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Resurrection

 

Book I

CHAPTER I. MASLOVA IN PRISON.

 

hough hundreds of thousands had done their very best to disfigure the smallpiece of land on which they were crowded togetherby paying the ground withstonesscraping away every vestige of vegetationcutting down the treesturning away birds and beastsand filling the air with the smoke of naphtha andcoalstill spring was springeven in the town.

The sun shone warmthe air was balmy; everywherewhere it did not getscraped awaythe grass revived and sprang up between the paving-stones as wellas on the narrow strips of lawn on the boulevards. The birchesthe poplarsandthe wild cherry unfolded their gummy and fragrant leavesthe limes wereexpanding their opening buds; crowssparrowsand pigeonsfilled with the joyof springwere getting their nests ready; the flies were buzzing along thewallswarmed by the sunshine. All were gladthe plantsthe birdsthe insectsand the children. But mengrown-up men and womendid not leave off cheatingand tormenting themselves and each other. It was not this spring morning menthought sacred and worthy of consideration not the beauty of God's worldgivenfor a joy to all creaturesthis beauty which inclines the heart to peacetoharmonyand to lovebut only their own devices for enslaving one another.

Thusin the prison office of the Government townit was not the fact thatmen and animals had received the grace and gladness of spring that wasconsidered sacred and importantbut that a noticenumbered and with asuperscriptionhad come the day beforeordering that on this 28th day of Aprilat 9 a.m.three prisoners at present detained in the prisona man and twowomen (one of these womenas the chief criminalto be conducted separately)had to appear at Court. So nowon the 28th of Aprilat 8 o'clocka jailer andsoon after him a woman warder with curly grey hairdressed in a jacket withsleeves trimmed with goldwith a blue-edged belt round her waistand having alook of suffering on her facecame into the corridor.

"You want Maslova?" she askedcoming up to the cell with thejailer who was on duty.

The jailerrattling the iron padlockopened the door of the cellfromwhich there came a whiff of air fouler even than that in the corridorandcalled out"Maslova! to the Court" and closed the door again.

Even into the prison yard the breeze had brought the fresh vivifying air fromthe fields. But in the corridor the air was laden with the germs of typhoidthesmell of sewageputrefactionand tar; every newcomer felt sad and dejected init. The woman warder felt thisthough she was used to bad air. She had justcome in from outsideand entering the corridorshe at once became sleepy.

From inside the cell came the sound of bustle and women's voicesand thepatter of bare feet on the floor.

"Nowthenhurry upMaslovaI say!" called out the jailerandin a minute or two a small young woman with a very full bust came briskly out ofthe door and went up to the jailer. She had on a grey cloak over a white jacketand petticoat. On her feet she wore linen stockings and prison shoesand roundher head was tied a white kerchieffrom under which a few locks of black hairwere brushed over the forehead with evident intent. The face of the woman was ofthat whiteness peculiar to people who have lived long in confinementand whichputs one in mind of shoots of potatoes that spring up in a cellar. Her smallbroad hands and full neckwhich showed from under the broad collar of her cloakwere of the same hue. Her blacksparkling eyesone with a slight squintappeared in striking contrast to the dull pallor of her face.

She carried herself very straightexpanding her full bosom.

With her head slightly thrown backshe stood in the corridorlookingstraight into the eyes of the jailerready to comply with any order.

The jailer was about to lock the door when a wrinkled and severe-looking oldwoman put out her grey head and began speaking to Maslova. But the jailer closedthe doorpushing the old woman's head with it. A woman's laughter was heardfrom the celland Maslova smiledturning to the little grated opening in thecell door. The old woman pressed her face to the grating from the other sideand saidin a hoarse voice:

"Now mindand when they begin questioning youjust repeat over thesame thingand stick to it; tell nothing that is not wanted."

"Wellit could not be worse than it is nowanyhow; I only wish it wassettled one way or another."

"Of courseit will be settled one way or another" said the jailerwith a superior's self-assured witticism. "Nowthenget along! Take yourplaces!"

The old woman's eyes vanished from the gratingand Maslova stepped out intothe middle of the corridor. The warder in frontthey descended the stone stairspast the still foulernoisy cells of the men's wardwhere they were followedby eyes looking out of every one of the gratings in the doorsand entered theofficewhere two soldiers were waiting to escort her. A clerk who was sittingthere gave one of the soldiers a paper reeking of tobaccoand pointing to theprisonerremarked"Take her."

The soldiera peasant from Nijni Novgorodwith a redpock-marked faceputthe paper into the sleeve of his coatwinked to his companionabroad-shouldered Tchouvashand then the prisoner and the soldiers went to thefront entranceout of the prison yardand through the town up the middle ofthe roughly-paved street.

Isvostchiks [cabmen]tradespeoplecooksworkmenand government clerksstopped and looked curiously at the prisoner; some shook their heads and thought"This is what evil conductconduct unlike oursleads to." Thechildren stopped and gazed at the robber with frightened looks; but the thoughtthat the soldiers were preventing her from doing more harm quieted their fears.A peasantwho had sold his charcoaland had had some tea in the towncame upandafter crossing himselfgave her a copeck. The prisoner blushed andmuttered something; she noticed that she was attracting everybody's attentionand that pleased her. The comparatively fresh air also gladdened herbut it waspainful to step on the rough stones with the ill-made prison shoes on her feetwhich had become unused to walking. Passing by a corn-dealer's shopin front ofwhich a few pigeons were strutting aboutunmolested by any onethe prisoneralmost touched a grey-blue bird with her foot; it fluttered up and flew close toher carfanning her with its wings. She smiledthen sighed deeply as sheremembered her present position.

CHAPTER II. MASLOVA'S EARLY LIFE.

 

 

he story of the prisoner Maslova's life was a very common one.

Maslova's mother was the unmarried daughter of a village womanemployed on adairy farmwhich belonged to two maiden ladies who were landowners. Thisunmarried woman had a baby every yearandas often happens among the villagepeopleeach one of these undesired babiesafter it had been carefully baptisedwas neglected by its motherwhom it hindered at her workand left to starve.Five children had died in this way. They had all been baptised and then notsufficiently fedand just left to die. The sixth babywhose father was a gipsytrampwould have shared the same fatehad it not so happened that one of themaiden ladies came into the farmyard to scold the dairymaids for sending upcream that smelt of the cow. The young woman was lying in the cowshed with afinehealthynew-born baby. The old maiden lady scolded the maids again forallowing the woman (who had just been confined) to lie in the cowshedand wasabout to go awaybut seeing the baby her heart was touchedand she offered tostand godmother to the little girland pity for her little god-daughter inducedher to give milk and a little money to the motherso that she should feed thebaby; and the little girl lived. The old ladies spoke of her as "the savedone." When the child was three years oldher mother fell ill and diedandthe maiden ladies took the child from her old grandmotherto whom she wasnothing but a burden.

The little black-eyed maiden grew to be extremely prettyand so full ofspirits that the ladies found her very entertaining.

The younger of the ladiesSophia Ivanovnawho had stood godmother to thegirlhad the kinder heart of the two sisters; Maria Ivanovnathe elderwasrather hard. Sophia Ivanovna dressed the little girl in nice clothesand taughther to read and writemeaning to educate her like a lady. Maria Ivanovnathought the child should be brought up to workand trained her to be a goodservant. She was exacting; she punishedandwhen in a bad tempereven struckthe little girl. Growing up under these two different influencesthe girlturned out half servanthalf young lady. They called her Katushawhich soundsless refined than Katinkabut is not quite so common as Katka. She used to sewtidy up the roomspolish the metal cases of the icons and do other light workand sometimes she sat and read to the ladies.

Though she had more than one offershe would not marry. She felt that lifeas 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 sixteenwhen the nephew of the oldladiesa rich young princeand a university studentcame to stay with hisauntsand Katushanot daring to acknowledge it even to herselffell in lovewith him.

Then two years later this same nephew stayed four days with his aunts beforeproceeding to join his regimentand the night before he left he betrayedKatushaandafter giving her a 100-rouble notewent away. Five months latershe knew for certain that she was to be a mother. After that everything seemedrepugnant to herher only thought being how to escape from the shame thatawaited her. She began not only to serve the ladies in a half-hearted andnegligent waybut oncewithout knowing how it happenedwas very rude to themand gave them noticea thing she repented of laterand the ladies let her gonoticing something wrong and very dissatisfied with her. Then she got ahousemaid's place in a police-officer's housebut stayed there only threemonthsfor the police officera man of fiftybegan to torment herand oncewhen he was in a specially enterprising moodshe fired upcalled him "afool 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 anothersituationfor the time of her confinement was drawing nearso she went to thehouse of a village midwifewho also sold wine. The confinement was easy; butthe midwifewho had a case of fever in the villageinfected Katushaand herbaby boy had to be sent to the foundlings' hospitalwhereaccording to thewords of the old woman who took him therehe at once died. When Katusha went tothe midwife she had 127 roubles in all27 which she had earned and 100 givenher by her betrayer. When she left she had but six roubles; she did not know howto keep moneybut spent it on herselfand gave to all who asked. The midwifetook 40 roubles for two months' board and attendance25 went to get the babyinto the foundlings' hospitaland 40 the midwife borrowed to buy a cow with.Twenty roubles went just for clothes and dainties. Having nothing left to liveonKatusha had to look out for a place againand found one in the house of aforester. The forester was a married manbut hetoobegan to annoy her fromthe first day. He disgusted herand she tried to avoid him. But hemoreexperienced and cunningbesides being her masterwho could send her whereverhe likedmanaged to accomplish his object. His wife found it outandcatchingKatusha and her husband in a room all by themselvesbegan beating her. Katushadefended herselfand they had a fightand Katusha got turned out of the housewithout being paid her wages.

Then Katusha went to live with her aunt in town. The aunt's husbandabookbinderhad once been comfortably offbut had lost all his customersandhad taken to drinkand spent all he could lay hands on at the public-house. Theaunt kept a little laundryand managed to support herselfher childrenandher wretched husband. She offered Katusha the place of an assistant laundress;but seeing what a life of misery and hardship her aunt's assistants ledKatushahesitatedand applied to a registry office for a place. One was found for herwith a lady who lived with her two sonspupils at a public day school. A weekafter Katusha had entered the house the eldera big fellow with moustachesthrew up his studies and made love to hercontinually following her about. Hismother laid all the blame on Katushaand gave her notice.

It so happened thatafter many fruitless attempts to find a situationKatusha again went to the registry officeand there met a woman with braceletson her bareplump arms and rings on most of her fingers. Hearing that Katushawas badly in want of a placethe woman gave her her addressand invited her tocome to her house. Katusha went. The woman received her very kindlyset cakeand sweet wine before herthen wrote a note and gave it to a servant to take tosomebody. In the evening a tall manwith longgrey hair and a white beardentered the roomand sat down at once near Katushasmiling and gazing at herwith glistening eyes. He began joking with her. The hostess called him away intothe next roomand Katusha heard her say"A fresh one from thecountry" Then the hostess called Katusha aside and told her that the manwas an authorand that he had a great deal of moneyand that if he liked herhe would not grudge her anything. He did like herand gave her 25 roublespromising to see her often. The 25 roubles soon went; some she paid to her auntfor board and lodging; the rest was spent on a hatribbonsand such like. Afew days later the author sent for herand she went. He gave her another 25roublesand offered her a separate lodging.

Next door to the lodging rented for her by the author there lived a jollyyoung shopmanwith whom Katusha soon fell in love. She told the authorandmoved to a little lodging of her own. The shopmanwho promised to marry herwent to Nijni on business without mentioning it to herhaving evidently thrownher upand Katusha remained alone. She meant to continue living in the lodgingby herselfbut was informed by the police that in this case she would have toget a license. She returned to her aunt. Seeing her fine dressher hatandmantleher aunt no longer offered her laundry work. As she understood thingsher niece had risen above that sort of thing. The question as to whether she wasto become a laundress or not did not occur to Katushaeither. She looked withpity at the thinhard-worked laundressessome already in consumptionwhostood washing or ironing with their thin arms in the fearfully hot front roomwhich was always full of soapy steam and draughts from the windowsand thoughtwith horror that she might have shared the same fate.

Katusha had begun to smoke some time beforeand since the young shopman hadthrown her up she was getting more and more into the habit of drinking. It wasnot so much the flavour of wine that tempted her as the fact that it gave her achance of forgetting the misery she sufferedmaking her feel more unrestrainedand more confident of her own worthwhich she was not when quite sober; withoutwine she felt sad and ashamed. Just at this time a woman came along who offeredto place her in one of the largest establishments in the cityexplaining allthe advantages and benefits of the situation. Katusha had the choice before herof either going into service or accepting this offer--and she chose the latter.Besidesit seemed to her as thoughin this wayshe could revenge herself onher betrayer and the shopman and all those who had injured her. One of thethings that tempted herand was the cause of her decisionwas the womantelling her she might order her own dresses--velvetsilksatinlow-neckedball dressesanything she liked. A mental picture of herself in a bright yellowsilk trimmed with black velvet with low neck and short sleeves conquered herand she gave up her passport. On the same evening the procuress took anisvostchik and drove her to the notorious house kept by Carolina AlbertovnaKitaeva.

From that day a life of chronic sin against human and divine laws commencedfor Katusha Maslovaa life which is led by hundreds of thousands of womenandwhich is not merely tolerated but sanctioned by the Governmentanxious for thewelfare of its subjects; a life which for nine women out of ten ends in painfuldiseasepremature decrepitudeand death.

Katusha Maslova lived this life for seven years. During these years she twicechanged housesand had once been to the hospital. In the seventh year of thislifewhen she was twenty-six years oldhappened that for which she was put inprison and for which she was now being taken to be triedafter more than threemonths of confinement with thieves and murderers in the stifling air of a prison.

CHAPTER III. NEKHLUDOFF.

hen Maslovawearied out by the long walkreached the buildingaccompanied by two soldiersPrince Dmitri Ivanovitch Nekhludoffwho hadseduced herwas still lying on his high bedsteadwith a feather bed on the topof the spring mattressin a finecleanwell-ironed linen night shirtsmokinga cigaretteand considering what he had to do to-dayand what had happenedyesterday.

Recalling the evening he had spent with the Korchaginsa wealthy andaristocratic familywhose daughter every one expected he would marryhe sighedandthrowing away the end of his cigarettewas going to take another out ofthe silver case; butchanging his mindhe resolutely raised his solid frameandputting down his smoothwhite legsstepped into his slippersthrew hissilk dressing gown over his broad shouldersand passed into his dressing-roomwalking heavily and quickly. There he carefully cleaned his teethmany of whichwere filledwith tooth powderand rinsed his mouth with scented elixir. Afterthat he washed his hands with perfumed soapcleaned his long nails withparticular carethenfrom a tap fixed to his marble washstandhe let a sprayof cold water run over his face and stout neck. Having finished this part of thebusinesshe went into a third roomwhere a shower bath stood ready for him.Having refreshed his fullwhitemuscular bodyand dried it with a rough bathsheethe put on his fine undergarments and his bootsand sat down before theglass to brush his black beard and his curly hairthat had begun to get thinabove the forehead. Everything he usedeverything belonging to his toilethislinenhis clothesbootsnecktiepinstudswas of the best qualityveryquietsimpledurable and costly.

Nekhludoff dressed leisurelyand went into the dining-room. A tablewhichlooked very imposing with its four legs carved in the shape of lions' pawsanda huge side-board to matchstood in the oblong roomthe floor of which hadbeen polished by three men the day before. On the tablewhich was covered witha finestarched clothstood a silver coffeepot full of aromatic coffeeasugar basina jug of fresh creamand a bread basket filled with fresh rollsrusksand biscuits; and beside the plate lay the last number of the Revue desDeux Mondesa newspaperand several letters.

Nekhludoff was just going to open his letterswhen a stoutmiddle-agedwoman in mourninga lace cap covering the widening parting of her hairglidedinto the room. This was Agraphena Petrovnaformerly lady's maid to Nekhludoff'smother. Her mistress had died quite recently in this very houseand sheremained with the son as his housekeeper. Agraphena Petrovna had spent nearlyten yearsat different timesabroad with Nekhludoff's motherand had theappearance and manners of a lady. She had lived with the Nekhludoffs from thetime she was a childand had known Dmitri Ivanovitch at the time when he wasstill little Mitinka.

"Good-morningDmitri Ivanovitch."

"Good-morningAgraphena Petrovna. What is it you want?" Nekhludoffasked.

"A letter from the princess; either from the mother or the daughter. Themaid brought it some time agoand is waiting in my room" answeredAgraphena Petrovnahanding him the letter with a significant smile.

"All right! Directly!" said Nekhludofftaking the letter andfrowning as he noticed Agraphena Petrovna's smile.

That smile meant that the letter was from the younger Princess Korchaginwhom Agraphena Petrovna expected him to marry. This supposition of hers annoyedNekhludoff.

"Then I'll tell her to wait?" and Agraphena Petrovna took a crumbbrush which was not in its placeput it awayand sailed out of the room.

Nekhludoff opened the perfumed noteand began reading it.

The note was written on a sheet of thick grey paperwith rough edges; thewriting looked English. It said:

Having assumed the task of acting as your memoryI take the liberty ofreminding you that on this the 28th day of April you have to appear at the LawCourtsas jurymanandin consequencecan on no account accompany us andKolosoff to the picture galleryaswith your habitual flightinessyoupromised yesterday; a moins que vous ne soyez dispose a payer la cour d'assiseles 300 roubles d'amende que vous vous refusez pour votre chevalfor notappearing in time. I remembered it last night after you were goneso do notforget.

Princess M. Korchagin.

On the other side was a postscript.

Maman vous fait dire que votre convert vous attendra jusqu'a la nuit. Venezabsolument a quelle heure que cela soit.

M. K.

Nekhludoff made a grimace. This note was a continuation of that skilfulmanoeuvring which the Princess Korchagin had already practised for two months inorder to bind him closer and closer with invisible threads. And yetbeside theusual hesitation of men past their youth to marry unless they are very much inloveNekhludoff had very good reasons whyeven if he did make up his mind toithe could not propose at once. It was not that ten years previously he hadbetrayed and forsaken Maslova; he had quite forgotten thatand he would nothave considered it a reason for not marrying. No! The reason was that he had aliaison with a married womanandthough he considered it broken offshe didnot.

Nekhludoff was rather shy with womenand his very shyness awakened in thismarried womanthe unprincipled wife of the marechal de noblesse of a districtwhere Nekhludoff was present at an electionthe desire of vanquishing him. Thiswoman drew him into an intimacy which entangled him more and morewhile itdaily became more distasteful to him. Having succumbed to the temptationNekhludoff felt guiltyand had not the courage to break the tie without herconsent. And this was the reason he did not feel at liberty to propose toKorchagin even if he had wished to do so. Among the letters on the table was onefrom this woman's husband. Seeing his writing and the postmarkNekhludoffflushedand felt his energies awakeningas they always did when he was facingany kind of danger.

But his excitement passed at once. The marechal do noblesseof the districtin which his largest estate laywrote only to let Nekhludoff know that therewas to be a special meeting towards the end of Mayand that Nekhludoff was tobe sure and come to "donner un coup d'epaule" at the importantdebates concerning the schools and the roadsas a strong opposition by thereactionary party was expected.

The marechal was a liberaland was quite engrossed in this fightnot evennoticing the misfortune that had befallen him.

Nekhludoff remembered the dreadful moments he had lived through; once when hethought that the husband had found him out and was going to challenge himandhe was making up his mind to fire into the air; also the terrible scene he hadwith her when she ran out into the parkand in her excitement tried to drownherself in the pond.

"WellI cannot go nowand can do nothing until I get a reply from her"thought Nekhludoff. A week ago he had written her a decisive letterin which heacknowledged his guiltand his readiness to atone for it; but at the same timehe pronounced their relations to be at an endfor her own goodas he expressedit. To this letter he had as yet received no answer. This might prove a goodsignfor if she did not agree to break off their relationsshe would havewritten at onceor even come herselfas she had done before. Nekhludoff hadheard that there was some officer who was paying her marked attentionand thistormented him by awakening jealousyand at the same time encouraged him withthe hope of escape from the deception that was oppressing him.

The other letter was from his steward. The steward wrote to tell him that avisit to his estates was necessary in order to enter into possessionand alsoto decide about the further management of his lands; whether it was to continuein the same way as when his mother was aliveor whetheras he had representedto the late lamented princessand now advised the young princethey had notbetter increase their stock and farm all the land now rented by the peasantsthemselves. The steward wrote that this would be a far more profitable way ofmanaging the property; at the same timehe apologised for not having forwardedthe 3000 roubles income due on the 1st. This money would he sent on by the nextmail. The reason for the delay was that he could not get the money out of thepeasantswho had grown so untrustworthy that he had to appeal to theauthorities. This letter was partly disagreeableand partly pleasant. It waspleasant to feel that he had power over so large a propertyand yetdisagreeablebecause Nekhludoff had been an enthusiastic admirer of HenryGeorge and Herbert Spencer. Being himself heir to a large propertyhe wasespecially struck by the position taken up by Spencer in Social Staticsthatjustice forbids private landholdingand with the straightforward resolutenessof his agehad not merely spoken to prove that land could not be looked upon asprivate propertyand written essays on that subject at the universitybut hadacted up to his convictionsandconsidering it wrong to hold landed propertyhad given the small piece of land he had inherited from his father to thepeasants. Inheriting his mother's large estatesand thus becoming a landedproprietorhe had to choose one of two things: either to give up his propertyas he had given up his father's land ten years beforeor silently to confessthat 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); moreoverhe had formed luxurious habits which hecould not easily give up. Besideshe had no longer the same inducements; hisstrong convictionsthe resoluteness of youthand the ambitious desire to dosomething unusual were gone. As to the second coursethat of denying thoseclear and unanswerable proofs of the injustice of landholdingwhich he haddrawn from Spencer's Social Staticsand the brilliant corroboration of which hehad at a later period found in the works of Henry Georgesuch a course wasimpossible to him.

CHAPTER IV. MISSY.

HEN Nekhludoff had finished his coffeehe went to his study to look at thesummonsand find out what time he was to appear at the courtbefore writinghis answer to the princess. Passing through his studiowhere a few studies hungon the walls andfacing the easelstood an unfinished picturea feeling ofinability to advance in arta sense of his incapacitycame over him. He hadoften had this feelingof lateand explained it by his too finely-developedaesthetic taste; stillthe feeling was a very unpleasant one. Seven yearsbefore this he had given up military servicefeeling sure that he had a talentfor artand had looked down with some disdain at all other activity from theheight of his artistic standpoint. And now it turned out that he had no right todo soand therefore everything that reminded him of all this was unpleasant. Helooked at the luxurious fittings of the studio with a heavy heartand it was inno cheerful mood that he entered his studya largelofty room fitted up with aview to comfortconvenienceand elegant appearance. He found the summons atonce in a pigeon holelabelled "immediate" of his large writingtable. He had to appear at the court at 11 o'clock.

Nekhludoff sat down to write a note in reply to the princessthanking herfor the invitationand promising to try and come to dinner. Having written onenotehe tore it upas it seemed too intimate. He wrote anotherbut it was toocold; he feared it might give offenceso he tore it uptoo. He pressed thebutton of an electric belland his servantan elderlymorose-looking manwith whiskers and shaved chin and lipwearing a grey cotton apronentered atthe door.

"Send to fetch an isvostchikplease."

"Yessir."

"And tell the person who is waiting that I send thanks for theinvitationand shall try to come."

"Yessir."

"It is not very politebut I can't write; no matterI shall see hertoday" thought Nekhludoffand went to get his overcoat.

When he came out of the housean isvostchik he knewwith india-rubber tiresto his trapwas at the door waiting for him. "You had hardly gone awayfrom Prince Korchagin's yesterday" he saidturning half round"whenI drove upand the Swiss at the door says'just gone.'" The isvostchikknew that Nekhludoff visited at the Korchaginsand called there on the chanceof being engaged by him.

"Even the isvostchiks know of my relations with the Korchagins"thought Nekhludoffand again the question whether he should not marry PrincessKorchagin presented itself to himand he could not decide it either wayanymore than most of the questions that arose in his mind at this time.

It was in favour of marriage in generalthat besides the comforts of hearthand homeit made a moral life possibleand chiefly that a family wouldsoNekhludoff thoughtgive an aim to his now empty life.

Against marriage in general was the fearcommon to bachelors past theirfirst youthof losing freedomand an unconscious awe before this mysteriouscreaturea woman.

In this particular casein favour of marrying Missy (her name was Marybutas is usual among a certain seta nickname had been given her) was that shecame of good familyand differed in everythingmanner of speakingwalkinglaughingfrom the common peoplenot by anything exceptionalbut by her "goodbreeding"--he could find no other term for this qualitythough he prizedit very highly---andbesidesshe thought more of him than of anybody elsetherefore evidently understood him. This understanding of himi.e.therecognition of his superior meritswas to Nekhludoff a proof of her good senseand correct judgment. Against marrying Missy in particularwasthat in alllikelihooda girl with even higher qualities could be foundthat she wasalready 27and that he was hardly her first love. This last idea was painful tohim. His pride would not reconcile itself with the thought that she had lovedsome one elseeven in the past. Of courseshe could not have known that sheshould meet himbut the thought that she was capable of loving another offendedhim. So that he had as many reasons for marrying as against it; at any ratethey weighed equally with Nekhludoffwho laughed at himselfand called himselfthe ass of the fableremaining like that animal undecided which haycock to turnto.

"At any ratebefore I get an answer from Mary Vasilievna (themarechal's wife)and finish completely with herI can do nothing" hesaid to himself. And the conviction that he mightand was even obligedtodelay his decisionwas comforting. "WellI shall consider all that lateron" he said to himselfas the trap drove silently along the asphaltpavement up to the doors of the Court.

"Now I must fulfil my public duties conscientiouslyas I am in thehabit of always doingand as I consider it right to do. Besidesthey are ofteninteresting." And he entered the hall of the Law Courtspast thedoorkeeper.

CHAPTER V. THE JURYMEN.

 

 

he corridors of the Court were already full of activity. The attendantshurriedout of breathdragging their feet along the ground without liftingthembackwards and forwardswith all sorts of messages and papers. Ushersadvocatesand law officers passed hither and thither. Plaintiffsand those ofthe accused who were not guardedwandered sadly along the walls or sat waiting.

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

"Which? There is the Civil Court and the Criminal Court."

"I am on the jury."

"The Criminal Court you should have said. Here to the rightthen to theleft--the second door."

Nekhludoff followed the direction.

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

Onea tallfat merchanta kind-hearted fellowhad evidently partaken ofsome refreshments and a glass of somethingand was in most pleasant spirits.The other was a shopman of Jewish extraction. They were talking about the priceof wool when Nekhludoff came up and asked them if this was the jurymen's room.

"Yesmy dear sirthis is it. One of us? On the juryare you?"asked the merchantwith a merry wink.

"Ahwellwe shall have a go at the work together" he continuedafter Nekhludoff had answered in the affirmative. "My name is Baklasheffmerchant of the Second Guild" he saidputting out his broadsoftflexible 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 ashort while agoand some were sittingothers walking up and downlooking ateach otherand making each other's acquaintance. There was a retired colonel inuniform; some were in frock coatsothers in morning coatsand only one wore apeasant's dress.

Their faces all had a certain look of satisfaction at the prospect offulfilling a public dutyalthough many of them had had to leave theirbusinessesand most were complaining of it.

The jurymen talked among themselves about the weatherthe early springandthe business before themsome having been introducedothers just guessing whowas who. Those who were not acquainted with Nekhludoff made haste to getintroducedevidently looking upon this as an honourand he taking it as hisdueas he always did when among strangers. Had he been asked why he consideredhimself above the majority of peoplehe could not have given an answer; thelife he had been living of late was not particularly meritorious. The fact ofhis speaking EnglishFrenchand German with a good accentand of his wearingthe best linenclothestiesand studsbought from the most expensive dealersin these goodshe quite knew would not serve as a reason for claimingsuperiority. At the same time he did claim superiorityand accepted the respectpaid him as his dueand was hurt if he did not get it. In the jurymen's roomhis feelings were hurt by disrespectful treatment. Among the jury there happenedto be a man whom he knewa former teacher of his sister's childrenPeterGerasimovitch. Nekhludoff never knew his surnameand even bragged a bit aboutthis. This man was now a master at a public school. Nekhludoff could not standhis familiarityhis self-satisfied laughterhis vulgarityin short.

"Ah ha! You're also trapped." These were the wordsaccompaniedwith boisterous laughterwith which Peter Gerasimovitch greeted Nekhludoff."Have you not managed to get out of it?"

"I never meant to get out of it" replied Nekhludoffgloomilyandin a tone of severity.

"WellI call this being public spirited. But just wait until you gethungry or sleepy; you'll sing to another tune then."

"This son of a priest will be saying 'thou' [in Russianas in manyother languages"thou" is used generally among people very familiarwith each otheror by superiors to inferiors] to me next" thoughtNekhludoffand walked awaywith such a look of sadness on his faceas mighthave been natural if he had just heard of the death of all his relations. Hecame up to a group that had formed itself round a clean-shaventalldignifiedmanwho was recounting something with great animation. This man was talkingabout the trial going on in the Civil Court as of a case well known to himselfmentioning the judges and a celebrated advocate by name. He was saying that itseemed wonderful how the celebrated advocate had managed to give such a cleverturn to the affair that an old ladythough she had the right on her sidewouldhave to pay a large sum to her opponent. "The advocate is a genius"he said.

The listeners heard it all with respectful attentionand several of themtried to put in a wordbut the man interrupted themas if he alone knew allabout it.

Though Nekhludoff had arrived latehe had to wait a long time. One of themembers of the Court had not yet comeand everybody was kept waiting.

CHAPTER VI. THE JUDGES.

 

 

he presidentwho had to take the chairhad arrived early. The president wasa tallstout manwith long grey whiskers. Though marriedhe led a very looselifeand his wife did the sameso they did not stand in each other's way. Thismorning he had received a note from a Swiss girlwho had formerly been agoverness in his houseand 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. inthe Hotel Italia. This made him wish to begin and get through the sitting assoon as possibleso as to have time to call before six p.m. on the littlered-haired Clara Vasilievnawith whom he had begun a romance in the countrylast summer. He went into a private roomlatched the doortook a pair ofdumb-bells out of a cupboardmoved his arms 20 times upwardsdownwardsforwardsand sidewaysthen holding the dumb-bells above his headlightly benthis knees three times.

"Nothing keeps one going like a cold bath and exercise" he saidfeeling the biceps of his right arm with his left handon the third finger ofwhich he wore a gold ring. He had still to do the moulinee movement (for healways went through those two exercises before a long sitting)when there was apull at the door. The president quickly put away the dumb-bells and opened thedoorsaying"I beg your pardon."

One of the membersa high-shouldereddiscontented-looking manwith goldspectaclescame into the room. "Matthew Nikitich has again not come"he saidin a dissatisfied tone.

"Not yet?" said the presidentputting on his uniform. "He isalways late."

"It is extraordinary. He ought to be ashamed of himself" said thememberangrilyand taking out a cigarette.

This membera very precise manhad had an unpleasant encounter with hiswife in the morningbecause she had spent her allowance before the end of themonthand had asked him to give her some money in advancebut he would notgive way to herand they had a quarrel. The wife told him that if he were goingto behave sohe need not expect any dinner; there would be no dinner for him athome. At this point he leftfearing that she might carry out her threatforanything might be expected from her. "This comes of living a goodmorallife" he thoughtlooking at the beaminghealthycheerfuland kindlypresidentwhowith elbows far apartwas smoothing his thick grey whiskerswith his fine white hands over the embroidered collar of his uniform. "Heis always contented and merry while I am suffering."

The secretary came in and brought some document.

"Thanksvery much" said the presidentlighting a cigarette."Which case shall we take firstthen?"

"The poisoning caseI should say" answered the secretarywithindifference.

"All right; the poisoning case let it be" said the presidentthinking that he could get this case over by four o'clockand then go away."And Matthew Nikitich; has he come?"

"Not yet."

"And Breve?"

"He is here" replied the secretary.

"Then if you see himplease tell him that we begin with the poisoningcase." Breve was the public prosecutorwho was to read the indictment inthis case.

In the corridor the secretary met Brevewhowith up lifted shouldersaportfolio under one armthe other swinging with the palm turned to the frontwas hurrying along the corridorclattering with his heels.

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

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

"The poisoning case."

"That's quite right" said the public prosecutorbut did not thinkit at all right. He had spent the night in a hotel playing cards with a friendwho was giving a farewell party. Up to five in the morning they played anddrankso he had no time to look at this poisoning caseand meant to run itthrough now. The secretaryhappening to know thisadvised the president tobegin with the poisoning case. The secretary was a Liberaleven a Radicalinopinion.

Breve was a Conservative; the secretary disliked himand envied him hisposition.

"Welland how about the Skoptzy?" [a religious sect] asked thesecretary.

"I have already said that I cannot do it without witnessesand so Ishall say to the Court."

"Dear mewhat does it matter?"

"I cannot do it" said Breve; andwaving his armhe ran into hisprivate room.

He was putting off the case of the Skoptzy on account of the absence of avery unimportant witnesshis real reason being that if they were tried by aneducated jury they might possibly be acquitted.

By an agreement with the president this case was to be tried in the comingsession at a provincial townwhere there would be more peasantsandthereforemore chances of conviction.

The movement in the corridor increased. The people crowded most at the doorsof the Civil Courtin which the case that the dignified man talked about wasbeing heard.

An interval in the proceeding occurredand the old woman came out of thecourtwhose property that genius of an advocate had found means of getting forhis clienta person versed in law who had no right to it whatever. The judgesknew all about the caseand the advocate and his client knew it better stillbut the move they had invented was such that it was impossible not to take theold woman's property and not to hand it over to the person versed in law.

The old woman was stoutwell dressedand had enormous flowers on herbonnet; she stopped as she came out of the doorand spreading out her short fatarms and turning to her advocateshe kept repeating. "What does it allmean? just fancy!"

The advocate was looking at the flowers in her bonnetand evidently notlistening to herbut considering some question or other.

Next to the old womanout of the door of the Civil Courthis broadstarched shirt front glistening from under his low-cut waistcoatwith aself-satisfied look on his facecame the celebrated advocate who had managed toarrange matters so that the old woman lost all she hadand the person versed inthe law received more than 100000 roubles. The advocate passed close to the oldwomanandfeeling all eyes directed towards himhis whole bearing seemed tosay: "No expressions of deference are required."

CHAPTER VII. THE OFFICIALS OF THE COURT.

 

 

t last Matthew Nikitich also arrivedand the ushera thin manwith a longneck and a kind of sideways walkhis nether lip protruding to one sidewhichmade him resemble a turkeycame into the jurymen's room.

This usher was an honest manand had a university educationbut could notkeep a place for any length of timeas he was subject to fits of drunkenness.Three months before a certain countesswho patronised his wifehad found himthis placeand he was very pleased to have kept it so long.

"Wellsirsis everybody here?" he askedputting his pince-nez onhis noseand looking round.

"EverybodyI think" said the jolly merchant.

"All right; we'll soon see." Andtaking a list from his pockethebegan calling out the nameslooking at the mensometimes through and sometimesover his pince-nez.

"Councillor of State[grades such as this are common in Russiaandmean very little] J. M. Nikiforoff!"

"I am he" said the dignified-looking manwell versed in thehabits of the law court.

"Ivan Semionovitch Ivanoffretired colonel!

"Here!" replied a thin manin the uniform of a retired officer.

"Merchant of the Second GuildPeter Baklasheff!"

"Here we areready!" said the good-humoured merchantwith a broadsmile.

"Lieutenant of the GuardsPrince Dmitri Nekhludoff!"

"I am he" answered Nekhludoff.

The usher bowed to himlooking over his pince-nezpolitely and pleasantlyas if wishing to distinguish him from the others.

"Captain Youri Demitrievitch-Dantchenkomerchant; Grigori EuphimitchKouleshoff" etc. All but two were present.

"Now please to come to the courtgentlemen" said the usherpointing to the doorwith an amiable wave of his hand.

All moved towards the doorpausing to let each other pass. Then they wentthrough the corridor into the court.

The court was a largelong room. At one end there was a raised platformwith three steps leading up to iton which stood a tablecovered with a greencloth trimmed with a fringe of a darker shade. At the table were placed threearm-chairswith high-carved oak backs; on the wall behind them hung afull-lengthbrightly-coloured portrait of the Emperor in uniform and ribbonwith one foot in advanceand holding a sword. In the right corner hung a casewith an image of Christ crowned with thornsand beneath it stood a lecternandon the same side the prosecuting attorney's desk. On the leftopposite thedeskwas the secretary's tableand in front of itnearer the publican oakgratingwith the prisoners' benchas yet unoccupiedbehind it. Besides allthisthere were on the right side of the platform high-backed ashwood chairsfor the juryand on the floor below tables for the advocates. All this was inthe front part of the courtdivided from the back by a grating.

The back was all taken up by seats in tiers. Sitting on the front seats werefour womeneither servant or factory girlsand two working menevidentlyoverawed by the grandeur of the roomand not venturing to speak above awhisper.

Soon after the jury had come in the usher enteredwith his sideward gaitand stepping to the frontcalled out in a loud voiceas if he meant tofrighten those present"The Court is coming!" Every one got up as themembers stepped on to the platform. Among them the presidentwith his musclesand fine whiskers. Next came the gloomy member of the Courtwho was now moregloomy than everhaving met his brother-in-lawwho informed him that he hadjust called in to see his sister (the member's wife)and that she had told himthat there would be no dinner there.

"So thatevidentlywe shall have to call in at a cook shop" thebrother-in-law addedlaughing.

"It is not at all funny" said the gloomy memberand becamegloomier still.

Then at last came the third member of the Courtthe same Matthew Nikitichwho was always late. He was a bearded manwith largeroundkindly eyes. Hewas suffering from a catarrh of the stomachandaccording to his doctor'sadvicehe had begun trying a new treatmentand this had kept him at homelonger than usual. Nowas he was ascending the platformhe had a pensive air.He was in the habit of making guesses in answer to all sorts of self-putquestions by different curious means. Just now he had asked whether the newtreatment would be beneficialand had decided that it would cure his catarrh ifthe number of steps from the door to his chair would divide by three. He made 26stepsbut managed to get in a 27th just by his chair.

The figures of the president and the members in their uniformswithgold-embroidered collarslooked very imposing. They seemed to feel thisthemselvesandas if overpowered by their own grandeurhurriedly sat down onthe high backed chairs behind the table with the green clothon which were atriangular article with an eagle at the toptwo glass vases--something likethose in which sweetmeats are kept in refreshment rooms--an inkstandpensclean paperand goodnewly-cut pencils of different kinds.

The public prosecutor came in with the judges. With his portfolio under onearmand swinging the otherhe hurriedly walked to his seat near the windowand was instantly absorbed in reading and looking through the papersnotwasting a single momentin hope of being ready when the business commenced. Hehad been public prosecutor but a short timeand had only prosecuted four timesbefore this. He was very ambitiousand had firmly made up his mind to get onand therefore thought it necessary to get a conviction whenever he prosecuted.He knew the chief facts of the poisoning caseand had already formed a plan ofaction. He only wanted to copy out a few points which he required.

The secretary sat on the opposite side of the platformandhaving got readyall the papers he might wantwas looking through an articleprohibited by thecensorwhich he had procured and read the day before. He was anxious to have atalk about this article with the bearded memberwho shared his viewsbutwanted to look through it once more before doing so.

CHAPTER VIII. SWEARING IN THE JURY.

 

 

he presidenthaving looked through some papers and put a few questions tothe usher and the secretarygave the order for the prisoners to be brought in.

The door behind the grating was instantly openedand two gendarmeswithcaps on their headsand holding naked swords in their handscame infollowedby the prisonersa red-hairedfreckled manand two women. The man wore aprison cloakwhich was too long and too wide for him. He stuck out his thumbsand held his arms close to his sidesthus keeping the sleeveswhich were alsotoo longfrom slipping over his hands. Without looking at the judges he gazedsteadfastly at the formand passing to the other side of ithe sat downcarefully at the very edgeleaving plenty of room for the others. He fixed hiseyes on the presidentand began moving the muscles of his cheeksas ifwhispering something. The woman who came next was also dressed in a prisoncloakand had a prison kerchief round her head. She had a sallow complexionnoeyebrows or lashesand very red eyes. This woman appeared perfectly calm.Having caught her cloak against somethingshe detached it carefullywithoutany hasteand sat down.

The third prisoner was Maslova.

As soon as she appearedthe eyes of all the men in the court turned her wayand remained fixed on her white faceher sparklingly-brilliant black eyes andthe swelling bosom under the prison cloak. Even the gendarme whom she passed onher way to her seat looked at her fixedly till she sat downand thenas iffeeling guiltyhurriedly turned awayshook himselfand began staring at thewindow in front of him.

The president paused until the prisoners had taken their seatsand whenMaslova was seatedturned to the secretary.

Then the usual procedure commenced; the counting of the juryremarks aboutthose who had not comethe fixing of the fines to be exacted from themthedecisions concerning those who claimed exemptionthe appointing of reservejurymen.

Having folded up some bits of paper and put them in one of the glass vasesthe president turned up the gold-embroidered cuffs of his uniform a little wayand began drawing the lotsone by oneand opening them. Nekhludoff was amongthe jurymen thus drawn. Thenhaving let down his sleevesthe presidentrequested the priest to swear in the jury.

The old priestwith his puffyred facehis brown gownand his gold crossand little orderlaboriously moving his stiff legscame up to the lecternbeneath the icon.

The jurymen got upand crowded towards the lectern.

"Come upplease" said the priestpulling at the cross on hisbreast with his plump handand waiting till all the jury had drawn near. Whenthey had all come up the steps of the platformthe priest passed his baldgreyhead sideways through the greasy opening of the stoleandhaving rearrangedhis thin hairhe again turned to the jury. "Nowraise your right arms inthis wayand put your fingers togetherthus" he saidwith his tremulousold voicelifting his fatdimpled handand putting the thumb and two firstfingers togetheras if taking a pinch of something. "Nowrepeat after me'I promise and swearby the Almighty Godby His holy gospelsand by thelife-giving cross of our Lordthat in this work which'" he saidpausingbetween 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 workwhich . . . '"

The dignified man with the whiskersthe colonelthe merchantand severalmore held their arms and fingers as the priest required of themvery highveryexactlyas if they liked doing it; others did it unwillingly and carelessly.Some repeated the words too loudlyand with a defiant toneas if they meant tosay"In spite of allI will and shall speak." Others whispered verylowand not fast enoughand thenas if frightenedhurried to catch up thepriest. Some kept their fingers tightly togetheras if fearing to drop thepinch of invisible something they held; others kept separating and foldingtheirs. Every one save the old priest felt awkwardbut he was sure he wasfulfilling a very useful and important duty.

After the swearing inthe president requested the jury to choose a foremanand the jurythronging to the doorpassed out into the debating-roomwherealmost all of them at once began to smoke cigarettes. Some one proposed thedignified man as foremanand he was unanimously accepted. Then the jurymen putout their cigarettes and threw them away and returned to the court. Thedignified man informed the president that he was chosen foremanand all satdown again on the high-backed chairs.

Everything went smoothlyquicklyand not without a certain solemnity. Andthis exactitudeorderand solemnity evidently pleased those who took part init: it strengthened the impression that they were fulfilling a serious andvaluable public duty. Nekhludofftoofelt this.

As soon as the jurymen were seatedthe president made a speech on theirrightsobligationsand responsibilities. While speaking he kept changing hisposition; now leaning on his rightnow on his left handnow against the backthen on the arms of his chairnow putting the papers straightnow handling hispencil and paper-knife.

According to his wordsthey had the right of interrogating the prisonersthrough the presidentto use paper and pencilsand to examine the articles putin as evidence. Their duty was to judge not falselybut justly. Theirresponsibility meant that if the secrecy of their discussion were violatedorcommunications were established with outsidersthey would be liable topunishment. Every one listened with an expression of respectful attention. Themerchantdiffusing a smell of brandy around himand restraining loud hiccupsapprovingly nodded his head at every sentence.

CHAPTER IX. THE TRIAL--THE PRISONERS QUESTIONED.

hen he had finished his speechthe president turned to the male prisoner.

"Simeon Kartinkinrise."

Simeon jumped uphis lips continuing to move nervously and inaudibly.

"Your name?"

"Simon Petrov Kartinkin" he saidrapidlywith a cracked voicehaving evidently prepared the answer.

"What class do you belong to?"

"Peasant."

"What governmentdistrictand parish?"

"Toula GovernmentKrapivinskia districtKoupianovski parishthevillage Borki."

"Your age?"

"Thirty-three; born in the year one thousand eight--"

"What religion?"

"Of the Russian religionorthodox."

"Married?"

"Ohnosir."

"Your occupation?"

"I had a place in the Hotel Mauritania."

"Have you ever been tried before?"

"I never got tried beforebecauseas we used to live formerly--"

"So you never were tried before?"

"God forbidnever."

"Have you received a copy of the indictment?"

"I have."

"Sit down."

"Euphemia Ivanovna Botchkova" said the presidentturning to thenext prisoner.

But Simon continued standing in front of Botchkova.

"Kartinkinsit down!" Kartinkin continued standing.

"Kartinkinsit down!" But Kartinkin sat down only when the usherwith his head on one sideand with preternaturally wide-open eyesran upandsaidin a tragic whisper"Sit downsit down!"

Kartinkin sat down as hurriedly as he had risenwrapping his cloak roundhimand again began moving his lips silently.

"Your name?" asked the presidentwith a weary sigh at beingobliged to repeat the same questionswithout looking at the prisonerbutglancing over a paper that lay before him. The president was so used to his taskthatin order to get quicker through it allhe did two things at a time.

Botchkova was forty-three years oldand came from the town of Kalomna. Shetoohad been in service at the Hotel Mauritania.

"I have never been tried beforeand have received a copy of theindictment." She gave her answers boldlyin a tone of voice as if shemeant to add to each answer"And I don't care who knows itand I won'tstand any nonsense."

She did not wait to be toldbut sat down as soon as she had replied to thelast question.

"Your name?" turning abruptly to the third prisoner. "You willhave to rise" he addedsoftly and gentlyseeing that Maslova kept herseat.

Maslova got up and stoodwith her chest expandedlooking at the presidentwith that peculiar expression of readiness in her smiling black eyes.

"What is your name?"

"Lubov" she said.

Nekhludoff had put on his pince-nezlooking at the prisoners while they werebeing questioned.

"Noit is impossible" he thoughtnot taking his eyes off theprisoner. "Lubov! How can it be?" he thought to himselfafter hearingher answer. The president was going to continue his questionsbut the memberwith the spectacles interrupted himangrily whispering something. The presidentnoddedand turned again to the prisoner.

"How is this" he said"you are not put down here asLubov?"

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."

"Noit cannot be" said Nekhludoff to himself; and yet he was nowcertain that this was shethat same girlhalf wardhalf servant to his aunts;that Katushawith whom he had once been in lovereally in lovebut whom hehad betrayed and then abandonedand never again brought to mindfor the memorywould have been too painfulwould have convicted him too clearlyproving thathe who was so proud of his integrity had treated this woman in a revoltingscandalous way.

Yesthis was she. He now clearly saw in her face that strangeindescribableindividuality which distinguishes every face from all others; somethingpeculiarall its ownnot to be found anywhere else. In spite of the unhealthypallor and the fulness of the faceit was therethis sweetpeculiarindividuality; on those lipsin the slight squint of her eyesin the voiceparticularly in the naive smileand in the expression of readiness on the faceand figure.

"You should have said so" remarked the presidentagain in agentle tone. "Your patronymic?"

"I am illegitimate."

"Wellwere you not called by your godfather's name?"

"YesMikhaelovna."

"And what is it she can be guilty of?" continued Nekhludoffin hismindunable to breathe freely.

"Your family name--your surnameI mean?" the president went on.

"They used to call me by my mother's surnameMaslova."

"What class?"

"Meschanka." [the lowest town class or grade]

"Religion--orthodox?"

"Orthodox."

"Occupation. What was your occupation?"

Maslova remained silent.

"What was your employment?"

"You know yourself" she saidand smiled. Thencasting a hurriedlook round the roomagain turned her eyes on the president.

There was something so unusual in the expression of her faceso terrible andpiteous in the meaning of the words she had utteredin this smileand in thefurtive glance she had cast round the roomthat the president was abashedandfor a few minutes silence reigned in the court. The silence was broken by someone among the public laughingthen somebody said "Ssh" and thepresident looked up and continued:

"Have you ever been tried before?"

"Never" answered Maslovasoftlyand 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 upher trainand sat downfolding her small white hands in the sleeves of hercloakher eyes fixed on the president. Her face was calm again.

The witnesses were calledand some sent away; the doctor who was to act asexpert was chosen and called into the court.

Then the secretary got up and began reading the indictment. He readdistinctlythough he pronounced the "I" and "r" alikewitha loud voicebut so quickly that the words ran into one another and formed oneuninterrupteddreary drone.

The judges bent now on onenow on the other arm of their chairsthen on thetablethen back againshut and opened their eyesand whispered to each other.One of the gendarmes several times repressed a yawn.

The prisoner Kartinkin never stopped moving his cheeks. Botchkova sat quitestill and straightonly now and then scratching her head under the kerchief.

Maslova sat immovablegazing at the reader; only now and then she gave aslight startas if wishing to replyblushedsighed heavilyand changed theposition of her handslooked roundand again fixed her eyes on the reader.

Nekhludoff sat in the front row on his high-backed chairwithout removinghis pince-nezand looked at Maslovawhile a complicated and fierce strugglewas going on in his soul.

CHAPTER X. THE TRIAL--THE INDICTMENT.

he indictment ran as follows: On the 17th of January18--in thelodging-house Mauritaniaoccurred the sudden death of the Second GuildmerchantTherapont Emilianovich Smelkoffof Kourgan.

The local police doctor of the fourth district certified that death was dueto rupture of the heartowing to the excessive use of alcoholic liquids. Thebody of the said Smelkoff was interred. After several days had elapsedthemerchant Timokhina fellow-townsman and companion of the said Smelkoffreturned from St. Petersburgand hearing the circumstances that accompanied thedeath of the latternotified his suspicions that the death was caused bypoisongiven with intent to rob the said Smelkoff of his money. This suspicionwas corroborated on inquirywhich proved:

1. That shortly before his death the said Smelkoff had received the sum of3800 roubles from the bank. When an inventory of the property of the deceasedwas madeonly 312 roubles and 16 copecks were found.

2. The whole day and night preceding his death the said Smelkoff spent withLubka (alias Katerina Maslova) at her home and in the lodging-house Mauritaniawhich she also visited at the said Smelkoff's request during his absenceto getsome moneywhich she took out of his portmanteau in the presence of theservants of the lodging-house MauritaniaEuphemia Botchkova and SimeonKartinkinwith a key given her by the said Smelkoff. In the portmanteau openedby the said Maslovathe said Botchkova and Kartinkin saw packets of 100-roublebank-notes.

3. On the said Smelkoff's return to the lodging-house Mauritaniatogetherwith Lubkathe latterin accordance with the attendant Kartinkin's advicegave the said Smelkoff some white powder given to her by the said Kartinkindissolved in brandy.

4. The next morning the said Lubka (alias Katerina Maslova) sold to hermistressthe witness Kitaevaa brothel-keepera diamond ring given to herasshe allegedby the said Smelkoff.

5. The housemaid of the lodging-house MauritaniaEuphemia Botchkovaplacedto her account in the local Commercial Bank 1800 roubles. The postmortemexamination of the body of the said Smelkoff and the chemical analysis of hisintestines proved beyond doubt the presence of poison in the organismso thatthere is reason to believe that the said Smelkoff's death was caused bypoisoning.

When cross-examinedthe accusedMaslovaBotchkovaand Kartinkinpleadednot guiltydeposing--Maslovathat she had really been sent by Smelkoff fromthe brothelwhere she "works" as she expresses itto thelodging-house Mauritania to get the merchant some moneyand thathavingunlocked the portmanteau with a key given her by the merchantshe took out 40roublesas she was told to doand that she had taken nothing more; thatBotchkova and Kartinkinin whose presence she unlocked and locked theportmanteaucould testify to the truth of the statement.

She gave this further evidence--that when she came to the lodging-house forthe second time she didat the instigation of Simeon Kartinkingive Smelkoffsonic kind of powderwhich she thought was a narcoticin a glass of brandyhoping he would fall asleep and that she would be able to get away from him; andthat Smelkoffhaving beaten herhimself gave her the ring when she cried andthreatened to go away.

The accusedEuphemia Botchkovastated that she knew nothing about themissing moneythat she had not even gone into Smelkoff's roombut that Lubkahad been busy there all by herself; that if anything had been stolenit musthave been done by Lubka when she came with the merchant's key to get his money.

At this point Maslova gave a startopened her mouthand looked atBotchkova. "When" continued the secretary" the receipt for1800 roubles from the bank was shown to Botchkovaand she was asked where shehad obtained the moneyshe said that it was her own earnings for 12 yearsandthose of Simeonwhom she was going to marry. The accused Simeon Kartinkinwhenfirst examinedconfessed that he and Botchkovaat the instigation of Maslovawho had come with the key from the brothelhad stolen the money and divided itequally among themselves and Maslova. Here Maslova again startedhalf-rose fromher seatandblushing scarletbegan to say somethingbut was stopped by theusher. "At last" the secretary continuedreading"Kartinkinconfessed also that he had supplied the powders in order to get Smelkoff tosleep. When examined the second time he denied having had anything to do withthe stealing of the money or giving Maslova the powdersaccusing her of havingdone it alone." Concerning the money placed in the bank by Botchkovahesaid the same as shethat isthat the money was given to them both by thelodgers in tips during 12 years' service.

The indictment concluded as follows:

In consequence of the foregoingthe peasant of the village BorkiSimeonKartinkin33 years of agethe meschanka Euphemia Botchkova43 years of ageand the meschanka Katerina Maslova27 years of ageare accused of having onthe 17th day of January188--jointly stolen from the said merchantSmelkoffa ring and moneyto the value of 2500 roublesand of having given the saidmerchantSmelkoffpoison to drinkwith intent of depriving him of lifeandthereby causing his death. This crime is provided for in clause 1455 of thePenal Codeparagraphs 4 and 5.

CHAPTER XI. THE TRIAL--MASLOVA CROSS-EXAMINED.

 

 

hen the reading of the indictment was overthe presidentafter havingconsulted the membersturned to Kartinkinwith an expression that plainlysaid: Now we shall find out the whole truth down to the minutest detail.

"Peasant Simeon Kartinkin" he saidstooping to the left.

Simeon Kartinkin got upstretched his arms down his sidesand leaningforward with his whole bodycontinued moving his cheeks inaudibly.

"You are accused of having on the 17th January188--together withEuphemia Botchkova and Katerina Maslovastolen money from a portmanteaubelonging to the merchant Smelkoffand thenhaving procured some arsenicpersuaded Katerina Maslova to give it to the merchant Smelkoff in a glass ofbrandywhich was the cause of Smelkoff's death. Do you plead guilty?" saidthe presidentstooping to the right.

"Not nohowbecause our business is to attend on the lodgersand--"

"You'll tell us that afterwards. Do you plead guilty?"

"Ohnosir. I only--"

"You'll tell us that afterwards. Do you plead guilty?" quietly andfirmly asked the president.

"Can't do such a thingbecause that--"

The usher again rushed up to Simeon Kartinkinand stopped him in a tragicwhisper.

The president moved the hand with which he held the paper and placed theelbow in a different position with an air that said: "This isfinished" and turned to Euphemia Botchkova.

"Euphemia Botchkovayou are accused of havingon the 17th of January188-in the lodging-house Mauritaniatogether with Simeon Kartinkin andKaterina Maslovastolen some money and a ring out of the merchant Smelkoff'sportmanteauand having shared the money among yourselvesgiven poison to themerchant Smelkoffthereby causing his death. Do you plead guilty?"

"I am not guilty of anything" boldly and firmly replied theprisoner. "I never went near the roombut when this baggage went in shedid the whole business."

"You will say all this afterwards" the president again saidquietly and firmly. "So you do not plead guilty?"

"I did not take the money nor give the drinknor go into the room. HadI gone in I should have kicked her out."

"So you do not plead guilty?"

"Never."

"Very well."

"Katerina Maslova" the president beganturning to the thirdprisoner"you are accused of having come from the brothel with the key ofthe merchant Smelkoff's portmanteaumoneyand a ring." He said all thislike a lesson learned by heartleaning towards the member on his leftwho waswhispering into his car that a bottle mentioned in the list of the materialevidence was missing. "Of having stolen out of the portmanteau money and aring" he repeated"and shared it. Thenreturning to the lodginghouse Mauritania with Smelkoffof giving him poison in his drinkand therebycausing his death. Do you plead guilty?"

"I am not guilty of anything" she began rapidly. "As I saidbefore I say againI did not take it--I did not take it; I did not takeanythingand the ring he gave me himself."

"You do not plead guilty of having stolen 2500 roubles?" asked thepresident.

"I've said I took nothing but the 40 roubles."

"Welland do you plead guilty of having given the merchant Smelkoff apowder in his drink?"

"Yesthat I did. Only I believed what they told methat they weresleeping powdersand that no harm could come of them. I never thoughtandnever wished. . . God is my witness; I sayI never meant this" she said.

"So you do not plead guilty of having stolen the money and the ring fromthe merchant Smelkoffbut confess that you gave him the powder?" said thepresident.

"WellyesI do confess thisbut I thought they were sleeping powders.I only gave them to make him sleep; I never meant and never thought ofworse."

"Very well" said the presidentevidently satisfied with theresults gained. "Now tell us how it all happened" and he leaned backin his chair and put his folded hands on the table. "Tell us all about it.A free and full confession will be to your advantage."

Maslova continued to look at the president in silenceand blushing.

"Tell us how it happened."

"How it happened?" Maslova suddenly beganspeaking quickly."I came to the lodging-houseand was shown into the room. He was therealready very drunk." She pronounced the word HE with a look of horror inher wide-open eyes. "I wished to go awaybut he would not let me."She stoppedas if having lost the threador remembered some thing else.

"Welland then?" "Wellwhat then? I remained a bitand wenthome again."

At this moment the public prosecutor raised himself a littleleaning on oneelbow in an awkward manner.

"You would like to put a question?" said the presidentand havingreceived an answer in the affirmativehe made a gesture inviting the publicprosecutor to speak.

"I want to askwas the prisoner previously acquainted with SimeonKartinkin?" said the public prosecutorwithout looking at Maslovaandhaving put the questionhe compressed his lips and frowned.

The president repeated the question. Maslova stared at the public prosecutorwith a frightened look.

"With Simeon? Yes" she said.

"I should like to know what the prisoner's acquaintance with Kartinkinconsisted in. Did they meet often?"

"Consisted in? . . .

"He invited me for the lodgers; it was not an acquaintance at all"answered Maslovaanxiously moving her eyes from the president to the publicprosecutor and back to the president.

"I should like to know why Kartinkin invited only Maslovaand none ofthe other girlsfor the lodgers?" said the public prosecutorwithhalf-closed eyes and a cunningMephistophelian smile.

"I don't know. How should I know?" said Maslovacasting afrightened look roundand fixing her eyes for a moment on Nekhludoff. "Heasked whom he liked."

"Is it possible that she has recognised me?" thought Nekhludoffand the blood rushed to his face. But Maslova turned away without distinguishinghim from the othersand again fixed her eyes anxiously on the publicprosecutor.

"So the prisoner denies having had any intimate relations withKartinkin? Very wellI have no more questions to ask."

And the public prosecutor took his elbow off the deskand began writingsomething. He was not really noting anything downbut only going over theletters of his notes with a penhaving seen the procureur and leadingadvocatesafter putting a clever questionmake a notewith whichlater onto annihilate their adversaries.

The president did not continue at oncebecause he was consulting the memberwith the spectacleswhether he was agreed that the questions (which had allbeen 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 girlsBerthawoke me. 'Goyour merchant has come again!' He"--she again uttered theword HE with evident horror-"he kept treating our girlsand then wanted tosend for more winebut his money was all goneand he sent me to his lodgingsand told me where the money wasand how much to take. So I went."

The president was whispering to the member on his leftbutin order toappear as if he had heardhe repeated her last words.

"So you went. Wellwhat next?"

"I wentand did all he told me; went into his room. I did not go alonebut called Simeon Kartinkin and her" she saidpointing to Botchkova.

"That's a lie; I never went in" Botchkova beganbut was stopped.

"In their presence I took out four notes" continued Maslovafrowningwithout looking at Botchkova.

"Yesbut did the prisoner notice" again asked the prosecutor"how much money there was when she was getting out the 40 roubles?"

Maslova shuddered when the prosecutor addressed her; she did not know why itwasbut she felt that he wished her evil.

"I did not count itbut only saw some 100-rouble notes."

"Ah! The prisoner saw 100-rouble notes. That's all?"

"Wellso you brought back the money" continued the presidentlooking at the clock.

"I did."

"Welland then?"

"Then he took me back with him" said Maslova.

"Welland 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 answerbut sighed deeply and heavily.

"He would not let me go" she saidafter a moment's silence"and I was quite tired outand so I went out into the passage and said toSimeon'If he would only let me goI am so tired.' And he said'We are alsosick of him; we were thinking of giving him a sleeping draught; he will fallasleepand then you can go.' So I said all right. I thought they were harmlessand he gave me the packet. I went in. He was lying behind the partitionand atonce called for brandy. I took a bottle of 'fine champagne' from the tablepoured out two glassesone for him and one for myselfand put the powders intohis glassand gave it him. Had I known how could I have given them tohim?"

"Welland how did the ring come into your possession? asked thepresident. "When did he give it you?"

"That was when we came back to his lodgings. I wanted to go awayand hegave me a knock on the head and broke my comb. I got angry and said I'd go awayand he took the ring off his finger and gave it to me so that I should notgo" she said.

Then the public prosecutor again slightly raised himselfandputting on anair of simplicityasked permission to put a few more questionsandhavingreceived itbending his head over his embroidered collarhe said: "Ishould like to know how long the prisoner remained in the merchant Smelkoff'sroom."

Maslova again seemed frightenedand she again looked anxiously from thepublic prosecutor to the presidentand said hurriedly:

"I do not remember how long."

"Yesbut does the prisoner remember if she went anywhere else in thelodging-house after she left Smelkoff?"

Maslova considered for a moment. "YesI did go into an empty room nextto his."

"Yesand why did you go in?" asked the public prosecutorforgetting himselfand addressing her directly.

"I went in to rest a bitand to wait for an isvostchik."

"And was Kartinkin in the room with the prisoneror not?"

"He came in."

"Why did he come in?"

"There was some of the merchant's brandy leftand we finished ittogether."

"Ohfinished it together. Very well! And did the prisoner talk toKartinkinandif sowhat about?"

Maslova suddenly frownedblushed very redand saidhurriedly"Whatabout? I did not talk about anythingand that's all I know. Do what you likewith me; I am not guiltyand that's all."

"I have nothing more to ask" said the prosecutoranddrawing uphis shoulders in an unnatural mannerbegan writing downas the prisoner's ownevidencein the notes for his speechthat she had been in the empty room withKartinkin.

There was a short silence.

"You have nothing more to say?"

"I have told everything" she saidwith a sighand sat down.

Then the president noted something downandhaving listened to somethingthat the member on his left whispered to himhe announced a ten-minutes'intervalrose hurriedlyand left the court. The communication he had receivedfrom the tallbearded member with the kindly eyes was that the memberhavingfelt a slight stomach derangementwished to do a little massage and to takesome drops. And this was why an interval was made.

When the judges had risenthe advocatesthe juryand the witnesses alsorosewith the pleasant feeling that part of the business was finishedandbegan moving in different directions.

Nekhludoff went into the jury's roomand sat down by the window.

CHAPTER XII. TWELVE YEARS BEFORE.

 

desthis was Katusha."

The relations between Nekhludoff and Katusha had been the following:

Nekhludoff first saw Katusha when he was a student in his third year at theUniversityand was preparing an essay on land tenure during the summervacationwhich he passed with his aunts. Until then he had always livedinsummerwith his mother and sister on his mother's large estate near Moscow. Butthat year his sister had marriedand his mother had gone abroad to awatering-placeand hehaving his essay to writeresolved to spend the summerwith his aunts. It was very quiet in their secluded estate and there was nothingto distract his mind; his aunts loved their nephew and heir very tenderlyandhetoowas fond of them and of their simpleold-fashioned life.

During that summer on his aunts' estateNekhludoff passed through thatblissful state of existence when a young man for the first timewithoutguidance from any one outsiderealises all the beauty and significance of lifeand the importance of the task allotted in it to man; when he grasps thepossibility of unlimited advance towards perfection for one's self and for allthe worldand gives himself to this tasknot only hopefullybut with fullconviction of attaining to the perfection he imagines. In that yearwhile stillat the Universityhe had read Spencer's Social Staticsand Spencer's views onlandholding especially impressed himas he himself was heir to large estates.His father had not been richbut his mother had received 10000 acres of landfor her dowry. At that time he fully realised all the cruelty and injustice ofprivate property in landand being one of those to whom a sacrifice to thedemands of conscience gives the highest spiritual enjoymenthe decided not toretain property rightsbut to give up to the peasant labourers the land he hadinherited 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 upvery earlysometimes at three o'clockand before sunrise went through themorning mists to bathe in the riverunder the hill. He returned while the dewstill lay on the grass and the flowers. Sometimeshaving finished his coffeehe sat down with his books of reference and his papers to write his essaybutvery ofteninstead of reading or writinghe left home againand wanderedthrough the fields and the woods. Before dinner he lay down and slept somewherein the garden. At dinner he amused and entertained his aunts with his brightspiritsthen he rode on horseback or went for a row on the riverand in theevening he again worked at his essayor sat reading or playing patience withhis aunts.

His joy in life was so great that it agitated himand kept him awake many anightespecially when it was moonlightso that instead of sleeping he wanderedabout in the garden till dawnalone with his dreams and fancies.

And sopeacefully and happilyhe lived through the first month of his staywith his auntstaking no particular notice of their half-wardhalf-servantthe black-eyedquick-footed Katusha. Thenat the age of nineteenNekhludoffbrought up under his mother's wingwas still quite pure. If a woman figured inhis dreams at all it was only as a wife. All the other womenwhoaccording tohis ideas he could not marrywere not women for himbut human beings.

But on Ascension Day that summera neighbour of his aunts'and her familyconsisting of two young daughtersa schoolboyand a young artist of peasantorigin who was staying with themcame to spend the day. After tea they all wentto play in the meadow in front of the housewhere the grass had already beenmown. They played at the game of gorelkiand Katusha joined them. Running aboutand changing partners several timesNekhludoff caught Katushaand she becamehis partner. Up to this time he had liked Katusha's looksbut the possibilityof any nearer relations with her had never entered his mind.

"Impossible to catch those two" said the merry young artistwhoseturn it was to catchand who could run very fast with his shortmuscular legs.

"You! And not catch us?" said Katusha.

"Onetwothree" and the artist clapped his hands. Katushahardly restraining her laughterchanged places with Nekhludoffbehind theartist's backand pressing his large hand with her little rough oneandrustling with her starched petticoatran to the left. Nekhludoff ran fast tothe righttrying to escape from the artistbut when he looked round he saw theartist running after Katushawho kept well aheadher firm young legs movingrapidly. There was a lilac bush in front of themand Katusha made a sign withher head to Nekhludoff to join her behind itfor if they once clasped handsagain they were safe from their pursuerthat being a rule of the game. Heunderstood the signand ran behind the bushbut he did not know that there wasa small ditch overgrown with nettles there. He stumbled and fell into thenettlesalready wet with dewstinging his bandsbut rose immediatelylaughing at his mishap.

Katushawith her eyes black as sloesher face radiant with joywas flyingtowards himand they caught hold of each other's hands.

"Got stungI daresay?" she saidarranging her hair with her freehandbreathing fast and looking straight up at him with a gladpleasant smile.

"I did not know there was a ditch here" he answeredsmiling alsoand keeping her hand in his. She drew nearer to himand he himselfnot knowinghow it happenedstooped towards her. She did not move awayand he pressed herhand tight and kissed her on the lips.

"There! You've done it!" she said; andfreeing her hand with aswift movementran away from him. Thenbreaking two branches of white lilacfrom which the blossoms were already fallingshe began fanning her hot facewith them; thenwith her head turned back to himshe walked awayswaying herarms briskly in front of herand joined the other players.

After this there grew up between Nekhludoff and Katusha those peculiarrelations which often exist between a pure young man and girl who are attractedto each other.

When Katusha came into the roomor even when he saw her white apron fromafareverything brightened up in Nekhludoff's eyesas when the sun appearseverything becomes more interestingmore joyfulmore important. The whole oflife seemed full of gladness. And she felt the same. But it was not onlyKatusha's presence that had this effect on Nekhludoff. The mere thought thatKatusha existed (and for her that Nekhludoff existed) had this effect.

When he received an unpleasant letter from his motheror could not get onwith his essayor felt the unreasoning sadness that young people are oftensubject tohe had only to remember Katusha and that he should see herand itall vanished. Katusha had much work to do in the housebut she managed to get alittle leisure for readingand Nekhludoff gave her Dostoievsky and Tourgeneff(whom he had just read himself) to read. She liked Tourgeneff's Lull best. Theyhad talks at moments snatched when meeting in the passageon the verandaorthe yardand sometimes in the room of his aunts' old servantMatrona Pavlovnawith whom he sometimes used to drink teaand where Katusha used to work.

These talks in Matrona Pavlovna's presence were the pleasantest. When theywere alone it was worse. Their eyes at once began to say something verydifferent and far more important than what their mouths uttered. Their lipspuckeredand they felt a kind of dread of something that made them partquickly. These relations continued between Nekhludoff and Katusha during thewhole time of his first visit to his aunts'. They noticed itand becamefrightenedand even wrote to Princess Elena IvanovnaNekhludoff's mother. HisauntMary Ivanovnawas afraid Dmitri would form an intimacy with Katusha; buther fears were groundlessfor Nekhludoffhimself hardly conscious of itlovedKatushaloved her as the pure loveand therein lay his safety--his and hers.He not only did not feel any desire to possess herbut the very thought of itfilled him with horror. The fears of the more poetical Sophia IvanovnathatDmitriwith his thoroughgoingresolute characterhaving fallen in love with agirlmight make up his mind to marry herwithout considering either her birthor her stationhad more ground.

