voice like a man’s.

It was Korableva.

“I did not hear of 12; I have seen two,” said Nekhludoff.

“They say there were 12 they killed. And will nothing be done to them?
Only think! The fiends!”

“And have none of the women fallen ill?” Nekhludoff asked.

“Women are stronger,” said another of the prisoners--a short little
woman, and laughed; “only there’s one that has taken it into her head to
be delivered. There she goes,” she said, pointing to the next carriage,
whence proceeded the groans.

“You ask if we want anything,” said Maslova, trying to keep the smile
of joy from her lips; “could not this woman be left behind, suffering as
she is? There, now, if you would tell the authorities.”

“Yes, I will.”

“And one thing more; could she not see her husband, Taras?” she added,
pointing with her eyes to the smiling Theodosia.

“He is going with you, is he not?”

“Sir, you must not talk,” said a convoy sergeant, not the one who had
let Nekhludoff come up. Nekhludoff left the carriage and went in search
of an official to whom he might speak for the woman in travail and about
Taras, but could not find him, nor get an answer from any of the convoy
for a long time. They were all in a bustle; some were leading a prisoner
somewhere or other, others running to get themselves provisions, some
were placing their things in the carriages or attending on a lady
who was going to accompany the convoy officer, and they answered
Nekhludoff’s questions unwillingly. Nekhludoff found the convoy officer
only after the second bell had been rung. The officer with his short
arm was wiping the moustaches that covered his mouth and shrugging his
shoulders, reproving the corporal for something or other.

“What is it you want?” he asked Nekhludoff.

“You’ve got a woman there who is being confined, so I thought best--”

“Well, let her be confined; we shall see later on,” and briskly swinging
his short arms, he ran up to his carriage. At the moment the guard
passed with a whistle in his hand, and from the people on the platform
and from the women’s carriages there arose a sound of weeping and words
of prayer.

Nekhludoff stood on the platform by the side of Taras, and looked how,
one after the other, the carriages glided past him, with the shaved
heads of the men at the grated windows. Then the first of the women’s
carriages came up, with women’s heads at the windows, some covered with
kerchiefs and some uncovered, then the second, whence proceeded the same
groans, then the carriage where Maslova was. She stood with the others
at the window, and looked at Nekhludoff with a pathetic smile.



CHAPTER XXXIX.

BROTHER AND SISTER.

There were still two hours before the passenger train by which
Nekhludoff was going would start. He had thought of using this interval
to see his sister again; but after the impressions of the morning he
felt much excited and so done up that, sitting down on a sofa in the
first-class refreshment-room, he suddenly grew so drowsy that he turned
over on to his side, and, laying his face on his hand, fell asleep at
once. A waiter in a dress coat with a napkin in his hand woke him.

“Sir, sir, are you not Prince Nekhludoff? There’s a lady looking for
you.”

Nekhludoff started up and recollected where he was and all that had
happened in the morning.

He saw in his imagination the procession of prisoners, the dead bodies,
the railway carriages with barred windows, and the women locked up in
them, one of whom was groaning in travail with no one to help her, and
another who was pathetically smiling at him through the bars.

The reality before his eyes was very different, i.e., a table with
vases, candlesticks and crockery, and agile waiters moving round the
table, and in the background a cupboard and a counter laden with fruit
and bottles, behind it a barman, and in front the backs of passengers
who had come up for refreshments. When Nekhludoff had risen and sat
gradually collecting his thoughts, he noticed that everybody in the
room was inquisitively looking at something that was passing by the open
doors.

He also looked, and saw a group of people carrying a chair on which sat
a lady whose head was wrapped in a kind of airy fabric.

Nekhludoff thought he knew the footman who was supporting the chair in
front. And also the man behind, and a doorkeeper with gold cord on his
cap, seemed familiar. A lady’s maid with a fringe and an apron, who was
carrying a parcel, a parasol, and something round in a leather case,
was walking behind the chair. Then came Prince Korchagin, with his thick
lips, apoplectic neck, and a travelling cap on his head; behind him
Missy, her cousin Misha, and an acquaintance of Nekhludoff’s--the
long-necked diplomat Osten, with his protruding Adam’s apple and his
unvarying merry mood and expression. He was saying something very
emphatically, though jokingly, to the smiling Missy. The Korchagins were
moving from their estate near the city to the estate of the Princess’s
sister on the Nijni railway. The procession--the men carrying the
chair, the maid, and the doctor--vanished into the ladies’ waiting-room,
evoking a feeling of curiosity and respect in the onlookers. But the old
Prince remained and sat down at the table, called a waiter, and ordered
food and drink. Missy and Osten also remained in the refreshment-room
and were about to sit down, when they saw an acquaintance in the
doorway, and went up to her. It was Nathalie Rogozhinsky. Nathalie came
into the refreshment-room accompanied by Agraphena Petrovna, and both
looked round the room. Nathalie noticed at one and the same moment both
her brother and Missy. She first went up to Missy, only nodding to her
brother; but, having kissed her, at once turned to him.

“At last I have found you,” she said. Nekhludoff rose to greet Missy,
Misha, and Osten, and to say a few words to them. Missy told him about
their house in the country having been burnt down, which necessitated
their moving to her aunt’s. Osten began relating a funny story about a
fire. Nekhludoff paid no attention, and turned to his sister.

“How glad I am that you have come.”

“I have been here a long time,” she said. “Agraphena Petrovna is with
me.” And she pointed to Agraphena Petrovna, who, in a waterproof and
with a bonnet on her head, stood some way off, and bowed to him with
kindly dignity and some confusion, not wishing to intrude.

“We looked for you everywhere.”

“And I had fallen asleep here. How glad I am that you have come,”
 repeated Nekhludoff. “I had begun to write to you.”

“Really?” she said, looking frightened. “What about?”

Missy and the gentleman, noticing that an intimate conversation was
about to commence between the brother and sister, went away. Nekhludoff
and his sister sat down by the window on a velvet-covered sofa, on which
lay a plaid, a box, and a few other things.

“Yesterday, after I left you, I felt inclined to return and express my
regret, but I did not know how he would take it,” said Nekhludoff. “I
spoke hastily to your husband, and this tormented me.”

“I knew,” said his sister, “that you did not mean to. Oh, you know!” and
the tears came to her eyes, and she touched his hand. The sentence was
not clear, but he understood it perfectly, and was touched by what it
expressed. Her words meant that, besides the love for her husband which
held her in its sway, she prized and considered important the love she
had for him, her brother, and that every misunderstanding between them
caused her deep suffering.

“Thank you, thank you. Oh! what I have seen to-day!” he said, suddenly
recalling the second of the dead convicts. “Two prisoners have been done
to death.”

“Done to death? How?”

“Yes, done to death. They led them in this heat, and two died of
sunstroke.”

“Impossible! What, to-day? just now?”

“Yes, just now. I have seen their bodies.”

“But why done to death? Who killed them?” asked Nathalie.

“They who forced them to go killed them,” said Nekhludoff, with
irritation, feeling that she looked at this, too, with her husband’s
eyes.

“Oh, Lord!” said Agraphena Petrovna, who had come up to them.

“Yes, we have not the slightest idea of what is being done to these
unfortunate beings. But it ought to be known,” added Nekhludoff, and
looked at old Korchagin, who sat with a napkin tied round him and a
bottle before him, and who looked round at Nekhludoff.

“Nekhludoff,” he called out, “won’t you join me and take some
refreshment? It is excellent before a journey.”

Nekhludoff refused, and turned away.

“But what are you going to do?” Nathalie continued.

“What I can. I don’t know, but I feel I must do something. And I shall
do what I am able to.”

“Yes, I understand. And how about them?” she continued, with a smile and
a look towards Korchagin. “Is it possible that it is all over?”

“Completely, and I think without any regret on either side.”

“It is a pity. I am sorry. I am fond of her. However, it’s all right.
But why do you wish to bind yourself?” she added shyly. “Why are you
going?”

“I go because I must,” answered Nekhludoff, seriously and dryly, as if
wishing to stop this conversation. But he felt ashamed of his coldness
towards his sister at once. “Why not tell her all I am thinking?” he
thought, “and let Agraphena Petrovna also hear it,” he thought, with
a look at the old servant, whose presence made the wish to repeat his
decision to his sister even stronger.

“You mean my intention to marry Katusha? Well, you see, I made up my
mind to do it, but she refuses definitely and firmly,” he said, and his
voice shook, as it always did when he spoke of it. “She does not wish
to accept my sacrifice, but is herself sacrificing what in her position
means much, and I cannot accept this sacrifice, if it is only a
momentary impulse. And so I am going with her, and shall be where she
is, and shall try to lighten her fate as much as I can.”

Nathalie said nothing. Agraphena Petrovna looked at her with a
questioning look, and shook her head. At this moment the former
procession issued from the ladies’ room. The same handsome footman
(Philip). and the doorkeeper were carrying the Princess Korchagin. She
stopped the men who were carrying her, and motioned to Nekhludoff to
approach, and, with a pitiful, languishing air, she extended her white,
ringed hand, expecting the firm pressure of his hand with a sense of
horror.

“Epouvantable!” she said, meaning the heat. “I cannot stand it! Ce
climat me tue!” And, after a short talk about the horrors of the Russian
climate, she gave the men a sign to go on.

“Be sure and come,” she added, turning her long face towards Nekhludoff
as she was borne away.

The procession with the Princess turned to the right towards the
first-class carriages. Nekhludoff, with the porter who was carrying his
things, and Taras with his bag, turned to the left.

“This is my companion,” said Nekhludoff to his sister, pointing to
Taras, whose story he had told her before.

“Surely not third class?” said Nathalie, when Nekhludoff stopped in
front of a third-class carriage, and Taras and the porter with the
things went in.

“Yes; it is more convenient for me to be with Taras,” he said. “One
thing more,” he added; “up to now I have not given the Kousminski
land to the peasants; so that, in case of my death, your children will
inherit it.”

“Dmitri, don’t!” said Nathalie.

“If I do give it away, all I can say is that the rest will be theirs,
as it is not likely I shall marry; and if I do marry I shall have no
children, so that--”

“Dmitri, don’t talk like that!” said Nathalie. And yet Nekhludoff
noticed that she was glad to hear him say it.

Higher up, by the side of a first-class carriage, there stood a group of
people still looking at the carriage into which the Princess Korchagin
had been carried. Most of the passengers were already seated. Some of
the late comers hurriedly clattered along the boards of the platform,
the guard was closing the doors and asking the passengers to get in and
those who were seeing them off to come out.

Nekhludoff entered the hot, smelling carriage, but at once stepped out
again on to the small platform at the back of the carriage. Nathalie
stood opposite the carriage, with her fashionable bonnet and cape,
by the side of Agraphena Petrovna, and was evidently trying to find
something to say.

She could not even say ecrivez, because they had long ago laughed
at this word, habitually spoken by those about to part. The short
conversation about money matters had in a moment destroyed the tender
brotherly and sisterly feelings that had taken hold of them. They felt
estranged, so that Nathalie was glad when the train moved; and she
could only say, nodding her head with a sad and tender look, “Goodbye,
good-bye, Dmitri.” But as soon as the carriage had passed her she
thought of how she should repeat her conversation with her brother to
her husband, and her face became serious and troubled.

Nekhludoff, too, though he had nothing but the kindest feelings for
his sister, and had hidden nothing from her, now felt depressed and
uncomfortable with her, and was glad to part. He felt that the Nathalie
who was once so near to him no longer existed, and in her place was only
a slave of that hairy, unpleasant husband, who was so foreign to him. He
saw it clearly when her face lit up with peculiar animation as he spoke
of what would peculiarly interest her husband, i.e., the giving up of
the land to the peasants and the inheritance.

And this made him sad.



CHAPTER XL.

THE FUNDAMENTAL LAW OF HUMAN LIFE.

The heat in the large third-class carriage, which had been standing in
the burning sun all day, was so great that Nekhludoff did not go in,
but stopped on the little platform behind the carriage which formed a
passage to the next one. But there was not a breath of fresh air here
either, and Nekhludoff breathed freely only when the train had passed
the buildings and the draught blew across the platform.

“Yes, killed,” he repeated to himself, the words he had used to his
sister. And in his imagination in the midst of all other impressions
there arose with wonderful clearness the beautiful face of the second
dead convict, with the smile of the lips, the severe expression of the
brows, and the small, firm ear below the shaved bluish skull.

And what seemed terrible was that he had been murdered, and no one knew
who had murdered him. Yet he had been murdered. He was led out like all
the rest of the prisoners by Maslennikoff’s orders. Maslennikoff had
probably given the order in the usual manner, had signed with his stupid
flourish the paper with the printed heading, and most certainly would
not consider himself guilty. Still less would the careful doctor who
examined the convicts consider himself guilty. He had performed his duty
accurately, and had separated the weak. How could he have foreseen this
terrible heat, or the fact that they would start so late in the day and
in such crowds? The prison inspector? But the inspector had only carried
into execution the order that on a given day a certain number of exiles
and convicts--men and women--had to be sent off. The convoy officer
could not be guilty either, for his business was to receive a certain
number of persons in a certain place, and to deliver up the same number.
He conducted them in the usual manner, and could not foresee that two
such strong men as those Nekhludoff saw would not be able to stand it
and would die. No one is guilty, and yet the men have been murdered by
these people who are not guilty of their murder.

“All this comes,” Nekhludoff thought, “from the fact that all these
people, governors, inspectors, police officers, and men, consider that
there are circumstances in which human relations are not necessary
between human beings. All these men, Maslennikoff, and the inspector,
and the convoy officer, if they were not _governor, inspector, officer,_
would have considered twenty times before sending people in such heat
in such a mass--would have stopped twenty times on the way, and, seeing
that a man was growing weak, gasping for breath, would have led him
into the shade, would have given him water and let him rest, and if an
accident had still occurred they would have expressed pity. But they
not only did not do it, but hindered others from doing it, because they
considered not men and their duty towards them but only the office they
themselves filled, and held what that office demanded of them to be
above human relations. That’s what it is,” Nekhludoff went on in his
thoughts. “If one acknowledges but for a single hour that anything
can be more important than love for one’s fellowmen, even in some
one exceptional case, any crime can be committed without a feeling of
guilt.”

Nekhludoff was so engrossed by his thoughts that he did not notice how
the weather changed. The sun was covered over by a low-hanging, ragged
cloud. A compact, light grey cloud was rapidly coming from the west, and
was already falling in heavy, driving rain on the fields and woods far
in the distance. Moisture, coming from the cloud, mixed with the air.
Now and then the cloud was rent by flashes of lightning, and peals of
thunder mingled more and more often with the rattling of the train. The
cloud came nearer and nearer, the rain-drops driven by the wind began
to spot the platform and Nekhludoff’s coat; and he stepped to the other
side of the little platform, and, inhaling the fresh, moist air--filled
with the smell of corn and wet earth that had long been waiting for
rain--he stood looking at the gardens, the woods, the yellow rye fields,
the green oatfields, the dark-green strips of potatoes in bloom, that
glided past. Everything looked as if covered over with varnish--the
green turned greener, the yellow yellower, the black blacker.

“More! more!” said Nekhludoff, gladdened by the sight of gardens and
fields revived by the beneficent shower. The shower did not last long.
Part of the cloud had come down in rain, part passed over, and the last
fine drops fell straight on to the earth. The sun reappeared,
everything began to glisten, and in the east--not very high above the
horizon--appeared a bright rainbow, with the violet tint very distinct
and broken only at one end.

“Why, what was I thinking about?” Nekhludoff asked himself when all
these changes in nature were over, and the train ran into a cutting
between two high banks.

“Oh! I was thinking that all those people (inspector, convoy men--all
those in the service) are for the greater part kind people--cruel only
because they are serving.” He recalled Maslennikoff’s indifference when
he told him about what was being done in the prison, the inspector’s
severity, the cruelty of the convoy officer when he refused places on
the carts to those who asked for them, and paid no attention to the fact
that there was a woman in travail in the train. All these people were
evidently invulnerable and impregnable to the simplest feelings of
compassion only because they held offices. “As officials they were
impermeable to the feelings of humanity, as this paved ground is
impermeable to the rain.” Thus thought Nekhludoff as he looked at the
railway embankment paved with stones of different colours, down which
the water was running in streams instead of soaking into the earth.
“Perhaps it is necessary to pave the banks with stones, but it is sad
to look at the ground, which might be yielding corn, grass, bushes, or
trees in the same way as the ground visible up there is doing--deprived
of vegetation, and so it is with men,” thought Nekhludoff. “Perhaps
these governors, inspectors, policemen, are needed, but it is terrible
to see men deprived of the chief human attribute, that of love and
sympathy for one another. The thing is,” he continued, “that these
people consider lawful what is not lawful, and do not consider the
eternal, immutable law, written in the hearts of men by God, as law.
That is why I feel so depressed when I am with these people. I am
simply afraid of them, and really they are terrible, more terrible than
robbers. A robber might, after all, feel pity, but they can feel
no pity, they are inured against pity as these stones are against
vegetation. That is what makes them terrible. It is said that the
Pougatcheffs, the Razins [leaders of rebellions in Russia: Stonka Razin
in the 17th and Pougatcheff in the 18th century] are terrible. These are
a thousand times more terrible,” he continued, in his thoughts. “If
a psychological problem were set to find means of making men of our
time--Christian, humane, simple, kind people--perform the most horrible
crimes without feeling guilty, only one solution could be devised: to
go on doing what is being done. It is only necessary that these people
should he governors, inspectors, policemen; that they should be fully
convinced that there is a kind of business, called government service,
which allows men to treat other men as things, without human brotherly
relations with them, and also that these people should be so linked
together by this government service that the responsibility for the
results of their actions should not fall on any one of them separately.
Without these conditions, the terrible acts I witnessed to-day would be
impossible in our times. It all lies in the fact that men think there
are circumstances in which one may deal with human beings without love;
and there are no such circumstances. One may deal with things without
love. One may cut down trees, make bricks, hammer iron without love; but
you cannot deal with men without it, just as one cannot deal with bees
without being careful. If you deal carelessly with bees you will injure
them, and will yourself be injured. And so with men. It cannot be
otherwise, because natural love is the fundamental law of human life. It
is true that a man cannot force another to love him, as he can force
him to work for him; but it does not follow that a man may deal with men
without love, especially to demand anything from them. If you feel no
love, sit still,” Nekhludoff thought; “occupy yourself with things, with
yourself, with anything you like, only not with men. You can only eat
without injuring yourself when you feel inclined to eat, so you can only
deal with men usefully when you love. Only let yourself deal with a man
without love, as I did yesterday with my brother-in-law, and there are
no limits to the suffering you will bring on yourself, as all my life
proves. Yes, yes, it is so,” thought Nekhludoff; “it is good; yes, it is
good,” he repeated, enjoying the freshness after the torturing heat, and
conscious of having attained to the fullest clearness on a question that
had long occupied him.



CHAPTER XLI.

TARAS’S STORY.

The carriage in which Nekhludoff had taken his place was half filled
with people. There were in it servants, working men, factory hands,
butchers, Jews, shopmen, workmen’s wives, a soldier, two ladies, a
young one and an old one with bracelets on her arm, and a severe-looking
gentleman with a cockade on his black cap. All these people were sitting
quietly; the bustle of taking their places was long over; some sat
cracking and eating sunflower seeds, some smoking, some talking.

Taras sat, looking very happy, opposite the door, keeping a place for
Nekhludoff, and carrying on an animated conversation with a man in
a cloth coat who sat opposite to him, and who was, as Nekhludoff
afterwards found out, a gardener going to a new situation. Before
reaching the place where Taras sat Nekhludoff stopped between the seats
near a reverend-looking old man with a white beard and nankeen coat, who
was talking with a young woman in peasant dress. A little girl of about
seven, dressed in a new peasant costume, sat, her little legs dangling
above the floor, by the side of the woman, and kept cracking seeds.

The old man turned round, and, seeing Nekhludoff, he moved the lappets
of his coat off the varnished seat next to him, and said, in a friendly
manner:

“Please, here’s a seat.”

Nekhludoff thanked him, and took the seat. As soon as he was seated the
woman continued the interrupted conversation.

She was returning to her village, and related how her husband, whom she
had been visiting, had received her in town.

“I was there during the carnival, and now, by the Lord’s help, I’ve been
again,” she said. “Then, God willing, at Christmas I’ll go again.”

“That’s right,” said the old man, with a look at Nekhludoff, “it’s the
best way to go and see him, else a young man can easily go to the bad,
living in a town.”

“Oh, no, sir, mine is not such a man. No nonsense of any kind about him;
his life is as good as a young maiden’s. The money he earns he sends
home all to a copeck. And, as to our girl here, he was so glad to see
her, there are no words for it,” said the woman, and smiled.

The little girl, who sat cracking her seeds and spitting out the shells,
listened to her mother’s words, and, as if to confirm them, looked up
with calm, intelligent eyes into Nekhludoff’s and the old man’s faces.

“Well, if he’s good, that’s better still,” said the old man. “And none
of that sort of thing?” he added, with a look at a couple, evidently
factory hands, who sat at the other side of the carriage. The husband,
with his head thrown back, was pouring vodka down his throat out of a
bottle, and the wife sat holding a bag, out of which they had taken the
bottle, and watched him intently.

“No, mine neither drinks nor smokes,” said the woman who was conversing
with the old man, glad of the opportunity of praising her husband once
more. “No, sir, the earth does not hold many such.” And, turning to
Nekhludoff, she added, “That’s the sort of man he is.”

“What could be better,” said the old man, looking at the factory worker,
who had had his drink and had passed the bottle to his wife. The wife
laughed, shook her head, and also raised the bottle to her lips.

Noticing Nekhludoff’s and the old man’s look directed towards them, the
factory worker addressed the former.

“What is it, sir? That we are drinking? Ah, no one sees how we work,
but every one sees how we drink. I have earned it, and I am drinking and
treating my wife, and no one else.”

“Yes, yes,” said Nekhludoff, not knowing what to say.

“True, sir. My wife is a steady woman. I am satisfied with my wife,
because she can feel for me. Is it right what I’m saying, Mavra?”

“There you are, take it, I don’t want any more,” said the wife,
returning the bottle to him. “And what are you jawing for like that?”
 she added.

“There now! She’s good--that good; and suddenly she’ll begin squeaking
like a wheel that’s not greased. Mavra, is it right what I’m saying?”

Mavra laughed and moved her hand with a tipsy gesture.

“Oh, my, he’s at it again.”

“There now, she’s that good--that good; but let her get her tail over
the reins, and you can’t think what she’ll be up to. . . . Is it right
what I’m saying? You must excuse me, sir, I’ve had a drop! What’s to be
done?” said the factory worker, and, preparing to go to sleep, put his
head in his wife’s lap.

Nekhludoff sat a while with the old man, who told him all about himself.
The old man was a stove builder, who had been working for 53 years, and
had built so many stoves that he had lost count, and now he wanted to
rest, but had no time. He had been to town and found employment for the
young ones, and was now going to the country to see the people at home.
After hearing the old man’s story, Nekhludoff went to the place that
Taras was keeping for him.

“It’s all right, sir; sit down; we’ll put the bag here,” said the
gardener, who sat opposite Taras, in a friendly tone, looking up into
Nekhludoff’s face.

“Rather a tight fit, but no matter since we are friends,” said Taras,
smiling, and lifting the bag, which weighed more than five stone, as if
it were a feather, he carried it across to the window.

“Plenty of room; besides, we might stand up a bit; and even under
the seat it’s as comfortable as you could wish. What’s the good of
humbugging?” he said, beaming with friendliness and kindness.

