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[日期:2014-04-22] 来源:  作者: [字体: ]

    Book I
    Though hundreds of thousands had done their very best to
    disfigure the small piece of land on which they were crowded
    together, by paying 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
    "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 car, fanning her with its wings. She smiled, then
    sighed deeply as she remembered her present position.
    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.
    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
    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 he 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.
    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
    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.
    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
    "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
    "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.
    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
    "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
    "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
    "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
    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
    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
    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
    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.
    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
    When he had finished his speech, the president turned to the male
    "Simeon Kartinkin, rise."
    Simeon jumped up, his lips continuing to move nervously and
    "Your name?"
    "Simon Petrov Kartinkin," he said, rapidly, with a cracked voice,
    having evidently prepared the answer.
    "What class do you belong to?"
    "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."
    "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
    "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]
    "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
    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.
    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
    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
    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
    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 sonic 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.
    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
    "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,
    "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?"
    "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 car
    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
    Maslova continued to look at the president in silence, and
    "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
    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
    "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
    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
    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
    "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
    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
    "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.
    "Yes, this was Katusha."
    The relations between Nekhludoff and Katusha had been the
    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
    "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
    "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.
    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.
    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
    "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
    "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
    "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
    "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
    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
    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.
    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 cars 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
    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
    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
    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.
    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
    "Oh, what are you doing?" she cried, in a tone as if he had
    irreparably broken something of priceless value, and ran quickly
    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.
    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 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.
    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
    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.
    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.
    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
    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
    "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
    The member of the Court with the big beard, who suffered from
    catarrh of the stomach, feeling quite done up, turned to the
    "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
    "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.
    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
    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
    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 oven 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
    "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.
    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
    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
    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.
    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
    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
    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 he 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
    "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 he 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 he 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.
    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
    They went out into the bright, merry sunlight, and had to raise
    their voices because of the rattling of the wheels on the
    "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
    "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.
    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
    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.
    "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
    "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
    "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
    "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
    "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
    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
    "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
    "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
    "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.
    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
    "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
    "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.
    "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
    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
    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
    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.
    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
    "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
    "Belease to giff it accurately," said Carolina Albertovna
    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.
    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.
    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
    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
    "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
    "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
    "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.
    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
    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
    "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
    "What's he like?" asked Khoroshevka.
    "Dark, with moustaches."
    "It must be him."
    "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
    "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."
    "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." Resurrection
    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
    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
    "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
    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
    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.
    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
    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 he 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.
    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
    "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
    "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 he 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
    "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
    "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
    "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
    "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
    "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."
    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
    "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."
    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.
    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
    "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.
    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
    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.
    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
    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
    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
    "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
    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.
    "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.
    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
    "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
    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
    "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
    "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 he 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
    "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.
    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.
    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
    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
    "Yes; but we ought to have known that ourselves. It was our
    "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
    "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?"
    "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.
    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
    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
    "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.
    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
    "No, no," the jailer on duty said hurriedly, "the inspector is
    "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
    "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
    Resurrection 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
    "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
    "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.
    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 beard 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
    "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
    "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
    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
    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.
    "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
    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
    "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
    "Oh, please, do not thank me; it is I who should thank you," he
    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.
    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?"
    "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
    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?"
    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
    "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.
    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.
    "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 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
    "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?"
    "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
    "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."
    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.
    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
    "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
    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
    "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."
    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
    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
    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.
    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.
    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
    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. II 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,
    "Oh, yes. Well, what is it?"
    "Let us come in here."
    They entered a small Japanese sitting-room, and sat down by the
    "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
    "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
    "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
    "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.
    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
    "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?"
    "But why so?"
    She again looked up, as it seemed to him, with the same angry
    "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, 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
    "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
    "There's your husband--he's going with you," said the watchman's
    "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."
    BOOK II.
    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
    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
    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 failing 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.
    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
    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
    "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
    "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
    "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
    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.
    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
    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
    "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.
    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
    "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
    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 but 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
    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
    "Yes, but the horses?"
    "They'll be all right, I dare say."
    Fedka agreed, and all three went up the street.
    Nekhludoff felt more at case 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
    "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
    "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
    "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'
    "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
    "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.
    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
    "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
    "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 he 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.
    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
    "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
    "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
    "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
    "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 he asked to
    come here?" said Nekhludoff. "I would carefully explain it to
    "That can he 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
    "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.
    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.
    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 he 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
    "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
    "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.
    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
    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
    "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
    "No. I neither can nor wish to come. Please do not be angry with
    "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
    "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."
    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
    "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
    "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."
    "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.
    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
    "Yes, it is a stupid house," he said, uttering his thought out
    "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
    "There's nothing for them to do in the village--no land to be
    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."
    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 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
    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
    "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
    "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?"
    "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
    "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 herd 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
    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
    "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
    "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
    "But what is this I have heard about your intention of marrying
    "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
    "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
    "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
    "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 look 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."
    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
    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, be 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
    "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
    "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
    "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.
    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?"
    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.
    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, expresses her
    "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.
    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
    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. II se trouve que cette personne pout etre relaxee
    immediatement. Mon mari a ecrit au commandant. Venez donc
    disinterestedly. Je vous attends.
    "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
    "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
    "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
    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.
    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
    "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
    "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.
    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
    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
    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
    "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
    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
    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
    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
    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
    "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.
    "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? 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 saying 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
    "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
    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
    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
    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
    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,
    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
    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.
    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, Sth 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
    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
    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
    "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
    "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
    "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
    "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
    "No; better begin with the French Theatre, and do penance
    "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
    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
    "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 he obeyed," Nekhludoff said, failing 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 he 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.
    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
    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
    "Whom do you want?" she asked severely, looking at him over her
    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
    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
    "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
    "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
    "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.
    "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 scaled the
    letter without reading it, meaning to take it to its destination.
    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
    "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
    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 he 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 he 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
    "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?
    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
    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
    "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
    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
    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
    "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
    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 had news," he said, in a monotonous voice,
    without looking at her or taking her hand. "The Senate has
    "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
    "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
    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
    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.
    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
    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
    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
    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.
    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
    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
    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 Carriage
    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.
    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
    "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
    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--"
    "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
    As soon as Nekhludoff saw the hairy hands, and heard the
    patronising, self-assured tones, his meekness left him in a
    "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
    "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
    "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
    "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
    "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
    "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.
    "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
    "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
    "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
    "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
    "It cannot he 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
    "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
    "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
    "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.
    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 beat 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.
    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
    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.
    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
    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
    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
    But the soldier stood aside, examining the trodden-down heel of
    his boot, and was quite indifferent to the policeman's
    "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
    "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
    "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
    "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
    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
    "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.
    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, wish 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 he 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? Then go away."
    "Nekhludoff obeyed, and went back to his isvostchik, who was
    dozing. He awoke him, and they drove back towards the railway
    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
    "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
    "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
    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 car 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
    "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.
    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