Had Nekhludoff at that time been conscious of his love for Katushaandespecially if he had been told that he could on no account join his life withthat of a girl in her positionit might have easily happened thatwith hisusual straightforwardnesshe would have come to the conclusion that there couldbe no possible reason for him not to marry any girl whateveras long as heloved her. But his aunts did not mention their fears to him; andwhen he lefthe was still unconscious of his love for Katusha. He was sure that what he feltfor Katusha was only one of the manifestations of the joy of life that filledhis whole beingand that this sweetmerry little girl shared this joy withhim. Yetwhen he was going awayand Katusha stood with his aunts in the porchand looked after himher darkslightly-squinting eyes filled with tearshefeltafter allthat he was leaving something beautifulprecioussomethingwhich would never reoccur. And he grew very sad.

"Good-byeKatusha" he saidlooking across Sophia Ivanovna's capas he was getting into the trap. "Thank you for everything."

"Good-byeDmitri Ivanovitch" she saidwith her pleasanttendervoicekeeping back the tears that filled her eyes--and ran away into the hallwhere she could cry in peace.

CHAPTER XIII. LIFE IN THE ARMY.

 

After that Nekhludoff did not see Katusha for more than three years. When hesaw her again he had just been promoted to the rank of officer and was going tojoin his regiment. On the way he came to spend a few days with his auntsbeingnow a very different young man from the one who had spent the summer with themthree years before. He then had been an honestunselfish ladready tosacrifice himself for any good cause; now he was depraved and selfishandthought only of his own enjoyment. Then God's world seemed a mystery which hetried enthusiastically and joyfully to solve; now everything in life seemedclear and simpledefined by the conditions of the life he was leading. Then hehad felt the importance ofand had need of intercourse withnatureand withthose who had lived and thought and felt before him--philosophers and poets.What he now considered necessary and important were human institutions andintercourse with his comrades. Then women seemed mysterious andcharming--charming by the very mystery that enveloped them; now the purpose ofwomenall women except those of his own family and the wives of his friendswas a very definite one: women were the best means towards an alreadyexperienced enjoyment. Then money was not neededand he did not require evenone-third of what his mother allowed him; but now this allowance of 1500roubles a month did not sufficeand he had already had some unpleasant talksabout it with his mother.

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

And all this terrible change had come about because he had ceased to believehimself and had taken to believing others. This he had done because it was toodifficult to live believing one's self; believing one's selfone had to decideevery question not in favour of one's own animal lifewhich is always seekingfor easy gratificationsbut almost in every case against it. Believing othersthere was nothing to decide; everything had been decided alreadyand decidedalways 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 thosearound him; believing others he had their approval. Sowhen Nekhludoff hadtalked of the serious matters of lifeof Godtruthrichesand povertyallround him thought it out of place and even rather funnyand his mother andaunts called himwith kindly ironynotre cher philosophe. But when he readnovelstold improper anecdoteswent to see funny vaudevilles in the Frenchtheatre and gaily repeated the jokeseverybody admired and encouraged him. Whenhe considered it right to limit his needswore an old overcoattook no wineeverybody thought it strange and looked upon it as a kind of showing off; butwhen he spent large sums on huntingor on furnishing a peculiar and luxuriousstudy for himselfeverybody admired his taste and gave him expensive presentsto encourage his hobby. While he kept pure and meant to remain so till hemarried his friends prayed for his healthand even his mother was not grievedbut rather pleased when she found out that he had become a real man and hadgained over some French woman from his friend. (As to the episode with Katushathe princess could not without horror think that he might possibly have marriedher.) In the same waywhen Nekhludoff came of ageand gave the small estate hehad inherited from his father to the peasants because he considered the holdingof private property in land wrongthis step filled his mother and relationswith dismay and served as an excuse for making fun of him to all his relatives.He was continually told that these peasantsafter they had received the landgot no richerbuton the contrarypoorerhaving opened three public-housesand left off doing any work. But when Nekhludoff entered the Guards and spentand gambled away so much with his aristocratic companions that Elena Ivanovnahis motherhad to draw on her capitalshe was hardly painedconsidering itquite natural and even good that wild oats should be sown at an early age and ingood companyas her son was doing. At first Nekhludoff struggledbut all thathe had considered good while he had faith in himself was considered bad byothersand what he had considered evil was looked upon as good by those amongwhom he livedand the struggle grew too hard. And at last Nekhludoff gave ini.e.left off believing himself and began believing others. At first thisgiving up of faith in himself was unpleasantbut it did not long continue to beso. At that time he acquired the habit of smokingand drinking wineand soongot over this unpleasant feeling and even felt great relief.

Nekhludoffwith his passionate naturegave himself thoroughly to the newway of life so approved of by all those aroundand he entirely stifled theinner voice which demanded something different. This began after he moved to St.Petersburgand reached its highest point when he entered the army.

Military life in general depraves men. It places them in conditions ofcomplete idlenessi.e.absence of all useful work; frees them of their commonhuman dutieswhich it replaces by merely conventional ones to the honour of theregimentthe uniformthe flag; andwhile giving them on the one hand absolutepower over other menalso puts them into conditions of servile obedience tothose of higher rank than themselves.

But whento the usual depraving influence of military service with itshonoursuniformsflagsits permitted violence and murderthere is added thedepraving influence of riches and nearness to and intercourse with members ofthe Imperial familyas is the case in the chosen regiment of the Guards inwhich all the officers are rich and of good familythen this depravinginfluence 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 thearmy and began living in the way his companions lived. He had no occupationwhatever except to dress in a uniformsplendidly made and well brushed by otherpeopleandwith arms also made and cleaned and handed to him by othersrideto reviews on a fine horse which had been bredbroken in and fed by others.Therewith other men like himselfhe had to wave a swordshoot off gunsandteach others to do the same. He had no other workand the highly-placedpersonsyoung and oldthe Tsar and those near himnot only sanctioned hisoccupation but praised and thanked him for it.

After this was doneit was thought important to eatand particularly todrinkin officers' clubs or the salons of the best restaurantssquanderinglarge sums of moneywhich came from some invisible source; then theatresballetswomenthen again riding on horsebackwaving of swords and shootingand again the squandering of moneythe winecardsand women. This kind oflife acts on military men even more depravingly than on othersbecause if anyother than a military man lead such a life he cannot help being ashamed of it inthe depth of his heart. A military man ison the contraryproud of a life ofthis kind especially at war timeand Nekhludoff had entered the army just afterwar with the Turks had been declared. "We are prepared to sacrifice ourlives at the warsand therefore a gayreckless life is not only pardonablebut absolutely necessary for usand so we lead it."

Such were Nekhludoff's confused thoughts at this period of his existenceandhe felt all the time the delight of being free of the moral barriers he hadformerly set himself. And the state he lived in was that of a chronic mania ofselfishness. He was in this state whenafter three years' absencehe cameagain to visit his aunts.

CHAPTER XIV. THE SECOND MEETING WITH MASLOVA.

 

Nekhludoff went to visit his aunts because their estate lay near the road hehad to travel in order to join his regimentwhich had gone forwardbecausethey had very warmly asked him to comeand especially because he wanted to seeKatusha. Perhaps in his heart he had already formed those evil designs againstKatusha which his now uncontrolled animal self suggested to himbut he did notacknowledge this as his intentionbut only wished to go back to the spot wherehe had been so happyto see his rather funnybut dearkind-hearted old auntswho alwayswithout his noticing itsurrounded him with an atmosphere of loveand admirationand to see sweet Katushaof whom he had retained so pleasant amemory.

He arrived at the end of Marchon Good Fridayafter the thaw had set in. Itwas pouring with rain so that he had not a dry thread on him and was feelingvery coldbut yet vigorous and full of spiritsas always at that time."Is she still with them?" he thoughtas he drove into the familiarold-fashioned courtyardsurrounded by a low brick walland now filled withsnow off the roofs.

He expected she would come out when she heard the sledge bells but she didnot. Two bare-footed women with pails and tucked-up skirtswho had evidentlybeen scrubbing the floorscame out of the side door. She was not at the frontdoor eitherand only Tikhonthe man-servantwith his apron onevidently alsobusy cleaningcame out into the front porch. His aunt Sophia Ivanovna alone methim in the ante-room; she had a silk dress on and a cap on her head. Both auntshad been to church and had received communion.

"Wellthis is nice of you to come" said Sophia Ivanovnakissinghim. "Mary is not wellgot tired in church; we have been tocommunion."

"I congratulate youAunt Sophia" [it is usual in Russia tocongratulate those who have received communion] said Nekhludoffkissing SophiaIvanovna's hand. "OhI beg your pardonI have made you wet."

"Go to your room--why you are soaking wet. Dear meyou have gotmoustaches! . . . Katusha! Katusha! Get him some coffee; be quick."

"Directly" came the sound of a well-knownpleasant voice from thepassageand Nekhludoff's heart cried out "She's here!" and it was asif the sun had come out from behind the clouds.

Nekhludofffollowed by Tikhonwent gaily to his old room to change histhings. He felt inclined to ask Tikhon about Katusha; how she waswhat she wasdoingwas she not going to be married? But Tikhon was so respectful and at thesame time so severeinsisted so firmly on pouring the water out of the jug forhimthat Nekhludoff could not make up his mind to ask him about Katushabutonly inquired about Tikhon's grandsonsabout the old so-called"brother's" horseand about the dog Polkan. All were alive exceptPolkanwho had gone mad the summer before.

When he had taken off all his wet things and just begun to dress againNekhludoff heard quickfamiliar footsteps and a knock at the door. Nekhludoffknew the steps and also the knock. No one but she walked and knocked like that.

Having thrown his wet greatcoat over his shouldershe opened the door.

"Come in." It was sheKatushathe sameonly sweeter than before.The slightly squinting naive black eyes looked up in the same old way. Now asthenshe had on a white apron. She brought him from his aunts a piece ofscented soapwith the wrapper just taken offand two towels--one a longRussian embroidered onethe other a bath towel. The unused soap with thestamped inscriptionthe towelsand her own selfall were equally cleanfreshundefiled and pleasant. The irrepressible smile of joy at the sight ofhim made the sweetfirm lips pucker up as of old.

"How do you doDmitri Ivanovitch?" she uttered with difficultyher face suffused with a rosy blush.

"Good-morning! How do you do?" he saidalso blushing. "Aliveand well?"

Yesthe Lord be thanked. And here is your favorite pink soap and towels fromyour aunts" she saidputting the soap on the table and hanging the towelsover the back of a chair.

"There is everything here" said Tikhondefending the visitor'sindependenceand pointing to Nekhludoff's open dressing case filled withbrushesperfumefixatoirea great many bottles with silver lids and all sortsof toilet appliances.

"Thank my auntsplease. Ohhow glad I am to be here" saidNekhludoffhis heart filling with light and tenderness as of old.

She only smiled in answer to these wordsand went out. The auntswho hadalways loved Nekhludoffwelcomed him this time more warmly than ever. Dmitriwas going to the warwhere he might be wounded or killedand this touched theold aunts. Nekhludoff had arranged to stay only a day and night with his auntsbut when he had seen Katusha he agreed to stay over Easter with them andtelegraphed to his friend Schonbockwhom he was to have joined in Odessathathe should come and meet him at his aunts' instead.

As soon as he had seen Katusha Nekhludoff's old feelings toward her awokeagain. Nowjust as thenhe could not see her white apron without gettingexcited; he could not listen to her stepsher voiceher laughwithout afeeling of joy; he could not look at her eyesblack as sloeswithout a feelingof tendernessespecially when she smiled; andabove allhe could not noticewithout agitation how she blushed when they met. He felt he was in lovebut notas beforewhen this love was a kind of mystery to him and he would not owneven to himselfthat he lovedand when he was persuaded that one could loveonly once; now he knew he was in love and was glad of itand knew dimly whatthis love consisted of and what it might lead tothough he sought to conceal iteven from himself. In Nekhludoffas in every manthere were two beings: onethe spiritualseeking only that kind of happiness for him self which shouldtend towards the happiness of all; the otherthe animal manseeking only hisown happinessand ready to sacrifice to it the happiness of the rest of theworld. At this period of his mania of self-love brought on by life in Petersburgand in the armythis animal man ruled supreme and completely crushed thespiritual man in him.

But when he saw Katusha and experienced the same feelings as he had had threeyears beforethe spiritual man in him raised its head once more and began toassert its rights. And up to Easterduring two whole daysan unconsciousceaseless inner struggle went on in him.

He knew in the depths of his soul that he ought to go awaythat there was noreal reason for staying on with his auntsknew that no good could come of it;and yet it was so pleasantso delightfulthat he did not honestly acknowledgethe facts to himself and stayed on. On Easter evethe priest and the deacon whocame to the house to say mass had had (so they said) the greatest difficulty ingetting over the three miles that lay between the church and the old ladies'housecoming across the puddles and the bare earth in a sledge.

Nekhludoff attended the mass with his aunts and the servantsand keptlooking at Katushawho was near the door and brought in the censers for thepriests. Then having given the priests and his aunts the Easter kissthough itwas not midnight and therefore not Easter yethe was already going to bed whenhe heard the old servant Matrona Pavlovna preparing to go to the church to getthe koulitch and paski [Easter cakes] blest after the midnight service. "Ishall go too" he thought.

The road to the church was impassable either in a sledge or on wheelssoNekhludoffwho behaved in his aunts' house just as he did at homeordered theold horse"the brother's horse" to be saddledand instead of goingto bed he put on his gay uniforma pair of tight-fitting riding breeches andhis overcoatand got on the old over-fed and heavy horsewhich neighedcontinually all the way as he rode in the dark through the puddles and snow tothe church.

CHAPTER XV. THE EARLY MASS.

 

Sor Nekhludoff this early mass remained for ever after one of the brightestand most vivid memories of his life. When he rode out of the darknessbrokenonly here and there by patches of white snowinto the churchyard illuminated bya row of lamps around the churchthe service had already begun.

The peasantsrecognising Mary Ivanovna's nephewled his horsewhich waspricking up its cars at the sight of the lightsto a dry place where he couldget offput it up for himand showed him into the churchwhich was full ofpeople. On the right stood the peasants; the old men in home-spun coatsandclean white linen bands [long strips of linen are worn by the peasants insteadof stockings] wrapped round their legsthe young men in new cloth coatsbright-coloured belts round their waistsand top-boots.

On the left stood the womenwith red silk kerchiefs on their headsblackvelveteen sleeveless jacketsbright red shirt-sleevesgay-coloured greenblueand red skirtsand thick leather boots. The old womendressed morequietlystood behind themwith white kerchiefshomespun coatsold-fashionedskirts of dark home-spun materialand shoes on their feet. Gaily-dressedchildrentheir hair well oiledwent in and out among them.

The menmaking the sign of the crossbowed down and raised their headsagainshaking back their hair.

The womenespecially the old onesfixed their eyes on an icon surroundedwith candies and made the sign of the crossfirmly pressing their foldedfingers to the kerchief on their foreheadsto their shouldersand theirstomachsandwhispering somethingstooped or knelt down. The childrenimitating the grown-up peopleprayed earnestly when they knew that they werebeing observed. The gilt case containing the icon glitteredilluminated on allsides by tall candles ornamented with golden spirals. The candelabra was filledwith tapersand from the choir sounded most merry tunes sung by amateurchoristerswith bellowing bass and shrill boys' voices among them.

Nekhludoff passed up to the front. In the middle of the church stood thearistocracy of the place: a landed proprietorwith his wife and son (the latterdressed in a sailor's suit)the police officerthe telegraph clerkatradesman in top-bootsand the village elderwith a medal on his breast; andto the right of the ambojust behind the landed proprietor's wifestoodMatrona Pavlovna in a lilac dress and fringed shawl and Katusha in a white dresswith a tucked bodiceblue sashand red bow in her black hair.

Everything seemed festivesolemnbrightand beautiful: the priest in hissilver cloth vestments with gold crosses; the deaconthe clerk and chanter intheir silver and gold surplices; the amateur choristers in their best clotheswith their well-oiled hair; the merry tunes of the holiday hymns that soundedlike dance music; and the continual blessing of the people by the priestswhoheld candles decorated with flowersand repeated the cry of "Christ isrisen!" "Christ is risen!" All was beautiful; butabove allKatushain her white dressblue sashand the red bow on her black headhereyes beaming with rapture.

Nekhludoff knew that she felt his presence without looking at him. He noticedthis as he passed herwalking up to the altar. He had nothing to tell herbuthe invented something to say and whispered as he passed her: "Aunt told methat she would break her fast after the late mass." The young blood rushedup to Katusha's sweet faceas it always did when she looked at him. The blackeyeslaughing and full of joygazed naively up and remained fixed onNekhludoff.

"I know" she saidwith a smile.

At this moment the clerk was going out with a copper coffee-pot [coffee-potsare often used for holding holy water in Russia] of holy water in his handandnot noticing Katushabrushed her with his surplice. Evidently he brushedagainst Katusha through wishing to pass Nekhludoff at a respectful distanceandNekhludoff was surprised that hethe clerkdid not understand that everythinghereyesand in all the worldonly existed for Katushaand that everythingelse might remain unheededonly not shebecause she was the centre of all. Forher the gold glittered round the icons; for her all these candles in candelabraand candlesticks were alight; for her were sung these joyful hymns"Beholdthe Passover of the Lord" "RejoiceO ye people!" All--all thatwas good in the world was for her. And it seemed to him that Katusha was awarethat it was all for her when he looked at her well-shaped figurethe tuckedwhite dressthe wraptjoyous expression of her faceby which he knew thatjust 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 thechurch. The people stood aside to let him passand bowed. Some knew him; othersasked who he was.

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

The people continued coming outclattering with their nailed boots on thestone steps and dispersing over the churchyard. A very old man with shakingheadhis aunts' cookstopped Nekhludoff in order to give him the Easter kisshis old wife took an eggdyed yellowout of her handkerchief and gave it toNekhludoffand a smiling young peasant in a new coat and green belt also cameup.

"Christ is risen" he saidwith laughing eyesand coming close toNekhludoff he enveloped him in his peculiar but pleasant peasant smellandtickling him with his curly beardkissed him three times straight on the mouthwith his firmfresh lips.

While the peasant was kissing Nekhludoff and giving him a dark brown eggthelilac dress of Matrona Pavlovna and the dear black head with the red bowappeared.

Katusha caught sight of him over the heads of those in front of herand hesaw how her face brightened up.

She had come out with Matrona Pavlovna on to the porchand stopped theredistributing alms to the beggars. A beggar with a red scab in place of a nosecame up to Katusha. She gave him somethingdrew nearer himandevincing nosign of disgustbut her eyes still shining with joykissed him three times.And while she was doing this her eyes met Nekhludoff's with a look as if shewere asking"Is this that I am doing right?" "Yesdearyesitis right; everything is righteverything is beautiful. I love!"

They came down the steps of the porchand he came up to them.

He did not mean to give them the Easter kissbut only to be nearer to her.Matrona Pavlovna bowed her headand said with a smile"Christ isrisen!" and her tone implied"To-day we are all equal." Shewiped her mouth with her handkerchief rolled into a ball and stretched her lipstowards him.

"He isindeed" answered Nekhludoffkissing her. Then he lookedat Katusha; she blushedand drew nearer. "Christ is risenDmitriIvanovitch." "He is risenindeed" answered Nekhludoffand theykissed twicethen paused as if considering whether a third kiss were necessaryandhaving decided that it waskissed a third time and smiled.

"You are going to the priests?" asked Nekhludoff.

"Nowe shall sit out here a bitDmitri Ivanovitch" said Katushawith effortas if she had accomplished some joyous taskandher whole chestheaving with a deep sighshe looked straight in his face with a look ofdevotionvirgin purityand lovein her very slightly squinting eyes.

In the love between a man and a woman there always comes a moment when thislove has reached its zenith--a moment when it is unconsciousunreasoningandwith nothing sensual about it. Such a moment had come for Nekhludoff on thatEaster eve. When he brought Katusha back to his mindnowthis moment veiledall else; the smooth glossy black headthe white tucked dress closely fittingher graceful maidenly formheras yetun-developed bosomthe blushingcheeksthe tender shining black eyes with their slight squint heightened by thesleepless nightand her whole being stamped with those two marked featurespurity and chaste lovelove not only for him (he knew that)but for everybodyand everythingnot for the good alonebut for all that is in the worldevenfor that beggar whom she had kissed.

He knew she had that love in her because on that night and morning he wasconscious of it in himselfand conscious that in this love he became one withher. Ah! if it had all stopped thereat the point it had reached that night."Yesall that horrible business had not yet happened on that Eastereve!" he thoughtas he sat by the window of the jurymen's room.

CHAPTER XVI. THE FIRST STEP.

When he returned from church Nekhludoff broke the fast with hisaunts and took a glass of spirits and some winehaving got into that habitwhile with his regimentand when he reached his room fell asleep at oncedressed as he was. He was awakened by a knock at the door. He knew it was herknockand got uprubbing his eyes and stretching himself.

"Katushais it you? Come in" said he.

She opened the door.

"Dinner is ready" she said. She still had on the same white dressbut not the bow in her hair. She looked at him with a smileas if she hadcommunicated some very good news to him.

"I am coming" he answeredas he rosetaking his comb to arrangehis hair.

She stood still for a minuteand henoticing itthrew down his comb andmade a step towards herbut at that very moment she turned suddenly and wentwith quick light steps along the strip of carpet in the middle of the passage.

"Dear mewhat a fool I am" thought Nekhludoff. "Why did Inot stop her?" What he wanted her for he did not know himselfbut he feltthat when she came into his room something should have been donesomething thatis generally done on such occasionsand that he had left it undone.

"Katushawait" he said.

"What do you want?" she saidstopping.

"Nothingonly--" andwith an effortremembering how men in hisposition generally behavehe put his arm round her waist.

She stood still and looked into his eyes.

"Don'tDmitri Ivanovitchyou must not" she saidblushing totears and pushing away his arm with her strong hard hand. Nekhludoff let her goand for a moment he felt not only confused and ashamed but disgusted withhimself. He should now have believed himselfand then he would have known thatthis confusion and shame were caused by the best feelings of his soul demandingto be set free; but he thought it was only his stupidity and that he ought tobehave 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 thelilac bushand very different to the kiss this morning in the churchyard. Thiswas a dreadful kissand she felt it.

"Ohwhat are you doing?" she criedin a tone as if he hadirreparably broken something of priceless valueand ran quickly away.

He came into the dining-room. His auntselegantly dressedtheir familydoctorand a neighbour were already there. Everything seemed so very ordinarybut in Nekhludoff a storm was raging. He understood nothing of what was beingsaid and gave wrong answersthinking only of Katusha. The sound of her steps inthe passage brought back the thrill of that last kiss and he could think ofnothing else. When she came into the room hewithout looking roundfelt herpresence 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 upand down in great excitementlistening to every sound in the house andexpecting to hear her steps. The animal man inside him had now not only liftedits headbut had succeeded in trampling under foot the spiritual man of thedays of his first visitand even of that every morning. That dreadful animalman 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 eveninghowevershe was obligedto go into the room next to his. The doctor had been asked to stay the nightand she had to make his bed. When he heard her go in Nekhludoff followed hertreading softly and holding his breath as if he were going to commit a crime.

She was putting a clean pillow-case on the pillowholding it by two of itscorners with her arms inside the pillow-case. She turned round and smilednot ahappyjoyful smile as beforebut in a frightenedpiteous way. The smileseemed 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 forherthough feeblywas still speaking of herher feelingsher life. Anothervoice was saying"Take care I don't let the opportunity for your ownhappinessyour own enjoymentslip by!" And this second voice completelystifled the first. He went up to her with determination and a terribleungovernable animal passion took possession of him.

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

"Dmitri Ivanovitchdear! please let me go" she saidwith apiteous voice. "Matrona Pavlovna is coming" she criedtearingherself away. Some one was really coming to the door.

"WellthenI'll come to you in the night" he whispered."You'll be alone?"

"What are you thinking of? On no account. Nono!" she saidbutonly with her lips; the tremulous confusion of her whole being said somethingvery different.

It was Matrona Pavlovna who had come to the door. She came in with a. blanketover her armlooked reproachfully at Nekhludoffand began scolding Katusha forhaving taken the wrong blanket.

Nekhludoff went out in silencebut he did not even feel ashamed. He couldsee by Matrona Pavlovna's face that she was blaming himhe knew that she wasblaming him with reason and felt that he was doing wrongbut this novellowanimal excitementhaving freed itself of all the old feelings of real love forKatusharuled supremeleaving room for nothing else. He went about as ifdemented all the eveningnow into his aunts'then back into his own roomthenout into the porchthinking all the time how he could meet her alone; but sheavoided himand Matrona Pavlovna watched her closely.

CHAPTER XVII. NEKHLUDOFF AND KATUSHA.

 

AND so the evening passed and night came. The doctor went to bed.Nekhludoff's aunts had also retiredand he knew that Matrona Pavlovna was nowwith 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 darkdamp and warm outof doorsand that white spring mist which drives away the last snowor isdiffused by the thawing of the last snowfilled the air. From the river underthe hillabout a hundred steps from the front doorcame a strange sound. Itwas the ice breaking. Nekhludoff came down the steps and went up to the windowof the maids' roomstepping over the puddles on the bits of glazed snow. Hisheart was beating so fiercely in his breast that he seemed to hear ithislaboured breath came and went in a burst of long-drawn sighs. In the maids' rooma small lamp was burningand Katusha sat alone by the tablelookingthoughtfully in front of her. Nekhludoff stood a long time without moving andwaited to see what shenot knowing that she was observedwould do. For aminute or two she did not move; then she lifted her eyessmiled and shook herhead as if chiding herselfthen changed her pose and dropped both her arms onthe table and again began gazing down in front of her. He stood and looked atherinvoluntarily listening to the beating of his own heart and the strangesounds from the river. There on the riverbeneath the white mistthe unceasinglabour went onand sounds as of something sobbingcrackingdroppingbeingshattered to pieces mixed with the tinkling of the thin bits of ice as theybroke against each other like glass.

There he stoodlooking at Katusha's serioussuffering facewhich betrayedthe inner struggle of her souland he felt pity for her; butstrange though itmay seemthis pity only confirmed him in his evil intention.

He knocked at the window. She started as if she had received an electricshockher whole body trembledand a look of horror came into her face. Thenshe jumped upapproached the window and brought her face up to the pane. Thelook of terror did not leave her face even whenholding her hands up to hereyes like blinkers and peering through the glassshe recognised him. Her facewas unusually grave; he had never seen it so before. She returned his smilebutonly in submission to him; there was no smile in her soulonly fear. Hebeckoned her with his hand to come out into the yard to him. But she shook herhead and remained by the window. He brought his face close to the pane and wasgoing to call out to herbut at that moment she turned to the door; evidentlysome one inside had called her. Nekhludoff moved away from the window. The fogwas so dense that five steps from the house the windows could not be seenbutthe light from the lamp shone red and huge out of a shapeless black mass. And onthe river the same strange sounds went onsobbing and rustling and cracking andtinkling. Somewhere in the fognot far offa cock crowed; another answeredand then othersfar in the village took up the cry till the sound of thecrowing blended into onewhile all around was silent excepting the river. Itwas the second time the cocks crowed that night.

Nekhludoff walked up and down behind the corner of the houseand once ortwice got into a puddle. Then again came up to the window. The lamp was stillburningand she was again sitting alone by the table as if uncertain what todo. He had hardly approached the window when she looked up. He knocked. Withoutlooking who it was she at once ran out of the roomand he heard the outsidedoor open with a snap. He waited for her near the side porch and put his armsround her without saying a word. She clung to himput up her faceand met hiskiss with her lips. Then the door again gave the same sort of snap and openedand the voice of Matrona Pavlovna called out angrily"Katusha!"

She tore herself away from him and returned into the maids' room. He heardthe latch clickand then all was quiet. The red light disappeared and only themist remainedand the bustle on the river went on. Nekhludoff went up to thewindownobody was to be seen; he knockedbut got no answer. He went back intothe house by the front doorbut could not sleep. He got up and went with barefeet along the passage to her doornext Matrona Pavlovna's room. He heardMatrona Pavlovna snoring quietlyand was about to go on when she coughed andturned on her creaking bedand his heart felland he stood immovable for aboutfive minutes. When all was quiet and she began to snore peacefully againhewent ontrying to step on the boards that did not creakand came to Katusha'sdoor. There was no sound to be heard. She was probably awakeor else he wouldhave heard her breathing. But as soon as he had whispered "Katusha"she jumped up and began to persuade himas if angrilyto go away.

"Open! Let me in just for a moment! I implore you! He hardly knew whathe was saying.

 

When she left himtrembling and silentgiving no answer to his wordsheagain went out into the porch and stood trying to understand the meaning of whathad happened.

It was getting lighter. From the river below the creaking and tinkling andsobbing of the breaking ice came still louder and a gurgling sound could nowalso be heard. The mist had begun to sinkand from above it the waning moondimly lighted up something black and weird.

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

CHAPTER XVIII. AFTERWARDS.

The next day the gayhandsomeand brilliant Schonbock joinedNekhludoff at his aunts' houseand quite won their hearts by his refined andamiable mannerhis high spiritshis generosityand his affection for Dmitri.

But though the old ladies admired his generosity it rather perplexed themfor it seemed exaggerated. He gave a rouble to some blind beggars who came tothe gategave 15 roubles in tips to the servantsand when Sophia Ivanovna'spet dog hurt his paw and it bledhe tore his hemstitched cambric handkerchiefinto strips (Sophia Ivanovna knew that such handkerchiefs cost at least 15roubles a dozen) and bandaged the dog's foot. The old ladies had never metpeople of this kindand did not know that Schonbock owed 200000 roubles whichhe was never going to payand that therefore 25 roubles more or less did notmatter a bit to him. Schonbock stayed only one dayand he and Nekhludoff bothleft at night. They could not stay away from their regiment any longerfortheir leave was fully up.

At the stage which Nekhludoff's selfish mania had now reached he could thinkof nothing but himself. He was wondering whether his conductif found outwould be blamed much or at allbut he did not consider what Katusha was nowgoing throughand what was going to happen to her.

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

"AhI see how it is you have taken such a sudden fancy to your auntsthat you have been living nearly a week with them" Schonbock remarked whenhe had seen Katusha. "WellI don't wonder--should have done the same.She's charming." Nekhludoff was also thinking that though it was a pity togo away before having fully gratified the cravings of his love for heryet theabsolute necessity of parting had its advantages because it put a sudden stop torelations it would have been very difficult for him to continue. Then he thoughtthat he ought to give her some moneynot for hernot because she might needitbut because it was the thing to do.

So he gave her what seemed to him a liberal amountconsidering his and herstation. On the day of his departureafter dinnerhe went out and waited forher at the side entrance. She flushed up when she saw him and wished to pass bydirecting his attention to the open door of the maids' room by a lookbut hestopped her.

"I have come to say good-bye" he saidcrumbling in his hand anenvelope with a 100-rouble note inside. "ThereI" . . .

She guessed what he meantknit her browsand shaking her head pushed hishand away.

"Take it; ohyou must!" he stammeredand thrust the envelope intothe bib of her apron and ran back to his roomgroaning and frowning as if hehad hurt himself. And for a long time he went up and down writhing as in painand even stamping and groaning aloud as he thought of this last scene. "Butwhat else could I have done? Is it not what happens to every one? And if everyone does the same . . . well I suppose it can't be helped." In this way hetried to get peace of mindbut in vain. The recollection of what had passedburned his conscience. In his soul--in the very depths of his soul--he knew thathe had acted in a basecruelcowardly mannerand that the knowledge of thisact of his must prevent himnot only from finding fault with any one elsebuteven from looking straight into other people's eyes; not to mention theimpossibility of considering himself a splendidnoblehigh-minded fellowashe did and had to do to go on living his life boldly and merrily. There was onlyone solution of the problem--i.e.not to think about it. He succeeded in doingso. The life he was now entering uponthe new surroundingsnew friendsthewarall helped him to forget. And the longer he livedthe less he thoughtabout ituntil at last he forgot it completely.

Once onlywhenafter the warhe went to see his aunts in hopes of meetingKatushaand heard that soon after his last visit she had leftand that hisaunts had heard she had been confined somewhere or other and had gone quite tothe badhis heart ached. According to the time of her confinementthe childmight or might not have been his. His aunts said she had gone wrongthat shehad inherited her mother's depraved natureand he was pleased to hear thisopinion of his aunts'. It seemed to acquit him. At first he thought of trying tofind her and her childbut thenjust because in the depths of his soul he feltso ashamed and pained when thinking about herhe did not make the necessaryeffort to find herbut tried to forget his sin again and ceased to think aboutit. And now this strange coincidence brought it all back to his memoryanddemanded from him the acknowledgment of the heartlesscruel cowardice which hadmade it possible for him to live these nine years with such a sin on hisconscience. But he was still far from such an acknowledgmentand his only fearwas that everything might now be found outand that she or her advocate mightrecount it all and put him to shame before every one present.

CHAPTER XIX. THE TRIAL--RESUMPTION.

 

In this state of mind Nekhludoff left the Court and went into the jurymen'sroom. He sat by the window smoking all the whileand hearing what was beingsaid around him.

The merry merchant seemed with all his heart to sympathise with Smelkoff'sway of spending his time. "Thereold fellowthat was something like! RealSiberian fashion! He knew what he was aboutno fear! That's the sort of wenchfor me."

The foreman was stating his convictionthat in some way or other theexpert's conclusions were the important thing. Peter Gerasimovitch was jokingabout something with the Jewish clerkand they burst out laughing. Nekhludoffanswered all the questions addressed to him in monosyllables and longed only tobe left in peace.

When the usherwith his sideways gaitcalled the jury back to the CourtNekhludoff was seized with fearas if he were not going to judgebut to bejudged. In the depth of his soul he felt that he was a scoundrelwho ought tobe ashamed to look people in the faceyetby sheer force of habithe steppedon to the platform in his usual self-possessed mannerand sat downcrossinghis legs and playing with his pince-nez.

The prisoners had also been led outand were now brought in again. Therewere some new faces in the Court witnessesand Nekhludoff noticed that Maslovacould not take her eyes off a very fat woman who sat in the row in front of thegratingvery showily dressed in silk and velveta high hat with a large bow onher headand an elegant little reticule on her armwhich was bare to theelbow. This wasas he subsequently found outone of the witnessesthemistress of the establishment to which Maslova had belonged.

The examination of the witnesses commenced: they were asked their namesreligionetc. Thenafter some consultation as to whether the witnesses were tobe sworn in or notthe old priest came in againdragging his legs withdifficultyandagain arranging the golden cross on his breastswore thewitnesses and the expert in the same quiet mannerand with the same assurancethat he was doing something useful and important.

The witnesses having been swornall but Kitaevathe keeper of the housewere led out again. She was asked what she knew about this affair. Kitaevanodded her head and the big hat at every sentence and smiled affectedly. Shegave a very full and intelligent accountspeaking with a strong German accent.First of allthe hotel servant Simeonwhom she knewcame to her establishmenton behalf of a rich Siberian merchantand she sent Lubov back with him. After atime Lubov returned with the merchant. The merchant was already somewhatintoxicated--she smiled as she said this--and went on drinking and treating thegirls. He was short of money. He sent this same Lubov to his lodgings. He hadtaken a "predilection" to her. She looked at the prisoner as she saidthis.

Nekhludoff thought he saw Maslova smile hereand this seemed disgusting tohim. A strangeindefinite feeling of loathingmingled with sufferingarose inhim.

"And what was your opinion of Maslova?" asked the blushing andconfused applicant for a judicial postappointed to act as Maslova's advocate.

"Zee ferry pesht" answered Kitaeva. "Zee yoong voman isetucated and elecant. She was prought up in a coot family and can reat French.She tid have a trop too moch sometimesput nefer forcot herself. A ferry cootgirl."

Katusha looked at the womanthen suddenly turned her eyes on the jury andfixed them on Nekhludoffand her face grew serious and even severe. One of herserious eyes squintedand those two strange eyes for some time gazed atNekhludoffwhoin spite of the terrors that seized himcould not take hislook off these squinting eyeswith their brightclear whites.

He thought of that dreadful nightwith its mistthe ice breaking on theriver belowand when the waning moonwith horns turned upwardsthat had risentowards morninglit up something black and weird. These two black eyes nowlooking at him reminded him of this weirdblack something. "She hasrecognised me" he thoughtand Nekhludoff shrank as if expecting a blow.But she had not recognised him. She sighed quietly and again looked at thepresident. Nekhludoff also sighed. "Ohif it would only get onquicker" he thought.

He now felt the same loathing and pity and vexation as whenout shootinghewas obliged to kill a wounded bird. The wounded bird struggles in the game bag.One is disgusted and yet feels pityand one is in a hurry to kill the bird andforget it.

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

CHAPTER XX. THE TRIAL--THE MEDICAL REPORT.

 

Butas if to spite himthe case dragged out to a great length. After eachwitness had been examined separately and the expert last of alland a greatnumber of useless questions had been putwith the usual air of importancebythe public prosecutor and by both advocatesthe president invited the jury toexamine the objects offered as material evidence. They consisted of an enormousdiamond ringwhich had evidently been worn on the first fingerand a test tubein which the poison had been analysed. These things had seals and labelsattached to them.

Just as the witnesses were about to look at these thingsthe publicprosecutor rose and demanded that before they did this the results of thedoctor's examination of the body should be read. The presidentwho was hurryingthe business through as fast as he could in order to visit his Swiss friendthough he knew that the reading of this paper could have no other effect thanthat of producing weariness and putting off the dinner hourand that the publicprosecutor wanted it read simply because he knew he had a right to demand ithad no option but to express his consent.

The secretary got out the doctor's report and again began to read in hisweary lisping voicemaking 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 badthat. A very good size" whispered the merchantwithinterestinto 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 colourwith dark spots in several places.

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

6. The hair was chestnut; it was thickand separated easily from the skinwhen touched.

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

8. Out of the nostrilsboth earsand the mouth oozed serous liquid; themouth was half open.

9. The neck had almost disappearedowing to the swelling of the face andchest."

And so on and so on.

Four pages were covered with the 27 paragraphs describing all the details ofthe external examination of the enormousfatswollenand decomposing body ofthe merchant who had been making merry in the town. The indefinite loathing thatNekhludoff felt was increased by the description of the corpse. Katusha's lifeand the scrum oozing from the nostrils of the corpseand the eyes thatprotruded out of their socketsand his own treatment of her--all seemed tobelong to the same order of thingsand he felt surrounded and wholly absorbedby things of the same nature.

When the reading of the report of the external examination was endedthepresident heaved a sigh and raised his handhoping it was finished; but thesecretary at once went on to the description of the internal examination. Thepresident's head again dropped into his hand and he shut his eyes. The merchantnext to Nekhludoff could hardly keep awakeand now and then his body swayed toand 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 skullandthere was no coagulated blood.

"2. The bones of the skull were of average thickness and in soundcondition.

"3. On the membrane of the brain there were two discoloured spots aboutfour inches longthe membrane itself being of a dull white." And so on for13 paragraphs more. Then followed the names and signatures of the assistantsand the doctor's conclusion showing that the changes observed in the stomachand to a lesser degree in the bowels and kidneysat the postmortem examinationand described in the official reportgave great probability to the conclusionthat Smelkoff's death was caused by poison which had entered his stomach mixedwith alcohol. To decide from the state of the stomach what poison had beenintroduced was difficult; but it was necessary to suppose that the poisonentered the stomach mixed with alcoholsince a great quantity of the latter wasfound in Smelkoff's stomach.

"He could drinkand no mistake" again whispered the merchantwhohad just waked up.

The reading of this report had taken a full hourbut it had not satisfiedthe public prosecutorforwhen it had been read through and the presidentturned to himsaying"I suppose it is superfluous to read the report ofthe examination of the internal organs?" he answered in a severe tonewithout looking at the president"I shall ask to have it read."

He raised himself a littleand showed by his manner that he had a right tohave this report readand would claim this rightand that if that were notgranted it would serve as a cause of appeal.

The member of the Court with the big beardwho suffered from catarrh of thestomachfeeling quite done upturned to the president:

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

The member with the gold spectacles said nothingbut only looked gloomily infront of himexpecting nothing goodeither from his wife or life in general.The reading of the report commenced.

"In the year 188-on February 15thIthe undersignedcommissioned bythe medical departmentmade an examinationNo. 638" the secretary beganagain with firmness and raising the pitch of his voice as if to dispel thesleepiness that had overtaken all present"in the presence of theassistant medical inspectorof the internal organs:

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

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

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

"4. The liverthe 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 membersthen stooped to theotherand having received their consenthe said: "The Court considers thereading of this report superfluous." The secretary stopped reading andfolded the paperand the public prosecutor angrily began to write downsomething. "The gentlemen of the jury may now examine the articles ofmaterial evidence" said the president. The foreman and several of theothers rose and went to the tablenot quite knowing what to do with theirhands. They looked in turn at the glassthe test tubeand the ring. Themerchant even tried on the ring.

"Ah! that was a finger" he saidreturning to his place;"like a cucumber" he added. Evidently the image he had formed in hismind of the gigantic merchant amused him.

CHAPTER XXI. THE TRIAL--THE PROSECUTOR AND THE ADVOCATES.

When the examination of the articles of material evidence wasfinishedthe president announced that the investigation was now concluded andimmediately called on the prosecutor to proceedhoping that as the latter wasalso a manhetoomight feel inclined to smoke or dineand show some mercyon the rest. But the public prosecutor showed mercy neither to himself nor toany one else. He was very stupid by naturebutbesides thishe had had themisfortune of finishing school with a gold medal and of receiving a reward forhis essay on "Servitude" when studying Roman Law at the Universityand was therefore self-confident and self-satisfied in the highest degree (hissuccess with the ladies also conducing to this) and his stupidity had becomeextraordinary.

When the word was given to himhe got up slowlyshowing the whole of hisgraceful figure in his embroidered uniform. Putting his hand on the desk helooked round the roomslightly bowing his headandavoiding the eyes of theprisonersbegan to read the speech he had prepared while the reports were beingread.

"Gentlemen of the jury! The business that now lies before you isif Imay so express myselfvery characteristic."

The speech of a public prosecutoraccording to his viewsshould always havea social importancelike the celebrated speeches made by the advocates who havebecome distinguished. Truethe audience consisted of three women--a semptressa cookand Simeon's sister--and a coachman; but this did not matter. Thecelebrities had begun in the same way. To be always at the height of hispositioni.e.to penetrate into the depths of the psychological significanceof crime and to discover the wounds of societywas one of the prosecutor'sprinciples.

"You see before yougentlemen of the jurya crime characteristicif Imay so express myselfof the end of our century; bearingso to saythespecific features of that very painful phenomenonthe corruption to which thoseelements of our present-day societywhich areso to sayparticularly exposedto the burning rays of this processare subject."

The public prosecutor spoke at great lengthtrying not to forget any of thenotions he had formed in his mindandon the other handnever to hesitateand 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 salivabut hesoon mastered himself and made up for the interruption by heightened eloquence.He spokenow with a tenderinsinuating accentstepping from foot to foot andlooking at the jurynow in quietbusiness-like tonesglancing into hisnotebookthen with a loudaccusing voicelooking from the audience to theadvocates. But he avoided looking at the prisonerswho were all three fixedlygazing at him. Every new craze then in vogue among his set was alluded to in hisspeech; everything that then wasand some things that still areconsidered tobe the last words of scientific wisdom: the laws of heredity and inborncriminalityevolution and the struggle for existencehypnotism and hypnoticinfluence.

According to his definitionthe merchant Smelkoff was of the genuine Russiantypeand had perished in consequence of his generoustrusting naturehavingfallen into the hands of deeply degraded individuals.

Simeon Kartinkin was the atavistic production of serfdoma stupefiedignorantunprincipled manwho had not even any religion. Euphemia was hismistressand a victim of heredity; all the signs of degeneration werenoticeable in her. The chief wire-puller in this affair was Maslovapresentingthe phenomenon of decadence in its lowest form. "This woman" he saidlooking at her"hasas we have to-day heard from her mistress in thiscourtreceived an education; she cannot only read and writebut she knowsFrench; she is illegitimateand probably carries in her the germs ofcriminality. She was educated in an enlightenednoble family and might havelived by honest workbut she deserts her benefactressgives herself up to alife of shame in which she is distinguished from her companions by hereducationand chieflygentlemen of the juryas you have heard from hermistressby her power of acting on the visitors by means of that mysteriouscapacity lately investigated by scienceespecially by the school of Charcotknown by the name of hypnotic influence. By these means she gets hold of thisRussianthis kind-hearted Sadko[Sadkothe hero of a legend] the rich guestand uses his trust in order first to rob and then pitilessly to murderhim."

"Wellhe is piling it on nowisn't he?" said the president with asmilebending towards the serious member.

"A fearful blockhead!" said the serious member.

Meanwhile the public prosecutor went on with his speech. "Gentlemen ofthe jury" gracefully swaying his body"the fate of society is to acertain extent in your power. Your verdict will influence it. Grasp the fullmeaning of this crimethe danger that awaits society from those whom I mayperhaps be permitted to call pathological individualssuch as Maslova. Guard itfrom infection; guard the innocent and strong elements of society from contagionor even destruction."

And as if himself overcome by the significance of the expected verdictthepublic prosecutor sank into his chairhighly delighted with his speech.

The sense of the speechwhen divested of all its flowers of rhetoricwasthat Maslovahaving gained the merchant's confidencehypnotised him and wentto his lodgings with his key meaning to take all the money herselfbut havingbeen caught in the act by Simeon and Euphemia had to share it with them. Thenin order to hide the traces of the crimeshe had returned to the lodgings withthe merchant and there poisoned him.

After the prosecutor had spokena middle-aged man in swallow-tail coat andlow-cut waistcoat showing a large half-circle of starched white shirtrose fromthe 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 andput all the blame on Maslova. He denied the truth of Maslova's statements thatBotchkova and Kartinkin were with her when she took the moneylaying greatstress on the point that her evidence could not be acceptedshe being chargedwith poisoning. "The 2500 roubles" the advocate said"couldhave been easily earned by two honest people getting from three to five roublesper day in tips from the lodgers. The merchant's money was stolen by Maslova andgiven awayor even lostas she was not in a normal state."

The poisoning was committed by Maslova alone; therefore he begged the jury toacquit Kartinkin and Botchkova of stealing the money; or if they could notacquit them of the theftat least to admit that it was done without anyparticipation in the poisoning.

In conclusion the advocate remarkedwith a thrust at the public prosecutorthat "the brilliant observations of that gentleman on hereditywhileexplaining scientific facts concerning hereditywere inapplicable in this caseas Botchkova was of unknown parentage." The public prosecutor put somethingdown on paper with an angry lookand shrugged his shoulders in contemptuoussurprise.

Then Maslova's advocate roseand timidly and hesitatingly began his speechin her defence.

Without denying that she had taken part in the stealing of the moneyheinsisted on the fact that she had no intention of poisoning Smelkoffbut hadgiven him the powder only to make him fall asleep. He tried to go in for alittle eloquence in giving a description of how Maslova was led into a life ofdebauchery by a man who had remained unpunished while she had to bear all theweight of her fall; but this excursion into the domain of psychology was sounsuccessful that it made everybody feel uncomfortable. When he mutteredsomething about men's cruelty and women's helplessnessthe president tried tohelp him by asking him to keep closer to the facts of the case. When he hadfinished the public prosecutor got up to reply. He defended his position againstthe first advocatesaying that oven if Botchkova was of unknown parentage thetruth of the doctrine of heredity was thereby in no way invalidatedsince thelaws of heredity were so far proved by science that we can not only deduce thecrime from hereditybut heredity from the crime. As to the statement made indefence of Maslovathat she was the victim of an imaginary (he laid aparticularly venomous stress on the word imaginary) betrayerhe could only saythat from the evidence before them it was much more likely that she had playedthe 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 offeredpermission to speak in their own defence.

Euphemia Botchkova repeated once more that she knew nothing about it and hadtaken part in nothingand firmly laid the whole blame on Maslova. SimeonKartinkin only repeated several times: "It is your businessbut I aminnocent; it's unjust." Maslova said nothing in her defence. Told she mightdo so by the presidentshe only lifted her eyes to himcast a look round theroom like a hunted animalanddropping her headbegan to crysobbing aloud.

"What is the matter?" the merchant asked Nekhludoffhearing himutter a strange sound. This was the sound of weeping fiercely kept back.Nekhludoff had not yet understood the significance of his present positionandattributed the sobs he could hardly keep back and the tears that filled his eyesto the weakness of his nerves. He put on his pince-nez in order to hide thetearsthen got out his handkerchief and began blowing his nose.

Fear of the disgrace that would befall him if every one in the court knew ofhis conduct stifled the inner working of his soul. This fear wasduring thisfirst periodstronger than all else.

CHAPTER XXII. THE TRIAL--THE SUMMING UP.

 

After the last words of the prisoners had been heardthe form in which thequestions were to be put to the jury was settledwhich also took some time. Atlast the questions were formulatedand the president began the summing up.

Before putting the case to the juryhe spoke to them for some time in apleasanthomely mannerexplaining that burglary was burglary and theft wastheftand that stealing from a place which was under lock and key was stealingfrom a place under lock and key. While he was explaining thishe looked severaltimes at Nekhludoff as if wishing to impress upon him these important factsinhopes thathaving understood itNekhludoff would make his fellow-jurymen alsounderstand it. When he considered that the jury were sufficiently imbued withthese factshe proceeded to enunciate another truth--namelythat a murder isan action which has the death of a human being as its consequenceand thatpoisoning could therefore also be termed murder. Whenaccording to his opinionthis truth had also been received by the juryhe went on to explain that iftheft and murder had been committed at the same timethe combination of thecrimes was theft with murder.

Although he was himself anxious to finish as soon as possiblealthough heknew that his Swiss friend would be waiting for himhe had grown so used to hisoccupation thathaving begun to speakhe could not stop himselfand thereforehe went on to impress on the jury with much detail that if they found theprisoners guiltythey would have the right to give a verdict of guilty; and ifthey found them not guiltyto give a verdict of not guilty; and if they foundthem guilty of one of the crimes and not of the otherthey might give a verdictof guilty on the one count and of not guilty on the other. Then he explainedthat 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 questionthat was put to them they would thereby affirm everything included in thequestionso that if they did not wish to affirm the whole of the question theyshould mention the part of the question they wished to be excepted. Butglancing at the clock. and seeing it was already five minutes to threeheresolved to trust to their being intelligent enough to understand this withoutfurther comment.

"The facts of this case are the following" began the presidentand repeated all that had already been said several times by the advocatesthepublic prosecutor and the witnesses.

The president spokeand the members on each side of him listened withdeeply-attentive expressionsbut looked from time to time at the clockforthey considered the speech too long though very good--i.e.such as it ought tobe. The public prosecutorthe lawyersandin facteveryone in the courtshared the same impression. The president finished the summing up. Then he foundit necessary to tell the jury what they all knewor might have found out byreading it up--i.e.how they were to consider the casecount the votesincase of a tie to acquit the prisonersand so on.

Everything seemed to have been told; but nothe president could not foregohis right of speaking as yet. It was so pleasant to hear the impressive tones ofhis own voiceand therefore he found it necessary to say a few words more aboutthe importance of the rights given to the juryhow carefully they should usethe rights and how they ought not to abuse themabout their being on theiroaththat they were the conscience of societythat the secrecy of thedebating-room should be considered sacredetc.

From the time the president commenced his speechMaslova watched him withoutmoving her eyes as if afraid of losing a single word; so that Nekhludoff was notafraid of meeting her eyes and kept looking at her all the time. And his mindpassed through those phases in which a face which we have not seen for manyyears first strikes us with the outward changes brought about during the time ofseparationand then gradually becomes more and more like its old selfwhen thechanges made by time seem to disappearand before our spiritual eyes rises onlythe principal expression of one exceptionalunique individuality. Yesthoughdressed in a prison cloakand in spite of the developed figurethe fulness ofthe bosom and lower part of the facein spite of a few wrinkles on the foreheadand temples and the swollen eyesthis was certainly the same Katusha whoonthat Easter evehad so innocently looked up to him whom she lovedwith herfondlaughing eyes full of joy and life.

"What a strange coincidence that after ten yearsduring which I neversaw herthis case should have come up today when I am on the juryand that itis in the prisoners' dock that I see her again! And how will it end? Ohdearif they would only get on quicker."

Still he would not give in to the feelings of repentance which began to arisewithin him. He tried to consider it all as a coincidencewhich would passwithout infringing his manner of life. He felt himself in the position of apuppywhen its mastertaking it by the scruff of its neckrubs its nose inthe mess it has made. The puppy whinesdraws back and wants to get away as faras possible from the effects of its misdeedbut the pitiless master does notlet go.

And soNekhludofffeeling all the repulsiveness of what he had donefeltalso the powerful hand of the Masterbut he did not feel the whole significanceof his action yet and would not recognise the Master's hand. He did not wish tobelieve that it was the effect of his deed that lay before himbut the pitilesshand of the Master held him and he felt he could not get away. He was stillkeeping up his courage and sat on his chair in the first row in his usualself-possessed poseone leg carelessly thrown over the otherand playing withhis pince-nez. Yet all the whilein the depths of his soulhe felt thecrueltycowardice and basenessnot only of this particular action of his butof his whole self-willeddepravedcruelidle life; and that dreadful veilwhich had in some unaccountable manner hidden from him this sin of his and thewhole of his subsequent life was beginning to shakeand he caught glimpses ofwhat was covered by that veil.

CHAPTER XXIII. THE TRIAL--THE VERDICT.

 

At last the president finished his speechand lifting the list of questionswith a graceful movement of his arm he handed it to the foremanwho came up totake it. The juryglad to be able to get into the debating-courtgot up oneafter the other and left the roomlooking as if a bit ashamed of themselves andagain not knowing what to do with their hands. As soon as the door was closedbehind them a gendarme came up to itpulled his sword out of the scabbardandholding it up against his shoulderstood at the door. The judges got up andwent away. The prisoners were also led out. When the jury came into thedebating-room the first thing they did was to take out their cigarettesasbeforeand begin smoking. The sense of the unnaturalness and falseness of theirpositionwhich all of them had experienced while sitting in their places in thecourtpassed when they entered the debating-room and started smokingand theysettled down with a feeling of relief and at once began an animatedconversation.

"'Tisn't the girl's fault. She's got mixed up in it" said thekindly 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? Whyit nearly sent me to sleep!"

"The chief point is that the servants could have known nothing about themoney if Maslova had not been in accord with them" said the clerk ofJewish extraction.

"Welldo you think that it was she who stole the money?" asked oneof the jury.

"I will never believe it" cried the kindly merchant; "it wasall that red-eyed hag's doing."

"They are a nice lotall of them" said the colonel.

"But she says she never went into the room."

"Ohbelieve her by all means."

"I should not believe that jadenot for the world."

"Whether you believe her or not does not settle the question" saidthe 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 ownand had had a drop too much besidesand gave the girl a licking; what could be simpler? Wellthen he's sorry--quitenaturally. 'Therenever mind' says he; 'take this.' WhyI heard them say hewas six foot five high; I should think he must have weighed about 20stones."

"That's not the point" said Peter Gerasimovitch. "Thequestion iswhether she was the instigator and inciter in this affairor theservants?"

"It was not possible for the servants to do it alone; she had thekey."

This kind of random talk went on for a considerable time. At last the foremansaid: "I beg your pardongentlemenbut had we not better take our placesat the table and discuss the matter? Comeplease." And he took the chair.

The questions were expressed in the following manner.

1. Is the peasant of the village BorkiKrapivinskia districtSimeon PetrovKartinkin33 years of ageguilty of havingin agreement with other personsgiven the merchant Smelkoffon the 17th January188-in the town of N-----with intent to deprive him of lifefor the purpose of robbing himpoisonedbrandywhich caused Smelkoff's deathand of having stolen from him about 2500roubles in money and a diamond ring?

2. Is the meschanka Euphemia Ivanovna Botchkova43 years of ageguilty ofthe crimes described above?

3. Is the meschanka Katerina Michaelovna Maslova27 years of ageguilty ofthe crimes described in the first question?

4. If the prisoner Euphemia Botchkova is not guilty according to the firstquestionis she not guilty of havingon the 17th Januaryin the town ofN----while in service at the hotel Mauritaniastolen from a lockedportmanteaubelonging to the merchant Smelkoffa lodger in that hotelandwhich was in the room occupied by him2500 roublesfor which object sheunlocked the portmanteau with a key she brought and fitted to the lock?

The foreman read the first question.

"Wellgentlemenwhat do you think?" This question was quicklyanswered. All agreed to say "Guilty" as if convinced that Kartinkinhad taken part both in the poisoning and the robbery. An old artelshik[memberof an artelan association of workmenin which the members share profits andliabilities] whose answers were all in favour of acquittalwas the onlyexception.

The foreman thought he did not understandand began to point out to him thateverything tended to prove Kartinkin's guilt. The old man answered that he didunderstandbut still thought it better to have pity on him. "We are notsaints ourselves" and he kept to his opinion.

The answer to the second question concerning Botchkova wasafter muchdispute and many exclamationsanswered by the words"Not guilty"there being no clear proofs of her having taken part in the poisoning--a facther advocate had strongly insisted on. The merchantanxious to acquit Maslovainsisted that Botchkova was the chief instigator of it all. Many of the juryshared this viewbut the foremanwishing to be in strict accord with the lawdeclared 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 tomercy.

The third questionconcerning Maslovaraised a fierce dispute. The foremanmaintained she was guilty both of the poisoning and the theftto which themerchant would not agree. The colonelthe clerk and the old artelshik sidedwith the merchantthe rest seemed shakyand the opinion of the foreman beganto gain groundchiefly because all the jurymen were getting tiredandpreferred to take up the view that would bring them sooner to a decision andthus liberate them.

From all that had passedand from his former knowledge of MaslovaNekhludoff was certain that she was innocent of both the theft and thepoisoning. And he felt sure that all the others would come to the sameconclusion. When he saw that the merchant's awkward defence (evidently based onhis physical admiration for herwhich he did not even try to hide) and theforeman's insistenceand especially everybody's wearinesswere all tending toher condemnationhe longed to state his objectionsyet dared notlest hisrelations with Maslova should be discovered. He felt he could not allow thingsto go on without stating his objection; andblushing and growing pale againwas about to speak when Peter Gerasimovitchirritated by the authoritativemanner of the foremanbegan to raise his objections and said the very thingsNekhludoff was about to say.

"Allow me one moment" he said. "You seem to think that herhaving the key proves she is guilty of the theft; but what could be easier thanfor the servants to open the portmanteau with a false key after she was gone?

"Of courseof course" said the merchant.

"She could not have taken the moneybecause in her position she wouldhardly 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 onher." Peter Gerasimovitch spoke so irritably that the foreman becameirritated tooand went on obstinately defending the opposite views; but PeterGerasimovitch spoke so convincingly that the majority agreed with himanddecided that Maslova was not guilty of stealing the money and that the ring wasgiven her.

But when the question of her having taken part in the poisoning was raisedher zealous defenderthe merchantdeclared that she must be acquittedbecauseshe could have no reason for the poisoning. The foremanhoweversaid that itwas impossible to acquit herbecause she herself had pleaded guilty to havinggiven the powder.

"Yesbut thinking it was opium" said the merchant.

"Opium can also deprive one of life" said the colonelwho wasfond of wandering from the subjectand he began telling how hisbrother-in-law's wife would have died of an overdose of opium if there had notbeen a doctor near at hand to take the necessary measures. The colonel told hisstory so impressivelywith such self-possession and dignitythat no one hadthe courage to interrupt him. Only the clerkinfected by his exampledecidedto break in with a story of his own: "There are some who get so used to itthat they can take 40 drops. I have a relative--" but the colonel wouldnot stand the interruptionand went on to relate what effects the opium had onhis brother-in-law's wife.

"Butgentlemendo you know it is getting on towards fiveo'clock?" said one of the jury.

"Wellgentlemenwhat are we to saythen?" inquired the foreman."Shall we say she is guiltybut without intent to rob? And withoutstealing any property? Will that do?" Peter Gerasimovitchpleased with hisvictoryagreed.

"But she must be recommended to mercy" said the merchant.

All agreed; only the old artelshik insisted that they should say "Notguilty."

"It comes to the same thing" explained the foreman; "withoutintent to roband without stealing any property. Therefore'Not guilty'that's evident."

"All right; that'll do. And we recommend her to mercy" said themerchantgaily.

They were all so tiredso confused by the discussionsthat nobody thoughtof saying that she was guilty of giving the powder but without the intent oftaking life. Nekhludoff was so excited that he did not notice this omissionandso 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 lawsread 20 pages of judicial senseless Latinand then proposed to the judges tothrow diceand if the numbers proved odd the defendant would he rightif notthe plaintiff.

It was much the same in this case. The resolution was takennot becauseeverybody agreed upon itbut because the presidentwho had been summing up atsuch lengthomitted to say what he always said on such occasionsthat theanswer might be"Yesguiltybut without the intent of taking life;"because the colonel had related the story of his brother-in-law's wife at suchgreat length; because Nekhludoff was too excited to notice that the proviso"without intent to take life" had been omittedand thought that thewords "without intent" nullified the conviction; because PeterGerasimovitch had retired from the room while the questions and answers werebeing readand chiefly becausebeing tiredand wishing to get away as soon aspossibleall were ready to agree with the decision which would bring matters toan end soonest.

The jurymen rang the bell. The gendarme who had stood outside the door withhis sword drawn put the sword back into the scabbard and stepped aside. Thejudges 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 tothe presidentwho looked at itandspreading out his hands in astonishmentturned to consult his companions. The president was surprised that the juryhaving put in a proviso--without intent to rob--did not put in a secondproviso--without intent to take life. From the decision of the jury it followedthat Maslova had not stolennor robbedand yet poisoned a man without anyapparent reason.

"Just see what an absurd decision they have come to" he whisperedto the member on his left. "This means penal servitude in Siberiaand sheis innocent."

"Surely you do not mean to say she is innocent? answered the seriousmember.

"Yesshe is positively innocent. I think this is a case for puttingArticle 817 into practice (Article 817 states that if the Court considers thedecision of the jury unjust it may set it aside)."

"What do you think?" said the presidentturning to the othermember. The kindly member did not answer at once. He looked at the number on apaper before him and added up the figures; the sum would not divide by three. Hehad settled in his mind that if it did divide by three he would agree to thepresident's proposalbut though the sum would not so divide his kindness madehim agree all the same.

"Itoothink it should he done" he said.

"And you?" asked the presidentturning to the serious member.

"On no account" he answeredfirmly. "As it isthe papersaccuse the jury of acquitting prisoners. What will they say if the Court doesit? Ishall not agree to that on any account."

The president looked at his watch. "It is a pitybut what's to bedone?" and handed the questions to the foreman to read out. All got upandthe foremanstepping from foot to footcoughedand read the questions and theanswers. All the Courtsecretaryadvocatesand even the public prosecutorexpressed surprise. The prisoners sat impassiveevidently not understanding themeaning of the answers. Everybody sat down againand the president asked theprosecutor what punishments the prisoners were to be subjected to.

The prosecutorglad of his unexpected success in getting Maslova convictedand attributing the success entirely to his own eloquencelooked up thenecessary informationrose and said: "With Simeon Kartinkin I should dealaccording to Statute 1452 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 thepresidentrising. Everybody rose after himand with the pleasant feeling of atask well done began to leave the room or move about in it.

"D'you knowsirswe have made a shameful hash of it?" said PeterGerasimovitchapproaching Nekhludoffto whom the foreman was relatingsomething. "Whywe've got her to Siberia."

"What are you saying?" exclaimed Nekhludoff. This time he did notnotice the teacher's familiarity.

"Whywe did not put in our answer 'Guiltybut without intent ofcausing death.' The secretary just told me the public prosecutor is forcondemning her to 15 years' penal servitude."

"Wellbut it was decided so" said the foreman.

Peter Gerasimovitch began to dispute thissaying that since she did not takethe money it followed naturally that she could not have had any intention ofcommitting murder.

"But I read the answer before going out" said the foremandefending himself"and nobody objected."

"I had just then gone out of the room" said Peter Gerasimovitchturning to Nekhludoff"and your thoughts must have been wool-gathering tolet the thing pass."

"I never imagined this" Nekhludoff replied.

"Ohyou didn't?"

"Ohwellwe can get it put right" said Nekhludoff.

"Ohdear no; it's finished."

Nekhludoff looked at the prisoners. They whose fate was being decided stillsat motionless behind the grating in front of the soldiers. Maslova was smiling.Another feeling stirred in Nekhludoff's soul. Up to nowexpecting her acquittaland thinking she would remain in the townhe was uncertain how to act towardsher. Any kind of relations with her would be so very difficult. But Siberia andpenal servitude at once cut off every possibility of any kind of relations withher. The wounded bird would stop struggling in the game-bagand no longerremind him of its existence.

CHAPTER XXIV. THE TRIAL--THE SENTENCE.

Peter Gerasimovitch's assumption was correct. The president cameback from the debating room with a paperand read as follows:--"April28th188-. By His Imperial Majesty's ukase No. ----The Criminal Courton thestrength of the decision of the juryin accordance with Section 3 of Statute771Section 3 of Statutes 770 and 777decrees that the peasantSimeonKartinkin33 years of ageand the meschanka Katerina Maslova27 years of ageare to be deprived of all property rights and to be sent to penal servitude inSiberiaKartinkin for eightMaslova for four yearswith the consequencesstated in Statute 25 of the code. The meschanka Botchkova43 years of agetobe deprived of all special personal and acquired rightsand to be imprisonedfor three years with consequences in accord with Statute 48 of the code. Thecosts of the case to be borne equally by the prisoners; andin the case oftheir being without sufficient propertythe costs to be transferred to theTreasury. Articles of material evidence to be soldthe ring to be returnedthephials destroyed." Botchkova was condemned to prisonSimeon Kartinken andKaterina Maslova to the loss of all special rights and privileges and to penalservitude in Siberiahe for eight and she for four years.

Kartinkin stood holding his arms close to his sides and moving his lips.Botchkova seemed perfectly calm. Maslovawhen she heard the sentenceblushedscarlet. "I'm not guiltynot guilty!" she suddenly criedso that itresounded through the room. "It is a sin! I am not guilty! I neverwished--I never thought! It is the truth I am saying--the truth!" andsinking on the bench she burst into tears and sobbed aloud. When Kartinkin andBotchkova went out she still sat cryingso that a gendarme had to touch thesleeve of her cloak.

"No; it is impossible to leave it as it is" said Nekhludoff tohimselfutterly forgetting his bad thoughts. He did not know why he wished tolook at her once morebut hurried out into the corridor. There was quite acrowd at the door. The advocates and jury were going outpleased to havefinished the businessand he was obliged to wait a few secondsand when he atlast got out into the corridor she was far in front. He hurried along thecorridor after herregardless of the attention he was arousingcaught her uppassed herand stopped. She had ceased crying and only sobbedwiping her reddiscoloured face with the end of the kerchief on her head. She passed withoutnoticing him. Then he hurried back to see the president. The latter had alreadyleft the courtand Nekhludoff followed him into the lobby and went up to himjust as he had put on his light grey overcoat and was taking the silver-mountedwalking-stick which an attendant was handing him.

"Sirmay I have a few words with you concerning some business I havejust decided upon?" said Nekhludoff. I am one of the jury."

"OhcertainlyPrince Nekhludoff. I shall be delighted. I think we havemet before" said the presidentpressing Nekhludoff's hand and recallingwith pleasure the evening when he first met Nekhludoffand when he had dancedso gailybetter than all the young people. "What can I do for you?""There is a mistake in the answer concerning Maslova. She is not guilty ofthe poisoning and yet she is condemned to penal servitude" saidNekhludoffwith a preoccupied and gloomy air.

"The Court passed the sentence in accordance with the answers youyourselves gave" said the presidentmoving towards the front door;"though they did not seem to be quite in accord." And he rememberedthat 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 addedbut hadin his hurry to getthe business overomitted to do so.

"Yesbut could not the mistake be rectified?"

"A reason for an appeal can always be found. You will have to speak toan advocate" said the presidentputting on his hat a little to one sideand continuing to move towards the door.

"But this is terrible."

"Wellyou seethere were two possibilities before Maslova" saidthe presidentevidently wishing to be as polite and pleasant to Nekhludoff ashe could. Thenhaving arranged his whiskers over his coat collarhe put hishand lightly under Nekhludoff's elbowandstill directing his steps towardsthe front doorhe said"You are goingtoo?"

"Yes" said Nekhludoffquickly getting his coatand followinghim.

They went out into the brightmerry sunlightand had to raise their voicesbecause of the rattling of the wheels on the pavement.

"The situation is a curious oneyou see" said the president;"what lay before this Maslova was one of two things: either to be almostacquitted and only imprisoned for a short timeortaking the preliminaryconfinement into considerationperhaps not at all--or Siberia. There is nothingbetween. Had you but added the words'without intent to cause death' she wouldhave been acquitted."

"Yesit was inexcusable of me to omit that" said Nekhludoff.

"That's where the whole matter lies" said the presidentwith asmileand looked at his watch. He had only three-quarters of an hour leftbefore the time appointed by his Clara would elapse.

"Nowif you like to speak to the advocates you'll have to find a reasonfor an appeal; that can be easily done." Thenturning to an isvostchikhecalled out"To the Dvoryanskaya 30 copecks; I never give more.""All rightyour honour; here you are."

"Good-afternoon. If I can be of any usemy address is House Dvornikoffon the Dvoryanskaya; it's easy to remember." And he bowed in a friendlymanner as he got into the trap and drove off.

CHAPTER XXV. NEKHLUDOFF CONSULTS AN ADVOCATE.

 

His conversation with the president and the fresh air quieted Nekhludoff alittle. He now thought that the feelings experienced by him had been exaggeratedby the unusual surroundings in which he had spent the whole of the morningandby that wonderful and startling coincidence. Stillit was absolutely necessaryto take some steps to lighten Maslova's fateand to take them quickly."Yesat once! It will be best to find out here in the court where theadvocate Fanarin or Mikishin lives." These were two well-known advocateswhom Nekhludoff called to mind. He returned to the courttook off his overcoatand went upstairs. In the first corridor he met Fanarin himself. He stopped himand told him that he was just going to look him up on a matter of business.