Taras spoke of himself as being unable to utter a word when quite sober;
but drink, he said, helped him to find the right words, and then he
could express everything. And in reality, when he was sober Taras kept
silent; but when he had been drinking, which happened rarely and only on
special occasions, he became very pleasantly talkative. Then he spoke
a great deal, spoke well and very simply and truthfully, and especially
with great kindliness, which shone in his gentle, blue eyes and in the
friendly smile that never left his lips. He was in such a state to-day.
Nekhludoff’s approach interrupted the conversation; but when he had put
the bag in its place, Taras sat down again, and with his strong hands
folded in his lap, and looking straight into the gardener’s face,
continued his story. He was telling his new acquaintance about his wife
and giving every detail: what she was being sent to Siberia for, and why
he was now following her. Nekhludoff had never heard a detailed account
of this affair, and so he listened with interest. When he came up, the
story had reached the point when the attempt to poison was already an
accomplished fact, and the family had discovered that it was Theodosia’s
doing.

“It’s about my troubles that I’m talking,” said Taras, addressing
Nekhludoff with cordial friendliness. “I have chanced to come across
such a hearty man, and we’ve got into conversation, and I’m telling him
all.”

“I see,” said Nekhludoff.

“Well, then in this way, my friend, the business became known. Mother,
she takes that cake. ‘I’m going,’ says she, ‘to the police officer.’ My
father is a just old man. ‘Wait, wife,’ says he, ‘the little woman is
a mere child, and did not herself know what she was doing. We must have
pity. She may come to her senses.’ But, dear me, mother would not hear
of it. ‘While we keep her here,’ she says, ‘she may destroy us all like
cockroaches.’ Well, friend, so she goes off for the police officer. He
bounces in upon us at once. Calls for witnesses.”

“Well, and you?” asked the gardener.

“Well, I, you see, friend, roll about with the pain in my stomach, and
vomit. All my inside is turned inside out; I can’t even speak. Well, so
father he goes and harnesses the mare, and puts Theodosia into the cart,
and is off to the police-station, and then to the magistrate’s. And she,
you know, just as she had done from the first, so also there, confesses
all to the magistrate--where she got the arsenic, and how she kneaded
the cake. ‘Why did you do it?’ says he. ‘Why,’ says she, ‘because he’s
hateful to me. I prefer Siberia to a life with him.’ That’s me,” and
Taras smiled.

“Well, so she confessed all. Then, naturally--the prison, and father
returns alone. And harvest time just coming, and mother the only woman
at home, and she no longer strong. So we think what we are to do. Could
we not bail her out? So father went to see an official. No go. Then
another. I think he went to five of them, and we thought of giving it
up. Then we happened to come across a clerk--such an artful one as you
don’t often find. ‘You give me five roubles, and I’ll get her out,’ says
he. He agreed to do it for three. Well, and what do you think, friend? I
went and pawned the linen she herself had woven, and gave him the money.
As soon as he had written that paper,” drawled out Taras, just as if he
were speaking of a shot being fired, “we succeeded at once. I went to
fetch her myself. Well, friend, so I got to town, put up the mare, took
the paper, and went to the prison. ‘What do you want?’ ‘This is what I
want,’ say I, ‘you’ve got my wife here in prison.’ ‘And have you got a
paper?’ I gave him the paper. He gave it a look. ‘Wait,’ says he. So I
sat down on a bench. It was already past noon by the sun. An official
comes out. ‘You are Vargoushoff?’ ‘I am.’ ‘Well, you may take her.’ The
gates opened, and they led her out in her own clothes quite all right.
‘Well, come along. Have you come on foot?’ ‘No, I have the horse here.’
So I went and paid the ostler, and harnessed, put in all the hay that
was left, and covered it with sacking for her to sit on. She got in and
wrapped her shawl round her, and off we drove. She says nothing and I
say nothing. Just as we were coming up to the house she says, ‘And how’s
mother; is she alive?’ ‘Yes, she’s alive.’ ‘And father; is he alive?
‘Yes, he is.’ ‘Forgive me, Taras,’ she says, ‘for my folly. I did not
myself know what I was doing.’ So I say, ‘Words won’t mend matters. I
have forgiven you long ago,’ and I said no more. We got home, and she
just fell at mother’s feet. Mother says, ‘The Lord will forgive you.’
And father said, ‘How d’you do?’ and ‘What’s past is past. Live as
best you can. Now,’ says he, ‘is not the time for all that; there’s
the harvest to be gathered in down at Skorodino,’ he says. ‘Down on the
manured acre, by the Lord’s help, the ground has borne such rye that
the sickle can’t tackle it. It’s all interwoven and heavy, and has sunk
beneath its weight; that must be reaped. You and Taras had better go
and see to it to-morrow.’ Well, friend, from that moment she took to the
work and worked so that every one wondered. At that time we rented three
desiatins, and by God’s help we had a wonderful crop both of oats and
rye. I mow and she binds the sheaves, and sometimes we both of us
reap. I am good at work and not afraid of it, but she’s better still at
whatever she takes up. She’s a smart woman, young, and full of life; and
as to work, friend, she’d grown that eager that I had to stop her. We
get home, our fingers swollen, our arms aching, and she, instead of
resting, rushes off to the barn to make binders for the sheaves for next
day. Such a change!”

“Well, and to you? Was she kinder, now?” asked the gardener.

“That’s beyond question. She clings to me as if we were one soul.
Whatever I think she understands. Even mother, angry as she was, could
not help saying: ‘It’s as if our Theodosia had been transformed; she’s
quite a different woman now!’ We were once going to cart the sheaves
with two carts. She and I were in the first, and I say, ‘How could you
think of doing that, Theodosia?’ and she says, ‘How could I think of it?
just so, I did not wish to live with you. I thought I’d rather die
than live with you!’ I say, ‘And now?’ and she says, ‘Now you’re in
my heart!’” Taras stopped, and smiled joyfully, shook his head as if
surprised. “Hardly had we got the harvest home when I went to soak the
hemp, and when I got home there was a summons, she must go to be tried,
and we had forgotten all about the matter that she was to be tried for.”

“It can only be the evil one,” said the gardener. “Could any man of
himself think of destroying a living soul? We had a fellow once--” and
the gardener was about to commence his tale when the train began to
stop.

“It seems we are coming to a station,” he said. “I’ll go and have a
drink.”

The conversation stopped, and Nekhludoff followed the gardener out of
the carriage onto the wet platform of the station.



CHAPTER XLII.

LE VRAI GRAND MONDE.

Before Nekhludoff got out he had noticed in the station yard several
elegant equipages, some with three, some with four, well-fed horses,
with tinkling bells on their harness. When he stepped out on the wet,
dark-coloured boards of the platform, he saw a group of people in front
of the first-class carriage, among whom were conspicuous a stout
lady with costly feathers on her hat, and a waterproof, and a tall,
thin-legged young man in a cycling suit. The young man had by his side
an enormous, well-fed dog, with a valuable collar. Behind them stood
footmen, holding wraps and umbrellas, and a coachman, who had also come
to meet the train.

On the whole of the group, from the fat lady down to the coachman who
stood holding up his long coat, there lay the stamp of wealth and quiet
self-assurance. A curious and servile crowd rapidly gathered round this
group--the station-master, in his red cap, a gendarme, a thin young lady
in a Russian costume, with beads round her neck, who made a point of
seeing the trains come in all through the summer, a telegraph clerk, and
passengers, men and women.

In the young man with the dog Nekhludoff recognised young Korchagin,
a gymnasium student. The fat lady was the Princess’s sister, to whose
estate the Korchagins were now moving. The guard, with his gold cord and
shiny top-boots, opened the carriage door and stood holding it as a sign
of deference, while Philip and a porter with a white apron carefully
carried out the long-faced Princess in her folding chair. The sisters
greeted each other, and French sentences began flying about. Would the
Princess go in a closed or an open carriage? At last the procession
started towards the exit, the lady’s maid, with her curly fringe,
parasol and leather case in the rear.

Nekhludoff not wishing to meet them and to have to take leave over
again, stopped before he got to the door, waiting for the procession to
pass.

The Princess, her son, Missy, the doctor, and the maid went out first,
the old Prince and his sister-in-law remained behind. Nekhludoff was too
far to catch anything but a few disconnected French sentences of their
conversation One of the sentences uttered by the Prince, as it often
happens, for some unaccountable reason remained in his memory with all
its intonations and the sound of the voice.

“_Oh, il est du vrai grand monde, du vrai grand monde_,” said the Prince
in his loud, self-assured tone as he went out of the station with his
sister-in-law, accompanied by the respectful guards and porters.

At this moment from behind the corner of the station suddenly appeared
a crowd of workmen in bark shoes, wearing sheepskin coats and carrying
bags on their backs. The workmen went up to the nearest carriage with
soft yet determined steps, and were about to get in, but were at
once driven away by a guard. Without stopping, the workmen passed
on, hurrying and jostling one another, to the next carriage and began
getting in, catching their bags against the corners and door of the
carriage, but another guard caught sight of them from the door of the
station, and shouted at them severely. The workmen, who had already got
in, hurried out again and went on, with the same soft and firm steps,
still further towards Nekhludoff’s carriage. A guard was again going to
stop them, but Nekhludoff said there was plenty of room inside, and that
they had better get in. They obeyed and got in, followed by Nekhludoff.

The workmen were about to take their seats, when the gentleman with the
cockade and the two ladies, looking at this attempt to settle in their
carriage as a personal insult to themselves, indignantly protested and
wanted to turn them out. The workmen--there were 20 of them, old men
and quite young ones, all of them wearied, sunburnt, with haggard
faces--began at once to move on through the carriage, catching the
seats, the walls, and the doors with their bags. They evidently felt
they had offended in some way, and seemed ready to go on indefinitely
wherever they were ordered to go.

“Where are you pushing to, you fiends? Sit down here,” shouted another
guard they met.

“Voila encore des nouvelles,” exclaimed the younger of the two ladies,
quite convinced that she would attract Nekhludoff’s notice by her good
French.

The other lady with the bracelets kept sniffing and making faces,
and remarked something about how pleasant it was to sit with smelly
peasants.

The workmen, who felt the joy and calm experienced by people who have
escaped some kind of danger, threw off their heavy bags with a movement
of their shoulders and stowed them away under the seats.

The gardener had left his own seat to talk with Taras, and now went
back, so that there were two unoccupied seats opposite and one next to
Taras. Three of the workmen took these seats, but when Nekhludoff came
up to them, in his gentleman’s clothing, they got so confused that they
rose to go away, but Nekhludoff asked them to stay, and himself sat down
on the arm of the seat, by the passage down the middle of the carriage.

One of the workmen, a man of about 50, exchanged a surprised and even
frightened look with a young man. That Nekhludoff, instead of scolding
and driving them away, as was natural to a gentleman, should give up his
seat to them, astonished and perplexed them. They even feared that this
might have some evil result for them.

However, they soon noticed that there was no underlying plot when they
heard Nekhludoff talking quite simply with Taras, and they grew quiet
and told one of the lads to sit down on his bag and give his seat to
Nekhludoff. At first the elderly workman who sat opposite Nekhludoff
shrank and drew back his legs for fear of touching the gentleman, but
after a while he grew quite friendly, and in talking to him and Taras
even slapped Nekhludoff on the knee when he wanted to draw special
attention to what he was saying.

He told them all about his position and his work in the peat bogs,
whence he was now returning home. He had been working there for two and
a half months, and was bringing home his wages, which only came to 10
roubles, since part had been paid beforehand when he was hired. They
worked, as he explained, up to their knees in water from sunrise to
sunset, with two hours’ interval for dinner.

“Those who are not used to it find it hard, of course,” he said; “but
when one’s hardened it doesn’t matter, if only the food is right. At
first the food was bad. Later the people complained, and they got good
food, and it was easy to work.”

Then he told them how, during 28 years he went out to work, and sent all
his earnings home. First to his father, then to his eldest brother, and
now to his nephew, who was at the head of the household. On himself he
spent only two or three roubles of the 50 or 60 he earned a year, just
for luxuries--tobacco and matches.

“I’m a sinner, when tired I even drink a little vodka sometimes,” he
added, with a guilty smile.

Then he told them how the women did the work at home, and how the
contractor had treated them to half a pail of vodka before they started
to-day, how one of them had died, and another was returning home ill.
The sick workman he was talking about was in a corner of the same
carriage. He was a young lad, with a pale, sallow face and bluish lips.
He was evidently tormented by intermittent fever. Nekhludoff went up to
him, but the lad looked up with such a severe and suffering expression
that Nekhludoff did not care to bother him with questions, but advised
the elder man to give him quinine, and wrote down the name of the
medicine. He wished to give him some money, but the old workman said he
would pay for it himself.

“Well, much as I have travelled, I have never met such a gentleman
before. Instead of punching your head, he actually gives up his place
to you,” said the old man to Taras. “It seems there are all sorts of
gentlefolk, too.”

“Yes, this is quite a new and different world,” thought Nekhludoff,
looking at these spare, sinewy, limbs, coarse, home-made garments,
and sunburnt, kindly, though weary-looking faces, and feeling himself
surrounded on all sides with new people and the serious interests, joys,
and sufferings of a life of labour.

“Here is_ le vrai grand monde_,” thought Nekhludoff, remembering the
words of Prince Korchagin and all that idle, luxurious world to which
the Korchagins belonged, with their petty, mean interests. And he felt
the joy of a traveller on discovering a new, unknown, and beautiful
world.


END OF BOOK II.



BOOK III.



CHAPTER I.

MASLOVA MAKES NEW FRIENDS.

The gang of prisoners to which Maslova belonged had walked about three
thousand three hundred miles. She and the other prisoners condemned for
criminal offences had travelled by rail and by steamboats as far as the
town of Perm. It was only here that Nekhludoff succeeded in obtaining a
permission for her to continue the journey with the political prisoners,
as Vera Doukhova, who was among the latter, advised him to do. The
journey up to Perm had been very trying to Maslova both morally and
physically. Physically, because of the overcrowding, the dirt, and the
disgusting vermin, which gave her no peace; morally, because of the
equally disgusting men. The men, like the vermin, though they changed
at each halting-place, were everywhere alike importunate; they swarmed
round her, giving her no rest. Among the women prisoners and the men
prisoners, the jailers and the convoy soldiers, the habit of a kind of
cynical debauch was so firmly established that unless a female prisoner
was willing to utilise her position as a woman she had to be constantly
on the watch. To be continually in a state of fear and strife was very
trying. And Maslova was specially exposed to attacks, her appearance
being attractive and her past known to every one. The decided resistance
with which she now met the importunity of all the men seemed offensive
to them, and awakened another feeling, that of ill-will towards her. But
her position was made a little easier by her intimacy with Theodosia,
and Theodosia’s husband, who, having heard of the molestations his wife
was subject to, had in Nijni been arrested at his own desire in order
to be able to protect her, and was now travelling with the gang as a
prisoner. Maslova’s position became much more bearable when she was
allowed to join the political prisoners, who were provided with better
accomodations, better food, and were treated less rudely, but besides
all this Maslova’s condition was much improved because among the
political prisoners she was no longer molested by the men, and could
live without being reminded of that past which she was so anxious to
forget. But the chief advantage of the change lay in the fact that she
made the acquaintance of several persons who exercised a decided and
most beneficial influence on her character. Maslova was allowed to stop
with the political prisoners at all the halting-places, but being a
strong and healthy woman she was obliged to march with the criminal
convicts. In this way she walked all the way from Tomsk. Two political
prisoners also marched with the gang, Mary Pavlovna Schetinina, the girl
with the hazel eyes who had attracted Nekhludoff’s attention when he had
been to visit Doukhova in prison, and one Simonson, who was on his
way to the Takoutsk district, the dishevelled dark young fellow with
deep-lying eyes, whom Nekhludoff had also noticed during that visit.
Mary Pavlovna was walking because she had given her place on the cart
to one of the criminals, a woman expecting to be confined, and Simonson
because he did not dare to avail himself of a class privilege.

These three always started early in the morning before the rest of the
political prisoners, who followed later on in the carts.

They were ready to start in this way just outside a large town, where a
new convoy officer had taken charge of the gang.

It was early on a dull September morning. It kept raining and snowing
alternately, and the cold wind blew in sudden gusts. The whole gang of
prisoners, consisting of four hundred men and fifty women, was already
assembled in the court of the halting station. Some of them were
crowding round the chief of the convoy, who was giving to specially
appointed prisoners money for two days’ keep to distribute among the
rest, while others were purchasing food from women who had been let into
the courtyard. One could hear the voices of the prisoners counting their
money and making their purchases, and the shrill voices of the women
with the food.

Simonson, in his rubber jacket and rubber overshoes fastened with a
string over his worsted stockings (he was a vegetarian and would not
wear the skin of slaughtered animals), was also in the courtyard waiting
for the gang to start. He stood by the porch and jotted down in his
notebook a thought that had occurred to him. This was what he wrote:
“If a bacteria watched and examined a human nail it would pronounce
it inorganic matter, and thus we, examining our globe and watching its
crust, pronounce it to be inorganic. This is incorrect.”

Katusha and Mary Pavlovna, both wearing top-boots and with shawls tied
round their heads, came out of the building into the courtyard where the
women sat sheltered from the wind by the northern wall of the court,
and vied with one another, offering their goods, hot meat pie, fish,
vermicelli, buckwheat porridge, liver, beef, eggs, milk. One had even a
roast pig to offer.

Having bought some eggs, bread, fish, and some rusks, Maslova was
putting them into her bag, while Mary Pavlovna was paying the women,
when a movement arose among the convicts. All were silent and took their
places. The officer came out and began giving the last orders before
starting. Everything was done in the usual manner. The prisoners were
counted, the chains on their legs examined, and those who were to
march in couples linked together with manacles. But suddenly the angry,
authoritative voice of the officer shouting something was heard, also
the sound of a blow and the crying of a child. All was silent for a
moment and then came a hollow murmur from the crowd. Maslova and Mary
Pavlovna advanced towards the spot whence the noise proceeded.



CHAPTER II.

AN INCIDENT OF THE MARCH.

This is what Mary Pavlovna and Katusha saw when they came up to the
scene whence the noise proceeded. The officer, a sturdy fellow, with
fair moustaches, stood uttering words of foul and coarse abuse, and
rubbing with his left the palm of his right hand, which he had hurt in
hitting a prisoner on the face. In front of him a thin, tall convict,
with half his head shaved and dressed in a cloak too short for him and
trousers much too short, stood wiping his bleeding face with one hand,
and holding a little shrieking girl wrapped in a shawl with the other.

“I’ll give it you” (foul abuse); “I’ll teach you to reason” (more
abuse); “you’re to give her to the women!” shouted the officer. “Now,
then, on with them.”

The convict, who was exiled by the Commune, had been carrying his little
daughter all the way from Tomsk, where his wife had died of typhus, and
now the officer ordered him to be manacled. The exile’s explanation that
he could not carry the child if he was manacled irritated the officer,
who happened to be in a bad temper, and he gave the troublesome prisoner
a beating. [A fact described by Lineff in his “Transportation”.] Before
the injured convict stood a convoy soldier, and a black-bearded prisoner
with manacles on one hand and a look of gloom on his face, which he
turned now to the officer, now to the prisoner with the little girl.

The officer repeated his orders for the soldiers to take away the girl.
The murmur among the prisoners grew louder.

“All the way from Tomsk they were not put on,” came a hoarse voice from
some one in the rear. “It’s a child, and not a puppy.”

“What’s he to do with the lassie? That’s not the law,” said some one
else.

“Who’s that?” shouted the officer as if he had been stung, and rushed
into the crowd.

“I’ll teach you the law. Who spoke. You? You?”

“Everybody says so, because-” said a short, broad-faced prisoner.

Before he had finished speaking the officer hit him in the face.

“Mutiny, is it? I’ll show you what mutiny means. I’ll have you all
shot like dogs, and the authorities will be only too thankful. Take the
girl.”

The crowd was silent. One convoy soldier pulled away the girl, who was
screaming desperately, while another manacled the prisoner, who now
submissively held out his hand.

“Take her to the women,” shouted the officer, arranging his sword belt.

The little girl, whose face had grown quite red, was trying to disengage
her arms from under the shawl, and screamed unceasingly. Mary Pavlovna
stepped out from among the crowd and came up to the officer.

“Will you allow me to carry the little girl?” she said.

“Who are you?” asked the officer.

“A political prisoner.”

Mary Pavlovna’s handsome face, with the beautiful prominent eyes (he
had noticed her before when the prisoners were given into his charge),
evidently produced an effect on the officer. He looked at her in silence
as if considering, then said: “I don’t care; carry her if you like. It
is easy for you to show pity; if he ran away who would have to answer?”

“How could he run away with the child in his arms?” said Mary Pavlovna.

“I have no time to talk with you. Take her if you like.”

“Shall I give her?” asked the soldier.

“Yes, give her.”

“Come to me,” said Mary Pavlovna, trying to coax the child to come to
her.

But the child in the soldier’s arms stretched herself towards her father
and continued to scream, and would not go to Mary Pavlovna.

“Wait a bit, Mary Pavlovna,” said Maslova, getting a rusk out of her
bag; “she will come to me.”

The little girl knew Maslova, and when she saw her face and the rusk
she let her take her. All was quiet. The gates were opened, and the gang
stepped out, the convoy counted the prisoners over again, the bags were
packed and tied on to the carts, the weak seated on the top. Maslova
with the child in her arms took her place among the women next to
Theodosia. Simonson, who had all the time been watching what was going
on, stepped with large, determined strides up to the officer, who,
having given his orders, was just getting into a trap, and said, “You
have behaved badly.”

“Get to your place; it is no business of yours.”

“It is my business to tell you that you have behaved badly and I have
said it,” said Simonson, looking intently into the officer’s face from
under his bushy eyebrows.

“Ready? March!” the officer called out, paying no heed to Simonson, and,
taking hold of the driver’s shoulder, he got into the trap. The gang
started and spread out as it stepped on to the muddy high road with
ditches on each side, which passed through a dense forest.



CHAPTER III.

MARY PAVLOVNA.

In spite of the hard conditions in which they were placed, life among
the political prisoners seemed very good to Katusha after the depraved,
luxurious and effeminate life she had led in town for the last six
years, and after two months’ imprisonment with criminal prisoners. The
fifteen to twenty miles they did per day, with one day’s rest after two
days’ marching, strengthened her physically, and the fellowship with her
new companions opened out to her a life full of interests such as she
had never dreamed of. People so wonderful (as she expressed it) as those
whom she was now going with she had not only never met but could not
even have imagined.

“There now, and I cried when I was sentenced,” she said. “Why, I must
thank God for it all the days of my life. I have learned to know what I
never should have found out else.”

The motives she understood easily and without effort that guided these
people, and, being of the people, fully sympathised with them. She
understood that these persons were for the people and against the
upper classes, and though themselves belonging to the upper classes
had sacrificed their privileges, their liberty and their lives for the
people. This especially made her value and admire them. She was charmed
with all the new companions, but particularly with Mary Pavlovna,
and she was not only charmed with her, but loved her with a peculiar,
respectful and rapturous love. She was struck by the fact that this
beautiful girl, the daughter of a rich general, who could speak three
languages, gave away all that her rich brother sent her, and lived like
the simplest working girl, and dressed not only simply, but poorly,
paying no heed to her appearance. This trait and a complete absence
of coquetry was particularly surprising and therefore attractive to
Maslova. Maslova could see that Mary Pavlovna knew, and was even pleased
to know, that she was handsome, and yet the effect her appearance had on
men was not at all pleasing to her; she was even afraid of it, and felt
an absolute disgust to all love affairs. Her men companions knew it, and
if they felt attracted by her never permitted themselves to show it to
her, but treated her as they would a man; but with strangers, who often
molested her, the great physical strength on which she prided herself
stood her in good stead.

“It happened once,” she said to Katusha, “that a man followed me in the
street and would not leave me on any account. At last I gave him such a
shaking that he was frightened and ran away.”

She became a revolutionary, as she said, because she felt a dislike to
the life of the well-to-do from childhood up, and loved the life of the
common people, and she was always being scolded for spending her time
in the servants’ hall, in the kitchen or the stables instead of the
drawing-room.

“And I found it amusing to be with cooks and the coachmen, and dull with
our gentlemen and ladies,” she said. “Then when I came to understand
things I saw that our life was altogether wrong; I had no mother and I
did not care for my father, and so when I was nineteen I left home, and
went with a girl friend to work as a factory hand.”

After she left the factory she lived in the country, then returned to
town and lived in a lodging, where they had a secret printing press.
There she was arrested and sentenced to hard labour. Mary Pavlovna
said nothing about it herself, but Katusha heard from others that Mary
Pavlovna was sentenced because, when the lodging was searched by the
police and one of the revolutionists fired a shot in the dark, she
pleaded guilty.

As soon as she had learned to know Mary Pavlovna, Katusha noticed
that, whatever the conditions she found herself in, Mary Pavlovna never
thought of herself, but was always anxious to serve, to help some one,
in matters small or great. One of her present companions, Novodvoroff,
said of her that she devoted herself to philanthropic amusements. And
this was true. The interest of her whole life lay in the search for
opportunities of serving others. This kind of amusement had become the
habit, the business of her life. And she did it all so naturally that
those who knew her no longer valued but simply expected it of her.

When Maslova first came among them, Mary Pavlovna felt repulsed and
disgusted. Katusha noticed this, but she also noticed that, having made
an effort to overcome these feelings, Mary Pavlovna became particularly
tender and kind to her. The tenderness and kindness of so uncommon
a being touched Maslova so much that she gave her whole heart, and
unconsciously accepting her views, could not help imitating her in
everything.

This devoted love of Katusha touched Mary Pavlovna in her turn, and she
learned to love Katusha.

These women were also united by the repulsion they both felt to sexual
love. The one loathed that kind of love, having experienced all its
horrors, the other, never having experienced it, looked on it as
something incomprehensible and at the same time as something repugnant
and offensive to human dignity.



CHAPTER IV.

SIMONSON.

Mary Pavlovna’s influence was one that Maslova submitted to because she
loved Mary Pavlovna. Simonson influenced her because he loved her.

Everybody lives and acts partly according to his own, partly according
to other people’s, ideas. This is what constitutes one of the great
differences among men. To some, thinking is a kind of mental game; they
treat their reason as if it were a fly-wheel without a connecting strap,
and are guided in their actions by other people’s ideas, by custom or
laws; while others look upon their own ideas as the chief motive power
of all their actions, and always listen to the dictates of their own
reason and submit to it, accepting other people’s opinions only on rare
occasions and after weighing them critically. Simonson was a man of the
latter sort; he settled and verified everything according to his own
reason and acted on the decisions he arrived at. When a schoolboy
he made up his mind that his father’s income, made as a paymaster in
government office was dishonestly gained, and he told his father that it
ought to be given to the people. When his father, instead of listening
to him, gave him a scolding, he left his father’s house and would not
make use of his father’s means. Having come to the conclusion that all
the existing misery was a result of the people’s ignorance, he joined
the socialists, who carried on propaganda among the people, as soon as
he left the university and got a place as a village schoolmaster.
He taught and explained to his pupils and to the peasants what he
considered to be just, and openly blamed what he thought unjust. He was
arrested and tried. During his trial he determined to tell his judges
that his was a just cause, for which he ought not to be tried or
punished. When the judges paid no heed to his words, but went on with
the trial, he decided not to answer them and kept resolutely silent when
they questioned him. He was exiled to the Government of Archangel. There
he formulated a religious teaching which was founded on the theory that
everything in the world was alive, that nothing is lifeless, and that
all the objects we consider to be without life or inorganic are only
parts of an enormous organic body which we cannot compass. A man’s task
is to sustain the life of that huge organism and all its animate parts.
Therefore he was against war, capital punishment and every kind of
killing, not only of human beings, but also of animals. Concerning
marriage, too, he had a peculiar idea of his own; he thought that
increase was a lower function of man, the highest function being to
serve the already existing lives. He found a confirmation of his
theory in the fact that there were phacocytes in the blood. Celibates,
according to his opinion, were the same as phacocytes, their function
being to help the weak and the sickly particles of the organism. From
the moment he came to this conclusion he began to consider himself as
well as Mary Pavlovna as phacocytes, and to live accordingly, though
as a youth he had been addicted to vice. His love for Katusha did not
infringe this conception, because he loved her platonically, and such
love he considered could not hinder his activity as a phacocytes, but
acted, on the contrary, as an inspiration.

Not only moral, but also most practical questions he decided in his own
way. He applied a theory of his own to all practical business, had rules
relating to the number of hours for rest and for work, to the kind of
food to eat, the way to dress, to heat and light up the rooms. With all
this Simonson was very shy and modest; and yet when he had once made
up his mind nothing could make him waver. And this man had a decided
influence on Maslova through his love for her. With a woman’s instinct
Maslova very soon found out that he loved her. And the fact that
she could awaken love in a man of that kind raised her in her own
estimation. It was Nekhludoff’s magnanimity and what had been in the
past that made him offer to marry her, but Simonson loved her such as
she was now, loved her simply because of the love he bore her. And she
felt that Simonson considered her to be an exceptional woman, having
peculiarly high moral qualities. She did not quite know what the
qualities he attributed to her were, but in order to be on the safe side
and that he should not be disappointed in her, she tried with all her
might to awaken in herself all the highest qualities she could conceive,
and she tried to be as good as possible. This had begun while they
were still in prison, when on a common visiting day she had noticed his
kindly dark blue eyes gazing fixedly at her from under his projecting
brow. Even then she had noticed that this was a peculiar man, and that
he was looking at her in a peculiar manner, and had also noticed the
striking combination of sternness--the unruly hair and the frowning
forehead gave him this appearance--with the child-like kindness and
innocence of his look. She saw him again in Tomsk, where she joined the
political prisoners. Though they had not uttered a word, their looks
told plainly that they had understood one another. Even after that they
had had no serious conversation with each other, but Maslova felt that
when he spoke in her presence his words were addressed to her, and that
he spoke for her sake, trying to express himself as plainly as he could;
but it was when he started walking with the criminal prisoners that they
grew specially near to one another.



CHAPTER V.

THE POLITICAL PRISONERS.

Until they left Perm Nekhludoff only twice managed to see Katusha, once
in Nijni, before the prisoners were embarked on a barge surrounded with
a wire netting, and again in Perm in the prison office. At both these
interviews he found her reserved and unkind. She answered his questions
as to whether she was in want of anything, and whether she was
comfortable, evasively and bashfully, and, as he thought, with the same
feeling of hostile reproach which she had shown several times
before. Her depressed state of mind, which was only the result of the
molestations from the men that she was undergoing at the time, tormented
Nekhludoff. He feared lest, influenced by the hard and degrading
circumstances in which she was placed on the journey, she should again
get into that state of despair and discord with her own self which
formerly made her irritable with him, and which had caused her to drink
and smoke excessively to gain oblivion. But he was unable to help her in
any way during this part of the journey, as it was impossible for him to
be with her. It was only when she joined the political prisoners that he
saw how unfounded his fears were, and at each interview he noticed that
inner change he so strongly desired to see in her becoming more and more
marked. The first time they met in Tomsk she was again just as she had
been when leaving Moscow. She did not frown or become confused when she
saw him, but met him joyfully and simply, thanking him for what he had
done for her, especially for bringing her among the people with whom she
now was.

After two months’ marching with the gang, the change that had taken
place within her became noticeable in her appearance. She grew sunburned
and thinner, and seemed older; wrinkles appeared on her temples and
round her mouth. She had no ringlets on her forehead now, and her hair
was covered with the kerchief; in the way it was arranged, as well as in
her dress and her manners, there was no trace of coquetry left. And this
change, which had taken place and was still progressing in her, made
Nekhludoff very happy.

He felt for her something he had never experienced before. This feeling
had nothing in common with his first poetic love for her, and even less
with the sensual love that had followed, nor even with the satisfaction
of a duty fulfilled, not unmixed with self-admiration, with which he
decided to marry her after the trial. The present feeling was simply one
of pity and tenderness. He had felt it when he met her in prison for
the first time, and then again when, after conquering his repugnance,
he forgave her the imagined intrigue with the medical assistant in the
hospital (the injustice done her had since been discovered); it was the
same feeling he now had, only with this difference, that formerly it was
momentary, and that now it had become permanent. Whatever he was doing,
whatever he was thinking now, a feeling of pity and tenderness dwelt
with him, and not only pity and tenderness for her, but for everybody.
This feeling seemed to have opened the floodgates of love, which had
found no outlet in Nekhludoff’s soul, and the love now flowed out to
every one he met.

During this journey Nekhludoff’s feelings were so stimulated that he
could not help being attentive and considerate to everybody, from the
coachman and the convoy soldiers to the prison inspectors and governors
whom he had to deal with. Now that Maslova was among the political
prisoners, Nekhludoff could not help becoming acquainted with many of
them, first in Ekaterinburg, where they had a good deal of freedom and
were kept altogether in a large cell, and then on the road when Maslova
was marching with three of the men and four of the women. Coming in
contact with political exiles in this way made Nekhludoff completely
change his mind concerning them.

From the very beginning of the revolutionary movement in Russia, but
especially since that first of March, when Alexander II was murdered,
Nekhludoff regarded the revolutionists with dislike and contempt. He
was repulsed by the cruelty and secrecy of the methods they employed
in their struggles against the government, especially the cruel murders
they committed, and their arrogance also disgusted him. But having
learned more intimately to know them and all they had suffered at the
hands of the government, he saw that they could not be other than they
were.

Terrible and endless as were the torments which were inflicted on the
criminals, there was at least some semblance of justice shown them
before and after they were sentenced, but in the case of the political
prisoners there was not even that semblance, as Nekhludoff saw in the
case of Sholostova and that of many and many of his new acquaintances.
These people were dealt with like fish caught with a net; everything
that gets into the nets is pulled ashore, and then the big fish which
are required are sorted out and the little ones are left to perish
unheeded on the shore. Having captured hundreds that were evidently
guiltless, and that could not be dangerous to the government, they left
them imprisoned for years, where they became consumptive, went out of
their minds or committed suicide, and kept them only because they had
no inducement to set them free, while they might be of use to elucidate
some question at a judicial inquiry, safe in prison. The fate of these
persons, often innocent even from the government point of view, depended
on the whim, the humour of, or the amount of leisure at the disposal
of some police officer or spy, or public prosecutor, or magistrate,
or governor, or minister. Some one of these officials feels dull, or
inclined to distinguish himself, and makes a number of arrests, and
imprisons or sets free, according to his own fancy or that of the
higher authorities. And the higher official, actuated by like motives,
according to whether he is inclined to distinguish himself, or to what
his relations to the minister are, exiles men to the other side of the
world or keeps them in solitary confinement, condemns them to Siberia,
to hard labour, to death, or sets them free at the request of some lady.

They were dealt with as in war, and they naturally employed the
means that were used against them. And as the military men live in an
atmosphere of public opinion that not only conceals from them the guilt
of their actions, but sets these actions up as feats of heroism,
so these political offenders were also constantly surrounded by
an atmosphere of public opinion which made the cruel actions they
committed, in the face of danger and at the risk of liberty and life,
and all that is dear to men, seem not wicked but glorious actions.
Nekhludoff found in this the explanation of the surprising phenomenon
that men, with the mildest characters, who seemed incapable of
witnessing the sufferings of any living creature, much less of
inflicting pain, quietly prepared to murder men, nearly all of them
considering murder lawful and just on certain occasions as a means
for self-defence, for the attainment of higher aims or for the general
welfare.

The importance they attribute to their cause, and consequently to
themselves, flowed naturally from the importance the government attached
to their actions, and the cruelty of the punishments it inflicted on
them. When Nekhludoff came to know them better he became convinced that
they were not the right-down villains that some imagined them to be, nor
the complete heroes that others thought them, but ordinary people, just
the same as others, among whom there were some good and some bad, and
some mediocre, as there are everywhere.

There were some among them who had turned revolutionists because they
honestly considered it their duty to fight the existing evils, but there
were also those who chose this work for selfish, ambitious motives; the
majority, however, was attracted to the revolutionary idea by the desire
for danger, for risks, the enjoyment of playing with one’s life, which,
as Nekhludoff knew from his military experiences, is quite common to
the most ordinary people while they are young and full of energy. But
wherein they differed from ordinary people was that their moral standard
was a higher one than that of ordinary men. They considered not only
self-control, hard living, truthfulness, but also the readiness to
sacrifice everything, even life, for the common welfare as their duty.
Therefore the best among them stood on a moral level that is not often
reached, while the worst were far below the ordinary level, many of them
being untruthful, hypocritical and at the same time self-satisfied and
proud. So that Nekhludoff learned not only to respect but to love some
of his new acquaintances, while he remained more than indifferent to
others.



CHAPTER VI.

KRYLTZOFF’S STORY.

Nekhludoff grew especially fond of Kryltzoff, a consumptive young man
condemned to hard labour, who was going with the same gang as Katusha.
Nekhludoff had made his acquaintance already in Ekaterinburg, and
talked with him several times on the road after that. Once, in summer,
Nekhludoff spent nearly the whole of a day with him at a halting
station, and Kryltzoff, having once started talking, told him his
story and how he had become a revolutionist. Up to the time of his
imprisonment his story was soon told. He lost his father, a rich landed
proprietor in the south of Russia, when still a child. He was the only
son, and his mother brought him up. He learned easily in the university,
as well as the gymnasium, and was first in the mathematical faculty
in his year. He was offered a choice of remaining in the university
or going abroad. He hesitated. He loved a girl and was thinking of
marriage, and taking part in the rural administration. He did not like
giving up either offer, and could not make up his mind. At this time
his fellow-students at the university asked him for money for a common
cause. He did not know that this common cause was revolutionary, which
he was not interested in at that time, but gave the money from a sense
of comradeship and vanity, so that it should not be said that he was
afraid. Those who received the money were caught, a note was found which
proved that the money had been given by Kryltzoff, he was arrested, and
first kept at the police station, then imprisoned.

“The prison where I was put,” Kryltzoff went on to relate (he was
sitting on the high shelf bedstead, his elbows on his knees, with
sunken chest, the beautiful, intelligent eyes with which he looked at
Nekhludoff glistening feverishly)--“they were not specially strict in
that prison. We managed to converse, not only by tapping the wall, but
could walk about the corridors, share our provisions and our tobacco,
and in the evenings we even sang in chorus. I had a fine voice--yes, if
it had not been for mother it would have been all right, even pleasant
and interesting. Here I made the acquaintance of the famous Petroff--he
afterwards killed himself with a piece of glass at the fortress--and
also of others. But I was not yet a revolutionary. I also became
acquainted with my neighbours in the cells next to mine. They were both
caught with Polish proclamations and arrested in the same cause, and
were tried for an attempt to escape from the convoy when they were being
taken to the railway station. One was a Pole, Lozinsky; the other a
Jew, Rozovsky. Yes. Well, this Rozovsky was quite a boy. He said he
was seventeen, but he looked fifteen--thin, small, active, with black,
sparkling eyes, and, like most Jews, very musical. His voice was still
breaking, and yet he sang beautifully. Yes. I saw them both taken to be
tried. They were taken in the morning. They returned in the evening, and
said they were condemned to death. No one had expected it. Their case
was so unimportant; they only tried to get away from the convoy, and had
not even wounded any one. And then it was so unnatural to execute such
a child as Rozovsky. And we in prison all came to the conclusion that it
was only done to frighten them, and would not be confirmed. At first
we were excited, and then we comforted ourselves, and life went on
as before. Yes. Well, one evening, a watchman comes to my door and
mysteriously announces to me that carpenters had arrived, and were
putting up the gallows. At first I did not understand. What’s that? What
gallows? But the watchman was so excited that I saw at once it was
for our two. I wished to tap and communicate with my comrades, but was
afraid those two would hear. The comrades were also silent. Evidently
everybody knew. In the corridors and in the cells everything was as
still as death all that evening. They did not tap the wall nor sing.
At ten the watchman came again and announced that a hangman had arrived
from Moscow. He said it and went away. I began calling him back.
Suddenly I hear Rozovsky shouting to me across the corridor: ‘What’s the
matter? Why do you call him?’ I answered something about asking him to
get me some tobacco, but he seemed to guess, and asked me: ‘Why did we
not sing to-night, why did we not tap the walls?’ I do not remember
what I said, but I went away so as not to speak to him. Yes. It was a
terrible night. I listened to every sound all night. Suddenly, towards
morning, I hear doors opening and somebody walking--many persons. I went
up to my window. There was a lamp burning in the corridor. The first
to pass was the inspector. He was stout, and seemed a resolute,
self-satisfied man, but he looked ghastly pale, downcast, and seemed
frightened; then his assistant, frowning but resolute; behind them the
watchman. They passed my door and stopped at the next, and I hear the
assistant calling out in a strange voice: ‘Lozinsky, get up and put on
clean linen.’ Yes. Then I hear the creaking of the door; they entered
into his cell. Then I hear Lozinsky’s steps going to the opposite side
of the corridor. I could only see the inspector. He stood quite pale,
and buttoned and unbuttoned his coat, shrugging his shoulders. Yes.
Then, as if frightened of something, he moved out of the way. It was
Lozinsky, who passed him and came up to my door. A handsome young fellow
he was, you know, of that nice Polish type: broad shouldered, his head
covered with fine, fair, curly hair as with a cap, and with beautiful
blue eyes. So blooming, so fresh, so healthy. He stopped in front of my
window, so that I could see the whole of his face. A dreadful, gaunt,
livid face. ‘Kryltzoff, have you any cigarettes?’ I wished to pass him
some, but the assistant hurriedly pulled out his cigarette case and
passed it to him. He took out one, the assistant struck a match, and he
lit the cigarette and began to smoke and seemed to be thinking. Then,
as if he had remembered something, he began to speak. ‘It is cruel and
unjust. I have committed no crime. I--’ I saw something quiver in his
white young throat, from which I could not take my eyes, and he stopped.
Yes. At that moment I hear Rozovsky shouting in his fine, Jewish
voice. Lozinsky threw away the cigarette and stepped from the door.
And Rozovsky appeared at the window. His childish face, with the limpid
black eyes, was red and moist. He also had clean linen on, the trousers
were too wide, and he kept pulling them up and trembled all over. He
approached his pitiful face to my window. ‘Kryltzoff, it’s true that the
doctor has prescribed cough mixture for me, is it not? I am not well.
I’ll take some more of the mixture.’ No one answered, and he looked
inquiringly, now at me, now at the inspector. What he meant to say
I never made out. Yes. Suddenly the assistant again put on a stern
expression, and called out in a kind of squeaking tone: ‘Now, then, no
nonsense. Let us go.’ Rozovsky seemed incapable of understanding what
awaited him, and hurried, almost ran, in front of him all along the
corridor. But then he drew back, and I could hear his shrill voice
and his cries, then the trampling of feet, and general hubbub. He was
shrieking and sobbing. The sounds came fainter and fainter, and at
last the door rattled and all was quiet. Yes. And so they hanged them.
Throttled them both with a rope. A watchman, another one, saw it done,
and told me that Lozinsky did not resist, but Rozovsky struggled for
a long time, so that they had to pull him up on to the scaffold and to
force his head into the noose. Yes. This watchman was a stupid fellow.
He said: ‘They told me, sir, that it would be frightful, but it was
not at all frightful. After they were hanged they only shrugged their
shoulders twice, like this.’ He showed how the shoulders convulsively
rose and fell. ‘Then the hangman pulled a bit so as to tighten the
noose, and it was all up, and they never budged.”’ And Kryltzoff
repeated the watchman’s words, “Not at all frightful,” and tried to
smile, but burst into sobs instead.

For a long time after that he kept silent, breathing heavily, and
repressing the sobs that were choking him.

“From that time I became a revolutionist. Yes,” he said, when he was
quieter and finished his story in a few words. He belonged to the
Narodovoltzy party, and was even at the head of the disorganising group,
whose object was to terrorise the government so that it should give
up its power of its own accord. With this object he travelled
to Petersburg, to Kiev, to Odessa and abroad, and was everywhere
successful. A man in whom he had full confidence betrayed him. He was
arrested, tried, kept in prison for two years, and condemned to death,
but the sentence was mitigated to one of hard labour for life.

He went into consumption while in prison, and in the conditions he was
now placed he had scarcely more than a few months longer to live. This
he knew, but did not repent of his action, but said that if he had
another life he would use it in the same way to destroy the conditions
in which such things as he had seen were possible.

This man’s story and his intimacy with him explained to Nekhludoff much
that he had not previously understood.



CHAPTER VII.

NEKHLUDOFF SEEKS AN INTERVIEW WITH MASLOVA.

On the day when the convoy officer had the encounter with the prisoners
at the halting station about the child, Nekhludoff, who had spent
the night at the village inn, woke up late, and was some time writing
letters to post at the next Government town, so that he left the inn
later than usual, and did not catch up with the gang on the road as
he had done previously, but came to the village where the next halting
station was as it was growing dusk.

Having dried himself at the inn, which was kept by an elderly woman who
had an extraordinarily fat, white neck, he had his tea in a clean room
decorated with a great number of icons and pictures and then hurried
away to the halting station to ask the officer for an interview
with Katusha. At the last six halting stations he could not get the
permission for an interview from any of the officers. Though they had
been changed several times, not one of them would allow Nekhludoff
inside the halting stations, so that he had not seen Katusha for
more than a week. This strictness was occasioned by the fact that
an important prison official was expected to pass that way. Now this
official had passed without looking in at the gang, after all, and
Nekhludoff hoped that the officer who had taken charge of the gang in
the morning would allow him an interview with the prisoners, as former
officers had done.

The landlady offered Nekhludoff a trap to drive him to the halting
station, situated at the farther end of the village, but Nekhludoff
preferred to walk. A young labourer, a broad-shouldered young fellow
of herculean dimensions, with enormous top-boots freshly blackened with
strongly smelling tar, offered himself as a guide.

A dense mist obscured the sky, and it was so dark that when the young
fellow was three steps in advance of him Nekhludoff could not see him
unless the light of some window happened to fall on the spot, but he
could hear the heavy boots wading through the deep, sticky slush. After
passing the open place in front of the church and the long street,
with its rows of windows shining brightly in the darkness, Nekhludoff
followed his guide to the outskirts of the village, where it was pitch
dark. But soon here, too, rays of light, streaming through the mist
from the lamps in the front of the halting station, became discernible
through the darkness. The reddish spots of light grew bigger and bigger;
at last the stakes of the palisade, the moving figure of the sentinel, a
post painted with white and black stripes and the sentinel’s box became
visible.

The sentinel called his usual “Who goes there?” as they approached, and
seeing they were strangers treated them with such severity that he would
not allow them to wait by the palisade; but Nekhludoff’s guide was not
abashed by this severity.

“Hallo, lad! why so fierce? You go and rouse your boss while we wait
here?”

The sentinel gave no answer, but shouted something in at the gate and
stood looking at the broad-shouldered young labourer scraping the mud
off Nekhludoff’s boots with a chip of wood by the light of the lamp.
From behind the palisade came the hum of male and female voices. In
about three minutes more something rattled, the gate opened, and a
sergeant, with his cloak thrown over his shoulders, stepped out of the
darkness into the lamplight.

The sergeant was not as strict as the sentinel, but he was extremely
inquisitive. He insisted on knowing what Nekhludoff wanted the officer
for, and who he was, evidently scenting his booty and anxious not to let
it escape. Nekhludoff said he had come on special business, and would
show his gratitude, and would the sergeant take a note for him to the
officer. The sergeant took the note, nodded, and went away. Some time
after the gate rattled again, and women carrying baskets, boxes, jugs
and sacks came out, loudly chattering in their peculiar Siberian dialect
as they stepped over the threshold of the gate. None of them wore
peasant costumes, but were dressed town fashion, wearing jackets and
fur-lined cloaks. Their skirts were tucked up high, and their heads
wrapped up in shawls. They examined Nekhludoff and his guide curiously
by the light of the lamp. One of them showed evident pleasure at the
sight of the broad-shouldered fellow, and affectionately administered to
him a dose of Siberian abuse.