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

"Though I am rather tiredstillif your business will not take verylongperhaps you might tell me what it is now. Will you step in here?" Andhe led Nekhludoff into a roomprobably some judge's cabinet. They sat down bythe table.

"Welland what is your business?"

"First of allI must ask you to keep the business private. I do notwant it known that I take an interest in the affair."

"Ohthat of course. Well?"

"I was on the jury to-dayand we have condemned a woman to Siberiaaninnocent woman. This bothers me very much." Nekhludoffto his ownsurpriseblushed and became confused. Fanarin glanced at him rapidlyandlooked down againlistening.

"Well?"

"We have condemned a womanand I should like to appeal to a highercourt."

"To the Senateyou mean" said Fanarincorrecting him.

"Yesand I should like to ask you to take the case in hand."Nekhludoff wanted to get the most difficult part overand added"I shalltake the costs of the case on myselfwhatever they may be."

"Ohwe shall settle all that" said the advocatesmiling withcondescension at Nekhludoff's inexperience in these matters. "What is thecase?"

Nekhludoff stated what had happened.

"All right. I shall look the case through to-morrow or the dayafter--no--better on Thursday. If you will come to me at six o'clock I will giveyou an answer. Welland now let us go; I have to make a few inquirieshere."

Nekhludoff took leave of him and went out. This talk with the advocateandthe fact that he had taken measures for Maslova's defencequieted him stillfurther. He went out into the street. The weather was beautifuland he joyfullydrew in a long breath of spring air. He was at once surrounded by isvostchiksoffering their servicesbut he went on foot. A whole swarm of pictures andmemories of Katusha and his conduct to her began whirling in his brainand hefelt depressed and everything appeared gloomy. "NoI shall consider allthis 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 yettoo late to get there in time. He heard the ring of a passing tramcarran tocatch itand jumped on. He jumped off again when they got to the market-placetook a good isvostchikand ten minutes later was at the entrance of theKorchagins' big house.

CHAPTER XXVI. THE HOUSE OF KORCHAGIN.

Please to walk inyour excellency" said the friendlyfatdoorkeeper of the Korchagins' big houseopening the doorwhich movednoiselessly on its patent English hinges; "you are expected. They are atdinner. My orders were to admit only you." The doorkeeper went as far asthe staircase and rang.

"Are there any strangers?" asked Nekhludofftaking off hisovercoat.

"Mr. Kolosoff and Michael Sergeivitch onlybesides the family."

A very handsome footman with whiskersin a swallow-tail coat and whitegloveslooked down from the landing.

Please to walk upyour excellency" he said. "You areexpected."

Nekhludoff went up and passed through the splendid large dancing-roomwhichhe knew so wellinto the dining-room. There the whole Korchagin family--exceptthe motherSophia Vasilievnawho never left her cabinet--were sitting roundthe table. At the head of the table sat old Korchagin; on his left the doctorand on his righta visitorIvan Ivanovitch Kolosoffa former Marechal deNoblessenow a bank directorKorchagin's friend and a Liberal. Next on theleft side sat Miss Raynerthe governess of Missy's little sisterand thefour-year-old girl herself. Opposite themMissy's brotherPetiathe only sonof the Korchaginsa public-school boy of the Sixth Class. It was because of hisexaminations that the whole family were still in town. Next to him sat aUniversity student who was coaching himand Missy's cousinMichael SergeivitchTelegingenerally called Misha; opposite himKaterina Alexeevnaa 40-year-oldmaiden ladya Slavophil; and at the foot of the table sat Missy herselfwithan empty place by her side.

"Ah! that's right! Sit down. We are still at the fish" said oldKorchagin with difficultychewing carefully with his false teethand liftinghis bloodshot eyes (which had no visible lids to them) to Nekhludoff.

"Stephen!" he saidwith his mouth fulladdressing the stoutdignified butlerand pointing with his eyes to the empty place. ThoughNekhludoff knew Korchagin very welland had often seen him at dinnerto-daythis red face with the sensual smacking lipsthe fat neck above the napkinstuck into his waistcoatand the whole over-fed military figurestruck himvery disagreeably. Then Nekhludoff rememberedwithout wishing towhat he knewof the cruelty of this manwhowhen in commandused to have men floggedandeven hangedwithout rhyme or reasonsimply because he was rich and had no needto curry favour.

"Immediatelyyour excellency" said Stephengetting a large soupladle out of the sideboardwhich was decorated with a number of silver vases.He made a sign with his head to the handsome footmanwho began at once toarrange the untouched knives and forks and the napkinelaborately folded withthe embroidered family crest uppermostin front of the empty place next toMissy. Nekhludoff went round shaking hands with every oneand allexcept oldKorchagin and the ladiesrose when he approached. And this walk round thetablethis shaking the hands of peoplewith many of whom he never talkedseemed unpleasant and odd. He excused himself for being lateand was about tosit down between Missy and Katerina Alexeevnabut old Korchagin insisted thatif he would not take a glass of vodka he should at least take a bit of somethingto whet his appetiteat the side tableon which stood small dishes of lobstercaviarecheeseand salt herrings. Nekhludoff did not know how hungry he wasuntil he began to eatand thenhaving taken some bread and cheesehe went oneating eagerly.

"Wellhave you succeeded in undermining the basis of society?"asked Kolosoffironically quoting an expression used by a retrograde newspaperin attacking trial by jury. "Acquitted the culprits and condemned theinnocenthave you?"

"Undermining the basis--undermining the basis" repeated PrinceKorchaginlaughing. He had a firm faith in the wisdom and learning of hischosen friend and companion.

At the risk of seeming rudeNekhludoff left Kolosoff's question unansweredand sitting down to his steaming soupwent on eating.

"Do let him eat" said Missywith a smile. The pronoun him sheused as a reminder of her intimacy with Nekhludoff. Kolosoff went on in a loudvoice and lively manner to give the contents of the article against trial byjury which had aroused his indignation. Missy's cousinMichael Sergeivitchendorsed all his statementsand related the contents of another article in thesame paper. Missy wasas usualvery distingueeand wellunobtrusively welldressed.

"You must be terribly tired" she saidafter waiting untilNekhludoff had swallowed what was in his mouth.

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

"Nowe put that off. We have been playing tennis at the Salamatoffs'.It is quite trueMr. Crooks plays remarkably well."

Nekhludoff had come here in order to distract his thoughtsfor he used tolike being in this houseboth because its refined luxury had a pleasant effecton him and because of the atmosphere of tender flattery that unobtrusivelysurrounded him. But to-day everything in the house was repulsive tohim--everything: beginning with the doorkeeperthe broad staircasetheflowersthe footmanthe table decorationsup to Missy herselfwho to-dayseemed unattractive and affected. Kolosoff's self-assuredtrivial tone ofliberalism was unpleasantas was also the sensualself-satisfiedbull-likeappearance of old Korchaginand the French phrases of Katerina AlexeevnatheSlavophil. The constrained looks of the governess and the student wereunpleasanttoobut most unpleasant of all was the pronoun HIM that Missy hadused. Nekhludoff had long been wavering between two ways of regarding Missy;sometimes he looked at her as if by moonlightand could see in her nothing butwhat was beautifulfreshprettyclever and natural; then suddenlyas if thebright sun shone on herhe saw her defects and could not help seeing them. Thiswas such a day for him. To-day he saw all the wrinkles of her faceknew whichof her teeth were falsesaw the way her hair was crimpedthe sharpness of herelbowsandabove allhow large her thumb-nail was and how like her father's.

"Tennis is a dull game" said Kolosoff; "we used to play laptawhen we were children. That was much more amusing."

"Ohnoyou never tried it; it's awfully interesting" said Missylayingit seemed to Nekhludoffa very affected stress on the word"awfully." Then a dispute arose in which Michael SergeivitchKaterinaAlexeevna and all the others took partexcept the governessthe student andthe childrenwho sat silent and wearied.

"Ohthese everlasting disputes!" said old Korchaginlaughingandhe pulled the napkin out of his waistcoatnoisily pushed back his chairwhichthe footman instantlycaught hold ofand left the table.

Everybody rose after himand went up to another table on which stood glassesof scented water. They rinsed their mouthsthen resumed the conversationinteresting to no one.

"Don't you think so?" said Missy to Nekhludoffcalling for aconfirmation of the statement that nothing shows up a man's character like agame. She noticed that preoccupied andas it seemed to herdissatisfied lookwhich she fearedand she wanted to find out what had caused it.

"ReallyI can't tell; I have never thought about it" Nekhludoffanswered.

"Will you come to mamma?" asked Missy.

Yesyes" he saidin a tone which plainly proved that he did not wantto goand took out a cigarette.

She looked at him in silencewith a questioning lookand he felt ashamed."To come into a house and give the people the dumps" he thought abouthimself; thentrying to be amiablesaid that he would go with pleasure if theprincess would admit him.

"Ohyes! Mamma will be pleased. You may smoke there; and IvanIvanovitch is also there."

The mistress of the housePrincess Sophia Vasilievnawas a recumbent lady.It was the eighth year thatwhen visitors were presentshe lay in lace andribbonssurrounded with velvetgildingivorybronzelacquer and flowersnever going outand onlyas she put itreceiving intimate friendsi.e.those who according to her idea stood out from the common herd.

Nekhludoff was admitted into the number of these friends because he wasconsidered cleverbecause his mother had been an intimate friend of the familyand because it was desirable that Missy should marry him.

Sophia Vasilievna's room lay beyond the large and the small drawing-rooms. Inthe large drawing-roomMissywho was in front of Nekhludoffstoppedresolutelyand taking hold of the back of a small green chairfaced him.

Missy was very anxious to get marriedand as he was a suitable match and shealso liked himshe 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 tohim in order to get him to explain his intentions.

"I see something has happened" she said. "Tell mewhat isthe matter with you?"

He remembered the meeting in the law courtand frowned and blushed.

"Yessomething has happened" he saidwishing to be truthful;"a very unusual and serious event."

"What is itthen? Can you not tell me what it is?" She waspursuing her aim with that unconscious yet obstinate cunning often observable inthe mentally diseased.

"Not now. Please do not ask me to tell you. I have not yet had timefully to consider it" and he blushed still more.

"And so you will not tell me?" A muscle twitched in her face andshe pushed back the chair she was holding. "Well thencome!" Sheshook her head as if to expel useless thoughtsandfaster than usualwent onin front of him.

He fancied that her mouth was unnaturally compressed in order to keep backthe tears. He was ashamed of having hurt herand yet he knew that the leastweakness on his part would mean disasteri.e.would bind him to her. Andto-day he feared this more than anythingand silently followed her to theprincess's cabinet.

CHAPTER XXVII. MISSY'S MOTHER.

Princess Sophia VasilievnaMissy's motherhad finished her very elaborateand nourishing dinner. (She had it always alonethat no one should see herperforming this unpoetical function.) By her couch stood a small table with hercoffeeand she was smoking a pachitos. Princess Sophia Vasilievna was a longthin womanwith dark hairlarge black eyes and long teethand still pretendedto be young.

Her intimacy with the doctor was being talked about. Nekhludoff had knownthat for some time; but when he saw the doctor sitting by her couchhis oilyglistening beard parted in the middlehe not only remembered the rumours aboutthembut felt greatly disgusted. By the tableon a lowsofteasy chairnextto Sophia Vasilievnasat Kolosoffstirring his coffee. A glass of liqueurstood on the table. Missy came in with Nekhludoffbut did not remain in theroom.

"When mamma gets tired of you and drives you awaythen come tome" she saidturning to Kolosoff and Nekhludoffspeaking as if nothinghad occurred; then she went awaysmiling merrily and stepping noiselessly onthe thick carpet.

"How do you dodear friend? Sit down and talk" said PrincessSophia Vasilievnawith her affected but very naturally-acted smileshowing herfinelong teeth--a splendid imitation of what her own had once been. "Ihear that you have come from the Law Courts very much depressed. I think it mustbe very trying to a person with a heart" she added in French.

"Yesthat is so" said Nekhludoff. "One often feels one's ownde--one feels one has no right to judge."

"Commec'est vrai" she criedas if struck by the truth of thisremark. She was in the habit of artfully flattering all those with whom sheconversed. "Welland what of your picture? It does interest me so. If Iwere not such a sad invalid I should have been to see it long ago" shesaid.

"I have quite given it up" Nekhludoff replied drily. The falsenessof her flattery seemed as evident to him to-day as her agewhich she was tryingto concealand he could not put himself into the right state to behavepolitely.

"Ohthat IS a pity! Whyhe has a real talent for art; I have it fromRepin's own lips" she addedturning to Kolosoff.

"Why is it she is not ashamed of lying so?" Nekhludoff thoughtandfrowned.

When she had convinced herself that Nekhludoff was in a bad temper and thatone could not get him into an agreeable and clever conversationSophiaVasilievna turned to Kolosoffasking his opinion of a new play. She asked it ina tone as if Kolosoff's opinion would decide all doubtsand each word of thisopinion be worthy of being immortalised. Kolosoff found fault both with the playand its authorand that led him to express his views on art. Princess SophiaVasilievnawhile trying at the same time to defend the playseemed impressedby the truth of his argumentseither giving in at onceor at least modifyingher opinion. Nekhludoff looked and listenedbut neither saw nor heard what wasgoing on before him.

Listening now to Sophia Vasilievnanow to KolosoffNekhludoff noticed thatneither he nor she cared anything about the play or each otherand that if theytalked it was only to gratify the physical desire to move the muscles of thethroat and tongue after having eaten; and that Kolosoffhaving drunk vodkawine and liqueurwas a little tipsy. Not tipsy like the peasants who drinkseldombut like people to whom drinking wine has become a habit. He did notreel about or talk nonsensebut he was in a state that was not normal; excitedand self-satisfied. Nekhludoff also noticed that during the conversationPrincess Sophia Vasilievna kept glancing uneasily at the windowthrough which aslanting ray of sunshinewhich might vividly light up her aged facewasbeginning to creep up.

"How true" she said in reference to some remark of Kolosoff'stouching the button of an electric bell by the side of her couch. The doctorroseandlike one who is at homeleft the room without saying anything.Sophia Vasilievna followed him with her eyes and continued the conversation.

"PleasePhilipdraw these curtains" she saidpointing to thewindowwhen the handsome footman came in answer to the bell. "No; whateveryou may saythere is some mysticism in him; without mysticism there can be nopoetry" she saidwith one of her black eyes angrily following thefootman's movements as he was drawing the curtains. "Without poetrymysticism is superstition; without mysticismpoetry is--prose" shecontinuedwith a sorrowful smilestill not losing sight of the footman and thecurtains. "Philipnot that curtain; the one on the large window" sheexclaimedin a suffering tone. Sophia Vasilievna was evidently pitying herselffor having to make the effort of saying these words; andto soothe herfeelingsshe raised to her lips a scentedsmoking cigarette with herjewelbedecked fingers.

The broad-chestedmuscularhandsome Philip bowed slightlyas if beggingpardon; and stepping lightly across the carpet with his broad-calvedstronglegsobediently and silently went to the other windowandlooking at theprincesscarefully began to arrange the curtain so that not a single ray daredfall on her. But again he did not satisfy herand again she had to interruptthe conversation about mysticismand correct in a martyred tone theunintelligent Philipwho was tormenting her so pitilessly. For a moment a lightflashed in Philip's eyes.

"'The devil take you! What do you want?' was probably what he said tohimself" thought Nekhludoffwho had been observing all this scene. Butthe stronghandsome Philip at once managed to conceal the signs of hisimpatienceand went on quietly carrying out the orders of the wornweakfalseSophia Vasilievna.

"Of coursethere is a good deal of truth in Lombroso's teaching"said Kolosofflolling back in the low chair and looking at Sophia Vasilievnawith sleepy eyes; "but he over-stepped the mark. Ohyes."

"And you? Do you believe in heredity?" asked Sophia Vasilievnaturning to Nekhludoffwhose silence annoyed her. "In heredity?" heasked. "NoI don't." At this moment his whole mind was taken up bystrange images that in some unaccountable way rose up in his imagination. By theside of this strong and handsome Philip he seemed at this minute to see the nudefigure of Kolosoff as an artist's model; with his stomach like a melonhis baldheadand his arms without musclelike pestles. In the same dim way the limbsof Sophia Vasilievnanow covered with silks and velvetsrose up in his mind asthey must be in reality; but this mental picture was too horrid and he tried todrive it away.

"Wellyou know Missy is waiting for you" she said. "Go andfind her. She wants to play a new piece by Grieg to you; it is mostinteresting."

"She did not mean to play anything; the woman is simply lyingfor somereason or other" thought Nekhludoffrising and pressing SophiaVasilievna's transparent and bonyringed hand.

Katerina Alexeevna met him in the drawing-roomand at once beganin Frenchas usual:

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

"Yes; pardon meI am in low spirits to-dayand have no right to wearyothers by my presence" said Nekhludoff.

"Why are you in low spirits?"

"Allow me not to speak about that" he saidlooking round for hishat.

"Don't you remember how you used to say that we must always tell thetruth? And what cruel truths you used to tell us all! Why do you not wish tospeak out now? Don't you rememberMissy?" she saidturning to Missywhohad just come in.

"We were playing a game then" said Nekhludoffseriously;"one may tell the truth in a gamebut in reality we are so bad--I mean Iam so bad--that Iat leastcannot tell the truth."

"Ohdo not correct yourselfbut rather tell us why WE are sobad" said Katerina Alexeevnaplaying with her words and pretending not tonotice how serious Nekhludoff was.

"Nothing is worse than to confess to being in low spirits" saidMissy. "I never do itand therefore am always in good spirits."

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

"Wellare you coming into my room? We will try to cheer you up."

He excused himselfsaying he had to be at homeand began taking leave.Missy kept his hand longer than usual.

"Remember that what is important to you is important to yourfriends" she said. "Are you coming tomorrow?"

"I hardly expect to" said Nekhludoff; and feeling ashamedwithoutknowing whether for her or for himselfhe 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 esttres susceptiblenotre cher Mitia."

"Plutot une affaire d'amour sale" Missy was going to saybutstopped and looked down with a face from which all the light had gone--a verydifferent face from the one with which she had looked at him. She would notmention to Katerina Alexeevna evenso vulgar a punbut only said"We allhave our good and our bad days."

"Is it possible that hetoowill 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 hashappened" she could have said nothing definiteand yet she knew that hehad not only excited her hopes but had almost given her a promise. No definitewords had passed between them--only looks and smiles and hints; and yet sheconsidered him as her ownand to lose him would be very hard.

CHAPTER XXVIII. THE AWAKENING.

 

Shameful and stupidhorrid and shameful!" Nekhludoff kept saying tohimselfas he walked home along the familiar streets. The depression he hadfelt whilst speaking to Missy would not leave him. He felt thatlooking at itexternallyas it werehe was in the rightfor he had never said anything toher that could be considered bindingnever made her an offer; but he knew thatin reality he had bound himself to herhad promised to be hers. And yet to-dayhe felt with his whole being that he could not marry her.

"Shameful and horridhorrid and shameful!" he repeated to himselfwith reference not only to his relations with Missy but also to the rest."Everything is horrid and shameful" he mutteredas he stepped intothe porch of his house. "I am not going to have any supper" he saidto his manservant Corneywho followed him into the dining-roomwhere the clothwas laid for supper and tea. "You may go."

"Yessir" said Corneyyet he did not gobut began clearing thesupper off the table. Nekhludoff looked at Corney with a feeling of ill-will. Hewished to be left aloneand it seemed to him that everybody was bothering himin order to spite him. When Corney had gone away with the supper thingsNekhludoff moved to the tea urn and was about to make himself some teabuthearing Agraphena Petrovna's footstepshe went hurriedly into the drawing-roomto avoid being seen by herand shut the door after him. In this drawing-roomhis mother had died three months before. On entering the roomin which twolamps with reflectors were burningone lighting up his father's and the otherhis mother's portraithe remembered what his last relations with his mother hadbeen. And they also seemed shameful and horrid. He remembered howduring thelatter period of her illnesshe had simply wished her to die. He had said tohimself that he wished it for her sakethat she might be released from hersufferingbut in reality he wished to be released from the sight of hersufferings for his own sake.

Trying to recall a pleasant image of herhe went up to look at her portraitpainted by a celebrated artist for 800 roubles. She was depicted in a verylow-necked black velvet dress. There was something very revolting andblasphemous in this representation of his mother as a half-nude beauty. It wasall the more disgusting because three months agoin this very roomlay thissame womandried up to a mummy. And he remembered how a few days before herdeath she clasped his hand with her bonydiscoloured fingerslooked into hiseyesand said: "Do not judge meMitiaif I have not done what Ishould" and how the tears came into her eyesgrown pale with suffering.

"Ahhow horrid!" he said to himselflooking up once more at thehalf-naked womanwith the splendid marble shoulders and armsand thetriumphant smile on her lips. "Ohhow horrid!" The bared shoulders ofthe portrait reminded him of anothera young womanwhom he had seen exposed inthe same way a few days before. It was Missywho had devised an excuse forcalling him into her room just as she was ready to go to a ballso that heshould see her in her ball dress. It was with disgust that he remembered herfine shoulders and arms. "And that father of herswith his doubtful pastand his crueltiesand the bel-esprit her motherwith her doubtfulreputation." All this disgusted himand also made him feel ashamed."Shameful and horrid; horrid and shameful! "

"Nono" he thought; "freedom from all these false relationswith the Korchagins and Mary Vasilievna and the inheritance and from all therest must be got. Ohto breathe freelyto go abroadto Rome and work at mypicture! He remembered the doubts he had about his talent for art. "Wellnever mind; only just to breathe freely. First Constantinoplethen Rome. Onlyjust to get through with this jury businessand arrange with the advocatefirst."

Then suddenly there arose in his mind an extremely vivid picture of aprisoner with blackslightly-squinting eyesand how she began to cry when thelast words of the prisoners had been heard; and he hurriedly put out hiscigarettepressing it into the ash-panlit anotherand began pacing up anddown the room. One after another the scenes he had lived through with her rosein his mind. He recalled that last interview with her. He remembered the whitedress and blue sashthe early mass. "WhyI loved herreally loved herwith a goodpure lovethat night; I loved her even before: yesI loved herwhen 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 freshnessyouthand fulness of life seemed to touch himand he grew painfully sad. Thedifference between what he had been then and what he was nowwas enormous--justas greatif not greater than the difference between Katusha in church thatnightand the prostitute who had been carousing with the merchant and whom theyjudged this morning. Then he was free and fearlessand innumerablepossibilities lay ready to open before him; now he felt himself caught in themeshes of a stupidemptyvaluelessfrivolous lifeout of which he saw nomeans of extricating himself even if he wished towhich he hardly did. Heremembered how proud he was at one time of his straightforwardnesshow he hadmade a rule of always speaking the truthand really had been truthful; and howhe was now sunk deep in lies: in the most dreadful of lies--lies considered asthe truth by all who surrounded him. Andas far as he could seethere was noway out of these lies. He had sunk in the miregot used to itindulged himselfin it.

How was he to break off his relations with Mary Vasilievna and her husband insuch a way as to be able to look him and his children in the eyes? Howdisentangle himself from Missy? How choose between the two opposites--therecognition that holding land was unjust and the heritage from his mother? Howatone for his sin against Katusha? This lastat any ratecould not be left asit was. He could not abandon a woman he had lovedand satisfy himself by payingmoney to an advocate to save her from hard labour in Siberia. She had not evendeserved hard labour. Atone for a fault by paying money? Had he not thenwhenhe gave her the moneythought he was atoning for his fault?

And he clearly recalled to mind that moment whenhaving caught her up in thepassagehe thrust the money into her bib and ran away. "Ohthatmoney!" he thought with the same horror and disgust he had then felt."Ohdear! ohdear! how disgusting" he cried aloud as he had donethen. "Only a scoundrela knavecould do such a thing. And I am thatknavethat scoundrel!" He went on aloud: "But is itpossible?"--he stopped and stood still--"is it possible that I amreally a scoundrel? . . . Wellwho but I?" he answered himself. "Andthenis this the only thing?" he went onconvicting himself. "Wasnot my conduct towards Mary Vasilievna and her husband base and disgusting? Andmy position with regard to money? To use riches considered by me unlawful on theplea that they are inherited from my mother? And the whole of my idledetestable life? And my conduct towards Katusha to crown all? Knave andscoundrel! Let men judge me as they likeI can deceive them; but myself Icannot deceive."

Andsuddenlyhe understood that the aversion he had latelyandparticularly to-dayfelt for everybody--the Prince and Sophia Vasilievna andCorney and Missy--was an aversion for himself. Andstrange to sayin thisacknowledgement of his baseness there was something painful yet joyful andquieting.

More than once in Nekhludoff's life there had been what he called a"cleansing of the soul." By "cleansing of the soul" he meanta state of mind in whichafter a long period of sluggish inner lifea totalcessation of its activityhe began to clear out all the rubbish that hadaccumulated in his souland was the cause of the cessation of the true life.His soul needed cleansing as a watch does. After such an awakening Nekhludoffalways made some rules for himself which he meant to follow forever afterwrotehis diaryand began afresh a life which he hoped never to change again."Turning over a new leaf" he called it to himself in English. Buteach time the temptations of the world entrapped himand without noticing it hefell againoften lower than before.

Thus he had several times in his life raised and cleansed himself. The firsttime this happened was during the summer he spent with his aunts; that was hismost vital and rapturous awakeningand its effects had lasted some time.Another awakening was when he gave up civil service and joined the army at wartimeready to sacrifice his life. But here the choking-up process was soonaccomplished. Then an awakening came when he left the army and went abroaddevoting himself to art.

From that time until this day a long period had elapsed without anycleansingand therefore the discord between the demands of his conscience andthe life he was leading was greater than it had ever been before. He washorror-struck when he saw how great the divergence was. It was so great and thedefilement so complete that he despaired of the possibility of getting cleansed."Have you not tried before to perfect yourself and become betterandnothing 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 alikesuch is life" whispered the voice. But the free spiritual beingwhichalone is truealone powerfulalone eternalhad already awakened inNekhludoffand he could not but believe it. Enormous though the distance wasbetween what he wished to be and what he wasnothing appeared insurmountable tothe newly-awakened spiritual being.

"At any cost I will break this lie which binds me and confesseverythingand will tell everybody the truthand act the truth"he saidresolutelyaloud. "I shall tell Missy the truthtell her I am aprofligate and cannot marry herand have only uselessly upset her. I shall tellMary Vasilievna. . . Ohthere is nothing to tell her. I shall tell her husbandthat Iscoundrel that I amhave been deceiving him. I shall dispose of theinheritance in such a way as to acknowledge the truth. I shall tell herKatushathat I am a scoundrel and have sinned towards herand will do all Ican to ease her lot. YesI will see herand will ask her to forgive me.

"YesI will beg her pardonas children do." . . . Hestopped---"will marry her if necessary." He stopped againfolded hishands in front of his breast as he used to do when a little childlifted hiseyesand saidaddressing some one: "Lordhelp meteach mecome enterwithin me and purify me of all this abomination."

He prayedasking God to help himto enter into him and cleanse him; andwhat he was praying for had happened already: the God within him had awakenedhis consciousness. He felt himself one with Himand therefore felt not only thefreedomfulness and joy of lifebut all the power of righteousness. Allallthe best that a man could do he felt capable of doing.

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

He felt hotand went to the window and opened it. The window opened into agarden. It was a moonlitquietfresh night; a vehicle rattled pastand thenall was still. The shadow of a tall poplar fell on the ground just opposite thewindowand all the intricate pattern of its bare branches was clearly definedon the clean swept gravel. To the left the roof of a coach-house shone white inthe moonlightin front the black shadow of the garden wall was visible throughthe tangled branches of the trees.

Nekhludoff gazed at the roofthe moonlit gardenand the shadows of thepoplarand drank in the freshinvigorating air.

"How delightfulhow delightful; ohGodhow delightful" he saidmeaning that which was going on in his soul.

CHAPTER XXIX. MASLOVA IN PRISON.

 

Maslova reached her cell only at six in the eveningtired and footsorehavingunaccustomed as she was to walkinggone 10 miles on the stony road thatday. She was crushed by the unexpectedly severe sentence and tormented byhunger. During the first interval of her trialwhen the soldiers were eatingbread and hard-boiled eggs in her presenceher mouth watered and she realisedshe was hungrybut considered it beneath her dignity to beg of them. Threehours later the desire to eat had passedand she felt only weak. It was thenshe received the unexpected sentence. At first she thought she had made amistake; she could not imagine herself as a convict in Siberiaand could notbelieve what she heard. But seeing the quietbusiness-like faces of judges andjurywho heard this news as if it were perfectly natural and expectedshe grewindignantand proclaimed loudly to the whole Court that she was not guilty.Finding that her cry was also taken as something natural and expectedandfeeling incapable of altering mattersshe was horror-struck and began to weepin despairknowing that she must submit to the cruel and surprising injusticethat had been done her. What astonished her most was that young men--orat anyratenot old men--the same men who always looked so approvingly at her (one ofthemthe public prosecutorshe had seen in quite a different humour) hadcondemned her. While she was sitting in the prisoners' room before the trial andduring the intervalsshe saw these men looking in at the open door pretendingthey had to pass there on some businessor enter the room and gaze on her withapproval. And thenfor some unknown reasonthese same men had condemned her tohard labourthough she was innocent of the charge laid against her. At firstshe criedbut then quieted down and sat perfectly stunned in the prisoners'roomwaiting to be led back. She wanted only two things now--tobacco and strongdrink. In this state Botchkova and Kartinkin found her when they were led intothe same room after being sentenced. Botchkova began at once to scold herandcall her a "convict."

"Well! What have you gained? justified yourselfhave you? What you havedeservedthat you've got. Out in Siberia you'll give up your finerynofear!"

Maslova sat with her hands inside her sleeveshanging her head and lookingin front of her at the dirty floor without movingonly saying: "I don'tbother youso don't you bother me. I don't bother youdo I?" she repeatedthis several timesand was silent again. She did brighten up a little whenBotchkova and Kartinkin were led away and an attendant brought her threeroubles.

"Are you Maslova?" he asked. "Here you are; a lady sent ityou" he saidgiving her the money.

"A lady--what lady?"

"You just take it. I'm not going to talk to you."

This money was sent by Kitaevathe keeper of the house in which she used tolive. As she was leaving the court she turned to the usher with the questionwhether she might give Maslova a little money. The usher said she might. Havinggot permissionshe removed the three-buttoned Swedish kid glove from her plumpwhite handand from an elegant purse brought from the back folds of her silkskirt took a pile of coupons[in Russia coupons cut off interest-bearing papersare often used as money] just cut off from the interest-bearing papers which shehad earned in her establishmentchose one worth 2 roubles and 50 copecksaddedtwo 20 and one 10-copeck coinsand gave all this to the usher. The usher calledan attendantand in his presence gave the money.

"Belease to giff it accurately" said Carolina Albertovna Kitaeva.

The attendant was hurt by her want of confidenceand that was why he treatedMaslova so brusquely. Maslova was glad of the moneybecause it could give herthe only thing she now desired. "If I could but get cigarettes and take awhiff!" she said to herselfand all her thoughts centred on the one desireto smoke and drink. She longed for spirits so that she tasted them and felt thestrength they would give her; and she greedily breathed in the air when thefumes of tobacco reached her from the door of a room that opened into thecorridor. But she had to wait longfor the secretarywho should have given theorder for her to goforgot about the prisoners while talking and even disputingwith one of the advocates about the article forbidden by the censor.

At lastabout five o'clockshe was allowed to goand was led away throughthe back door by her escortthe Nijni man and the Tchoovash. Thenstill withinthe entrance to the Law Courtsshe gave them 50 copecksasking them to get hertwo rolls and some cigarettes. The Tchoovash laughedtook the moneyand said"All right; I'll get 'em" and really got her the rolls and thecigarettes and honestly returned the change. She was not allowed to smoke on thewayandwith her craving unsatisfiedshe continued her way to the prison.When she was brought to the gate of the prisona hundred convicts who hadarrived by rail were being led in. The convictsbeardedclean-shavenoldyoungRussiansforeignerssome with their heads shaved and rattling with thechains on their feetfilled the anteroom with dustnoise and an acid smell ofperspiration. Passing Maslovaall the convicts looked at herand some came upto her and brushed her as they passed.

"Ayhere's a wench--a fine one" said one.

"My respects to youmiss" said anotherwinking at her. One darkman with a moustachethe rest of his face and the back of his head cleanshavedrattling with his chains and catching her feet in themsprang near andembraced her.

"What! don't you know your chum? Comecome; don't give yourselfairs" showing his teeth and his eyes glittering when she pushed him away.

"You rascal! what are you up to?" shouted the inspector'sassistantcoming in from behind. The convict shrank back and jumped away. Theassistant assailed Maslova.

"What are you here for?"

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

"She has returned from the Law Courtssir" said one of thesoldierscoming forward with his fingers lifted to his cap.

"Wellhand her over to the chief warder. I won't have this sort ofthing."

"Yessir." "Sokolofftake her in!" shouted theassistant inspector.

The chief warder came upgave Maslova a slap on the shoulderand making asign with his head for her to follow led her into the corridor of the women'sward. There she was searchedand as nothing prohibited was found on her (shehad hidden her box of cigarettes inside a roll) she was led to the cell she hadleft in the morning.

CHAPTER XXX. THE CELL.

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

The occupants of this room were 15 personsincluding three children. It wasstill quite light. Only two of the women were lying down: a consumptive womanimprisoned for theftand an idiot who spent most of her time in sleep and whowas arrested because she had no passport. The consumptive woman was not asleepbut lay with wide open eyesher cloak folded under her headtrying to keepback the phlegm that irritated her throatand not to cough.

Some of the other womenmost of whom had nothing on but coarse brown hollandchemisesstood looking out of the window at the convicts down in the yardandsome sat sewing. Among the latter was the old womanKorablevawho had seenMaslova off in the morning. She was a tallstronggloomy-looking woman; herfair hairwhich had begun to turn grey on the templeshung down in a shortplait. She was sentenced to hard labour in Siberia because she had killed herhusband with an axe for making up to their daughter. She was at the head of thewomen in the celland 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 arailway watchman[There are small watchmen's cottages at distances of about onemile from each other along the Russian railwaysand the watchmen or their wiveshave to meet every train.] imprisoned for three months because she did not comeout with the flags to meet a train that was passingand an accident hadoccurred. She was a shortsnub-nosed womanwith smallblack eyes; kind andtalkative. The third of the women who were sewing was Theodosiaa quiet younggirlwhite and rosyvery prettywith bright child's eyesand long fairplaits which she wore twisted round her head. She was in prison for attemptingto poison her husband. She had done this immediately after her wedding (she hadbeen given in marriage without her consent at the age of 16) because her husbandwould give her no peace. But in the eight months during which she had been letout on bailshe had not only made it up with her husbandbut come to love himso that when her trial came they were heart and soul to one another. Althoughher husbandher father-in-lawbut especially her mother-in-lawwho had grownvery fond of herdid all they could to get her acquittedshe was sentenced tohard labour in Siberia. The kindmerryever-smiling Theodosia had a place nextMaslova's on the shelf bedand had grown so fond of her that she took it uponherself as a duty to attend and wait on her. Two other women were sittingwithout any work at the other end of the shelf bedstead. One was a woman ofabout 40with a palethin facewho once probably had been very handsome. Shesat with her baby at her thinwhite breast. The crime she had committed wasthat when a recruit wasaccording to the peasants' viewunlawfully taken fromtheir villageand the people stopped the police officer and took the recruitaway from himshe (an aunt of the lad unlawfully taken) was the first to catchhold of the bridle of the horse on which he was being carried off. The otherwho sat doing nothingwas a kindlygrey-haired old womanhunchbacked and witha flat bosom. She sat behind the stove on the bedshelfand pretended to catch afat four-year-old boywho ran backwards and forwards in front of herlaughinggaily. This boy had only a little shirt on and his hair was cut short. As he ranpast the old woman he kept repeating"Therehaven't caught me!" Thisold woman and her son were accused of incendiarism. She bore her imprisonmentwith perfect cheerfulnessbut was concerned about her sonand chiefly abouther "old man" who she feared would get into a terrible state with noone to wash for him. Besides these seven womenthere were four standing at oneof the open windowsholding on to the iron bars. They were making signs andshouting to the convicts whom Maslova had met when returning to prisonand whowere now passing through the yard. One of these women was big and heavywith aflabby bodyred hairand freckled on her pale yellow faceher handsand herfat neck. She shouted something in a loudraucous voiceand laughed hoarsely.This woman was serving her term for theft. Beside her stood an awkwarddarklittle womanno bigger than a child of tenwith a long waist and very shortlegsa redblotchy facethick lips which did not hide her long teethandeyes too far apart. She broke by fits and starts into screeching laughter atwhat was going on in the yard. She was to be tried for stealing andincendiarism. They called her Khoroshavka. Behind herin a very dirty greychemisestood a thinmiserable-looking pregnant womanwho was to be tried forconcealment of theft. This woman stood silentbut kept smiling with pleasureand approval at what was going on below. With these stood a peasant woman ofmedium heightthe mother of the boy who was playing with the old woman and of aseven-year-old girl. These were in prison with her because she had no one toleave them with. She was serving her term of imprisonment for illicit sale ofspirits. She stood a little further from the window knitting a stockingandthough she listened to the other prisoners' words she shook her headdisapprovinglyfrownedand closed her eyes. But her seven-year-old daughterstood in her little chemiseher flaxen hair done up in a little pigtailherblue eyes fixedandholding the red-haired woman by the skirtattentivelylistened to the words of abuse that the women and the convicts flung at eachotherand repeated them softlyas if learning them by heart. The twelfthprisonerwho paid no attention to what was going onwas a very tallstatelygirlthe daughter of a deaconwho had drowned her baby in a well. She wentabout with bare feetwearing only a dirty chemise. The thickshort plait ofher fair hair had come undone and hung down dishevelledand she paced up anddown the free space of the cellnot looking at any oneturning abruptly everytime she came up to the wall.

CHAPTER XXXI. THE PRISONERS.

When the padlock rattled and the door opened to let Maslova intothe cellall turned towards her. Even the deacon's daughter stopped for amoment and looked at her with lifted brows before resuming her steady stridingup and down.

Korableva stuck her needle into the brown sacking and looked questioningly atMaslova through her spectacles. "Ehehdeary meso you have come back.And I felt sure they'd acquit you. So you've got it?" She took off herspectacles and put her work down beside her on the shelf bed.

"And here have I and the old lady been saying'Whyit may well bethey'll let her go free at once.' Whyit happensduckythey'll even give youa heap of money sometimesthat's sure" the watchman's wife beganin hersinging voice: "Yeswe were wondering'Why's she so long?' And now justsee what it is. Wellour guessing was no use. The Lord willed otherwise"she went on in musical tones.

"Is it possible? Have they sentenced you?" asked Theodosiawithconcernlooking at Maslova with her bright bluechild-like eyes; and her merryyoung face changed as if she were going to cry.

Maslova did not answerbut went on to her placethe second from the endand sat down beside Korableva.

"Have you eaten anything?" said Theodosiarising and coming up toMaslova.

Maslova gave no replybut putting the rolls on the bedsteadtook off herdusty cloakthe kerchief off her curly black headand began pulling off hershoes. The old woman who had been playing with the boy came up and stood infront of Maslova. "Tztztz" she clicked with her tongueshakingher head pityingly. The boy also came up with herandputting out his upperlipstared with wide open eyes at the roll Maslova had brought. When Maslovasaw the sympathetic faces of her fellow-prisonersher lips trembled and shefelt inclined to crybut she succeeded in restraining herself until the oldwoman and the boy came up. When she heard the kindpitying clicking of the oldwoman's tongueand met the boy's serious eyes turned from the roll to her faceshe 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?" saidNorableva. "Wellwhat is it? Exile?"

Maslova could not answerbut took from inside the roll a box of cigaretteson which was a picture of a lady with hair done up very high and dress cut lowin frontand passed the box to Korableva. Korableva looked at it and shook herheadchiefly because see did not approve of Maslova's putting her money to suchbad use; but still she took out a cigarettelit it at the lamptook a puffand almost forced it into Maslova's hand. Maslovastill cryingbegan greedilyto inhale the tobacco smoke. "Penal servitude" she mutteredblowingout the smoke and sobbing.

"Don't they fear the Lordthe cursed soul-slayers?" mutteredKorableva"sentencing the lass for nothing." At this moment the soundof loudcoarse laughter came from the women who were still at the window. Thelittle girl also laughedand her childish treble mixed with the hoarse andscreeching laughter of the others. One of the convicts outside had donesomething that produced this effect on the onlookers.

"Lawks! see the shaved houndwhat he's doing" said the red-hairedwomanher whole fat body shaking with laughter; and leaning against the gratingshe shouted meaning less obscene words.

"Ughthe fat fright's cackling" said Korablevawho disliked thered-haired woman. Thenturning to Maslova againshe asked: "How manyyears?"

"Four" said Maslovaand the tears ran down her cheeks in suchprofusion that one fell on the cigarette. Maslova crumpled it up angrily andtook another.

Though the watchman's wife did not smoke she picked up the cigarette Maslovahad thrown away and began straightening it outtalking unceasingly.

"Therenowduckyso it's true" she said. "Truth's gone tothe dogs and they do what they pleaseand here we were guessing that you'd gofree. Norableva says'She'll go free.' I say'No' say I. 'Nodearmy hearttells me they'll give it her.' And so it's turned out" she went onevidently listening with pleasure to her own voice.

The women who had been standing by the window now also came up to Maslovathe convicts who had amused them having gone away. The first to come up were thewoman imprisoned for illicit trade in spiritsand her little girl. "Whysuch a hard sentence?" asked the womansitting down by Maslova andknitting fast.

"Why so hard? Because there's no money. That's why! Had there beenmoneyand had a good lawyer that's up to their tricks been hiredthey'd haveacquitted herno fear" said Korableva. "There'swhat's-his-name--that hairy one with the long nose. He'd bring you out cleanfrom pitchmumhe would. Ahif we'd only had him!"

"Himindeed" said Khoroshavka. "Whyhe won't spit at youfor less than a thousand roubles."

"Seems you've been born under an unlucky star" interrupted the oldwoman who was imprisoned for incendiarism. "Only thinkto entice the lad'swife and lock him himself up to feed verminand metooin my old days--"she began to retell her story for the hundredth time. "If it isn't thebeggar's staff it's the prison. Yesthe beggar's staff and the prison don'twait for an invitation."

"Ahit seems that's the way with all of them" said the spirittrader; and after looking at her little girl she put down her knittinganddrawing the child between her kneesbegan to search her head with deft fingers."Why do you sell spirits?" she went on. "Why? but what's one tofeed the children on?"

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

"A little vodka" she said to Korablevawiping the tears with hersleeve and sobbing less frequently.

"All rightfork out" said Korableva.

CHAPTER XXXII. A PRISON QUARREL.

 

Maslova got the moneywhich she had also hidden in a rolland passed thecoupon to Korableva. Korableva accepted itthough she could not readtrustingto Khoroshavkawho knew everythingand who said that the slip of paper wasworth 2 roubles 50 copecksthen climbed up to the ventilatorwhere she hadhidden a small flask of vodka. Seeing thisthe women whose places were furtheroff went away. Meanwhile Maslova shook the dust out of her cloak and kerchiefgot up on the bedsteadand began eating a roll.

"I kept your tea for you" said Theodosiagetting down from theshelf a mug and a tin teapot wrapped in a rag"but I'm afraid it is quitecold." The liquid was quite cold and tasted more of tin than of teayetMaslova filled the mug and began drinking it with her roll. "Finashkahereyou are" she saidbreaking off a bit of the roll and giving it to theboywho stood looking at her mouth.

Meanwhile Korableva handed the flask of vodka and a mug to Maslovawhooffered some to her and to Khoroshavka. These prisoners were considered thearistocracy of the cell because they had some moneyand shared what theypossessed with the others.

In a few moments Maslova brightened up and related merrily what had happenedat the courtand what had struck her mosti.e.how all the men had followedher wherever she went. In the court they all looked at hershe saidand keptcoming into the prisoners' room while she was there.

"One of the soldiers even says'It's all to look at you that theycome.' One would come in'Where is such a paper?' or somethingbut I see it isnot the paper he wants; he just devours me with his eyes" she saidshaking her head. "Regular artists."

"Yesthat's so" said the watchman's wifeand ran on in hermusical strain"they're like flies after sugar."

"And heretoo" Maslova interrupted her"the same thing.They can do without anything else. But the likes of them will go without breadsooner than miss that! Hardly had they brought me back when in comes a gang fromthe railway. They pestered me soI did not know how to rid myself of them.Thanks to the assistanthe turned them off. One bothered soI hardly gotaway."

"What's he like?" asked Khoroshevka.

"Darkwith moustaches."

"It must be him."

"Him--who?"

"WhySchegloff; him as has just gone by."

"What's hethis Schegloff?"

"Whatshe don't know Schegloff? Whyhe ran twice from Siberia. Nowthey've got himbut he'll run away. The warders themselves are afraid ofhim" said Khoroshavkawho managed to exchange notes with the maleprisoners and knew all that went on in the prison. "He'll run awaythat'sflat."

"If he does go away you and I'll have to stay" said Korablevaturning to Maslova"but you'd better tell us now what the advocate saysabout 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 hairscratching her head with her nails.

"I'll tell you all about itKaterina" she began. "First andforemostyou'll have to write down you're dissatisfied with the sentencethengive notice to the Procureur."

"What do you want here?" said Korableva angrily; "smell thevodkado you? Your chatter's not wanted. We know what to do without youradvice."

"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 inhere."

"Welloffer her some" said Maslovaalways ready to shareanything she possessed with anybody.

"I'll offer her something."

"Come on then" said the red-haired oneadvancing towardsKorableva. "Ah! think I'm afraid of such as you?"

"Convict fright!"

"That's her as says it."

"Slut!"

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

"Go awayI tell you" said Korableva gloomilybut the red-hairedone came nearer and Korableva struck her in the chest. The red-haired womanseemed only to have waited for thisand with a sudden movement caught hold ofKorableva's hair with one hand and with the other struck her in the face.Korableva seized this handand Maslova and Khoroshavka caught the red-hairedwoman by her armstrying to pull her awaybut she let go the old woman's hairwith her hand only to twist it round her fist. Korablevawith her head bent toone sidewas dealing out blows with one arm and trying to catch the red-hairedwoman's hand with her teethwhile the rest of the women crowded roundscreaming and trying to separate the fighters; even the consumptive one came upand stood coughing and watching the fight. The children cried and huddledtogether. The noise brought the woman warder and a jailer. The fighting womenwere separated; and Korablevataking out the bits of torn hair from her headand the red-haired oneholding her torn chemise together over her yellowbreastbegan loudly to complain.

"I knowit's all the vodka. Wait a bit; I'll tell the inspectortomorrow. He'll give it you. Can't I smell it? Mindget it all out of the wayor it will be the worse for you" said the warder. "We've no time tosettle your disputes. Get to your places and be quiet."

But quiet was not soon re-established. For a long time the women went ondisputing and explaining to one another whose fault it all was. At last thewarder and the jailer left the cellthe women grew quieter and began going tobedand the old woman went to the icon and commenced praying.

"The two jailbirds have met" the red-haired woman suddenly calledout in a hoarse voice from the other end of the shelf bedsaccompanying everyword with frightfully vile abuse.

"Mind you don't get it again" Korableva repliedalso adding wordsof abuseand both were quiet again.

"Had I not been stopped I'd have pulled your damned eyes out"again began the red-haired oneand an answer of the same kind followed fromKorableva. Then again a short interval and more abuse. But the intervals becamelonger and longeras when a thunder-cloud is passingand at last all wasquiet.

All were in bedsome began to snore; and only the old womanwho alwaysprayed a long timewent on bowing before the icon and the deacon's daughterwho had got up after the warder leftwas pacing up and down the room again.Maslova kept thinking that she was now a convict condemned to hard labourandhad twice been reminded of this--once by Botchkova and once by the red-hairedwoman--and she could not reconcile herself to the thought. Korablevawho laynext to herturned over in her bed.

"There now" said Maslova in a low voice; "who would havethought it? See what others do and get nothing for it."

"Never mindgirl. People manage to live in Siberia. As for youyou'llnot be lost there either" Korableva saidtrying to comfort her.

"I know I'll not be lost; still it is hard. It's not such a fate Iwant--Iwho am used to a comfortable life."

"Ahone can't go against God" said Korablevawith a sigh."One can'tmy dear."

"I knowgranny. Stillit's hard."

They were silent for a while.

"Do you hear that baggage?" whispered Korablevadrawing Maslova'sattention 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-hairedwoman was crying because she had been abused and had not got any of the vodkashe wanted so badly; also because she remembered how all her life she had beenabusedmocked atoffendedbeaten. Remembering thisshe pitied herselfandthinking no one heard herbegan crying as children crysniffing with her noseand swallowing the salt tears.

"I'm sorry for her" said Maslova.

"Of course one is sorry" said Korableva"but she shouldn'tcome bothering." Resurrection

CHAPTER XXXIII. THE LEAVEN AT WORK--NEKHLUDOFF'S DOMESTIC CHANGES.

 

The next morning Nekhludoff awokeconscious that something had happened tohimand even before he had remembered what it was he knew it to be somethingimportant and good.

"Katusha--the trial!" Yeshe must stop lying and tell the wholetruth.

By a strange coincidence on that very morning he received the long-expectedletter from Mary Vasilievnathe wife of the Marechal de Noblessethe veryletter he particularly needed. She gave him full freedomand wished himhappiness in his intended marriage.

"Marriage!" he repeated with irony. "How far I am from allthat at present."

And he remembered the plans he had formed the day beforeto tell the husbandeverythingto make a clean breast of itand express his readiness to give himany kind of satisfaction. But this morning this did not seem so easy as the daybefore. Andthenalsowhy make a man unhappy by telling him what he does notknow? Yesif he came and askedhe would tell him allbut to go purposely andtell--no! that was unnecessary.

And telling the whole truth to Missy seemed just as difficult this morning.Againhe could not begin to speak without offence. As in many worldly affairssomething had to remain unexpressed. Only one thing he decided oni.e.not tovisit thereand to tell the truth if asked.

But in connection with Katushanothing was to remain unspoken. "I shallgo to the prison and shall tell her every thingand ask her to forgive me. Andif need be--yesif need beI shall marry her" he thought.

This ideathat he was ready to sacrifice all on moral groundsand marryheragain made him feel very tender towards himself. Concerning money mattershe resolved this morning to arrange them in accord with his convictionthat theholding of landed property was unlawful. Even if he should not be strong enoughto give up everythinghe would still do what he couldnot deceiving himself orothers.

It was long since he had met the coming day with so much energy. WhenAgraphena Petrovna came inhe told herwith more firmness than he thoughthimself capable ofthat he no longer needed this lodging nor her services.There had been a tacit understanding that he was keeping up so large andexpensive an establishment because he was thinking of getting married. Thegiving up of the house hadthereforea special meaning. Agraphena Petrovnalooked at him in surprise.

"I thank you very muchAgraphena Petrovnafor all your care for mebut I no longer require so large a house nor so many servants. If you wish tohelp mebe so good as to settle about the thingsput them away as it used tobe done during mamma's lifeand when Natasha comes she will see toeverything." Natasha was Nekhludoff's sister.

Agraphena Petrovna shook her head. "See about the things? Whythey'llbe required again" she said.

"Nothey won'tAgraphena Petrovna; I assure you they won't berequired" said Nekhludoffin answer to what the shaking of her head hadexpressed. "Please tell Corney also that I shall pay him two months' wagesbut shall have no further need of him."

"It is a pityDmitri Ivanovitchthat you should think of doingthis" she said. "Wellsupposing you go abroadstill you'll requirea place of residence again."

"You are mistaken in your thoughtsAgraphena Petrovna; I am not goingabroad. If I go on a journeyit will be to quite a different place." Hesuddenly blushed very red. "YesI must tell her" he thought;"no hiding; everybody must be told."

"A very strange and important thing happened to me yesterday. Do youremember my Aunt Mary Ivanovna's Katusha?"

"Ohyes. WhyI taught her how to sew."

"Wellthis Katusha was tried in the Court and I was on the jury."

"OhLord! What a pity!" cried Agraphena Petrovna. What was shebeing tried for?"

"Murder; and it is I have done it all."

"Wellnow this is very strange; how could you do it all?"

"YesI am the cause of it all; and it is this that has altered all myplans."

"What difference can it make to you?"

"This difference: that Ibeing the cause of her getting on to thatpathmust do all I can to help her."

"That is just according to your own good pleasure; you are notparticularly in fault there. It happens to every oneand if one's reasonableit all gets smoothed over and forgotten" she saidseriously and severely."Why should you place it to your account? There's no need. I had alreadyheard before that she had strayed from the right path. Wellwhose fault isit?"

"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 yourselfthen Iwill tell you thatas mamma expressed the wish--"

"I am not thinking about myself. I have been so bountifully treated bythe dear defunctthat I desire nothing. Lisenka" (her married niece)"has been inviting meand I shall go to her when I am not wanted anylonger. Only it is a pity you should take this so to heart; it happens toeverybody."

"WellI do not think so. And I still beg that you will help me let thislodging and put away the things. And please do not be angry with me. I am veryvery grateful to you for all you have done."

Andstrangelyfrom the moment Nekhludoff realised that it was he who was sobad and disgusting to himselfothers were no longer disgusting to him; on thecontraryhe felt a kindly respect for Agraphena Petrovnaand for Corney.

He would have liked to go and confess to Corney alsobut Corney's manner wasso insinuatingly deferential that he had not the resolution to do it.

On the way to the Law Courtspassing along the same streets with the sameisvostchik as the day beforehe was surprised what a different being he felthimself to be. The marriage with Missywhich only yesterday seemed so probableappeared quite impossible now. The day before he felt it was for him to chooseand had no doubts that she would be happy to marry him; to-day he felt himselfunworthy not only of marryingbut even of being intimate with her. "If sheonly knew what I amnothing would induce her to receive me. And only yesterdayI was finding fault with her because she flirted with N---. Anyhoweven if sheconsented to marry mecould I beI won't say happybut at peaceknowing thatthe other was here in prisonand would to-day or to-morrow he taken to Siberiawith a gang of other prisonerswhile I accepted congratulations and made callswith my young wife; or while I count the votes at the meetingsfor and againstthe motion brought forward by the rural inspectionetc.together with theMarechal de Noblessewhom I abominably deceiveand afterwards makeappointments with his wife (how abominable!) or while I continue to work at mypicturewhich will certainly never get finished? BesidesI have no business towaste time on such things. I can do nothing of the kind now" he continuedto himselfrejoicing at the change he felt within himself. "The firstthing now is to see the advocate and find out his decisionand then . . . thengo and see her and tell her everything."

And when he pictured to himself how he would see herand tell her allconfess his sin to herand tell her that he would do all in his power to atonefor his sinhe was touched at his own goodnessand the tears came to his eyes.

CHAPTER XXXIV. THE ABSURDITY OF LAW--REFLECTIONS OF A JURYMAN.

 

On coming into the Law Courts Nekhludoff met the usher of yesterdaywhoto-day seemed to him much to be pitiedin the corridorand asked him wherethose prisoners who had been sentenced were keptand to whom one had to applyfor permission to visit them. The usher told him that the condemned prisonerswere kept in different placesand thatuntil they received their sentence inits final formthe permission to visit them depended on the president."I'll come and call you myselfand take you to the president after thesession. The president is not even here at present. After the session! And nowplease come in; we are going to commence."

Nekhludoff thanked the usher for his kindnessand went into the jurymen'sroom. As he was approaching the roomthe other jurymen were just leaving it togo into the court. The merchant had again partaken of a little refreshmentandwas as merry as the day beforeand greeted Nekhludoff like an old friend. Andto-day Peter Gerasimovitch did not arouse any unpleasant feelings in Nekhludoffby his familiarity and his loud laughter. Nekhludoff would have liked to tellall the jurymen about his relations to yesterday's prisoner. "Byrights" he thought"I ought to have got up yesterday during thetrial and disclosed my guilt."

He entered the court with the other jurymenand witnessed the same procedureas the day before.

"The judges are coming" was again proclaimedand again three menwith embroidered collarsascended the platformand there was the same settlingof the jury on the high-backed chairsthe same gendarmesthe same portraitsthe same priestand Nekhludoff felt thatthough he knew what he ought to dohe could not interrupt all this solemnity. The preparations for the trials werejust the same as the day beforeexcepting that the swearing in of the jury andthe president's address to them were omitted.

The case before the Court this day was one of burglary. The prisonerguardedby two gendarmes with naked swordswas a thinnarrow-chested lad of 20with abloodlesssallow facedressed in a grey cloak. He sat alone in the prisoner'sdock. This boy was accused of havingtogether with a companionbroken the lockof a shed and stolen several old mats valued at 3 roubles [the rouble is worth alittle over two shillingsand contains 100 copecks] and 67 copecks. Accordingto the indictmenta policeman had stopped this boy as he was passing with hiscompanionwho was carrying the mats on his shoulder. The boy and his companionconfessed at onceand were both imprisoned. The boy's companiona locksmithdied in prisonand so the boy was being tried alone. The old mats were lying onthe table as the objects of material evidence. The business was conducted justin the same manner as the day beforewith the whole armoury of evidenceproofswitnessesswearing inquestionsexpertsand cross-examinations. Inanswer to every question put to him by the presidentthe prosecutoror theadvocatethe policeman (one of the witnesses) in variably ejected the words:"just so" or "Can't tell." Yetin spite of his beingstupefiedand rendered a mere machine by military disciplinehis reluctance tospeak about the arrest of this prisoner was evident. Another witnessan oldhouse proprietorand owner of the matsevidently a rich old manwhen askedwhether the mats were hisreluctantly identified them as such. When the publicprosecutor asked him what he meant to do with these matswhat use they were tohimhe got angryand answered: "The devil take those mats; I don't wantthem at all. Had I known there would be all this bother about them I should nothave gone looking for thembut would rather have added a ten-rouble note or twoto themonly not to be dragged here and pestered with questions. I have spent alot on isvostchiks. BesidesI am not well. I have been suffering fromrheumatism for the last seven years." It was thus the witness spoke.

The accused himself confessed everythingand looking round stupidlylike ananimal that is caughtrelated how it had all happened. Still the publicprosecutordrawing up his shoulders as he had done the day beforeasked subtlequestions calculated to catch a cunning criminal.

In his speech he proved that the theft had been committed from adwelling-placeand a lock had been broken; and that the boythereforedeserved a heavy punishment. The advocate appointed by the Court proved that thetheft was not committed from a dwelling-placeand thatthough the crime was aserious onethe prisoner was not so very dangerous to society as the prosecutorstated. The president assumed the role of absolute neutrality in the same way ashe had done on the previous dayand impressed on the jury facts which they allknew and could not help knowing. Then came an intervaljust as the day beforeand they smoked; and again the usher called out "The judges arecoming" and in the same way the two gendarmes sat trying to keep awake andthreatening the prisoner with their naked weapons.

The proceedings showed that this boy was apprenticed by his father at atobacco factorywhere he remained five years. This year he had been dischargedby the owner after a strikeandhaving lost his placehe wandered about thetown without any workdrinking all he possessed. In a traktir [cheaprestaurant] he met another like himselfwho had lost his place before theprisoner hada locksmith by trade and a drunkard. One nightthose twobothdrunkbroke the lock of a shed and took the first thing they happened to layhands on. They confessed all and were put in prisonwhere the locksmith diedwhile awaiting the trial. The boy was now being tried as a dangerous creaturefrom whom society must be protected.

"Just as dangerous a creature as yesterday's culprit" thoughtNekhludofflistening to all that was going on before him. "They aredangerousand we who judge them? Ia rakean adulterera deceiver. We arenot dangerous. Buteven supposing that this boy is the most dangerous of allthat are here in the courtwhat should he done from a common-sense point ofview when he has been caught? It is clear that he is not an exceptionalevil-doerbut a most ordinary boy; every one sees it--and that he has becomewhat he is simply because he got into circumstances that create such charactersandthereforeto prevent such a boy from going wrong the circumstances thatcreate these unfortunate beings must be done away with.

"But what do we do? We seize one such lad who happens to get caughtknowing well that there are thousands like him whom we have not caughtand sendhim to prisonwhere idlenessor most unwholesomeuseless labour is forced onhimin company of others weakened and ensnared by the lives they have led. Andthen we send himat the public expensefrom the Moscow to the IrkoutskGovernmentin company with the most depraved of men.

"But we do nothing to destroy the conditions in which people like theseare produced; on the contrarywe support the establishments where they areformed. These establishments are well known: factoriesmillsworkshopspublic-housesgin-shopsbrothels. And we do not destroy these placesbutlooking at them as necessarywe support and regulate them. We educate in thisway not onebut millions of peopleand then catch one of them and imagine thatwe have done somethingthat we have guarded ourselvesand nothing more can beexpected of us. Have we not sent him from the Moscow to the IrkoutskGovernment?" Thus thought Nekhludoff with unusual clearness and vividnesssitting in his high-backed chair next to the coloneland listening to thedifferent intonations of the advocates'prosecutor'sand president's voicesand looking at their self-confident gestures. "And how much and what hardeffort this pretence requires" continued Nekhludoff in his mindglancinground the enormous roomthe portraitslampsarmchairsuniformsthe thickwalls and large windows; and picturing to himself the tremendous size of thebuildingand the still more ponderous dimensions of the whole of thisorganisationwith its army of officialsscribeswatchmenmessengersnotonly in this placebut all over Russiawho receive wages for carrying on thiscomedy which no one needs. "Supposing we spent one-hundredth of theseefforts helping these castawayswhom we now only regard as hands and bodiesrequired by us for our own peace and comfort. Had some one chanced to take pityon him and given some help at the time when poverty made them send him to townit might have been sufficient" Nekhludoff thoughtlooking at the boy'spiteous face. "Or even laterwhenafter 12 hours' work at the factoryhewas going to the public-houseled away by his companionshad some one thencome and said'Don't goVania; it is not right' he would not have gonenorgot into bad waysand would not have done any wrong.

"But no; no one who would have taken pity on him came across thisapprentice in the years he lived like a poor little animal in the townand withhis hair cut close so as not to breed verminand ran errands for the workmen.Noall he heard and sawfrom the older workmen and his companionssince hecame to live in townwas that he who cheatsdrinksswearswho gives anothera thrashingwho goes on the looseis a fine fellow. Illhis constitutionundermined by unhealthy labourdrinkand debauchery--bewildered as in a dreamknocking aimlessly about townhe gets into some sort of a shedand takes fromthere some old matswhich nobody needs--and here weall of us educated peoplerich or comfortably offmeet togetherdressed in good clothes and fineuniformsin a splendid apartmentto mock this unfortunate brother of ours whomwe ourselves have ruined.

"Terrible! It is difficult to say whether the cruelty or the absurdityis greaterbut the one and the other seem to reach their climax."

Nekhludoff thought all thisno longer listening to what was going onandhe was horror-struck by that which was being revealed to him. He could notunderstand why he had not been able to see all this beforeand why others wereunable to see it.

CHAPTER XXXV. THE PROCUREUR--NEKHLUDOFF REFUSES TO SERVE.

 

During an interval Nekhludoff got up and went out into the corridorwith theintention of not returning to the court. Let them do what they liked with himhe 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 insaying that the Procureur was busybut Nekhludoff paid no heed and went to the doorwhere he was met by anofficial. He asked to be announced to the Procureursaying he was on the juryand had a very important communication to make.

His title and good clothes were of assistance to him. The official announcedhim to the Procureurand Nekhludoff was let in. The Procureur met him standingevidently annoyed at the persistence with which Nekhludoff demanded admittance.

"What is it you want?" the Procureur askedseverely.

"I am on the jury; my name is Nekhludoffand it is absolutely necessaryfor me to see the prisoner Maslova" Nekhludoff saidquickly andresolutelyblushingand feeling that he was taking a step which would have adecisive influence on his life.

The Procureur was a shortdark manwith shortgrizzly hairquicksparkling eyesand a thick beard cut close on his projecting lower jaw.

"Maslova? Yesof courseI know. She was accused of poisoning"the Procureur saidquietly. "But why do you want to see her?" Andthenas if wishing to tone down his questionhe added"I cannot give youthe permission without knowing why you require it."

"I require it for a particularly important reason."

"Yes?" said the Procureurandlifting his eyeslookedattentively at Nekhludoff. "Has her case been heard or not?" "Shewas tried yesterdayand unjustly sentenced; she is innocent."

"Yes? If she was sentenced only yesterday" went on the Procureurpaying no attention to Nekhludoff's statement concerning Maslova's innocence"she must still he in the preliminary detention prison until the sentenceis 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 saidhis jawtrembling as he felt the decisive moment approaching.

"Why must you?" said the Procureurlifting his brows with someagitation.

"Because I betrayed her and brought her to the condition which exposedher to this accusation."

"All the sameI cannot see what it has to do with visiting her."

"This: that whether I succeed or not in getting the sentence changed Iwant to follow herand--marry her" said Nekhludofftouched to tears byhis own conductand at the same time pleased to see the effect he produced onthe Procureur.

"Really! Dear me!" said the Procureur. "This is certainly avery exceptional case. I believe you are a member of the Krasnoporsk ruraladministration?" he askedas if he remembered having heard before of thisNekhludoffwho was now making so strange a declaration.

"I beg your pardonbut I do not think that has anything to do with myrequest" answered Nekhludoffflushing angrily.

"Certainly not" said the Procureurwith a scarcely perceptiblesmile and not in the least abashed; "only your wish is so extraordinary andso out of the common."

"Well; but can I get the permission?"

"The permission? YesI will give you an order of admittance directly.Take a seat."

He went up to the tablesat downand began to write. "Please sitdown."

Nekhludoff continued to stand.

Having written an order of admittanceand handed it to NekhludofftheProcureur looked curiously at him.

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

"Then you will have to lay valid reasons before the Courtas youofcourseknow."

"My reasons are that I consider all judging not only uselessbutimmoral."

"Yes" said the Procureurwith the same scarcely perceptiblesmileas if to show that this kind of declaration was well known to him andbelonged to the amusing sort. "Yesbut you will certainly understand thatI as Procureurcan not agree with you on this point. ThereforeI should adviseyou to apply to the Courtwhich will consider your declarationand find itvalid or not validand in the latter case will impose a fine. Applythentothe Court."

"I have made my declarationand shall apply nowhere else"Nekhludoff saidangrily.

"Wellthengood-afternoon" said the Procureurbowing his headevidently anxious to be rid of this strange visitor.

"Who was that you had here?" asked one of the members of the Courtas he enteredjust after Nekhludoff left the room.

"Nekhludoffyou know; the same that used to make all sorts of strangestatements at the Krasnoporsk rural meetings. Just fancy! He is on the juryandamong the prisoners there is a woman or girl sentenced to penal servitudewhomhe says he betrayedand 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 ofexcitement!"

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

"Ohbut he is not so very young."

"Yes. But how tiresome your famous Ivoshenka was. He carries the day bywearying one out. He talked and talked without end."

"Ohthat kind of people should be simply stoppedor they will becomereal obstructionists."

CHAPTER XXXVI. NEKHLUDOFF ENDEAVOURS TO VISIT MASLOVA.

 

From the Procureur Nekhludoff went straight to the preliminary detentionprison. Howeverno Maslova was to be found thereand the inspector explainedto Nekhludoff that she would probably be in the old temporary prison. Nekhludoffwent there.

YesKaterina Maslova was there.

The distance between the two prisons was enormousand Nekhludoff onlyreached the old prison towards evening. He was going up to the door of thelargegloomy buildingbut the sentinel stopped him and rang. A warder came inanswer to the bell. Nekhludoff showed him his order of admittancebut thewarder 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 hearddistant sounds of some complicated bravuraplayed on the piano. When a crossservant girlwith a bandaged eyeopened the door to himthose sounds seemedto escape from the room and to strike his car. It was a rhapsody of Liszt'sthat everybody was tired ofsplendidly played but only to one point. When thatpoint was reached the same thing was repeated. Nekhludoff asked the bandagedmaid 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 tothe 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 dothey come bothering for?" came the sound of a woman's voice from behind thedoorand again the rhapsody rattled on and stoppedand the sound of a chairpushed back was heard. It was plain the irritated pianist meant to rebuke thetiresome visitorwho had come at an untimely hour. "Papa is not in"a pale girl with crimped hair saidcrosslycoming out into the ante-roombutseeing a young man in a good coatshe softened.

"Come inplease. . . . What is it you want?"

"I want to see a prisoner in this prison."

"A political oneI suppose?"

"Nonot a political one. I have a permission from the Procureur."

"WellI don't knowand papa is out; but come inplease" shesaidagain"or else speak to the assistant. He is in the office atpresent; apply there. What is your name?"

"I thank you" said Nekhludoffwithout answering her questionandwent out.

The door was not yet closed after him when the same lively tones recommenced.In the courtyard Nekhludoff met an officer with bristly moustachesand askedfor the assistant-inspector. It was the assistant himself. He looked at theorder of admittancebut said that he could not decide to let him in with a passfor the preliminary prison. Besidesit was too late. "Please to come againto-morrow. To morrowat 10everybody is allowed to go in. Come thenand theinspector himself will be at home. Then you can have the interview either in thecommon room orif the inspector allows itin the office."

And so Nekhludoff did not succeed in getting an interview that dayandreturned home. As he went along the streetsexcited at the idea of meeting herhe no longer thought about the Law Courtsbut recalled his conversations withthe Procureur and the inspector's assistant. The fact that he had been seekingan interview with herand had told the Procureurand had been in two prisonsso excited him that it was long before he could calm down. When he got home heat once fetched out his diarythat had long remained untouchedread a fewsentences out of itand then wrote as follows:

"For two years I have not written anything in my diaryand thought Inever should return to this childishness. Yet it is not childishnessbutconverse with my own selfwith 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 wasawakened by an extraordinary event on the 28th of Aprilin the Law CourtwhenI was on the jury. I saw her in the prisoners' dockthe Katusha betrayed by mein a prisoner's cloakcondemned to penal servitude through a strange mistakeand my own fault. I have just been to the Procureur's and to the prisonbut Iwas not admitted. I have resolved to do all I can to see herto confess to herand to atone for my sineven by a marriage. God help me. My soul is at peaceand I am full of joy."