“You demon, what are you doing here? The devil take you,” she said,
addressing him.

“I’ve been showing this traveller here the way,” answered the young
fellow. “And what have you been bringing here?”

“Dairy produce, and I am to bring more in the morning.”

The guide said something in answer that made not only the women but even
the sentinel laugh, and, turning to Nekhludoff, he said:

“You’ll find your way alone? Won’t get lost, will you?”

“I shall find it all right.”

“When you have passed the church it’s the second from the two-storied
house. Oh, and here, take my staff,” he said, handing the stick he
was carrying, and which was longer than himself, to Nekhludoff; and
splashing through the mud with his enormous boots, he disappeared in the
darkness, together with the women.

His voice mingling with the voices of the women was still audible
through the fog, when the gate again rattled, and the sergeant appeared
and asked Nekhludoff to follow him to the officer.



CHAPTER VIII.

NEKHLUDOFF AND THE OFFICER.

This halting station, like all such stations along the Siberian
road, was surrounded by a courtyard, fenced in with a palisade of
sharp-pointed stakes, and consisted of three one-storied houses. One of
them, the largest, with grated windows, was for the prisoners, another
for the convoy soldiers, and the third, in which the office was, for the
officers.

There were lights in the windows of all the three houses, and, like
all such lights, they promised, here in a specially deceptive manner,
something cosy inside the walls. Lamps were burning before the porches
of the houses and about five lamps more along the walls lit up the yard.

The sergeant led Nekhludoff along a plank which lay across the yard up
to the porch of the smallest of the houses.

When he had gone up the three steps of the porch he let Nekhludoff pass
before him into the ante-room, in which a small lamp was burning, and
which was filled with smoky fumes. By the stove a soldier in a coarse
shirt with a necktie and black trousers, and with one top-boot on, stood
blowing the charcoal in a somovar, using the other boot as bellows. [The
long boots worn in Russia have concertina-like sides, and when held to
the chimney of the somovar can be used instead of bellows to make the
charcoal inside burn up.] When he saw Nekhludoff, the soldier left the
somovar and helped him off with his waterproof; then went into the inner
room.

“He has come, your honour.”

“Well, ask him in,” came an angry voice.

“Go in at the door,” said the soldier, and went back to the somovar.

In the next room an officer with fair moustaches and a very red face,
dressed in an Austrian jacket that closely fitted his broad chest and
shoulders, sat at a covered table, on which were the remains of his
dinner and two bottles; there was a strong smell of tobacco and some
very strong, cheap scent in the warm room. On seeing Nekhludoff the
officer rose and gazed ironically and suspiciously, as it seemed, at the
newcomer.

“What is it you want?” he asked, and, not waiting for a reply, he
shouted through the open door:

“Bernoff, the somovar! What are you about?”

“Coming at once.”

“You’ll get it ‘at once’ so that you’ll remember it,” shouted the
officer, and his eyes flashed.

“I’m coming,” shouted the soldier, and brought in the somovar.
Nekhludoff waited while the soldier placed the somovar on the table.
When the officer had followed the soldier out of the room with his cruel
little eyes looking as if they were aiming where best to hit him, he
made the tea, got the four-cornered decanter out of his travelling case
and some Albert biscuits, and having placed all this on the cloth he
again turned to Nekhludoff. “Well, how can I be of service to you?”

“I should like to be allowed to visit a prisoner,” said Nekhludoff,
without sitting down.

“A political one? That’s forbidden by the law,” said the officer.

“The woman I mean is not a political prisoner,” said Nekhludoff.

“Yes. But pray take a scat,” said the officer. Nekhludoff sat down.

“She is not a political one, but at my request she has been allowed by
the higher authorities to join the political prisoners--”

“Oh, yes, I know,” interrupted the other; “a little dark one? Well,
yes, that can be managed. Won’t you smoke?” He moved a box of cigarettes
towards Nekhludoff, and, having carefully poured out two tumblers of
tea, he passed one to Nekhludoff. “If you please,” he said.

“Thank you; I should like to see--”

“The night is long. You’ll have plenty of time. I shall order her to be
sent out to you.”

“But could I not see her where she is? Why need she be sent for?”
 Nekhludoff said.

“In to the political prisoners? It is against the law.”

“I have been allowed to go in several times. If there is any danger of
my passing anything in to them I could do it through her just as well.”

“Oh, no; she would be searched,” said the officer, and laughed in an
unpleasant manner.

“Well, why not search me?”

“All right; we’ll manage without that,” said the officer, opening the
decanter, and holding it out towards Nekhludoff’s tumbler of tea. “May
I? No? Well, just as you like. When you are living here in Siberia you
are too glad to meet an educated person. Our work, as you know, is the
saddest, and when one is used to better things it is very hard. The idea
they have of us is that convoy officers are coarse, uneducated men, and
no one seems to remember that we may have been born for a very different
position.”

This officer’s red face, his scents, his rings, and especially his
unpleasant laughter disgusted Nekhludoff very much, but to-day, as
during the whole of his journey, he was in that serious, attentive state
which did not allow him to behave slightingly or disdainfully towards
any man, but made him feel the necessity of speaking to every one
“entirely,” as he expressed to himself, this relation to men. When he
had heard the officer and understood his state of mind, he said in a
serious manner:

“I think that in your position, too, some comfort could be found in
helping the suffering people,” he said.

“What are their sufferings? You don’t know what these people are.”

“They are not special people,” said Nekhludoff; “they are just such
people as others, and some of them are quite innocent.”

“Of course, there are all sorts among them, and naturally one pities
them. Others won’t let anything off, but I try to lighten their
condition where I can. It’s better that I should suffer, but not they.
Others keep to the law in every detail, even as far as to shoot, but
I show pity. May I?--Take another,” he said, and poured out another
tumbler of tea for Nekhludoff.

“And who is she, this woman that you want to see?” he asked.

“It is an unfortunate woman who got into a brothel, and was there
falsely accused of poisoning, and she is a very good woman,” Nekhludoff
answered.

The officer shook his head. “Yes, it does happen. I can tell you about
a certain Emma who lived in Kasan. She was a Hungarian by birth, but she
had quite Persian eyes,” he continued, unable to restrain a smile at the
recollection; “there was so much chic about her that a countess--”

Nekhludoff interrupted the officer and returned to the former topic of
conversation.

“I think that you could lighten the condition of the people while they
are in your charge. And in acting that way I am sure you would find
great joy!” said Nekhludoff, trying to pronounce as distinctly as
possible, as he might if talking to a foreigner or a child.

The officer looked at Nekhludoff impatiently, waiting for him to stop
so as to continue the tale about the Hungarian with Persian eyes, who
evidently presented herself very vividly to his imagination and quite
absorbed his attention.

“Yes, of course, this is all quite true,” he said, “and I do pity them;
but I should like to tell you about Emma. What do you think she did--?”

“It does not interest me,” said Nekhludoff, “and I will tell you
straight, that though I was myself very different at one time, I now
hate that kind of relation to women.”

The officer gave Nekhludoff a frightened look.

“Won’t you take some more tea?” he said.

“No, thank you.”

“Bernoff!” the officer called, “take the gentleman to Vakouloff. Tell
him to let him into the separate political room. He may remain there
till the inspection.”



CHAPTER IX.

THE POLITICAL PRISONERS.

Accompanied by the orderly, Nekhludoff went out into the courtyard,
which was dimly lit up by the red light of the lamps.

“Where to?” asked the convoy sergeant, addressing the orderly.

“Into the separate cell, No. 5.”

“You can’t pass here; the boss has gone to the village and taken the
keys.”

“Well, then, pass this way.”

The soldier led Nekhludoff along a board to another entrance. While
still in the yard Nekhludoff could hear the din of voices and general
commotion going on inside as in a beehive when the bees are preparing to
swarm; but when he came nearer and the door opened the din grew louder,
and changed into distinct sounds of shouting, abuse and laughter. He
heard the clatter of chairs and smelt the well-known foul air. This din
of voices and the clatter of the chairs, together with the close smell,
always flowed into one tormenting sensation, and produced in Nekhludoff
a feeling of moral nausea which grew into physical sickness, the two
feelings mingling with and heightening each other.

The first thing Nekhludoff saw, on entering, was a large, stinking tub.
A corridor into which several doors opened led from the entrance. The
first was the family room, then the bachelors’ room, and at the very end
two small rooms were set apart for the political prisoners.

The buildings, which were arranged to hold one hundred and fifty
prisoners, now that there were four hundred and fifty inside, were so
crowded that the prisoners could not all get into the rooms, but filled
the passage, too. Some were sitting or lying on the floor, some were
going out with empty teapots, or bringing them back filled with boiling
water. Among the latter was Taras. He overtook Nekhludoff and greeted
him affectionately. The kind face of Taras was disfigured by dark
bruises on his nose and under his eye.

“What has happened to you?” asked Nekhludoff.

“Yes, something did happen,” Taras said, with a smile.

“All because of the woman,” added a prisoner, who followed Taras; “he’s
had a row with Blind Fedka.”

“And how’s Theodosia?”

“She’s all right. Here I am bringing her the water for her tea,” Taras
answered, and went into the family room.

Nekhludoff looked in at the door. The room was crowded with women and
men, some of whom were on and some under the bedsteads; it was full of
steam from the wet clothes that were drying, and the chatter of women’s
voices was unceasing. The next door led into the bachelors’ room. This
room was still more crowded; even the doorway and the passage in front
of it were blocked by a noisy crowd of men, in wet garments, busy doing
or deciding something or other.

The convoy sergeant explained that it was the prisoner appointed to buy
provisions, paying off out of the food money what was owing to a sharper
who had won from or lent money to the prisoners, and receiving back
little tickets made of playing cards. When they saw the convoy soldier
and a gentleman, those who were nearest became silent, and followed
them with looks of ill-will. Among them Nekhludoff noticed the criminal
Fedoroff, whom he knew, and who always kept a miserable lad with
a swelled appearance and raised eyebrows beside him, and also a
disgusting, noseless, pock-marked tramp, who was notorious among the
prisoners because he killed his comrade in the marshes while trying to
escape, and had, as it was rumoured, fed on his flesh. The tramp stood
in the passage with his wet cloak thrown over one shoulder, looking
mockingly and boldly at Nekhludoff, and did not move out of the way.
Nekhludoff passed him by.

Though this kind of scene had now become quite familiar to him, though
he had during the last three months seen these four hundred criminal
prisoners over and over again in many different circumstances; in the
heat, enveloped in clouds of dust which they raised as they dragged
their chained feet along the road, and at the resting places by the way,
where the most horrible scenes of barefaced debauchery had occurred, yet
every time he came among them, and felt their attention fixed upon him
as it was now, shame and consciousness of his sin against them tormented
him. To this sense of shame and guilt was added an unconquerable feeling
of loathing and horror. He knew that, placed in a position such as
theirs, they could not be other than they were, and yet he was unable to
stifle his disgust.

“It’s well for them do-nothings,” Nekhludoff heard some one say in a
hoarse voice as he approached the room of the political prisoners. Then
followed a word of obscene abuse, and spiteful, mocking laughter.



CHAPTER X.

MAKAR DEVKIN.

When they had passed the bachelors’ room the sergeant who accompanied
Nekhludoff left him, promising to come for him before the inspection
would take place. As soon as the sergeant was gone a prisoner, quickly
stepping with his bare feet and holding up the chains, came close up to
Nekhludoff, enveloping him in the strong, acid smell of perspiration,
and said in a mysterious whisper:

“Help the lad, sir; he’s got into an awful mess. Been drinking. To-day
he’s given his name as Karmanoff at the inspection. Take his part, sir.
We dare not, or they’ll kill us,” and looking uneasily round he turned
away.

This is what had happened. The criminal Kalmanoff had persuaded a young
fellow who resembled him in appearance and was sentenced to exile to
change names with him and go to the mines instead of him, while he only
went to exile. Nekhludoff knew all this. Some convict had told him about
this exchange the week before. He nodded as a sign that he understood
and would do what was in his power, and continued his way without
looking round.

Nekhludoff knew this convict, and was surprised by his action. When in
Ekaterinburg the convict had asked Nekhludoff to get a permission for
his wife to follow him. The convict was a man of medium size and of the
most ordinary peasant type, about thirty years old. He was condemned to
hard labour for an attempt to murder and rob. His name was Makar Devkin.
His crime was a very curious one. In the account he gave of it to
Nekhludoff, he said it was not his but his devil’s doing. He said that
a traveller had come to his father’s house and hired his sledge to drive
him to a village thirty miles off for two roubles. Makar’s father told
him to drive the stranger. Makar harnessed the horse, dressed, and
sat down to drink tea with the stranger. The stranger related at the
tea-table that he was going to be married and had five hundred roubles,
which he had earned in Moscow, with him. When he had heard this, Makar
went out into the yard and put an axe into the sledge under the straw.
“And I did not myself know why I was taking the axe,” he said. “‘Take
the axe,’ says _he_, and I took it. We got in and started. We drove
along all right; I even forgot about the axe. Well, we were getting
near the village; only about four miles more to go. The way from the
cross-road to the high road was up hill, and I got out. I walked behind
the sledge and _he_ whispers to me, ‘What are you thinking about? When
you get to the top of the hill you will meet people along the highway,
and then there will be the village. He will carry the money away. If
you mean to do it, now’s the time.’ I stooped over the sledge as if to
arrange the straw, and the axe seemed to jump into my hand of itself.
The man turned round. ‘What are you doing?’ I lifted the axe and tried
to knock him down, but he was quick, jumped out, and took hold of my
hands. ‘What are you doing, you villain?’ He threw me down into the
snow, and I did not even struggle, but gave in at once. He bound my arms
with his girdle, and threw me into the sledge, and took me straight to
the police station. I was imprisoned and tried. The commune gave me a
good character, said that I was a good man, and that nothing wrong had
been noticed about me. The masters for whom I worked also spoke well of
me, but we had no money to engage a lawyer, and so I was condemned to
four years’ hard labour.”

It was this man who, wishing to save a fellow-villager, knowing that he
was risking his life thereby, told Nekhludoff the prisoner’s secret, for
doing which (if found out) he should certainly be throttled.



CHAPTER XI.

MASLOVA AND HER COMPANIONS.

The political prisoners were kept in two small rooms, the doors of which
opened into a part of the passage partitioned off from the rest. The
first person Nekhludoff saw on entering into this part of the passage
was Simonson in his rubber jacket and with a log of pine wood in his
hands, crouching in front of a stove, the door of which trembled, drawn
in by the heat inside.

When he saw Nekhludoff he looked up at him from under his protruding
brow, and gave him his hand without rising.

“I am glad you have come; I want to speak to you,” he said, looking
Nekhludoff straight in the eyes with an expression of importance.

“Yes; what is it?” Nekhludoff asked.

“It will do later on; I am busy just now,” and Simonson turned again
towards the stove, which he was heating according to a theory of his
own, so as to lose as little heat energy as possible.

Nekhludoff was going to enter in at the first door, when Maslova,
stooping and pushing a large heap of rubbish and dust towards the stove
with a handleless birch broom, came out of the other. She had a white
jacket on, her skirt was tucked up, and a kerchief, drawn down to her
eyebrows, protected her hair from the dust. When she saw Nekhludoff, she
drew herself up, flushing and animated, put down the broom, wiped her
hands on her skirt, and stopped right in front of him. “You are tidying
up the apartments, I see,” said Nekhludoff, shaking hands.

“Yes; my old occupation,” and she smiled. “But the dirt! You can’t
imagine what it is. We have been cleaning and cleaning. Well, is the
plaid dry?” she asked, turning to Simonson.

“Almost,” Simonson answered, giving her a strange look, which struck
Nekhludoff.

“All right, I’ll come for it, and will bring the cloaks to dry. Our
people are all in here,” she said to Nekhludoff, pointing to the first
door as she went out of the second.

Nekhludoff opened the door and entered a small room dimly lit by a
little metal lamp, which was standing low down on the shelf bedstead. It
was cold in the room, and there was a smell of the dust, which had not
had time to settle, damp and tobacco smoke.

Only those who were close to the lamp were clearly visible, the
bedsteads were in the shade and wavering shadows glided over the walls.
Two men, appointed as caterers, who had gone to fetch boiling water and
provisions, were away; most of the political prisoners were gathered
together in the small room. There was Nekhludoff’s old acquaintance,
Vera Doukhova, with her large, frightened eyes, and the swollen vein on
her forehead, in a grey jacket with short hair, and thinner and yellower
than ever.. She had a newspaper spread out in front of her, and sat
rolling cigarettes with a jerky movement of her hands.

Emily Rintzeva, whom Nekhludoff considered to be the pleasantest of the
political prisoners, was also here. She looked after the housekeeping,
and managed to spread a feeling of home comfort even in the midst of
the most trying surroundings. She sat beside the lamp, with her sleeves
rolled up, wiping cups and mugs, and placing them, with her deft, red
and sunburnt hands, on a cloth that was spread on the bedstead. Rintzeva
was a plain-looking young woman, with a clever and mild expression of
face, which, when she smiled, had a way of suddenly becoming merry,
animated and captivating. It was with such a smile that she now welcomed
Nekhludoff.

“Why, we thought you had gone back to Russia,” she said.

Here in a dark corner was also Mary Pavlovna, busy with a little,
fair-haired girl, who kept prattling in her sweet, childish accents.

“How nice that you have come,” she said to Nekhludoff.

“Have you seen Katusha? And we have a visitor here,” and she pointed to
the little girl.

Here was also Anatole Kryltzoff with felt boots on, sitting in a far
corner with his feet under him, doubled up and shivering, his arms
folded in the sleeves of his cloak, and looking at Nekhludoff with
feverish eyes. Nekhludoff was going up to him, but to the right of
the door a man with spectacles and reddish curls, dressed in a rubber
jacket, sat talking to the pretty, smiling Grabetz. This was the
celebrated revolutionist Novodvoroff. Nekhludoff hastened to greet him.
He was in a particular hurry about it, because this man was the only one
among all the political prisoners whom he disliked. Novodvoroff’s eyes
glistened through his spectacles as he looked at Nekhludoff and held his
narrow hand out to him.

“Well, are you having a pleasant journey?” he asked, with apparent
irony.

“Yes, there is much that is interesting,” Nekhludoff answered, as if
he did not notice the irony, but took the question for politeness, and
passed on to Kryltzoff.

Though Nekhludoff appeared indifferent, he was really far from
indifferent, and these words of Novodvoroff, showing his evident desire
to say or do something unpleasant, interfered with the state of kindness
in which Nekhludoff found himself, and he felt depressed and sad.

“Well, how are you?” he asked, pressing Kryltzoff’s cold and trembling
hand.

“Pretty well, only I cannot get warm; I got wet through,” Kryltzoff
answered, quickly replacing his hands into the sleeves of his cloak.
“And here it is also beastly cold. There, look, the window-panes are
broken,” and he pointed to the broken panes behind the iron bars. “And
how are you? Why did you not come?”

“I was not allowed to, the authorities were so strict, but to-day the
officer is lenient.”

“Lenient indeed!” Kryltzoff remarked. “Ask Mary what she did this
morning.”

Mary Pavlovna from her place in the corner related what had happened
about the little girl that morning when they left the halting station.

“I think it is absolutely necessary to make a collective protest,” said
Vera Doukhova, in a determined tone, and yet looking now at one, now
at another, with a frightened, undecided look. “Valdemar Simonson did
protest, but that is not sufficient.”

“What protest!” muttered Kryltzoff, cross and frowning. Her want
of simplicity, artificial tone and nervousness had evidently been
irritating him for a long time.

“Are you looking for Katusha?” he asked, addressing Nekhludoff. “She is
working all the time. She has cleaned this, the men’s room, and now she
has gone to clean the women’s! Only it is not possible to clean away
the fleas. And what is Mary doing there?” he asked, nodding towards the
corner where Mary Pavlovna sat.

“She is combing out her adopted daughter’s hair,” replied Rintzeva.

“But won’t she let the insects loose on us?” asked Kryltzoff.

“No, no; I am very careful. She is a clean little girl now. You take
her,” said Mary, turning to Rintzeva, “while I go and help Katusha, and
I will also bring him his plaid.”

Rintzeva took the little girl on her lap, pressing her plump, bare,
little arms to her bosom with a mother’s tenderness, and gave her a bit
of sugar. As Mary Pavlovna left the room, two men came in with boiling
water and provisions.



CHAPTER XII.

NABATOFF AND MARKEL.

One of the men who came in was a short, thin, young man, who had a
cloth-covered sheepskin coat on, and high top-boots. He stepped lightly
and quickly, carrying two steaming teapots, and holding a loaf wrapped
in a cloth under his arm.

“Well, so our prince has put in an appearance again,” he said, as he
placed the teapot beside the cups, and handed the bread to Rintzeva.
“We have bought wonderful things,” he continued, as he took off his
sheepskin, and flung it over the heads of the others into the corner
of the bedstead. “Markel has bought milk and eggs. Why, we’ll have
a regular ball to-day. And Rintzeva is spreading out her aesthetic
cleanliness,” he said, and looked with a smile at Rintzeva, “and now she
will make the tea.”

The whole presence of this man--his motion, his voice, his look--seemed
to breathe vigour and merriment. The other newcomer was just the reverse
of the first. He looked despondent and sad. He was short, bony, had very
prominent cheek bones, a sallow complexion, thin lips and beautiful,
greenish eyes, rather far apart. He wore an old wadded coat, top-boots
and goloshes, and was carrying two pots of milk and two round boxes
made of birch bark, which he placed in front of Rintzeva. He bowed to
Nekhludoff, bending only his neck, and with his eyes fixed on him. Then,
having reluctantly given him his damp hand to shake, he began to take
out the provisions.