CHAPTER XXXVII. MASLOVA RECALLS THE PAST.

 

That night Maslova lay awake a long time with her eyes open looking at thedoorin front of which the deacon's daughter kept passing. She was thinkingthat nothing would induce her to go to the island of Sakhalin and marry aconvictbut would arrange matters somehow with one of the prison officialsthesecretarya warderor even a warder's assistant. "Aren't they all giventhat way? Only I must not get thinor else I am lost."

She thought of how the advocate had looked at herand also the presidentand of the men she metand those who came in on purpose at the court. Sherecollected how her companionBerthawho came to see her in prisonhad toldher about the student whom she had "loved" while she was with Kitaevaand who had inquired about herand pitied her very much. She recalled many tomindonly not Nekhludoff. She never brought back to mind the days of herchildhood and youthand her love to Nekhludoff. That would have been toopainful. These memories lay untouched somewhere deep in her soul; she hadforgotten himand never recalled and never even dreamt of him. To-dayin thecourtshe did not recognise himnot only because when she last saw him he wasin uniformwithout a beardand had only a small moustache and thickcurlythough short hairand now was bald and beardedbut because she never thoughtabout him. She had buried his memory on that terrible dark night when hereturning from the armyhad passed by on the railway without stopping to callon his aunts. Katusha then knew her condition. Up to that night she did notconsider the child that lay beneath her heart a burden. But on that nighteverything changedand the child became nothing but a weight.

His aunts had expected Nekhludoffhad asked him to come and see them inpassingbut he had telegraphed that he could not comeas he had to be inPetersburg at an appointed time. When Katusha heard this she made up her mind togo to the station and see him. The train was to pass by at two o'clock in thenight. Katusha having helped the old ladies to bedand persuaded a little girlthe cook's daughterMashkato come with herput on a pair of old bootsthrewa shawl over her headgathered up her dressand ran to the station.

It was a warmrainyand windy autumn night. The rain now pelted down inwarmheavy dropsnow stopped again. It was too dark to see the path across thefieldand in the wood it was pitch blackso that although Katusha knew the waywellshe got off the pathand got to the little station where the trainstopped for three minutesnot beforeas she had hopedbut after the secondbell had been rung. Hurrying up the platformKatusha saw him at once at thewindows of a first-class carriage. Two officers sat opposite each other on thevelvet-covered seatsplaying cards. This carriage was very brightly lit up; onthe little table between the seats stood two thickdripping candles. He sat inhis closefitting breeches on the arm of the seatleaning against the backandlaughed. As soon as she recognised him she knocked at the carriage window withher benumbed handbut at that moment the last bell rangand the train firstgave a backward jerkand then gradually the carriages began to move forward.One of the players rose with the cards in his handand looked out. She knockedagainand pressed her face to the windowbut the carriage moved onand shewent alongside looking in. The officer tried to lower the windowbut could not.Nekhludoff pushed him aside and began lowering it himself. The train wentfasterso that she had to walk quickly. The train went on still faster and thewindow opened. The guard pushed her asideand jumped in. Katusha ran onalongthe wet boards of the platformand when she came to the end she could hardlystop herself from falling as she ran down the steps of the platform. She wasrunning by the side of the railwaythough the first-class carriage had longpassed herand the second-class carriages were gliding by fasterand at lastthe third-class carriages still faster. But she ran onand when the lastcarriage with the lamps at the back had gone byshe had already reached thetank which fed the enginesand was unsheltered from the windwhich was blowingher shawl about and making her skirt cling round her legs. The shawl flew offher headbut still she ran on.

"Katerina Michaelovnayou've lost your shawl!" screamed the littlegirlwho was trying to keep up with her.

Katusha stoppedthrew back her headand catching hold of it with both handssobbed aloud. "Gone!" she screamed.

"He is sitting in a velvet arm-chair and joking and drinkingin abrightly lit carriageand Iout here in the mudin the darknessin the windand the rainam standing and weeping" she thought to herself; and satdown on the groundsobbing so loud that the little girl got frightenedand puther arms round herwet as she was.

"Come homedear" she said.

"When a train passes--then under a carriageand there will be anend" Katusha was thinkingwithout heeding the girl.

And she made up her mind to do itwhenas it always happenswhen a momentof quiet follows great excitementhethe child--his child--made himself knownwithin her. Suddenly all that a moment before had been tormenting herso thatit had seemed impossible to liveall her bitterness towards himand the wishto revenge herselfeven by dyingpassed away; she grew quietergot upputthe shawl on her headand went home.

Wetmuddyand quite exhaustedshe returnedand from that day the changewhich brought her where she now was began to operate in her soul. Beginning fromthat dreadful nightshe ceased believing in God and in goodness. She hadherself believed in Godand believed that other people also believed in Him;but after that night she became convinced that no one believedand that allthat was said about God and His laws was deception and untruth. He whom shelovedand who had loved her--yesshe knew that--had thrown her away; hadabused her love. Yet he was the best of all the people she knew. All the restwere still worse. All that afterwards happened to her strengthened her in thisbelief at every step. His auntsthe pious old ladiesturned her out when shecould no longer serve them as she used to. And of all those she metthe womenused her as a means of getting moneythe menfrom the old police officer downto the warders of the prisonlooked at her as on an object for pleasure. And noone in the world cared for aught but pleasure. In this belief the old authorwith whom she had come together in the second year of her life of independencehad strengthened her. He had told her outright that it was this that constitutedthe happiness of lifeand he called it poetical and aesthetic.

Everybody lived for himself onlyfor his pleasureand all the talkconcerning God and righteousness was deception. And if sometimes doubts arose inher mind and she wondered why everything was so ill-arranged in the world thatall hurt each otherand made each other suffershe thought it best not todwell on itand if she felt melancholy she could smokeorbetter stilldrinkand it would pass.

CHAPTER XXXVIII. SUNDAY IN PRISON--PREPARING FOR MASS.

.

 

On Sunday morning at five o'clockwhen a whistle sounded in the corridor ofthe women's ward of the prisonKorablevawho was already awakecalledMaslova.

"Ohdear! life again" thought Maslovawith horrorinvoluntarilybreathing in the air that had become terribly noisome towards the morning. Shewished to fall asleep againto enter into the region of oblivionbut the habitof fear overcame sleepinessand she sat up and looked rounddrawing her feetunder 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 childrenso asnot to wake them. The watchman's wife was hanging up the rags to dry that servedthe baby as swaddling clotheswhile the baby was screaming desperately inTheodosia's armswho was trying to quiet it. The consumptive woman was coughingwith her hands pressed to her chestwhile the blood rushed to her faceand shesighed loudlyalmost screamingin the intervals of coughing. The fatred-haired woman was lying on her backwith knees drawn upand loudly relatinga dream. The old woman accused of incendiarism was standing in front of theimagecrossing herself and bowingand repeating the same words over and overagain. The deacon's daughter sat on the bedsteadlooking before herwith adullsleepy face. Khoroshavka was twisting her blackoilycoarse hair roundher fingers. The sound of slipshod feet was heard in the passageand the dooropened to let in two convictsdressed in jackets and grey trousers that did notreach to their ankles. With seriouscross faces they lifted the stinking tuband carried it out of the cell. The women went out to the taps in the corridorto wash. There the red-haired woman again began a quarrel with a woman fromanother cell.

"Is it the solitary cell you want?" shouted an old jailerslappingthe red-haired woman on her barefat backso that it sounded through thecorridor. "You be quiet."

"Lawks! the old one's playful" said the womantaking his actionfor a caress.

"Nowthenbe quick; get ready for the mass." Maslova had hardlytime to do her hair and dress when the inspector came with his assistants.

"Come out for inspection" cried a jailer.

Some more prisoners came out of other cells and stood in two rows along thecorridor; each woman had to place her hand on the shoulder of the woman in frontof her. They were all counted.

After the inspection the woman warder led the prisoners to church. Maslovaand Theodosia were in the middle of a column of over a hundred womenwho hadcome out of different cells. All were dressed in white skirtswhite jacketsand wore white kerchiefs on their headsexcept a few who had their own colouredclothes on. These were wives whowith their childrenwere following theirconvict husbands to Siberia. The whole flight of stairs was filled by theprocession. The patter of softly-shod feet mingled with the voices and now andthen a laugh. When turningon the landingMaslova saw her enemyBotchkovainfrontand pointed out her angry face to Theodosia. At the bottom of the stairsthe women stopped talking. Bowing and crossing themselvesthey entered theempty churchwhich glistened with gilding. Crowding and pushing one anotherthey took their places on the right.

After the women came the men condemned to banishmentthose serving theirterm in the prisonand those exiled by their Communes; andcoughing loudlythey took their standcrowding the left side and the middle of the church.

On one side of the gallery above stood the men sentenced to penal servitudein Siberiawho had been let into the church before the others. Each of them hadhalf his head shavedand their presence was indicated by the clanking of thechains on their feet. On the other side of the gallery stood those inpreliminary confinementwithout chainstheir heads not shaved.

The prison church had been rebuilt and ornamented by a rich merchantwhospent several tens of thousands of roubles on itand it glittered with gaycolours and gold. For a time there was silence in the churchand only coughingblowing of nosesthe crying of babiesand now and then the rattling of chainswas heard. But at last the convicts that stood in the middle movedpressedagainst each otherleaving a passage in the centre of the churchdown whichthe prison inspector passed to take his place in front of every one in the nave.

CHAPTER XXXIV. THE ABSURDITY OF LAW--REFLECTIONS OF A JURYMAN.

 

On coming into the Law Courts Nekhludoff met the usher of yesterdaywhoto-day seemed to him much to be pitiedin the corridorand asked him wherethose prisoners who had been sentenced were keptand to whom one had to applyfor permission to visit them. The usher told him that the condemned prisonerswere kept in different placesand thatuntil they received their sentence inits final formthe permission to visit them depended on the president."I'll come and call you myselfand take you to the president after thesession. The president is not even here at present. After the session! And nowplease come in; we are going to commence."

Nekhludoff thanked the usher for his kindnessand went into the jurymen'sroom. As he was approaching the roomthe other jurymen were just leaving it togo into the court. The merchant had again partaken of a little refreshmentandwas as merry as the day beforeand greeted Nekhludoff like an old friend. Andto-day Peter Gerasimovitch did not arouse any unpleasant feelings in Nekhludoffby his familiarity and his loud laughter. Nekhludoff would have liked to tellall the jurymen about his relations to yesterday's prisoner. "Byrights" he thought"I ought to have got up yesterday during thetrial and disclosed my guilt."

He entered the court with the other jurymenand witnessed the same procedureas the day before.

"The judges are coming" was again proclaimedand again three menwith embroidered collarsascended the platformand there was the same settlingof the jury on the high-backed chairsthe same gendarmesthe same portraitsthe same priestand Nekhludoff felt thatthough he knew what he ought to dohe could not interrupt all this solemnity. The preparations for the trials werejust the same as the day beforeexcepting that the swearing in of the jury andthe president's address to them were omitted.

The case before the Court this day was one of burglary. The prisonerguardedby two gendarmes with naked swordswas a thinnarrow-chested lad of 20with abloodlesssallow facedressed in a grey cloak. He sat alone in the prisoner'sdock. This boy was accused of havingtogether with a companionbroken the lockof a shed and stolen several old mats valued at 3 roubles [the rouble is worth alittle over two shillingsand contains 100 copecks] and 67 copecks. Accordingto the indictmenta policeman had stopped this boy as he was passing with hiscompanionwho was carrying the mats on his shoulder. The boy and his companionconfessed at onceand were both imprisoned. The boy's companiona locksmithdied in prisonand so the boy was being tried alone. The old mats were lying onthe table as the objects of material evidence. The business was conducted justin the same manner as the day beforewith the whole armoury of evidenceproofswitnessesswearing inquestionsexpertsand cross-examinations. Inanswer to every question put to him by the presidentthe prosecutoror theadvocatethe policeman (one of the witnesses) in variably ejected the words:"just so" or "Can't tell." Yetin spite of his beingstupefiedand rendered a mere machine by military disciplinehis reluctance tospeak about the arrest of this prisoner was evident. Another witnessan oldhouse proprietorand owner of the matsevidently a rich old manwhen askedwhether the mats were hisreluctantly identified them as such. When the publicprosecutor asked him what he meant to do with these matswhat use they were tohimhe got angryand answered: "The devil take those mats; I don't wantthem at all. Had I known there would be all this bother about them I should nothave gone looking for thembut would rather have added a ten-rouble note or twoto themonly not to be dragged here and pestered with questions. I have spent alot on isvostchiks. BesidesI am not well. I have been suffering fromrheumatism for the last seven years." It was thus the witness spoke.

The accused himself confessed everythingand looking round stupidlylike ananimal that is caughtrelated how it had all happened. Still the publicprosecutordrawing up his shoulders as he had done the day beforeasked subtlequestions calculated to catch a cunning criminal.

In his speech he proved that the theft had been committed from adwelling-placeand a lock had been broken; and that the boythereforedeserved a heavy punishment. The advocate appointed by the Court proved that thetheft was not committed from a dwelling-placeand thatthough the crime was aserious onethe prisoner was not so very dangerous to society as the prosecutorstated. The president assumed the role of absolute neutrality in the same way ashe had done on the previous dayand impressed on the jury facts which they allknew and could not help knowing. Then came an intervaljust as the day beforeand they smoked; and again the usher called out "The judges arecoming" and in the same way the two gendarmes sat trying to keep awake andthreatening the prisoner with their naked weapons.

The proceedings showed that this boy was apprenticed by his father at atobacco factorywhere he remained five years. This year he had been dischargedby the owner after a strikeandhaving lost his placehe wandered about thetown without any workdrinking all he possessed. In a traktir [cheaprestaurant] he met another like himselfwho had lost his place before theprisoner hada locksmith by trade and a drunkard. One nightthose twobothdrunkbroke the lock of a shed and took the first thing they happened to layhands on. They confessed all and were put in prisonwhere the locksmith diedwhile awaiting the trial. The boy was now being tried as a dangerous creaturefrom whom society must be protected.

"Just as dangerous a creature as yesterday's culprit" thoughtNekhludofflistening to all that was going on before him. "They aredangerousand we who judge them? Ia rakean adulterera deceiver. We arenot dangerous. Buteven supposing that this boy is the most dangerous of allthat are here in the courtwhat should he done from a common-sense point ofview when he has been caught? It is clear that he is not an exceptionalevil-doerbut a most ordinary boy; every one sees it--and that he has becomewhat he is simply because he got into circumstances that create such charactersandthereforeto prevent such a boy from going wrong the circumstances thatcreate these unfortunate beings must be done away with.

"But what do we do? We seize one such lad who happens to get caughtknowing well that there are thousands like him whom we have not caughtand sendhim to prisonwhere idlenessor most unwholesomeuseless labour is forced onhimin company of others weakened and ensnared by the lives they have led. Andthen we send himat the public expensefrom the Moscow to the IrkoutskGovernmentin company with the most depraved of men.

"But we do nothing to destroy the conditions in which people like theseare produced; on the contrarywe support the establishments where they areformed. These establishments are well known: factoriesmillsworkshopspublic-housesgin-shopsbrothels. And we do not destroy these placesbutlooking at them as necessarywe support and regulate them. We educate in thisway not onebut millions of peopleand then catch one of them and imagine thatwe have done somethingthat we have guarded ourselvesand nothing more can beexpected of us. Have we not sent him from the Moscow to the IrkoutskGovernment?" Thus thought Nekhludoff with unusual clearness and vividnesssitting in his high-backed chair next to the coloneland listening to thedifferent intonations of the advocates'prosecutor'sand president's voicesand looking at their self-confident gestures. "And how much and what hardeffort this pretence requires" continued Nekhludoff in his mindglancinground the enormous roomthe portraitslampsarmchairsuniformsthe thickwalls and large windows; and picturing to himself the tremendous size of thebuildingand the still more ponderous dimensions of the whole of thisorganisationwith its army of officialsscribeswatchmenmessengersnotonly in this placebut all over Russiawho receive wages for carrying on thiscomedy which no one needs. "Supposing we spent one-hundredth of theseefforts helping these castawayswhom we now only regard as hands and bodiesrequired by us for our own peace and comfort. Had some one chanced to take pityon him and given some help at the time when poverty made them send him to townit might have been sufficient" Nekhludoff thoughtlooking at the boy'spiteous face. "Or even laterwhenafter 12 hours' work at the factoryhewas going to the public-houseled away by his companionshad some one thencome and said'Don't goVania; it is not right' he would not have gonenorgot into bad waysand would not have done any wrong.

"But no; no one who would have taken pity on him came across thisapprentice in the years he lived like a poor little animal in the townand withhis hair cut close so as not to breed verminand ran errands for the workmen.Noall he heard and sawfrom the older workmen and his companionssince hecame to live in townwas that he who cheatsdrinksswearswho gives anothera thrashingwho goes on the looseis a fine fellow. Illhis constitutionundermined by unhealthy labourdrinkand debauchery--bewildered as in a dreamknocking aimlessly about townhe gets into some sort of a shedand takes fromthere some old matswhich nobody needs--and here weall of us educated peoplerich or comfortably offmeet togetherdressed in good clothes and fineuniformsin a splendid apartmentto mock this unfortunate brother of ours whomwe ourselves have ruined.

"Terrible! It is difficult to say whether the cruelty or the absurdityis greaterbut the one and the other seem to reach their climax."

Nekhludoff thought all thisno longer listening to what was going onandhe was horror-struck by that which was being revealed to him. He could notunderstand why he had not been able to see all this beforeand why others wereunable to see it.

CHAPTER XL. THE HUSKS OF RELIGION.

And none of those presentfrom the inspector down to Maslovaseemed conscious of the fact that this Jesuswhose name the priest repeatedsuch a great number of timesand whom he praised with all these curiousexpressionshad forbidden the very things that were being done there; that Hehad prohibited not only this meaningless much-speaking and the blasphemousincantation over the bread and winebut had alsoin the clearest wordsforbidden men to call other men their masterand to pray in temples; and hadordered that every one should pray in solitudehad forbidden to erect templessaying that He had come to destroy themand that one should worshipnot in atemplebut in spirit and in truth; andabove allthat He had forbidden notonly to judgeto imprisonto tormentto execute menas was being done herebut had prohibited any kind of violencesaying that He had come to give freedomto the captives.

No one present seemed conscious that all that was going on here was thegreatest blasphemy and a supreme mockery of that same Christ in whose name itwas being done. No one seemed to realise that the gilt cross with the enamelmedallions at the endswhich the priest held out to the people to be kissedwas nothing but the emblem of that gallows on which Christ had been executed fordenouncing just what was going on here. That these priestswho imagined theywere eating and drinking the body and blood of Christ in the form of bread andwinedid in reality eat and drink His flesh and His bloodbut not as wine andbits of breadbut by ensnaring "these little ones" with whom Heidentified Himselfby depriving them of the greatest blessings and submittingthem to most cruel tormentsand by hiding from men the tidings of great joywhich He had brought. That thought did not enter into the mind of any onepresent.

The priest did his part with a quiet consciencebecause he was brought upfrom childhood to consider that the only true faith was the faith which had beenheld by all the holy men of olden times and was still held by the Churchanddemanded by the State authorities. He did not believe that the bread turned intofleshthat it was useful for the soul to repeat so many wordsor that he hadactually swallowed a bit of God. No one could believe thisbut he believed thatone ought to hold this faith. What strengthened him most in this faith was thefact thatfor fulfilling the demands of this faithhe had for the last 15years been able to draw an incomewhich enabled him to keep his familysendhis son to a gymnasium and his daughter to a school for the daughters of theclergy. The deacon believed in the same mannerand even more firmly than thepriestfor he had forgotten the substance of the dogmas of this faithand knewonly that the prayers for the deadthe masseswith and without the acathistusall had a definite pricewhich real Christians readily paidandthereforehecalled out his "have mercyhave mercy" very willinglyand read andsaid what was appointedwith the same quiet certainty of its being necessary todo so with which other men sell faggotsflouror potatoes. The prisoninspector and the wardersthough they had never understood or gone into themeaning of these dogmas and of all that went on in churchbelieved that theymust believebecause the higher authorities and the Tsar himself believed init. Besidesthough faintly (and themselves unable to explain why)they feltthat this faith defended their cruel occupations. If this faith did not exist itwould have been more difficultperhaps impossiblefor them to use all theirpowers to torment peopleas they were now doingwith a quiet conscience. Theinspector was such a kind-hearted man that he could not have lived as he was nowliving unsupported by his faith. Thereforehe stood motionlessbowed andcrossed himself zealouslytried to feel touched when the song about thecherubims was being sungand when the children received communion he lifted oneof themand held him up to the priest with his own hands.

The great majority of the prisoners believed that there lay a mystic power inthese gilt imagesthese vestmentscandlescupscrossesand this repetitionof incomprehensible words"Jesu sweetest" and "havemercy"--a power through which might be obtained much convenience in thisand in the future life. Only a few clearly saw the deception that was practisedon the people who adhered to this faithand laughed at it in their hearts; butthe majorityhaving made several attempts to get the conveniences they desiredby means of prayersmassesand candlesand not having got them (their prayersremaining unanswered)were each of them convinced that their want of successwas accidentaland that this organisationapproved by the educated and byarchbishopsis very important and necessaryif not for thisat any rate forthe next life.

Maslova also believed in this way. She feltlike the resta mixed sensationof piety and dulness. She stood at first in a crowd behind a railingso thatshe could see no one but her companions; but when those to receive communionmoved onshe and Theodosia stepped to the frontand they saw the inspectorandbehind himstanding among the wardersa little peasantwith a very lightbeard and fair hair. This was Theodosia's husbandand he was gazing with fixedeyes at his wife. During the acathistus Maslova occupied herself in scrutinisinghim and talking to Theodosia in whispersand bowed and made the sign of thecross only when every one else did.

CHAPTER XLI. VISITING DAY--THE MEN'S WARD.

 

Nekhludoff left home early. A peasant from the country was still drivingalong 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 beforeand now wherever theground was not paved the grass shone green. The birch trees in the gardenslooked as if they were strewn with green fluffthe wild cherry and the poplarsunrolled their longbalmy budsand in shops and dwelling-houses the doublewindow-frames were being removed and the windows cleaned.

In the Tolkoochi [literallyjostling marketwhere second-hand clothes andall sorts of cheap goods are sold] marketwhich Nekhludoff had to pass on hiswaya dense crowd was surging along the row of boothsand tattered men walkedabout selling top-bootswhich they carried under their armsand renovatedtrousers and waistcoatswhich hung over their shoulders.

Men in clean coats and shining bootsliberated from the factoriesit beingSundayand women with bright silk kerchiefs on their heads and cloth jacketstrimmed with jetwere already thronging at the door of the traktir. Policemenwith yellow cords to their uniforms and carrying pistolswere on dutylookingout for some disorder which might distract the ennui that oppressed them. On thepaths of the boulevards and on the newly-revived grasschildren and dogs ranaboutplayingand the nurses sat merrily chattering on the benches. Along thestreetsstill fresh and damp on the shady sidebut dry in the middleheavycarts rumbled unceasinglycabs rattled and tramcars passed ringing by. The airvibrated with the pealing and clanging of church bellsthat were calling thepeople to attend to a service like that which was now being conducted in theprison. And the peopledressed in their Sunday bestwere passing on their wayto their different parish churches.

The isvostchik did not drive Nekhludoff up to the prison itselfbut to thelast turning that led to the prison.

Several persons--men and women--most of them carrying small bundlesstood atthis turningabout 100 steps from the prison. To the right there were severallow wooden buildings; to the lefta two-storeyed house with a signboard. Thehuge brick buildingthe prison properwas just in frontand the visitors werenot allowed to come up to it. A sentinel was pacing up and down in front of itand shouted at any one who tried to pass him.

At the gate of the wooden buildingsto the rightopposite the sentinelsata warder on a benchdressed in uniformwith gold cordsa notebook in hishands. The visitors came up to himand named the persons they wanted to seeand he put the names down. Nekhludoff also went upand 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 overyou'll beadmitted."

Nekhludoff stepped aside from the waiting crowd. A man in tattered clothescrumpled hatwith bare feet and red stripes all over his facedetached himselffrom the crowdand turned towards the prison.

"Nowthenwhere are you going?" shouted the sentinel with thegun.

"And you hold your row" answered the trampnot in the leastabashed by the sentinel's wordsand turned back. "Wellif you'll not letme inI'll wait. Butno! Must needs shoutas if he were a general."

The crowd laughed approvingly. The visitors werefor the greater partbadly-dressed people; some were raggedbut there were also somerespectable-looking men and women. Next to Nekhludoff stood a clean-shavenstoutand red-cheeked manholding a bundleapparently containingunder-garments. This was the doorkeeper of a bank; he had come to see hisbrotherwho was arrested for forgery. The good-natured fellow told Nekhludoffthe whole story of his lifeand was going to question him in turnwhen theirattention was aroused by a student and a veiled ladywho drove up in a trapwith rubber tyresdrawn by a large thoroughbred horse. The student was holdinga large bundle. He came up to Nekhludoffand asked if and how he could give therolls he had brought in alms to the prisoners. His fiancee wished it (this ladywas his fiancee)and her parents had advised them to take some rolls to theprisoners.

"I myself am here for the first time" said Nekhludoff"anddon't know; but I think you had better ask this man" and he pointed to thewarder with the gold cords and the booksitting on the right.

As they were speakingthe large iron door with a window in it openedand anofficer in uniformfollowed by another warderstepped out. The warder with thenotebook proclaimed that the admittance of visitors would now commence. Thesentinel stepped asideand all the visitors rushed to the door as if afraid ofbeing too late; some even ran. At the door there stood a warder who counted thevisitors as they came insaying aloud1617and so on. Another warder stoodinside the building and also counted the visitors as they entered a second doortouching each one with his handso that when they went away again not onevisitor should be able to remain inside the prison and not one prisoner mightget out. The warderwithout looking at whom he was touchingslapped Nekhludoffon the backand Nekhludoff felt hurt by the touch of the warder's hand; butremembering what he had come abouthe felt ashamed of feeling dissatisfied andtaking offence.

The first apartment behind the entrance doors was a large vaulted room withiron bars to the small windows. In this roomwhich was called the meeting-roomNekhludoff was startled by the sight of a large picture of the Crucifixion.

"What's that for?" he thoughthis mind involuntarily connectingthe subject of the picture with liberation and not with imprisonment.

He went onslowly letting the hurrying visitors pass beforeandexperiencing a mingled feeling of horror at the evil-doers locked up in thisbuildingcompassion for those wholike Katusha and the boy they tried the daybeforemust be here though guiltlessand shyness and tender emotion at thethought of the interview before him. The warder at the other end of themeeting-room said something as they passedbut Nekhludoffabsorbed by his ownthoughtspaid no attention to himand continued to follow the majority of thevisitorsand so got into the men's part of the prison instead of the women's.

Letting the hurrying visitors pass before himhe was the last to get intothe interviewing-room. As soon as Nekhludoff opened the door of this roomhewas struck by the deafening roar of a hundred voices shouting at oncethereason of which he did not at once understand. But when he came nearer to thepeoplehe saw that they were all pressing against a net that divided the roomin twolike flies settling on sugarand he understood what it meant. The twohalves of the roomthe windows of which were opposite the door he had come inbywere separatednot by onebut by two nets reaching from the floor to theceiling. The wire nets were stretched 7 feet apartand soldiers were walking upand down the space between them. On the further side of the nets were theprisonerson the nearerthe visitors. Between them was a double row of netsand a space of 7 feet wideso that they could not hand anything to one anotherand any one whose sight was not very good could not even distinguish the face onthe other side. It was also difficult to talk; one had to scream in order to beheard.

On both sides were faces pressed close to the netsfaces of wiveshusbandsfathersmotherschildrentrying to see each other's features and to say whatwas necessary in such a way as to be understood.

But as each one tried to be heard by the one he was talking toand hisneighbour tried to do the samethey did their best to drown each other'svoices' and that was the cause of the din and shouting which struck Nekhludoffwhen he first came in. It was impossible to understand what was being said andwhat were the relations between the different people. Next Nekhludoff an oldwoman with a kerchief on her head stood tremblingher chin pressed close to thenetand shouting something to a young fellowhalf of whose head was shavedwho listened attentively with raised brows. By the side of the old woman was ayoung man in a peasant's coatwho listenedshaking his headto a boy verylike himself. Next stood a man in ragswho shoutedwaving his arm andlaughing. Next to him a womanwith a good woollen shawl on her shoulderssaton the floor holding a baby in her lap and crying bitterly. This was apparentlythe first time she saw the greyheaded man on the other side in prison clothesand with his head shaved. Beyond her was the doorkeeperwho had spoken toNekhludoff outside; he was shouting with all his might to a greyhaired convicton the other side.

When Nekhludoff found that he would have to speak in similar conditionsafeeling of indignation against those who were able to make and enforce theseconditions arose in him; he was surprised thatplaced in such a dreadfulpositionno one seemed offended at this outrage on human feelings. Thesoldiersthe inspectorthe prisoners themselvesacted as if acknowledging allthis to be necessary.

Nekhludoff remained in this room for about five minutesfeeling strangelydepressedconscious of how powerless he wasand at variance with all theworld. He was seized with a curious moral sensation like seasickness.

CHAPTER XLII. VISITING DAY--THE WOMEN'S WARD.

 

 

Wellbut I must do what I came here for" he saidtrying to pick upcourage. "What is to be done now?" He looked round for an officialand seeing a thin little man in the uniform of an officer going up and downbehind the peoplehe approached him.

"Can you tell mesir" he saidwith exceedingly strainedpoliteness of manner"where the women are keptand where one is allowedto interview them?"

"Is it the women's ward you want to go to?"

"YesI should like to see one of the women prisoners" Nekhludoffsaidwith the same strained politeness.

"You should have said so when you were in the hall. Who is itthenthat you want to see?"

"I want to see a prisoner called Katerina Maslova."

"Is she a political one?"

"Noshe is simply . . ."

"What! Is she sentenced?"

"Yes; the day before yesterday she was sentenced" meekly answeredNekhludofffearing to spoil the inspector's good humourwhich seemed toincline in his favour.

"If you want to go to the women's ward please to step this way"said the officerhaving decided from Nekhludoff's appearance that he was worthyof attention. "Sideroffconduct the gentleman to the women's ward"he saidturning to a moustached corporal with medals on his breast.

"Yessir."

At this moment heart-rending sobs were heard coming from some one near thenet.

Everything here seemed strange to Nekhludoff; but strangest of all was thathe should have to thank and feel obligation towards the inspector and the chiefwardersthe very men who were performing the cruel deeds that were done in thishouse.

The corporal showed Nekhludoff through the corridorout of the men's intothe women's interviewing-room.

This roomlike that of the menwas divided by two wire nets; but it wasmuch smallerand there were fewer visitors and fewer prisonersso that therewas less shouting than in the men's room. Yet the same thing was going on hereonlybetween the nets instead of soldiers there was a woman warderdressed ina blue-edged uniform jacketwith gold cords on the sleevesand a blue belt.Here alsoas in the men's roomthe people were pressing close to the wirenetting on both sides; on the nearer sidethe townspeople in varied attire; onthe further sidethe prisonerssome in white prison clothesothers in theirown coloured dresses. The whole length of the net was taken up by the peoplestanding close to it. Some rose on tiptoe to be heard across the heads ofothers; some sat talking on the floor.

The most remarkable of the prisonersboth by her piercing screams and herappearancewas a thindishevelled gipsy. Her kerchief had slipped off hercurly hairand she stood near a post in the middle of the prisoner's divisionshouting somethingaccompanied by quick gesturesto a gipsy man in a bluecoatgirdled tightly below the waist. Next the gipsy mana soldier sat on theground talking to prisoner; next the soldierleaning close to the netstood ayoung peasantwith a fair beard and a flushed facekeeping back his tears withdifficulty. A prettyfair-haired prisonerwith bright blue eyeswas speakingto him. These two were Theodosia and her husband. Next to them was a tramptalking to a broad-faced woman; then two womenthen a manthen again a womanand in front of each a prisoner. Maslova was not among them. But some one stoodby the window behind the prisonersand Nekhludoff knew it was she. His heartbegan to beat fasterand his breath stopped. The decisive moment wasapproaching. He went up to the part of the net where he could see the prisonerand recognised her at once. She stood behind the blue-eyed Theodosiaandsmiledlistening to what Theodosia was saying. She did not wear the prisoncloak nowbut a white dresstightly drawn in at the waist by a beltand veryfull in the bosom. From under her kerchief appeared the black ringlets of herfringejust the same as in the court.

"Nowin 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 neverentered her head.

"Whom do you want?" said the warder who was walking between thenetscoming up to Nekhludoff.

"Katerina Maslova" Nekhludoff utteredwith difficulty.

"Katerina Maslovasome one to see you" cried the warder.

CHAPTER XLIII. NEKHLUDOFF VISITS MASLOVA.

Maslova looked roundand with head thrown back and expandedchestcame up to the net with that expression of readiness which he well knewpushed in between two prisonersand gazed at Nekhludoff with a surprised andquestioning look. Butconcluding from his clothing he was a rich manshesmiled.

"Is it me you want?" she askedbringing her smiling facewith theslightly squinting eyesnearer the net.

"II--I wished to see "Nekhludoff did not know how to address her."I wished to see you--I--" He was not speaking louder than usual.

"No; nonsenseI tell you!" shouted the tramp who stood next tohim. "Have you taken it or not?"

"DyingI tell you; what more do you want?" some one else wasscreaming at his other side. Maslova could not hear what Nekhludoff was sayingbut the expression of his face as he was speaking reminded her of him. She didnot believe her own eyes; still the smile vanished from her face and a deep lineof suffering appeared on her brow.

"I cannot hear what you are saying" she called outwrinkling herbrow and frowning more and more.

"I have come" said Nekhludoff. "YesI am doing my duty--I amconfessing" thought Nekhludoff; and at this thought the tears came in hiseyesand he felt a choking sensation in his throatand holding on with bothhands to the nethe made efforts to keep from bursting into tears.

"I saywhy do you shove yourself in where you're not wanted?" someone shouted at one side of him.

"God is my witness; I know nothing" screamed a prisoner from theother side.

Noticing his excitementMaslova recognised him.

"You're like . . . but no; I don't know you" she shoutedwithoutlooking at himand blushingwhile her face grew still more stern.

"I have come to ask you to forgive me" he saidin a loud butmonotonous voicelike a lesson learnt by heart. Having said these words hebecame confused; but immediately came the thought thatif he felt ashameditwas all the better; he had to bear this shameand he continued in a loud voice:

"Forgive me; I have wronged you terribly."

She stood motionless and without taking her squinting eyes off him.

He could not continue to speakand stepping away from the net he tried tosuppress the sobs that were choking him.

The inspectorthe same officer who had directed Nekhludoff to the women'swardand whose interest he seemed to have arousedcame into the roomandseeing Nekhludoff not at the netasked him why he was not talking to her whomhe wanted to see. Nekhludoff blew his nosegave himself a shakeandtrying toappear calmsaid:

"It's so inconvenient through these nets; nothing can be heard."

Again the inspector considered for a moment.

"Ahwellshe 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 softlyshe cameup close to Nekhludoffstoppedand looked up at him from under her brows. Herblack hair was arranged in ringlets over her forehead in the same way as it hadbeen two days ago; her facethough unhealthy and puffywas attractiveandlooked perfectly calmonly the glittering black eyes glanced strangely fromunder the swollen lids.

"You may talk here" said the inspectorand shrugging hisshoulders he stepped aside with a look of surprise. Nekhludoff moved towards aseat by the wall.

Maslova cast a questioning look at the inspectorand thenshrugging hershoulders in surprisefollowed Nekhludoff to the benchand having arranged herskirtsat down beside him.

"I know it is hard for you to forgive me" he beganbut stopped.His tears were choking him. "But though I can't undo the pastI shall nowdo what is in my power. Tell me--"

"How have you managed to find me?" she saidwithout answering hisquestionneither looking away from him nor quite at himwith her squintingeyes.

"O Godhelp me! Teach me what to do" Nekhludoff thoughtlookingat her changed face. "I was on the jury the day before yesterday" hesaid. "You did not recognise me?"

"NoI did not; there was not time for recognitions. I did not evenlook" she said.

"There was a childwas there not?" he asked.

"Thank God! he died at once" she answeredabruptly and viciously.

"What do you mean? Why?"

"I was so ill myselfI nearly died" she saidin the same quietvoicewhich Nekhludoff had not expected and could not understand.

"How could my aunts have let you go?"

"Who keeps a servant that has a baby? They sent me off as soon as theynoticed. But why speak of this? I remember nothing. That's all finished."

"Noit is not finished; I wish to redeem my sin."

"There's nothing to redeem. What's been has been and is passed"she said; andwhat he never expectedshe looked at him and smiled in anunpleasantly luringyet piteousmanner.

Maslova never expected to see him againand certainly not here and not now;thereforewhen she first recognised himshe could not keep back the memorieswhich she never wished to revive. In the first moment she remembered dimly thatnewwonderful world of feeling and of thought which had been opened to her bythe charming young man who loved her and whom she lovedand then hisincomprehensible cruelty and the whole string of humiliations and sufferingwhich flowed from and followed that magic joy. This gave her painandunableto understand itshe did what she was always in the habit of doingshe got ridof these memories by enveloping them in the mist of a depraved life. In thefirst momentshe associated the man now sitting beside her with the lad she hadloved; but feeling that this gave her painshe dissociated them again. Nowthis well-dressedcarefully-got-up gentleman with perfumed beard was no longerthe Nekhludoff whom she had loved but only one of the people who made use ofcreatures like herself when they needed themand whom creatures like herselfhad to make use of in their turn as profitably as they could; and that is whyshe looked at him with a luring smile and considered silently how she could bestmake use of him.

"That's all at an end" she said. "Now I'm condemned toSiberia" 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." Shestoppedconsidering 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 inonly they say it's expensive."

"Yesmost certainly" said Nekhludoff. "I have already spokento 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 silentand then she smiled again in the same way.

"And I should like to ask you . . . a little money if you can . . . notmuch; ten roublesI do not want more" she saidsuddenly.

"Yesyes" Nekhludoff saidwith a sense of confusionand feltfor his purse.

She looked rapidly at the inspectorwho 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 againsohe crushed it up in his hand.

"This woman is dead" Nekhludoff thoughtlooking at this oncesweetand now defiledpuffy facelit up by an evil glitter in the blacksquinting eyes which were now glancing at the hand in which he held the notethen following the inspector's movementsand for a moment he hesitated. Thetempter that had been speaking to him in the night again raised its voicetrying to lead him out of the realm of his inner into the realm of his outerlifeaway from the question of what he should do to the question of what theconsequences would beand what would he practical.

"You can do nothing with this woman" said the voice; "youwill only tie a stone round your neckwhich will help to drown you and hinderyou from being useful to others.

Is it not better to give her all the money that is heresay good-byeandfinish with her forever?" whispered the voice.

But here he felt that nowat this very momentsomething most important wastaking place in his soul--that his inner life wasas it werewavering in thebalanceso that the slightest effort would make it sink to this side or theother. And he made this effort by calling to his assistance that God whom he hadfelt in his soul the day beforeand that God instantly responded. He resolvedto tell her everything now--at once.

"KatushaI have come to ask you to forgive meand you have given me noanswer. Have you forgiven me? Will you ever forgive me?" he asked.

She did not listen to himbut looked at his hand and at the inspectorandwhen the latter turned she hastily stretched out her handgrasped the noteandhid it under her belt.

"That's oddwhat you are saying there" she saidwith a smile ofcontemptas it seemed to him.

Nekhludoff felt that there was in her soul one who was his enemy and who wasprotecting hersuch as she was nowand preventing him from getting at herheart. Butstrange to saythis did not repel himbut drew him nearer to herby some freshpeculiar power. He knew that he must waken her soulthat thiswas terribly difficultbut the very difficulty attracted him. He now felttowards her as he had never felt towards her or any one else before. There wasnothing personal in this feeling: he wanted nothing from her for himselfbutonly wished that she might not remain as she now wasthat she might awaken andbecome again what she had been.

"Katushawhy do you speak like that? I know you; I remember you--andthe old days in Papovo."

"What's the use of recalling what's past?" she remarkeddrily.

"I am recalling it in order to put it rightto atone for my sinKatusha" and he was going to say that he would marry herbutmeeting hereyeshe read in them something so dreadfulso coarseso repellentthat hecould not go on.

At this moment the visitors began to go. The inspector came up to Nekhludoffand said that the time was up.

"Good-bye; I have still much to say to youbut you see it is impossibleto do so now" said Nekhludoffand held out his hand. "I shall comeagain."

"I think you have said all."

She took his hand but did not press it.

"No; I shall try to see you againsomewhere where we can talkand thenI shall tell you what I have to say-something very important."

"Wellthencome; why not?" she answeredand smiled with thathabitualinvitingand promising smile which she gave to the men whom shewished to please.

"You are more than a sister to me" said Nekhludoff.

"That's odd" she said againand went behind the grating.

 

CHAPTER XLIV. MASLOVA'S VIEW OF LIFE.

 

Before the first interviewNekhludoff thought that when she saw him and knewof his intention to serve herKatusha would be pleased and touchedand wouldbe Katusha again; butto his horrorhe found that Katusha existed no moreandthere was Maslova in her place. This astonished and horrified him.

What astonished him most was that Katusha was not ashamed of herposition--not the position of a prisoner (she was ashamed of that)but herposition as a prostitute. She seemed satisfiedeven proud of it. Andyethowcould it be otherwise? Everybodyin order to be able to acthas to considerhis occupation important and good. Thereforein whatever position a person ishe is certain to form such a view of the life of men in general which will makehis occupation seem important and good.

It is usually imagined that a thiefa murderera spya prostituteacknowledging his or her profession as evilis ashamed of it. But the contraryis true. People whom fate and their sin-mistakes have placed in a certainpositionhowever false that position may beform a view of life in generalwhich makes their position seem good and admissible. In order to keep up theirview of lifethese people instinctively keep to the circle of those people whoshare their views of life and their own place in it. This surprises uswherethe persons concerned are thievesbragging about their dexterityprostitutesvaunting their depravityor murderers boasting of their cruelty. This surprisesus only because the circlethe atmosphere in which these people liveislimitedand we are outside it. But can we not observe the same phenomenon whenthe rich boast of their wealthi.e.robbery; the commanders in the army pridethemselves on victoriesi.e.murder; and those in high places vaunt theirpoweri.e.violence? We do not see the perversion in the views of life held bythese peopleonly because the circle formed by them is more extensiveand weourselves are moving inside of it.

And in this manner Maslova had formed her views of life and of her ownposition. She was a prostitute condemned to Siberiaand yet she had aconception of life which made it possible for her to be satisfied with herselfand even to pride herself on her position before others.

According to this conceptionthe highest good for all men withoutexception--oldyoungschoolboysgeneralseducated and uneducatedwasconnected with the relation of the sexes; thereforeall meneven when theypretended to be occupied with other thingsin reality took this view. She wasan attractive womanand therefore she was an important and necessary person.The whole of her former and present life was a confirmation of the correctnessof this conception.

With such a view of lifeshe was by no means the lowestbut a veryimportant person. And Maslova prized this view of life more than anything; shecould not but prize itforif she lost the importance that such a view of lifegave her among menshe would lose the meaning of her life. Andin order not tolose the meaning of her lifeshe instinctively clung to the set that looked atlife in the same way as she did. Feeling that Nekhludoff wanted to lead her outinto another worldshe resisted himforeseeing that she would have to lose herplace in lifewith the self-possession and self-respect it gave her. For thisreason she drove from her the recollections of her early youth and her firstrelations with Nekhludoff. These recollections did not correspond with herpresent conception of the worldand were therefore quite rubbed out of hermindorratherlay somewhere buried and untouchedclosed up and plasteredover so that they should not escapeas when beesin order to protect theresult of their labourwill sometimes plaster a nest of worms. Thereforethepresent Nekhludoff was not the man she had once loved with a pure lovebut onlya rich gentleman whom she couldand mustmake use ofand with whom she couldonly have the same relations as with men in general.

"NoI could not tell her the chief thing" thought Nekhludoffmoving towards the front doors with the rest of the people. "I did not tellher that I would marry her; I did not tell her sobut I will" he thought.

The two warders at the door let out the visitorscounting them againandtouching each one with their handsso that no extra person should go outandnone remain within. The slap on his shoulder did not offend Nekhludoff thistime; he did not even notice it.

CHAPTER XLV. FANARINTHE ADVOCATE--THE PETITION.

Nekhludoff meant to rearrange the whole of his external lifetolet his large house and move to an hotelbut Agraphena Petrovna pointed outthat it was useless to change anything before the winter. No one would rent atown house for the summer; anyhowhe would have to live and keep his thingssomewhere. And so all his efforts to change his manner of life (he meant to livemore simply: as the students live) led to nothing. Not only did everythingremain as it wasbut the house was suddenly filled with new activity. All thatwas made of wool or fur was taken out to be aired and beaten. The gate-keeperthe boythe cookand Corney himself took part in this activity. All sorts ofstrange furswhich no one ever usedand various uniforms were taken out andhung on a linethen the carpets and furniture were brought outand thegate-keeper and the boy rolled their sleeves up their muscular arms and stoodbeating these thingskeeping strict timewhile the rooms were filled with thesmell of naphthaline.

When Nekhludoff crossed the yard or looked out of the window and saw all thisgoing onhe was surprised at the great number of things there wereall quiteuseless. Their only useNekhludoff thoughtwas the providing of exercise forAgraphena PetrovnaCorneythe gate-keeperthe boyand the cook.

"But it's not worth while altering my manner of life now" hethought"while Maslova's case is not decided. Besidesit is toodifficult. It will alter of itself when she will be set free or exiledand Ifollow her."

On the appointed day Nekhludoff drove up to the advocate Fanarin's ownsplendid housewhich was decorated with huge palms and other plantsandwonderful curtainsin factwith all the expensive luxury witnessing to thepossession of much idle moneyi.e.money acquired without labourwhich onlythose possess who grow rich suddenly. In the waiting-roomjust as in a doctor'swaiting-roomhe found many dejected-looking people sitting round severaltableson which lay illustrated papers meant to amuse themawaiting theirturns to be admitted to the advocate. The advocate's assistant sat in the roomat a high deskand having recognised Nekhludoffhe came up to him and said hewould go and announce him at once. But the assistant had not reached the doorbefore it opened and the sounds of loudanimated voices were heard; the voiceof a middle-agedsturdy merchantwith a red face and thick moustachesand thevoice of Fanarin himself. Fanarin was also a middle-aged man of medium heightwith a worn look on his face. Both faces bore the expression which you see onthe faces of those who have just concluded a profitable but not quite honesttransaction.

"Your own faultyou knowmy dear sir" Fanarin saidsmiling.

"We'd all be in 'eaven were it not for hour sins."

"Oh. yesyes; we all know that" and both laughed un-naturally.

"OhPrince Nekhludoff! Please to step in" said Fanarinseeinghimandnodding once more to the merchanthe led Nekhludoff into his businesscabinetfurnished in a severely correct style.

"Won't you smoke?" said the advocatesitting down oppositeNekhludoff and trying to conceal a smileapparently still excited by thesuccess of the accomplished transaction.

"Thanks; I have come about Maslova's case."

"Yesyes; directly! But ohwhat rogues these fat money bags are!"he said. "You saw this here fellow. Whyhe has about twelve millionroublesand he cannot speak correctly; and if he can get a twenty-five roublenote out of you he'll have itif he's to wrench it out with his teeth."

"He says "'eaven and hour' and you say 'this here fellow'"Nekhludoff thoughtwith an insurmountable feeling of aversion towards this manwho wished to show by his free and easy manner that he and Nekhludoff belongedto one and the same campwhile his other clients belonged to another.

"He has worried me to death--a fearful scoundrel. I felt I must relievemy feelings" said the advocateas if to excuse his speaking about thingsthat had no reference to business. "Wellhow about your case? I have readit attentivelybut do not approve of it. I mean that greenhorn of an advocatehas left no valid reason for an appeal."

"Wellthenwhat have you decided?"

"One moment. Tell him" he said to his assistantwho had just comein"that I keep to what I have said. If he canit's all right; if notnomatter."

"But he won't agree."

"Wellno matter" and the advocate frowned.

"There nowand it is said that we advocates get our money fornothing" he remarkedafter a pause. "I have freed one insolventdebtor from a totally false chargeand now they all flock to me. Yet every suchcase costs enormous labour. Whydon't wetoo'lose bits of flesh in theinkstand?' as some writer or other has said. Wellas to your caseorratherthe case you are taking an interest in. It has been conducted abominably. Thereis no good reason for appealing. Still" he continued"we can but tryto get the sentence revoked. This is what I have noted down." He took upseveral sheets of paper covered with writingand began to read rapidlyslurring over the uninteresting legal terms and laying particular stress on somesentences. "To the Court of Appealcriminal departmentetc.etc.According to the decisionsetc.the verdictetc.So-and-so Maslovapronounced guilty of having caused the death through poison of the merchantSmelkoffand hasaccording to Statute 1454 of the penal codebeen sentencedto Siberia" etc.etc. He stopped. Evidentlyin spite of his being soused to ithe still felt pleasure in listening to his own productions."This sentence is the direct result of the most glaring judicial perversionand error" he continuedimpressively"and there are grounds for itsrevocation. Firstlythe reading of the medical report of the examination ofSmelkoff'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 saidwith surprise.

"That does not matter. There might have been reasons for the defence todemand this readingtoo."

"Ohbut there could have been no reason whatever for that."

"It is a ground for appealthough. To continue: ' Secondly' he went onreading'when Maslova's advocatein his speech for the defencewishing tocharacterise Maslova's personalityreferred to the causes of her fallhe wasinterrupted by the president calling him to order for the alleged deviation fromthe direct subject. Yetas has been repeatedly pointed out by the Senatetheelucidation of the criminal's characteristics and his or her moral standpoint ingeneral has a significance of the first importance in criminal caseseven ifonly as a guide in the settling of the question of imputation.' That's pointtwo" he saidwith a look at Nekhludoff.

"But he spoke so badly that no one could make anything of it"Nekhludoff saidstill more astonished.

"The fellow's quite a fooland of course could not be expected to sayanything sensible" Fanarin saidlaughing; "butall the sameitwill do as a reason for appeal. Thirdly: 'The presidentin his summing upcontrary to the direct decree of section 1statute 801of the criminal codeomitted to inform the jury what the judicial points are that constitute guilt;and did not mention that having admitted the fact of Maslova having administeredthe poison to Smelkoffthe jury had a right not to impute the guilt of murderto hersince the proofs of wilful intent to deprive Smelkoff of life wereabsentand only to pronounce her guilty of carelessness resulting in the deathof the merchantwhich she did not desire.' This is the chief point."

"Yes; but we ought to have known that ourselves. It was ourmistake."

"And now the fourth point" the advocate continued. "The formof the answer given by the jury contained an evident contradiction. Maslova isaccused of wilfully poisoning Smelkoffher one object being that of cupiditythe only motive to commit murder she could have had. The jury in their verdictacquit her of the intent to robor participation in the stealing of valuablesfrom which it follows that they intended also to acquit her of the intent tomurderand only through a misunderstandingwhich arose from the incompletenessof the president's summing upomitted to express it in due form in theiranswer. Therefore an answer of this kind by the jury absolutely demanded theapplication of statutes 816 and 808 of the criminal code of procedurei.e.anexplanation by the president to the jury of the mistake made by themandanother debate on the question of the prisoner's guilt."

"Then why did the president not do it?"

"Itooshould like to know why" Fanarin saidlaughing.

"Then the Senate willof coursecorrect this error?"

"That will all depend on who will preside there at the time. Wellnowthere it is. I have further said" he continuedrapidly"a verdictof this kind gave the Court no right to condemn Maslova to be punished as acriminaland to apply section 3statute 771 of the penal code to her case.This is a decided and gross violation of the basic principles of our criminallaw. In view of the reasons statedI have the honour of appealing to youetc.etc.the refutationaccording to 909910and section 2912 and 928 statuteof the criminal codeetc.etc. . . . to carry this case before anotherdepartment of the same Court for a further examination. There; all that can bedone is donebutto be frankI have little hope of successthoughofcourseit all depends on what members will be present at the Senate. If youhave 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 ofair; then you may have to wait three months before they return. Thenin case offailurewe have still the possibility of appealing to His Majesty. Thistoodepends on the private influence you can bring to work. In this casetooI amat your service; I mean as to the working of the petitionnot theinfluence."

"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 personin prisonbut they tell me I must also get a permission from the governor inorder to get an interview at another time and in another place than thoseappointed. Is this necessary?"

"YesI think so. But the governor is away at present; a vice-governoris in his place. And he is such an impenetrable fool that you'll scarcely beable to do anything with him."

"Is it Meslennikoff?"

"Yes."

"I know him" said Nekhludoffand got up to go. At this moment ahorribly uglylittlebonysnub-nosedyellow-faced woman flew into the room.It was the advocate's wifewho did not seem to be in the least bit troubled byher ugliness. She was attired in the most original manner; she seemed envelopedin something made of velvet and silksomething yellow and greenand her thinhair was crimped.

She stepped out triumphantly into the ante-roomfollowed by a tallsmilingmanwith a greenish complexiondressed in a coat with silk facingsand awhite tie. This was an author. Nekhludoff knew him by sight.

She opened the cabinet door and said"Anatoleyou must come to me.Here is Simeon Ivanovitchwho will read his poemsand you must absolutely comeand read about Garshin."

Nekhludoff noticed that she whispered something to her husbandandthinkingit was something concerning himwished to go awaybut she caught him up andsaid: "I beg your pardonPrinceI know youandthinking an introductionsuperfluousI beg you to stay and take part in our literary matinee. It will bemost interesting. M. Fanarin will read."

"You see what a lot I have to do" said Fanarinspreading out hishands and smilingly pointing to his wifeas if to show how impossible it was toresist so charming a creature.

Nekhludoff thanked the advocate's wife with extreme politeness for the honourshe did him in inviting himbut refused the invitation with a sad and solemnlookand left the room.

"What an affected fellow!" said the advocate's wifewhen he hadgone out.

In the ante-room the assistant handed him a ready-written petitionand saidthat the feesincluding the business with the Senate and the commissionwouldcome to 1000 roublesand explained that M. Fanarin did not usually undertakethis kind of businessbut did it only to oblige Nekhludoff.

"And about this petition. Who is to sign it?"

"The prisoner may do it herselfor if this is inconvenientM. Fanarincanif he gets a power of attorney from her."

Ohno. I shall take the petition to her and get her to sign it" saidNekhludoffglad of the opportunity of seeing her before the appointed day.

CHAPTER XLVI. A PRISON FLOGGING.

 

At the usual time the jailer's whistle sounded in the corridors of theprisonthe iron doors of the cells rattledbare feet patteredheelsclatteredand the prisoners who acted as scavengers passed along the corridorsfilling the air with disgusting smells. The prisoners washeddressedand cameout for revisionthen went to get boiling water for their tea.

The conversation at breakfast in all the cells was very lively. It was allabout two prisoners who were to be flogged that day. OneVasilievwas a youngman of some educationa clerkwho had killed his mistress in a fit ofjealousy. His fellow-prisoners liked him because he was merry and generous andfirm in his behaviour with the prison authorities. He knew the laws and insistedon their being carried out. Therefore he was disliked by the authorities. Threeweeks before a jailer struck one of the scavengers who had spilt some soup overhis new uniform. Vasiliev took the part of the scavengersaying that it was notlawful to strike a prisoner.

"I'll teach you the law" said the jailerand gave Vasiliev ascolding. Vasiliev replied in like mannerand the jailer was going to hit himbut Vasiliev seized the jailer's handsheld them fast for about three minutesandafter giving the hands a twistpushed the jailer out of the door. Thejailer complained to the inspectorwho ordered Vasiliev to be put into asolitary cell.

The solitary cells were a row of dark closetslocked from outsideand therewere neither bedsnor chairsnor tables in themso that the inmates had tosit or lie on the dirty floorwhile the ratsof which there were a great manyin those cellsran across them. The rats were so bold that they stole the breadfrom the prisonersand even attacked them if they stopped moving. Vasiliev saidhe would not go into the solitary cellbecause he had not done anything wrong;but they used force. Then he began strugglingand two other prisoners helpedhim to free himself from the jailers. All the jailers assembledand among themwas Petrovwho was distinguished for his strength. The prisoners got throwndown and pushed into the solitary cells.

The governor was immediately informed that something very like a rebellionhad taken place. And he sent back an order to flog the two chief offendersVasiliev and the trampNepomnishygiving 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 eveningand it was being talkedabout with animation in all the cells.

KorablevaKhoroshevkaTheodosiaand Maslova sat together in their cornerdrinking teaall of them flushed and animated by the vodka they had drunkforMaslovawho now had a constant supply of vodkafreely treated her companionsto it.

"He's not been a-riotingor anything" Korableva saidreferringto Vasilievas she bit tiny pieces off a lump of sugar with her strong teeth."He only stuck up for a chumbecause it's not lawful to strike prisonersnowadays."

"And he's a fine fellowI've heard say" said Theodosiawho satbareheadedwith her long plaits round her headon a log of wood opposite theshelf bedstead on which the teapot stood.

"Therenowif you were to ask HIM" the watchman's wife said toMaslova (by him she meant Nekhludoff).

"I shall tell him. He'll do anything for me" Maslova saidtossingher headand smiling.

"Yesbut when is he coming? and they've already gone to fetchthem" said Theodosia. "It is terrible" she addedwith a sigh.

"I once did see how they flogged a peasant in the village.Father-in-lawhe sent me once to the village elder. WellI wentandthere" . . . The watchman's wife began her long storywhich wasinterrupted by the sound of voices and steps in the corridor above them.

The women were silentand sat listening.

"There they arehauling him alongthe devils!" Khoroshavka said."They'll do him to deaththey will. The jailers are so enraged with himbecause he never would give in to them."

All was quiet again upstairsand the watchman's wife finished her story ofhow she was that frightened when she went into the barn and saw them flogging apeasanther inside turned at the sightand so on. Khoroshevka related howSchegloff had been floggedand never uttered a sound. Then Theodosia put awaythe tea thingsand Korableva and the watchman's wife took up their sewing.Maslova sat down on the bedsteadwith her arms round her kneesdull anddepressed. She was about to lie down and try to sleepwhen the woman wardercalled her into the office to see a visitor.

"Nowmindand don't forget to tell him about us" the old woman(Menshova) saidwhile Maslova was arranging the kerchief on her head before thedim looking-glass. "We did not set fire to the housebut he himselfthefienddid it; his workman saw him do itand will not damn his soul by denyingit. You just tell to ask to see my Mitri. Mitri will tell him all about itasplain as can be. just think of our being locked up in prison when we neverdreamt of any illwhile hethe fiendis enjoying himself at the pubwithanother man's wife."

"That's not the law" remarked Korableva.

"I'll tell him--I'll tell him" answered Maslova. "Suppose Ihave another dropjust to keep up courage" she addedwith a wink; andKorableva poured out half a cup of vodkawhich Maslova drank. Thenhavingwiped her mouth and repeating the words "just to keep up courage"tossing her head and smiling gailyshe followed the warder along the corridor.

CHAPTER XLVII. NEKHLUDOFF AGAIN VISITS MASLOVA.

Nekhludoff had to wait in the hall for a long time. When he hadarrived at the prison and rung at the entrance doorhe handed the permission ofthe Procureur to the jailer on duty who met him.

"Nono" the jailer on duty said hurriedly"the inspector isengaged."

"In the office?" asked Nekhludoff.

"Nohere in the interviewing-room.".

"Whyis 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" saidthe jailer.

At this moment a sergeant-majorwith a smoothshiny face and moustachesimpregnated with tobacco smokecame out of a side doorwith the gold cords ofhis uniform glisteningand 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 Nekhludoffsurprised atthe agitation he noticed in the sergeant-major's manner.

At this moment the inner door openedand Petrov came outheated andperspiring.

"He'll remember it" he mutteredturning to the sergeant major.The latter pointed at Nekhludoff by a lookand Petrov knitted his brows andwent out through a door at the back.

"Who will remember it? Why do they all seem so confused? Why did thesergeant-major make a sign to him? Nekhludoff thought.

The sergeant-majoragain addressing Nekhludoffsaid: "You cannot meethere; please step across to the office." And Nekhludoff was about to complywhen the inspector came out of the door at the backlooking even more confusedthan his subordinatesand sighing continually. When he saw Nekhludoff he turnedto the jailer.

"Fedotoffhave Maslovacell 5women's wardtaken to theoffice."

"Will you come this wayplease" he saidturning to Nekhludoff.They ascended a steep staircase and entered a little room with one windowawriting-tableand a few chairs in it. The inspector sat down.

"Mine are heavyheavy duties" he remarkedagain addressingNekhludoffand took out a cigarette.

"You are tiredevidently" said Nekhludoff.

Tired of the whole of the service--the duties are very trying. One tries tolighten their lot and only makes it worse; my only thought is how to get away.Heavyheavy duties!"

Nekhludoff did not know what the inspector's particular difficulties werebut he saw that to-day he was in a peculiarly dejected and hopeless conditioncalling for pity."

"YesI should think the duties were heavy for a kind-hearted man"he said. "Why do you serve in this capacity?

"I have a family."

"Butif it is so hard--"

"Wellstill you know it is possible to be of use in some measure; Isoften down all I can. Another in my place would conduct the affairs quitedifferently. Whywe have more than 2000 persons here. And what persons! Onemust know how to manage them. It is easier said than doneyou know. After allthey are also men; one cannot help pitying them." The inspector begantelling Nekhludoff of a fight that had lately taken place among the convictswhich had ended by one man being killed.

The story was interrupted by the entrance of Maslovawho was accompanied bya jailer.

Nekhludoff saw her through the doorway before she had noticed the inspector.She was following the warder brisklysmiling and tossing her head. When she sawthe inspector she suddenly changedand gazed at him with a frightened look;butquickly recoveringshe addressed Nekhludoff boldly and gaily.

"How d'you do?" she saiddrawling out her wordsand Resurrectionsmilingly took his hand and shook it vigorouslynot like the first time.

"HereI've brought you a petition to sign" said Nekhludoffrather surprised by the boldness with which she greeted him to-day.

"The advocate has written out a petition which you will have to signand then we shall send it to Petersburg."

"All right! That can be done. Anything you like" she saidwith awink and a smile.

And Nekhludoff drew a folded paper from his pocket and went up to the table.

"May she sign it here?" asked Nekhludoffturning to the inspector.

"It's all rightit's all right! Sit down. Here's a pen; you canwrite?" said the inspector.

"I could at one time" she said; andafter arranging her skirt andthe sleeves of her jacketshe sat down at the tablesmiled awkwardlytook thepen with her smallenergetic handand 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 inkand carefully shaking somedrops off the penshe wrote her name.

"Is it all?" she askedlooking from Nekhludoff to the inspectorand putting the pen now on the inkstandnow on the papers.

"I have a few words to tell you" Nekhludoff saidtaking the penfrom her.

"All right; tell me" she said. And suddenlyas if rememberingsomethingor feeling sleepyshe grew serious.

The inspector rose and left the roomand Nekhludoff remained with her.

CHAPTER XLVIII. MASLOVA REFUSES TO MARRY.

 

The jailer who had brought Maslova in sat on a windowsill at some distancefrom them.

The decisive moment had come for Nekhludoff. He had been incessantly blaminghimself for not having told her the principal thing at the first interviewandwas now determined to tell her that he would marry her. She was sitting at thefurther side of the table. Nekhludoff sat down opposite her. It was light in theroomand Nekhludoff for the first time saw her face quite near. He distinctlysaw the crowsfeet round her eyesthe wrinkles round her mouthand the swolleneyelids. He felt more sorry than before. Leaning over the table so as not to bebeard by the jailer--a man of Jewish type with grizzly whiskerswho sat by thewindow--Nekhludoff said:

"Should this petition come to nothing we shall appeal to the Emperor.All that is possible shall be done."

"Therenowif we had had a proper advocate from the first" sheinterrupted. "My defendant was quite a silly. He did nothing but pay mecompliments" she saidand laughed. "If it had then been known that Iwas acquainted with youit would have been another matter. They think everyone's a thief."

"How strange she is to-day" Nekhludoff thoughtand was just goingto 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 fineoned'you knowshe just surprises every one; she is imprisoned for nothingand her sontooand everybody knows they are innocentthough they are accusedof having set fire to a house. D'you knowhearing I was acquainted with youshe says: 'Tell him to ask to see my son; he'll tell him all about it."'Thus spoke Maslovaturning her head from side to sideand glancing atNekhludoff. "Their name's Menshoff. Wellwill you do it? Such a fine oldthingyou know; you can see at once she's innocent. You'll do itthere's adear" and she smiledglanced up at himand then cast down her eyes.

"All right. I'll find out about them" Nekhludoff saidmore andmore astonished by her free-and-easy manner. "But I was going to speak toyou about myself. Do you remember what I told you last time?"

"You said a lot last time. What was it you told me?" she saidcontinuing 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? Forgiveforgivewhere's the good of--"

"To atone for my sinnot by mere wordsbut in deed. I have made up mymind to marry you."

An expression of fear suddenly came over her face. Her squinting eyesremained fixed on himand yet seemed not to be looking at him.

"What's that for?" she saidwith 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. Godindeed! What God? You ought to have remembered God then" she saidandstopped with her mouth open. It was only now that Nekhludoff noticed that herbreath smelled of spiritsand that he understood the cause of her excitement.

"Try and be calm" he said.

"Why should I be calm?" she beganquicklyflushing scarlet."I am a convictand you are a gentleman and a prince. There's no need foryou to soil yourself by touching me. You go to your princesses; my price is aten-rouble note."

"However cruelly you may speakyou cannot express what I myself amfeeling" he saidtrembling all over; "you cannot imagine to whatextent I feel myself guilty towards you.

"Feel yourself guilty?" she saidangrily mimicking him. "Youdid not feel so thenbut threw me 100 roubles. That's your price."

"I knowI know; but what is to be done now?" said Nekhludoff."I have decided not to leave youand what I have said I shall do."

"And I say you sha'n't" she saidand laughed aloud.

"Katusha" he saidtouching her hand.

"You go away. I am a convict and you a princeand you've no businesshere" she criedpulling away her handher whole appearance transformedby her wrath. "You've got pleasure out of me in this lifeand want to saveyourself through me in the life to come. You are disgusting to me--yourspectacles and the whole of your dirty fat mug. Gogo!" she screamedstarting to her feet.

The jailer came up to them. "What are you kicking up this row for?' Thatwon't--"

"Let her aloneplease" said Nekhludoff.

"She must not forget herself" said the jailer. "Please wait alittle" said Nekhludoffand the jailer returned to the window.

Maslova sat down againdropping her eyes and firmly clasping her smallhands.

Nekhludoff stooped over hernot 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!"

"Wellstill I shall go on serving you."

"That's your affaironly I don't want anything from you. I am tellingyou the plain truth" she said. "Ohwhy did I not die then?" sheaddedand began to cry piteously.

Nekhludoff could not speak; her tears infected him.

She lifted her eyeslooked at him in surpriseand began to wipe her tearswith her kerchief.

The jailer came up again and reminded them that it was time to part.

Maslova rose.

"You are excited. If it is possibleI shall come again tomorrow; youthink it over" said Nekhludoff.

She gave him no answer andwithout looking upfollowed the jailer out ofthe room.

"Welllassyou'll have rare times now" Korableva saidwhenMaslova returned to the cell. "Seems he's mighty sweet on you; make themost of it while he's after you. He'll help you out. Rich people can doanything."

"Yesthat's so" remarked the watchman's wifewith her musicalvoice. "When a poor man thinks of getting marriedthere's many a slip'twixt the cup and the lip; but a rich man need only make up his mind and it'sdone. We knew a toff like that duckie. What d'you think he did?"

"Wellhave you spoken about my affairs?" the old woman asked.

But Maslova gave her fellow-prisoners no answer; she lay down on the shelfbedsteadher squinting eyes fixed on a corner of the roomand lay there untilthe evening.

A painful struggle went on in her soul. What Nekhludoff had told her calledup the memory of that world in which she had suffered and which she had leftwithout having understoodhating it. She now feared to wake from the trance inwhich she was living. Not having arrived at any conclusion when evening cameshe again bought some vodka and drank with her companions.

CHAPTER XLIX. VERA DOUKHOVA.

 

So this is what it meansthis" thought Nekhludoff as he left theprisononly now fully understanding his crime. If he had not tried to expiatehis guilt he would never have found out how great his crime was. Nor was thisall; shetoowould never have felt the whole horror of what had been done toher. He only now saw what he had done to the soul of this woman; only now shesaw and understood what had been done to her.

Up to this time Nekhludoff had played with a sensation of self-admirationhad admired his own remorse; now he was simply filled with horror. He knew hecould not throw her up nowand yet he could not imagine what would come oftheir relations to one another.

Just as he was going outa jailerwith a disagreeableinsinuatingcountenanceand a cross and medals on his breastcame up and handed him a notewith an air of mystery.

"Here is a note from a certain personyour honour" he said toNekhludoff as he gave him the envelope.

"What person?"

"You will know when you read it. A political prisoner. I am in thatwardso she asked me; and though it is against the rulesstill feelings ofhumanity--" The jailer spoke in an unnatural manner.

Nekhludoff was surprised that a jailer of the ward where political prisonerswere kept should pass notes inside the very prison wallsand almost withinsight of every one; he did not then know that this was both a jailer and a spy.Howeverhe took the note and read it on coming out of the prison.

The note was written in a bold handand ran as follows: Having heard thatyou visit the prisonand are interested in the case of a criminal prisonerthedesire of seeing you arose in me. Ask for a permission to see me. I can give youa good deal of information concerning your protegeeand also our group.--YoursgratefullyVERA DOUKHOVA."

Vera Doukhova had been a school-teacher in an out-of-the-way village of theNovgorod Governmentwhere Nekhludoff and some friends of his had once put upwhile bear hunting. Nekhludoff gladly and vividly recalled those old daysandhis acquaintance with Doukhova. It was just before Lentin an isolated spot40miles from the railway. The hunt had been successful; two bears had been killed;and the company were having dinner before starting on their return journeywhenthe master of the hut where they were putting up came in to say that thedeacon's daughter wanted to speak to Prince Nekhludoff. "Is shepretty?" some one asked. "None of thatplease" Nekhludoff saidand rose with a serious look on his face. Wiping his mouthand wondering whatthe deacon's daughter might want of himhe went into the host's private hut.

There he found a girl with a felt hat and a warm cloak on--a sinewyuglygirl; only her eyes with their arched brows were beautiful.

"Heremissspeak to him" said the old housewife; "this isthe 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--onhunting" began the girlin great confusion. "I know--I only want onething--to be of use to the peopleand I can do nothing because I knownothing--" Her eyes were so truthfulso kindand her expression ofresoluteness and yet bashfulness was so touchingthat Nekhludoffas it oftenhappened to himsuddenly felt as if he were in her positionunderstoodandsympathised.

"What can I dothen?"

"I am a teacherbut should like to follow a course of study; and I amnot allowed to do so. That isnot that I am not allowed to; they'd allow me tobut I have not got the means. Give them to meand when I have finished thecourse I shall repay you. I am thinking the rich kill bears and give thepeasants drink; all this is bad. Why should they not do good? I only want 80roubles. But if you don't wish tonever mind" she addedgravely.

"On the contraryI am very grateful to you for this opportunity. . . Iwill bring it at once" said Nekhludoff.

He went out into the passageand there met one of his comradeswho had beenoverhearing his conversation. Paying no heed to his chaffingNekhludoff got themoney out of his bag and took it to her.

"Ohpleasedo not thank me; it is I who should thank you" hesaid.

It was pleasant to remember all this now; pleasant to remember that he hadnearly had a quarrel with an officer who tried to make an objectionable joke ofitand how another of his comrades had taken his partwhich led to a closerfriendship between them. How successful the whole of that hunting expedition hadbeenand how happy he had felt when returning to the railway station thatnight. The line of sledgesthe horses in tandemglide quickly along the narrowroad that lies through the forestnow between high treesnow between low firsweighed down by the snowcaked in heavy lumps on their branches. A red lightflashes in the darksome one lights an aromatic cigarette. Josepha beardriverkeeps running from sledge to sledgeup to his knees in snowand whileputting things to rights he speaks about the elk which are now going about onthe deep snow and gnawing the bark off the aspen treesof the bears that arelying asleep in their deep hidden densand his breath comes warm through theopening in the sledge cover. All this came back to Nekhludoff's mind; butaboveallthe joyous sense of healthstrengthand freedom from care: the lungsbreathing in the frosty air so deeply that the fur cloak is drawn tightly on hischestthe fine snow drops off the low branches on to his facehis body iswarmhis face feels freshand his soul is free from careself-reproachfearor desire. How beautiful it was. And nowO God! what tormentwhat trouble!

Evidently Vera Doukhova was a revolutionist and imprisoned as such. He mustsee herespecially as she promised to advise him how to lighten Maslova's lot.

CHAPTER L. THE VICE-GOVERNOR OF THE PRISON.

A waking early the next morningNekhludoff remembered what he had done theday beforeand was seized with fear.

But in spite of this fearhe was more determined than ever to continue whathe had begun.

Conscious of a sense of dutyhe left the house and went to see Maslennikoffin order to obtain from him a permission to visit Maslova in prisonand alsothe Menshoffs--mother and son--about whom Maslova had spoken to him. Nekhludoffhad 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 officerknowing and wishing to knownothing beyond the regiment and the Imperial family. Now Nekhludoff saw him asan administratorwho had exchanged the regiment for an administrative office inthe government where he lived. He was married to a rich and energetic womanwhohad forced him to exchange military for civil service. She laughed at himandcaressed himas if he were her own pet animal. Nekhludoff had been to see themonce during the winterbut the couple were so uninteresting to him that he hadnot gone again.

At the sight of Nekhludoff Maslennikoff's face beamed all over. He had thesame fat red faceand was as corpulent and as well dressed as in his militarydays. Thenhe used to be always dressed in a well-brushed uniformmadeaccording to the latest fashiontightly fitting his chest and shoulders; nowit was a civil service uniform he woreand thattootightly fitted hiswell-fed body and showed off his broad chestand was cut according to thelatest fashion. In spite of the difference in age (Maslennikoff was 40)the twomen were very familiar with one another.

"Hallooold 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 awayyou know.I am at the head of the Government administration" he saidunable todisguise his satisfaction.

"I have come on business."

"What is it?" said Maslennikoffin an anxious and severe toneputting himself at once on his guard.

"There is a personwhom I am very much interested inin prison"(at the word "prison" Maslennikoff's face grew stern); "and Ishould like to have an interview in the officeand not in the commonvisiting-room. I have been told it depended on you."

"Certainlymon cher" said Maslennikoffputting both hands onNekhludoff's kneesas if to tone down his grandeur; "but rememberI ammonarch only for an hour."

"Then will you give me an order that will enable me to see her?"

"It's a woman?"

"Yes."

"What is she there for?"

"Poisoningbut she has been unjustly condemned."

"Yesthere you have ityour justice administered by juryils n'enfont point d'autres" he saidfor some unknown reasonin French. "Iknow you do not agree with mebut it can't be helpedc'est mon opinion bienarretee" he addedgiving utterance to an opinion he had for the lasttwelve months been reading in the retrograde Conservative paper. "I knowyou are a Liberal."

"I don't know whether I am a Liberal or something else" Nekhludoffsaidsmiling; it always surprised him to find himself ranked with a politicalparty and called a Liberalwhen he maintained that a man should be heard beforehe was judgedthat before being tried all men were equalthat nobody at allought to be ill-treated and beatenbut especially those who had not yet beencondemned by law. "I don't know whether I am a Liberal or not; but I doknow that however had the present way of conducting a trial isit is betterthan the old."

"And whom have you for an advocate?"

"I have spoken to Fanarin."

"Dear meFanarin!" said Meslennikoffwith a grimacerecollectinghow this Fanarin had examined him as a witness at a trial the year before andhadin the politest mannerheld him up to ridicule for half an hour.

"I should not advise you to have anything to do with him. Fanarin est unhomme tare."

"I have one more request to make" said Nekhludoffwithoutanswering him. "There's a girl whom I knew long agoa teacher; she is avery pitiable little thingand is now also imprisonedand would like to seeme. Could you give me a permission to visit her?"

Meslennikoff bent his head on one side and considered.

"She's a political one?"

"YesI have been told so."

"Wellyou seeonly relatives get permission to visit politicalprisoners. StillI'll give you an open order. Je sais que vous n'abuserez pas.What's the name of your protegee? Doukhova? Elle est jolie?"

"Hideuse."

Maslennikoff shook his head disapprovinglywent up to the tableand wroteon a sheet of paperwith a printed heading: "The bearerPrince DmitriIvanovitch Nekhludoffis to be allowed to interview in the prison office themeschanka Maslovaand also the medical assistantDoukhova" and hefinished with an elaborate flourish.

"Now you'll be able to see what order we have got there. And it is verydifficult to keep orderit is so crowdedespecially with people condemned toexile; but I watch strictlyand love the work. You will see they are verycomfortable and contented. But one must know how to deal with them. Only a fewdays ago we had a little trouble--insubordination; another would have called itmutinyand would have made many miserablebut with us it all passed quietly.We must have solicitude on one handfirmness and power on the other" andhe clenched the fatwhiteturquoise-ringed fistwhich issued out of thestarched cuff of his shirt sleevefastened with a gold stud. "Solicitudeand firm power."

"WellI don't know about that" said Nekhludoff. "I wentthere twiceand felt very much depressed."

"Do you knowyou ought to get acquainted with the CountessPassek" continued Maslennikoffgrowing talkative. "She has givenherself up entirely to this sort of work. Elle fait beaucoup de bien. Thanks toher--andperhaps I may add without false modestyto me--everything has beenchangedchanged in such a way that the former horrors no longer existand theyare really quite comfortable there. Wellyou'll see. There's Fanarin. I do notknow him personally; besidesmy social position keeps our ways apart; but he ispositively a bad manand besideshe takes the liberty of saying such things inthe court--such things!"

"Wellthank you" Nekhludoff saidtaking the paperand withoutlistening further he bade good-day to his former comrade.

"And won't you go in to see my wife?"

"Nopray excuse me; I have no time now."

"Dear mewhy she will never forgive me" said Maslennikoffaccompanying his old acquaintance down to the first landingas he was in thehabit of doing to persons of not the greatestbut the second greatestimportancewith whom he classed Nekhludoff; "now do go inif only for amoment."

But Nekhludoff remained firm; and while the footman and the door-keeperrushed to give him his stick and overcoatand opened the dooroutside of whichthere stood a policemanNekhludoff repeated that he really could not come in.

"Wellthen; on Thursdayplease. It is her 'at-home.' I will tell heryou will come" shouted Maslennikoff from the stairs

CHAPTER LI. THE CELLS.

Nekhludoff drove that day straight from Maslennikoff's to the prisonandwent to the inspector's lodgingwhich he now knew. He was again struck by thesounds of the same piano of inferior quality; but this time it was not arhapsody that was being playedbut exercises by Clementiagain with the samevigourdistinctnessand quickness. The servant with the bandaged eye said theinspector was inand showed Nekhludoff to a small drawing-roomin which therestood a sofa andin front of ita tablewith a large lampwhich stood on apiece of crochet workand the paper shade of which was burnt on one side. Thechief inspector enteredwith his usual sad and weary look.

"Take a seatplease. What is it you want?" he saidbuttoning upthe middle button of his uniform.

"I have just been to the vice-governor'sand got this order from him. Ishould like to see the prisoner Maslova."

"Markova?" asked the inspectorunable to bear distinctly becauseof the music.

"Maslova!"

"Wellyes." The inspector got up and went to the door whenceproceeded Clementi's roulades.

"Marycan't you stop just a minute?" he saidin a voice thatshowed that this music was the bane of his life. "One can't hear aword."

The piano was silentbut one could hear the sound of reluctant stepsandsome one looked in at the door.

The inspector seemed to feel eased by the interval of silencelit a thickcigarette of weak tobaccoand offered one to Nekhludoff.

Nekhludoff refused.

"What I want is to see Maslova."

"Ohyesthat can be managed. Nowthenwhat do you want?" hesaidaddressing a little girl of five or sixwho came into the room and walkedup to her father with her head turned towards Nekhludoffand her eyes fixed onhim.

"Therenowyou'll fall down" said the inspectorsmilingas thelittle girl ran up to himandnot looking where she was goingcaught her footin a little rug.

"Wellthenif I mayI shall go."

"It's not very convenient to see Maslova to-day" said theinspector.

"How's that?"

"Wellyou knowit's all your own fault" said the inspectorwitha slight smile. "Princegive her no money into her hands. If you likegive it me. I will keep it for her. You seeyou gave her some money yesterday;she got some spirits (it's an evil we cannot manage to root out)and to-day sheis quite tipsyeven violent."

"Can this be true?"

"Ohyesit is. I have even been obliged to have recourse to severemeasuresand to put her into a separate cell. She is a quiet woman in anordinary 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 mindandagain he was seized with fear.

"And Doukhovaa political prisoner; might I see her?"

"Yesif you like" said the inspector. He embraced the littlegirlwho was still looking at Nekhludoffgot upandtenderly motioning herasidewent into the ante-room. Hardly had he got into the overcoat which themaid helped him to put onand before he had reached the doorthe distinctsounds of Clementi's roulades again began.

"She entered the Conservatoirebut there is such disorder there. Shehas a great gift" said the inspectoras they went down the stairs."She means to play at concerts."

The inspector and Nekhludoff arrived at the prison. The gates were instantlyopened as they appeared. The jailerswith their fingers lifted to their capsfollowed the inspector with their eyes. Four menwith their heads half shavedwho were carrying tubs filled with somethingcringed when they saw theinspector. One of them frowned angrilyhis black eyes glaring.

"Of course a talent like that must be developed; it would not do to buryitbut in a small lodgingyou knowit is rather hard." The inspectorwent on with the conversationtaking no notice of the prisoners.

"Who is it you want to see?"

"Doukhova."

"Ohshe's in the tower. You'll have to wait a little" he said.

"Might I not meanwhile see the prisoners Menshoffmother and sonwhoare accused of incendiarism?"

"Ohyes. Cell No. 21. Yesthey can be sent for."

"But might I not see Menshoff in his cell?"

"Ohyou'll find the waiting-room more pleasant."

"No. I should prefer the cell. It is more interesting."

Wellyou have found something to be interested in!"

Here the assistanta smartly-dressed officerentered the side door.

"Heresee the Prince into Menshoff's cellNo. 21" said theinspector to his assistant"and then take him to the office. And I'll goand call--What's her name?" Vera Doukhova."

The inspector's assistant was youngwith dyed moustachesand diffusing thesmell of eau-de-cologne. "This wayplease" he said to Nekhludoffwith a pleasant smile. "Our establishment interests you?"

"Yesit does interest me; andbesidesI look upon it as a duty tohelp a man who I heard was confined herethough innocent."

The assistant shrugged his shoulders.

"Yesthat may happen" he said quietlypolitely stepping aside tolet the visitor enterthe stinking corridor first. "But it also happensthat they lie. Here we are."

The doors of the cells were openand some of the prisoners were in thecorridor. The assistant nodded slightly to the jailersand cast a side glanceat the prisonerswhokeeping close to the wallcrept back to their cellsorstood like soldierswith their arms at their sidesfollowing the official withtheir eyes. After passing through one corridorthe assistant showed Nekhludoffinto another to the leftseparated from the first by an iron door. Thiscorridor was darkerand smelt even worse than the first. The corridor had doorson both sideswith little holes in them about an inch in diameter. There wasonly an old jailerwith an unpleasant facein this corridor.

"Where is Menshoff?" asked the inspector's assistant.

"The eighth cell to the left."

"And these? Are they occupied?" asked Nekhludoff.

Yesall but one."

CHAPTER LII. NO. 21.

 

May I look in?" asked Nekhludoff.

"Ohcertainly" answered the assistantsmilingand turned to thejailer with some question.

Nekhludoff looked into one of the little holesand saw a tall young manpacing up and down the cell. When the man heard some one at the door he lookedup with a frownbut continued walking up and down.

Nekhludoff looked into another hole. His eye met another large eye lookingout of the hole at himand he quickly stepped aside. In the third cell he saw avery small man asleep on the bedcoveredhead and allwith his prison cloak.In the fourth a broad-faced man was sitting with his elbows on his knees and hishead low down. At the sound of footsteps this man raised his head and looked up.His faceespecially his large eyesbore the expression of hopeless dejection.One could see that it did not even interest him to know who was looking into hiscell. Whoever it might behe evidently hoped for nothing good from him.Nekhludoff was seized with dreadand went to Menshoff's cellNo. 21withoutstopping to look through any more holes. The jailer unlocked the door and openedit. A young manwith long neckwell-developed musclesa small headand kindround eyesstood by the bedhastily putting on his cloakand looking at thenewcomers with a frightened face. Nekhludoff was specially struck by the kindround eyes that were throwing frightened and inquiring glances in turns at himat the jailerand at the assistantand back again.

"Here's a gentleman wants to inquire into your affair."

"Thank you kindly."

"YesI was told about you" Nekhludoff saidgoing through thecell up to the dirty grated window"and I should like to hear all about itfrom yourself."

Menshoff also came up to the windowand at once started telling his storyat first looking shyly at the inspector's assistantbut growing graduallybolder. When the assistant left the cell and went into the corridor to give someorder the man grew quite bold. The story was told with the accent and in themanner common to a most ordinary good peasant lad. To hear it told by a prisonerdressed in this degrading clothingand inside a prisonseemed very strange toNekhludoff. Nekhludoff listenedand at the same time kept looking aroundhim--at the low bedstead with its straw mattressthe window and the dirtydampwalland the piteous face and form of this unfortunatedisfigured peasant inhis prison cloak and shoesand he felt sadder and sadderand would have likednot to believe what this good-natured fellow was saying. It seemed too dreadfulto think that men could do such a thing as to take a mandress him in convictclothesand put him in this horrible place without any reason only because hehimself had been injured. And yet the thought that this seemingly true storytold with such a good-natured expression on the facemight be an invention anda lie was still more dreadful. This was the story: The village public-housekeeper had enticed the young fellow's wife. He tried to get justice by all sortsof means. But everywhere the public-house keeper managed to bribe the officialsand was acquitted. Oncehe took his wife back by forcebut she ran away nextday. Then he came to demand her backbutthough he saw her when he came inthe public-house keeper told him she was not thereand ordered him to go away.He would not goso the public-house keeper and his servant beat him so thatthey drew blood. The next day a fire broke out in the public-houseand theyoung man and his mother were accused of having set the house on fire. He hadnot set it on firebut 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 itsir. It must be my enemy that did ithimself. They say he had only just insured it. Then they said it was mother andI that did itand that we had threatened him. It is true I once did go for himmy heart couldn't stand it any longer."

"Can this be true?"

"God is my witness it is true. Ohsirbe so good--" andNekhludoff had some difficulty to prevent him from bowing down to the ground."You see I am perishing without any reason." His face quivered and heturned up the sleeve of his cloak and began to crywiping the tears with thesleeve of his dirty shirt.

"Are you ready?" asked the assistant.

"Yes. Wellcheer up. We will consult a good lawyerand will do what wecan" said Nekhludoffand went out. Menshoff stood close to the doorsothat the jailer knocked him in shutting itand while the jailer was locking ithe remained looking out through the little hole.

 

CHAPTER LIII. VICTIMS OF GOVERNMENT.

 

Passing back along the broad corridor (it was dinner timeand the cell doorswere open)among the men dressed in their light yellow cloaksshortwidetrousersand prison shoeswho were looking eagerly at himNekhludoff felt astrange mixture of sympathy for themand horror and perplexity at the conductof those who put and kept them hereandbesideshe felthe knew not whyashamed of himself calmly examining it all.

In one of the corridorssome one ranclattering with his shoesin at thedoor of a cell. Several men came out from hereand stood in Nekhludoff's waybowing to him.

"Pleaseyour honour (we don't know what to call you)get our affairsettled somehow."

"I am not an official. I know nothing about it."

"Wellanyhowyou come from outside; tell somebody--one of theauthoritiesif need be" said an indignant voice. "Show some pity onusas 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 whybut are sitting here the secondmonth."

"Yesit's quite trueand it is owing to an accident" said theinspector. "These people were taken up because they had no passportsandought to have been sent back to their native government; but the prison there isburntand the local authorities have writtenasking us not to send them on. Sowe have sent all the other passportless people to their different governmentsbut are keeping these."

"What! For no other reason than that?" Nekhludoff exclaimedstopping at the door.

A crowd of about forty menall dressed in prison clothessurrounded him andthe assistantand several began talking at once. The assistant stopped them.

"Let some one of you speak."

A tallgood-looking peasanta stone-masonof about fiftystepped out fromthe rest. He told Nekhludoff that all of them had been ordered back to theirhomes and were now being kept in prison because they had no passportsyet theyhad passports which were only a fortnight overdue. The same thing had happenedevery year; they had many times omitted to renew their passports till they wereoverdueand nobody had ever said anything; but this year they had been taken upand were being kept in prison the second monthas if they were criminals.

"We are all masonsand belong to the same artel. We are told that theprison in our government is burntbut this is not our fault. Do help us."

Nekhludoff listenedbut hardly understood what the good-looking old man wassayingbecause his attention was riveted to a largedark-greymany-leggedlouse that was creeping along the good-looking man's cheek.

"How's that? Is it possible for such a reason?" Nekhludoff saidturning to the assistant.

"Yesthey should have been sent off and taken back to theirhomes" calmly said the assistant"but they seem to have beenforgotten or something."

Before the assistant had finisheda smallnervous manalso in prisondresscame out of the crowdandstrangely contorting his mouthbegan to saythat they were being ill-used for nothing.

"Worse than dogs" he began.

"Nownow; not too much of this. Hold your tongueor you know--"

"What do I know?" screamed the little mandesperately. "Whatis our crime?"

"Silence!" shouted the assistantand the little man was silent.

"But what is the meaning of all this?" Nekhludoff thought tohimself as he came out of the cellwhile a hundred eyes were fixed upon himthrough the openings of the cell doors and from the prisoners that met himmaking him feel as if he were running the gauntlet.

"Is it really possible that perfectly innocent people are kepthere?" Nekhludoff uttered when they left the corridor.

"What would you have us do? They lie so. To hear them talk they are allof them innocent" said the inspector's assistant. "But it does happenthat some are really imprisoned for nothing."

"Wellthese have done nothing."

"Yeswe must admit it. Stillthe people are fearfully spoilt. Thereare such types--desperate fellowswith whom one has to look sharp. To-day twoof that sort had to be punished."

"Punished? How?"

"Flogged with a birch-rodby order."

"But corporal punishment is abolished."

"Not for such as are deprived of their rights. They are still liable toit."

Nekhludoff thought of what he had seen the day before while waiting in thehalland now understood that the punishment was then being inflictedand themixed feeling of curiositydepressionperplexityand moral nauseathat grewinto physical sicknesstook hold of him more strongly than ever before.

Without listening to the inspector's assistantor looking roundhehurriedly left the corridorand went to the office. The inspector was in theofficeoccupied with other businessand had forgotten to send for Doukhova. Heonly remembered his promise to have her called when Nekhludoff entered theoffice.

"Sit downplease. I'll send for her at once" said the inspector.

CHAPTER LIV. PRISONERS AND FRIENDS.

The office consisted of two rooms. The first roomwith a largedilapidated stove and two dirty windowshad a black measure for measuring theprisoners in one cornerand in another corner hung a large image of Christasis usual in places where they torture people. In this room stood severaljailers. In the next room sat about twenty personsmen and women in groups andin pairstalking in low voices. There was a writing table by the window.

The inspector sat down by the tableand offered Nekhludoff a chair besidehim. Nekhludoff sat downand looked at the people in the room.

The first who drew his attention was a young man with a pleasant facedressed in a short jacketstanding in front of a middle-aged woman with darkeyebrowsand he was eagerly telling her something and gesticulating with hishands. Beside them sat an old manwith blue spectaclesholding the hand of ayoung woman in prisoner's clotheswho was telling him something. A schoolboywith a fixedfrightened look on his facewas gazing at the old man. In onecorner sat a pair of lovers. She was quite young and prettyand had shortfairhairlooked energeticand was elegantly dressed; he had fine featureswavyhairand wore a rubber jacket. They sat in their corner and seemed stupefiedwith love. Nearest to the table sat a grey-haired woman dressed in blackevidently the mother of a youngconsumptive-looking fellowin the same kind ofjacket. Her head lay on his shoulder. She was trying to say somethingbut thetears prevented her from speaking; she began several timesbut had to stop. Theyoung man held a paper in his handandapparently not knowing what to dokeptfolding and pressing it with an angry look on his face.

Beside them was a short-hairedstoutrosy girlwith very prominent eyesdressed in a grey dress and a cape; she sat beside the weeping mothertenderlystroking her. Everything about this girl was beautiful; her largewhite handsher shortwavy hairher firm nose and lipsbut the chief charm of her facelay in her kindtruthful hazel eyes. The beautiful eyes turned away from themother for a moment when Nekhludoff came inand met his look. But she turnedback at once and said something to the mother.

Not far from the lovers a darkdishevelled manwith a gloomy facesatangrily talking to a beardless visitorwho looked as if he belonged to theScoptsy sect.

At the very door stood a young man in a rubber jacketwho seemed moreconcerned about the impression he produced on the onlooker than about what hewas saying. Nekhludoffsitting by the inspector's sidelooked round withstrained curiosity. A little boy with closely-cropped hair came up to him andaddressed him in a thin little voice.

"And whom are you waiting for?"

Nekhludoff was surprised at the questionbut looking at the boyand seeingthe serious little face with its brightattentive eyes fixed on himansweredhim seriously that he was waiting for a woman of his acquaintance.

"Is shethenyour sister?" the boy asked.

"Nonot 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 Pavlovnatake Kolia!" said the inspectorevidentlyconsidering Nekhludoff's conversation with the boy illegal.

Mary Pavlovnathe beautiful girl who had attracted Nekhludoff's attentionrose tall and erectand with firmalmost manly stepsapproached Nekhludoffand the boy.

"What is he asking you? Who you are?" she inquired with a slightsmileand looking straight into his face with a trustful look in her kindprominent eyesand as simply as if there could be no doubt whatever that shewas and must be on sisterly terms with everybody.

"He likes to know everything" she saidlooking at the boy with sosweet and kind a smile that both the boy and Nekhludoff were obliged to smileback.

"He was asking me whom I have come to see."

"Mary Pavlovnait is against the rules to speak to strangers. You knowit is" said the inspector.

"All rightall right" she saidand went back to the consumptivelad's motherholding Kolia's little hand in her largewhite onewhile hecontinued gazing up into her face.

"Whose is this little boy?" Nekhludoff asked of the inspector.

"His mother is a political prisonerand he was born in prison"said the inspectorin a pleased toneas if glad to point out how exceptionalhis establishment was.

"Is it possible?"

"Yesand now he is going to Siberia with her."

"And that young girl?"

"I cannot answer your question" said the inspectorshrugging hisshoulders. "Besideshere is Doukhova."

CHAPTER LV. VERA DOUKHOVA EXPLAINS.

 

Through a doorat the back of the roomenteredwith a wriggling gaitthethinyellow Vera Doukhovawith her largekind eyes.

"Thanks for having come" she saidpressing Nekhludoff's hand."Do you remember me? Let us sit down."

"I did not expect to see you like this."

"OhI am very happy. It is so delightfulso delightfulthat I desirenothing better" said Vera Doukhovawith the usual expression of fright inthe largekindround eyes fixed on Nekhludoffand twisting the terribly thinsinewy necksurrounded by the shabbycrumpleddirty 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. Herspeech was intermingled with a great many long wordssuch as propagandadisorganisationsocial groupssections and sub-sectionsabout which sheseemed to think everybody knewbut which Nekhludoff had never heard of.

She told him all the secrets of the Nardovolstvo[literally"People'sFreedom" a revolutionary movement] evidently convinced that he was pleasedto hear them. Nekhludoff looked at her miserable little neckher thinunkempthairand wondered why she had been doing all these strange thingsand why shewas now telling all this to him. He pitied herbut not as he had pitiedMenshoffthe peasantkept for no fault of his own in the stinking prison. Shewas pitiable because of the confusion that filled her mind. It was clear thatshe considered herself a heroineand was ready to give her life for a causethough she could hardly have explained what that cause was and in what itssuccess would lie.

The business that Vera Doukhova wanted to see Nekhludoff about was thefollowing: A friend of herswho had not even belonged to their"sub-group" as she expressed ithad been arrested with her aboutfive months beforeand imprisoned in the Petropavlovsky fortress because someprohibited books and papers (which she had been asked to keep) had been found inher possession. Vera Doukhova felt herself in some measure to blame for herfriend's arrestand implored Nekhludoffwho had connections among influentialpeopleto do all he could in order to set this friend free.

Besides thisDoukhova asked him to try and get permission for another friendof hersGourkevitch (who was also imprisoned in the Petropavlovsky fortress)to see his parentsand to procure some scientific books which he required forhis studies. Nekhludoff promised to do what he could when he went to Petersburg.

As to her own storythis is what she said: Having finished a course ofmidwiferyshe became connected with a group of adherents to the Nardovolstvoand made up her mind to agitate in the revolutionary movement. At first all wenton smoothly. She wrote proclamations and occupied herself with propaganda workin the factories; thenan important member having been arrestedtheir paperswere seized and all concerned were arrested. "I was also arrestedandshall be exiled. But what does it matter? I feel perfectly happy." Sheconcluded her story with a piteous smile.

Nekhludoff made some inquiries concerning the girl with the prominent eyes.Vera Doukhova told him that this girl was the daughter of a generaland hadbeen long attached to the revolutionary partyand was arrested because she hadpleaded guilty to having shot a gendarme. She lived in a house with someconspiratorswhere they had a secret printing press. One nightwhen the policecame to search this housethe occupiers resolved to defend themselvesput outthe lightand began destroying the things that might incriminate them. Thepolice forced their way inand one of the conspirators firedand mortallywounded a gendarme. When an inquiry was institutedthis girl said that it wasshe who had firedalthough she had never had a revolver in her handsand wouldnot have hurt a fly. And she kept to itand was now condemned to penalservitude in Siberia.

"An altruisticfine character" said Vera Doukhovaapprovingly.

The third business that Vera Doukhova wanted to talk about concerned Maslova.She knewas everybody does know in prisonthe story of Maslova's life and hisconnection with herand advised him to take steps to get her removed into thepolitical prisoner's wardor into the hospital to help to nurse the sickofwhich there were very many at that timeso that extra nurses were needed.

Nekhludoff thanked her for the adviceand said he would try to act upon it.

CHAPTER LVI. NEKHLUDOFF AND THE PRISONERS.

 

Their conversation was interrupted by the inspectorwho said that the timewas upand the prisoners and their friends must part. Nekhludoff took leave ofVera Doukhova and went to the doorwhere he stopped to watch what was going on.

The inspector's order called forth only heightened animation among theprisoners in the roombut no one seemed to think of going. Some rose andcontinued to talk standingsome went on talking without rising. A few begancrying and taking leave of each other. The mother and her consumptive son seemedespecially pathetic. The young fellow kept twisting his bit of paper and hisface seemed angryso great were his efforts not to be infected by his mother'semotion. The motherhearing that it was time to partput her head on hisshoulder and sobbed and sniffed aloud.

The girl with the prominent eyes--Nekhludoff could not help watching her--wasstanding opposite the sobbing motherand was saying something to her in asoothing tone. The old man with the blue spectacles stood holding his daughter'shand and nodding in answer to what she said. The young lovers roseandholdingeach other's handslooked silently into one another's eyes.

"These are the only two who are merry" said a young man with ashort coat who stood by Nekhludoff's sidealso looking at those who were aboutto partand pointed to the lovers. Feeling Nekhludoff's and the young man'seyes fixed on themthe lovers-the young man with the rubber coat and the prettygirl--stretched out their armsand with their hands clasped in each other'sdanced round and round again. "To-night they are going to be married herein prisonand she will follow him to Siberia" said the young man.

"What is he?"

"A convictcondemned to penal servitude. Let those two at least have alittle joyor else it is too painful" the young man addedlistening tothe sobs of the consumptive lad's mother.

"Nowmy good people! Pleaseplease do not oblige me to have recourseto severe measures" the inspector saidrepeating the same words severaltimes over. "Doplease" he went on in a weakhesitating manner."It is high time. What do you mean by it? This sort of thing is quiteimpossible. I am now asking you for the last time" he repeated wearilynow putting out his cigarette and then lighting another.

It was evident thatartfuloldand common as were the devices enabling mento do evil to others without feeling responsible for itthe inspector could notbut feel conscious that he was one of those who were guilty of causing thesorrow which manifested itself in this room. And it was apparent that thistroubled him sorely. At length the prisoners and their visitors began to go--thefirst out of the innerthe latter out of the outer door. The man with therubber jacket passed out among themand the consumptive youth and thedishevelled man. Mary Pavlovna went out with the boy born in prison.

The visitors went out too. The old man with the blue spectaclessteppingheavilywent outfollowed by Nekhludoff.

"Yesa strange state of things this" said the talkative youngmanas if continuing an interrupted conversationas he descended the stairsside by side with Nekhludoff. "Yet we have reason to be grateful to theinspector who does not keep strictly to the ruleskind-hearted fellow. If theycan get a talk it does relieve their hearts a bitafter all!"

While talking to the young manwho introduced himself as MedinzeffNekhludoff reached the hall. There the inspector came up to them with wearystep.

"If you wish to see Maslova" he saidapparently desiring to bepolite to Nekhludoff"please come to-morrow."

"Very well" answered Nekhludoffand hurried awayexperiencingmore than ever that sensation of moral nausea which he always felt on enteringthe prison.

The sufferings of the evidently innocent Menshoff seemed terribleand not somuch his physical suffering as the perplexitythe distrust in the good and inGod which he must feelseeing the cruelty of the people who tormented himwithout any reason.

Terrible were the disgrace and sufferings cast on these hundreds of guiltlesspeople simply because something was not written on paper as it should have been.Terrible were the brutalised jailerswhose occupation is to torment theirbrothersand who were certain that they were fulfilling an important and usefulduty; but most terrible of all seemed this sicklyelderlykind-heartedinspectorwho was obliged to part mother and sonfather and daughterwho werejust the same sort of people as he and his own children.

"What is it all for?" Nekhludoff asked himselfand could not findan answer.

CHAPTER LVII. THE VICE-GOVERNOR'S "AT-HOME".

 

The next day Nekhludoff went to see the advocateand spoke to him about theMenshoffs' casebegging him to undertake their defence. The advocate promisedto look into the caseand if it turned out to be as Nekhludoff said he would inall probability undertake the defence free of charge. Then Nekhludoff told himof the 130 men who were kept in prison owing to a mistake. "On whom did itdepend? Whose fault was it?"

The advocate was silent for a momentevidently anxious to give a correctreply.

"Whose fault is it? No one's" he saiddecidedly. "Ask theProcureurhe'll say it is the Governor's; ask the Governorhe'll say it is theProcureur's fault. No one is in fault."

"I am just going to see the Vice-Governor. I shall tell him."

"Ohthat's quite useless" said the advocatewith a smile."He is such a--he is not a relation or friend of yours?--such a blockheadif I may say soand yet a crafty animal at the same time."

Nekhludoff remembered what Maslennikoff had said about the advocateand didnot answerbut took leave and went on to Maslennikoff's. He had to askMaslennikoff two things: about Maslova's removal to the prison hospitalandabout the 130 passportless men innocently imprisoned. Though it was very hard topetition a man whom he did not respectand by whose orders men were floggedyet it was the only means of gaining his endand he had to go through with it.

As he drove up to Maslennikoff's house Nekhludoff saw a number of differentcarriages by the front doorand remembered that it was Maslennikoff's wife's"at-home" dayto which he had been invited. At the moment Nekhludoffdrove up there was a carriage in front of the doorand a footman in liverywith a cockade in his hatwas helping a lady down the doorstep. She was holdingup her trainand showing her thin anklesblack stockingsand slippered feet.Among the carriages was a closed landauwhich he knew to be the Korchagins'.

The grey-hairedred-checked coachman took off his hat and bowed in arespectful yet friendly manner to Nekhludoffas to a gentleman he knew well.Nekhludoff had not had time to inquire for Maslennikoffwhen the latterappeared on the carpeted stairsaccompanying a very important guest not only tothe first landing but to the bottom of the stairs. This very important visitora military manwas speaking in French about a lottery for the benefit ofchildren's homes that were to be founded in the cityand expressed the opinionthat this was a good occupation for the ladies. "It amuses themand themoney comes."

"Qu'elles s'amusent et que le bon dieu les benisse. M. Nekhludoff! Howd'you do? How is it one never sees you?" he greeted Nekhludoff. "Allezpresenter vos devoirs a Madame. And the Korchagins are here et NadineBukshevden. Toutes les jolies femmes de la ville" said the importantguestslightly raising his uniformed shoulders as he presented them to his ownrichly liveried servant to have his military overcoat put on. "Au revoirmon cher." And he pressed Maslennikoff's hand.

"Nowcome up; I am so glad" said MaslennikoffgraspingNekhludoff's hand. In spite of his corpulency Maslennikoff hurried quickly upthe stairs. He was in particularly good spiritsowing to the attention paid himby the important personage. Every such attention gave him the same sense ofdelight as is felt by an affectionate dog when its master pats itstrokes itor scratches its ears. It wags its tailcringesjumps aboutpresses its earsdownand madly rushes about in a circle. Maslennikoff was ready to do the same.He did not notice the serious expression on Nekhludoff's facepaid no heed tohis wordsbut pulled him irresistibly towards the drawing-roomso that it wasimpossible for Nekhludoff not to follow. "Business after wards. I shall dowhatever you want" said Meslennikoffas he drew Nekhludoff through thedancing hall. "Announce Prince Nekhludoff" he said to a footmanwithout 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 isI gotit for letting you go without seeing her last time."

By the time they reached the drawing-room the footman had already announcedNekhludoffand from between the bonnets and heads that surrounded it thesmiling face of Anna Ignatievnathe Vice-Governor's wifebeamed on Nekhludoff.At the other end of the drawing-room several ladies were seated round thetea-tableand some military men and some civilians stood near them. The clatterof male and female voices went on unceasingly.

"Enfin! you seem to have quite forgotten us. How have we offended?"With these wordsintended to convey an idea of intimacy which had never existedbetween herself and NekhludoffAnna Ignatievna greeted the newcomer.

"You are acquainted?--Madam TilyaevskyM. Chernoff. Sit down a bitnearer. Missy vene donc a notre table on vous apportera votre the . . . Andyou" she saidhaving evidently forgotten his nameto an officer who wastalking to Missy"do come here. A cup of teaPrince?"

"I shall nevernever agree with you. It's quite simple; she did notlove" a woman's voice was heard saying.

"But she loved tarts."

"Ohyour eternal silly jokes!" put inlaughinglyanother ladyresplendent in silksgoldand jewels.

"C'est excellent these little biscuitsand so light. I think I'll takeanother."

"Wellare you moving soon?"

"Yesthis is our last day. That's why we have come. Yesit must belovely in the country; we are having a delightful spring."

Missywith her hat onin a dark-striped dress of some kind that fitted herlike a skinwas 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 townand it ison business I have come here."

"Won't you come to see mamma? She would like to see you" she saidand knowing that she was saying what was not trueand that he knew it alsosheblushed still more.

"I fear I shall scarcely have time" Nekhludoff said gloomilytrying to appear as if he had not noticed her blush. Missy frowned angrilyshrugged her shouldersand turned towards an elegant officerwho grasped theempty cup she was holdingand knocking his sword against the chairsmanfullycarried the cup across to another table.

"You must contribute towards the Home fund."

"I am not refusingbut only wish to keep my bounty fresh for thelottery. There I shall let it appear in all its glory."

"Welllook out for yourself" said a voicefollowed by anevidently feigned laugh.

Anna Ignatievna was in raptures; her "at-home" had turned out abrilliant success. "Micky tells me you are busying yourself with prisonwork. I can understand you so well" she said to Nekhludoff. "Micky(she meant her fat husbandMaslennikoff) may have other defectsbut you knowhow kind-hearted he is. All these miserable prisoners are his children. He doesnot regard them in any other light. II est d'une bonte---" and she stoppedfinding no words to do justice to this bonte of hisand quickly turned to ashrivelled old woman with bows of lilac ribbon all overwho came in just then.

Having said as much as was absolutely necessaryand with as little meaningas conventionality requiredNekhludoff rose and went up to Meslennikoff."Can you give me a few minutes' hearingplease?"

"Ohyes. Wellwhat is it?"

"Let us come in here."

They entered a small Japanese sitting-roomand sat down by the window

CHAPTER LVIII. THE VICE-GOVERNOR SUSPICIOUS.

Well? Je suis a vous. Will you smoke? But wait a bit; we must becareful and not make a mess here" said Maslennikoffand brought anashpan. "Well?"

"There are two matters I wish to ask you about."

"Dear me!"

An expression of gloom and dejection came over Maslennikoff's countenanceand every trace of the excitementlike that of the dog's whom its master hasscratched behind the carsvanished completely. The sound of voices reached themfrom the drawingroom. A woman's voice was heardsaying"Jamais je necroirais" and a man's voice from the other side relating something inwhich the names of la Comtesse Voronzoff and Victor Apraksine kept recurring. Ahum of voicesmixed with laughtercame from another side. Maslennikoff triedto listen to what was going on in the drawing-room and to what Nekhludoff wassaying at the same time.

"I am again come about that same woman" said Nekhludoff."

"Ohyes; I know. The one innocently condemned."

"I would like to ask that she should be appointed to serve in the prisonhospital. I have been told that this could be arranged."

Maslennikoff compressed his lips and meditated. "That will be scarcelypossible" he said. "HoweverI shall see what can be doneand shallwire you an answer tomorrow."

"I have been told that there were many sickand help was needed."

"All rightall right. I shall let you know in any case."

"Please do" said Nekhludoff.

The sound of a general and even a natural laugh came from the drawing-room.

"That's all that Victor. He is wonderfully sharp when he is in the rightvein" said Maslennikoff.

"The next thing I wanted to tell you" said Nekhludoff"isthat 130 persons are imprisoned only because their passports are overdue. Theyhave been kept here a month."

And he related the circumstances of the case.

"How have you come to know of this?" said Maslennikofflookinguneasy and dissatisfied.

"I went to see a prisonerand these men came and surrounded me in thecorridorand asked . . ."

"What prisoner did you go to see?"

"A peasant who is kept in prisonthough innocent. I have put his caseinto the hands of a lawyer. But that is not the point."

"Is it possible that people who have done no wrong are imprisoned onlybecause their passports are overdue? And . . ."

"That's the Procureur's business" Maslennikoff interruptedangrily. "Therenowyou see what it is you call a prompt and just form oftrial. It is the business of the Public Prosecutor to visit the prison and tofind 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 saiddespondentlyremembering that the advocate had foretold that the Governor wouldput the blame on the Procureur.

"OhyesI can. I shall see about it at once."

"So much the worse for her. C'est un souffre douleur" came thevoice of a womanevidently indifferent to what she was sayingfrom thedrawing-room.

"So much the better. I shall take it also" a man's voice was heardto say from the other sidefollowed by the playful laughter of a womanwho wasapparently trying to prevent the man from taking something away from her.

"Nono; not on any account" the woman's voice said.

"All rightthen. I shall do all this" Maslennikoff repeatedandput out the cigarette he held in his whiteturquoise-ringed hand. "And nowlet us join the ladies."

"Wait a moment" Nekhludoff saidstopping at the door of thedrawing-room. "I was told that some men had received corporal punishment inthe prison yesterday. Is this true?"

Maslennikoff blushed.

"Ohthat's what you are after? Nomon cherdecidedly it won't do tolet you in there; you want to get at everything. Comecome; Anna is callingus" he saidcatching Nekhludoff by the armand again becoming as excitedas after the attention paid him by the important persononly now his excitementwas not joyfulbut anxious.

Nekhludoff pulled his arm awayand without taking leave of any one andwithout saying a wordhe passed through the drawing-room with a dejected lookwent down into the hallpast the footmanwho sprang towards himand out atthe street door.

"What is the matter with him? What have you done to him?" askedAnna of her husband.

"This is a la Francaise" remarked some one.

"A la Francaiseindeed--it is a la Zoulou."

"Ohbut he's always been like that."

Some one rosesome one came inand the clatter went on its course. Thecompany used this episode with Nekhludoff as a convenient topic of conversationfor the rest of the "at-home."

On the day following his visit to MaslennikoffNekhludoff received a letterfrom himwritten in a finefirm handon thickglazed paperwith acoat-of-armsand sealed with sealing-wax. Maslennikoff said that he had writtento the doctor concerning Maslova's removal to the hospitaland hopedNekhludoff's wish would receive attention. The letter was signed"Youraffectionate elder comrade" and the signature ended with a largefirmand artistic flourish. "Fool!" Nekhludoff could not refrain fromsayingespecially because in the word "comrade" he feltMaslennikoff's condescension towards himi.e.while Maslennikoff was fillingthis positionmorally most dirty and shamefulhe still thought himself a veryimportant manand wishedif not exactly to flatter Nekhludoffat least toshow that he was not too proud to call him comrade.

CHAPTER LIX. NEKHLUDOFF'S THIRD INTERVIEW WITH MASLOVA IN PRISON.

 

One of the most widespread superstitions is that every man has his ownspecialdefinite qualities; that a man is kindcruelwisestupidenergeticapatheticetc. Men are not like that. We may say of a man that he is more oftenkind than crueloftener wise than stupidoftener energetic than apatheticorthe reverse; but it would be false to say of one man that he is kind and wiseof another that he is wicked and foolish. And yet we always classify mankind inthis way. And this is untrue. Men are like rivers: the water is the same ineachand alike in all; but every river is narrow hereis more rapid therehere slowerthere broadernow clearnow coldnow dullnow warm. It is thesame with men. Every man carries in himself the germs of every human qualityand sometimes one manifests itselfsometimes anotherand the man often becomesunlike himselfwhile still remaining the same manIn some people these changesare very rapidand Nekhludoff was such a man. These changes in him were due tophysical 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 hadexperienced after the trial and after the first interview with Katushavanishedcompletelyand after the last interview fear and revulsion took the place ofthat joy. He was determined not to leave herand not to change his decision ofmarrying herif she wished it; but it seemed very hardand made him suffer.

On the day after his visit to Maslennikoffhe again went to the prison tosee her.

The inspector allowed him to speak to heronly not in the advocate's roomnor in the officebut in the women's visiting-room. In spite of his kindnessthe inspector was more reserved with Nekhludoff than hitherto.

An order for greater caution had apparently been sentas a result of hisconversation with Meslennikoff.

"You may see her" the inspector said; "but please rememberwhat I said as regards money. And as to her removal to the hospitalthat hisexcellency wrote to me aboutit can be done; the doctor would agree. Only sheherself does not wish it. She says'Much need have I to carry out the slops forthe scurvy beggars.' You don't know what these people arePrince" headded.

Nekhludoff did not replybut asked to have the interview. The inspectorcalled a jailerwhom Nekhludoff followed into the women's visiting-roomwherethere was no one but Maslova waiting. She came from behind the gratingquietand timidclose up to himand saidwithout looking at him:

"Forgive meDmitri IvanovitchI spoke hastily the day beforeyesterday."

"It is not for me to forgive you" Nekhludoff began.

"But all the sameyou must leave me" she interruptedand in theterribly squinting eyes with which she looked at him Nekhludoff read the formerstrainedangry expression.

"Why should I leave you?"

"So."

"But why so?"

She again looked upas it seemed to himwith the same angry look.

"Wellthenthus it is" she said. "You must leave me. It istrue what I am saying. I cannot. You just give it up altogether." Her lipstrembled and she was silent for a moment. "It is true. I'd rather hangmyself."

Nekhludoff felt that in this refusal there was hatred and unforgivingresentmentbut there was also something besidessomething good. Thisconfirmation of the refusal in cold blood at once quenched all the doubts inNekhludoff's bosomand brought back the serioustriumphant emotion he had feltin relation to Katusha.

"Katushawhat I have said I will again repeat" he utteredveryseriously. "I ask you to marry me. If you do not wish itand for as longas you do not wish itI shall only continue to follow youand shall go whereyou are taken."

"That is your business. I shall not say anything more" sheansweredand her lips began to tremble again.

Hetoowas silentfeeling unable to speak.

"I shall now go to the countryand then to Petersburg" he saidwhen he was quieter again. "I shall do my utmost to get your--our caseImeanreconsideredand by the help of God the sentence may be revoked."

"And if it is not revokednever mind. I have deserved itif not inthis casein other ways" she saidand he saw how difficult it was forher to keep down her tears.

"Wellhave you seen Menshoff?" she suddenly askedto hide heremotion. "It's true they are innocentisn't it?"

"YesI think so."

"Such a splendid old woman" she said.

There was another pause.

"Welland as to the hospital?" she suddenly saidand looking athim with her squinting eyes. "If you likeI will goand I shall not drinkany spiritseither."

Nekhludoff looked into her eyes. They were smiling.

"Yesyesshe is quite a different being" Nekhludoff thought.After all his former doubtshe now felt something he had never beforeexperienced--the certainty that love is invincible.

When Maslova returned to her noisome cell after this interviewshe took offher cloak and sat down in her place on the shelf bedstead with her hands foldedon her lap. In the cell were only the consumptive womanthe Vladimir woman withher babyMenshoff's old motherand the watchman's wife. The deacon's daughterhad the day before been declared mentally diseased and removed to the hospital.The rest of the women were awaywashing clothes. The old woman was asleepthecell door stood openand the watchman's children were in the corridor outside.The Vladimir womanwith her baby in her armsand the watchman's wifewith thestocking she was knitting with deft fingerscame up to Maslova. "Wellhave you had a chat?" they asked. Maslova sat silent on the high bedsteadswinging her legswhich 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. EhKatusha? Nowthen!" and she went onquickly 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 beenbrought."

"Finashka" called out the watchman's wife"where's thelittle imp gone to?"

She took a knitting needlestuck it through both the ball and the stockingand went out into the corridor.

At this moment the sound of women's voices was heard from the corridorandthe inmates of the cell enteredwith their prison shoesbut no stockings ontheir feet. Each was carrying a rollsome even two. Theodosia came at once upto Maslova.

"What's the matter; is anything wrong?" Theodosia askedlookinglovingly at Maslova with her clearblue eyes. "This is for our tea"and she put the rolls on a shelf.

"Whysurely he has not changed his mind about marrying?" askedKorableva.

"Nohe has notbut I don't wish to" said Maslova"and so Itold him."

"More fool you!" muttered Korableva in her deep tones.

"If one's not to live togetherwhat's the use of marrying?" saidTheodosia.

"There's your husband--he's going with you" said the watchman'swife.

"Wellof coursewe're married" said Theodosia. "But whyshould he go through the ceremony if he is not to live with her?"

"Whyindeed! Don't be a fool! You know if he marries her she'll roll inwealth" said Korableva.

"He says'Wherever they take youI'll follow'" said Maslova."If he doesit's well; if he does notwell also. I am not going to askhim to. Now he is going to try and arrange the matter in Petersburg. He isrelated to all the Ministers there. Butall the sameI have no need ofhim" she continued.

"Of course not" suddenly agreed Korablevaevidently thinkingabout something else as she sat examining her bag. "Wellshall we have adrop?"

"You have some" replied Maslova. "I won't."

Book II

CHAPTER I. PROPERTY IN LAND.

 

 

It was possible for Maslova's case to come before the Senate in a fortnightat which time Nekhludoff meant to go to Petersburgandif need beto appealto the Emperor (as the advocate who had drawn up the petition advised) shouldthe appeal be disregarded (andaccording to the advocateit was best to beprepared for thatsince the causes for appeal were so slight). The party ofconvictsamong whom was Maslovawould very likely leave in the beginning ofJune. In order to be able to follow her to Siberiaas Nekhludoff was firmlyresolved to dohe was now obliged to visit his estatesand settle mattersthere. Nekhludoff first went to the nearestKousminskia large estate that layin the black earth districtand from which he derived the greatest part of hisincome.

He had lived on that estate in his childhood and youthand had been theretwice sinceand onceat his mother's requesthe had taken a German stewardthereand had with him verified the accounts. The state of things there and thepeasants' relations to the managementi.e.the landlordhad therefore beenlong known to him. The relations of the peasants to the administration werethose of utter dependence on that management. Nekhludoff knew all this whenstill a university studenthe had confessed and preached Henry Georgeismandon the basis of that teachinghad given the land inherited from his father tothe peasants. It is true that after entering the armywhen he got into thehabit of spending 20000 roubles a yearthose former occupations ceased to beregarded as a dutyand were forgottenand he not only left off asking himselfwhere the money his mother allowed him came frombut even avoided thinkingabout it. But his mother's deaththe coming into the propertyand thenecessity of managing itagain raised the question as to what his position inreference to private property in land was. A month before Nekhludoff would haveanswered 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 oranother have eased his consciencecontinuing to live far from his estatesandhaving the money sent him. But now he decided that he could not leave things togo on as they werebut would have to alter them in a way unprofitable tohimselfeven though he had all these complicated and difficult relations withthe prison world which made money necessaryas well as a probable journey toSiberia before him. Therefore he decided not to farm the landbut to let it tothe peasants at a low rentto enable them to cultivate it without depending ona landlord. More than oncewhen comparing the position of a landowner with thatof an owner of serfsNekhludoff had compared the renting of land to thepeasants instead of cultivating it with hired labourto the old system by whichserf proprietors used to exact a money payment from their serfs in place oflabour. It was not a solution of the problemand yet a step towards thesolution; it was a movement towards a less rude form of slavery. And it was inthis way he meant to act.

Nekhludoff reached Kousminski about noon. Trying to simplify his life inevery wayhe did not telegraphbut hired a cart and pair at the station. Thedriver was a young fellow in a nankeen coatwith a belt below his long waist.He was glad to talk to the gentlemanespecially because while they were talkinghis broken-winded white horse and the emaciated spavined one could go at afoot-pacewhich they always liked to do.

The driver spoke about the steward at Kousminski without knowing that he wasdriving "the master." Nekhludoff had purposely not told him who hewas.

"That ostentatious German" said the driver (who had been to townand read novels) as he sat sideways on the boxpassing his hand from the top tothe bottom of his long whipand trying to show off hisaccomplishments--"that ostentatious German has procured three light baysand when he drives out with his lady---ohmy! At Christmas he had aChristmas-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 thegovernment. What's it to himhe has cribbed a heap of money. I heard say he hasbought an estate."

Nekhludoff had imagined that he was quite indifferent to the way the stewardmanaged his estateand what advantages the steward derived from it. The wordsof the long-waisted driverhoweverwere not pleasant to hear.

A dark cloud now and then covered the sun; the larks were soaring above thefields of winter corn; the forests were already covered with fresh young green;the meadows speckled with grazing cattle and horses. The fields were beingploughedand Nekhludoff enjoyed the lovely day. But every now and then he hadan unpleasant feelingandwhen he asked himself what it was caused byheremembered what the driver had told him about the way the German was managingKousminski. When he got to his estate and set to work this unpleasant feelingvanished.

Looking over the books in the officeand a talk with the foremanwhonaively pointed out the advantages to be derived from the facts that thepeasants had very little land of their own and that it lay in the midst of thelandlord's fieldsmade Nekhludoff more than ever determined to leave offfarming and to let his land to the peasants.

From the office books and his talk with the foremanNekhludoff found thattwo-thirds of the best of the cultivated land was still being tilled withimproved machinery by labourers receiving fixed wageswhile the other third wastilled by the peasants at the rate of five roubles per desiatin [about two andthree-quarter acres]. So that the peasants had to plough each desiatin threetimesharrow it three timessow and mow the cornmake it into sheavesanddeliver it on the threshing ground for five roubleswhile the same amount ofwork done by wage labour came to at least 10 roubles. Everything the peasantsgot from the office they paid for in labour at a very high price. They paid inlabour for the use of the meadowsfor woodfor potato-stalksand were nearlyall of them in debt to the office. Thusfor the land that lay beyond thecultivated fieldswhich the peasants hiredfour times the price that its valuewould bring in if invested at five per cent was taken from the peasants.

Nekhludoff had known all this beforebut he now saw it in a new lightandwondered how he and others in his position could help seeing how abnormal suchconditions are. The steward's arguments that if the land were let to thepeasants the agricultural implements would fetch next to nothingas it would beimpossible to get even a quarter of their value for themand that the peasantswould spoil the landand how great a loser Nekhludoff would beonlystrengthened Nekhludoff in the opinion that he was doing a good action inletting the land to the peasants and thus depriving himself of a large part ofhis income. He decided to settle this business nowat oncewhile he was there.The reaping and selling of the corn he left for the steward to manage in dueseasonand also the selling of the agricultural implements and uselessbuildings. But he asked his steward to call the peasants of the threeneighbouring villages that lay in the midst of his estate (Kousminski) to ameetingat which he would tell them of his intentions and arrange about theprice at which they were to rent the land.

With the pleasant sense of the firmness he had shown in the face of thesteward's argumentsand his readiness to make a sacrificeNekhludoff left theofficethinking over the business before himand strolled round the housethrough the neglected flower-garden--this year the flowers were planted in frontof the steward's house--over the tennis groundnow overgrown with dandelionsand along the lime-tree walkwhere he used to smoke his cigarand where he hadflirted with the pretty Kirimovahis mother's visitor. Having briefly preparedin his mind the speech he was going to make to the peasantshe again went in tothe stewardandafter teahaving once more arranged his thoughtshe wentinto the room prepared for him in the big housewhich used to be a sparebedroom.

In this clean little roomwith pictures of Venice on the wallsand a mirrorbetween the two windowsthere stood a clean bed with a spring mattressand bythe side of it a small tablewith a decanter of watermatchesand anextinguisher. On a table by the looking-glass lay his open portmanteauwith hisdressing-case and some books in it; a Russian bookThe Investigation of theLaws of Criminalityand a German and an English book on the same subjectwhichhe meant to read while travelling in the country. But it was too late to beginto-dayand he began preparing to go to bed.

An old-fashioned inlaid mahogany arm-chair stood in the corner of the roomand this chairwhich Nekhludoff remembered standing in his mother's bedroomsuddenly raised a perfectly unexpected sensation in his soul. He was suddenlyfilled with regret at the thought of the house that would tumble to ruinandthe garden that would run wildand the forest that would be cut downand allthese farmyardsstablesshedsmachineshorsescows which he knew had costso much effortthough not to himselfto acquire and to keep. It had seemedeasy to give up all thisbut now it was hardnot only to give thisbut evento let the land and lose half his income. And at once a considerationwhichproved that it was unreasonable to let the land to the peasantsand thus todestroy his propertycame to his service. "I must not hold property inland. If I possess no property in landI cannot keep up the house and farm.AndbesidesI am going to Siberiaand shall not need either the house or theestate" said one voice. "All this is so" said another voice"but you are not going to spend all your life in Siberia. You may marryand have childrenand must hand the estate on to them in as good a condition asyou received it. There is a duty to the landtoo. To give upto destroyeverything is very easy; to acquire it very difficult. Above allyou mustconsider your future lifeand what you will do with yourselfand you mustdispose of your property accordingly. And are you really firm in your resolve?And thenare you really acting according to your conscienceor are you actingin order to be admired of men?" Nekhludoff asked himself all thisand hadto acknowledge that he was influenced by the thought of what people would sayabout him. And the more he thought about it the more questions aroseand themore unsolvable they seemed.

In hopes of ridding himself of these thoughts by failing asleepand solvingthem in the morning when his head would be freshhe lay down on his clean bed.But it was long before he could sleep. Together with the fresh air and themoonlightthe croaking of the frogs entered the roommingling with the trillsof a couple of nightingales in the park and one close to the window in a bush oflilacs in bloom. Listening to the nightingales and the frogsNekhludoffremembered the inspector's daughterand her musicand the inspector; thatreminded him of Maslovaand how her lips trembledlike the croaking of thefrogswhen she said"You must just leave it." Then the Germansteward began going down to the frogsand had to be held backbut he not onlywent down but turned into Maslovawho began reproaching Nekhludoffsaying"You are a princeand I am a convict." "NoI must not givein" thought Nekhludoffwaking upand again asking himself"Is whatI am doing right? I do not knowand no matterno matterI must only fallasleep now." And he began himself to descend where he had seen theinspector and Maslova climbing down toand there it all ended.

CHAPTER II. EFFORTS AT LAND RESTORATION.

 

The next day Nekhludoff awoke at nine o'clock. The young office clerk whoattended on "the master" brought him his bootsshining as they hadnever shone beforeand some coldbeautifully clear spring waterand informedhim that the peasants were already assembling.

Nekhludoff jumped out of bedand collected his thoughts. Not a trace ofyesterday's regret at giving up and thus destroying his property remained now.He remembered this feeling of regret with surprise; he was now looking forwardwith joy to the task before himand could not help being proud of it. He couldsee from the window the old tennis groundovergrown with dandelionson whichthe peasants were beginning to assemble. The frogs had not croaked in vain thenight before; the day was dull. There was no wind; a soft warm rain had begunfalling in the morningand hung in drops on leavestwigsand grass. Besidesthe smell of the fresh vegetationthe smell of damp earthasking for morerainentered in at the window. While dressingNekhludoff several times lookedout at the peasants gathered on the tennis ground. One by one they cametookoff their hats or caps to one anotherand took their places in a circleleaning on their sticks. The stewarda stoutmuscularstrong young mandressed in a short pea-jacketwith a green stand-up collarand enormousbuttonscame to say that all had assembledbut that they might wait untilNekhludoff had finished his breakfast--tea and coffeewhichever he pleased;both were ready.

"NoI think I had better go and see them at once" saidNekhludoffwith an unexpected feeling of shyness and shame at the thought ofthe conversation he was going to have with the peasants. He was going to fulfila wish of the peasantsthe fulfilment of which they did not even dare to hopefor--to let the land to them at a low pricei.e.to confer a great boon; andyet he felt ashamed of something. When Nekhludoff came up to the peasantsandthe fairthe curlythe baldthe grey heads were bared before himhe felt soconfused that he could say nothing. The rain continued to come down in smalldropsthat remained on the hairthe beardsand the fluff of the men's roughcoats. The peasants looked at "the master" waiting for him to speakand he was so abashed that he could not speak. This confused silence was brokenby the sedateself-assured German stewardwho considered himself a good judgeof the Russian peasantand who spoke Russian remarkably well. This strongover-fed manand Nekhludoff himselfpresented a striking contrast to thepeasantswith their thinwrinkled faces and the shoulder blades protrudingbeneath their coarse coats.

"Here's the Prince wanting to do you a favorand to let the land toyou; only you are not worthy of it" said the steward.

"How are we not worthy of itVasili Karlovitch? Don't we work for you?We were well satisfied with the deceased lady--God have mercy on her soul--andthe young Prince will not desert us now. Our thanks to him" said aredhairedtalkative peasant.

"Yesthat's why I have called you together. I should like to let youhave all the landif you wish it."

The peasants said nothingas if they did not understand or did not believeit.

"Let's see. Let us have the land? What do you mean?" asked amiddle-aged man.

"To let it to youthat you might have the use of itat a lowrent."

"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 youtoothat way. You'll have to do nothing butreceive the rent. Only think of all the sin and worry now!" several voiceswere heard saying.

"The sin is all on your side" the German remarked. "If onlyyou did your workand were orderly."

"That's impossible for the likes of us" said a sharp-nosed oldman. "You say'Why do you let the horse get into the corn?' just as if Ilet it in. WhyI was swinging my scytheor something of the kindthe livelongdaytill the day seemed as long as a yearand so I fell asleep while watchingthe herd of horses at nightand it got into your oatsand now you're skinningme."

"And you should keep order."

"It's easy for you to talk about orderbut it's more than our strengthwill bear" answered a talldarkhairy middleaged man.

"Didn't I tell you to put up a fence?"

"You give us the wood to make it of" said a shortplainlookingpeasant. "I was going to put up a fence last yearand you put me to feedvermin in prison for three months. That was the end of that fence."

"What is it he is saying?" asked Nekhludoffturning to thesteward.

"Der ersto Dieb im Dorfe[The greatest thief in the village] answeredthe steward in German. "He is caught stealing wood from the forest everyyear." Then turning to the peasanthe added"You must learn torespect other people's property."

"Whydon't we respect you?" said an old man. "We are obligedto respect you. Whyyou could twist us into a rope; we are in your hands."

"Ehmy friendit's impossible to do you. It's you who are ever readyto do us" said the steward.

"Do youindeed. Didn't you smash my jaw for meand I got nothing forit? No good going to law with the richit seems."

"You should keep to the law."

A tournament of words was apparently going on without those who took part init knowing exactly what it was all about; but it was noticeable that there wasbitterness on one siderestricted by fearand on the other a consciousness ofimportance and power. It was very trying to Nekhludoff to listen to all thissohe returned to the question. of arranging the amount and the terms of the rent.

"Wellthenhow about the land? Do you wish to take itand what pricewill you pay if I let you have the whole of it?"

"The property is yours: it is for you to fix the price." Nekhludoffnamed the price. Though it was far below that paid in the neighbourhoodthepeasants declared it too highand began bargainingas is customary among them.Nekhludoff thought his offer would be accepted with pleasurebut no signs ofpleasure were visible.

One thing only showed Nekhludoff that his offer was a profitable one to thepeasants. The question as to who would rent the landthe whole commune or aspecial societywas putand a violent dispute arose among those peasants whowere in favour of excluding the weak and those not likely to pay the rentregularlyand the peasants who would have to be excluded on that score. Atlastthanks to the stewardthe amount and the terms of the rent were fixedand the peasants went down the hill towards their villagestalking noisilywhile 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. Thepeasants had their land 30 per cent. cheaper than they could have got itanywhere in the districtthe revenue from the land was diminished by halfbutwas more than sufficient for Nekhludoffespecially as there would be moneycoming in for a forest he soldas well as for the agricultural implementswhich would be soldtoo. Everything seemed excellently arrangedyet he feltashamed of something. He could see that the peasantsthough they spoke words ofthankswere not satisfiedand had expected something greater. So it turned outthat he had deprived himself of a great dealand yet not done what the peasantshad expected.

The next day the agreement was signedand accompanied by several oldpeasantswho had been chosen as deputiesNekhludoff went outgot into thesteward's elegant equipage (as the driver from the station had called it)said"good-bye" to the peasantswho stood shaking their heads in adissatisfied and disappointed mannerand drove off to the station. Nekhludoffwas dissatisfied with himself without knowing whybut all the time he felt sadand ashamed of something.

CHAPTER III. OLD ASSOCIATIONS.

 

From Kousminski Nekhludoff went to the estate he had inherited from hisauntsthe same where he first met Katusha. He meant to arrange about the landthere in the way he had done in Kousminski. Besides thishe wished to find outall he could about Katusha and her babyand when and how it had died. He got toPanovo early one morningand the first thing that struck him when he drove upwas the look of decay and dilapidation that all the buildings boreespeciallythe house itself. The iron roofswhich had once been painted greenlooked redwith rustand a few sheets of iron were bent backprobably by a storm. Some ofthe planks which covered the house from outside were torn away in severalplaces; these were easier to get by breaking the rusty nails that held them.Both porchesbut especially the side porch he remembered so wellwere rottenand broken; only the banister remained. Some of the windows were boarded upandthe building in which the foreman livedthe kitchenthe stables--all were greyand decaying. Only the garden had not decayedbut had grownand was in fullbloom; from over the fence the cherryappleand plum trees looked like whiteclouds. The lilac bushes that formed the hedge were in full bloomas they hadbeen when14 years agoNekhludoff had played gorelki with the 15-year-oldKatushaand had fallen and got his hand stung by the nettles behind one ofthose lilac bushes. The larch that his aunt Sophia had planted near the housewhich then was only a short stickhad grown into a treethe trunk of whichwould have made a beamand its branches were covered with soft yellow greenneedles as with down. The rivernow within its banksrushed noisily over themill dam. The meadow the other side of the river was dotted over by thepeasants' mixed herds. The foremana studentwho had left the seminary withoutfinishing the coursemet Nekhludoff in the yardwith a smile on his faceandstill smilingasked him to come into the officeandas if promising somethingexceptionally good by this smilehe went behind a partition. For a moment somewhispering was heard behind the partition. The isvostchik who had drivenNekhludoff from the stationdrove away after receiving a tipand all wassilent. Then a barefooted girl passed the window; she had on an embroideredpeasant blouseand long earrings in her ears; then a man walked pastclattering with his nailed boots on the trodden path.

Nekhludoff sat down by the little casementand looked out into the gardenand listened. A softfresh spring breezesmelling of newly-dug earthstreamedin through the windowplaying with the hair on his damp forehead and the papersthat lay on the window-sillwhich was all cut about with a knife.

"Tra-pa-troptra-pa-trop" comes a sound from the riveras thewomen who were washing clothes there slapped them in regular measure with theirwooden batsand the sound spread over the glittering surface of the mill pondwhile the rhythmical sound of the falling water came from the milland afrightened fly suddenly flew loudly buzzing past his ear.

And all at once Nekhludoff remembered howlong agowhen he was young andinnocenthe had heard the women's wooden bats slapping the wet clothes abovethe rhythmical sound from the milland in the same way the spring breeze hadblown about the hair on his wet forehead and the papers on the window-sillwhich was all cut about with a knifeand just in the same way a fly had buzzedloudly past his car.

It was not exactly that he remembered himself as a lad of 15but he seemedto feel himself the same as he was thenwith the same freshness and purityandfull of the same grand possibilities for the futureand at the same timeas ithappens in a dreamhe knew that all this could be no moreand he felt terriblysad. "At what time would you like something to eat?" asked theforemanwith a smile.

"When you like; I am not hungry. I shall go for a walk through thevillage."

"Would you not like to come into the house? Everything is in orderthere. Have the goodness to look in. If the outside---"

"Not now; later on. Tell mepleasehave you got a woman here calledMatrona Kharina?" (This was Katusha's auntthe village midwife.)

"Ohyes; in the village she keeps a secret pot-house. I know she doesand I accuse her of it and scold her; but as to taking her upit would be apity. An old womanyou know; she has grandchildren" said the foremancontinuing to smile in the same mannerpartly wishing to be pleasant to themasterand partly because he was convinced that Nekhludoff understood all thesematters 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 sidethe third from the end. Tothe left there is a brick cottageand her hut is beyond that. But I'd bettersee you there" the foreman said with a graceful smile.

"NothanksI shall find it; and you be so good as to call a meeting ofthe peasantsand tell them that I want to speak to them about the land"said Nekhludoffwith the intention of coming to the same agreement with thepeasants here as he had done in Kousminskiandif possiblethat same evening.

CHAPTER IV. THE PEASANTS' LOT.

 

When Nekhludoff came out of the gate he met the girl with the long earringson the well-trodden path that lay across the pasture groundovergrown with dockand plantain leaves. She had a longbrightly-coloured apron onand was quicklyswinging her left arm in front of herself as she stepped briskly with her fatbare feet. With her right arm she was pressing a fowl to her stomach. The fowlwith red comb shakingseemed perfectly calm; he only rolled up his eyes andstretched out and drew in one black legclawing the girl's apron. When the girlcame nearer to "the master" she began moving more slowlyand her runchanged into a walk. When she came up to him she stoppedandafter a backwardjerk with her headbowed to him; and only when he had passed did she recommenceto run homeward with the cock. As he went down towards the wellhe met an oldwomanwho had a coarse dirty blouse oncarrying two pails full of waterthathung on a yoke across her bent back. The old woman carefully put down the pailsand bowedwith the same backward jerk of her head.

After passing the well Nekhludoff entered the village. It was a brighthotdayand oppressivethough only ten o'clock. At intervals the sun was hidden bythe gathering clouds. An unpleasantsharp smell of manure filled the air in thestreet. It came from carts going up the hillsidebut chiefly from the disturbedmanure heaps in the yards of the hutsby the open gates of which Nekhludoff hadto pass. The peasantsbarefootedtheir shirts and trousers soiled with manureturned to look at the tallstout gentleman with the glossy silk ribbon on hisgrey hat who was walking up the village streettouching the ground every otherstep with a shinybright-knobbed walking-stick. The peasants returning from thefields at a trot and jotting in their empty cartstook off their hatsandintheir surprisefollowed with their eyes the extraordinary man who was walkingup their street. The women came out of the gates or stood in the porches oftheir hutspointing him out to each other and gazing at him as he passed.