Both these political prisoners were of the people; the first was
Nabatoff, a peasant; the second, Markel Kondratieff, a factory hand.
Markel did not come among the revolutionists till he was quite a man,
Nabatoff only eighteen. After leaving the village school, owing to
his exceptional talents Nabatoff entered the gymnasium, and maintained
himself by giving lessons all the time he studied there, and obtained
the gold medal. He did not go to the university because, while still in
the seventh class of the gymnasium, he made up his mind to go among the
people and enlighten his neglected brethren. This he did, first getting
the place of a Government clerk in a large village. He was soon arrested
because he read to the peasants and arranged a co-operative industrial
association among them. They kept him imprisoned for eight months and
then set him free, but he remained under police supervision. As soon
as he was liberated he went to another village, got a place as
schoolmaster, and did the same as he had done in the first village.
He was again taken up and kept fourteen months in prison, where his
convictions became yet stronger. After that he was exiled to the Perm
Government, from where he escaped. Then he was put to prison for seven
months and after that exiled to Archangel. There he refused to take the
oath of allegiance that was required of them and was condemned to
be exiled to the Takoutsk Government, so that half his life since he
reached manhood was passed in prison and exile. All these adventures did
not embitter him nor weaken his energy, but rather stimulated it. He was
a lively young fellow, with a splendid digestion, always active, gay
and vigorous. He never repented of anything, never looked far ahead, and
used all his powers, his cleverness, his practical knowledge to act in
the present. When free he worked towards the aim he had set himself, the
enlightening and the uniting of the working men, especially the country
labourers. When in prison he was just as energetic and practical in
finding means to come in contact with the outer world, and in arranging
his own life and the life of his group as comfortably as the conditions
would allow. Above all things he was a communist. He wanted, as it
seemed to him, nothing for himself and contented himself with very
little, but demanded very much for the group of his comrades, and could
work for it either physically or mentally day and night, without sleep
or food. As a peasant he had been industrious, observant, clever at
his work, and naturally self-controlled, polite without any effort, and
attentive not only to the wishes but also the opinions of others. His
widowed mother, an illiterate, superstitious, old peasant woman, was
still living, and Nabatoff helped her and went to see her while he was
free. During the time he spent at home he entered into all the interests
of his mother’s life, helped her in her work, and continued his
intercourse with former playfellows; smoked cheap tobacco with them in
so-called “dog’s feet,” [a kind of cigarette that the peasants smoke,
made of a bit of paper and bent at one end into a hook] took part
in their fist fights, and explained to them how they were all being
deceived by the State, and how they ought to disentangle themselves out
of the deception they were kept in. When he thought or spoke of what a
revolution would do for the people he always imagined this people from
whom he had sprung himself left in very nearly the same conditions
as they were in, only with sufficient land and without the gentry and
without officials. The revolution, according to him, and in this
he differed from Novodvoroff and Novodvoroff’s follower, Markel
Kondratieff, should not alter the elementary forms of the life of the
people, should not break down the whole edifice, but should only alter
the inner walls of the beautiful, strong, enormous old structure he
loved so dearly. He was also a typical peasant in his views on religion,
never thinking about metaphysical questions, about the origin of
all origin, or the future life. God was to him, as also to Arago, an
hypothesis, which he had had no need of up to now. He had no business
with the origin of the world, whether Moses or Darwin was right.
Darwinism, which seemed so important to his fellows, was only the same
kind of plaything of the mind as the creation in six days. The question
how the world had originated did not interest him, just because the
question how it would be best to live in this world was ever before him.
He never thought about future life, always bearing in the depth of his
soul the firm and quiet conviction inherited from his forefathers, and
common to all labourers on the land, that just as in the world of plants
and animals nothing ceases to exist, but continually changes its form,
the manure into grain, the grain into a food, the tadpole into a frog,
the caterpillar into a butterfly, the acorn into an oak, so man also
does not perish, but only undergoes a change. He believed in this, and
therefore always looked death straight in the face, and bravely bore the
sufferings that lead towards it, but did not care and did not know how
to speak about it. He loved work, was always employed in some practical
business, and put his comrades in the way of the same kind of practical
work.

The other political prisoner from among the people, Markel Kondratieff,
was a very different kind of man. He began to work at the age of
fifteen, and took to smoking and drinking in order to stifle a dense
sense of being wronged. He first realised he was wronged one Christmas
when they, the factory children, were invited to a Christmas tree, got
up by the employer’s wife, where he received a farthing whistle, an
apple, a gilt walnut and a fig, while the employer’s children had
presents given them which seemed gifts from fairyland, and had cost more
than fifty roubles, as he afterwards heard.

When he was twenty a celebrated revolutionist came to their factory to
work as a working girl, and noticing his superior qualities began giving
books and pamphlets to Kondratieff and to talk and explain his position
to him, and how to remedy it. When the possibility of freeing himself
and others from their oppressed state rose clearly in his mind, the
injustice of this state appeared more cruel and more terrible than
before, and he longed passionately not only for freedom, but also for
the punishment of those who had arranged and who kept up this cruel
injustice. Kondratieff devoted himself with passion to the acquirement
of knowledge. It was not clear to him how knowledge should bring about
the realisation of the social ideal, but he believed that the knowledge
that had shown him the injustice of the state in which he lived would
also abolish that injustice itself. Besides knowledge would, in his
opinion, raise him above others. Therefore he left off drinking and
smoking, and devoted all his leisure time to study. The revolutionist
gave him lessons, and his thirst for every kind of knowledge, and the
facility with which he took it in, surprised her. In two years he had
mastered algebra, geometry, history--which he was specially fond of--and
made acquaintance with artistic and critical, and especially socialistic
literature. The revolutionist was arrested, and Kondratieff with her,
forbidden books having been found in their possession, and they were
imprisoned and then exiled to the Vologda Government. There Kondratieff
became acquainted with Novodvoroff, and read a great deal more
revolutionary literature, remembered it all, and became still firmer
in his socialistic views. While in exile he became leader in a large
strike, which ended in the destruction of a factory and the murder of
the director. He was again arrested and condemned to Siberia.

His religious views were of the same negative nature as his views of the
existing economic conditions. Having seen the absurdity of the religion
in which he was brought up, and having gained with great effort, and
at first with fear, but later with rapture, freedom from it, he did
not tire of viciously and with venom ridiculing priests and religious
dogmas, as if wishing to revenge himself for the deception that had been
practised on him.

He was ascetic through habit, contented himself with very little, and,
like all those used to work from childhood and whose muscles have been
developed, he could work much and easily, and was quick at any manual
labour; but what he valued most was the leisure in prisons and halting
stations, which enabled him to continue his studies. He was now studying
the first volume of Karl Marks’s, and carefully hid the book in his sack
as if it were a great treasure. He behaved with reserve and indifference
to all his comrades, except Novodvoroff, to whom he was greatly
attached, and whose arguments on all subjects he accepted as
unanswerable truths.

He had an indefinite contempt for women, whom he looked upon as a
hindrance in all necessary business. But he pitied Maslova and was
gentle with her, for he considered her an example of the way the lower
are exploited by the upper classes. The same reason made him dislike
Nekhludoff, so that he talked little with him, and never pressed
Nekhludoff’s hand, but only held out his own to be pressed when greeting
him.



CHAPTER XIII.

LOVE AFFAIRS OF THE EXILES.

The stove had burned up and got warm, the tea was made and poured out
into mugs and cups, and milk was added to it; rusks, fresh rye and wheat
bread, hard-boiled eggs, butter, and calf’s head and feet were placed on
the cloth. Everybody moved towards the part of the shelf beds which took
the place of the table and sat eating and talking. Rintzeva sat on a box
pouring out the tea. The rest crowded round her, only Kryltzoff, who had
taken off his wet cloak and wrapped himself in his dry plaid and lay in
his own place talking to Nekhludoff.

After the cold and damp march and the dirt and disorder they had found
here, and after the pains they had taken to get it tidy, after having
drunk hot tea and eaten, they were all in the best and brightest of
spirits.

The fact that the tramp of feet, the screams and abuse of the criminals,
reached them through the wall, reminding them of their surroundings,
seemed only to increase the sense of coziness. As on an island in the
midst of the sea, these people felt themselves for a brief interval not
swamped by the degradation and sufferings which surrounded them; this
made their spirits rise, and excited them. They talked about everything
except their present position and that which awaited them. Then, as it
generally happens among young men, and women especially, if they are
forced to remain together, as these people were, all sorts of agreements
and disagreements and attractions, curiously blended, had sprung up
among them. Almost all of them were in love. Novodvoroff was in love
with the pretty, smiling Grabetz. This Grabetz was a young, thoughtless
girl who had gone in for a course of study, perfectly indifferent to
revolutionary questions, but succumbing to the influence of the day, she
compromised herself in some way and was exiled. The chief interest of
her life during the time of her trial in prison and in exile was her
success with men, just as it had been when she was free. Now on the way
she comforted herself with the fact that Novodvoroff had taken a fancy
to her, and she fell in love with him. Vera Doukhova, who was very prone
to fall in love herself, but did not awaken love in others, though she
was always hoping for mutual love, was sometimes drawn to Nabatoff, then
to Novodvoroff. Kryltzoff felt something like love for Mary Pavlovna. He
loved her with a man’s love, but knowing how she regarded this sort of
love, hid his feelings under the guise of friendship and gratitude
for the tenderness with which she attended to his wants. Nabatoff and
Rintzeva were attached to each other by very complicated ties. Just as
Mary Pavlovna was a perfectly chaste maiden, in the same way Rintzeva
was perfectly chaste as her own husband’s wife. When only a schoolgirl
of sixteen she fell in love with Rintzeff, a student of the Petersburg
University, and married him before he left the university, when she was
only nineteen years old. During his fourth year at the university her
husband had become involved in the students’ rows, was exiled from
Petersburg, and turned revolutionist. She left the medical courses she
was attending, followed him, and also turned revolutionist. If she had
not considered her husband the cleverest and best of men she would not
have fallen in love with him; and if she had not fallen in love would
not have married; but having fallen in love and married him whom she
thought the best and cleverest of men, she naturally looked upon life
and its aims in the way the best and cleverest of men looked at them. At
first he thought the aim of life was to learn, and she looked upon study
as the aim of life. He became a revolutionist, and so did she. She could
demonstrate very clearly that the existing state of things could not go
on, and that it was everybody’s duty to fight this state of things and
to try to bring about conditions in which the individual could develop
freely, etc. And she imagined that she really thought and felt all
this, but in reality she only regarded everything her husband thought
as absolute truth, and only sought for perfect agreement, perfect
identification of her own soul with his which alone could give her full
moral satisfaction. The parting with her husband and their child, whom
her mother had taken, was very hard to bear; but she bore it firmly and
quietly, since it was for her husband’s sake and for that cause which
she had not the slightest doubt was true, since he served it. She was
always with her husband in thoughts, and did not love and could not love
any other any more than she had done before. But Nabatoff’s devoted and
pure love touched and excited her. This moral, firm man, her husband’s
friend, tried to treat her as a sister, but something more appeared in
his behaviour to her, and this something frightened them both, and yet
gave colour to their life of hardship.

So that in all this circle only Mary Pavlovna and Kondratieff were quite
free from love affairs.



CHAPTER XIV.

CONVERSATIONS IN PRISON.

Expecting to have a private talk with Katusha, as usual, after tea,
Nekhludoff sat by the side of Kryltzoff, conversing with him. Among
other things he told him the story of Makar’s crime and about his
request to him. Kryltzoff listened attentively, gazing at Nekhludoff
with glistening eyes.

“Yes,” said Kryltzoff suddenly, “I often think that here we are going
side by side with them, and who are they? The same for whose sake we
are going, and yet we not only do not know them, but do not even wish to
know them. And they, even worse than that, they hate us and look upon us
as enemies. This is terrible.”

“There is nothing terrible about it,” broke in Novodvoroff. “The masses
always worship power only. The government is in power, and they worship
it and hate us. To-morrow we shall have the power, and they will worship
us,” he said with his grating voice. At that moment a volley of abuse
and the rattle of chains sounded from behind the wall, something was
heard thumping against it and screaming and shrieking, some one was
being beaten, and some one was calling out, “Murder! help!”

“Hear them, the beasts! What intercourse can there be between us and
such as them?” quietly remarked Novodvoroff.

“You call them beasts, and Nekhludoff was just telling me about such an
action!” irritably retorted Kryltzoff, and went on to say how Makar was
risking his life to save a fellow-villager. “That is not the action of a
beast, it is heroism.”

“Sentimentality!” Novodvoroff ejaculated ironically; “it is difficult
for us to understand the emotions of these people and the motives on
which they act. You see generosity in the act, and it may be simply
jealousy of that other criminal.”

“How is it that you never wish to see anything good in another?” Mary
Pavlovna said suddenly, flaring up.

“How can one see what does not exist!”

“How does it not exist, when a man risks dying a terrible death?”

“I think,” said Novodvoroff, “that if we mean to do our work, the first
condition is that” (here Kondratieff put down the book he was reading by
the lamplight and began to listen attentively to his master’s words) “we
should not give way to fancy, but look at things as they are. We should
do all in our power for the masses, and expect nothing in return.
The masses can only be the object of our activity, but cannot be our
fellow-workers as long as they remain in that state of inertia they are
in at present,” he went on, as if delivering a lecture. “Therefore, to
expect help from them before the process of development--that process
which we are preparing them for--has taken place is an illusion.”

“What process of development?” Kryltzoff began, flushing all over. “We
say that we are against arbitrary rule and despotism, and is this not
the most awful despotism?”

“No despotism whatever,” quietly rejoined Novodvoroff. “I am only saying
that I know the path that the people must travel, and can show them that
path.”

“But how can you be sure that the path you show is the true path?
Is this not the same kind of despotism that lay at the bottom of the
Inquisition, all persecutions, and the great revolution? They, too, knew
the one true way, by means of their science.”

“Their having erred is no proof of my going to err; besides, there is a
great difference between the ravings of idealogues and the facts based
on sound, economic science.” Novodvoroff’s voice filled the room; he
alone was speaking, all the rest were silent.

“They are always disputing,” Mary Pavlovna said, when there was a
moment’s silence.

“And you yourself, what do you think about it?” Nekhludoff asked her.

“I think Kryltzoff is right when he says we should not force our views
on the people.”

“And you, Katusha?” asked Nekhludoff with a smile, waiting anxiously for
her answer, fearing she would say something awkward.

“I think the common people are wronged,” she said, and blushed scarlet.
“I think they are dreadfully wronged.”

“That’s right, Maslova, quite right,” cried Nabatoff. “They are terribly
wronged, the people, and they must not be wronged, and therein lies the
whole of our task.”

“A curious idea of the object of revolution,” Novodvoroff remarked
crossly, and began to smoke.

“I cannot talk to him,” said Kryltzoff in a whisper, and was silent.

“And it is much better not to talk,” Nekhludoff said.



CHAPTER XV.

NOVODVOROFF.

Although Novodvoroff was highly esteemed of all the revolutionists,
though he was very learned, and considered very wise, Nekhludoff
reckoned him among those of the revolutionists who, being below the
average moral level, were very far below it. His inner life was of a
nature directly opposite to that of Simonson’s. Simonson was one of
those people (of an essentially masculine type) whose actions follow
the dictates of their reason, and are determined by it. Novodvoroff
belonged, on the contrary, to the class of people of a feminine type,
whose reason is directed partly towards the attainment of aims set by
their feelings, partly to the justification of acts suggested by their
feelings. The whole of Novodvoroff’s revolutionary activity, though
he could explain it very eloquently and very convincingly, appeared
to Nekhludoff to be founded on nothing but ambition and the desire
for supremacy. At first his capacity for assimilating the thoughts of
others, and of expressing them correctly, had given him a position of
supremacy among pupils and teachers in the gymnasium and the university,
where qualities such as his are highly prized, and he was satisfied.
When he had finished his studies and received his diploma he suddenly
altered his views, and from a modern liberal he turned into a rabid
Narodovoletz, in order (so Kryltzoff, who did not like him, said) to
gain supremacy in another sphere.

As he was devoid of those moral and aesthetic qualities which call
forth doubts and hesitation, he very soon acquired a position in the
revolutionary world which satisfied him--that of the leader of a party.
Having once chosen a direction, he never doubted or hesitated, and was
therefore certain that he never made a mistake. Everything seemed quite
simple, clear and certain. And the narrowness and one-sidedness of his
views did make everything seem simple and clear. One only had to be
logical, as he said. His self-assurance was so great that it either
repelled people or made them submit to him. As he carried on his work
among very young people, his boundless self-assurance led them to
believe him very profound and wise; the majority did submit to him,
and he had a great success in revolutionary circles. His activity was
directed to the preparation of a rising in which he was to usurp the
power and call together a council. A programme, composed by him, should
be proposed before the council, and he felt sure that this programme of
his solved every problem, and that it would be impossible not to carry
it out.

His comrades respected but did not love him. He did not love any one,
looked upon all men of note as upon rivals, and would have willingly
treated them as old male monkeys treat young ones if he could have done
it. He would have torn all mental power, every capacity, from other men,
so that they should not interfere with the display of his talents. He
behaved well only to those who bowed before him. Now, on the journey he
behaved well to Kondratieff, who was influenced by his propaganda; to
Vera Doukhova and pretty little Grabetz, who were both in love with him.
Although in principle he was in favour of the woman’s movement, yet in
the depth of his soul he considered all women stupid and insignificant
except those whom he was sentimentally in love with (as he was now in
love with Grabetz), and such women he considered to be exceptions, whose
merits he alone was capable of discerning.

The question of the relations of the sexes he also looked upon as
thoroughly solved by accepting free union. He had one nominal and
one real wife, from both of whom he was separated, having come to the
conclusion that there was no real love between them, and now he thought
of entering on a free union with Grabetz. He despised Nekhludoff
for “playing the fool,” as Novodvoroff termed it, with Maslova, but
especially for the freedom Nekhludoff took of considering the defects
of the existing system and the methods of correcting those defects in a
manner which was not only not exactly the same as Novodvoroff’s, but was
Nekhludoff’s own--a prince’s, that is, a fool’s manner. Nekhludoff felt
this relation of Novodvoroff’s towards him, and knew to his sorrow that
in spite of the state of good will in which he found himself on this
journey he could not help paying this man in his own coin, and could not
stifle the strong antipathy he felt for him.



CHAPTER XVI.

SIMONSON SPEAKS TO NEKHLUDOFF.

The voices of officials sounded from the next room. All the prisoners
were silent, and a sergeant, followed by two convoy soldiers, entered.
The time of the inspection had come. The sergeant counted every one, and
when Nekhludoff’s turn came he addressed him with kindly familiarity.

“You must not stay any longer, Prince, after the inspection; you must go
now.”

Nekhludoff knew what this meant, went up to the sergeant and shoved a
three-rouble note into his hand.

“Ah, well, what is one to do with you; stay a bit longer, if you like.”
 The sergeant was about to go when another sergeant, followed by a
convict, a spare man with a thin beard and a bruise under his eye, came
in.

“It’s about the girl I have come,” said the convict.

“Here’s daddy come,” came the ringing accents of a child’s voice, and a
flaxen head appeared from behind Rintzeva, who, with Katusha’s and Mary
Pavlovna’s help, was making a new garment for the child out of one of
Rintzeva’s own petticoats.

“Yes, daughter, it’s me,” Bousovkin, the prisoner, said softly.

“She is quite comfortable here,” said Mary Pavlovna, looking with pity
at Bousovkin’s bruised face. “Leave her with us.”

“The ladies are making me new clothes,” said the girl, pointing to
Rintzeva’s sewing--“nice red ones,” she went on, prattling.

“Do you wish to sleep with us?” asked Rintzeva, caressing the child.

“Yes, I wish. And daddy, too.”

“No, daddy can’t. Well, leave her then,” she said, turning to the
father.

“Yes, you may leave her,” said the first sergeant, and went out with the
other.

As soon as they were out of the room Nabatoff went up to Bousovkin,
slapped him on the shoulder, and said: “I say, old fellow, is it true
that Karmanoff wishes to exchange?”

Bousovkin’s kindly, gentle face turned suddenly sad and a veil seemed to
dim his eyes.

“We have heard nothing--hardly,” he said, and with the same dimness
still over his eyes he turned to the child.

“Well, Aksutka, it seems you’re to make yourself comfortable with the
ladies,” and he hurried away.

“It’s true about the exchange, and he knows it very well,” said
Nabatoff.

“What are you going to do?”

“I shall tell the authorities in the next town. I know both prisoners by
sight,” said Nekhludoff.

All were silent, fearing a recommencement of the dispute.

Simonson, who had been lying with his arms thrown back behind his head,
and not speaking, rose, and determinately walked up to Nekhludoff,
carefully passing round those who were sitting.

“Could you listen to me now?”

“Of course,” and Nekhludoff rose and followed him.

Katusha looked up with an expression of suspense, and meeting
Nekhludoff’s eyes, she blushed and shook her head.

“What I want to speak to you about is this,” Simonson began, when they
had come out into the passage. In the passage the din of the criminal’s
voices and shouts sounded louder. Nekhludoff made a face, but Simonson
did not seem to take any notice.

“Knowing of your relations to Katerina Maslova,” he began seriously and
frankly, with his kind eyes looking straight into Nekhludoff’s face,
“I consider it my duty”--He was obliged to stop because two voices were
heard disputing and shouting, both at once, close to the door.

“I tell you, blockhead, they are not mine,” one voice shouted.

“May you choke, you devil,” snorted the other.

At this moment Mary Pavlovna came out into the passage.

“How can one talk here?” she said; “go in, Vera is alone there,” and she
went in at the second door, and entered a tiny room, evidently meant for
a solitary cell, which was now placed at the disposal of the political
women prisoners, Vera Doukhova lay covered up, head and all, on the bed.

“She has got a headache, and is asleep, so she cannot hear you, and I
will go away,” said Mary Pavlovna.

“On the contrary, stay here,” said Simonson; “I have no secrets from any
one, certainly none from you.”

“All right,” said Mary Pavlovna, and moving her whole body from side to
side, like a child, so as to get farther back on to the bed, she settled
down to listen, her beautiful hazel eyes seeming to look somewhere far
away.

“Well, then, this is my business,” Simonson repeated. “Knowing of your
relations to Katerina Maslova, I consider myself bound to explain to you
my relations to her.”

Nekhludoff could not help admiring the simplicity and truthfulness with
which Simonson spoke to him.

“What do you mean?”

“I mean that I should like to marry Katerina Maslova--”

“How strange!” said Mary Pavlovna, fixing her eyes on Simonson.

“--And so I made up my mind to ask her to be my wife,” Simonson
continued.

“What can I do? It depends on her,” said Nekhludoff.

“Yes; but she will not come to any decision without you.”

“Why?”

“Because as long as your relations with her are unsettled she cannot
make up her mind.”

“As far as I am concerned, it is finally settled. I should like to do
what I consider to be my duty and also to lighten her fate, but on no
account would I wish to put any restraint on her.”

“Yes, but she does not wish to accept your sacrifice.”

“It is no sacrifice.”

“And I know that this decision of hers is final.”

“Well, then, there is no need to speak to me,” said Nekhludoff.

“She wants you to acknowledge that you think as she does.”

“How can I acknowledge that I must not do what I consider to be my duty?
All I can say is that I am not free, but she is.”

Simonson was silent; then, after thinking a little, he said: “Very
well, then, I’ll tell her. You must not think I am in love with her,”
 he continued; “I love her as a splendid, unique, human being who has
suffered much. I want nothing from her. I have only an awful longing to
help her, to lighten her posi--”

Nekhludoff was surprised to hear the trembling in Simonson’s voice.

“--To lighten her position,” Simonson continued. “If she does not wish
to accept your help, let her accept mine. If she consents, I shall ask
to be sent to the place where she will be imprisoned. Four years are
not an eternity. I would live near her, and perhaps might lighten her
fate--” and he again stopped, too agitated to continue.

“What am I to say?” said Nekhludoff. “I am very glad she has found such
a protector as you--”

“That’s what I wanted to know,” Simonson interrupted.

“I wanted to know if, loving her and wishing her happiness, you would
consider it good for her to marry me?”

“Oh, yes,” said Nekhludoff decidedly.

“It all depends on her; I only wish that this suffering soul should find
rest,” said Simonson, with such childlike tenderness as no one could
have expected from so morose-looking a man.

Simonson rose, and stretching his lips out to Nekhludoff, smiled shyly
and kissed him.

“So I shall tell her,” and he went away.



CHAPTER XVII.

“I HAVE NOTHING MORE TO SAY.”

“What do you think of that?” said Mary Pavlovna. “In love--quite in
love. Now, that’s a thing I never should have expected, that Valdemar
Simonson should be in love, and in the silliest, most boyish manner. It
is strange, and, to say the truth, it is sad,” and she sighed.

“But she? Katusha? How does she look at it, do you think?” Nekhludoff
asked.

“She?” Mary Pavlovna waited, evidently wishing to give as exact an
answer as possible. “She? Well, you see, in spite of her past she
has one of the most moral natures--and such fine feelings. She loves
you--loves you well, and is happy to be able to do you even the negative
good of not letting you get entangled with her. Marriage with you would
be a terrible fall for her, worse than all that’s past, and therefore
she will never consent to it. And yet your presence troubles her.”

“Well, what am I to do? Ought I to vanish?”

Mary Pavlovna smiled her sweet, childlike smile, and said, “Yes,
partly.”

“How is one to vanish partly?”

“I am talking nonsense. But as for her, I should like to tell you that
she probably sees the silliness of this rapturous kind of love (he has
not spoken to her), and is both flattered and afraid of it. I am not
competent to judge in such affairs, you know, still I believe that on
his part it is the most ordinary man’s feeling, though it is masked. He
says that this love arouses his energy and is Platonic, but I know that
even if it is exceptional, still at the bottom it is degrading.”

Mary Pavlovna had wandered from the subject, having started on her
favourite theme.

“Well, but what am I to do?” Nekhludoff asked.

“I think you should tell her everything; it is always best that
everything should be clear. Have a talk with her; I shall call her.
Shall I?” said Mary Pavlovna.

“If you please,” said Nekhludoff, and Mary Pavlovna went.

A strange feeling overcame Nekhludoff when he was alone in the little
room with the sleeping Vera Doukhova, listening to her soft breathing,
broken now and then by moans, and to the incessant dirt that came
through the two doors that separated him from the criminals. What
Simonson had told him freed him from the self-imposed duty, which had
seemed hard and strange to him in his weak moments, and yet now he felt
something that was not merely unpleasant but painful.

He had a feeling that this offer of Simonson’s destroyed the exceptional
character of his sacrifice, and thereby lessened its value in his own
and others’ eyes; if so good a man who was not bound to her by any kind
of tie wanted to join his fate to hers, then this sacrifice was not so
great. There may have also been an admixture of ordinary jealousy. He
had got so used to her love that he did not like to admit that she loved
another.

Then it also upset the plans he had formed of living near her while
she was doing her term. If she married Simonson his presence would be
unnecessary, and he would have to form new plans.

Before he had time to analyse his feelings the loud din of the
prisoners’ voices came in with a rush (something special was going on
among them to-day) as the door opened to let Katusha in.

She stepped briskly close up to him and said, “Mary Pavlovna has sent
me.”

“Yes, I must have a talk with you. Sit down. Valdemar Simonson has been
speaking to me.”

She sat down and folded her hands in her lap and seemed quite calm, but
hardly had Nekhludoff uttered Simonson’s name when she flushed crimson.

“What did he say?” she asked.

“He told me he wanted to marry you.”

Her face suddenly puckered up with pain, but she said nothing and only
cast down her eyes.

“He is asking for my consent or my advice. I told him that it all
depends entirely on you--that you must decide.”

“Ah, what does it all mean? Why?” she muttered, and looked in his eyes
with that peculiar squint that always strangely affected Nekhludoff.

They sat silent for a few minutes looking into each other’s eyes, and
this look told much to both of them.

“You must decide,” Nekhludoff repeated.

“What am I to decide? Everything has long been decided.”

“No; you must decide whether you will accept Mr. Simonson’s offer,” said
Nekhludoff.

“What sort of a wife can I be--I, a convict? Why should I ruin Mr.
Simonson, too?” she said, with a frown.

“Well, but if the sentence should be mitigated.”

“Oh, leave me alone. I have nothing more to say,” she said, and rose to
leave the room.



CHAPTER XVIII.

NEVEROFF’S FATE.

When, following Katusha, Nekhludoff returned to the men’s room, he found
every one there in agitation. Nabatoff, who went about all over the
place, and who got to know everybody, and noticed everything, had
just brought news which staggered them all. The news was that he had
discovered a note on a wall, written by the revolutionist Petlin, who
had been sentenced to hard labour, and who, every one thought, had long
since reached the Kara; and now it turned out that he had passed this
way quite recently, the only political prisoner among criminal convicts.

“On the 17th of August,” so ran the note, “I was sent off alone with
the criminals. Neveroff was with me, but hanged himself in the lunatic
asylum in Kasan. I am well and in good spirits and hope for the best.”

All were discussing Petlin’s position and the possible reasons of
Neveroff’s suicide. Only Kryltzoff sat silent and preoccupied, his
glistening eyes gazing fixedly in front of him.

“My husband told me that Neveroff had a vision while still in the
Petropavlovski prison,” said Rintzeva.

“Yes, he was a poet, a dreamer; this sort of people cannot stand
solitary confinement,” said Novodvoroff. “Now, I never gave my
imagination vent when in solitary confinement, but arranged my days most
systematically, and in this way always bore it very well.”

“What is there unbearable about it? Why, I used to be glad when they
locked me up,” said Nabatoff cheerfully, wishing to dispel the general
depression.

“A fellow’s afraid of everything; of being arrested himself and
entangling others, and of spoiling the whole business, and then he gets
locked up, and all responsibility is at an end, and he can rest; he can
just sit and smoke.”

“You knew him well?” asked Mary Pavlovna, glancing anxiously at the
altered, haggard expression of Kryltzoff’s face.

“Neveroff a dreamer?” Kryltzoff suddenly began, panting for breath as
if he had been shouting or singing for a long time. “Neveroff was a man
‘such as the earth bears few of,’ as our doorkeeper used to express it.
Yes, he had a nature like crystal, you could see him right through; he
could not lie, he could not dissemble; not simply thin skinned, but
with all his nerves laid bare, as if he were flayed. Yes, his was a
complicated, rich nature, not such a-- But where is the use of talking?”
 he added, with a vicious frown. “Shall we first educate the people
and then change the forms of life, or first change the forms and then
struggle, using peaceful propaganda or terrorism? So we go on disputing
while _they_ kill; _they_ do not dispute--they know their business; they
don’t care whether dozens, hundreds of men perish--and what men! No;
that the best should perish is just what they want. Yes, Herzen said
that when the Decembrists were withdrawn from circulation the average
level of our society sank. I should think so, indeed. Then Herzen
himself and his fellows were withdrawn; now is the turn of the
Neveroffs.”

“They can’t all be got rid off,” said Nabatoff, in his cheerful tones.
“There will always be left enough to continue the breed. No, there
won’t, if we show any pity to _them_ there,” Nabatoff said, raising his
voice; and not letting himself be interrupted, “Give me a cigarette.”

“Oh, Anatole, it is not good for you,” said Mary Pavlovna. “Please do
not smoke.”

“Oh, leave me alone,” he said angrily, and lit a cigarette, but at once
began to cough and to retch, as if he were going to be sick. Having
cleared his throat though, he went on:

“What we have been doing is not the thing at all. Not to argue, but for
all to unite--to destroy them--that’s it.”

“But _they_ are also human beings,” said Nekhludoff.

“No, _they_ are not human, they who can do what they are
doing--No--There, now, I heard that some kind of bombs and balloons have
been invented. Well, one ought to go up in such a balloon and sprinkle
bombs down on _them_ as if _they_ were bugs, until _they_ are all
exterminated--Yes. Because--” he was going to continue, but, flushing
all over, he began coughing worse than before, and a stream of blood
rushed from his mouth.

Nabatoff ran to get ice. Mary Pavlovna brought valerian drops and
offered them to him, but he, breathing quickly and heavily, pushed her
away with his thin, white hand, and kept his eyes closed. When the ice
and cold water had eased Kryltzoff a little, and he had been put to
bed, Nekhludoff, having said good-night to everybody, went out with the
sergeant, who had been waiting for him some time.

The criminals were now quiet, and most of them were asleep. Though the
people were lying on and under the bed shelves and in the space between,
they could not all be placed inside the rooms, and some of them lay in
the passage with their sacks under their heads and covered with their
cloaks. The moans and sleepy voices came through the open doors and
sounded through the passage. Everywhere lay compact heaps of human
beings covered with prison cloaks. Only a few men who were sitting in
the bachelors’ room by the light of a candle end, which they put out
when they noticed the sergeant, were awake, and an old man who sat naked
under the lamp in the passage picking the vermin off his shirt. The
foul air in the political prisoners’ rooms seemed pure compared to the
stinking closeness here. The smoking lamp shone dimly as through a mist,
and it was difficult to breathe. Stepping along the passage, one had to
look carefully for an empty space, and having put down one foot had to
find place for the other. Three persons, who had evidently found no
room even in the passage, lay in the anteroom, close to the stinking and
leaking tub. One of these was an old idiot, whom Nekhludoff had often
seen marching with the gang; another was a boy about twelve; he lay
between the two other convicts, with his head on the leg of one of them.

When he had passed out of the gate Nekhludoff took a deep breath and
long continued to breathe in deep draughts of frosty air.



CHAPTER XIX.

WHY IS IT DONE?

It had cleared up and was starlight. Except in a few places the mud was
frozen hard when Nekhludoff returned to his inn and knocked at one of
its dark windows. The broad-shouldered labourer came barefooted to open
the door for him and let him in. Through a door on the right, leading
to the back premises, came the loud snoring of the carters, who slept
there, and the sound of many horses chewing oats came from the yard. The
front room, where a red lamp was burning in front of the icons, smelt
of wormwood and perspiration, and some one with mighty lungs was snoring
behind a partition. Nekhludoff undressed, put his leather travelling
pillow on the oilcloth sofa, spread out his rug and lay down, thinking
over all he had seen and heard that day; the boy sleeping on the liquid
that oozed from the stinking tub, with his head on the convict’s leg,
seemed more dreadful than all else.

Unexpected and important as his conversation with Simonson and Katusha
that evening had been, he did not dwell on it; his situation in relation
to that subject was so complicated and indefinite that he drove the
thought from his mind. But the picture of those unfortunate beings,
inhaling the noisome air, and lying in the liquid oozing out of the
stinking tub, especially that of the boy, with his innocent face asleep
on the leg of a criminal, came all the more vividly to his mind, and he
could not get it out of his head.

To know that somewhere far away there are men who torture other men
by inflicting all sorts of humiliations and inhuman degradation and
sufferings on them, or for three months incessantly to look on while men
were inflicting these humiliations and sufferings on other men is a very
different thing. And Nekhludoff felt it. More than once during these
three months he asked himself, “Am I mad because I see what others do
not, or are they mad that do these things that I see?”

Yet they (and there were many of them) did what seemed so astonishing
and terrible to him with such quiet assurance that what they were doing
was necessary and was important and useful work that it was hard to
believe they were mad; nor could he, conscious of the clearness of his
thoughts, believe he was mad; and all this kept him continually in a
state of perplexity.

This is how the things he saw during these three months impressed
Nekhludoff: From among the people who were free, those were chosen, by
means of trials and the administration, who were the most nervous,
the most hot tempered, the most excitable, the most gifted, and the
strongest, but the least careful and cunning. These people, not a wit
more dangerous than many of those who remained free, were first locked
in prisons, transported to Siberia, where they were provided for and
kept months and years in perfect idleness, and away from nature, their
families, and useful work--that is, away from the conditions necessary
for a natural and moral life. This firstly. Secondly, these people
were subjected to all sorts of unnecessary indignity in these different
Places--chains, shaved heads, shameful clothing--that is, they were
deprived of the chief motives that induce the weak to live good lives,
the regard for public opinion, the sense of shame and the consciousness
of human dignity. Thirdly, they were continually exposed to dangers,
such as the epidemics so frequent in places of confinement, exhaustion,
flogging, not to mention accidents, such as sunstrokes, drowning or
conflagrations, when the instinct of self-preservation makes even the
kindest, most moral men commit cruel actions, and excuse such actions
when committed by others.

Fourthly, these people were forced to associate with others who
were particularly depraved by life, and especially by these very
institutions--rakes, murderers and villains--who act on those who are
not yet corrupted by the measures inflicted on them as leaven acts on
dough.

And, fifthly, the fact that all sorts of violence, cruelty, inhumanity,
are not only tolerated, but even permitted by the government, when it
suits its purposes, was impressed on them most forcibly by the inhuman
treatment they were subjected to; by the sufferings inflicted on
children, women and old men; by floggings with rods and whips; by
rewards offered for bringing a fugitive back, dead or alive; by the
separation of husbands and wives, and the uniting them with the wives
and husbands of others for sexual intercourse; by shooting or hanging
them. To those who were deprived of their freedom, who were in want
and misery, acts of violence were evidently still more permissible.
All these institutions seemed purposely invented for the production of
depravity and vice, condensed to such a degree that no other conditions
could produce it, and for the spreading of this condensed depravity and
vice broadcast among the whole population.

“Just as if a problem had been set to find the best, the surest means
of depraving the greatest number of persons,” thought Nekhludoff, while
investigating the deeds that were being done in the prisons and halting
stations. Every year hundreds of thousands were brought to the highest
pitch of depravity, and when completely depraved they were set free to
carry the depravity they had caught in prison among the people. In
the prisons of Tamen, Ekaterinburg, Tomsk and at the halting stations
Nekhludoff saw how successfully the object society seemed to have set
itself was attained.

Ordinary, simple men with a conception of the demands of the social and
Christian Russian peasant morality lost this conception, and found a
new one, founded chiefly on the idea that any outrage or violence was
justifiable if it seemed profitable. After living in a prison those
people became conscious with the whole of their being that, judging by
what was happening to themselves, all the moral laws, the respect and
the sympathy for others which church and the moral teachers preach,
was really set aside, and that, therefore, they, too, need not keep the
laws. Nekhludoff noticed the effects of prison life on all the convicts
he knew--on Fedoroff, on Makar, and even on Taras, who, after two months
among the convicts, struck Nekhludoff by the want of morality in his
arguments. Nekhludoff found out during his journey how tramps, escaping
into the marshes, persuade a comrade to escape with them, and then kill
him and feed on his flesh. (He saw a living man who was accused of this
and acknowledged the fact.) And the most terrible part was that this was
not a solitary, but a recurring case.

Only by a special cultivation of vice, such as was perpetrated in these
establishments, could a Russian be brought to the state of this tramp,
who excelled Nietzsche’s newest teaching, and held that everything was
possible and nothing forbidden, and who spread this teaching first among
the convicts and then among the people in general.

The only explanation of all that was being done was the wish to put
a stop to crime by fear, by correction, by lawful vengeance as it was
written in the books. But in reality nothing in the least resembling any
of these results came to pass. Instead of vice being put a stop to, it
only spread further; instead of being frightened, the criminals were
encouraged (many a tramp returned to prison of his own free will).
Instead of being corrected, every kind of vice was systematically
instilled, while the desire for vengeance did not weaken by the measures
of the government, but was bred in the people who had none of it.

“Then why is it done?” Nekhludoff asked himself, but could find no
answer. And what seemed most surprising was that all this was not being
done accidentally, not by mistake, not once, but that it had continued
for centuries, with this difference only, that at first the people’s
nostrils used to be torn and their ears cut off; then they were branded,
and now they were manacled and transported by steam instead of on the
old carts. The arguments brought forward by those in government service,
who said that the things which aroused his indignation were simply due
to the imperfect arrangements of the places of confinement, and that
they could all be put to rights if prisons of a modern type were built,
did not satisfy Nekhludoff, because he knew that what revolted him was
not the consequence of a better or worse arrangement of the prisons.
He had read of model prisons with electric bells, of executions by
electricity, recommended by Tard; but this refined kind of violence
revolted him even more.

But what revolted Nekhludoff most was that there were men in the law
courts and in the ministry who received large salaries, taken from the
people, for referring to books written by men like themselves and with
like motives, and sorting actions that violated laws made by themselves
according to different statutes; and, in obedience to these statutes,
sending those guilty of such actions to places where they were
completely at the mercy of cruel, hardened inspectors, jailers, convoy
soldiers, where millions of them perished body and soul.

Now that he had a closer knowledge of prisons, Nekhludoff found out
that all those vices which developed among the prisoners--drunkenness,
gambling, cruelty, and all these terrible crimes, even cannibalism--were
not casual, or due to degeneration or to the existence of monstrosities
of the criminal type, as science, going hand in hand with the
government, explained it, but an unavoidable consequence of the
incomprehensible delusion that men may punish one another. Nekhludoff
saw that cannibalism did not commence in the marshes, but in the
ministry. He saw that his brother-in-law, for example, and, in fact, all
the lawyers and officials, from the usher to the minister, do not care
in the least for justice or the good of the people about whom they
spoke, but only for the roubles they were paid for doing the things that
were the source whence all this degradation and suffering flowed. This
was quite evident.

“Can it be, then, that all this is done simply through misapprehension?
Could it not be managed that all these officials should have their
salaries secured to them, and a premium paid them, besides, so that
they should leave off, doing all that they were doing now?” Nekhludoff
thought, and in spite of the fleas, that seemed to spring up round him
like water from a fountain whenever he moved, he fell fast asleep.



CHAPTER XX.

THE JOURNEY RESUMED.

The carters had left the inn long before Nekhludoff awoke. The landlady
had had her tea, and came in wiping her fat, perspiring neck with
her handkerchief, and said that a soldier had brought a note from
the halting station. The note was from Mary Pavlovna. She wrote that
Kryltzoff’s attack was more serious than they had imagined. “We wished
him to be left behind and to remain with him, but this has not been
allowed, so that we shall take him on; but we fear the worst. Please
arrange so that if he should be left in the next town, one of us might
remain with him. If in order to get the permission to stay I should be
obliged to get married to him, I am of course ready to do so.”

Nekhludoff sent the young labourer to the post station to order horses
and began packing up hurriedly. Before he had drunk his second tumbler
of tea the three-horsed postcart drove up to the porch with ringing
bells, the wheels rattling on the frozen mud as on stones. Nekhludoff
paid the fat-necked landlady, hurried out and got into the cart,
and gave orders to the driver to go on as fast as possible, so as to
overtake the gang. Just past the gates of the commune pasture ground
they did overtake the carts, loaded with sacks and the sick prisoners,
as they rattled over the frozen mud, that was just beginning to be
rolled smooth by the wheels (the officer was not there, he had gone in
advance). The soldiers, who had evidently been drinking, followed by the
side of the road, chatting merrily. There were a great many carts. In
each of the first carts sat six invalid criminal convicts, close packed.
On each of the last two were three political prisoners. Novodvoroff,
Grabetz and Kondratieff sat on one, Rintzeva, Nabatoff and the woman to
whom Mary Pavlovna had given up her own place on the other, and on one
of the carts lay Kryltzoff on a heap of hay, with a pillow under his
head, and Mary Pavlovna sat by him on the edge of the cart. Nekhludoff
ordered his driver to stop, got out and went up to Kryltzoff. One of
the tipsy soldiers waved his hand towards Nekhludoff, but he paid no
attention and started walking by Kryltzoff’s side, holding on to the
side of the cart with his hand. Dressed in a sheepskin coat, with a fur
cap on his head and his mouth bound up with a handkerchief, he seemed
paler and thinner than ever. His beautiful eyes looked very large and
brilliant. Shaken from side to side by the jottings of the cart, he lay
with his eyes fixed on Nekhludoff; but when asked about his health, he
only closed his eyes and angrily shook his head. All his energy seemed
to be needed in order to bear the jolting of the cart. Mary Pavlovna was
on the other side. She exchanged a significant glance with Nekhludoff,
which expressed all her anxiety about Kryltzoff’s state, and then began
to talk at once in a cheerful manner.

“It seems the officer is ashamed of himself,” she shouted, so as to be
heard above the rattle of the wheels. “Bousovkin’s manacles have
been removed, and he is carrying his little girl himself. Katusha and
Simonson are with him, and Vera, too. She has taken my place.”

Kryltzoff said something that could not be heard because of the noise,
and frowning in the effort to repress his cough shook his head. Then
Nekhludoff stooped towards him, so as to hear, and Kryltzoff, freeing
his mouth of the handkerchief, whispered:

“Much better now. Only not to catch cold.”

Nekhludoff nodded in acquiescence, and again exchanged a glance with
Mary Pavlovna.

“How about the problem of the three bodies?” whispered Kryltzoff,
smiling with great difficulty. “The solution is difficult.”

Nekhludoff did not understand, but Mary Pavlovna explained that he meant
the well-known mathematical problem which defined the position of the
sun, moon and earth, which Kryltzoff compared to the relations between
Nekhludoff, Katusha and Simonson. Kryltzoff nodded, to show that Mary
Pavlovna had explained his joke correctly.

“The decision does not lie with me,” Nekhludoff said.

“Did you get my note? Will you do it?” Mary Pavlovna asked.

“Certainly,” answered Nekhludoff; and noticing a look of displeasure on
Kryltzoff’s face, he returned to his conveyance, and holding with both
hands to the sides of the cart, got in, which jolted with him over the
ruts of the rough road. He passed the gang, which, with its grey cloaks
and sheepskin coats, chains and manacles, stretched over three-quarters
of a mile of the road. On the opposite side of the road Nekhludoff
noticed Katusha’s blue shawl, Vera Doukhova’s black coat, and Simonson’s
crochet cap, white worsted stockings, with bands, like those of sandals,
tied round him. Simonson was walking with the woman and carrying on a
heated discussion.

When they saw Nekhludoff they bowed to him, and Simonson raised his hat
in a solemn manner. Nekhludoff, having nothing to say, did not stop, and
was soon ahead of the carts. Having got again on to a smoother part of
the road, they drove still more quickly, but they had continually to
turn aside to let pass long rows of carts that were moving along the
road in both directions.

The road, which was cut up by deep ruts, lay through a thick pine
forest, mingled with birch trees and larches, bright with yellow leaves
they had not yet shed. By the time Nekhludoff had passed about half the
gang he reached the end of the forest. Fields now lay stretched along
both sides of the road, and the crosses and cupolas of a monastery
appeared in the distance. The clouds had dispersed, and it had cleared
up completely; the leaves, the frozen puddles and the gilt crosses and
cupolas of the monastery glittered brightly in the sun that had risen
above the forest. A little to the right mountains began to gleam white
in the blue-grey distance, and the trap entered a large village.
The village street was full of people, both Russians and other
nationalities, wearing peculiar caps and cloaks. Tipsy men and women
crowded and chattered round booths, traktirs, public houses and carts.
The vicinity of a town was noticeable. Giving a pull and a lash of the
whip to the horse on his right, the driver sat down sideways on the
right edge of the seat, so that the reins hung over that side, and with
evident desire of showing off, he drove quickly down to the river, which
had to be crossed by a ferry. The raft was coming towards them, and
had reached the middle of the river. About twenty carts were waiting to
cross. Nekhludoff had not long to wait. The raft, which had been pulled
far up the stream, quickly approached the landing, carried by the swift
waters. The tall, silent, broad-shouldered, muscular ferryman, dressed
in sheepskins, threw the ropes and moored the raft with practised hand,
landed the carts that were on it, and put those that were waiting on
the bank on board. The whole raft was filled with vehicles and horses
shuffling at the sight of the water. The broad, swift river splashed
against the sides of the ferryboats, tightening their moorings.

When the raft was full, and Nekhludoff’s cart, with the horses taken out
of it, stood closely surrounded by other carts on the side of the raft,
the ferryman barred the entrance, and, paying no heed to the prayers of
those who had not found room in the raft, unfastened the ropes and set
off.

All was quiet on the raft; one could hear nothing but the tramp of the
ferryman’s boots and the horses changing from foot to foot.



CHAPTER XXI.

“JUST A WORTHLESS TRAMP.”

Nekhludoff stood on the edge of the raft looking at the broad river. Two
pictures kept rising up in his mind. One, that of Kryltzoff, unprepared
for death and dying, made a heavy, sorrowful impression on him. The
other, that of Katusha, full of energy, having gained the love of such a
man as Simonson, and found a true and solid path towards righteousness,
should have been pleasant, yet it also created a heavy impression on
Nekhludoff’s mind, and he could not conquer this impression.

The vibrating sounds of a big brass bell reached them from the town.
Nekhludoff’s driver, who stood by his side, and the other men on the
raft raised their caps and crossed themselves, all except a short,
dishevelled old man, who stood close to the railway and whom Nekhludoff
had not noticed before. He did not cross himself, but raised his head
and looked at Nekhludoff. This old man wore a patched coat, cloth
trousers and worn and patched shoes. He had a small wallet on his back,
and a high fur cap with the fur much rubbed on his head.

“Why don’t you pray, old chap?” asked Nekhludoff’s driver as he replaced
and straightened his cap. “Are you unbaptized?”

“Who’s one to pray to?” asked the old man quickly, in a determinately
aggressive tone.

“To whom? To God, of course,” said the driver sarcastically.