When Nekhludoff was passing the fourth gatehe was stopped by a cart thatwas coming outits wheels creakingloaded high with manurewhich was presseddownand was covered with a mat to sit on. A six-year-old boyexcited by theprospect of a drivefollowed the cart. A young peasantwith shoes plaited outof bark on his feetled the horse out of the yard. A long-legged colt jumpedout of the gate; butseeing Nekhludoffpressed close to the cartand scrapingits legs against the wheelsjumped forwardpast its excitedgently-neighingmotheras she was dragging the heavy load through the gateway. The next horsewas led out by a barefooted old manwith protruding shoulder-bladesin a dirtyshirt and striped trousers.

When the horses got out on to the hard roadstrewn over with bits of drygrey manurethe old man returned to the gateand bowed to Nekhludoff.

"You are our ladies' nephewaren't you?

"YesI am their nephew."

"You've kindly come to look us upeh?" said the garrulous old man.

"YesI have. Wellhow are you getting on?

"How do we get on? We get on very badly" the old man drawledasif it gave him pleasure.

"Why so badly?" Nekhludoff askedstepping inside the gate.

"What is our life but the very worst life?" said the old manfollowing Nekhludoff into that part of the yard which was roofed over.

Nekhludoff stopped under the roof.

"I have got 12 of them there" continued the old manpointing totwo women on the remainder of the manure heapwho stood perspiring with forksin their handsthe kerchiefs tumbling off their headswith their skirts tuckedupshowing the calves of their dirtybare legs. "Not a month passes but Ihave to buy six poods [a pood is 36 English pounds] of cornand where's themoney to come from?"

"Have you not got enough corn of your own?

"My own?" repeated the old manwith a smile of contempt; "whyI have only got land for threeand last year we had not enough to last tillChristmas."

"What do you do then?"

"What do we do? WhyI hire out as a labourer; and then I borrowed somemoney from your honour. We spent it all before Lentand the tax is not paidyet."

"And how much is the tax?"

"Whyit's 17 roubles for my household. OhLordsuch a life! Onehardly knows one's self how one manages to live it."

"May I go into your hut?" asked Nekhludoffstepping across theyard over the yellow-brown layers of manure that had been raked up by the forksand were giving off a strong smell.

"Why not? Come in" said the old manand stepping quickly with hisbare feet over the manurethe liquid oozing between his toeshe passedNekhludoff and opened the door of the hut.

The women arranged the kerchiefs on their heads and let down their skirtsand stood looking with surprise at the clean gentleman with gold studs to hissleeves who was entering their house. Two little girlswith nothing on butcoarse chemisesrushed out of the hut. Nekhludoff took off his hatandstooping to get through the low doorenteredthrough a passage into the dirtynarrow hutthat smelt of sour foodand where much space was taken up by twoweaving looms. In the but an old woman was standing by the stovewith thesleeves rolled up over her thinsinewy brown arms.

"Here is our master come to see us" said the old man.

"I'm sure he's very welcome" said the old womankindly.

"I would like to see how you live."

"Wellyou see how we live. The hut is coming downand might kill oneany day; but my old man he says it's good enoughand so we live likekings" said the brisk old womannervously jerking her head. "I'mgetting the dinner; going to feed the workers."

"And what are you going to have for dinner?"

"Our food is very good. First coursebread and kvas; [kvas is a kind ofsournon-intoxicant beer made of rye] second coursekvas and bread" saidthe old womanshowing her teethwhich were half worn away.

"No" seriously; "let me see what you are going to eat."

"To eat?" said the old manlaughing. "Ours is not a verycunning meal. You just show himwife."

"Want to see our peasant food? Wellyou are an inquisitive gentlemannow I come to look at you. He wants to know everything. Did I not tell you breadand kvas and then we'll have soup. A woman brought us some fishand that's whatthe soup is made ofand after thatpotatoes."

"Nothing more?

"What more do you want? We'll also have a little milk" said theold womanlooking towards the door. The door stood openand the passageoutside was full of people--boysgirlswomen with babies--thronged together tolook at the strange gentleman who wanted to see the peasants' food. The oldwoman seemed to pride herself on the way she behaved with a gentleman.

"Yesit's a miserable lifeours; that goes without sayingsir"said the old man. "What are you doing there?" he shouted to those inthe passage. "Wellgood-bye" said Nekhludofffeeling ashamed anduneasythough 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 passandhe went out and continued his way up the street.

Two barefooted boys followed him out of the passage the elder in a shirt thathad once been whitethe other in a worn and faded pink one. Nekhludoff lookedback 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 boywith the pink shirt began laughing at something; but the elder askedseriously:

"What Matrona is that? Is she old?"

"Yesshe is old."

"Oh--oh" he drawled; "that one; she's at the other end of thevillage; we'll show you. YesFedkawe'll go with him. Shall we?"

"Yesbut the horses?"

"They'll be all rightI dare say."

Fedka agreedand all three went up the street.

CHAPTER V. MASLOVA'S AUNT.

Nekhludoff felt more at case with the boys than with the grown-uppeopleand he began talking to them as they went along. The little one with thepink shirt stopped laughingand spoke as sensibly and as exactly as the elderone.

"Can you tell me who are the poorest people you have got here?"asked Nekhludoff.

"The poorest? Michael is poorSimon Makhroffand Marthashe is verypoor."

"And Anisiashe is still poorer; she's not even got a cow. They gobegging" said little Fedka.

"She's not got a cowbut they are only three personsand Martha'sfamily are five" objected the elder boy.

"But the other's a widow" the pink boy saidstanding up forAnisia.

"You say Anisia is a widowand 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 boyusing thisexpressioncommon 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 sittingthe sixth month thereand the wife goes begging. There are three children and asick grandmother" he went on with his detailed account.

"And where does she live?" Nekhludoff asked.

"In this very house" answered the boypointing to a hutin frontof whichon the footpath along which Nekhludoff was walkinga tinyflaxen-headed infant stood balancing himself with difficulty on his ricketylegs.

"Vaska! Where's the little scamp got to?" shouted a womanwith adirty grey blouseand a frightened lookas she ran out of the houseandrushing forwardseized the baby before Nekhludoff came up to itand carried itinjust as if she were afraid that Nekhludoff would hurt her child.

This was the woman whose husband was imprisoned for Nekhludoff's birch trees.

"Welland this Matronais she also poor?" Nekhludoff askedasthey came up to Matrona's house.

"She poor? No. Whyshe sells spirits" the thinpink little boyanswered decidedly.

When they reached the house Nekhludoff left the boys outside and went throughthe passage into the hut. The hut was 14 feet long. The bed that stood behindthe big stove was not long enough for a tall person to stretch out on. "Andon this very bed" Nekhludoff thought"Katusha bore her baby and layill afterwards." The greater part of the hut was taken up by a loomonwhich the old woman and her eldest granddaughter were arranging the warp whenNekhludoff came instriking his forehead against the low doorway. Two othergrandchildren came rushing in after Nekhludoffand stoppedholding on to thelintels of the door.

"Whom do you want?" asked the old womancrossly. She was in a badtemper because she could not manage to get the warp rightandbesidescarrying on an illicit trade in spiritsshe was always afraid when any strangercame in.

"I am--the owner of the neighbouring estatesand should like to speakto you."

"Dear me; whyit's youmy honey; and Ifoolthought it was just somepasser-by. Dear meyou--it's youmy precious" said the old womanwithsimulated tenderness in her voice.

"I should like to speak to you alone" said Nekhludoffwith aglance towards the doorwhere the children were standingand behind them awoman holding a wastedpale babywith a sickly smile on its facewho had alittle cap made of different bits of stuff on its head.

"What are you staring at? I'll give it you. Just hand me mycrutch" the old woman shouted to those at the door.

"Shut the doorwill you!" The children went awayand the womanclosed the door.

"And I was thinkingwho's that? And it's 'the master' himself. Myjewelmy treasure. Just think" said the old woman"where he hasdeigned to come. Sit down hereyour honour" she saidwiping the seatwith her apron. "And I was thinking what devil is it coming inand it'syour honour' the master' himselfthe good gentlemanour benefactor. Forgivemeold fool that I am; I'm getting blind."

Nekhludoff sat downand the old woman stood in front of himleaning hercheek on her right handwhile the left held up the sharp elbow of her rightarm.

"Dear meyou have grown oldyour honour; and you used to be as freshas a daisy. And now! Cares alsoI expect?"

"This is what I have come about: Do you remember Katusha Maslova?"

"Katerina? I should think so. Whyshe is my niece. How could I helpremembering; and the tears I have shed because of her. WhyI know all about it.Ehsirwho has not sinned before God? who has not offended against the Tsar?We know what youth is. You used to be drinking tea and coffeeso the devil gothold of you. He is strong at times. What's to be done? Nowif you had chuckedher; but nojust see how you rewarded hergave her a hundred roubles. And she?What has she done? Had she but listened to me she might have lived all right. Imust say the truththough she is my niece: that girl's no good. What a goodplace I found her! She would not submitbut abused her master. Is it for thelikes of us to scold gentlefolk? Wellshe was sent away. And then at theforester's. She might have lived there; but noshe would not."

"I want to know about the child. She was confined at your housewas shenot? Where's the child?"

"As to the childI considered that well at the time. She was so bad Inever thought she would get up again. Wellso I christened the baby quiteproperlyand we sent it to the Foundlings'. Why should one let an innocent soullanguish when the mother is dying? Others do like this. they just leave thebabydon't feed itand it wastes away. Butthinks Ino; I'd rather take sometroubleand send it to the Foundlings'. There was money enoughso I sent itoff."

"Did you not get its registration number from the Foundlings'Hospital?"

"Yesthere was a numberbut the baby died" she said. "Itdied as soon as she brought it there."

"Who is she?"

"That same woman who used to live in Skorodno. She made a business ofit. Her name was Malania. She's dead now. She was a wise woman. What do youthink she used to do? They'd bring her a babyand she'd keep it and feed it;and she'd feed it until she had enough of them to take to the Foundlings'. Whenshe had three or fourshe'd take them all at once. She had such a cleverarrangementa sort of big cradle--a double one she could put them in one way orthe other. It had a handle. So she'd put four of them infeet to feet and theheads apartso that they should not knock against each other. And so she tookfour at once. She'd put some pap in a rag into their mouths to keep 'em silentthe pets."

"Wellgo on."

"Wellshe took Katerina's baby in the same wayafter keeping it afortnightI believe. It was in her house it began to sicken."

"And was it a fine baby?" Nekhludoff asked.

"Such a babythat if you wanted a finer you could not find one. Yourvery image" the old woman addedwith a wink.

"Why did it sicken? Was the food bad?"

"Ehwhat food? Only just a pretence of food. Naturallywhen it's notone's own child. Only enough to get it there alive. She said she just managed toget it to Moscowand there it died. She brought a certificate--all in order.She was such a wise woman."

That was all Nekhludoff could find out concerning his child

CHAPTER VI. REFLECTIONS OF A LANDLORD.

 

Again striking his head against both doorsNekhludoff went out into thestreetwhere the pink and the white boys were waiting for him. A few newcomerswere standing with them. Among the womenof whom several had babies in theirarmswas the thin woman with the baby who had the patchwork cap on its head.She held lightly in her arms the bloodless infantwho kept strangely smilingall over its wizened little faceand 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 yourlivelihood?"

"How do I live? I go begging" said Anisiaand began to cry.

Nekhludoff took out his pocket-bookand gave the woman a 10-rouble note. Hehad not had time to take two steps before another woman with a baby caught himupthen an old womanthen another young one. All of them spoke of theirpovertyand asked for help. Nekhludoff gave them the 60 roubles--all in smallnotes--which he had with himandterribly sad at heartturned homei.e.tothe foreman's house.

The foreman met Nekhludoff with a smileand informed him that the peasantswould come to the meeting in the evening. Nekhludoff thanked himand wentstraight into the garden to stroll along the paths strewn over with the petalsof apple-blossom and overgrown with weedsand to think over all he had seen.

At first all was quietbut soon Nekhludoff heard from behind the foreman'shouse two angry women's voices interrupting each otherand now and then thevoice of the ever-smiling foreman. Nekhludoff listened.

"My strength's at an end. What are you aboutdragging the very cross[those baptized in the Russo-Greek Church always wear a cross round their necks]off my neck" said an angry woman's voice.

"But she only got in for a moment" said another voice. "Giveit her backI tell you. Why do you torment the beastand the childrentoowho want their milk?"

"Paythenor work it off" said the foreman's voice.

Nekhludoff left the garden and entered the porchnear which stood twodishevelled women--one of them pregnant and evidently near her time. On one ofthe steps of the porchwith his hands in the pockets of his holland coatstoodthe foreman. When they saw the masterthe women were silentand beganarranging the kerchiefs on their headsand the foreman took his hands out ofhis pockets and began to smile.

This is what had happened. From the foreman's wordsit seemed that thepeasants were in the habit of letting their calves and even their cows into themeadow belonging to the estate. Two cows belonging to the families of these twowomen were found in the meadowand driven into the yard. The foreman demandedfrom the women 30 copecks for each cow or two days' work. The womenhowevermaintained that the cows had got into the meadow of their own accord; that theyhad no moneyand asked that the cowswhich had stood in the blazing sun sincemorning without foodpiteously lowingshould he returned to themeven if ithad 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 foremanlooking back at Nekhludoff as if calling upon him to be a witness"if youdrive your cattle home at noonthat you should have an eye on them?"

"I only ran to my little one for a bitand 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 breastIsuppose?" said the other woman. "Nowif they had really damaged themeadowone would not take it so much to heart; but they only strayed in amoment."

"All the meadows are damaged" the foreman saidturning toNekhludoff. "If I exact no penalty there will be no hay."

"Therenowdon't go sinning like that; my cows have never been caughtthere before" shouted the pregnant woman."

"Now that one has been caughtpay up or work it off."

"All rightI'll work it off; only let me have the cow nowdon'ttorture her with hunger" she criedangrily. "As it isI have norest day or night. Mother-in-law is illhusband taken to drink; I'm all aloneto do all the workand my strength's at an end. I wish you'd chokeyou andyour working it off."

Nekhludoff asked the foreman to let the women take the cowsand went backinto the garden to go on thinking out his problembut there was nothing more tothink about.

Everything seemed so clear to him now that he could not stop wondering how itwas that everybody did not see itand that he himself had for such a long whilenot seen what was so clearly evident. The people were dying outand had gotused to the dying-out processand had formed habits of life adapted to thisprocess: there was the great mortality among the childrenthe over-working ofthe womenthe under-feedingespecially of the aged. And so gradually had thepeople come to this condition that they did not realise the full horrors of itand did not complain. Thereforewe consider their condition natural and as itshould be. Now it seemed as clear as daylight that the chief cause of thepeople's great want was one that they themselves knew and always pointed outi.e.that the land which alone could feed them had been taken from them by thelandlords.

And how evident it was that the children and the aged died because they hadno milkand they had no milk because there was no pasture landand no land togrow corn or make hay on. It was quite evident that all the misery of the peopleorat least by far the greater part of itwas caused by the fact that the landwhich should feed them was not in their handsbut in the hands of those whoprofiting by their rights to the landlive by the work of these people. Theland so much needed by men was tilled by these peoplewho were on the verge ofstarvationso that the corn might be sold abroad and the owners of the landmight buy themselves hats and canesand carriages and bronzesetc. Heunderstood this as clearly as he understood that horses when they have eaten allthe grass in the inclosure where they are kept will have to grow thin and starveunless they are put where they can get food off other land.

This was terribleand must not go on. Means must be found to alter itor atleast not to take part in it. "And I will find them" he thoughtashe walked up and down the path under the birch trees.

In scientific circlesGovernment institutionsand in the papers we talkabout the causes of the poverty among the people and the means of amelioratingtheir condition; but we do not talk of the only sure means which would certainlylighten their conditioni.e.giving back to them the land they need so much.

Henry George's fundamental position recurred vividly to his mind and how hehad once been carried away by itand he was surprised that he could haveforgotten it. The earth cannot be any one's property; it cannot be bought orsold any more than waterairor sunshine. All have an equal right to theadvantages it gives to men. And now he knew why he had felt ashamed to rememberthe transaction at Kousminski. He had been deceiving himself. He knew that noman could have a right to own landyet he had accepted this right as hisandhad given the peasants something whichin the depth of his hearthe knew hehad no right to. Now he would not act in this wayand would alter thearrangement in Kousminski also. And he formed a project in his mind to let theland to the peasantsand to acknowledge the rent they paid for it to be theirpropertyto be kept to pay the taxes and for communal uses. This wasofcoursenot the single-tax systemstill it was as near an approach to it ascould be had under existing circumstances. His chief considerationhoweverwasthat in this way he would no longer profit by the possession of landed property.

When he returned to the house the foremanwith a specially pleasant smileasked him if he would not have his dinner nowexpressing the fear that thefeast his wife was preparingwith the help of the girl with the earringsmightbe overdone.

The table was covered with a coarseunbleached cloth and an embroideredtowel was laid on it in lieu of a napkin. A vieux-saxe soup tureen with a brokenhandle stood on the tablefull of potato soupthe stock made of the fowl thathad put out and drawn in his black legand was now cutor rather choppedinpieceswhich were here and there covered with hairs. After the soup more of thesame fowl with the hairs was served roastedand then curd pastiesvery greasyand with a great deal of sugar. Little appetising as all this wasNekhludoffhardly noticed what he was eating; he was occupied with the thought which had ina moment dispersed the sadness with which he had returned from the village.

The foreman's wife kept looking in at the doorwhilst the frightened maidwith the earrings brought in the dishes; and the foreman smiled more and morejoyfullypriding himself on his wife's culinary skill. After dinnerNekhludoffsucceededwith some troublein making the foreman sit down. In order to revisehis own thoughtsand to express them to some onehe explained his project ofletting the land to the peasantsand asked the foreman for his opinion. Theforemansmiling as if he had thought all this himself long agoand was verypleased to hear itdid not really understand it at all. This was not becauseNekhludoff did not express himself clearlybut because according to thisproject it turned out that Nekhludoff was giving up his own profit for theprofit of othersand the thought that every one is only concerned about his ownprofitto the harm of otherswas so deeply rooted in the foreman's conceptionsthat he imagined he did not understand something when Nekhludoff said that allthe income from the land must be placed to form the communal capital of thepeasants.

"OhI see; then youof coursewill receive the percentages from thatcapital" said the foremanbrightening up.

"Dear me! no. Don't you seeI am giving up the land altogether."

"But then you will not get any income" said the foremansmilingno longer.

"YesI am going to give it up."

The foreman sighed heavilyand then began smiling again. Now he understood.He understood that Nekhludoff was not quite normaland at once began toconsider how he himself could profit by Nekhludoff's project of giving up thelandand tried to see this project in such a way that he might reap someadvantage from it. But when he saw that this was impossible he grew sorrowfuland the project ceased to interest himand he continued to smile only in orderto please the master.

Seeing that the foreman did not understand himNekhludoff let him go and satdown by the window-sillthat was all cut about and inked overand began to puthis project down on paper.

The sun went down behind the limesthat were covered with fresh greenandthe mosquitoes swarmed instinging Nekhludoff. Just as he finished his noteshe heard the lowing of cattle and the creaking of opening gates from thevillageand the voices of the peasants gathering together for the meeting. Hetold the foreman not to call the peasants up to the officeas he meant to gointo the village himself and meet the men where they would assemble. Havinghurriedly drank a cup of tea offered him by the foremanNekhludoff went to thevillage.

CHAPTER VII. THE DISINHERITED.

 

From the crowd assembled in front of the house of the village elder came thesound of voices; but as soon as Nekhludoff came up the talking ceasedand allthe peasants took off their capsjust as those in Kousminski had done. Thepeasants here were of a much poorer class than those in Kousminski. The men woreshoes made of bark and homespun shirts and coats. Some had come straight fromtheir work in their shirts and with bare feet.

Nekhludoff made an effortand began his speech by telling the peasants ofhis intention to give up his land to them altogether. The peasants were silentand the expression on their faces did not undergo any change.

"Because I hold" said Nekhludoff"and believe that every onehas a right to the use of the land."

"That's certain. That's soexactly" said several voices.

Nekhludoff went on to say that the revenue from the land ought to be dividedamong alland that he would therefore suggest that they should rent the land ata price fixed by themselvesthe rent to form a communal fund for their own use.Words of approval and agreement were still to be heardbut the serious faces ofthe peasants grew still more seriousand the eyes that had been fixed on thegentleman droppedas if they were unwilling to put him to shame by letting himsee that every one had understood his trickand that no one would be deceivedby him.

Nekhludoff spoke clearlyand the peasants were intelligentbut they did notand could not understand himfor the same reason that the foreman had so longbeen unable to understand him.

They were fully convinced that it is natural for every man to consider hisown interest. The experience of many generations had proved to them that thelandlords always considered their own interest to the detriment of the peasants.Thereforeif a landlord called them to a meeting and made them some kind of anew offerit could evidently only be in order to swindle them more cunninglythan before.

"Wellthenwhat are you willing to rent the land at? asked Nekhludoff.

"How can we fix a price? We cannot do it. The land is yoursand thepower is in your hands" answered some voices from among the crowd.

"Ohnot at all. You will yourselves have the use of the money forcommunal purposes."

"We cannot do it; the commune is one thingand this is another."

"Don't you understand?" said the foremanwith a smile (he hadfollowed Nekhludoff to the meeting)"the Prince is letting the land to youfor moneyand is giving you the money back to form a capital for thecommune."

"We understand very well" said a crosstoothless old manwithoutraising his eyes. "Something like a bank; we should have to pay at a fixedtime. We do not wish it; it is hard enough as it isand that would ruin uscompletely."

"That's no go. We prefer to go on the old way" began severaldissatisfiedand even rudevoices.

The refusals grew very vehement when Nekhludoff mentioned that he would drawup 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 allthis for? We are ignorant men."

"We can't agreebecause this sort of thing is not what we have beenused to. As it wasso let it continue to be. Only the seeds we should like towithdraw."

This meant that under the present arrangement the seeds had to be provided bythe peasantsand they wanted the landlord to provide them.

"Then am I to understand that you refuse to accept the land?"Nekhludoff askedaddressing a middle-agedbarefooted peasantwith a tatteredcoatand a bright look on his facewho was holding his worn cap with his lefthandin a peculiarly straight positionin the same way soldiers hold theirswhen commanded to take them off.

"Just so" said this peasantwho had evidently not yet rid himselfof the military hypnotism he had been subjected to while serving his time.

"It means that you have sufficient land" said Nekhludoff.

"Nosirwe have not" said the ex-soldierwith an artificiallypleased lookcarefully holding his tattered cap in front of himas if offeringit to any one who liked to make use of it.

"Wellanyhowyou'd better think over what I have said."Nekhludoff spoke with surpriseand again repeated his offer.

"We have no need to think about it; as we have saidso it willbe" angrily muttered the morosetoothless old man.

"I shall remain here another dayand if you change your mindssend tolet me know."

The peasants gave no answer.

So Nekhludoff did not succeed in arriving at any result from this interview.

"If I might make a remarkPrince" said the foremanwhen they gothome"you will never come to any agreement with them; they are soobstinate. At a meeting these people just stick in one placeand there is nomoving them. It is because they are frightened of everything. Whythese verypeasants--say that white-haired oneor the dark onewho were refusingareintelligent peasants. When one of them comes to the office and one makes him sitdown to cup of tea it's like in the Palace of Wisdom--he is quitediplomatist" said the foremansmiling; "he will consider everythingrightly. At a meeting it's a different man--he keeps repeating one and the same. . ."

"Wellcould not some of the more intelligent men he asked to comehere?" said Nekhludoff. "I would carefully explain it to them."

"That can he done" said the smiling foreman.

"Wellthenwould you mind calling them here to-morrow?"

"Ohcertainly I will" said the foremanand smiled still morejoyfully. "I shall call them to-morrow."

"Just hear him; he's not artfulnot he" said a blackhairedpeasantwith an unkempt beardas he sat jolting from side to side on awell-fed mareaddressing an old man in a torn coat who rode by his side. Thetwo men were driving a herd of the peasants' horses to graze in the nightalongside the highroad and secretlyin the landlord's forest.

"Give you the land for nothing--you need only sign--have they not donethe likes of us often enough? Nomy friendnone of your humbug. Nowadays wehave a little sense" he addedand began shouting at a colt that hadstrayed.

He stopped his horse and looked roundbut 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 peasantwith the unkempt beardhearing the cracking of the sorrel stalks that theneighing colt was galloping over as he came running back from the scentedmeadow.

"Do you hear the cracking? We'll have to send the women folk to weed themeadow 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 ofthe landlord's speech. "'Sign' indeedand let him swallow you up."

"That's certain" answered the old man. And then they were silentand the tramping of the horses' feet along the highroad was the only sound to beheard.

CHAPTER VIII. GOD'S PEACE IN THE HEART.

 

When Nekhludoff returned he found that the office had been arranged as abedroom for him. A high bedsteadwith a feather bed and two large pillowshadbeen placed in the room. The bed was covered with a dark red doublebedded silkquiltwhich was elaborately and finely quiltedand very stiff. It evidentlybelonged to the trousseau of the foreman's wife. The foreman offered Nekhludoffthe remains of the dinnerwhich the latter refusedandexcusing himself forthe poorness of the fare and the accommodationhe left Nekhludoff alone.

The peasants' refusal did not at all bother Nekhludoff. On the contrarythough at Kousminski his offer had been accepted and he had even been thankedfor itand here he was met with suspicion and even enmityhe felt contentedand joyful.

It was close and dirty in the office. Nekhludoff went out into the yardandwas going into the gardenbut he remembered: that nightthe window of themaid-servant's roomthe side porchand he felt uncomfortableand did not liketo pass the spot desecrated by guilty memories. He sat down on the doorstepandbreathing in the warm airbalmy with the strong scent of fresh birch leaveshesat for a long time looking into the dark garden and listening to the millthenightingalesand some other bird that whistled monotonously in the bush closeby. The light disappeared from the foreman's window; in the castbehind thebarnappeared the light of the rising moonand sheet lightning began to lightup the dilapidated houseand the bloomingover-grown garden more and morefrequently. It began to thunder in the distanceand a black cloud spread overone-third of the sky. The nightingales and the other birds were silent. Abovethe murmur of the water from the mill came the cackling of geeseand then inthe village and in the foreman's yard the first cocks began to crow earlier thanusualas they do on warmthundery nights. There is a saying that if the cockscrow early the night will be a merry one. For Nekhludoff the night was more thanmerry; it was a happyjoyful night. Imagination renewed the impressions of thathappy summer which he had spent here as an innocent ladand he felt himself ashe had been not only at that but at all the best moments of his life. He notonly remembered but felt as he had felt whenat the age of 14he prayed thatGod would show him the truth; or when as a child he had wept on his mother'slapwhen parting from herand promising to be always goodand never give herpain; he felt as he did when he and Nikolenka Irtenieff resolved always tosupport each other in living a good life and to try to make everybody happy.

He remembered how he had been tempted in Kousminskiso that he had begun toregret the house and the forest and the farm and the landand he asked himselfif he regretted them nowand it even seemed strange to think that he couldregret them. He remembered all he had seen to-day; the woman with the childrenand without her husbandwho was in prison for having cut down trees in his(Nekhludoff's) forestand the terrible Matronawho consideredor at leasttalked as if she consideredthat women of her position must give themselves tothe gentlefolk; he remembered her relation to the babiesthe way in which theywere taken to the Foundlings' Hospitaland the unfortunatesmilingwizenedbaby with the patchwork capdying of starvation. And then he suddenlyremembered the prisonthe shaved headsthe cellsthe disgusting smellsthechainsandby the side of it allthe madly lavish city lift of the richhimself included.

The bright moonnow almost fullrose above the barn. Dark shadows fellacross the yardand the iron roof of the ruined house shone bright. As ifunwilling to waste this lightthe nightingales again began their trills.

Nekhludoff called to mind how he had begun to consider his life in the gardenof Kousminski when deciding what he was going to doand remembered how confusedhe had becomehow he could not arrive at any decisionhow many difficultieseach question had presented. He asked himself these questions nowand wassurprised how simple it all was. It was simple because he was not thinking nowof what would be the results for himselfbut only thought of what he had to do.Andstrange to saywhat he had to do for himself he could not decidebut whathe had to do for others he knew without any doubt. He had no doubt that he mustnot leave Katushabut go on helping her. He had no doubt that he must studyinvestigateclear upunderstand all this business concerning judgment andpunishmentwhich he felt he saw differently to other people. What would resultfrom it all he did not knowbut he knew for certain that he must do it. Andthis firm assurance gave him joy.

The black cloud had spread all over the sky; the lightning flashed vividlyacross the yard and the old house with its tumble-down porchesthe thundergrowled overhead. All the birds were silentbut the leaves rustled and the windreached the step where Nekhludoff stood and played with his hair. One drop camedownthen another; then they came drumming on the dock leaves and on the ironof the roofand all the air was filled by a bright flashand before Nekhludoffcould count three a fearful crash sounded over head and spread pealing all overthe sky.

Nekhludoff went in.

"Yesyes" he thought. "The work that our life accomplishesthe whole of this workthe meaning of it is notnor can beintelligible tome. 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 lawlesslife? To understand itto understand the whole of the Master's will is not inmy power. But to do His willthat is written down in my conscienceis in mypower; that I know for certain. And when I am fulfilling it I have sureness andpeace."

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 intohis roomundressedand lay downnot without fear of the bugswhose presencethe dirtytorn wall-papers made him suspect.

"Yesto feel one's self not the master but a servant" he thoughtand rejoiced at the thought. His fears were not vain. Hardly had he put out hiscandle when the vermin attacked and stung him. "To give up the land and goto Siberia. Fleasbugsdirt! Ahwell; if it must be borneI shall bearit." Butin spite of the best of intentionshe could not bear CHAPTERIX. THE LAND SETTLEMENT.

 

It was morning before Nekhludoff could fall asleepand therefore he woke uplate. At noon seven menchosen from among the peasants at the foreman'sinvitationcame into the orchardwhere the foreman had arranged a table andbenches by digging posts into the groundand fixing boards on the topunderthe apple trees. It took some time before the peasants could be persuaded to puton their caps and to sit down on the benches. Especially firm was theex-soldierwho to-day had bark shoes on. He stood erectholding his cap asthey do at funeralsaccording to military regulation. When one of themarespectable-lookingbroad-shouldered old manwith a curlygrizzly beard likethat of Michael Angelo's "Moses" and grey hair that curled round thebrownbald foreheadput on his big capandwrapping his coat round himgotin behind the table and sat downthe rest followed his example. When all hadtaken their places Nekhludoff sat down opposite themand leaning on the tableover the paper on which he had drawn up his projecthe began explaining it.

Whether it was that there were fewer presentor that he was occupied withthe business in hand and not with himselfanyhowthis time Nekhludoff felt noconfusion. He involuntarily addressed the broad-shouldered old man with whiteringlets in his grizzly beardexpecting approbation or objections from him. ButNekhludoff's conjecture was wrong. The respectable-looking old patriarchthoughhe nodded his handsome head approvingly or shook itand frowned when the othersraised an objectionevidently understood with great difficultyand only whenthe others repeated what Nekhludoff had said in their own words. A littlealmost beardless old fellowblind in one eyewho sat by the side of thepatriarchand had a patched nankeen coat and old boots onandas Nekhludofffound out laterwas an oven-builderunderstood much better. This man moved hisbrows quicklyattending to Nekhludoff's words with an effortand at oncerepeated them in his own way. An oldthick-set man with a white beard andintelligent eyes understood as quicklyand took every opportunity to put in anironical jokeclearly wishing to show off. The ex-soldier seemed also tounderstand mattersbut got mixedbeing used to senseless soldiers' talk. Atall man with a small bearda long noseand a bass voicewho wore cleanhome-made clothes and new bark-plaited shoesseemed to be the one mostseriously interested. This man spoke only when there was need of it. The twoother old menthe same toothless one who had shouted a distinct refusal at themeeting the day before to every proposal of Nekhludoff'sand a tallwhite lameold man with a kind facehis thin legs tightly wrapped round with strips oflinensaid littlethough they listened attentively. First of all Nekhludoffexplained his views in regard to personal property in land. "The landaccording to my ideacan neither he bought nor soldbecause if it could behewho has got the money could buy it alland exact anything he liked for the useof the land from those who have none."

"That's true" said the long-nosed manin a deep bass.

"Just so" said the ex-soldier.

"A woman gathers a little grass for her cow; she's caught andimprisoned" said the white-bearded old man.

"Our own land is five versts awayand as to renting any it'simpossible; the price is raised so high that it won't pay" added thecrosstoothless old man. "They twist us into ropesworse than duringserfdom."

"I think as you doand I count it a sin to possess landso I wish togive it away" said Nekhludoff.

"Wellthat's a good thing" said the old manwith curls likeAngelo's "Moses" evidently thinking that Nekhludoff meant to let theland.

"I have come here because I no longer wish to possess any landand nowwe must consider the best way of dividing it."

"Just give it to the peasantsthat's all" said the crosstoothless old man.

Nekhludoff was abashed for a momentfeeling a suspicion of his not beinghonest in these wordsbut he instantly recoveredand made use of the remarkin order to express what was in his mindin reply.

"I should be glad to give it them" he said"but to whomandhow? To which of the peasants? Whyto your communeand not to that ofDeminsk." (That was the name of a neighbouring village with very littleland.) All were silent. Then the ex-soldier said"Just so."

"Nowthentell me how would you divide the land among the peasants ifyou had to do it?" said Nekhludoff.

"We should divide it up equallyso much for every man" said theoven-builderquickly raising and lowering his brows.

"How else? Of courseso much per man" said the good natured lameman with the white strips of linen round his legs.

Every one confirmed this statementconsidering it satisfactory.

"So much per man? Then are the servants attached to the house also tohave a share?" Nekhludoff asked.

"Ohno" said the ex-soldiertrying to appear bold and merry. Butthe tallreasonable man would not agree with him.

"If one is to divideall must share alike" he saidin his deepbassafter a little consideration.

"It can't be done" said Nekhludoffwho had already prepared hisreply. "If all are to share alikethen those who do not workthemselves--do not plough--will sell their shares to the rich. The rich willagain get at the land. Those who live by working the land will multiplyandland will again be scarce. Then the rich will again get those who need land intotheir 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 ploughingfor himself and who for another.

The tallreasonable man proposed that an arrangement be made so that theyshould all plough communallyand those who ploughed should get the produce andthose who did not should get nothing.

To this communistic project Nekhludoff had also an answer ready. He said thatfor such an arrangement it would be necessary that all should have ploughsandthat all the horses should be alikeso that none should be left behindandthat ploughs and horses and all the implements would have to be communalpropertyand that in order to get thatall the people would have to agree.

"Our people could not be made to agree in a lifetime" said thecross old man.

"We should have regular fights" said the white-bearded old manwith the laughing eyes. "So that the thing is not as simple as itlooks" said Nekhludoff"and this is a thing not only we but manyhave been considering. There is an AmericanHenry George. This is what he hasthought outand I agree with him."

"Whyyou are the masterand you give it as you like. What's it to you?The power is yours" said the cross old man.

This confused Nekhludoffbut he was pleased to see that not he alone wasdissatisfied with this interruption.

You wait a bitUncle Simon; let him tell us about it" said thereasonable manin his imposing bass.

This emboldened Nekhludoffand he began to explain Henry George's single-taxsystem "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 itbut there isgood land and bad landand every one would like to take the good land. How isone to do in order to get it justly divided? In this way: he that will use thegood land must pay those who have got no land the value of the land heuses" Nekhludoff went onanswering his own question. "As it would bedifficult to say who should pay whomand money is needed for communal useitshould be arranged that he who uses the good land should pay the amount of thevalue of his land to the commune for its needs. Then every one would shareequally. If you want to use land pay for it--more for the goodless for the badland. If you do not wish to use landdon't pay anythingand those who use theland will pay the taxes and the communal expenses for you."

"Wellhe had a headthis George" said the oven-buildermovinghis brows. "He who has good land must pay more."

"If only the payment is according to our strength" said the tallman with the bass voiceevidently foreseeing how the matter would end.

"The payment should be not too high and not too low. If it is too highit will not get paidand there will be a loss; and if it is too low it will bebought and sold. There would be a trading in land. This is what I wished toarrange among you here."

"That is justthat is right; yesthat would do" said thepeasants.

"He has a headthis George" said the broad-shouldered old manwith the curls. "See what he has invented."

"Wellthenhow would it be if I wished to take some land?" askedthe smiling foreman.

"If there is an allotment to sparetake it and work it" saidNekhludoff.

"What do you want it for? You have sufficient as it is" said theold man with the laughing eyes.

With this the conference ended.

Nekhludoff repeated his offerand advised the men to talk it over with therest of the commune and to return with the answer.

The peasants said they would talk it over and bring an answerand left in astate of excitement. Their loud talk was audible as they went along the roadand up to late in the night the sound of voices came along the river from thevillage.

The next day the peasants did not go to workbut spent it in considering thelandlord's offer. The commune was divided into two parties--one which regardedthe offer as a profitable one to themselves and saw no danger in agreeing withitand another which suspected and feared the offer it did not understand. Onthe third dayhoweverall agreedand some were sent to Nekhludoff to accepthis offer. They were influenced in their decision by the explanation some of theold men gave of the landlord's conductwhich did away with all fear of deceit.They thought the gentleman had begun to consider his souland was acting as hedid for its salvation. The alms which Nekhludoff had given away while in Panovomade his explanation seem likely. The fact that Nekhludoff had never before beenface to face with such great poverty and so bare a life as the peasants had cometo in this placeand was so appalled by itmade him give away money incharitythough he knew that this was not reasonable. He could not help givingthe moneyof which he now had a great dealhaving received a large sum for theforest he had sold the year beforeand also the hand money for the implementsand stock in Kousminski. As soon as it was known that the master was givingmoney in charitycrowds of peoplechiefly womenbegan to come to ask him forhelp. He did not in the least know how to deal with themhow to decidehowmuchand whom to give to. He felt that to refuse to give moneyof which he hada great dealto poor people was impossibleyet to give casually to those whoasked was not wise. The last day he spent in PanovoNekhludoff looked over thethings left in his aunts' houseand in the bottom drawer of the mahoganywardrobewith the brass lions' heads with rings through themhe found manylettersand amongst them a photograph of a groupconsisting of his auntsSophia Ivanovna and Mary Ivanovnaa studentand Katusha. Of all the things inthe house he took only the letters and the photograph. The rest he left to themiller whoat the smiling foreman's recommendationhad bought the house andall it containedto be taken down and carried awayat one-tenth of the realvalue.

Recalling the feeling of regret at the loss of his property which he had feltin KousminskiNekhludoff was surprised how he could have felt this regret. Nowhe felt nothing but unceasing joy at the deliveranceand a sensation of newnesssomething like that which a traveller must experience when discovering newcountries.

tand sat down by the open window and gazed with admiration at theretreating clouds and the reappearing moon.

CHAPTER X. NEKHLUDOFF RETURNS TO TOWN.

The town struck Nekhludoff in a new and peculiar light on his return. He cameback in the eveningwhen the gas was litand drove from the railway station tohis housewhere the rooms still smelt of naphthaline. Agraphena Petrovna andCorney were both feeling tired and dissatisfiedand had even had a quarrel overthose things that seemed made only to be aired and packed away. Nekhludoff'sroom was emptybut not in orderand the way to it was blocked up with boxesso that his arrival evidently hindered the business whichowing to a curiouskind of inertiawas going on in this house. The evident folly of theseproceedingsin which he had once taken partwas so distasteful to Nekhludoffafter the impressions the misery of the life of the peasants had made on himthat he decided to go to a hotel the next dayleaving Agraphena Petrovna to putaway the things as she thought fit until his sister should come and finallydispose of everything in the house.

Nekhludoff left home early and chose a couple of rooms in a very modest andnot particularly clean lodging-house within easy reach of the prisonandhaving given orders that some of his things should be sent therehe went to seethe advocate. It was cold out of doors. After some rainy and stormy weather ithad turned out coldas it often does in spring. It was so cold that Nekhludofffelt quite chilly in his light overcoatand walked fast hoping to get warmer.His mind was filled with thoughts of the peasantsthe womenchildrenold menand all the poverty and weariness which he seemed to have seen for the firsttimeespecially the smilingold-faced infant writhing with his calfless littlelegsand he could not help contrasting what was going on in the town. Passingby the butchers'fishmongers'and clothiers' shopshe was struckas if hesaw them for the first timeby the appearance of the cleanwell-fedshopkeeperslike whom you could not find one peasant in the country. These menwere apparently convinced that the pains they took to deceive the people who didnot know much about their goods was not a useless but rather an importantbusiness. The coachmen with their broad hips and rows of buttons down theirsidesand the door-keepers with gold cords on their capsthe servant-girlswith their aprons and curly fringesand especially the smart isvostchiks withthe nape of their necks clean shavedas they sat lolling back in their trapsand examined the passers-by with dissolute and contemptuous airlooked wellfed. In all these people Nekhludoff could not now help seeing some of these verypeasants who had been driven into the town by lack of land. Some of the peasantsdriven to the town had found means of profiting by the conditions of town lifeand had become like the gentlefolk and were pleased with their position; otherswere in a worse position than they had been in the country and were more to bepitied than the country people.

Such seemed the bootmakers Nekhludoff saw in the cellarthe paledishevelled washerwomen with their thinbarearms ironing at an open windowout of which streamed soapy steam; such the two house-painters with theirapronsstockingless feetall bespattered and smeared with paintwhomNekhludoff met--their weakbrown arms bared to above the elbows--carrying apailful of paintand quarrelling with each other. Their faces looked haggardand cross. The dark faces of the carters jolting along in their carts bore thesame expressionand so did the faces of the tattered men and women who stoodbegging at the street corners. The same kind of faces were to be seen at theopenwindows of the eating-houses which Nekhludoff passed. By the dirty tableson which stood tea things and bottlesand between which waiters dressed inwhite shirts were rushing hither and thithersat shouting and singing redperspiring men with stupefied faces. One sat by the window with lifted brows andpouting lips and fixed eyes as if trying to remember something.

"And why are they all gathered here?" Nekhludoff thoughtbreathingin together with the dust which the cold wind blew towards him the air filledwith the smell of rank oil and fresh paint.

In one street he met a row of carts loaded with something made of ironthatrattled so on the uneven pavement that it made his ears and head ache. Hestarted walking still faster in order to pass the row of cartswhen he heardhimself called by name. He stopped and saw an officer with sharp pointedmoustaches and shining face who sat in the trap of a swell isvostchik and wavedhis hand in a friendly mannerhis smile disclosing unusually longwhite teeth.

"Nekhludoff! Can it be you?"

Nekhludoff's first feeling was one of pleasure. "AhSchonbock!" heexclaimed joyfully; but he knew the next moment that there was nothing to bejoyful about.

This was that Schonbock who had been in the house of Nekhludoff's aunts thatdayand whom Nekhludoff had quite lost out of sightbut about whom he hadheard that in spite of his debts he had somehow managed to remain in thecavalryand by some means or other still kept his place among the rich. Hisgaycontented appearance corroborated this report.

"What a good thing that I have caught you. There is no one in town. Ahold fellow; you have grown old" he saidgetting out of the trap andmoving his shoulders about. "I only knew you by your walk. Look herewemust dine together. Is there any place where they feed one decently?"

"I don't think I can spare the time" Nekhludoff answeredthinkingonly of how he could best get rid of his companion without hurting him.

"And what has brought you here?" he asked.

"Businessold fellow. Guardianship business. I am a guardian now. I ammanaging Samanoff's affairs--the millionaireyou know. He has softening of thebrainand he's got fifty-four thousand desiatins of land" he saidwithpeculiar prideas if he had himself made all these desiatins. "The affairswere terribly neglected. All the land was let to the peasants. They did not payanything. There were more than eighty thousand roubles debts. I changed it allin one yearand have got 70 per cent. more out of it. What do you think ofthat?" he asked proudly.

Nekhludoff remembered having heard that this Schonbockjust becausehe hadspent all he hadhad attained by some special influence the post of guardian toa rich old man who was squandering his property--and was now evidently living bythis guardianship.

"How am I to get rid of him without offending him?" thoughtNekhludofflooking at this fullshiny face with the stiffened moustache andlistening to his friendlygood-humoured chatter about where one gets fed bestand his bragging about his doings as a guardian.

"Wellthenwhere do we dine?"

"ReallyI have no time to spare" said Nekhludoffglancing at hiswatch.

"Thenlook here. To-nightat the races--will you be there?"

"NoI shall not be there."

"Do come. I have none of my own nowbut I back Grisha's horses. Youremember; he has a fine stud. You'll comewon't you? And we'll have some suppertogether."

"NoI cannot have supper with you either" said Nekhludoff with asmile.

"Wellthat's too bad! And where are you off to now? Shall I give you alift?"

"I am going to see an advocateclose to here round the corner."

"Ohyesof course. You have got something to do with the prisons--haveturned into a prisoners' mediatorI hear" said Schonbocklaughing."The Korchagins told me. They have left town already. What does it allmean? Tell me."

"Yesyesit is quite true" Nekhludoff answered; "but Icannot tell you about it in the street."

"Of course; you always were a crank. But you will come to theraces?"

"No. I neither can nor wish to come. Please do not be angry withme."

"Angry? Dear meno. Where do you live?" And suddenly his facebecame serioushis eyes fixedand he drew up his brows. He seemed to be tryingto remember somethingand Nekhludoff noticed the same dull expression as thatof the man with the raised brows and pouting lips whom he had seen at the windowof the eating-house.

"How cold it is! Is it not? Have you got the parcels?" saidSchonbockturning to the isvostchik.

"All right. Good-bye. I am very glad indeed to have met you" andwarmly pressing Nekhludoff's handhe jumped into the trap and waved hiswhite-gloved hand in front of his shiny facewith his usual smileshowing hisexceptionally white teeth.

"Can I have also been like that?" Nekhludoff thoughtas hecontinued his way to the advocate's. "YesI wished to be like thatthoughI was not quite like it. And I thought of living my life in that way."

CHAPTER XI. AN ADVOCATE'S VIEWS ON JUDGES AND PROSECUTORS.

 

Nekhludoff was admitted by the advocate before his turn. The advocate at oncecommenced to talk about the Menshoffs' casewhich he had read with indignationat the inconsistency of the accusation.

"This case is perfectly revolting" he said; "it is verylikely that the owner himself set fire to the building in order to get theinsurance moneyand the chief thing is that there is no evidence to prove theMenshoffs' guilt. There are no proofs whatever. It is all owing to the specialzeal of the examining magistrate and the carelessness of the prosecutor. If theyare tried hereand not in a provincial courtI guarantee that they will beacquittedand I shall charge nothing. Now thenthe next casethat ofTheodosia Birukoff. The appeal to the Emperor is written. If you go toPetersburgyou'd better take it with youand hand it in yourselfwith arequest of your ownor else they will only make a few inquiriesand nothingwill come of it. You must try and get at some of the influential members of theAppeal Committee."

"Wellis this all?"

"No; here I have a letter . . . I see you have turned into a pipe--aspout through which all the complaints of the prison are poured" said theadvocatewith a smile. "It is too much; you'll not be able to manageit."

"Nobut this is a striking case" said Nekhludoffand gave abrief outline of the case of a peasant who began to read the Gospels to thepeasants in the villageand to discuss them with his friends. The priestsregarded this as a crime and informed the authorities. The magistrate examinedhim and the public prosecutor drew up an act of indictmentand the law courtscommitted him for trial.

"This is really too terrible" Nekhludoff said. "Can it betrue?"

"What are you surprised at?"

"Whyeverything. I can understand the police-officerwho simply obeysordersbut the prosecutor drawing up an act of that kind. An educated man . .."

"That is where the mistake liesthat we are in the habit of consideringthat the prosecutors and the judges in general are some kind of liberal persons.There was a time when they were suchbut now it is quite different. They arejust officialsonly troubled about pay-day. They receive their salaries andwant them increasedand there their principles end. They will accusejudgeand sentence any one you like."

"Yes; but do laws really exist that can condemn a man to Siberia forreading the Bible with his friends?"

"Not only to be exiled to the less remote parts of Siberiabut even tothe minesif you can only prove that reading the Bible they took the liberty ofexplaining it to others not according to ordersand in this way condemned theexplanations given by the Church. Blaming the Greek orthodox religion in thepresence of the common people meansaccording to Statute . . . the mines."

"Impossible!"

"I assure you it is so. I always tell these gentlementhe judges"the advocate continued"that I cannot look at them without gratitudebecause if I am not in prisonand youand all of usit is only owing to theirkindness. To deprive us of our privilegesand send us all to the less remoteparts of Siberiawould be an easy thing for them."

"Wellif it is soand if everything depends on the Procureur andothers who canat willeither enforce the laws or notwhat are the trialsfor?"

The advocate burst into a merry laugh. "You do put strange questions. Mydear sirthat is philosophy. Wellwe might have a talk about thattoo. Couldyou come on Saturday? You will meet men of scienceliterary menand artists atmy houseand then we might discuss these general questions" said theadvocatepronouncing the words "general questions" with ironicalpathos. "You have met my wife? Do come."

"Thank you; I will try to" said Nekhludoffand felt that he wassaying an untruthand knew that if he tried to do anything it would be to keepaway froth the advocate's literary eveningand the circle of the men ofscienceartand literature.

The laugh with which the advocate met Nekhludoff's remark that trials couldhave no meaning if the judges might enforce the laws or notaccording to theirnotionand the tone with which he pronounced the words "philosophy"and "general questions" proved to Nekhludoff how very differently heand the advocate andprobablythe advocate's friendslooked at things; and hefelt that in spite of the distance that now existed between himself and hisformer companionsSchonbocketc.the difference between himself and thecircle of the advocate and his friends was still greater.

CHAPTER XII.

WHY THE PEASANTS FLOCK TO TOWN.

The prison was a long way off and it was getting lateso Nekhludoff took anisvostchik. The isvostchika middle-aged man with an intelligent and kind faceturned round towards Nekhludoff as they were driving along one of the streetsand pointed to a huge house that was being built there.

"Just see what a tremendous house they have begun to build" hesaidas if he was partly responsible for the building of the house and proud ofit. 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 ironbands and a plank wall separated the building from the street.

On the boards of the scaffolding workmenall bespattered with plastermovedhither and thither like ants. Some were laying brickssome hewing stonessomecarrying up the heavy hods and pails and bringing them down empty. A fat andfinely-dressed gentleman--probably the architect--stood by the scaffoldingpointing upward and explaining something to a contractora peasant from theVladimir Governmentwho was respectfully listening to him. Empty carts werecoming out of the gate by which the architect and the contractor were standingand loaded ones were going in. "And how sure they all are--those that dothe work as well as those that make them do it--that it ought to be; that whiletheir wives at homewho are with childare labouring beyond their strengthand their children with the patchwork capsdoomed soon to the cold gravesmilewith suffering and contort their little legsthey must be building this stupidand useless palace for some stupid and useless person--one of those who spoiland rob them" Nekhludoff thoughtwhile looking at the house.

"Yesit is a stupid house" he saiduttering his thought outaloud.

"Why stupid?" replied the isvostchikin an offended tone."Thanks to itthe people get work; it's not stupid."

"But the work is useless."

"It can't be uselessor why should it be done?" said theisvostchik. "The people get bread by it."

Nekhludoff was silentand it would have been difficult to talk because ofthe clatter the wheels made.

When they came nearer the prisonand the isvostchik turned off the paved onto the macadamised roadit became easier to talkand he again turned toNekhludoff.

"And what a lot of these people are flocking to the town nowadays; it'sawful" he saidturning round on the box and pointing to a party ofpeasant workmen who were coming towards themcarrying sawsaxessheepskinscoatsand bags strapped to their shoulders.

"More than in other years?" Nekhludoff asked.

"By far. This year every place is crowdedso that it's just terrible.The employers just fling the workmen about like chaff. Not a job to begot."

"Why is that?"

"They've increased. There's no room for them."

"Wellwhat if they have increased? Why do not they stay in thevillage?"

"There's nothing for them to do in the village--no land to be had."

Nekhludoff felt as one does when touching a sore place. It feels as if thebruised part was always being hit; yet it is only because the place is sore thatthe touch is felt.

"Is it possible that the same thing is happening everywhere?" hethoughtand began questioning the isvostchik about the quantity of land in hisvillagehow much land the man himself hadand why he had left the country.

"We have a desiatin per mansir" he said. "Our family havethree men's shares of the land. My father and a brother are at homeand managethe landand another brother is serving in the army. But there's nothing tomanage. My brother has had thoughts of coming to Moscowtoo."

"And cannot land be rented?

"How's one to rent it nowadays? The gentrysuch as they werehavesquandered all theirs. Men of business have got it all into their own hands. Onecan't rent it from them. They farm it themselves. We have a Frenchman ruling inour place; he bought the estate from our former landlordand won't let it--andthere's an end of it."

"Who's that Frenchman?"

"Dufour is the Frenchman's name. Perhaps you've heard of him. He makeswigs for the actors in the big theatre; it is a good businessso he'sprospering. He bought it from our ladythe whole of the estateand now he hasus in his power; he just rides on us as he pleases. The Lord be thankedhe is agood man himself; only his wifea Russianis such a brute that--God have mercyon us. She robs the people. It's awful. Wellhere's the prison. Am I to driveyou to the entrance? I'm afraid they'll not let us do itthough."

CHAPTER XIII. NURSE MASLOVA.

 

When he rang the bell at the front entrance Nekhludoff's heart stood stillwith horror as he thought of the state he might find Maslova in to-dayand atthe mystery that he felt to be in her and in the people that were collected inthe prison. He asked the jailer who opened the door for Maslova. After makingthe necessary inquiry the jailer informed him that she was in the hospital.Nekhludoff went there. A kindly old manthe hospital doorkeeperlet him in atonce andafter asking Nekhludoff whom he wanteddirected him to the children'sward. A young doctor saturated with carbolic acid met Nekhludoff in the passageand asked him severely what he wanted. This doctor was always making all sortsof concessions to the prisonersand was therefore continually coming intoconflict with the prison authorities and even with the head doctor. Fearing lestNekhludoff should demand something unlawfuland wishing to show that he made noexceptions for any onehe pretended to be cross. "There are no women here;it is the children's ward" he said.

"YesI know; but a prisoner has been removed here to be an assistantnurse."

"Yesthere are two such here. Then whom do you want?"

"I am closely connected with one of themnamed Maslova"Nekhludoff answered"and should like to speak to her. I am going toPetersburg to hand in an appeal to the Senate about her case and should like togive her this. It is only a photo" Nekhludoff saidtaking an envelope outof his pocket.

"All rightyou may do that" said the doctorrelentingandturning to an old woman with a white apronhe told her to call theprisoner--Nurse Maslova.

"Will you take a seator go into the waiting-room?

"Thanks" said Nekhludoffand profiting by the favourable changein the manner of the doctor towards him asked how they were satisfied withMaslova in the hospital.

"Ohshe is all right. She works fairly wellif you the conditions ofher former life into account. But here she is."

The old nurse came in at one of the doorsfollowed by Maslovawho wore ablue striped dressa white aprona kerchief that quite covered her hair. Whenshe saw Nekhludoff her face flushedand she stopped as if hesitatingthenfrownedand with downcast eyes went quickly towards him along the strip ofcarpet in the middle of the passage. When she came up to Nekhludoff she did notwish to give him her handand then gave itgrowing redder still. Nekhludoffhad not seen her since the day when she begged forgiveness for having been in apassionand he expected to find her the same as she was then. But to-day shequite different. There was something new in the expression of her facereserveand shynessandas it seemed to himanimosity towards him. He told her whathe had already said to the doctori.e.that he was going to Petersburgand hehanded 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 eyebrowsshe looked at him with surprise in her squintingeyesas if asking"What is this for?" took the photo silently andput it in the bib of her apron

"I saw your aunt there" said Nekhludoff.

"Did you?" she saidindifferently.

"Are you all right here?" Nekhludoff asked.

"Ohyesit's all right" she said.

"Not too difficult?"

"Ohno. But I am not used to it yet."

"I am gladfor your sake. Anyhowit is better than there."

"Than where--there?" she askedher 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 bethere."

"There are many good ones there" she said.

"I have been seeing about the Menshoffsand hope they will beliberated" said Nekhludoff.

"God grant they may. Such a splendid old woman" she saidagainrepeating her opinion of the old womanand slightly smiling.

"I am going to Petersburg to-day. Your case will come on soonand Ihope the sentence will be repealed."

"Whether it is repealed or not won't matter now" she said.

"Why not now?"

"So" she saidlooking with a quickquestioning glance into hiseyes.

Nekhludoff understood the word and the look to mean that she wished to knowwhether 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. "Itcertainly does not matter as far as I am concerned whether you are acquitted ornot. 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 andbeyond himand her face beamed with joy. But the words she spoke were verydifferent 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 thatand there is no usespeaking" she saidwith difficulty repressing a smile.

A sudden noise came from the hospital wardand the sound of a child crying.

"I think they are calling me" she saidand looked round uneasily.

"Wellgood-byethen" he said. She pretended not to see hisextended handandwithout taking itturned away and hastily walked along thestrip of carpettrying to hide the triumph she felt.

"What is going on in her? What is she thinking? What does she feel? Doesshe mean to prove meor can she really not forgive me? Is it that she cannot orthat she will not express what she feels and thinks? Has she softened orhardened?" he asked himselfand could find no answer. He only knew thatshe had altered and that an important change was going on in her souland thischange united him not only to her but also to Him for whose sake that change wasbeing wrought. And this union brought on a state of joyful animation andtenderness.

When she returned to the wardin which there stood eight small bedsMaslovabeganin obedience to the nurse's orderto arrange one of the beds; andbending over too far with the sheetshe slipped and nearly fell down.

A little convalescent boy with a bandaged neckwho was looking at herlaughed. Maslova could no longer contain herself and burst into loud laughterand such contagious laughter that several of the children also burst outlaughingand one of the sisters rebuked her angrily.

"What are you giggling at? Do you think you are where you used to be? Goand fetch the food." Maslova obeyed and went where she was sent; butcatching the eye of the bandaged boy who was not allowed to laughshe againburst out laughing.

Whenever she was alone Maslova again and again pulled the photograph partlyout of the envelope and looked at it admiringly; but only in the evening whenshe was off duty and alone in the bedroom which she shared with a nursedid shetake it quite out of the envelope and gaze long at the faded yellow photographcaressing withher eyes every detail of faces and clothingthe steps of theverandaand the bushes which served as a background to his and hers and hisaunts' facesand could not cease from admiring especially herself--her prettyyoung face with the curly hair round the forehead. She was so absorbed that shedid not hear her fellow-nurse come into the room.

"What is it that he's given you?" said the good-naturedfat nursestooping over the photograph.

"Who's this? You?"

"Who else?" said Maslovalooking into her companion's face with asmile.

"And who's this?"

"Himself."

"And is this his mother?"

"Nohis aunt. Would you not have known me?"

"Never. The whole face is altered. Whyit must be 10 years sincethen."

"Not yearsbut a lifetime" said Maslova. And suddenly heranimation wenther face grew gloomyand a deep line appeared between herbrows.

"Why so? Your way of life must have been an easy one."

"Easyindeed" Maslova reiteratedclosing her eyes and shakingher head. "It is hell."

"Whywhat makes it so?"

"What makes it so! From eight till four in the morningand every nightthe same!"

"Then why don't they give it up?"

"They can't give it up if they want to. But what's the use oftalking?" Maslova saidjumping up and throwing the photograph into thedrawer of the table. And with difficulty repressing angry tearsshe ran outinto the passage and slammed the door.

While looking at the group she imagined herself such as she was there anddreamt 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 hadbeenand brought back all the horrors of that lifewhich she had felt butdimlyand not allowed herself to realise.

It was only now that the memory of all those terrible nights came vividlyback to herespecially one during the carnival when she was expecting a studentwho had promised to buy her out. She remembered how she--wearing her low neckedsilk dress stained with winea red bow in her untidy hairweariedweakhalftipsyhaving seen her visitors offsat down during an interval in the dancingby the piano beside the bony pianiste with the blotchy facewho played theaccompaniments to the violinand began complaining of her hard fate; and howthis pianiste said that shetoowas feeling how heavy her position was andwould like to change it; and how Clara suddenly came up to them; and how theyall three decided to change their life. They thought that the night was overand were about to go awaywhen suddenly the noise of tipsy voices was herd inthe ante-room. The violinist played a tune and the pianiste began hammering thefirst figure of a quadrille on the pianoto the tune of a most merry Russiansong. A smallperspiring mansmelling of spiritswith a white tie andswallow-tail coatwhich he took off after the first figurecame up to herhiccoughingand caught her upwhile another fat manwith a beardand alsowearing a dress-coat (they had come straight from a ball) caught Clara upandfor a long time they turneddancedscreameddrank. . . . And so it went onfor another yearand anotherand a third. How could she help changing? And hewas the cause of it all. Andsuddenlyall her former bitterness against himreawoke; she wished to scoldto reproach him. She regretted having neglectedthe opportunity of repeating to him once more that she knew himand would notgive in to him--would not let him make use of her spiritually as he had donephysically.

And she longed for drink in order to stifle the feeling of pity to herselfand the useless feeling of reproach to him. And she would have broken her wordif she had been inside the prison. Here she could not get any spirits except byapplying to the medical assistantand she was afraid of him because he made upto herand intimate relations with men were disgusting to her now. Aftersitting a while on a form in the passage she returned to her little roomandwithout paying any heed to her companion's wordsshe wept for a long time overher wrecked life.

CHAPTER XIV. AN ARISTOCRATIC CIRCLE.

 

Nekhludoff had four matters to attend to in Petersburg. The first was theappeal to the Senate in Maslova's case; the secondto hand in TheodosiaBirukoff's petition to the committee; the thirdto comply with Vera Doukhova'srequests--i.e.try to get her friend Shoustova released from prisonand getpermission for a mother to visit her son in prison. Vera Doukhova had written tohim about thisand he was going to the Gendarmerie Office to attend to thesetwo matterswhich he counted as one.

The fourth matter he meant to attend to was the case of some sectarians whohad been separated from their families and exiled to the Caucasus because theyread and discussed the Gospels. It was not so much to them as to himself he hadpromised to do all he could to clear up this affair.

Since his last visit to Maslennikoffand especially since he had been in thecountryNekhludoff had not exactly formed a resolution but felt with his wholenature a loathing for that society in which he had lived till thenthat societywhich so carefully hides the sufferings of millions in order to assure ease andpleasure to a small number of peoplethat the people belonging to this societydo not and cannot see these sufferingsnor the cruelty and wickedness of theirlife. Nekhludoff could no longer move in this society without feeling ill atease and reproaching himself. And yet all the ties of relationship andfriendshipand his own habitswere drawing him back into this society.Besidesthat which alone interested him nowhis desire to help Maslova and theother sufferersmade it necessary to ask for help and service from personsbelonging to that societypersons whom he not only could not respectbut whooften aroused in him indignation and a feeling of contempt.

When he came to Petersburg and stopped at his aunt's--his mother's sisterthe Countess Tcharskywife of a former minister--Nekhludoff at once foundhimself in the very midst of that aristocratic circle which had grown so foreignto him. This was very unpleasantbut there was no possibility of getting out ofit. To put up at an hotel instead of at his aunt's house would have been tooffend his auntandbesideshis aunt had important connections and might beextremely useful in all these matters he meant to attend to.

"What is this I hear about you? All sorts of marvels" said theCountess Katerina Ivanovna Tcharskyas she gave him his coffee immediatelyafter his arrival. "Vous posez pour un Howard. Helping criminalsgoing theround of prisonssetting things right."

"Ohno. I never thought of it."

"Why not? It is a good thingonly there seems to be some romantic storyconnected with it. Let us hear all about it."

Nekhludoff told her the whole truth about his relations to Maslova.

"YesyesI remember your poor mother telling me about it. That waswhen you were staying with those old women. I believe they wished to marry youto their ward (the Countess Katerina Ivanovna had always despised Nekhludoff'saunts on his father's side). So it's she. Elle est encore jolie?"

Katerina Ivanovna was a strongbrightenergetictalkative woman of 60. Shewas tall and very stoutand had a decided black moustache on her lip.Nekhludoff was fond of her and had even as a child been infected by her energyand mirth.

"Noma tantethat's at an end. I only wish to help herbecause she isinnocently accused. "I am the cause of it and the cause of her fate beingwhat it is. I feel it my duty to do all I can for her."

"But what is this I have heard about your intention of marryingher?"

"Yesit was my intentionbut she does not wish it."

Katerina Ivanovna looked at her nephew with raised brows and droopingeyeballsin silent amazement. Suddenly her face changedand with a look ofpleasure she said: "Wellshe is wiser than you. Dear meyou are a fool.And you would have married her?

"Most certainly."

"After her having been what she was?"

"All the moresince I was the cause of it."

"Wellyou are a simpleton" said his auntrepressing a smile"a terrible simpleton; but it is just because you are such a terriblesimpleton that I love you." She repeated the wordevidently liking itasit 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--theMagdalene Home. I went there once. They are terribly disgusting. After that Ihad to pray continually. But Aline is devoted to itbody and soulso we shallplace her there--yoursI mean."

"But she is condemned to Siberia. I have come on purpose to appeal aboutit. This is one of my requests to you."

"Dear meand where do you appeal to in this case?"

"To the Senate."

"Ahthe Senate! Yesmy dear Cousin Leo is in the Senatebut he is inthe heraldry departmentand I don't know any of the real ones. They are allsome kind of Germans--GayFayDay--tout l'alphabetor else all sorts ofIvanoffsSimenoffsNikitinesor else IvanenkosSimonenkosNikitenkospourvarier. Des gens de l'autre monde. Wellit is all the same. I'll tell myhusbandhe knows them. He knows all sorts of people. I'll tell himbut youwill have to explainhe never understands me. Whatever I may sayhe alwaysmaintains he does not understand it. C'est un parti prisevery one understandsbut only not he."

At this moment a footman with stockinged legs came in with a note on a silverplatter.

"There nowfrom Aline herself. You'll have a chance of hearingKiesewetter."

"Who is Kiesewetter?"

"Kiesewetter? Come this eveningand you will find out who he is. Hespeaks in such a way that the most hardened criminals sink on their knees andweep and repent."

The Countess Katerina Ivanovnahowever strange it may seemand howeverlittle it seemed in keeping with the rest of her characterwas a staunchadherent to that teaching which holds that the essence of Christianity lies inthe belief in redemption. She went to meetings where this teachingthen infashionwas being preachedand assembled the "faithful" in her ownhouse. Though this teaching repudiated all ceremoniesiconsand sacramentsKaterina Ivanovna had icons in every roomand one on the wall above her bedand she kept all that the Church prescribed without noticing any contradictionin that.

"There now; if your Magdalene could hear him she would beconverted" said the Countess. "Do stay at home to-night; you willhear him. He is a wonderful man."

"It does not interest mema tante."

"But I tell you that it is interestingand you must come home. Now youmay 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 BaronKriegsmuth. Cest un tres brave homme. Ohbut you know him; he was a comrade ofyour father's. Il donne dans le spiritisme. But that does not matterhe is agood fellow. What do you want there?"

"I want to get leave for a mother to visit her son who is imprisonedthere. But I was told that this did not depend on Kriegsmuth but onTcherviansky."

"I do not like Tchervianskybut he is Mariette's husband; we might askher. She will do it for me. Elle est tres gentille."

"I have also to petition for a woman who is imprisoned there withoutknowing what for."

"No fear; she knows well enough. They all know it very welland itserves them rightthose short-haired [many advanced women wear their hairshortlike 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 sopitiless."

"That has nothing to do with it. The Gospels are the Gospelsbut whatis disgusting remains disgusting. It would be worse if I pretended to loveNihilistsespecially short-haired women Nihilistswhen I cannot bearthem."

"Why can you not bear them?"

"You ask whyafter the 1st of March?" [The Emperor Alexander IIwas killed on the first of Marchold 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 Marietteand these are goodness knows what. Wantto 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 thecountry. Is it necessarythat the peasants should work to the very limits oftheir strength and never have sufficient to eat while we are living in thegreatest luxury?" said Nekhludoffinvoluntarily led on by his aunt's goodnature into telling her what he was in his thoughts.

"What do you wantthen? That I should work and not eat anything?"

"NoI do not wish you not to eat. I only wish that we should all workand all eat." He could not help smiling as he said it.

Again raising her brow and drooping her eyeballs his aunt look at himcuriously. "Mon cher vous finirez mal" she said.

Just then the generaland former ministerCountess Tcharsky's husbandatallbroad-shouldered mancame into the room.

"AhDmitrihow d'you do?" he saidturning his freshly-shavedcheek to Nekhludoff to be kissed. "When did you get here?" And hesilently kissed his wife on the forehead.

"Non il est impayable" the Countess saidturning to her husband."He wants me to go and wash clothes and live on potatoes. He is an awfulfoolbut all the same do what he is going to ask of you. A terriblesimpleton" she added. "Have you heard? Kamenskaya is in such despairthat they fear for her life" she said to her husband. "You should goand call there."

"Yes; it is dreadful" said her husband.

"Go alongthenand talk to him. I must write some letters."

Hardly had Nekhludoff stepped into the room next the drawing-room than shecalled him back.

"Shall I write to Mariettethen?"

"Pleasema tante."

"I shall leave a blank for what you want to say about the short-hairedoneand she will give her husband his ordersand he'll do it. Do not think mewicked; they are all so disgustingyour prologuesbut je ne leur veux pas demalbother them. Wellgobut be sure to stay at home this evening to hearKiesewetterand we shall have some prayers. And if only you do not resist celavous fera beaucoup de bien. I know your poor mother and all of you were alwaysvery backward in these things."

CHAPTER XV. AN AVERAGE STATESMAN.

 

Count Ivan Michaelovitch had been a ministerand was a man of strongconvictions. The convictions of Count Ivan Michaelovitch consisted in the beliefthatjust as it was natural for a bird to feed on wormsto be clothed infeathers and downand to fly in the airso it was natural for him to feed onthe choicest and most expensive foodprepared by highly-paid cooksto wear themost comfortable and most expensive clothingto drive with the best and fastesthorsesand thatthereforeall these things should be ready found for him.Besides thisCount Ivan Michaelovitch considered that the more money he couldget out of the treasury by all sorts of meansthe more orders he hadincludingdifferent diamond insignia of something or otherand the oftener he spoke tohighly-placed individuals of both sexesso much the better it was.