“And you just show me where he is, that god.” There was something so
serious and firm in the expression of the old man, that the driver felt
that he had to do with a strong-minded man, and was a bit abashed. And
trying not to show this, not to be silenced, and not to be put to shame
before the crowd that was observing them, he answered quickly.

“Where? In heaven, of course.”

“And have you been up there?”

“Whether I’ve been or not, every one knows that you must pray to God.”

“No one has ever seen God at any time. The only begotten Son who is in
the bosom of the Father he hath declared him,” said the old man in the
same rapid manner, and with a severe frown on his brow.

“It’s clear you are not a Christian, but a hole worshipper. You pray
to a hole,” said the driver, shoving the handle of his whip into his
girdle, pulling straight the harness on one of the horses.

Some one laughed.

“What is your faith, Dad?” asked a middle-aged man, who stood by his
cart on the same side of the raft.

“I have no kind of faith, because I believe no one--no one but myself,”
 said the old man as quickly and decidedly as before.

“How can you believe yourself?” Nekhludoff asked, entering into a
conversation with him. “You might make a mistake.”

“Never in your life,” the old man said decidedly, with a toss of his
head.

“Then why are there different faiths?” Nekhludoff asked.

“It’s just because men believe others and do not believe themselves that
there are different faiths. I also believed others, and lost myself as
in a swamp,--lost myself so that I had no hope of finding my way out.
Old believers and new believers and Judaisers and Khlysty and Popovitzy,
and Bespopovitzy and Avstriaks and Molokans and Skoptzy--every faith
praises itself only, and so they all creep about like blind puppies.
There are many faiths, but the spirit is one--in me and in you and in
him. So that if every one believes himself all will be united. Every one
be himself, and all will be as one.”

The old man spoke loudly and often looked round, evidently wishing that
as many as possible should hear him.

“And have you long held this faith?”

“I? A long time. This is the twenty-third year that they persecute me.”

“Persecute you? How?”

“As they persecuted Christ, so they persecute me. They seize me, and
take me before the courts and before the priests, the Scribes and the
Pharisees. Once they put me into a madhouse; but they can do nothing
because I am free. They say, ‘What is your name?’ thinking I shall name
myself. But I do not give myself a name. I have given up everything:
I have no name, no place, no country, nor anything. I am just myself.
‘What is your name?’ ‘Man.’ ‘How old are you?’ I say, ‘I do not count my
years and cannot count them, because I always was, I always shall be.’
‘Who are your parents?’ ‘I have no parents except God and Mother Earth.
God is my father.’ ‘And the Tsar? Do you recognise the Tsar?’ they say.
I say, ‘Why not? He is his own Tsar, and I am my own Tsar.’ ‘Where’s the
good of talking to him,’ they say, and I say, ‘I do not ask you to talk
to me.’ And so they begin tormenting me.”

“And where are you going now?” asked Nekhludoff.

“Where God will lead me. I work when I can find work, and when I can’t
I beg.” The old man noticed that the raft was approaching the bank and
stopped, looking round at the bystanders with a look of triumph.

Nekhludoff got out his purse and offered some money to the old man, but
he refused, saying:

“I do not accept this sort of thing--bread I do accept.”

“Well, then, excuse me.”

“There is nothing to excuse, you have not offended me. And it is not
possible to offend me.” And the old man put the wallet he had taken
off again on his back. Meanwhile, the post-cart had been landed and the
horses harnessed.

“I wonder you should care to talk to him, sir,” said the driver, when
Nekhludoff, having tipped the bowing ferryman, got into the cart again.
“He is just a worthless tramp.”



CHAPTER XXII.

NEKHLUDOFF SEES THE GENERAL.

When they got to the top of the hill bank the driver turned to
Nekhludoff.

“Which hotel am I to drive to?”

“Which is the best?”

“Nothing could be better than the Siberian, but Dukeoff’s is also good.”

“Drive to whichever you like.”

The driver again seated himself sideways and drove faster. The town
was like all such towns. The same kind of houses with attic windows
and green roofs, the same kind of cathedral, the same kind of shops and
stores in the principal street, and even the same kind of policemen.
Only the houses were almost all of them wooden, and the streets were not
paved. In one of the chief streets the driver stopped at the door of an
hotel, but there was no room to be had, so he drove to another. And here
Nekhludoff, after two months, found himself once again in surroundings
such as he had been accustomed to as far as comfort and cleanliness
went. Though the room he was shown to was simple enough, yet Nekhludoff
felt greatly relieved to be there after two months of post-carts,
country inns and halting stations. His first business was to clean
himself of the lice which he had never been able to get thoroughly rid
of after visiting a halting station. When he had unpacked he went to the
Russian bath, after which he made himself fit to be seen in a town,
put on a starched shirt, trousers that had got rather creased along the
seams, a frock-coat and an overcoat, and drove to the Governor of the
district. The hotel-keeper called an isvostchik, whose well-fed Kirghiz
horse and vibrating trap soon brought Nekhludoff to the large porch of
a big building, in front of which stood sentinels and a policeman. The
house had a garden in front, and at the back, among the naked branches
of aspen and birch trees, there grew thick and dark green pines and
firs. The General was not well, and did not receive; but Nekhludoff
asked the footman to hand in his card all the same, and the footman came
back with a favourable reply.

“You are asked to come in.”

The hall, the footman, the orderly, the staircase, the dancing-room,
with its well-polished floor, were very much the same as in Petersburg,
only more imposing and rather dirtier. Nekhludoff was shown into the
cabinet.

The General, a bloated, potato-nosed man, with a sanguine disposition,
large bumps on his forehead, bald head, and puffs under his eyes, sat
wrapped in a Tartar silk dressing-gown smoking a cigarette and sipping
his tea out of a tumbler in a silver holder.

“How do you do, sir? Excuse my dressing-gown; it is better so than if I
had not received you at all,” he said, pulling up his dressing-gown over
his fat neck with its deep folds at the nape. “I am not quite well, and
do not go out. What has brought you to our remote region?”

“I am accompanying a gang of prisoners, among whom there is a person
closely connected with me, said Nekhludoff, and now I have come to
see your Excellency partly in behalf of this person, and partly about
another business.” The General took a whiff and a sip of tea, put
his cigarette into a malachite ashpan, with his narrow eyes fixed on
Nekhludoff, listening seriously. He only interrupted him once to offer
him a cigarette.

The General belonged to the learned type of military men who believed
that liberal and humane views can be reconciled with their profession.
But being by nature a kind and intelligent man, he soon felt the
impossibility of such a reconciliation; so as not to feel the inner
discord in which he was living, he gave himself up more and more to the
habit of drinking, which is so widely spread among military men, and
was now suffering from what doctors term alcoholism. He was imbued
with alcohol, and if he drank any kind of liquor it made him tipsy. Yet
strong drink was an absolute necessity to him, he could not live without
it, so he was quite drunk every evening; but had grown so used to this
state that he did not reel nor talk any special nonsense. And if he
did talk nonsense, it was accepted as words of wisdom because of the
important and high position which he occupied. Only in the morning, just
at the time Nekhludoff came to see him, he was like a reasonable being,
could understand what was said to him, and fulfil more or less aptly a
proverb he was fond of repeating: “He’s tipsy, but he’s wise, so he’s
pleasant in two ways.”

The higher authorities knew he was a drunkard, but he was more educated
than the rest, though his education had stopped at the spot where
drunkenness had got hold of him. He was bold, adroit, of imposing
appearance, and showed tact even when tipsy; therefore, he was
appointed, and was allowed to retain so public and responsible an
office.

Nekhludoff told him that the person he was interested in was a woman,
that she was sentenced, though innocent, and that a petition had been
sent to the Emperor in her behalf.

“Yes, well?” said the General.

“I was promised in Petersburg that the news concerning her fate should
be sent to me not later than this month and to this place-”

The General stretched his hand with its stumpy fingers towards the
table, and rang a bell, still looking at Nekhludoff and puffing at his
cigarette.

“So I would like to ask you that this woman should be allowed to remain
here until the answer to her petition comes.”

The footman, an orderly in uniform, came in.

“Ask if Anna Vasilievna is up,” said the General to the orderly, “and
bring some more tea.” Then, turning to Nekhludoff, “Yes, and what else?”

“My other request concerns a political prisoner who is with the same
gang.”

“Dear me,” said the General, with a significant shake of the head.

“He is seriously ill--dying, and he will probably be left here in the
hospital, so one of the women prisoners would like to stay behind with
him.”

“She is no relation of his?”

“No, but she is willing to marry him if that will enable her to remain
with him.”

The General looked fixedly with twinkling eyes at his interlocutor, and,
evidently with a wish to discomfit him, listened, smoking in silence.

When Nekhludoff had finished, the General took a book off the table,
and, wetting his finger, quickly turned over the pages and found the
statute relating to marriage.

“What is she sentenced to?” he asked, looking up from the book.

“She? To hard labour.”

“Well, then, the position of one sentenced to that cannot be bettered by
marriage.”

“Yes, but--”

“Excuse me. Even if a free man should marry her, she would have to
serve her term. The question in such cases is, whose is the heavier
punishment, hers or his?”

“They are both sentenced to hard labour.”

“Very well; so they are quits,” said the General, with a laugh. “She’s
got what he has, only as he is sick he may be left behind, and of course
what can be done to lighten his fate shall be done. But as for her, even
if she did marry him, she could not remain behind.”

“The Generaless is having her coffee,” the footman announced.

The General nodded and continued:

“However, I shall think about it. What are their names? Put them down
here.”

Nekhludoff wrote down the names.

Nekhludoff’s request to be allowed to see the dying man the General
answered by saying, “Neither can I do that. Of course I do not suspect
you, but you take an interest in him and in the others, and you have
money, and here with us anything can be done with money. I have been
told to put down bribery. But how can I put down bribery when everybody
takes bribes? And the lower their rank the more ready they are to be
bribed. How can one find it out across more than three thousand miles?
There any official is a little Tsar, just as I am here,” and he laughed.
“You have in all likelihood been to see the political prisoners; you
gave money and got permission to see them,” he said, with a smile. “Is
it not so?”

“Yes, it is.”

“I quite understand that you had to do it. You pity a political prisoner
and wish to see him. And the inspector or the convoy soldier accepts,
because he has a salary of twice twenty copecks and a family, and he
can’t help accepting it. In his place and yours I should have acted
in the same way as you and he did. But in my position I do not permit
myself to swerve an inch from the letter of the law, just because I am
a man, and might be influenced by pity. But I am a member of the
executive, and I have been placed in a position of trust on certain
conditions, and these conditions I must carry out. Well, so this
business is finished. And now let us hear what is going on in the
metropolis.” And the General began questioning with the evident desire
to hear the news and to show how very human he was.



CHAPTER XXIII.

THE SENTENCE COMMUTED.

“By-the-way, where are you staying?” asked the General as he was taking
leave of Nekhludoff. “At Duke’s? Well, it’s horrid enough there. Come
and dine with us at five o’clock. You speak English?”

“Yes, I do.”

“That’s good. You see, an English traveller has just arrived here. He
is studying the question of transportation and examining the prisons of
Siberia. Well, he is dining with us to-night, and you come and meet him.
We dine at five, and my wife expects punctuality. Then I shall also
give you an answer what to do about that woman, and perhaps it may be
possible to leave some one behind with the sick prisoner.”

Having made his bow to the General, Nekhludoff drove to the post-office,
feeling himself in an extremely animated and energetic frame of mind.

The post-office was a low-vaulted room. Several officials sat behind
a counter serving the people, of whom there was quite a crowd. One
official sat with his head bent to one side and kept stamping the
envelopes, which he slipped dexterously under the stamp. Nekhludoff had
not long to wait. As soon as he had given his name, everything that had
come for him by post was at once handed to him. There was a good deal:
letters, and money, and books, and the last number of Fatherland Notes.
Nekhludoff took all these things to a wooden bench, on which a soldier
with a book in his hand sat waiting for something, took the seat by
his side, and began sorting the letters. Among them was one registered
letter in a fine envelope, with a distinctly stamped bright red seal. He
broke the seal, and seeing a letter from Selenin and some official paper
inside the envelope, he felt the blood rush to his face, and his heart
stood still. It was the answer to Katusha’s petition. What would that
answer be? Nekhludoff glanced hurriedly through the letter, written
in an illegibly small, hard, and cramped hand, and breathed a sigh of
relief. The answer was a favourable one.

“Dear friend,” wrote Selenin, “our last talk has made a profound
impression on me. You were right concerning Maslova. I looked carefully
through the case, and see that shocking injustice has been done her. It
could be remedied only by the Committee of Petitions before which you
laid it. I managed to assist at the examination of the case, and I
enclose herewith the copy of the mitigation of the sentence. Your aunt,
the Countess Katerina Ivanovna, gave me the address which I am sending
this to. The original document has been sent to the place where she was
imprisoned before her trial, and will from there he probably sent
at once to the principal Government office in Siberia. I hasten to
communicate this glad news to you and warmly press your hand.

                    “Yours,

                        “SELENIN.”

The document ran thus: “His Majesty’s office for the reception
of petitions, addressed to his Imperial name”--here followed the
date----“by order of the chief of his Majesty’s office for the reception
of petitions addressed to his Imperial name. The meschanka Katerina
Maslova is hereby informed that his Imperial Majesty, with reference to
her most loyal petition, condescending to her request, deigns to order
that her sentence to hard labour should be commuted to one of exile to
the less distant districts of Siberia.”

This was joyful and important news; all that Nekhludoff could have hoped
for Katusha, and for himself also, had happened. It was true that the
new position she was in brought new complications with it. While she was
a convict, marriage with her could only be fictitious, and would have
had no meaning except that he would have been in a position to alleviate
her condition. And now there was nothing to prevent their living
together, and Nekhludoff had not prepared himself for that. And,
besides, what of her relations to Simonson? What was the meaning of her
words yesterday? If she consented to a union with Simonson, would it
be well? He could not unravel all these questions, and gave up thinking
about it. “It will all clear itself up later on,” he thought; “I must
not think about it now, but convey the glad news to her as soon as
possible, and set her free.” He thought that the copy of the document he
had received would suffice, so when he left the post-office he told the
isvostchik to drive him to the prison.

Though he had received no order from the governor to visit the prison
that morning, he knew by experience that it was easy to get from the
subordinates what the higher officials would not grant, so now he meant
to try and get into the prison to bring Katusha the joyful news, and
perhaps to get her set free, and at the same time to inquire about
Kryltzoff’s state of health, and tell him and Mary Pavlovna what the
general had said. The prison inspector was a tall, imposing-looking man,
with moustaches and whiskers that twisted towards the corners of his
mouth. He received Nekhludoff very gravely, and told him plainly that
he could not grant an outsider the permission to interview the prisoners
without a special order from his chief. To Nekhludoff’s remark that he
had been allowed to visit the prisoners even in the cities he answered:

“That may be so, but I do not allow it,” and his tone implied, “You
city gentlemen may think to surprise and perplex us, but we in Eastern
Siberia also know what the law is, and may even teach it you.” The copy
of a document straight from the Emperor’s own office did not have any
effect on the prison inspector either. He decidedly refused to let
Nekhludoff come inside the prison walls. He only smiled contemptuously
at Nekhludoff’s naive conclusion, that the copy he had received would
suffice to set Maslova free, and declared that a direct order from his
own superiors would be needed before any one could be set at liberty.
The only things he agreed to do were to communicate to Maslova that a
mitigation had arrived for her, and to promise that he would not detain
her an hour after the order from his chief to liberate her would arrive.
He would also give no news of Kryltzoff, saying he could not even tell
if there was such a prisoner; and so Nekhludoff, having accomplished
next to nothing, got into his trap and drove back to his hotel.

The strictness of the inspector was chiefly due to the fact that an
epidemic of typhus had broken out in the prison, owing to twice the
number of persons that it was intended for being crowded in it. The
isvostchik who drove Nekhludoff said, “Quite a lot of people are dying
in the prison every day, some kind of disease having sprung up among
them, so that as many as twenty were buried in one day.”



CHAPTER XXIV.

THE GENERAL’S HOUSEHOLD.

In spite of his ineffectual attempt at the prison, Nekhludoff, still
in the same vigorous, energetic frame of mind, went to the Governor’s
office to see if the original of the document had arrived for Maslova.
It had not arrived, so Nekhludoff went back to the hotel and wrote
without delay to Selenin and the advocate about it. When he had
finished writing he looked at his watch and saw it was time to go to the
General’s dinner party.

On the way he again began wondering how Katusha would receive the news
of the mitigation of her sentence. Where she would be settled? How he
should live with her? What about Simonson? What would his relations to
her be? He remembered the change that had taken place in her, and
this reminded him of her past. “I must forget it for the present,” he
thought, and again hastened to drive her out of his mind. “When the time
comes I shall see,” he said to himself, and began to think of what he
ought to say to the General.

The dinner at the General’s, with the luxury habitual to the lives
of the wealthy and those of high rank, to which Nekhludoff had been
accustomed, was extremely enjoyable after he had been so long deprived
not only of luxury but even of the most ordinary comforts. The mistress
of the house was a Petersburg grande dame of the old school, a maid of
honour at the court of Nicholas I., who spoke French quite naturally and
Russian very unnaturally. She held herself very erect and, moving her
hands, she kept her elbows close to her waist. She was quietly and,
somewhat sadly considerate for her husband, and extremely kind to
all her visitors, though with a tinge of difference in her behaviour
according to their position. She received Nekhludoff as if he were one
of them, and her fine, almost imperceptible flattery made him once again
aware of his virtues and gave him a feeling of satisfaction. She made
him feel that she knew of that honest though rather singular step of his
which had brought him to Siberia, and held him to be an exceptional man.
This refined flattery and the elegance and luxury of the General’s house
had the effect of making Nekhludoff succumb to the enjoyment of the
handsome surroundings, the delicate dishes and the ease and pleasure
of intercourse with educated people of his own class, so that the
surroundings in the midst of which he had lived for the last months
seemed a dream from which he had awakened to reality. Besides those
of the household, the General’s daughter and her husband and an
aide-de-camp, there were an Englishman, a merchant interested in gold
mines, and the governor of a distant Siberian town. All these people
seemed pleasant to Nekhludoff. The Englishman, a healthy man with a
rosy complexion, who spoke very bad French, but whose command of his own
language was very good and oratorically impressive, who had seen a great
deal, was very interesting to listen to when he spoke about America,
India, Japan and Siberia.

The young merchant interested in the gold mines, the son of a peasant,
whose evening dress was made in London, who had diamond studs to his
shirt, possessed a fine library, contributed freely to philanthropic
work, and held liberal European views, seemed pleasant to Nekhludoff
as a sample of a quite new and good type of civilised European culture,
grafted on a healthy, uncultivated peasant stem.

The governor of the distant Siberian town was that same man who had been
so much talked about in Petersburg at the time Nekhludoff was there. He
was plump, with thin, curly hair, soft blue eyes, carefully-tended white
hands, with rings on the fingers, a pleasant smile, and very big in the
lower part of his body. The master of the house valued this governor
because of all the officials he was the only one who would not be
bribed. The mistress of the house, who was very fond of music and a
very good pianist herself, valued him because he was a good musician and
played duets with her.

Nekhludoff was in such good humour that even this man was not unpleasant
to him, in spite of what he knew of his vices. The bright, energetic
aide-de-camp, with his bluey grey chin, who was continually offering his
services, pleased Nekhludoff by his good nature. But it was the charming
young couple, the General’s daughter and her husband, who pleased
Nekhludoff best. The daughter was a plain-looking, simple-minded young
woman, wholly absorbed in her two children. Her husband, whom she had
fallen in love with and married after a long struggle with her parents,
was a Liberal, who had taken honours at the Moscow University, a modest
and intellectual young man in Government service, who made up statistics
and studied chiefly the foreign tribes, which he liked and tried to save
from dying out.

All of them were not only kind and attentive to Nekhludoff, but
evidently pleased to see him, as a new and interesting acquaintance. The
General, who came in to dinner in uniform and with a white cross round
his neck, greeted Nekhludoff as a friend, and asked the visitors to
the side table to take a glass of vodka and something to whet their
appetites. The General asked Nekhludoff what he had been doing since
he left that morning, and Nekhludoff told him he had been to the
post-office and received the news of the mitigation of that person’s
sentence that he had spoken of in the morning, and again asked for a
permission to visit the prison.

The General, apparently displeased that business should be mentioned at
dinner, frowned and said nothing.

“Have a glass of vodka,” he said, addressing the Englishman, who had
just come up to the table. The Englishman drank a glass, and said he had
been to see the cathedral and the factory, but would like to visit the
great transportation prison.

“Oh, that will just fit in,” said the General to Nekhludoff. “You will
be able to go together. Give them a pass,” he added, turning to his
aide-de-camp.

“When would you like to go?” Nekhludoff asked.

“I prefer visiting the prisons in the evening,” the Englishman answered.
“All are indoors and there is no preparation; you find them all as they
are.”

“Ah, he would like to see it in all its glory! Let him do so. I have
written about it and no attention has been paid to it. Let him find out
from foreign publications,” the General said, and went up to the dinner
table, where the mistress of the house was showing the visitors their
places. Nekhludoff sat between his hostess and the Englishman. In front
of him sat the General’s daughter and the ex-director of the Government
department in Petersburg. The conversation at dinner was carried on by
fits and starts, now it was India that the Englishman talked about, now
the Tonkin expedition that the General strongly disapproved of, now the
universal bribery and corruption in Siberia. All these topics did not
interest Nekhludoff much.

But after dinner, over their coffee, Nekhludoff and the Englishman began
a very interesting conversation about Gladstone, and Nekhludoff thought
he had said many clever things which were noticed by his interlocutor.
And Nekhludoff felt it more and more pleasant to be sipping his coffee
seated in an easy-chair among amiable, well-bred people. And when at
the Englishman’s request the hostess went up to the piano with the
ex-director of the Government department, and they began to play in
well-practised style Beethoven’s fifth symphony, Nekhludoff fell into
a mental state of perfect self-satisfaction to which he had long been
a stranger, as though he had only just found out what a good fellow he
was.

The grand piano was a splendid instrument, the symphony was well
performed. At least, so it seemed to Nekhludoff, who knew and liked that
symphony. Listening to the beautiful andante, he felt a tickling in his
nose, he was so touched by his many virtues.

Nekhludoff thanked his hostess for the enjoyment that he had been
deprived of for so long, and was about to say goodbye and go when the
daughter of the house came up to him with a determined look and said,
with a blush, “You asked about my children. Would you like to see them?”

“She thinks that everybody wants to see her children,” said her mother,
smiling at her daughter’s winning tactlessness. “The Prince is not at
all interested.”

“On the contrary, I am very much interested,” said Nekhludoff, touched
by this overflowing, happy mother-love. “Please let me see them.”

“She’s taking the Prince to see her babies,” the General shouted,
laughing from the card-table, where he sat with his son-in-law, the mine
owner and the aide-de-camp. “Go, go, pay your tribute.”

The young woman, visibly excited by the thought that judgment was about
to be passed on her children, went quickly towards the inner apartments,
followed by Nekhludoff. In the third, a lofty room, papered with white
and lit up by a shaded lamp, stood two small cots, and a nurse with a
white cape on her shoulders sat between the cots. She had a kindly, true
Siberian face, with its high cheek-bones.

The nurse rose and bowed. The mother stooped over the first cot, in
which a two-year-old little girl lay peacefully sleeping with her little
mouth open and her long, curly hair tumbled over the pillow.

“This is Katie,” said the mother, straightening the white and blue
crochet coverlet, from under which a little white foot pushed itself
languidly out.

“Is she not pretty? She’s only two years old, you know.”

“Lovely.”

“And this is Vasiuk, as ‘grandpapa’ calls him. Quite a different type. A
Siberian, is he not?”

“A splendid boy,” said Nekhludoff, as he looked at the little fatty
lying asleep on his stomach.

“Yes,” said the mother, with a smile full of meaning.