All the rest Count Ivan Michaelovitch considered insignificant anduninteresting beside these dogmas. All the rest might be as it wasor just thereverse. Count Ivan Michaelovitch lived and acted according to these lights for40 yearsand at the end of 40 years reached the position of a Minister ofState. The chief qualities that enabled Count Ivan Michaelovitch to reach thisposition were his capacity of understanding the meaning of documents and lawsand of drawing upthough clumsilyintelligible State papersand of spellingthem correctly; secondlyhis very stately appearancewhich enabled himwhennecessaryto seem not only extremely proudbut unapproachable and majesticwhile at other times he could be abjectly and almost passionately servile;thirdlythe absence of any general principles or ruleseither of personal oradministrative moralitywhich made it possible for him either to agree ordisagree with anybody according to what was wanted at the time. When acting thushis only endeavour was to sustain the appearance of good breeding and not toseem too plainly inconsistent. As for his actions being moral or notinthemselvesor whether they were going to result in the highest welfare orgreatest evil for the whole of the Russian Empireor even the entire worldthat was quite indifferent to him. When he became ministernot only thosedependent on him (and there were great many of them) and people connected withhimbut many strangers and even he himself were convinced that he was a veryclever statesman. But after some time had elapsed and he had done nothing andhad nothing to showand when in accordance with the law of the struggle forexistence otherslike himselfwho had learnt to write and understanddocumentsstately and unprincipled officialshad displaced himhe turned outto be not only far from clever but very limited and badly educated. Thoughself-assuredhis views hardly reaching the level of those in the leadingarticles of the Conservative papersit became apparent that there was nothingin him to distinguish him from those other badly-educated and self-assuredofficials who had pushed him outand he himself saw it. But this did not shakehis conviction that he had to receive a great deal of money out of the Treasuryevery yearand new decorations for his dress clothes. This conviction was sofirm that no one had the pluck to refuse these things to himand he receivedyearlypartly in form of a pensionpartly as a salary for being a member in aGovernment institution and chairman of all sorts of committees and councilsseveral tens of thousands of roublesbesides the right--highly prized byhim--of sewing all sorts of new cords to his shoulders and trousersand ribbonsto wear under and enamel stars to fix on to his dress coat. In consequence ofthis Count Ivan Michaelovitch had very high connections.

Count Ivan Michaelovitch listened to Nekhludoff as he was wont to listen tothe reports of the permanent secretary of his departmentandhaving heard himsaid he would give him two notesone to the Senator Wolffof the AppealDepartment. "All sorts of things are reported of himbut dans tous les casc'est un homme tres comme ii faut" he said. "He is indebted to meand will do all that is possible." The other note Count Ivan Michaelovitchgave Nekhludoff was to an influential member of the Petition Committee. Thestory of Theodosia Birukoff as told by Nekhludoff interested him very much. WhenNekhludoff said that he thought of writing to the Empressthe Count repliedthat it certainly was a very touching storyand mightif occasion presenteditselfbe told herbut he could not promise. Let the petition be handed in indue form.

Should there be an opportunityand if a petit comite were called onThursdayhe thought he would tell her the story. As soon as Nekhludoff hadreceived these two notesand a note to Mariette from his aunthe at once setoff to these different places.

First he went to Mariette's. He had known her as a half-grown girlthedaughter of an aristocratic but not wealthy familyand had heard how she hadmarried a man who was making a careerwhom Nekhludoff had heard badly spokenof; andas usualhe felt it hard to ask a favour of a man he did not esteem.In these cases he always felt an inner dissension and dissatisfactionandwavered whether to ask the favour or notand always resolved to ask. Besidesfeeling himself in a false position among those to whose set he no longerregarded himself as belongingwho yet regarded him as belonging to themhefelt himself getting into the old accustomed rutand in spite of himself fellinto the thoughtless and immoral tone that reigned in that circle. He felt thatfrom the firstwith his aunthe involuntarily fell into a bantering tone whiletalking about serious matters.

Petersburg in general affected him with its usual physically invigorating andmentally dulling effect.

Everything so cleanso comfortably well-arranged and the people so lenientin moral mattersthat life seemed very easy.

A finecleanand polite isvostchik drove him past finecleanpolitepolicemenalong the finecleanwatered streetspast fineclean houses tothe house in which Mariette lived. At the front door stood a pair of Englishhorseswith English harnessand an English-looking coachman on the boxwiththe lower part of his face shavedproudly holding a whip. The doorkeeperdressed in a wonderfully clean liveryopened the door into the hallwhere instill cleaner livery with gold cords stood the footman with his splendidwhiskers well combed outand the orderly on duty in a brand-new uniform."The general does not receiveand the generaless does not receive either.She is just going to drive out."

Nekhludoff took out Katerina Ivanovna's letterand going up to a table onwhich lay a visitors' bookbegan to write that he was sorry not to have beenable to see any one; when the footman went up the staircase the doorkeeper wentout and shouted to the coachmanand the orderly stood up rigid with his arms athis sides following with his eyes a littleslight ladywho was coming down thestairs with rapid steps not in keeping with all the grandeur.

Mariette had a large hat onwith feathersa black dress and capeand newblack gloves. Her face was covered by a veil.

When she saw Nekhludoff she lifted the veil off a very pretty face withbright eyes that looked inquiringly at him.

"AhPrince Dmitri Ivanovitch Nekhludoff" she saidwith a softpleasant voice. "I should have known--"

"What! you even remember my name?"

"I should think so. WhyI and my sisters have even been in love withyou" she saidin French. "Butdear mehow you have altered. Ohwhat a pity I have to go out. But let us go up again" she said and stoppedhesitatingly. Then she looked at the clock. "NoI can't. I am going toKamenskaya'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. Hewas the only son. Terrible I The mother is very much afflicted."

"Yes. I have heard of it."

"NoI had better goand you must come againto-night orto-morrow" she saidand went to the door with quicklight steps.

"I cannot come to-night" he saidgoing out after her; "but Ihave a request to make you" and he looked at the pair of bays that weredrawing up to the front door.

"What is this?"

"This is a letter from aunt to you" said Nekhludoffhanding her anarrow envelopewith a large crest. "You'll find all about it inthere."

"I know Countess Katerina Ivanovna thinks I have some influence with myhusband in business matters. She is mistaken. I can do nothing and do not liketo interfere. Butof coursefor you I am willing to be false to my principle.What is this business about?" she saidsearching in vain for her pocketwith her little black gloved hand.

"There is a girl imprisoned in the fortressand she is ill andinnocent."

"What is her name?"

"Lydia Shoustova. It's in the note."

"All right; I'll see what I can do" she saidand lightly jumpedinto her littlesoftly upholsteredopen carriageits brightly-varnishedsplash-guards glistening in the sunshineand opened her parasol. The footmangot on the box and gave the coachman a sign. The carriage movedbut at thatmoment she touched the coachman with her parasol and the slim-legged beautiesthe bay maresstoppedbending their beautiful necks and stepping from foot tofoot. "But you must comeonlypleasewithout interested motives"and she looked at him with a smilethe force of which she well knewandas ifthe performance over and she were drawing the curtainshe dropped the veil overher face again. "All right" and she again touched the coachman.

Nekhludoff raised his hatand the well-bred baysslightly snortingsetofftheir shoes clattering on the pavementand the carriage rolled quickly andsmoothly on its new rubber tyresgiving a jump only now and then over someunevenness of the road.

CHAPTER XVI. AN UP-TO-DATE SENATOR.

 

When Nekhludoff remembered the smiles that had passed between him andMariettehe shook his head.

"You have hardly time to turn round before you are again drawn into thislife" he thoughtfeeling that discord and those doubts which thenecessity to curry favour from people he did not esteem caused.

After considering where to go firstso as not to have to retrace his stepsNekhludoff set off for the Senate. There he was shown into the office where hefound a great many very polite and very clean officials in the midst of amagnificent apartment. Maslova's petition was received and handed on to thatWolfto whom Nekhludoff had a letter from his uncleto be examined andreported on.

"There will be a meeting of the Senate this week" the officialsaid to Nekhludoff"but Maslova's case will hardly come before thatmeeting."

"It might come before the meeting on Wednesdayby specialrequest" one of the officials remarked.

During the time Nekhludoff waited in the officewhile some information wasbeing takenhe heard that the conversation in the Senate was all about thedueland he heard a detailed account of how a young manKaminskihad beenkilled. It was here he first heard all the facts of the case which was excitingthe interest of all Petersburg. The story was this: Some officers were eatingoysters andas usualdrinking very muchwhen one of them said somethingill-natured about the regiment to which Kaminski belongedand Kaminski calledhim a liar. The other hit Kaminski. The next day they fought. Kaminski waswounded in the stomach and died two hours later. The murderer and the secondswere arrestedbut it was said that though they were arrested and in theguardhouse they would be set free in a fortnight.

From the Senate Nekhludoff drove to see an influential member of the petitionCommitteeBaron Vorobioffwho lived in a splendid house belonging to theCrown. The doorkeeper told Nekhludoff in a severe tone that the Baron could notbe seen except on his reception days; that he was with His Majesty the Emperorto-dayand the next day he would again have to deliver a report. Nekhludoffleft his uncle's letter with the doorkeeper and went on to see the Senator Wolf.Wolf had just had his lunchand was as usual helping digestion by smoking acigar and pacing up and down the roomwhen Nekhludoff came in. VladimirVasilievitch Wolf was certainly un homme tres comme il fautand prized thisquality very highlyand from that elevation he looked down at everybody else.He could not but esteem this quality of his very highlybecause it was thanksto it alone that he had made a brilliant careerthe very career he desiredi.e.by marriage he obtained a fortune which brought him in 18000 roubles ayearand by his own exertions the post of a senator. He considered himself notonly un homme tres comme il fautbut also a man of knightly honour. By honourhe understood not accepting secret bribes from private persons. But he did notconsider it dishonest to beg money for payment of fares and all sorts oftravelling expenses from the Crownand to do anything the Government mightrequire of him in return. To ruin hundreds of innocent peopleto cause them tobe imprisonedto be exiled because of their love for their people and thereligion of their fathersas he had done in one of the governments of Polandwhen he was governor there. He did not consider it dishonourablebut eventhought it a noblemanly and patriotic action. Nor did he consider it dishonestto rob his wife and sister-in-lawas he had donebut thought it a wise way ofarranging his family life. His family consisted of his commonplace wifehissister-in-lawwhose fortune he had appropriated by selling her estate andputting the money to his accountand his meekfrightenedplain daughterwholived a lonelyweary lifefrom which she had lately begun to look forrelaxation in evangelicismattending meetings at Aline'sand the CountessKaterina Ivanovna. Wolf's sonwho had grown a beard at the age of 15and hadat that age begun to drink and lead a depraved lifewhich he continued to dotill the age of 20when he was turned out by his father because he neverfinished his studiesmoved in a low set and made debts which committed thefather. The father had once paid a debt of 250 roubles for his sonthen anotherof 600 roublesbut warned the son that he did it for the last timeand that ifthe son did not reform he would be turned out of the house and all furtherintercourse between him and his family would he put a stop to. The son did notreformbut made a debt of a thousand roublesand took the liberty of tellinghis father that life at home was a torment anyhow. Then Wolf declared to his sonthat he might go where he pleased--that he was no son of his any longer. Sincethen Wolf pretended he had no sonand no one at home dared speak to him abouthis sonand Vladimir Vasilievitch Wolf was firmly convinced that he hadarranged his family life in the best way. Wolf stopped pacing up and down hisstudyand greeted Nekhludoff with a friendly though slightly ironical smile.This was his way of showing how comme il faut he wasand how superior to themajority of men. He read the note which Nekhludoff handed to him.

"Please take a seatand excuse me if I continue to walk up and downwith your permission" he saidputting his hands into his coat pocketsand began again to walk with lightsoft steps across his largequietly andstylishly furnished study. "Very pleased to make your acquaintance and ofcourse very glad to do anything that Count Ivan Michaelovitch wishes" hesaidblowing the fragrant blue smoke out of his mouth and removing his cigarcarefully so as not to drop the ash.

"I should only like to ask that the case might come on soonso that ifthe prisoner has to go to Siberia she might set off early" saidNekhludoff.

"Yesyeswith one of the first steamers from Nijni. I know" saidWolfwith his patronising smilealways knowing in advance whatever one wantedto tell him.

"What is the prisoner's name?"

"Maslova."

Wolf went up to the table and looked at a paper that lay on a piece ofcardboard among other business papers.

"Yesyes. Maslova. All rightI will ask the others. We shall hear thecase on Wednesday."

"Then may I telegraph to the advocate?"

"The advocate! What's that for? But if you likewhy not?"

"The causes for appeal may be insufficient" said Nekhludoff"but I think the case will show that the sentence was passed owing to amisunderstanding."

"Yesyes; it may be sobut the Senate cannot decide the case on itsmerits" said Wolflooking seriously at the ash of his cigar. "TheSenate only considers the exactness of the application of the laws and theirright interpretation."

"But this seems to me to be an exceptional case."

"I knowI know! All cases are exceptional. We shall do our duty. That'sall." The ash was still holding onbut had began breakingand was indanger of falling.

"Do you often come to Petersburg?" said Wolfholding his cigar sothat the ash should not fall. But the ash began to shakeand Wolf carefullycarried it to the ashpaninto 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'sposition" he went onrepeating almost word for word what every one inPetersburg was at that time saying about Kaminski. Wolf spoke a little about theCountess Katerina Ivanovna and her enthusiasm for the new religious teachingwhich he neither approved nor disapproved ofbut which was evidently needlessto him who was so comme il fautand then rang the bell.

Nekhludoff bowed.

"If it is convenientcome and dine on Wednesdayand I will give you adecisive answer" said Wolfextending his hand.

It was lateand Nekhludoff returned to his aunt's.

CHAPTER XVI. AN UP-TO-DATE SENATOR.

When Nekhludoff remembered the smiles that had passed between himand Mariettehe shook his head.

"You have hardly time to turn round before you are again drawn into thislife" he thoughtfeeling that discord and those doubts which thenecessity to curry favour from people he did not esteem caused.

After considering where to go firstso as not to have to retrace his stepsNekhludoff set off for the Senate. There he was shown into the office where hefound a great many very polite and very clean officials in the midst of amagnificent apartment. Maslova's petition was received and handed on to thatWolfto whom Nekhludoff had a letter from his uncleto be examined andreported on.

"There will be a meeting of the Senate this week" the officialsaid to Nekhludoff"but Maslova's case will hardly come before thatmeeting."

"It might come before the meeting on Wednesdayby specialrequest" one of the officials remarked.

During the time Nekhludoff waited in the officewhile some information wasbeing takenhe heard that the conversation in the Senate was all about thedueland he heard a detailed account of how a young manKaminskihad beenkilled. It was here he first heard all the facts of the case which was excitingthe interest of all Petersburg. The story was this: Some officers were eatingoysters andas usualdrinking very muchwhen one of them said somethingill-natured about the regiment to which Kaminski belongedand Kaminski calledhim a liar. The other hit Kaminski. The next day they fought. Kaminski waswounded in the stomach and died two hours later. The murderer and the secondswere arrestedbut it was said that though they were arrested and in theguardhouse they would be set free in a fortnight.

From the Senate Nekhludoff drove to see an influential member of the petitionCommitteeBaron Vorobioffwho lived in a splendid house belonging to theCrown. The doorkeeper told Nekhludoff in a severe tone that the Baron could notbe seen except on his reception days; that he was with His Majesty the Emperorto-dayand the next day he would again have to deliver a report. Nekhludoffleft his uncle's letter with the doorkeeper and went on to see the Senator Wolf.Wolf had just had his lunchand was as usual helping digestion by smoking acigar and pacing up and down the roomwhen Nekhludoff came in. VladimirVasilievitch Wolf was certainly un homme tres comme il fautand prized thisquality very highlyand from that elevation he looked down at everybody else.He could not but esteem this quality of his very highlybecause it was thanksto it alone that he had made a brilliant careerthe very career he desiredi.e.by marriage he obtained a fortune which brought him in 18000 roubles ayearand by his own exertions the post of a senator. He considered himself notonly un homme tres comme il fautbut also a man of knightly honour. By honourhe understood not accepting secret bribes from private persons. But he did notconsider it dishonest to beg money for payment of fares and all sorts oftravelling expenses from the Crownand to do anything the Government mightrequire of him in return. To ruin hundreds of innocent peopleto cause them tobe imprisonedto be exiled because of their love for their people and thereligion of their fathersas he had done in one of the governments of Polandwhen he was governor there. He did not consider it dishonourablebut eventhought it a noblemanly and patriotic action. Nor did he consider it dishonestto rob his wife and sister-in-lawas he had donebut thought it a wise way ofarranging his family life. His family consisted of his commonplace wifehissister-in-lawwhose fortune he had appropriated by selling her estate andputting the money to his accountand his meekfrightenedplain daughterwholived a lonelyweary lifefrom which she had lately begun to look forrelaxation in evangelicismattending meetings at Aline'sand the CountessKaterina Ivanovna. Wolf's sonwho had grown a beard at the age of 15and hadat that age begun to drink and lead a depraved lifewhich he continued to dotill the age of 20when he was turned out by his father because he neverfinished his studiesmoved in a low set and made debts which committed thefather. The father had once paid a debt of 250 roubles for his sonthen anotherof 600 roublesbut warned the son that he did it for the last timeand that ifthe son did not reform he would be turned out of the house and all furtherintercourse between him and his family would he put a stop to. The son did notreformbut made a debt of a thousand roublesand took the liberty of tellinghis father that life at home was a torment anyhow. Then Wolf declared to his sonthat he might go where he pleased--that he was no son of his any longer. Sincethen Wolf pretended he had no sonand no one at home dared speak to him abouthis sonand Vladimir Vasilievitch Wolf was firmly convinced that he hadarranged his family life in the best way. Wolf stopped pacing up and down hisstudyand greeted Nekhludoff with a friendly though slightly ironical smile.This was his way of showing how comme il faut he wasand how superior to themajority of men. He read the note which Nekhludoff handed to him.

"Please take a seatand excuse me if I continue to walk up and downwith your permission" he saidputting his hands into his coat pocketsand began again to walk with lightsoft steps across his largequietly andstylishly furnished study. "Very pleased to make your acquaintance and ofcourse very glad to do anything that Count Ivan Michaelovitch wishes" hesaidblowing the fragrant blue smoke out of his mouth and removing his cigarcarefully so as not to drop the ash.

"I should only like to ask that the case might come on soonso that ifthe prisoner has to go to Siberia she might set off early" saidNekhludoff.

"Yesyeswith one of the first steamers from Nijni. I know" saidWolfwith his patronising smilealways knowing in advance whatever one wantedto tell him.

"What is the prisoner's name?"

"Maslova."

Wolf went up to the table and looked at a paper that lay on a piece ofcardboard among other business papers.

"Yesyes. Maslova. All rightI will ask the others. We shall hear thecase on Wednesday."

"Then may I telegraph to the advocate?"

"The advocate! What's that for? But if you likewhy not?"

"The causes for appeal may be insufficient" said Nekhludoff"but I think the case will show that the sentence was passed owing to amisunderstanding."

"Yesyes; it may be sobut the Senate cannot decide the case on itsmerits" said Wolflooking seriously at the ash of his cigar. "TheSenate only considers the exactness of the application of the laws and theirright interpretation."

"But this seems to me to be an exceptional case."

"I knowI know! All cases are exceptional. We shall do our duty. That'sall." The ash was still holding onbut had began breakingand was indanger of falling.

"Do you often come to Petersburg?" said Wolfholding his cigar sothat the ash should not fall. But the ash began to shakeand Wolf carefullycarried it to the ashpaninto 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'sposition" he went onrepeating almost word for word what every one inPetersburg was at that time saying about Kaminski. Wolf spoke a little about theCountess Katerina Ivanovna and her enthusiasm for the new religious teachingwhich he neither approved nor disapproved ofbut which was evidently needlessto him who was so comme il fautand then rang the bell.

Nekhludoff bowed.

"If it is convenientcome and dine on Wednesdayand I will give you adecisive answer" said Wolfextending his hand.

It was lateand Nekhludoff returned to his aunt's.

CHAPTER XVI. AN UP-TO-DATE SENATOR.

 

When Nekhludoff remembered the smiles that had passed between him andMariettehe shook his head.

"You have hardly time to turn round before you are again drawn into thislife" he thoughtfeeling that discord and those doubts which thenecessity to curry favour from people he did not esteem caused.

After considering where to go firstso as not to have to retrace his stepsNekhludoff set off for the Senate. There he was shown into the office where hefound a great many very polite and very clean officials in the midst of amagnificent apartment. Maslova's petition was received and handed on to thatWolfto whom Nekhludoff had a letter from his uncleto be examined andreported on.

"There will be a meeting of the Senate this week" the officialsaid to Nekhludoff"but Maslova's case will hardly come before thatmeeting."

"It might come before the meeting on Wednesdayby specialrequest" one of the officials remarked.

During the time Nekhludoff waited in the officewhile some information wasbeing takenhe heard that the conversation in the Senate was all about thedueland he heard a detailed account of how a young manKaminskihad beenkilled. It was here he first heard all the facts of the case which was excitingthe interest of all Petersburg. The story was this: Some officers were eatingoysters andas usualdrinking very muchwhen one of them said somethingill-natured about the regiment to which Kaminski belongedand Kaminski calledhim a liar. The other hit Kaminski. The next day they fought. Kaminski waswounded in the stomach and died two hours later. The murderer and the secondswere arrestedbut it was said that though they were arrested and in theguardhouse they would be set free in a fortnight.

From the Senate Nekhludoff drove to see an influential member of the petitionCommitteeBaron Vorobioffwho lived in a splendid house belonging to theCrown. The doorkeeper told Nekhludoff in a severe tone that the Baron could notbe seen except on his reception days; that he was with His Majesty the Emperorto-dayand the next day he would again have to deliver a report. Nekhludoffleft his uncle's letter with the doorkeeper and went on to see the Senator Wolf.Wolf had just had his lunchand was as usual helping digestion by smoking acigar and pacing up and down the roomwhen Nekhludoff came in. VladimirVasilievitch Wolf was certainly un homme tres comme il fautand prized thisquality very highlyand from that elevation he looked down at everybody else.He could not but esteem this quality of his very highlybecause it was thanksto it alone that he had made a brilliant careerthe very career he desiredi.e.by marriage he obtained a fortune which brought him in 18000 roubles ayearand by his own exertions the post of a senator. He considered himself notonly un homme tres comme il fautbut also a man of knightly honour. By honourhe understood not accepting secret bribes from private persons. But he did notconsider it dishonest to beg money for payment of fares and all sorts oftravelling expenses from the Crownand to do anything the Government mightrequire of him in return. To ruin hundreds of innocent peopleto cause them tobe imprisonedto be exiled because of their love for their people and thereligion of their fathersas he had done in one of the governments of Polandwhen he was governor there. He did not consider it dishonourablebut eventhought it a noblemanly and patriotic action. Nor did he consider it dishonestto rob his wife and sister-in-lawas he had donebut thought it a wise way ofarranging his family life. His family consisted of his commonplace wifehissister-in-lawwhose fortune he had appropriated by selling her estate andputting the money to his accountand his meekfrightenedplain daughterwholived a lonelyweary lifefrom which she had lately begun to look forrelaxation in evangelicismattending meetings at Aline'sand the CountessKaterina Ivanovna. Wolf's sonwho had grown a beard at the age of 15and hadat that age begun to drink and lead a depraved lifewhich he continued to dotill the age of 20when he was turned out by his father because he neverfinished his studiesmoved in a low set and made debts which committed thefather. The father had once paid a debt of 250 roubles for his sonthen anotherof 600 roublesbut warned the son that he did it for the last timeand that ifthe son did not reform he would be turned out of the house and all furtherintercourse between him and his family would he put a stop to. The son did notreformbut made a debt of a thousand roublesand took the liberty of tellinghis father that life at home was a torment anyhow. Then Wolf declared to his sonthat he might go where he pleased--that he was no son of his any longer. Sincethen Wolf pretended he had no sonand no one at home dared speak to him abouthis sonand Vladimir Vasilievitch Wolf was firmly convinced that he hadarranged his family life in the best way. Wolf stopped pacing up and down hisstudyand greeted Nekhludoff with a friendly though slightly ironical smile.This was his way of showing how comme il faut he wasand how superior to themajority of men. He read the note which Nekhludoff handed to him.

"Please take a seatand excuse me if I continue to walk up and downwith your permission" he saidputting his hands into his coat pocketsand began again to walk with lightsoft steps across his largequietly andstylishly furnished study. "Very pleased to make your acquaintance and ofcourse very glad to do anything that Count Ivan Michaelovitch wishes" hesaidblowing the fragrant blue smoke out of his mouth and removing his cigarcarefully so as not to drop the ash.

"I should only like to ask that the case might come on soonso that ifthe prisoner has to go to Siberia she might set off early" saidNekhludoff.

"Yesyeswith one of the first steamers from Nijni. I know" saidWolfwith his patronising smilealways knowing in advance whatever one wantedto tell him.

"What is the prisoner's name?"

"Maslova."

Wolf went up to the table and looked at a paper that lay on a piece ofcardboard among other business papers.

"Yesyes. Maslova. All rightI will ask the others. We shall hear thecase on Wednesday."

"Then may I telegraph to the advocate?"

"The advocate! What's that for? But if you likewhy not?"

"The causes for appeal may be insufficient" said Nekhludoff"but I think the case will show that the sentence was passed owing to amisunderstanding."

"Yesyes; it may be sobut the Senate cannot decide the case on itsmerits" said Wolflooking seriously at the ash of his cigar. "TheSenate only considers the exactness of the application of the laws and theirright interpretation."

"But this seems to me to be an exceptional case."

"I knowI know! All cases are exceptional. We shall do our duty. That'sall." The ash was still holding onbut had began breakingand was indanger of falling.

"Do you often come to Petersburg?" said Wolfholding his cigar sothat the ash should not fall. But the ash began to shakeand Wolf carefullycarried it to the ashpaninto 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'sposition" he went onrepeating almost word for word what every one inPetersburg was at that time saying about Kaminski. Wolf spoke a little about theCountess Katerina Ivanovna and her enthusiasm for the new religious teachingwhich he neither approved nor disapproved ofbut which was evidently needlessto him who was so comme il fautand then rang the bell.

Nekhludoff bowed.

"If it is convenientcome and dine on Wednesdayand I will give you adecisive answer" said Wolfextending his hand.

It was lateand Nekhludoff returned to his aunt's.

CHAPTER XVII. COUNTESS KATERINA IVANOVNA'S DINNER PARTY.

Countess Katerina Ivanovna's dinner hour was half-past sevenandthe 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 thediners helped themselves. The men would not let the ladies take the trouble ofmovingandas befitted the stronger sexthey manfully took on themselves theburden of putting the food on the ladies' plates and of filling their glasses.When one course was finishedthe Countess pressed the button of an electricbell fitted to the table and the waiters stepped in noiselessly and quicklycarried away the disheschanged the platesand brought in the next course. Thedinner was very refinedthe wines very costly. A French chef was working in thelargelight kitchenswith two white-clad assistants. There were six persons atdinnerthe Count and Countesstheir son (a surly officer in the Guards who satwith his elbows on the table)Nekhludoffa French lady readerand the Count'schief stewardwho had come up from the country. Heretoothe conversation wasabout the dueland 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 sakeandall were grieved for herand as it was also known that the Emperor did not meanto be very severe to the murdererwho defended the honour of his uniformallwere also lenient to the officer who had defended the honour of his uniform.Only the Countess Katerina Ivanovnawith her free thoughtlessnessexpressesher disapproval.

"They get drunkand kill unobjectionable young men. I should notforgive them on any account" she said.

"Nowthat's a thing I cannot understand" said the Count.

"I know that you never can understand what I say" the Countessbeganand turning to Nekhludoffshe added:

"Everybody understands except my husband. I say I am sorry for themotherand I do not wish him to be contentedhaving killed a man." Thenher sonwho had been silent up to thentook the murderer's partand rudelyattacked his motherarguing that an officer could not behave in any other waybecause his fellow-officers would condemn him and turn him out of the regiment.Nekhludoff listened to the conversation without joining in. Having been anofficer himselfhe understoodthough he did not agree withyoung Tcharsky'sargumentsand at the same time he could not help contrasting the fate of theofficer with that of a beautiful young convict whom he had seen in the prisonand who was condemned to the mines for having killed another in a fight. Bothhad turned murderers through drunkenness. The peasant had killed a man in amoment of irritationand he was parted from his wife and familyhad chains onhis legsand his head shavedand was going to hard labour in Siberiawhilethe officer was sitting in a fine room in the guardhouseeating a good dinnerdrinking good wineand reading booksand would be set free in a day or two tolive as he had done beforehaving only become more interesting by the affair.Nekhludoff said what he had been thinkingand at first his auntKaterinaIvanovnaseemed to agree with himbut at last she became silent as the resthad doneand Nekhludoff felt that he had committed something akin to animpropriety. In the eveningsoon after dinnerthe large hallwith high-backedcarved chairs arranged in rows as for a meetingand an armchair next to alittle tablewith a bottle of water for the speakerbegan to fill with peoplecome to hear the foreignerKiesewetterpreach. Elegant equipages stopped atthe front entrance. In the hall sat richly-dressed ladies in silks and velvetsand lacewith false hair and false busts and drawn-in waistsand among themmen in uniform and evening dressand about five persons of the common classi.e.two men-servantsa shop-keepera footmanand a coachman. Kiesewetterathick-setgrisly manspoke Englishand a thin young girlwith a pince-neztranslated it into Russian promptly and well. He was saying that our sins wereso greatthe punishment for them so great and so unavoidablethat it wasimpossible to live anticipating such punishment. "Beloved brothers andsisterslet us for a moment consider what we are doinghow we are livinghowwe have offended against the all-loving Lordand how we make Christ sufferandwe cannot but understand that there is no forgiveness possible for usno escapepossiblethat we are all doomed to perish. A terrible fate awaitsus---everlasting torment" he saidwith tears in his trembling voice."Ohhow can we be savedbrothers? How can we be saved from this terribleunquenchable fire? The house is in flames; there is no escape."

He was silent for a whileand real tears flowed down his cheeks. It was forabout eight years that each time when he got to this part of his speechwhichhe himself liked so wellhe felt a choking in his throat and an irritation inhis noseand the tears came in his eyesand these tears touched him stillmore. Sobs were heard in the room. The Countess Katerina Ivanovna sat with herelbows on an inlaid tableleaning her head on her handsand her shoulders wereshaking. The coachman looked with fear and surprise at the foreignerfeeling asif he was about to run him down with the pole of his carriage and the foreignerwould not move out of his way. All sat in positions similar to that KaterinaIvanovna had assumed. Wolf's daughtera thinfashionably-dressed girlverylike her fatherknelt with her face in her hands.

The orator suddenly uncovered his faceand smiled a very real-looking smilesuch as actors express joy withand began again with a sweetgentle voice:

"Yet there is a way to be saved. Here it is--a joyfuleasy way. Thesalvation is the blood shed for us by the only son of Godwho gave himself upto torments for our sake. His sufferingsHis bloodwill save us. Brothers andsisters" he saidagain with tears in his voice"let us praise theLordwho has given His only begotten son for the redemption of mankind. Hisholy blood . . ."

Nekhludoff felt so deeply disgusted that he rose silentlyand frowning andkeeping back a groan of shamehe left on tiptoeand went to his room

CHAPTER XVIII. OFFICIALDOM.

 

Hardly had Nekhludoff finished dressing the next morningjust as he wasabout to go downthe footman brought him a card from the Moscow advocate. Theadvocate had come to St. Petersburg on business of his ownand was going to bepresent when Maslova's case was examined in the Senateif that would be soon.The telegram sent by Nekhludoff crossed him on the way. Having found out fromNekhludoff when the case was going to be heardand which senators were to bepresenthe smiled. "Exactlyall the three types of senators" hesaid. "Wolf is a Petersburg official; Skovorodnikoff is a theoreticalandBay a practical lawyerand therefore the most alive of them all" said theadvocate. "There is most hope of him. Welland how about the PetitionCommittee?"

"OhI'm going to Baron Vorobioff to-day. I could not get an audiencewith him yesterday.

"Do you know why he is BARON Vorobioff?" said the advocatenoticing the slightly ironical stress that Nekhludoff put on this foreign titlefollowed by so very Russian a surname.

"That was because the Emperor Paul rewarded the grandfather--I think hewas one of the Court footmen--by giving him this title. He managed to please himin some wayso he made him a baron. 'It's my wishso don't gainsay me!' And sothere's a BARON Vorobioffand very proud of the title. He is a dreadful oldhumbug."

WellI'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 starta footman met Nekhludoff in the ante-roomandhanded him a note from Mariette:

Pour vous faire plaisirf'ai agi tout a fait contre mes principes et j'aiintercede aupres de mon mari pour votre protegee. II se trouve que cettepersonne pout etre relaxee immediatement. Mon mari a ecrit au commandant. Venezdonc disinterestedly. Je vous attends.

M.

"Just fancy!" said Nekhludoff to the advocate. "Is this notdreadful? A woman whom they are keeping in solitary confinement for seven monthsturns out to be quite innocentand only a word was needed to get herreleased."

"That's always so. Wellanyhowyou have succeeded in getting what youwanted."

"Yesbut this success grieves me. Just think what must be going onthere. Why have they been keeping her?"

"Ohit's best not to look too deeply into it. WellthenI shall giveyou a liftif I may" said the advocateas they left the houseand afine carriage that the advocate had hired drove up to the door. "It's BaronVorobioff you are going to see?"

The advocate gave the driver his directionsand the two good horses quicklybrought Nekhludoff to the house in which the Baron lived. The Baron was at home.A young official in uniformwith a longthin necka much protruding Adam'sappleand an extremely light walkand two ladies were in the first room.

"Your nameplease?" the young man with the Adam's apple askedstepping with extreme lightness and grace across from the ladies to Nekhludoff.

Nekhludoff gave his name.

"The Baron was just mentioning you" said the young mantheBaron's adjutantand went out through an inner door. He returnedleading aweeping lady dressed in mourning. With her bony fingers the lady was trying topull her tangled veil over her face in order to hide her tears.

"Come inplease" said the young man to Nekhludofflightlystepping up to the door of the study and holding it open. When Nekhludoff cameinhe saw before him a thick-set man of medium heightwith short hairin afrock coatwho was sitting in an armchair opposite a large writing-tableandlooking gaily in front of himself. The kindlyrosy red facestriking by itscontrast with the white hairmoustachesand beardturned towards Nekhludoffwith a friendly smile.

"Very glad to see you. Your mother and I were old acquaintances andfriends. I have seen you as a boyand later on as an officer. Sit down and tellme what I can do for you. Yesyes" he saidshaking his cropped whiteheadwhile Nekhludoff was telling him Theodosia's story. "Go ongo on. Iquite understand. It is certainly very touching. And have you handed in thepetition?"

"I have got the petition ready" Nekhludoff saidgetting it out ofhis pocket; "but I thought of speaking to you first in hopes that the casewould then get special attention paid to it."

"You have done very well. I shall certainly report it myself" saidthe Baronunsuccessfully trying to put an expression of pity on his merry face."Very touching! It is clear she was but a child; the husband treated herroughlythis repelled herbut as time went on they fell in love with eachother. Yes I will report the case."

"Count Ivan Michaelovitch was also going to speak about it."

Nekhludoff had hardly got these words out when the Baron's face changed.

"You had better hand in the petition into the officeafter alland Ishall do what I can" he said.

At this moment the young official again entered the roomevidently showingoff his elegant manner of walking.

"That lady is asking if she may say a few words more."

"Wellask her in. Ahmon cherhow many tears we have to see shed! Ifonly 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 thedaughterbecause he is ready . . ."

"But I have already told you that I should do all I can."

"Baronfor the love of God! You will save the mother?"

She seized his handand 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 ofJusticeand when we get their answer we shall do what we can."

Nekhludoff left the studyand went into the office again. Just as in theSenate officehe sawin a splendid apartmenta number of very elegantofficialscleanpoliteseverely correct and distinguished in dress and inspeech.

"How many there are of them; how very many and how well fed they alllook! And what clean shirts and hands they all haveand how well all theirboots are polished! Who does it for them? How comfortable they all areascompared not only with the prisonersbut even with the peasants!" Thesethoughts again involuntarily came to Nekhludoff's mind.

CHAPTER XIX. AN OLD GENERAL OF REPUTE.

 

 

The man on whom depended the easing of the fate of the Petersburg prisonerswas an old General of repute--a baron of German descentwhoas it was said ofhimhad outlived his wits. He had received a profusion of ordersbut only woreone of themthe Order of the White Cross. He had received this orderwhich hegreatly valuedwhile serving in the Caucasusbecause a number of Russianpeasantswith their hair croppedand dressed in uniform and armed with gunsand bayonetshad killed at his command more than a thousand men who weredefending their libertytheir homesand their families. Later on he served inPolandand there also made Russian peasants commit many different crimesandgot more orders and decorations for his uniform. Then he served somewhere elseand now that he was a weakold man he had this positionwhich insured him agood housean income and respect. He strictly observed all the regulationswhich were prescribed "from above" and was very zealous in thefulfilment of these regulationsto which he ascribed a special importanceconsidering that everything else in the world might be changed except theregulations prescribed "from above." His duty was to keep politicalprisonersmen and womenin solitary confinement in such a way that half ofthem perished in 10 years' timesome going out of their mindssome dying ofconsumptionsome committing suicide by starving themselves to deathcuttingtheir veins with bits of glasshangingor burning themselves to death.

The old General was not ignorant of this; it all happened within hisknowledge; but these cases no more touched his conscience than accidents broughton by thunderstormsfloodsetc. These cases occurred as a consequence of thefulfilment of regulations prescribed "from above" by His ImperialMajesty. These regulations had to be carried out without failand therefore itwas absolutely useless to think of the consequences of their fulfilment. The oldGeneral did not even allow himself to think of such thingscounting it hispatriotic duty as a soldier not to think of them for fear of getting weak in thecarrying out of theseaccording to his opinionvery important obligations.Once a week the old General made the round of the cellsone of the duties ofhis positionand asked the prisoners if they had any requests to make. Theprisoners had all sorts of requests. He listened to them quietlyinimpenetrable silenceand never fulfilled any of their requestsbecause theywere all in disaccord with the regulations. Just as Nekhludoff drove up to theold General's housethe high notes of the bells on the belfry clock chimed"Great is the Lord" and then struck two. The sound of these chimesbrought back to Nekhludoff's mind what he had read in the notes of theDecembrists [the Decembrists were a group who attemptedbut failedto put anend 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 ofthose imprisoned for life.

Meanwhile the old General was sitting in his darkened drawing-room at aninlaid tableturning a saucer on a piece of paper with the aid of a youngartistthe brother of one of his subordinates. The thinweakmoist fingers ofthe artist were pressed against the wrinkled and stiff-jointed fingers of theold Generaland the hands joined in this manner were moving together with thesaucer over a paper that had all the letters of the alphabet written on it. Thesaucer was answering the questions put by the General as to how souls willrecognise each other after death.

When Nekhludoff sent in his card by an orderly acting as footmanthe soul ofJoan of Arc was speaking by the aid of the saucer. The soul of Joan of Arc hadalready 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 hadstopped first on bthen on yand began jerking hither and thither. Thisjerking was caused by the General's opinion that the next letter should be bi.e.Joan of Arc ought to say that the souls will know each other by beingcleansed of all that is earthlyor something of the kindclashing with theopinion of the artistwho thought the next letter should be li.e.that thesouls should know each other by light emanating from their astral bodies. TheGeneralwith his bushy grey eyebrows gravely contractedsat gazing at thehands on the saucerandimagining that it was moving of its own accordkeptpulling the saucer towards b. The pale-faced young artistwith his thin haircombed back behind his carswas looking with his lifeless blue eyes into a darkcorner of the drawing-roomnervously moving his lips and pulling the saucertowards l.

The General made a wry face at the interruptionbut after a moment's pausehe took the cardput on his pince-nezanduttering a groanrosein spite ofthe pain in his backto his full heightrubbing his numb fingers.

"Ask him into the study."

"With your excellency's permission I will finish it alone" saidthe artistrising. "I feel the presence."

"All rightfinish alone" the General saidseverely anddecidedlyand stepped quicklywith bigfirm and measured stridesinto hisstudy.

"Very pleased to see you" said the General to Nekhludoffutteringthe friendly words in a gruff toneand pointing to an armchair by the side ofthe writing-table. "Have you been in Petersburg long?"

Nekhludoff replied that he had only lately arrived.

"Is the Princessyour motherwell?"

"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 thefather had doneandhaving passed the Military Academywas now serving in theInquiry Officeand was very proud of his duties there. His occupation was themanagement of Government spies.

"WhyI served with your father. We were friends--comrades. And you; areyou also in the Service?"

"NoI am not."

The General bent his head disapprovingly.

"I have a request to makeGeneral."

"Very pleased. In what way can I be of service to you?" If myrequest is out of place pray pardon me. But I am obliged to make it."

"What is it?"

"There is a certain Gourkevitch imprisoned in the fortress; his motherasks for an interview with himor at least to be allowed to send him somebooks."

The General expressed neither satisfaction nor dissatisfaction atNekhludoff's requestbut bending his head on one side he closed his eyes as ifconsidering. In reality he was not considering anythingand was not eveninterested in Nekhludoff's questionswell knowing that he would answer themaccording 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. Thereis a regulationconfirmed by His Majestyconcerning interviews; and as tobookswe have a libraryand they may have what is permitted."

"Yesbut he wants scientific books; he wishes to study."

"Don't you believe it" growled the General. "It's not studyhe wants; it is just only restlessness."

"But what is to be done? They must occupy their time somehow in theirhard condition" said Nekhludoff.

"They are always complaining" said the General. "We knowthem."

He spoke of them in a general wayas if they were all a specially bad raceof men. "They have conveniences here which can be found in few places ofconfinement" said the Generaland he began to enumerate the comforts theprisoners enjoyedas if the aim of the institution was to give the peopleimprisoned there a comfortable home.

"It is true it used to be rather roughbut now they are very well kepthere" he continued. "They have three courses for dinner--and one ofthem meat--cutletsor 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 peoplethe Generalhaving once got on to a familiar topicenumerated the various proofs he had often given before of the prisoners beingexacting and ungrateful.

"They get books on spiritual subjects and old journals. We have alibrary. Only they rarely read. At first they seem interestedlater on the newbooks remain uncutand the old ones with their leaves unturned. We triedthem" said the old Generalwith the dim likeness of a smile. "We putbits of paper in on purposewhich remained just as they had been placed.Writing is also not forbidden" he continued. "A slate is providedand a slate pencilso that they can write as a pastime. They can wipe the slateand write again. But they don't writeeither. Ohthey very soon get quitetranquil. At first they seem restlessbut later on they even grow fat andbecome very quiet." Thus spoke the Generalnever suspecting the terriblemeaning of his words.

Nekhludoff listened to the hoarse old voicelooked at the stiff limbstheswollen eyelids under the grey browsat the oldclean-shavedflabby jawsupported by the collar of the military uniformat the white cross that thisman was so proud ofchiefly because he had gained it by exceptionally cruel andextensive slaughterand knew that it was useless to reply to the old man or toexplain the meaning of his own words to him.

He made another effortand asked about the prisoner Shoustovafor whosereleaseas he had been informed that morningorders were given.

"Shoustova--Shoustova? I cannot remember all their namesthere are somany of them" he saidas if reproaching them because there were so many.He rangand ordered the secretary to be called. While waiting for the latterhe began persuading Nekhludoff to servesaying that "honestnoblemen" counting himself among the number"were particularlyneeded by the Tsar and--the country" he addedevidently only to round offhis sentence. "I am oldyet I am serving stillas well as my strengthallows."

The secretarya dryemaciated manwith restlessintelligent eyescame inand reported that Shoustova was imprisoned in some queerfortified placeandthat he had received no orders concerning her.

"When we get the order we shall let her out the same day. We do not keepthem; we do not value their visits much" said the Generalwith anotherattempt at a playful smilewhich only distorted his old face.

Nekhludoff rosetrying to keep from expressing the mixed feelings ofrepugnance and pity which he felt towards this terrible old man. The old man onhis part considered that he should not be too severe on the thoughtless andevidently misguided son of his old comradeand should not leave him withoutadvice.

"Good-byemy dear fellow; do not take it amiss. It is my affection thatmakes me say it. Do not keep company with such people as we have at our placehere. There are no innocent ones among them. All these people are most immoral.We know them" he saidin a tone that admitted no possibility of doubt.And he did not doubtnot because the thing was sobut because if it was notsohe would have to admit himself to be not a noble hero living out the lastdays of a good lifebut a scoundrelwho soldand still continued in his oldage to sellhis conscience.

"Best of allgo and serve" he continued; "the Tsar needshonest men--and the country" he added. "Wellsupposing I and theothers refused to serveas you are doing? Who would be left? Here we arefinding fault with the order of thingsand yet not wishing to help theGovernment."

With a deep sigh Nekhludoff made a low bowshook the largebony handcondescendingly stretched out to him and left the room.

The General shook his head reprovinglyand rubbing his backhe again wentinto the drawing-room where the artist was waiting for him. He had alreadywritten down the answer given by the soul of Joan of Arc. The General put on hispince-nez and read"Will know one another by light emanating from theirastral bodies."

"Ah" said the Generalwith approvaland closed his eyes."But how is one to know if the light of all is alike?" he askedandagain crossed fingers with the artist on the saucer.

The isvostchik drove Nekhludoff out of the gate.

It is dull heresirhe saidturning to Nekhludoff. "I almost wishedto drive off without waiting for you."

Nekhludoff agreed. "Yesit is dull" and he took a deep breathand looked up with a sense of relief at the grey clouds that were floating inthe skyand at the glistening ripples made by the boats and steamers on theNeva.

CHAPTER XX. MASLOVA'S APPEAL.

 

The next day Maslova's case was to be examined at the Senateand Nekhludoffand the advocate met at the majestic portal of the buildingwhere severalcarriages were waiting. Ascending the magnificent and imposing staircase to thefirst floorthe advocatewho knew all the ins and outs of the placeturned tothe left and entered through a door which had the date of the introduction ofthe Code of Laws above it.

After taking off his overcoat in the first narrow roomhe found out from theattendant that the Senators had all arrivedand that the last had just come in.Fanarinin his swallow-tail coata white tie above the white shirt-frontanda self-confident smile on his lipspassed into the next room. In this roomthere were to the right a large cupboard and a tableand to the left a windingstaircasewhich an elegant official in uniform was descending with a portfoliounder his arm. In this room an old man with longwhite hair and a patriarchalappearance attracted every one's attention. He wore a short coat and greytrousers. Two attendants stood respectfully beside him. The old man with whitehair entered the cupboard and shut himself in.

Fanarin noticed a fellow-advocate dressed in the same way as himselfwith awhite tie and dress coatand at once entered into an animated conversation withhim.

Nekhludoff was meanwhile examining the people in the room. The publicconsisted of about 15 personsof whom two were ladies--a young one with apince-nezand an oldgrey-haired one.

A case of libel was to be heard that dayand therefore the public were morenumerous than usual--chiefly persons belonging to the journalistic world.

The ushera red-cheekedhandsome man in a fine uniformcame up to Fanarinand asked him what his business was. When he heard that it was the case ofMaslovahe noted something down and walked away. Then the cupboard door openedand the old man with the patriarchal appearance stepped outno longer in ashort coat but in a gold-trimmed attirewhich made him look like a birdandwith metal plates on his breast. This funny costume seemed to make the old manhimself feel uncomfortableandwalking faster than his wonthe hurried out ofthe door opposite the entrance.

"That is Baya most estimable man" Fanarin said to Nekhludoffand then having introduced him to his colleaguehe explained the case that wasabout to be heardwhich he considered very interesting.

The hearing of the case soon commencedand Nekhludoffwith the publicentered the left side of the Senate Chamber. They allincluding Fanarintooktheir places behind a grating. Only the Petersburg advocate went up to a desk infront of the grating.

The Senate Chamber was not so big as the Criminal Court; and was more simplyfurnishedonly the table in front of the senators was covered with crimsongold-trimmed velvetinstead of green cloth; but the attributes of all places ofjudgmenti.e.the mirror of justicethe iconthe emblem of hypocrisyandthe Emperor's portraitthe emblem of servilitywere there.

The usher announcedin the same solemn manner: "The Court iscoming." Every one rose in the same wayand the senators entered in theiruniforms and sat down on highbacked chairs and leant on the tabletrying toappear naturaljust in the same way as the judges in the Court of Law. Therewere four senators present--Nikitinwho took the chaira clean-shaved man witha narrow face and steely eyes; Wolfwith significantly compressed lipsandlittle white handswith which he kept turning over the pages of the businesspapers; Skovorodnikoffa heavyfatpockmarked man--the learned lawyer; andBaythe patriarchal-looking man who had arrived last.

With the advocates entered the chief secretary and public prosecutora leanclean-shaven young man of medium heighta very dark complexionand sadblackeyes. Nekhludoff knew him at oncein spite of his curious uniform and the factthat he had not seen him for six years. He had been one of his best friends inNekhludoff's student days.

"The public prosecutor Selenin?" Nekhludoff askedturning to theadvocate.

"Yes. Why?"

"I know him well. He is a fine fellow."

"And a good public prosecutor; business-like. Now he is the man youshould have interested."

He will act according to his conscience in any case" said Nekhludoffrecalling the intimate relations and friendship between himself and Seleninandthe attractive qualities of the latter--purityhonestyand good breeding inits best sense.

"Yesthere is no time now" whispered Fanarinwho was listeningto the report of the case that had commenced.

The Court of Justice was accused of having left a decision of the Court ofLaw unaltered.

Nekhludoff listened and tried to make out the meaning of what was going on;butjust as in the Criminal Courthis chief difficulty was that not theevidently chief pointbut some side issueswere being discussed. The case wasthat of a newspaper which had published the account of a swindle arranged by adirector of a limited liability company. It seemed that the only importantquestion was whether the director of the company really abused his trustandhow to stop him from doing it. But the questions under consideration werewhether the editor had a right to publish this article of his contributorandwhat he had been guilty of in publishing it: slander or libeland in what wayslander included libelor libel included slanderand something ratherincomprehensible to ordinary people about all sorts of statutes and resolutionspassed by some General Department.

The only thing clear to Nekhludoff was thatin spite of what Wolf had sostrenuously insisted onthe day beforei.e.that the Senate could not try acase on its meritsin this case he was evidently strongly in favour ofrepealing the decision of the Court of Justiceand that Seleninin spite ofhis characteristic reticencestated the opposite opinion with quite unexpectedwarmth. The warmthwhich surprised Nekhludoffevinced by the usuallyself-controlled Seleninwas due to his knowledge of the director's shabbinessin money mattersand the factwhich had accidentally come to his carsthatWolf had been to a swell dinner party at the swindler's house only a few daysbefore.

Now that Wolf spoke on the caseguardedly enoughbut with evident biasSelenin became excitedand expressed his opinion with too much nervousirritation for an ordinary business transaction.

It was clear that Selenin's speech had offended Wolf. He grew redmoved inhis chairmade silent gestures of surpriseand at last rosewith a verydignified and injured looktogether with the other senatorsand went out intothe debating-room.

"What particular case have you come about?" the usher asked againaddressing Fanarin.

"I have already told you: Maslova's case."

"Yesquite so. It is to be heard to-daybut--"

"But what?" the advocate asked.

"Wellyou seethis case was to be examined without taking sidessothat the senators will hardly come out again after passing the resolution. But Iwill inform them."

"What do you mean?"

"I'll inform them; I'll inform them." And the usher again putsomething down on his paper.

The Senators really meant to pronounce their decision concerning the libelcaseand then to finish the other businessMaslova's case among itover theirtea and cigaretteswithout leaving the debating-room.

CHAPTER XXI. THE APPEAL DISMISSED.

As soon as the Senators were seated round the table in thedebating-roomWolf began to bring forward with great animation all the motivesin favour of a repeal. The chairmanan ill-natured man at bestwas in aparticularly bad humour that day. His thoughts were concentrated on the words hehad written down in his memoranda on the occasion when not he but Viglanoff wasappointed to the important post he had long coveted. It was the chairmanNikitin'shonest conviction that his opinions of the officials of the two upperclasses with which he was in connection would furnish valuable material for thehistorians. He had written a chapter the day before in which the officials ofthe upper classes got it hot for preventing himas he expressed itfromaverting the ruin towards which the present rulers of Russia were driving itwhich simply meant that they had prevented his getting a better salary. And nowhe was considering what a new light to posterity this chapter would shed onevents.

"Yescertainly" he saidin reply to the words addressed to himby Wolfwithout listening to them.

Bay was listening to Wolf with a sad face and drawing a garland on the paperthat lay before him. Bay was a Liberal of the very first water. He held sacredthe Liberal traditions of the sixth decade of this centuryand if he everoverstepped the limits of strict neutrality it was always in the direction ofLiberalism. So in this case; beside the fact that the swindling directorwhowas prosecuting for libelwas a bad lotthe prosecution of a journalist forlibel in itself tendingas it didto restrict the freedom of the pressinclined Bay to reject the appeal.

When Wolf concluded his arguments Bay stopped drawing his garland and beganin a sad and gentle voice (he was sad because he was obliged to demonstrate suchtruisms) conciselysimply and convincingly to show how unfounded the accusationwasand thenbending his white headhe continued drawing his garland.

Skovorodnikoffwho sat opposite Wolfandwith his fat fingerskeptshoving his beard and moustaches into his mouthstopped chewing his beard assoon as Bay was silentand said with a loudgrating voicethatnotwithstanding the fact of the director being a terrible scoundrelhe wouldhave been for the repeal of the sentence if there were any legal reasons for it;butas there were nonehe was of Bay's opinion. He was glad to put this spokein Wolf's wheel.

The chairman agreed with Skovorodnikoffand the appeal was rejected.

Wolf was dissatisfiedespecially because it was like being caught actingwith dishonest partiality; so he pretended to be indifferentandunfolding thedocument which contained Maslova's casehe became engrossed in it. Meanwhilethe Senators rang and ordered teaand began talking about the event thattogether with the duelwas occupying the Petersburgers.

It was the case of the chief of a Government departmentwho was accused ofthe crime provided for in Statute 995.

"What nastiness" said Baywith disgust.

"Why; where is the harm of it? I can show you a Russian book containingthe project of a German writerwho openly proposes that it should not beconsidered a crime" said Skovorodnikoffdrawing in greedily the fumes ofthe crumpled cigarettewhich he held between his fingers close to the palmandhe laughed boisterously.

"Impossible!" said Bay.

I shall show it you" said Skovorodnikoffgiving the full title of thebookand 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 oughtto appoint an archdeacon of the same sort" said Skovorodnikoff. "Icould recommend them one" and he threw the end of his cigarette into hissaucerand again shoved as much of his beard and moustaches as he could intohis mouth and began chewing them.

The usher came in and reported the advocate's and Nekhludoff's desire to bepresent at the examination of Maslova's case.

"This case" Wolf said"is quite romantic" and he toldthem what he knew about Nekhludoff's relations with Maslova. When they hadspoken a little about it and finished their tea and cigarettesthe Senatorsreturned into the Senate Chamber and proclaimed their decision in the libelcaseand began to hear Maslova's case.

Wolfin his thin voicereported Maslova's appeal very fullybut again notwithout some bias and an evident wish for the repeal of the sentence.

"Have you anything to add?" the chairman saidturning to Fanarin.Fanarin roseand standing with his broad white chest expandedproved point bypointwith wonderful exactness and persuasivenesshow the Court had in sixpoints strayed from the exact meaning of the law; and besides this he touchedthough brieflyon the merits of the caseand on the crying injustice of thesentence. The tone of his speech was one of apology to the Senatorswhowiththeir penetration and judicial wisdomcould not help seeing and understandingit all better than he could. He was obliged to speak only because the duty hehad undertaken forced him to do so.

After Fanarin's speech one might have thought that there could not remain theleast doubt that the Senate ought to repeal the decision of the Court. When hehad finished his speechFanarin looked round with a smile of triumphseeingwhich Nekhludoff felt certain that the case was won. But when he looked at theSenators he saw that Fanarin smiled and triumphed all alone. The Senators andthe Public Prosecutor did not smile nor triumphbut looked like people weariedand who were thinking "We have often heard the like of you; it is all invain" and were only too glad when he stopped and ceased uselesslydetaining them there. Immediately after the end of the advocate's speech thechairman turned to the Public Prosecutor. Selenin briefly and clearly expressedhimself in favour of leaving the decision of the Court unalteredas heconsidered all the reasons for appealing inadequate. After this the Senatorswent out into the debating-room. They were divided in their opinions. Wolf wasin favour of altering the decision. Baywhen he had understood the casetookup the same side with fervourvividly presenting the scene at the court to hiscompanions as he clearly saw it himself. Nikitinwho always was on the side ofseverity and formalitytook up the other side. All depended on Skovorodnikoff'svoteand he voted for rejecting the appealbecause Nekhludoff's determinationto marry the woman on moral grounds was extremely repugnant to him.

Skovorodnikoff was a materialista Darwinianand counted everymanifestation of abstract moralityorworse stillreligionnot only as adespicable follybut as a personal affront to himself. All this bother about aprostituteand the presence of a celebrated advocate and Nekhludoff in theSenate were in the highest degree repugnant to him. So he shoved his beard intohis mouth and made facesand very skilfully pretended to know nothing of thiscaseexcepting that the reasons for an appeal were insufficientand that hethereforeagreed with the chairman to leave the decision of the Courtunaltered.

So the sentence remained unrepealed.

CHAPTER XXII. AN OLD FRIEND.

 

Terrible" said Nekhludoffas he went out into the waiting-room withthe advocatewho was arranging the papers in his portfolio. "In a matterwhich is perfectly clear they attach all the importance to the form and rejectthe appeal. Terrible!"

"The case was spoiled in the Criminal Court" said the advocate.

"And Selenintoowas in favour of the rejection. Terrible!terrible!" Nekhludoff repeated. "What is to be done now?"

"We will appeal to His Majestyand you can hand in the petitionyourself while you are here. I will write it for you."

At this moment little Wolfwith his stars and uniformcame out into thewaiting-room and approached Nekhludoff. "It could not be helpeddearPrince. The reasons for an appeal were not sufficient" he saidshrugginghis narrow shoulders and closing his eyesand then he went his way.

After WolfSelenin came out toohaving heard from the Senators that his oldfriend Nekhludoff was there.

"WellI never expected to see you here" he saidcoming up toNekhludoffand smiling only with his lips while his eyes remained sad. "Idid 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 hadheardby the waythat you were in Petersburg. But what are you doinghere?"

"Here? I am here because I hoped to find justice and save a womaninnocently condemned."

"What woman?"

"The one whose case has just been decided."

"Oh! Maslova's case" said Seleninsuddenly remembering it."The appeal had no grounds whatever."

"It is not the appeal; it's the woman who is innocentand is beingpunished."

Selenin sighed. "That may well bebut----'

"Not MAY BEbut 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 atthe time" he said.

"I did make the statement."

"It should have been put down in an official report. If this had beenadded to the petition for the appeal--"

"Yesbut stillas it isthe verdict is evidently absurd."

"The Senate has no right to say so. If the Senate took upon itself torepeal the decision of the law courts according to its own views as to thejustice of the decisions in themselvesthe verdict of the jury would lose allits meaningnot to mention that the Senate would have no basis to go uponandwould run the risk of infringing justice rather than upholding it" saidSelenincalling to mind the case that had just been heard.

"All I know is that this woman is quite innocentand that the last hopeof saying her from an unmerited punishment is gone. The grossest injustice hasbeen confirmed by the highest court."

"It has not been confirmed. The Senate did not and cannot enter into themerits of the case in itself" said Selenin. Always busy and rarely goingout into societyhe had evidently heard nothing of Nekhludoff's romance.Nekhludoff noticed itand made up his mind that it was best to say nothingabout his special relations with Maslova.

"You are probably staying with your aunt" Selenin remarkedapparently wishing to change the subject. "She told me you were hereyesterdayand she invited me to meet you in the eveningwhen some foreignpreacher was to lecture" and Selenin again smiled only with his lips.

"YesI was therebut left in disgust" said Nekhludoff angrilyvexed that Selenin had changed the subject.

"Why with disgust? After allit is a manifestation of religiousfeelingthough one-sided and sectarian" said Selenin.

"Whyit's only some kind of whimsical folly."

"Ohdearno. The curious thing is that we know the teaching of ourchurch so little that we see some new kind of revelation in what areafter allour own fundamental dogmas" said Seleninas if hurrying to let his oldfriend know his new views.

Nekhludoff looked at Selenin scrutinisingly and with surpriseand Selenindropped his eyesin which appeared an expression not only of sadness but alsoof ill-will.

"Do youthenbelieve in the dogmas of the church?" Nekhludoffasked.

"Of course I do" replied Seleningazing straight intoNekhludoff's eyes with a lifeless look.

Nekhludoff sighed. "It is strange" he said.

"Howeverwe shall have a talk some other time" said Selenin."I am coming" he addedin answer to the usherwho had respectfullyapproached him. "Yeswe 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 atseven o'clock. My address is Nadejdinskaya" and he gave the number."Ahtime does not stand still" and he turned to gosmiling onlywith his lips.

"I will come if I can" said Nekhludofffeeling that a man oncenear and dear to him hadby this brief conversationsuddenly become strangedistantand incomprehensibleif not hostile to him.

CHAPTER XXIII. THE PUBLIC PROSECUTOR.

 

When Nekhludoff knew Selenin as a studenthe was a good sona true friendand for his years an educated man of the worldwith much tact; eleganthandsomeand at the same time truthful and honest. He learned wellwithoutmuch exertion and with no pedantryreceiving gold medals for his essays. Heconsidered the service of mankindnot only in words but in actsto be the aimof his young life. He saw no other way of being useful to humanity than byserving the State. Thereforeas soon as he had completed his studieshesystematically examined all the activities to which he might devote his lifeand decided to enter the Second Department of the Chancelleriewhere the lawsare drawn upand he did so. Butin spite of the most scrupulous and exactdischarge of the duties demanded of himthis service gave no satisfaction tohis desire of being usefulnor could he awake in himself the consciousness thathe was doing "the right thing."

This dissatisfaction was so much increased by the friction with his verysmall-minded and vain fellow officials that he left the Chancellerie and enteredthe Senate. It was better therebut the same dissatisfaction still pursued him;he felt it to be very different from what he had expectedand from what oughtto be.

And now that he was in the Senate his relatives obtained for him the post ofGentleman of the Bedchamberand he had to go in a carriagedressed in anembroidered uniform and a white linen apronto thank all sorts of people forhaving placed him in the position of a lackey. However much he tried he couldfind no reasonable explanation for the existence of this postand feltmorethan in the Senatethat it was not "the right thing" and yet hecould not refuse it for fear of hurting those who felt sure they were giving himmuch pleasure by this appointmentand because it flattered the lowest part ofhis nature. It pleased him to see himself in a mirror in his gold-embroidereduniformand to accept the deference paid him by some people because of hisposition.

Something of the same kind happened when he married. A very brilliant matchfrom a worldly point of viewwas arranged for himand he married chieflybecause by refusing he would have had to hurt the young lady who wished to bemarried to himand those who arranged the marriageand also because a marriagewith a nice young girl of noble birth flattered his vanity and gave himpleasure. But this marriage very soon proved to be even less "the rightthing" than the Government service and his position at Court.

After the birth of her first child the wife decided to have no moreandbegan leading that luxurious worldly life in which he now had to participatewhether he liked or not.

She was not particularly handsomeand was faithful to himand she seemedin spite of all the efforts it cost herto derive nothing but weariness fromthe life she ledyet she perseveringly continued to live itthough it waspoisoning her husband's life. And all his efforts to alter this life wasshatteredas against a stone wallby her convictionwhich all her friends andrelatives supportedthat all was as it should be.

The childa little girl with bare legs and long golden curlswas a beingperfectly foreign to himchiefly because she was trained quite otherwise thanhe wished her to be. There sprung up between the husband and wife the usualmisunderstandingwithout even the wish to understand each otherand then asilent warfarehidden from outsiders and tempered by decorum. All this made hislife at home a burdenand became even less "the right thing" than hisservice and his post.

But it was above all his attitude towards religion which was not "theright thing." Like every one of his set and his timeby the growth of hisreason he broke without the least effort the nets of the religious superstitionsin which he was brought upand did not himself exactly know when it was that hefreed himself of them. Being earnest and uprighthe did notduring his youthand intimacy with Nekhludoff as a studentconceal his rejection of the Statereligion. But as years went on and he rose in the serviceand especially at thetime of the reaction towards conservatism in societyhis spiritual freedomstood in his way. At homewhen his father diedhe had to be present at themasses said for his souland his mother wished him to go to confession or tocommunionand it was in a way expectedby public opinionbut above allGovernment service demanded that he should be present at all sorts of servicesconsecrationsthanksgivingsand the like. Hardly a day passed without someoutward religious form having to be observed.

When present at these services he had to pretend that he believed insomething which he did not believe inand being truthful he could not do this.The alternative washaving made up his mind that all these outward signs weredeceitfulto alter his life in such a way that he would not have to be presentat such ceremonials. But to do what seemed so simple would have cost a greatdeal. Besides encountering the perpetual hostility of all those who were near tohimhe would have to give up the service and his positionand sacrifice hishopes of being useful to humanity by his servicenow and in the future. To makesuch a sacrifice one would have to be firmly convinced of being right.

And he was firmly convinced he was rightas no educated man of our time canhelp being convinced who knows a little history and how the religionsandespecially Church Christianityoriginated.

But under the stress of his daily life hea truthful manallowed a littlefalsehood to creep in. He said that in order to do justice to an unreasonablething one had to study the unreasonable thing. It was a little falsehoodbut itsunk him into the big falsehood in which he was now caught.

Before putting to himself the question whether the orthodoxy in which he wasborn and bredand which every one expected him to acceptand without which hecould not continue his useful occupationcontained the truthhe had alreadydecided the answer. And to clear up the question he did not read VoltaireSchopenhauerHerbert Spenceror Comtebut the philosophical works of Hegeland the religious works of Vinet and Khomyakoffand naturally found in themwhat he wantedi.e.something like peace of mind and a vindication of thatreligious teaching in which he was educatedwhich his reason had long ceased toacceptbut without which his whole life was filled with unpleasantness whichcould all be removed by accepting the teaching.

And so he adopted all the usual sophistries which go to prove that a singlehuman reason cannot know the truththat the truth is only revealed to anassociation of menand can only be known by revelationthat revelation is keptby the churchetc. And so he managed to be present at prayersmasses for thedeadto confessmake signs of the cross in front of iconswith a quiet mindwithout being conscious of the lieand to continue in the service which gavehim the feeling of being useful and some comfort in his joyless family life.Although he believed thishe felt with his entire being that this religion ofhismore than all elsewas not "the right thing" and that is whyhis eyes always looked sad.

And seeing Nekhludoffwhom he had known before all these lies had rootedthemselves within himreminded him of what he then was. It was especially afterhe had hurried to hint at his religious views that he had most strongly felt allthis "not the right thing" and had become painfully sad. Nekhludofffelt it also after the first joy of meeting his old friend had passedandthereforethough they promised each other to meetthey did not take any stepstowards an interviewand did not again see each other during this stay ofNekhludoff's in Petersburg.

CHAPTER XXIV. MARIETTE TEMPTS NEKHLUDOFF.

When they left the SenateNekhludoff and the advocate walked ontogetherthe advocate having given the driver of his carriage orders to followthem. The advocate told Nekhludoff the story of the chief of a Governmentdepartmentabout whom the Senators had been talking: how the thing was foundoutand how the manwho according to law should have been sent to the mineshad been appointed Governor of a town in Siberia. Then he related withparticular pleasure how several high-placed persons stole a lot of moneycollected for the erection of the still unfinished monument which they hadpassed that morning; alsohow the mistress of So-and-so got a lot of money atthe Stock Exchangeand how So-and-so agreed with So-and-so to sell him hiswife. The advocate began another story about a swindleand all sorts of crimescommitted by persons in high placeswhoinstead of being in prisonsat onpresidential chairs in all sorts of Government institutions. These talesofwhich the advocate seemed to have an unending supplygave him much pleasureshowing as they didwith perfect clearnessthat his means of getting moneywere quite just and innocent compared to the means which the highest officialsin Petersburg made use of. The advocate was therefore surprised when Nekhludofftook an isvostchik before hearing the end of the storysaid good-byeand lefthim. Nekhludoff felt very sad. It was chiefly the rejection of the appeal by theSenateconfirming the senseless torments that the innocent Maslova wasenduringthat saddened himand also the fact that this rejection made it stillharder for him to unite his fate with hers. The stories about existing evilswhich the advocate recounted with such relishheightened his sadnessand sodid the coldunkind look that the once sweet-naturedfranknoble Selenin hadgiven himand which kept recurring to his mind.

On his return the doorkeeper handed him a noteand saidrather scornfullythat some kind of woman had written it in the hall. It was a note fromShoustova's mother. She wrote that she had come to thank her daughter'sbenefactor and saviourand to implore him to come to see them on theVasilievskySth Linehouse No. --. This was very necessary because of VeraDoukhova. He need not be afraid that they would weary him with expressions ofgratitude. They would not speak their gratitudebut be simply glad to see him.Would he not come next morningif he could?

There was another note from Bogotyreffa former fellow-officeraide-de-campto the Emperorwhom Nekhludoff had asked to hand personally to the Emperor hispetition on behalf of the sectarians. Bogotyreff wrotein his largefirm handthat he would put the petition into the Emperor's own handsas he had promised;but that it had occurred to him that it might be better for Nekhludoff first togo and see the person on whom the matter depended.

After the impressions received during the last few daysNekhludoff feltperfectly hopeless of getting anything done. The plans he had formed in Moscowseemed now something like the dreams of youthwhich are inevitably followed bydisillusion when life comes to be faced. Stillbeing now in Petersburgheconsidered it his duty to do all he had intendedand he resolved next dayafter consulting Bogotyreffto act on his advice and see the person on whom thecase of the sectarians depended.