Nekhludoff recalled to his mind chains, shaved heads, fighting
debauchery, the dying Kryltzoff, Katusha and the whole of her past, and
he began to feel envious and to wish for what he saw here, which now
seemed to him pure and refined happiness.

After having repeatedly expressed his admiration of the children,
thereby at least partially satisfying their mother, who eagerly drank
in this praise, he followed her back to the drawing-room, where the
Englishman was waiting for him to go and visit the prison, as they had
arranged. Having taken leave of their hosts, the old and the young ones,
the Englishman and Nekhludoff went out into the porch of the General’s
house.

The weather had changed. It was snowing, and the snow fell densely in
large flakes, and already covered the road, the roof and the trees in
the garden, the steps of the porch, the roof of the trap and the back of
the horse.

The Englishman had a trap of his own, and Nekhludoff, having told the
coachman to drive to the prison, called his isvostchik and got in with
the heavy sense of having to fulfil an unpleasant duty, and followed
the Englishman over the soft snow, through which the wheels turned with
difficulty.



CHAPTER XXV.

MASLOVA’S DECISION.

The dismal prison house, with its sentinel and lamp burning under the
gateway, produced an even more dismal impression, with its long row of
lighted windows, than it had done in the morning, in spite of the white
covering that now lay over everything--the porch, the roof and the
walls.

The imposing inspector came up to the gate and read the pass that had
been given to Nekhludoff and the Englishman by the light of the lamp,
shrugged his fine shoulders in surprise, but, in obedience to the order,
asked the visitors to follow him in. He led them through the courtyard
and then in at a door to the right and up a staircase into the office.
He offered them a seat and asked what he could do for them, and when
he heard that Nekhludoff would like to see Maslova at once, he sent a
jailer to fetch her. Then he prepared himself to answer the questions
which the Englishman began to put to him, Nekhludoff acting as
interpreter.

“How many persons is the prison built to hold?” the Englishman asked.
“How many are confined in it? How many men? How many women? Children?
How many sentenced to the mines? How many exiles? How many sick
persons?”

Nekhludoff translated the Englishman’s and the inspector’s words without
paying any attention to their meaning, and felt an awkwardness he had
not in the least expected at the thought of the impending interview.
When, in the midst of a sentence he was translating for the Englishman,
he heard the sound of approaching footsteps, and the office door opened,
and, as had happened many times before, a jailer came in, followed by
Katusha, and he saw her with a kerchief tied round her head, and in a
prison jacket a heavy sensation came over him. “I wish to live, I want
a family, children, I want a human life.” These thoughts flashed through
his mind as she entered the room with rapid steps and blinking her eyes.

He rose and made a few steps to meet her, and her face appeared hard
and unpleasant to him. It was again as it had been at the time when
she reproached him. She flushed and turned pale, her fingers nervously
twisting a corner of her jacket. She looked up at him, then cast down
her eyes.

“You know that a mitigation has come?”

“Yes, the jailer told me.”

“So that as soon as the original document arrives you may come away and
settle where you like. We shall consider--”

She interrupted him hurriedly. “What have I to consider? Where Valdemar
Simonson goes, there I shall follow.” In spite of the excitement she
was in she raised her eyes to Nekhludoff’s and pronounced these words
quickly and distinctly, as if she had prepared what she had to say.

“Indeed!”

“Well, Dmitri Ivanovitch, you see he wishes me to live with him--” and
she stopped, quite frightened, and corrected herself. “He wishes me to
be near him. What more can I desire? I must look upon it as happiness.
What else is there for me--”

“One of two things,” thought he. “Either she loves Simonson and does not
in the least require the sacrifice I imagined I was bringing her, or she
still loves me and refuses me for my own sake, and is burning her ships
by uniting her fate with Simonson.” And Nekhludoff felt ashamed and knew
that he was blushing.

“And you yourself, do you love him?” he asked.

“Loving or not loving, what does it matter? I have given up all that.
And then Valdemar Simonson is quite an exceptional man.”

“Yes, of course,” Nekhludoff began. “He is a splendid man, and I
think--”

But she again interrupted him, as if afraid that he might say too much
or that she should not say all. “No, Dmitri Ivanovitch, you must forgive
me if I am not doing what you wish,” and she looked at him with those
unfathomable, squinting eyes of hers. “Yes, it evidently must be so. You
must live, too.”

She said just what he had been telling himself a few moments before, but
he no longer thought so now and felt very differently. He was not only
ashamed, but felt sorry to lose all he was losing with her. “I did not
expect this,” he said.

“Why should you live here and suffer? You have suffered enough.”

“I have not suffered. It was good for me, and I should like to go on
serving you if I could.”

“We do not want anything,” she said, and looked at him.

“You have done so much for me as it is. If it had not been for you--”
 She wished to say more, but her voice trembled.

“You certainly have no reason to thank me,” Nekhludoff said.

“Where is the use of our reckoning? God will make up our accounts,” she
said, and her black eyes began to glisten with the tears that filled
them.

“What a good woman you are,” he said.

“I good?” she said through her tears, and a pathetic smile lit up her
face.

“Are you ready?” the Englishman asked.

“Directly,” replied Nekhludoff and asked her about Kryltzoff.

She got over her emotion and quietly told him all she knew. Kryltzoff
was very weak and had been sent into the infirmary. Mary Pavlovna was
very anxious, and had asked to be allowed to go to the infirmary as a
nurse, but could not get the permission.

“Am I to go?” she asked, noticing that the Englishman was waiting.

“I will not say good-bye; I shall see you again,” said Nekhludoff,
holding out his hand.

“Forgive me,” she said so low that he could hardly hear her. Their eyes
met, and Nekhludoff knew by the strange look of her squinting eyes and
the pathetic smile with which she said not “Good-bye” but “Forgive
me,” that of the two reasons that might have led to her resolution,
the second was the real one. She loved him, and thought that by uniting
herself to him she would be spoiling his life. By going with Simonson
she thought she would be setting Nekhludoff free, and felt glad that she
had done what she meant to do, and yet she suffered at parting from him.

She pressed his hand, turned quickly and left the room.

Nekhludoff was ready to go, but saw that the Englishman was noting
something down, and did not disturb him, but sat down on a wooden seat
by the wall, and suddenly a feeling of terrible weariness came over him.
It was not a sleepless night that had tired him, not the journey, not
the excitement, but he felt terribly tired of living. He leaned against
the back of the bench, shut his eyes and in a moment fell into a deep,
heavy sleep.

“Well, would you like to look round the cells now?” the inspector asked.

Nekhludoff looked up and was surprised to find himself where he was. The
Englishman had finished his notes and expressed a wish to see the cells.

Nekhludoff, tired and indifferent, followed him.



CHAPTER XXVI.

THE ENGLISH VISITOR.

When they had passed the anteroom and the sickening, stinking corridor,
the Englishman and Nekhludoff, accompanied by the inspector, entered the
first cell, where those sentenced to hard labour were confined. The beds
took up the middle of the cell and the prisoners were all in bed. There
were about 70 of them. When the visitors entered all the prisoners
jumped up and stood beside the beds, excepting two, a young man who was
in a state of high fever, and an old man who did nothing but groan.

The Englishman asked if the young man had long been ill. The inspector
said that he was taken ill in the morning, but that the old man had long
been suffering with pains in the stomach, but could not be removed, as
the infirmary had been overfilled for a long time. The Englishman shook
his head disapprovingly, said he would like to say a few words to these
people, asking Nekhludoff to interpret. It turned out that besides
studying the places of exile and the prisons of Siberia, the Englishman
had another object in view, that of preaching salvation through faith
and by the redemption.

“Tell them,” he said, “that Christ died for them. If they believe in
this they shall be saved.” While he spoke, all the prisoners stood
silent with their arms at their sides. “This book, tell them,” he
continued, “says all about it. Can any of them read?”

There were more than 20 who could.

The Englishman took several bound Testaments out of a hang-bag, and many
strong hands with their hard, black nails stretched out from beneath the
coarse shirt-sleeves towards him. He gave away two Testaments in this
cell.

The same thing happened in the second cell. There was the same foul air,
the same icon hanging between the windows, the same tub to the left of
the door, and they were all lying side by side close to one another, and
jumped up in the same manner and stood stretched full length with their
arms by their sides, all but three, two of whom sat up and one remained
lying, and did not even look at the newcomers; these three were also
ill. The Englishman made the same speech and again gave away two books.

In the third room four were ill. When the Englishman asked why the sick
were not put all together into one cell, the inspector said that they
did not wish it themselves, that their diseases were not infectious, and
that the medical assistant watched them and attended to them.

“He has not set foot here for a fortnight,” muttered a voice.

The inspector did not say anything and led the way to the next cell.
Again the door was unlocked, and all got up and stood silent. Again the
Englishman gave away Testaments. It was the same in the fifth and sixth
cells, in those to the right and those to the left.

From those sentenced to hard labour they went on to the exiles.

From the exiles to those evicted by the Commune and those who followed
of their own free will.

Everywhere men, cold, hungry, idle, infected, degraded, imprisoned, were
shown off like wild beasts.

The Englishman, having given away the appointed number of Testaments,
stopped giving any more, and made no speeches. The oppressing sight, and
especially the stifling atmosphere, quelled even his energy, and he went
from cell to cell, saying nothing but “All right” to the inspector’s
remarks about what prisoners there were in each cell.

Nekhludoff followed as in a dream, unable either to refuse to go on or
to go away, and with the same feelings of weariness and hopelessness.



CHAPTER XXVII.

KRYLTZOFF AT REST.

In one of the exiles’ cells Nekhludoff, to his surprise, recognised the
strange old man he had seen crossing the ferry that morning. This old
man was sitting on the floor by the beds, barefooted, with only a dirty
cinder-coloured shirt on, torn on one shoulder, and similar trousers.
He looked severely and enquiringly at the newcomers. His emaciated body,
visible through the holes of his shirt, looked miserably weak, but in
his face was even more concentrated seriousness and animation than when
Nekhludoff saw him crossing the ferry. As in all the other cells, so
here also the prisoners jumped up and stood erect when the official
entered, but the old man remained sitting. His eyes glittered and his
brows frowned with wrath.

“Get up,” the inspector called out to him.

The old man did not rise and only smiled contemptuously.

“Thy servants are standing before thee. I am not thy servant. Thou
bearest the seal--” The old man pointed to the inspector’s forehead.

“Wha-a-t?” said the inspector threateningly, and made a step towards
him.

“I know this man,” Nekhludoff hastened to say; “what is he imprisoned
for?”

“The police have sent him here because he has no passport. We ask them
not to send such, but they will do it,” said the inspector, casting an
angry side look at the old man.

“And so it seems thou, too, art one of Antichrist’s army?” the old man
said to Nekhludoff.

“No, I am a visitor,” said Nekhludoff.

“What, hast thou come to see how Antichrist tortures men? There, look,
he has locked them up in a cage, a whole army of them. Men should eat
bread in the sweat of their brow. And he has locked them up with no work
to do, and feeds them like swine, so that they should turn into beasts.”

“What is he saying?” asked the Englishman.

Nekhludoff told him the old man was blaming the inspector for keeping
men imprisoned.

“Ask him how he thinks one should treat those who do not keep to the
laws,” said the Englishman.

Nekhludoff translated the question. The old man laughed in a strange
manner, showing his teeth.

“The laws?” he repeated with contempt. “He first robbed everybody, took
all the earth, all the rights away from men, killed all those who were
against him, and then wrote laws, forbidding robbery and murder. He
should have written these laws before.”

Nekhludoff translated. The Englishman smiled. “Well, anyhow, ask him how
one should treat thieves and murderers at present?”

Nekhludoff again translated his question.

“Tell him he should take the seal of Antichrist off himself,” the
old man said, frowning severely; “then there will be no thieves and
murderers. Tell him so.”

“He is crazy,” said the Englishman, when Nekhludoff had translated the
old man’s words, and, shrugging his shoulders, he left the cell.

“Do thy business and leave them alone. Every one for himself. God knows
whom to execute, whom to forgive, and we do not know,” said the old man.
“Every man be his own chief, then the chiefs will not be wanted. Go,
go!” he added, angrily frowning and looking with glittering eyes at
Nekhludoff, who lingered in the cell. “Hast thou not looked on long
enough how the servants of Antichrist feed lice on men? Go, go!”

When Nekhludoff went out he saw the Englishman standing by the open door
of an empty cell with the inspector, asking what the cell was for. The
inspector explained that it was the mortuary.

“Oh,” said the Englishman when Nekhludoff had translated, and expressed
the wish to go in.

The mortuary was an ordinary cell, not very large. A small lamp hung on
the wall and dimly lit up sacks and logs of wood that were piled up in
one corner, and four dead bodies lay on the bedshelves to the right. The
first body had a coarse linen shirt and trousers on; it was that of a
tall man with a small beard and half his head shaved. The body was quite
rigid; the bluish hands, that had evidently been folded on the breast,
had separated; the legs were also apart and the bare feet were sticking
out. Next to him lay a bare-footed old woman in a white petticoat, her
head, with its thin plait of hair, uncovered, with a little, pinched
yellow face and a sharp nose. Beyond her was another man with something
lilac on. This colour reminded Nekhludoff of something. He came nearer
and looked at the body. The small, pointed beard sticking upwards, the
firm, well-shaped nose, the high, white forehead, the thin, curly hair;
he recognised the familiar features and could hardly believe his eyes.
Yesterday he had seen this face, angry, excited, and full of suffering;
now it was quiet, motionless, and terribly beautiful. Yes, it was
Kryltzoff, or at any rate the trace that his material existence had left
behind. “Why had he suffered? Why had he lived? Does he now understand?”
 Nekhludoff thought, and there seemed to be no answer, seemed to be
nothing but death, and he felt faint. Without taking leave of the
Englishman, Nekhludoff asked the inspector to lead him out into the
yard, and feeling the absolute necessity of being alone to think over
all that had happened that evening, he drove back to his hotel.



CHAPTER XXVIII.

A NEW LIFE DAWNS FOR NEKHLUDOFF.

Nekhludoff did not go to bed, but went up and down his room for a long
time. His business with Katusha was at an end. He was not wanted,
and this made him sad and ashamed. His other business was not only
unfinished, but troubled him more than ever and demanded his activity.
All this horrible evil that he had seen and learned to know lately, and
especially to-day in that awful prison, this evil, which had killed
that dear Kryltzoff, ruled and was triumphant, and he could foreseen
possibility of conquering or even knowing how to conquer it. Those
hundreds and thousands of degraded human beings locked up in the noisome
prisons by indifferent generals, procureurs, inspectors, rose up in
his imagination; he remembered the strange, free old man accusing the
officials, and therefore considered mad, and among the corpses the
beautiful, waxen face of Kryltzoff, who had died in anger. And again the
question as to whether he was mad or those who considered they were in
their right minds while they committed all these deeds stood before him
with renewed force and demanded an answer.

Tired of pacing up and down, tired of thinking, he sat down on the sofa
near the lamp and mechanically opened the Testament which the Englishman
had given him as a remembrance, and which he had thrown on the table
when he emptied his pockets on coming in.

“It is said one can find an answer to everything here,” he thought, and
opened the Testament at random and began reading Matt. xviii. 1-4: “In
that hour came the disciples unto Jesus, saying, Who then is greatest in
the Kingdom of Heaven? And He called to Him a little child, and set him
in the midst of them, and said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye turn
and become as little children, ye shall in nowise enter into the Kingdom
of Heaven. Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child
the same is the greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven.”

“Yes, yes, that is true,” he said, remembering that he had known the
peace and joy of life only when he had humbled himself.

“And whosoever shall receive one such little child in My name receiveth
Me, but whoso shall cause one of these little ones to stumble, it is
more profitable for him that a great millstone should be hanged about
his neck and that he should be sunk in the depths of the sea.” (Matt.
xviii. 5, 6.)

“What is this for, ‘Whosoever shall receive?’ Receive where? And what
does ‘in my name’ mean?” he asked, feeling that these words did not tell
him anything. “And why ‘the millstone round his neck and the depths of
the sea?’ No, that is not it: it is not clear,” and he remembered how
more than once in his life he had taken to reading the Gospels, and how
want of clearness in these passages had repulsed him. He went on to
read the seventh, eighth, ninth, and tenth verses about the occasions of
stumbling, and that they must come, and about punishment by casting men
into hell fire, and some kind of angels who see the face of the Father
in Heaven. “What a pity that this is so incoherent,” he thought, “yet
one feels that there is something good in it.”

“For the Son of Man came to save that which was lost,” he continued to
read.

“How think ye? If any man have a hundred sheep and one of them go
astray, doth he not leave the ninety and nine and go into the mountains
and seek that which goeth astray? And if so be that he find it, verily
I say unto you, he rejoiceth over it more than over the ninety and nine
which have not gone astray.

“Even so it is not the will of your Father which is in Heaven that one
of these little ones should perish.”

“Yes, it is not the will of the Father that they should perish, and
here they are perishing by hundreds and thousands. And there is no
possibility of saving them,” he thought.

“Then came Peter and said to him, How oft shall my brother offend me and
I forgive him? Until seven times? Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto
thee until seven times, but until seventy times seven.

“Therefore is the Kingdom of Heaven likened unto a certain king which
made a reckoning with his servants. And when he had begun to reckon, one
was brought unto him which owed him ten thousand talents. But forasmuch
as he had not wherewith to pay, his lord commanded him to be sold, and
his wife and children, and all that he had, and payment to be made.
The servant therefore fell down and worshipped him, saying, Lord, have
patience with me; I will pay thee all. And the lord of that servant,
being moved with compassion, released him and forgave him the debt. But
that servant went out, and found one of his fellow-servants which owed
him a hundred pence; and he laid hold on him and took him by the
throat, saying, Pay what thou owest. So his fellow-servant fell down and
besought him, saying, Have patience with me and I will pay thee. And
he would not, but went and cast him into prison till he should pay that
which was due. So when his fellow-servants saw what was done, they were
exceeding sorry, and came and told unto their lord all that was done.
Then his lord called him unto him and saith to him, Thou wicked servant,
I forgave thee all that debt because thou besought me; shouldst not thou
also have mercy on thy fellow-servant as I had mercy on thee?”

“And is this all?” Nekhludoff suddenly exclaimed aloud, and the inner
voice of the whole of his being said, “Yes, it is all.” And it happened
to Nekhludoff, as it often happens to men who are living a spiritual
life. The thought that seemed strange at first and paradoxical or
even to be only a joke, being confirmed more and more often by life’s
experience, suddenly appeared as the simplest, truest certainty. In this
way the idea that the only certain means of salvation from the
terrible evil from which men were suffering was that they should always
acknowledge themselves to be sinning against God, and therefore unable
to punish or correct others, because they were dear to Him. It became
clear to him that all the dreadful evil he had been witnessing in
prisons and jails and the quiet self-satisfaction of the perpetrators of
this evil were the consequences of men trying to do what was impossible;
trying to correct evil while being evil themselves; vicious men were
trying to correct other vicious men, and thought they could do it by
using mechanical means, and the only consequence of all this was that
the needs and the cupidity of some men induced them to take up this
so-called punishment and correction as a profession, and have themselves
become utterly corrupt, and go on unceasingly depraving those whom they
torment. Now he saw clearly what all the terrors he had seen came from,
and what ought to be done to put a stop to them. The answer he could
not find was the same that Christ gave to Peter. It was that we should
forgive always an infinite number of times because there are no men who
have not sinned themselves, and therefore none can punish or correct
others.

“But surely it cannot be so simple,” thought Nekhludoff, and yet he saw
with certainty, strange as it had seemed at first, that it was not only
a theoretical but also a practical solution of the question. The usual
objection, “What is one to do with the evil doers? Surely not let them
go unpunished?” no longer confused him. This objection might have a
meaning if it were proved that punishment lessened crime, or improved
the criminal, but when the contrary was proved, and it was evident that
it was not in people’s power to correct each other, the only reasonable
thing to do is to leave off doing the things which are not only useless,
but harmful, immoral and cruel.

For many centuries people who were considered criminals have been
tortured. Well, and have they ceased to exist? No; their numbers have
been increased not alone by the criminals corrupted by punishment but
also by those lawful criminals, the judges, procureurs, magistrates
and jailers, who judge and punish men. Nekhludoff now understood
that society and order in general exists not because of these lawful
criminals who judge and punish others, but because in spite of men being
thus depraved, they still pity and love one another.

In hopes of finding a confirmation of this thought in the Gospel,
Nekhludoff began reading it from the beginning. When he had read the
Sermon on the Mount, which had always touched him, he saw in it for the
first time to-day not beautiful abstract thoughts, setting forth for
the most part exaggerated and impossible demands, but simple, clear,
practical laws. If these laws were carried out in practice (and this
was quite possible) they would establish perfectly new and surprising
conditions of social life, in which the violence that filled Nekhludoff
with such indignation would cease of itself. Not only this, but the
greatest blessing that is obtainable to men, the Kingdom of Heaven on
Earth would be established. There were five of these laws.

The first (Matt. v. 21-26), that man should not only do no murder,
but not even be angry with his brother, should not consider any one
worthless: “Raca,” and if he has quarrelled with any one he should make
it up with him before bringing his gift to God--i.e., before praying.

The second (Matt. v. 27-32), that man should not only not commit
adultery but should not even seek for enjoyment in a woman’s beauty, and
if he has once come together with a woman he should never be faithless
to her.

The third (Matt. 33-37), that man should never bind himself by oath.

The fourth (Matt. 38-42), that man should not only not demand an eye for
an eye, but when struck on one cheek should hold out the other, should
forgive an offence and bear it humbly, and never refuse the service
others demand of him.

The fifth (Matt. 43-48), that man should not only not hate his enemy and
not fight him, but love him, help him, serve him.

Nekhludoff sat staring at the lamp and his heart stood still. Recalling
the monstrous confusion of the life we lead, he distinctly saw what that
life could be if men were brought up to obey these rules, and rapture
such as he had long not felt filled his soul, just as if after long days
of weariness and suffering he had suddenly found ease and freedom.

He did not sleep all night, and as it happens to many and many a man who
reads the Gospels he understood for the first time the full meaning of
the words read so often before but passed by unnoticed. He imbibed all
these necessary, important and joyful revelations as a sponge imbibes
water. And all he read seemed so familiar and seemed to confirm, to form
into a conception, what he had known long ago, but had never realised
and never quite believed. Now he realised and believed it, and not
only realised and believed that if men would obey these laws they would
obtain the highest blessing they can attain to, he also realised and
believed that the only duty of every man is to fulfil these laws; that
in this lies the only reasonable meaning of life, that every stepping
aside from these laws is a mistake which is immediately followed by
retribution. This flowed from the whole of the teaching, and was most
strongly and clearly illustrated in the parable of the vineyard.

The husbandman imagined that the vineyard in which they were sent to
work for their master was their own, that all that was in was made
for them, and that their business was to enjoy life in this vineyard,
forgetting the Master and killing all those who reminded them of his
existence. “Are we not doing the same,” Nekhludoff thought, “when we
imagine ourselves to be masters of our lives, and that life is given us
for enjoyment? This evidently is an incongruity. We were sent here by
some one’s will and for some reason. And we have concluded that we live
only for our own joy, and of course we feel unhappy as labourers do when
not fulfilling their Master’s orders. The Master’s will is expressed in
these commandments. If men will only fulfil these laws, the Kingdom of
Heaven will be established on earth, and men will receive the greatest
good that they can attain to.

“‘Seek ye first the Kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things
shall be added unto you.’

“And so here it is, the business of my life. Scarcely have I finished
one and another has commenced.” And a perfectly new life dawned that
night for Nekhludoff, not because he had entered into new conditions of
life, but because everything he did after that night had a new and quite
different significance than before. How this new period of his life will
end time alone will prove.



[Transcriber’s Note: Corrected “Are we do not doing the same,” to “Are
we not doing the same,” in third last paragraph.]





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