He got out the sectarians' petition from his portfolioand began reading itoverwhen there was a knock at his doorand a footman came in with a messagefrom the Countess Katerina Ivanovnawho asked him to come up and have a cup oftea with her.

Nekhludoff said he would come at onceand having put the papers back intothe portfoliohe went up to his aunt's. He looked out of a window on his wayand saw Mariette's pair of bays standing in front of the houseand he suddenlybrightened and felt inclined to smile.

Mariettewith a hat on her headnot in black but with a light dress of manyshadessat with a cup in her hand beside the Countess's easy chairprattlingabout something while her beautifullaughing eyes glistened. She had saidsomething funny--something indecently funny--just as Nekhludoff entered theroom. He knew it by the way she laughedand by the way the good-naturedCountess Katerina Ivanovna's fat body was shaking with laughter; while Marietteher smiling mouth slightly drawn to one sideher head a little bentapeculiarly mischievous expression in her merryenergetic facesat silentlylooking at her companion. From a few words which he overheardNekhludoffguessed that they were talking of the second piece of Petersburg newstheepisode of the Siberian Governorand that it was in reference to this subjectthat Mariette had said something so funny that the Countess could not controlherself for a long time.

"You will kill me" she saidcoughing.

After saying "How d'you do?" Nekhludoff sat down. He was about tocensure Mariette in his mind for her levity whennoticing the serious and evenslightly dissatisfied look in his eyesshe suddenlyto please himchanged notonly the expression of her facebut also the attitude of her mind; for she feltthe wish to please him as soon as she looked at him. She suddenly turnedseriousdissatisfied with her lifeas if seeking and striving after something;it was not that she pretendedbut she really reproduced in herself the verysame state of mind that he was inalthough it would have been impossible forher 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 hisfailure in the Senate and his meeting Selenin.

"Ohwhat a pure soul! He isindeeda chevalier sans peur et sansreproche. A pure soul!" said both ladiesusing the epithet commonlyapplied to Selenin in Petersburg society.

"What is his wife like?" Nekhludoff asked.

"His wife? WellI do not wish to judgebut she does not understandhim."

"Is it possible that hetoowas for rejecting the appeal? Marietteasked with real sympathy. "It is dreadful. How sorry I am for her"she added with a sigh.

He frownedand in order to change the subject began to speak aboutShoustovawho had been imprisoned in the fortress and was now set free throughthe influence of Mariette's husband. He thanked her for her troubleand wasgoing on to say how dreadful he thought itthat this woman and the whole of herfamily had suffered merelybecause no one had reminded the authorities aboutthembut Mariette interrupted him and expressed her own indignation.

"Say nothing about it to me" she said. "When my husband toldme she could be set freeit was this that struck me'What was she kept inprison for if she is innocent?'" She went on expressing what Nekhludoff wasabout to say.

"It is revolting--revolting."

Countess Katerina Ivanovna noticed that Mariette was coquetting with hernephewand this amused her. "What do you think?" she saidwhen theywere silent. "Supposing you come to Aline's to-morrow night. Kiesewetterwill be there. And youtoo" she saidturning to Mariette. "Il vousa remarque" she went on to her nephew. "He told me that what you say(I repeated it all to him) is a very good signand that you will certainly cometo Christ. You must come absolutely. Tell him toMarietteand comeyourself."

"Countessin the first placeI have no right whatever to give any kindof advice to the Prince" said Marietteand gave Nekhludoff a look thatsomehow established a full comprehension between them of their attitude inrelation to the Countess's words and evangelicalism in general. "SecondlyI do not much careyou know."

YesI know you always do things the wrong way roundand according to yourown ideas."

"My own ideas? I have faith like the most simple peasant woman"said Mariette with a smile. "AndthirdlyI am going to the French Theatreto-morrow night."

"Ah! And have you seen that--What's her name?" asked CountessKaterina Ivanovna. Mariette gave the name of a celebrated French actress.

"You must gomost decidedly; she is wonderful."

"Whom am I to see firstma 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 actressor else thedesire for the sermon might vanish altogether" said Nekhludoff.

"No; better begin with the French Theatreand do penanceafterwards."

"Nowthenyou are not to hold me up for ridicule. The preacher is thepreacher and the theatre is the theatre. One need not weep in order to be saved.One must have faithand then one is sure to be gay."

"Youma tantepreach better than any preacher."

"Do you know what?" said Mariette. "Come into my boxto-morrow."

"I am afraid I shall not be able to."

The footman interrupted the conversation by announcing a visitor. It was thesecretary of a philanthropic society of which the Countess was president.

"Ohthat is the dullest of men. I think I shall receive him out thereand return to you later on. Mariettegive him his tea" said the Countessand left the roomwith her quickwriggling walk.

Mariette took the glove off her firmrather flat handthe fourth finger ofwhich was covered with rings.

"Want any?" she saidtaking hold of the silver teapotunder whicha spirit lamp was burningand extending her little finger curiously. Her facelooked sad and serious.

"It is always terribly painful to me to notice that people whose opinionI value confound me with the position I am placed in." She seemed ready tocry as she said these last words. And though these words had no meaningor atany rate a very indefinite meaningthey seemed to be of exceptional depthmeaningor goodness to Nekhludoffso much was he attracted by the look of thebright eyes which accompanied the words of this youngbeautifulandwell-dressed woman.

Nekhludoff looked at her in silenceand could not take his eyes from herface.

"You think I do not understand you and all that goes on in you. Whyeverybody knows what you are doing. C'est le secret de polichinelle. And I amdelighted with your workand think highly of you."

"Reallythere is nothing to be delighted with; and I have done solittle as Yet."

"No matter. I understand your feelingsand I understand her. All rightall right. I will say nothing more about it" she saidnoticingdispleasure on his face. "But I also understand that after seeing all thesuffering and the horror in the prisons" Mariette went onher only desirethat of attracting himand guessing with her woman's instinct what was dear andimportant to him"you wish to help the sufferersthose who are made tosuffer so terribly by other menand their cruelty and indifference. Iunderstand the willingness to give one's lifeand could give mine in such acausebut we each have our own fate."

"Are youthendissatisfied with your fate?"

"I?" she askedas if struck with surprise that such a questioncould be put to her. "I have to be satisfiedand am satisfied. But thereis a worm that wakes up--"

"And he must not be allowed to fall asleep again. It is a voice thatmust he obeyed" Nekhludoff saidfailing into the trap.

Many a time later on Nekhludoff remembered with shame his talk with her. Heremembered her wordswhich were not so much lies as imitations of his ownandher facewhich seemed looking at him with sympathetic attention when he toldher about the terrors of the prison and of his impressions in the country.

When the Countess returned they were talking not merely like oldbut likeexclusive friends who alone understood one another. They were talking about theinjustice of powerof the sufferings of the unfortunatethe poverty of thepeopleyet in reality in the midst of the sound of their talk their eyesgazing at each otherkept asking"Can you love me?" and answering"I can" and the sex-feelingtaking the most unexpected and brightestformsdrew them to each other. As she was going away she told him that shewould always he willing to serve him in any way she couldand asked him to comeand see herif only for a momentin the theatre next dayas she had a veryimportant thing to tell him about.

"Yesand when shall I see you again?" she addedwith a sighcarefully drawing the glove over her jewelled hand.

"Say you will come."

Nekhludoff promised.

That nightwhen Nekhludoff was alone in his roomand lay down after puttingout his candlehe could not sleep. He thought of Maslovaof the decision ofthe Senateof his resolve to follow her in any caseof his having given up theland. The face of Mariette appeared to him as if in answer to thosethoughts--her lookher sighher words"When shall I see you again?"and her smile seemed vivid as if he really saw herand he also smiled."Shall I be doing right in going to Siberia? And have I done right indivesting myself of my wealth?" And the answers to the questions on thisPetersburg nighton which the daylight streamed into the window from under theblindwere quite indefinite. All seemed mixed in his head. He recalled hisformer state of mindand the former sequence of his thoughtsbut they had nolonger their former power or validity.

"And supposing I have invented all thisand am unable to live itthrough--supposing I repent of having acted right" he thought; and unableto answer he was seized with such anguish and despair as he had long not felt.Unable to free himself from his perplexityhe fell into a heavy sleepsuch ashe had slept after a heavy loss at cards.

CHAPTER XXV. LYDIA SHOUSTOVA'S HOME.

 

Nekhludoff awoke next morning feeling as if he had been guilty of someiniquity the day before. He began considering. He could not remember having doneanything wrong; he had committed no evil actbut he had had evil thoughts. Hehad thought that all his present resolutions to marry Katusha and to give up hisland were unachievable dreams; that he should be unable to bear it; that it wasartificialunnatural; and that he would have to go on living as he lived.

He had committed no evil actionbutwhat was far worse than an evil actionhe had entertained evil thoughts whence all evil actions proceed. An evil actionmay not be repeatedand can be repented of; but evil thoughts generate all evilactions.

An evil action only smooths the path for other evil acts; evil thoughtsuncontrollably drag one along that path.

When Nekhludoff repeated in his mind the thoughts of the day beforehe wassurprised that he could for a moment have believed these thoughts. However newand difficult that which he had decided to do might behe knew that it was theonly possible way of life for him nowand however easy and natural it mighthave been to return to his former statehe knew that state to be death.

Yesterday's temptation seemed like the feeling when one awakes from deepsleepandwithout feeling sleepywants to lie comfortably in bed a littlelongeryet knows that it is time to rise and commence the glad and importantwork that awaits one.

On thathis last day in Petersburghe went in the morning to theVasilievski Ostrov to see Shoustova. Shoustova lived on the second floorandhaving been shown the back stairsNekhludoff entered straight into the hotkitchenwhich smelt strongly of food. An elderly womanwith turned-up sleeveswith an apron and spectaclesstood by the fire stirring something in a steamingpan.

"Whom do you want?" she asked severelylooking at him over herspectacles.

Before Nekhludoff had time to answeran expression of fright and joyappeared on her face.

"OhPrince!" she exclaimedwiping her hands on her apron."But why have you come the back way? Our Benefactor! I am her mother. Theyhave nearly killed my little girl. You have saved us" she saidcatchinghold of Nekhludoff's hand and trying to kiss it.

"I went to see you yesterday. My sister asked me to. She is here. Thiswaythis wayplease" said Shoustova's motheras she led the way througha narrow doorand a dark passagearranging her hair and pulling at hertucked-up skirt. "My sister's name is Kornilova. You must have heard ofher" she addedstopping before a closed door. "She was mixed up in apolitical affair. An extremely clever woman!"

Shoustova's mother opened the door and showed Nekhludoff into a little roomwhere on a sofa with a table before it sat a plumpshort girl with fair hairthat curled round her paleround facewhich was very like her mother's. Shehad a striped cotton blouse on.

Opposite herin an armchairleaning forwardso that he was nearly bentdoublesat a young fellow with a slightblack beard and moustaches.

"LydiaPrince Nekhludoff!" he said.

The pale girl jumped upnervously pushing back a lock of hair behind herearand gazing at the newcomer with a frightened look in her largegrey eyes.

"So you are that dangerous woman whom Vera Doukhova wished me tointercede for?" Nekhludoff askedwith a smile.

"YesI am" said Lydia Shoustovaher broadkindchild-likesmile disclosing a row of beautiful teeth. "It was aunt who was so anxiousto see you. Aunt!" she called outin a pleasanttender voice through adoor.

"Your imprisonment grieved Vera Doukhova very much" saidNekhludoff.

"Take a seat hereor better here" said Shoustovapointing to thebattered easy-chair from which the young man had just risen. "My cousinZakharov" she saidnoticing that Nekhludoff looked at the young man.

The young man greeted the visitor with a smile as kindly as Shoustova'sandwhen Nekhludoff sat down he brought himself another chairand sat by his side.A fair-haired schoolboy of about 10 also came into the room and silently satdown on the window-sill.

"Vera Doukhova is a great friend of my aunt'sbut I hardly knowher" said Shoustova.

Then a woman with a very pleasant facewith a white blouse and leather beltcame in from the next room.

"How do you do? Thanks for coming" she began as soon as she hadtaken the place next Shoustova's on the sofa.

"Welland how is Vera. You have seen her? How does she bear herfate?"

"She does not complain" said Nekhludoff. "She says she feelsperfectly happy."'

"Ahthat's like Vera. I know her" said the auntsmiling andshaking her head. "One must know her. She has a fine character. Everythingfor others; nothing for herself."

"Noshe asked nothing for herselfbut only seemed concerned about yourniece. What seemed to trouble her most wasas she saidthat your niece wasimprisoned for nothing."

"Yesthat's true" said the aunt. "It is a dreadful business.She sufferedin realitybecause of me."

"Not at allaunt. I should have taken the papers without you all thesame.'

"Allow me to know better" said the aunt. "You see" shewent on to Nekhludoff"it all happened because a certain person asked meto keep his papers for a timeand Ihaving no house at the timebrought themto her. And that very night the police searched her room and took her and thepapersand have kept her up to nowdemanding that she should say from whom shehad them."

"But I never told them" said Shoustova quicklypulling nervouslyat 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" saidShoustovablushingand looking round uneasily.

"Don't speak about itLydia dear" said her mother.

"Why not? I should like to relate it" said Shoustovano longersmiling nor pulling her lockbut twisting it round her finger and gettingredder.

"Don't forget what happened yesterday when you began talking aboutit."

"Not at all---Leave me alonemamma. I did not tellI only kept quiet.When he examined me about Mitin and about auntI said nothingand told him Iwould not answer."

"Then this--Petrov--"

"Petrov is a spya gendarmeand a blackguard" put in the auntto explain her niece's words to Nekhludoff.

"Then he began persuading" continued Shoustovaexcitedly andhurriedly. "'Anything you tell me' he said'can harm no one; on thecontraryif you tell mewe may be able to set free innocent people whom we maybe uselessly tormenting.' WellI still said I would not tell. Then he said'All rightdon't tellbut do not deny what I am going to say.' And he namedMitin."

"Don't talk about it" said the aunt.

"Ohauntdon't interrupt" and she went on pulling the lock ofhair and looking round. "And thenonly fancythe next day I hear--theylet me know by knocking at the wall--that Mitin is arrested. WellI think Ihave betrayed himand this tormented me so--it tormented me so that I nearlywent mad."

"And it turned out that it was not at all because of you he was takenup?"

"Yesbut I didn't know. I think'TherenowI have betrayed him.' Iwalk and walk up and down from wall to walland cannot help thinking. I think'I have betrayed him.' I lie down and cover myself upand hear somethingwhispering'Betrayed! betrayed Mitin! Mitin betrayed!' I know it is anhallucinationbut cannot help listening. I wish to fall asleepI cannot. Iwish not to thinkand cannot cease. That is terrible!" and as Shoustovaspoke she got more and more excitedand twisted and untwisted the lock of hairround her finger.

"Lydiadearbe calm" the mother saidtouching her shoulder.

But Shoustova could not stop herself.

"It is all the more terrible--" she began againbut did notfinish. and jumping up with a cry rushed out of the room

Her mother turned to follow her.

"They ought to be hangedthe rascals!" said the schoolboy who wassitting on the window-sill.

"What's that?" said the mother.

"I only said--Ohit's nothing" the schoolboy answeredand takinga cigarette that lay on the tablehe began to smoke.

CHAPTER XXVI. LYDIA'S AUNT.

Yesthat solitary confinement is terrible for the young"said the auntshaking her head and also lighting a cigarette.

"I should say for every one" Nekhludoff replied.

"Nonot for all" answered the aunt. "For the realrevolutionistsI have been toldit is rest and quiet. A man who is wanted bythe police lives in continual anxietymaterial wantand fear for himself andothersand for his causeand at lastwhen he is taken up and it is all overand all responsibility is off his shouldershe can sit and rest. I have beentold they actually feel joyful when taken up. But the young and innocent (theyalways first arrest the innocentlike Lydia)for them the first shock isterrible. It is not that they deprive you of freedom; and the bad food and badair--all that is nothing. Three times as many privations would be easily borneif it were not for the moral shock when one is first taken."

"Have you experienced it?"

"I? I was twice in prison" she answeredwith a sadgentle smile."When I was arrested for the first time I had done nothing. I was 22had achildand was expecting another. Though the loss of freedom and the partingwith my child and husband were hardthey were nothing when compared with what Ifelt when I found out that I had ceased being a human creature and had become athing. I wished to say good-bye to my little daughter. I was told to go and getinto the trap. I asked where I was being taken to. The answer was that I shouldknow when I got there. I asked what I was accused ofbut got no reply. After Ihad been examinedand after they had undressed me and put numbered prisonclothes on methey led me to a vaultopened a doorpushed me inand left mealone; a sentinelwith a loaded gunpaced up and down in front of my doorandevery now and then looked in through a crack--I felt terribly depressed. Whatstruck me most at the time was that the gendarme officer who examined me offeredme a cigarette. So he knew that people liked smokingand must know that theyliked freedom and light; and that mothers love their childrenand childrentheir mothers. Then how could they tear me pitilessly from all that was dear tomeand lock me up in prison like a wild animal? That sort of thing could not beborne without evil effects. Any one who believes in God and menand believesthat men love one anotherwill cease to believe it after all that. I haveceased to believe in humanity since thenand have grown embittered" shefinishedwith a smile.

Shoustova's mother came in at the door through which her daughter had goneoutand said that Lydia was very much upsetand 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 ofit."

"She will recover in the countrywith God's help" said themother. "We shall send her to her father."

"Yesif 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: Iwished to ask you to take a letter to Vera Doukhova" and she got theletter out of her pocket.

"The letter is not closed; you may read and tear it upor hand it toheraccording to how far it coincides with your principles" she said."It contains nothing compromising."

Nekhludoff took the letterandhaving promised to give it to Vera Doukhovahe took his leave and went away. He scaled the letter without reading itmeaning to take it to its destination.

CHAPTER XXVII. THE STATE CHURCH AND THE PEOPLE.

 

The last thing that kept Nekhludoff in Petersburg was the case of thesectarianswhose petition he intended to get his former fellow-officerAide-de-camp Bogatyreffto hand to the Tsar. He came to Bogatyreff in themorningand found him about to go outthough still at breakfast. Bogatyreffwas not tallbut firmly built and wonderfully strong (he could bend ahorseshoe)a kindhoneststraightand even liberal man. In spite of thesequalitieshe was intimate at Courtand very fond of the Tsar and his familyand by some strange method he managedwhile living in that highest circletosee nothing but the good in it and to take no part in the evil and corruption.He never condemned anybody nor any measureand either kept silent or spoke in aboldloud voicealmost shouting what he had to sayand often laughing in thesame boisterous manner. And he did not do it for diplomatic reasonsbut becausesuch was his character.

"Ahthat's right that you have come. Would you like some breakfast? Sitdownthe beefsteaks are fine! I always begin with something substantial--beginand finishtoo. Ha! ha! ha! Wellthenhave a glass of wine" he shoutedpointing to a decanter of claret. "I have been thinking of you. I will handon the petition. I shall put it into his own hands. You may count on thatonlyit 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 consultedanyhow. And perhaps he mayhimself meet your wishes."

"If you advise it I shall go."

"That's right. Welland how does Petersburg agree with you?"shouted Bogatyreff. "Tell me. Eh?"

"I feel myself getting hypnotised" replied Nekhludoff.

"Hypnotised!" Bogatyreff repeatedand burst out laughing."You won't have anything? Welljust as you please" and he wiped hismoustaches with his napkin. "Then you'll go? Eh? If he does not do itgivethe petition to meand I shall hand it on to-morrow." Shouting thesewordshe rosecrossed himself just as naturally as he had wiped his mouthandbegan buckling on his sword.

"And now good-bye; I must go. We are both going out" saidNekhludoffand shaking Bogatyreff's strongbroad handand with the sense ofpleasure which the impression of something healthy and unconsciously freshalways gave himNekhludoff parted from Bogatyreff on the door-steps.

Though he expected no good result from his visitstill NekhludofffollowingBogatyreff's advicewent to see Toporoffon whom the sectarians' fatedepended.

The position occupied by Toporoffinvolving as it did an incongruity ofpurposecould only be held by a dull man devoid of moral sensibility. Toporoffpossessed both these negative qualities. The incongruity of the position heoccupied was this. It was his duty to keep up and to defendby externalmeasuresnot excluding violencethat Church whichby its own declarationwasestablished by God Himself and could not be shaken by the gates of hell nor byanything human. This divine and immutable God-established institution had to besustained and defended by a human institution--the Holy Synodmanaged byToporoff and his officials. Toporoff did not see this contradictionnor did hewish to see itand he was therefore much concerned lest some Romish priestsome pastoror some sectarian should destroy that Church which the gates ofhell could not conquer.

Toporofflike all those who are quite destitute of the fundamental religiousfeeling that recognises the equality and brotherhood of menwas fully convincedthat the common people were creatures entirely different from himselfand thatthe people needed what he could very well do withoutfor at the bottom of hisheart he believed in nothingand found such a state very convenient andpleasant. Yet he feared lest the people might also come to such a stateandlooked upon it as his sacred dutyas he called itto save the peopletherefrom.

A certain cookery book declares that some crabs like to be boiled alive. Inthe same way he thought and spoke as if the people liked being kept insuperstition; only he meant this in a literal sensewhereas the cookery bookdid not mean its words literally.

His feelings towards the religion he was keeping up were the same as those ofthe poultry-keeper towards the carrion he fed his fowls on. Carrion was verydisgustingbut the fowls liked it; therefore it was right to feed the fowls oncarrion. Of course all this worship of the images of the IberianKasan andSmolensk Mothers of God was a gross superstitionbut the people liked it andbelieved in itand therefore the superstition must be kept up.

Thus thought Toporoffnot considering that the people only likedsuperstition because there always have beenand still aremen like himselfwhobeing enlightenedinstead of using their light to help others to struggleout of their dark ignoranceuse it to plunge them still deeper into it.

When Nekhludoff entered the reception-room Toporoff was in his study talkingwith an abbessa lively and aristocratic ladywho was spreading the Greekorthodox faith in Western Russia among the Uniates (who acknowledge the Pope ofRome)and who have the Greek religion enforced on them. An official who was inthe reception-room inquired what Nekhludoff wantedand when he heard thatNekhludoff meant to hand in a petition to the Emperorhe asked him if he wouldallow the petition to be read first. Nekhludoff gave it himand the officialtook it into the study. The abbesswith her hood and flowing veil and her longtrain trailing behindleft the study and went outher white hands (with theirwell-tended nails) holding a topaz rosary. Nekhludoff was not immediately askedto come in. Toporoff was reading the petition and shaking his head. He wasunpleasantly surprised by the clear and emphatic wording of it.

"If it gets into the hands of the Emperor it may causemisunderstandingsand unpleasant questions may be asked" he thought as heread. Then he put the petition on the tablerangand ordered Nekhludoff to beasked in.

He remembered the case of the sectarians; he had had a petition from thembefore. The case was this: These Christiansfallen away from the Greek OrthodoxChurchwere first exhorted and then tried by lawbut were acquitted. Then theArchdeacon and the Governor arrangedon the plea that their marriages wereillegalto exile these sectariansseparating the husbandswivesandchildren. These fathers and wives were now petitioning that they should not heparted. Toporoff recollected the first time the case came to his notice: he hadat that time hesitated whether he had not better put a stop to it. But then hethought no harm could result from his confirming the decision to separate andexile the different members of the sectarian familieswhereas allowing thepeasant sect to remain where it was might have a bad effect on the rest of theinhabitants of the place and cause them to fall away from Orthodoxy. And thenthe affair also proved the zeal of the Archdeaconand so he let the caseproceed along the lines it had taken. But now that they had a defender such asNekhludoffwho had some influence in Petersburgthe case might be speciallypointed out to the Emperor as something cruelor it might get into the foreignpapers. Therefore he at once took an unexpected decision.

"How do you do?" he saidwith the air of a very busy manreceiving Nekhludoff standingand at once starting on the business. "Iknow this case. As soon as I saw the names I recollected this unfortunatebusiness" he saidtaking up the petition and showing it to Nekhludoff."And I am much indebted to you for reminding me of it. It is theover-zealousness of the provincial authorities."

Nekhludoff stood silentlooking with no kindly feelings at the immovablepale mask of a face before him.

"And I shall give orders that these measures should he revoked and thepeople reinstated in their homes."

"So that I need not make use of this petition?"

"I promise you most assuredly" answered Toporofflaying a stresson the word Ias if quite convinced that his honestyhis word was the bestguarantee. "It will be best if I write at once. Take a seatplease."

He went up to the table and began to write. As Nekhludoff sat down he lookedat the narrowbald skullat the fatblue-veined hand that was swiftly guidingthe penand wondered why this evidently indifferent man was doing what he didand why he was doing it with such care.

"Wellhere you are" said Toporoffsealing the envelope;"you may let your clients know" and he stretched his lips to imitatea smile.

"Then what did these people suffer for?" Nekhludoff askedas hetook the envelope.

Toporoff raised his head and smiledas if Nekhludoff's question gave himpleasure. "That I cannot tell. All I can say is that the interests of thepeople guarded by us are so important that too great a zeal in matters ofreligion is not so dangerous or so harmful as the indifference which is nowspreading--"

"But how is it that in the name of religion the very first demands ofrighteousness are violated--families are separated?"

Toporoff continued to smile patronisinglyevidently thinking what Nekhludoffsaid very pretty. Anything that Nekhludoff could say he would have consideredvery pretty and very one-sidedfrom the height of what he considered hisfar-reaching office in the State.

"It may seem so from the point of view of a private individual" hesaid"but from an administrative point of view it appears in a ratherdifferent light. HoweverI must bid you good-byenow" said Toporoffbowing his head and holding out his handwhich 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 inwhom is manifested the activity of the institutions that uphold religion andeducate the people. He began with the woman punished for the illicit sale ofspiritsthe boy for theftthe tramp for trampingthe incendiary for setting ahouse on firethe banker for fraudand that unfortunate Lydia Shoustovaimprisoned only because they hoped to get such information as they required fromher. Then he thought of the sectarians punished for violating OrthodoxyandGourkevitch for wanting constitutional governmentand Nekhludoff clearly sawthat all these people were arrestedlocked upexilednot really because theytransgressed against justice or behaved unlawfullybut only because they werean obstacle hindering the officials and the rich from enjoying the property theyhad taken away from the people. And the woman who sold wine without having alicenseand the thief knocking about the townand Lydia Shoustova hidingproclamationsand the sectarians upsetting superstitionsand Gourkevitchdesiring a constitutionwere a real hindrance. It seemed perfectly clear toNekhludoff that all these officialsbeginning with his aunt's husbandtheSenatorsand Toporoffdown to those clean and correct gentlemen who sat at thetables in the Ministry Officewere not at all troubled by the fact that that insuch a state of things the innocent had to sufferbut were only concerned howto get rid of the really dangerousso that the rule that ten guilty shouldescape rather than that one innocent should be condemned was not observedbuton the contraryfor the sake of getting rid of one really dangerous persontenwho seemed dangerous were punishedaswhen cutting a rotten piece out ofanythingone has to cut away some that is good.

This explanation seemed very simple and clear to Nekhludoff; but its verysimplicity and clearness made him hesitate to accept it. Was it possible that socomplicated a phenomenon could have so simple and terrible an explanation? Wasit possible that all these words about justicelawreligionand Godand soonwere mere wordshiding the coarsest cupidity and cruelty?

CHAPTER XXVIII. THE MEANING OF MARIETTE'S ATTRACTION.

 

Nekhludoff would have left Petersburg on the evening of the same daybut hehad promised Mariette to meet her at the theatreand though he knew that heought not to keep that promisehe deceived himself into the belief that itwould not be right to break his word.

"Am I capable of withstanding these temptations?" he asked himselfnot quite honestly. "I shall try for the last time."

He dressed in his evening clothesand arrived at the theatre during thesecond act of the eternal Dame aux Cameliasin which a foreign actress onceagainand in a novel mannershowed how women die of consumption.

The theatre was quite full. Mariette's box was at onceand with greatdeferenceshown to Nekhludoff at his request. A liveried servant stood in thecorridor outside; he bowed to Nekhludoff as to one whom he knewand opened thedoor of the box.

All the people who sat and stood in the boxes on the opposite sidethose whosat near and those who were in the parterrewith their greygrizzlybaldorcurly heads--all were absorbed in watching the thinbony actress whodressedin silks and laceswas wriggling before themand speaking in an unnaturalvoice.

Some one called "Hush!" when the door openedand two streamsoneof coolthe other of hotair touched Nekhludoff's face.

Mariette and a lady whom he did not knowwith a red cape and a bigheavyhead-dresswere in the boxand two men alsoMariette's husbandthe Generala tallhandsome man with a severeinscrutable countenancea Roman noseand auniform padded round the chestand a fair manwith a bit of shaved chinbetween pompous whiskers.

Mariettegracefulslighteleganther low-necked dress showing her firmshapelyslanting shoulderswith a little black mole where they joined herneckimmediately turnedand pointed with her face to a chair behind her in anengaging mannerand smiled a smile that seemed full of meaning to Nekhludoff.

The husband looked at him in the quiet way in which he did everythingandbowed. In the look he exchanged with his wifethe masterthe owner of abeautiful womanwas to be seen at once.

When the monologue was over the theatre resounded with the clapping of hands.Mariette roseand holding up her rustling silk skirtwent into the back of thebox and introduced Nekhludoff to her husband.

The Generalwithout ceasing to smile with his eyessaid he was verypleasedand then sat inscrutably silent.

"I ought to have left to-dayhad I not promised" said Nekhludoffto Mariette.

"If you do not care to see me" said Mariettein answer to whathis words implied"you will see a wonderful actress. Was she not splendidin the last scene?" she askedturning to her husband.

The husband bowed his head.

"This sort of thing does not touch me" said Nekhludoff. "Ihave seen so much real suffering lately that--"

"Yessit down and tell me."

The husband listenedhis eyes smiling more and more ironically. "I havebeen to see that woman whom they have set freeand who has been kept in prisonfor so long; she is quite broken down."

"That is the woman I spoke to you about" Mariette said to herhusband.

"OhyesI was very pleased that she could be set free" said thehusband quietlynodding and smiling under his moustache with evident ironysoit seemed to Nekhludoff. "I shall go and have a smoke."

Nekhludoff sat waiting to hear what the something was that Mariette had totell him. She said nothingand did not even try to say anythingbut joked andspoke about the performancewhich she thought ought to touch Nekhludoff.Nekhludoff saw that she had nothing to tellbut only wished to show herself tohim in all the splendour of her evening toiletwith her shoulders and littlemole; and this was pleasant and yet repulsive to him.

The charm that had veiled all this sort of thing from Nekhludoff was notremovedbut it was as if he could see what lay beneath. Looking at Marietteheadmired herand yet he knew that she was a liarliving with a husband who wasmaking his career by means of the tears and lives of hundreds and hundreds ofpeopleand that she was quite indifferent about itand that all she had saidthe day before was untrue. What she wanted--neither he nor she knew why--was tomake him fall in love with her. This both attracted and disgusted him. Severaltimeson the point of going awayhe took up his hatand then stayed on.

But at lastwhen the husband returned with a strong smell of tobacco in histhick moustacheand looked at Nekhludoff with a patronisingcontemptuous airas if not recognising himNekhludoff left the box before the door was closedagainfound his overcoatand went out of the theatre. As he was walking homealong the Nevskihe could not help noticing a well-shaped and aggressivelyfinely-dressed womanwho was quietly walking in front of him along the broadasphalt pavement. The consciousness of her detestable power was noticeable inher face and the whole of her figure. All who met or passed that woman looked ather. Nekhludoff walked faster than she did andinvoluntarilyalso looked herin the face. The facewhich was probably paintedwas handsomeand the womanlooked at him with a smile and her eyes sparkled. Andcuriously enoughNekhludoff was suddenly reminded of Mariettebecause he again felt bothattracted and disgusted just as when in the theatre.

Having hurriedly passed herNekhludoff turned off on to the Morskayaandpassed on to the embankmentwhereto the surprise of a policemanhe beganpacing up and down the pavement.

"The other one gave me just such a smile when I entered thetheatre" he thought"and the meaning of the smile was the same. Theonly difference isthat this one said plainly'If you want metake me; ifnotgo your way' and the other one pretended that she was not thinking ofthisbut living in some high and refined statewhile this was really at theroot. Besidesthis one was driven to it by necessitywhile the other amusedherself by playing with that enchantingdisgustingfrightful passion. Thiswoman of the street was like stagnantsmelling water offered to those whosethirst was greater than their disgust; that other one in the theatre was likethe poison whichunnoticedpoisons everything it gets into."

Nekhludoff recalled his liaison with the Marechal's wifeand shamefulmemories rose before him.

"The animalism of the brute nature in man is disgusting" thoughthe"but as long as it remains in its naked form we observe it from theheight of our spiritual life and despise it; and--whether one has fallen orresisted--one remains what one was before. But when that same animalism hidesunder a cloak of poetry and aesthetic feeling and demands our worship--then weare swallowed up by it completelyand worship animalismno longerdistinguishing good from evil. Then it is awful."

Nekhludoff perceived all this now as clearly as he saw the palacethesentinelsthe fortressthe riverthe boatsand the Stock Exchange. And justas on this northern summer night there was no restful darkness on the earthbutonly a dismaldull light coming from an invisible sourceso in Nekhludoff'ssoul there was no longer the restful darknessignorance. Everything seemedclear. It was clear that everything considered important and good wasinsignificant and repulsiveand that all the glamour and luxury hid the oldwell-known crimeswhich not only remained unpunished but were adorned with allthe splendour which men were capable of inventing.

Nekhludoff wished to forget all thisnot to see itbut he could no longerhelp seeing it. Though he could not see the source of the light which revealedit to him any more than he could see the source of the light which lay overPetersburg; and though the light appeared to him dulldismaland unnaturalyet he could not help seeing what it revealedand he felt both joyful andanxious.

CHAPTER XXIX. FOR HER SAKE AND FOR GOD'S.

 

On his return to Moscow Nekhludoff went at once to the prison hospital tobring Maslova the sad news that the Senate had confirmed the decision of theCourtand that she must prepare to go to Siberia. He had little hope of thesuccess of his petition to the Emperorwhich the advocate had written for himand which he now brought with him for Maslova to sign. Andstrange to sayhedid not at present even wish to succeed; he had got used to the thought of goingto Siberia and living among the exiled and the convictsand he could not easilypicture to himself how his life and Maslova's would shape if she were acquitted.He remembered the thought of the American writerThoreauwho at the time whenslavery existed in America said that "under a government that imprisons anyunjustly the true place for a just man is also a prison." Nekhludoffespecially after his visit to Petersburg and all he discovered therethought inthe same way.

"Yesthe only place befitting an honest man in Russia at the presenttime is a prison" he thoughtand even felt that this applied to himpersonallywhen he drove up to the prison and entered its walls.

The doorkeeper recognised Nekhludoffand told him at once that Maslova wasno longer there.

"Where is shethen?"

"In the cell again."

"Why has she been removed?" Nekhludoff asked.

"Ohyour excellencywhat are such people?" said the doorkeepercontemptuously. "She's been carrying on with the medical assistantso thehead doctor ordered her back."

Nekhludoff had had no idea how near Maslova and the state of her mind were tohim. He was stunned by the news.

He felt as one feels at the news of a great and unforeseen misfortuneandhis pain was very severe. His first feeling was one of shame. Hewith hisjoyful idea of the change that he imagined was going on in her soulnow seemedridiculous in his own eyes. He thought that all her pretence of not wishing toaccept his sacrificeall the reproaches and tearswere only the devices of adepraved womanwho wished to use him to the best advantage. He seemed toremember having seen signs of obduracy at his last interview with her. All thisflashed through his mind as he instinctively put on his hat and left thehospital.

"What am I to do now? Am I still bound to her? Has this action of hersnot set me free?" And as he put these questions to himself he knew at oncethat if he considered himself freeand threw her uphe would be punishinghimselfand not herwhich was what he wished to doand he was seized withfear.

"Nowhat 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 withthe medical assistantlet her carry on with the medical assistant; that is herbusiness. I must do what my conscience demands of me. And my conscience expectsme to sacrifice my freedom. My resolution to marry herif only in formand tofollow wherever she may be sentremains unalterable." Nekhludoff said allthis to himself with vicious obstinacy as he left the hospital and walked withresolute steps towards the big gates of the prison. He asked the warder on dutyat the gate to inform the inspector that he wished to see Maslova. The warderknew Nekhludoffand told him of an important change that had taken place in theprison. The old inspector had been dischargedand a newvery severe officialappointed in his place.

"They are so strict nowadaysit'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 atallangular manwith high cheek bonesmoroseand very slow in hismovements.

"Interviews are allowed in the visiting room on the appointeddays" he saidwithout looking at Nekhludoff.

"But I have a petition to the Emperorwhich I want signed."

"You can give it to me."

"I must see the prisoner myself. I was always allowed to before."

"That was sobefore" said the inspectorwith a furtive glance atNekhludoff.

"I have a permission from the governor" insisted Nekhludoffandtook out his pocket-book.

"Allow me" said the inspectortaking the paper from Nekhludoffwith his longdrywhite fingerson the first of which was a gold ringstillwithout looking him in the eyes. He read the paper slowly. "Step into theofficeplease."

This time the office was empty. The inspector sat down by the table and begansorting some papers that lay on itevidently intending to be present at theinterview.

When Nekhludoff asked whether he might see the political prisonerDoukhovathe inspector answeredshortlythat he could not. "Interviews withpolitical prisoners are not permitted" he saidand again fixed hisattention on his papers. With a letter to Doukhova in his pocketNekhludofffelt as if he had committed some offenceand his plans had been discovered andfrustrated.

When Maslova entered the room the inspector raised his headandwithoutlooking at either her or Nekhludoffremarked: "You may talk" andwent on sorting his papers. Maslova had again the white jacketpetticoat andkerchief on. When she came up to Nekhludoff and saw his coldhard looksheblushed scarletand crumbling the hem of her jacket with her handshe castdown her eyes. Her confusionso it seemed to Nekhludoffconfirmed the hospitaldoorkeeper's words.

Nekhludoff had meant to treat her in the same way as beforebut could notbring himself to shake hands with herso disgusting was she to him now.

"I have brought you had news" he saidin a monotonous voicewithout looking at her or taking her hand. "The Senate has refused."

"I knew it would" she saidin a strange toneas if she weregasping for breath.

Formerly Nekhludoff would have asked why she said she knew it would; now heonly looked at her. Her eyes were full of tears. But this did not soften him; itroused 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 momenthe consideredit right to express his regret at the Senate's decision.

"You must not despair" he said. "The petition to the Emperormay meet with successand I hope---"

"I'm not thinking of that" she saidlooking piteously at him withher wetsquinting eyes.

"What is itthen?"

"You have been to the hospitaland they have most likely told you aboutme--"

"What of that? That is your affair" said Nekhludoff coldlyandfrowned. The cruel feeling of wounded pride that had quieted down rose withrenewed force when she mentioned the hospital.

"Hea man of the worldwhom any girl of the best families would thinkit happiness to marryoffered himself as a husband to this womanand she couldnot even waitbut began intriguing with the medical assistant" thoughthewith a look of hatred.

"Heresign this petition" he saidtaking a large envelope fromhis pocketand laying the paper on the table. She wiped the tears with a cornerof her kerchiefand asked what to write and where.

He showed herand she sat down and arranged the cuff of her right sleevewith her left hand; he stood behind herand silently looked at her backwhichshook with suppressed emotionand evil and good feelings were fighting in hisbreast--feelings of wounded pride and of pity for her who was suffering--and thelast feeling was victorious.

He could not remember which came first; did the pity for her first enter hisheartor did he first remember his own sins--his own repulsive actionsthevery same for which he was condemning her? Anyhowhe both felt himself guiltyand pitied her.

Having signed the petition and wiped her inky finger on her petticoatshegot up and looked at him.

"Whatever happenswhatever comes of itmy resolve remainsunchanged" said Nekhludoff. The thought that he had forgiven herheightened his feeling of pity and tenderness for herand he wished to comforther. "I will do what I have said; wherever they take you I shall be withyou."

"What's the use?" she interrupted hurriedlythough her whole facelighted up.

Think what you will want on the way--"

"I don't know of anything in particularthank you."

The inspector came upand without waiting for a remark from him Nekhludofftook leaveand went out with peacejoyand love towards everybody in hisheart such as he had never felt before. The certainty that no action of Maslovacould change his love for her filled him with joy and raised him to a levelwhich 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 forGod's.

And this intriguefor which Maslova was turned out of the hospitaland ofwhich Nekhludoff believed she was really guiltyconsisted of the following:

Maslova was sent by the head nurse to get some herb tea from the dispensaryat the end of the corridorand thereall aloneshe found the medicalassistanta tall manwith a blotchy facewho had for a long time beenbothering her. In trying to get away from him Maslova gave him such a push thathe knocked his head against a shelffrom which two bottles fell and broke. Thehead doctorwho was passing at that momentheard the sound of breaking glassand saw Maslova run outquite redand shouted to her:

"Ahmy good womanif you start intriguing hereI'll send you aboutyour business. What is the meaning of it?" he went onaddressing themedical assistantand looking at him over his spectacles.

The assistant smiledand began to justify himself. The doctor gave no heedto himbutlifting his head so that he now looked through his spectaclesheentered the ward. He told the inspector the same day to send another more sedateassistant-nurse in Maslova's place. And this was her "intrigue" withthe medical assistant.

Being turned out for a love intrigue was particularly painful to Maslovabecause the relations with menwhich had long been repulsive to herhad becomespecially disgusting after meeting Nekhludoff. The thought thatjudging her byher past and present positionevery manthe blotchy assistant among themconsidered he had a right to offend herand was surprised at her refusalhurther deeplyand made her pity herself and brought tears to her eyes.

When she went out to Nekhludoff this time she wished to clear herself of thefalse charge which she knew he would certainly have heard about. But when shebegan to justify herself she felt he did not believe herand that her excuseswould only strengthen his suspicions; tears choked herand she was silent.

Maslova still thought and continued to persuade herself that she had neverforgiven himand hated himas she told him at their second interviewbut inreality she loved him againand loved him so that she did all he wished her todo; left off drinkingsmokingcoquettingand entered the hospital because sheknew he wished it. And if every time he reminded her of itshe refused sodecidedly to accept his sacrifice and marry himit was because she likedrepeating the proud words she had once utteredand because she knew that amarriage with her would be a misfortune for him.

She had resolutely made up her mind that she would not accept his sacrificeand yet the thought that he despised her and believed that she still was whatshe had beenand did not notice the change that had taken place in herwasvery painful. That he could still think she had done wrong while in the hospitaltormented her more than the news that her sentence was confirmed.

CHAPTER XXX. THE ASTONISHING INSTITUTION CALLED CRIMINAL LAW.

 

Maslova might be sent off with the first gang of prisonersthereforeNekhludoff got ready for his departure. But there was so much to be done that hefelt that he could not finish ithowever much time he might have. It was quitedifferent now from what it had been. Formerly he used to be obliged to look foran occupationthe interest of which always centred in one personi.e.DmitriIvanovitch Nekhludoffand yetthough every interest of his life was thuscentredall these occupations were very wearisome. Now all his occupationsrelated to other people and not to Dmitri Ivanovitchand they were allinteresting and attractiveand there was no end to them. Nor was this all.Formerly Dmitri Ivanovitch Nekhludoff's occupations always made him feel vexedand irritable; now they produced a joyful state of mind. The business at presentoccupying Nekhludoff could be divided under three headings. He himselfwith hisusual pedantrydivided it in that wayand accordingly kept the papersreferring to it in three different portfolios. The first referred to Maslovaand was chiefly that of taking steps to get her petition to the Emperor attendedtoand preparing for her probable journey to Siberia.

The second was about his estates. In Panovo he had given the land to thepeasants on condition of their paying rent to be put to their own communal use.But he had to confirm this transaction by a legal deedand to make his willinaccordance with it. In Kousminski the state of things was still as he had firstarranged iti.e.he was to receive the rent; but the terms had to be fixedand also how much of the money he would use to live onand how much he wouldleave for the peasants' use. As he did not know what his journey to Siberiawould cost himhe could not decide to lose this revenue altogetherthough hereduced the income from it by half.

The third part of his business was to help the convictswho applied more andmore often to him. At first when he came in contact with the prisonersand theyappealed to him for helphe at once began interceding for themhoping tolighten their fatebut he soon had so many applications that he felt theimpossibility of attending to all of themand that naturally led him to take upanother piece of workwhich at last roused his interest even more than thethree first. This new part of his business was finding an answer to thefollowing questions: What was this astonishing institution called criminal lawof which the results were that in the prisonwith some of the inmates of whichhe had lately become acquaintedand in all those other places of confinementfrom the Peter and Paul Fortress in Petersburg to the island of Sakhalinhundreds and thousands of victims were pining? What did this strange criminallaw exist for? How had it originated?

From his personal relations with the prisonersfrom notes by some of thosein confinementand by questioning the advocate and the prison priestNekhludoff came to the conclusion that the convictsthe so-called criminalscould be divided into five classes. The first were quite innocent peoplecondemned by judicial blunder. Such were the Menshoffssupposed to beincendiariesMaslovaand others. There were not many of these; according tothe priest's wordsonly seven per cent.but their condition excited particularinterest.

To the second class belong persons condemned for actions done under peculiarcircumstancesi.e.in a fit of passionjealousyor drunkennesscircumstances under which those who judged them would surely have committed thesame actions.

The third class consisted of people punished for having committed actionswhichaccording to their understandingwere quite naturaland even goodbutwhich those other peoplethe men who made the lawsconsidered to be crimes.Such were the persons who sold spirits without a licensesmugglersthose whogathered grass and wood on large estates and in the forests belonging to theCrown; the thieving miners; and those unbelieving people who robbed churches.

To the fourth class belonged those who were imprisoned only because theystood morally higher than the average level of society. Such were theSectariansthe Polesthe Circassians rebelling in order to regain theirindependencethe political prisonersthe Socialiststhe strikers condemnedfor withstanding the authorities. There wasaccording to Nekhludoff'sobservationsa very large percentage belonging to this class; among them someof the best of men.

The fifth class consisted of persons who had been far more sinned against bysociety than they had sinned against it. These were castawaysstupefied bycontinual oppression and temptationsuch as the boy who had stolen the rugsand hundreds of others whom Nekhludoff had seen in the prison and out of it. Theconditions under which they lived seemed to lead on systematically to thoseactions which are termed crimes. A great many thieves and murderers with whom hehad lately come in contactaccording to Nekhludoff's estimatebelonged to thisclass. To this class Nekhludoff also reckoned those depraveddemoralisedcreatures whom the new school of criminology classify as the criminal typeandthe existence of which is considered to be the chief proof of the necessity ofcriminal law and punishment. This demoraliseddepravedabnormal type wasaccording to Nekhludoffexactly the same as that against whom society hadsinnedonly here society had sinned not directly against thembut againsttheir parents and forefathers.

Among this latter class Nekhludoff was specially struck by one Okhotinaninveterate thiefthe illegitimate son of a prostitutebrought up in adoss-housewhoup to the age of 30had apparently never met with any onewhose morality was above that of a policemanand who had got into a band ofthieves when quite young. He was gifted with an extraordinary sense of humourby means of which he made himself very attractive. He asked Nekhludoff forprotectionat the same time making fun of himselfthe lawyersthe prisonandlaws human and divine.

Another was the handsome Fedoroffwhowith a band of robbersof whom hewas the chiefhad robbed and murdered an old manan official. Fedoroff was apeasantwhose father had been unlawfully deprived of his houseand wholateronwhen serving as a soldierhad suffered much because he had fallen in lovewith an officer's mistress. He had a fascinatingpassionate naturethat longedfor enjoyment at any cost. He had never met anybody who restrained himself forany cause whateverand had never heard a word about any aim in life other thanenjoyment.

Nekhludoff distinctly saw that both these men were richly endowed by naturebut had been neglected and crippled like uncared-for plants. He had also met atramp and a woman who had repelled him by their dulness and seeming crueltybuteven in them he could find no trace of the criminal type written about by theItalian schoolbut only saw in them people who were repulsive to himpersonallyjust in the same way as some he had met outside the prisoninswallow-tail coats wearing epaulettesor bedecked with lace. And so theinvestigation of the reasons why all these very different persons were put inprisonwhile others just like them were going about free and even judging themformed a fourth task for Nekhludoff.

He hoped to find an answer to this question in booksand bought all thatreferred to it. He got the works of LombrosoGarofaloFerryListMaudsleyTardand read them carefully. But as he read he became more and moredisappointed. It happened to him as it always happens to those who turn toscience not in order to play a part in itnor to writenor to disputenor toteachbut simply for an answer to an every-day question of life. Scienceanswered thousands of different very subtle and ingenious questions touchingcriminal lawbut not the one he was trying to solve. He asked a very simplequestion: "Whyand with what rightdo some people lock uptormentexileflogand kill otherswhile they are themselves just like those whomthey tormentflogand kill?" And in answer he got deliberations as towhether human beings had free will or not. Whether signs of criminality could bedetected by measuring the skulls or not. What part heredity played in crime.Whether immorality could be inherited. What madness iswhat degeneration isand what temperament is. How climatefoodignoranceimitativenesshypnotismor passion act. What society is. What are its dutiesetc.etc.

These disquisitions reminded him of the answer he once got from a little boywhom he met coming home from school. Nekhludoff asked him if he had learned hisspelling.

"I have" answered the boy.

"Wellthentell mehow do you spell 'leg'?

"A dog's legor what kind of leg?" the boy answeredwith a slylook.

Answers in the form of new questionslike the boy'swas all Nekhludoff gotin reply to his one primary question. He found much that was cleverlearnedmuch that was interestingbut what he did not find was an answer to theprincipal question: By what right some people punish others?

Not only did he not find any answerbut all the arguments were broughtforward in order to explain and vindicate punishmentthe necessity of which wastaken as an axiom.

Nekhludoff read muchbut only in snatchesand putting down his failure tothis superficial way of readinghoped to find the answer later on. He would notallow himself to believe in the truth of the answer which beganmore and moreoftento present itself to him.

CHAPTER XXXI. NEKHLUDOFF'S SISTER AND HER HUSBAND.

The gang of prisonerswith Maslova among themwas to start onthe 5th July. Nekhludoff arranged to start on the same day.

The day beforeNekhludoff's sister and her husband came to town to see him.

Nekhludoff's sisterNathalie Ivanovna Rogozhinskywas 10 years older thanher brother. She had been very fond of him when he was a boyand later onjustbefore her marriagethey grew very close to each otheras if they were equalsshe being a young woman of 25he a lad of 15. At that time she was in love withhis friendNikolenka Irtenieffsince dead. They both loved Nikolenkaandloved in him and in themselves that which is goodand which unites all men.Since then they had both been depravedhe by military service and a viciouslifeshe by marriage with a man whom she loved with a sensual lovewho did notcare for the things that had once been so dear and holy to her and to herbrothernor even understand the meaning of those aspirations towards moralperfection and the service of mankindwhich once constituted her lifeand putthem down to ambition and the wish to show off; that being the only explanationcomprehensible to him.

Nathalie's husband had been a man without a name and without meansbutcleverly steering towards Liberalism or Conservatismaccording to which bestsuited his purposehe managed to make a comparatively brilliant judicialcareer. Some peculiarity which made him attractive to women assisted him when hewas no longer in his first youth. While travelling abroad he made Nekhludoff'sacquaintanceand managed to make Nathaliewho was also no longer a girlfallin love with himrather against her mother's wishes who considered a marriagewith him to be a misalliance for her daughter. Nekhludoffthough he tried tohide it from himselfthough he fought against ithated his brother-in-law.

Nekhludoff had a strong antipathy towards him because of the vulgarity of hisfeelingshis assurance and narrownessbut chiefly because of Nathaliewhomanaged to love him in spite of the narrowness of his natureand loved him soselfishlyso sensuallyand stifled for his sake all the good that had been inher.

It always hurt Nekhludoff to think of Nathalie as the wife of that hairyself-assured man with the shinybald patch on his head. He could not evenmaster a feeling of revulsion towards their childrenand when he heard that shewas again going to have a babyhe felt something like sorrow that she had oncemore been infected with something bad by this man who was so foreign to him. TheRogozhinskys had come to Moscow alonehaving left their two children--a boy anda girl--at homeand stopped in the best rooms of the best hotel. Nathalie atonce went to her mother's old housebut hearing from Agraphena Petrovna thather brother had leftand was living in a lodging-houseshe drove there. Thedirty servant met her in the stuffy passagedark but for a lamp which burntthere all day. He told her that the Prince was not in.

Nathalie asked to be shown into his roomsas she wished to leave a note forhimand the man took her up.

Nathalie carefully examined her brother's two little rooms. She noticed ineverything the love of cleanliness and order she knew so well in himand wasstruck by the novel simplicity of the surroundings. On his writing-table she sawthe paper-weight with the bronze dog on the top which she remembered; the tidyway in which his different portfolios and writing utensils were placed on thetable was also familiarand so was the largecrooked ivory paper knife whichmarked the place in a French book by Tardwhich lay with other volumes onpunishment and a book in English by Henry George. She sat down at the table andwrote a note asking him to be sure to come that same dayand shaking her headin surprise at what she sawshe returned to her hotel.

Two questions regarding her brother now interested Nathalie: his marriagewith Katushawhich she had heard spoken about in their town--for everybody wasspeaking about it--and his giving away the land to the peasantswhich was alsoknownand struck many as something of a political natureand dangerous. TheCarriage with Katusha pleased her in a way. She admired that resoluteness whichwas so like him and herself as they used to be in those happy times before hermarriage. And yet she was horrified when she thought her brother was going tomarry such a dreadful woman. The latter was the stronger feeling of the twoandshe decided to use all her influence to prevent him from doing itthough sheknew how difficult this would be.

The other matterthe giving up of the land to the peasantsdid not touchher so nearlybut her husband was very indignant about itand expected her toinfluence her brother against it.

Rogozhinsky said that such an action was the height of inconsistencyflightinessand pridethe only possible explanation of which was the desire toappear originalto bragto make one's self talked about.

"What sense could there be in letting the land to the peasantsoncondition that they pay the rent to themselves?" he said. "If he wasresolved to do such a thingwhy not sell the land to them through the Peasants'Bank? There might have been some sense in that. In factthis act verges oninsanity."

And Rogozhinsky began seriously thinking about putting Nekhludoff underguardianshipand demanded of his wife that she should speak seriously to herbrother about his curious intention

CHAPTER XXXII. NEKHLUDOFF'S ANARCHISM.

As soon as Nekhludoff returned that evening and saw his sister'snote on the table he started to go and see her. He found Nathalie aloneherhusband having gone to take a rest in the next room. She wore a tightly-fittingblack silk dresswith a red bow in front. Her black hair was crimped andarranged according to the latest fashion.

The pains she took to appear youngfor the sake of her husbandwhose equalshe was in yearswere very obvious.

When she saw her brother she jumped up and hurried towards himwith her silkdress rustling. They kissedand looked smilingly at each other. There passedbetween them that mysterious exchange of looksfull of meaningin which allwas trueand which cannot be expressed in words. Then came words which were nottrue. They had not met since their mother's death.

"You have grown stouter and younger" he saidand her lipspuckered up with pleasure.

"And you have grown thinner."

"Welland how is your husband?" Nekhludoff asked.

"He is taking a rest; he did not sleep all night." There was muchto saybut it was not said in words; only their looks expressed what theirwords failed to say.

"I went to see you."

"YesI know. I moved because the house is too big for me. I was lonelythereand dull. I want nothing of all that is thereso that you had bettertake it all--the furnitureI meanand things."

"YesAgraphena Petrovna told me. I went there. Thanksvery much.But--"

At this moment the hotel waiter brought in a silver tea-set. While he set thetable they were silent. Then Nathalie sat down at the table and made the teastill in silence. Nekhludoff also said nothing.

At last Nathalie began resolutely. "WellDmitriI know all aboutit." 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?" sheasked.

He sat quite straight on a small chairand listened attentivelytrying tounderstand her and to answer rightly. The state of mind called forth in him byhis last interview with Maslova still filled his soul with quiet joy and goodwill 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. Besidesit leads me into that world inwhich I can be of use."

"I cannot believe you will be happy" said Nathalie.

"It's not my happiness that is the point."

"Of coursebut if she has a heart she cannot be happy--cannot even wishit."

"She does not wish it."

"I understand; but life--"

"Yes--life?"

"Demands something different."

"It demands nothing but that we should do what is right" saidNekhludofflooking into her facestill handsomethough slightly wrinkledround eyes and mouth.

"I do not understand" she saidand sighed.

"Poor darling; how could she change so?" he thoughtcalling backto his mind Nathalie as she had been before her marriageand feeling towardsher a tenderness woven out of innumerable memories of childhood. At that momentRogozhinsky entered the roomwith head thrown back and expanded chestandstepping lightly and softly in his usual mannerhis spectacleshis bald patchand his black beard all glistening.

"How do you do? How do you do?" he saidlaying an unnatural andintentional stress on his words. (Thoughsoon after the marriagethey hadtried to be more familiar with each otherthey had never succeeded.)

They shook handsand Rogozhinsky sank softly into an easy-chair.

"Am I not interrupting your conversation?"

"NoI do not wish to hide what I am saying or doing from any one."

As soon as Nekhludoff saw the hairy handsand heard the patronisingself-assured toneshis meekness left him in a moment.

"Yeswe were talking about his intentions" said Nathalie."Shall I give you a cup of tea?" she addedtaking the teapot.

"Yesplease. What particular intentions do you mean?"

That of going to Siberia with the gang of prisonersamong whom is the womanI consider myself to have wronged" uttered Nekhludoff.

"I hear not only to accompany herbut more than that."

"Yesand to marry her if she wishes it."

"Dear me! But if you do not object I should like to ask you to explainyour motives. I do not understand them."

"My motives are that this woman--that this woman's first step on her wayto degradation--" Nekhludoff got angry with himselfand was unable to findthe right expression. "My motives are that I am the guilty oneand shegets the punishment."

"If she is being punished she cannot be innocenteither."

"She is quite innocent." And Nekhludoff related the whole incidentwith unnecessary warmth.

"Yesthat was a case of carelessness on the part of the presidenttheresult of which was a thoughtless answer on the part of the jury; but there isthe Senate for cases like that."

"The Senate has rejected the appeal."

"Wellif the Senate has rejected itthere cannot have been sufficientreasons for an appeal" said Rogozhinskyevidently sharing the prevailingopinion that truth is the product of judicial decrees. "The Senate cannotenter into the question on its merits. If there is a real mistakethe Emperorshould be petitioned."

"That has been donebut there is no probability of success. They willapply to the Department of the Ministrythe Department will consult the Senatethe Senate will repeat its decisionandas usualthe innocent will getpunished."

"In the first placethe Department of the Ministry won't consult theSenate" said Rogozhinskywith a condescending smile; "it will giveorders for the original deeds to be sent from the Law Courtand if it discoversa mistake it will decide accordingly. Andsecondlythe innocent are neverpunishedor at least in very rareexceptional cases. It is the guilty who arepunished" Rogozhinsky said deliberatelyand smiled self-complacently.

"And I have become fully convinced that most of those condemned by laware innocent."

"How's that?

"Innocent in the literal sense. Just as this woman is innocent ofpoisoning any one; as innocent as a peasant I have just come to knowof themurder he never committed; as a mother and son who were on the point of beingcondemned for incendiarismwhich was committed by the owner of the house thatwas set on fire."

"Wellof course there always have been and always will be judicialerrors. Human institutions cannot be perfect."

"Andbesidesthere are a great many people convicted who are innocentof doing anything considered wrong by the society they have grown up in."

"Excuse methis is not so; every thief knows that stealing is wrongand that we should not steal; that it is immoral" said Rogozhinskywithhis quietself-assuredslightly contemptuous smilewhich specially irritatedNekhludoff.

"Nohe does not know it; they say to him 'don't steal' and he knowsthat the master of the factory steals his labour by keeping back his wages; thatthe Governmentwith its officialsrobs him continually by taxation."

"Whythis is anarchism" Rogozhinsky saidquietly defining hisbrother-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 himknowsthat we landed proprietors have robbed him long sincerobbed him of the landwhich should be the common property of alland thenif he picks up dry wood tolight his fire on that land stolen from himwe put him in jailand try topersuade him that he is a thief. Of course he knows that not he but those whorobbed him of the land are thievesand that to get any restitution of what hasbeen robbed is his duty towards his family."

"I don't understandor if I do I cannot agree with it. The land must besomebody's property" began Rogozhinsky quietlyandconvinced thatNekhludoff was a Socialistand that Socialism demands that all the land shouldbe divided equallythat such a division would be very foolishand that hecould easily prove it to be sohe said. "If you divided it equally to-dayit would to-morrow be again in the hands of the most industrious andclever."

"Nobody is thinking of dividing the land equally. The land must not beanybody'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 cultivationof land would present no interest. Destroy the rights of property and we lapseinto barbarism." Rogozhinsky uttered this authoritativelyrepeating theusual argument in favour of private ownership of land which is supposed to beirrefutablebased on the assumption that people's desire to possess land provesthat they need it.

"On the contraryonly when the land is nobody's property will it ceaseto lie idleas it does nowwhile the landlordslike dogs in the mangerunable themselves to put it to usewill not let those use it who areable."

"ButDmitri Ivanovitchwhat you are saying is sheer madness. Is itpossible 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 paleand hisvoice trembled. It was evident that this question touched him very nearly."I should advise you to consider this question well before attempting tosolve it practically."

"Are you speaking of my personal affairs?"

"YesI hold that we who are placed in special circumstances should bearthe responsibilities which spring from those circumstancesshould uphold theconditions in which we were bornand which we have inherited from ourpredecessorsand which we ought to pass on to our descendants."

"I consider it my duty--"

"Wait a bit" said Rogozhinskynot permitting the interruption."I am not speaking for myself or my children. The position of my childrenis assuredand I earn enough for us to live comfortablyand I expect mychildren will live so tooso that my interest in your action--whichif youwill allow me to say sois not well considered--is not based on personalmotives; it is on principle that I cannot agree with you. I should advise you tothink it well overto read---?"

"Please allow me to settle my affairsand to choose what to read andwhat not to readmyself" said Nekhludoffturning pale. Feeling his handsgrow coldand that he was no longer master of himselfhe stoppedand begandrinking his tea.

CHAPTER XXXIII. THE AIM OF THE LAW.

 

Welland how are the children?" Nekhludoff asked his sister when he wascalmer. The sister told him about the children. She said they were staying withtheir grandmother (their father's mother)andpleased that his dispute withher husband had come to an endshe began telling him how her children playedthat they were travellingjust as he used to do with his three dollsone ofthem a negro and another which he called the French lady.

"Can you really remember it all?" said Nekhludoffsmiling.

"Yesand just fancythey play in the very same way."

The unpleasant conversation had been brought to an endand Nathalie wasquieterbut she did not care to talk in her husband's presence of what could becomprehensible only to her brothersowishing to start a general conversationshe began talking about the sorrow of Kamenski's mother at losing her only sonwho had fallen in a duelfor this Petersburg topic of the day had now reachedMoscow. Rogozhinsky expressed disapproval at the state of things that excludedmurder in a duel from the ordinary criminal offences. This remark evoked arejoinder from Nekhludoffand a new dispute arose on the subject. Nothing wasfully explainedneither of the antagonists expressed all he had in his mindeach keeping to his convictionwhich condemned the other. Rogozhinsky felt thatNekhludoff condemned him and despised his activityand he wished to show himthe injustice of his opinions.

Nekhludoffon the other handfelt provoked by his brother-in-law'sinterference in his affairs concerning the land. And knowing in his heart ofhearts that his sisterher husbandand their childrenas his heirshad aright to do sowas indignant that this narrow-minded man persisted with calmassurance to regard as just and lawful what Nekhludoff no longer doubted wasfolly 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 anordinary murderer."

Nekhludoff's hands grew cold.

"Welland what good would that be?" he askedhotly.

"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 instrumentfor upholding the existing order of things beneficial to our class."

"This is a perfectly new view" said Rogozhinsky with a quietsmile; "the law is generally supposed to have a totally differentaim."

"Yesso it has in theory but not in practiceas I have found out. Thelaw aims only at preserving the present state of thingsand therefore itpersecutes and executes those who stand above the ordinary level and wish toraise it--the so-called political prisonersas well as those who are below theaverage--the so-called criminal types."

"I do not agree with you. In the first placeI cannot admit that thecriminals classed as political are punished because they are above the average.In most cases they are the refuse of societyjust as much pervertedthough ina different wayas the criminal types whom you consider below theaverage."

"But I happen to know men who are morally far above their judges; allthe sectarians are moralfrom--"

But Rogozhinskya man not accustomed to be interrupted when he spokedidnot listen to Nekhludoffbut went on talking at the same timetherebyirritating him still more.

"Nor can I admit that the object of the law is the upholding of thepresent state of things. The law aims at reforming--"

"A nice kind of reformin a prison!" Nekhludoff put in.

"Or removing" Rogozhinsky went onpersistently"theperverted and brutalised persons that threaten society."

"That's just what it doesn't do. Society has not the means of doingeither the one thing or the other."

"How is that? I don't understand" said Rogozhinsky with a forcedsmile.

"I mean that only two reasonable kinds of punishment exist. Those usedin the old days: corporal and capital punishmentwhichas human naturegradually softenscome more and more into disuse" said Nekhludoff.

"Therenowthis is quite new and very strange to hear from yourlips."

"Yesit is reasonable to hurt a man so that he should not do in futurewhat he is hurt for doingand it is also quite reasonable to cut a man's headoff when he is injurious or dangerous to society. These punishments have areasonable meaning. But what sense is there in locking up in a prison a manperverted by want of occupation and bad example; to place him in a positionwhere he is provided forwhere laziness is imposed on himand where he is incompany with the most perverted of men? What reason is there to take a man atpublic cost (it comes to more than 500 roubles per head) from the Toula to theIrkoatsk governmentor from Koursk--"

"Yesbut all the samepeople are afraid of those journeys at publiccostand if it were not for such journeys and the prisonsyou and I would notbe sitting here as we are."

"The prisons cannot insure our safetybecause these people do not staythere for everbut are set free again. On the contraryin those establishmentsmen are brought to the greatest vice and degradationso that the danger isincreased."

"You mean to say that the penitentiary system should be improved."

"It cannot he improved. Improved prisons would cost more than all thatis being now spent on the people's educationand would lay a still heavierburden on the people."

"The shortcomings of the penitentiary system in nowise invalidate thelaw itself" Rogozhinsky continued againwithout heeding hisbrother-in-law.

"There is no remedy for these shortcomings" said Nekhludoffraising his voice.

"What of that? Shall we therefore go and killoras a certainstatesman proposedgo putting out people's eyes?" Rogozhinsky remarked.

"Yes; that would be cruelbut it would be effective. What is done nowis crueland not only ineffectivebut so stupid that one cannot understand howpeople in their senses can take part in so absurd and cruel a business ascriminal law."

"But I happen to take part in it" said Rogozhinskygrowing pale.

"That is your business. But to me it is incomprehensible."

"I think there are a good many things incomprehensible to you"said Rogozhinskywith a trembling voice.

"I have seen how one public prosecutor did his very best to get anunfortunate boy condemnedwho could have evoked nothing but sympathy in anunperverted mind. I know how another cross-examined a sectarian and put down thereading of the Gospels as a criminal offence; in factthe whole business of theLaw Courts consists in senseless and cruel actions of that sort."

"I should not serve if I thought so" said Rogozhinskyrising.

Nekhludoff noticed a peculiar glitter under his brother-in-law's spectacles."Can it be tears?" he thought. And they were really tears of injuredpride. Rogozhinsky went up to the windowgot out his handkerchiefcoughed andrubbed his spectaclestook them offand wiped his eyes.

When he returned to the sofa he lit a cigarand did not speak any more.

Nekhludoff felt pained and ashamed of having offended his brother-in-law andhis sister to such a degreeespecially as he was going away the next day.

He parted with them in confusionand drove home.

"All I have said may be true--anyhow he did not reply. But it was notsaid in the right way. How little I must have changed if I could be carried awayby ill-feeling to such an extent as to hurt and wound poor Nathalie in such away!" he thought.

CHAPTER XXXIV. THE PRISONERS START FOR SIBERIA.

The gang of prisonersamong whom was Maslovawas to leave Moscowby rail at 3 p.m.; thereforein order to see the gang startand walk to thestation with the prisoners Nekhludoff meant to reach the prison before 12o'clock.

The night beforeas he was packing up and sorting his papershe came uponhis diaryand read some bits here and there. The last bit written before heleft for Petersburg ran thus: "Katusha does not wish to accept mysacrifice; she wishes to make a sacrifice herself. She has conqueredand sohave I. She makes me happy by the inner changewhich seems to methough I fearto believe itto be going on in her. I fear to believe ityet she seems to becoming back to life." Then further on he read. "I have lived throughsomething very hard and very joyful. I learnt that she has behaved very badly inthe hospitaland I suddenly felt great pain. I never expected that it could beso painful. I spoke to her with loathing and hatredthen all of a sudden Icalled to mind how many times I have beenand even still amthough but inthoughtguilty of the thing that I hated her forand immediately I becamedisgusting to myselfand pitied her and felt happy again. If only we couldmanage to see the beam in our own eye in timehow kind we should be." Thenhe wrote: "I have been to see Nathalieand again self-satisfaction made meunkind and spitefuland a heavy feeling remains. Wellwhat is to be done?Tomorrow a new life will begin. A final good-bye to the old! Many newimpressions have accumulatedbut I cannot yet bring them to unity."

When he awoke the next morning Nekhludoff's first feeling was regret aboutthe affair between him and his brother-in-law.

"I cannot go away like this" he thought. "I must go and makeit up with them." But when he looked at his watch he saw that he had nottime to gobut must hurry so as not to be too late for the departure of thegang. He hastily got everything readyand sent the things to the station with aservant and TarasTheodosia's husbandwho was going with them. Then he tookthe first isvostchik he could find and drove off to the prison.

The prisoners' train started two hours before the train by which he wasgoingso Nekhludoff paid his bill in the lodgings and left for good.

It was Julyand the weather was unbearably hot. From the stonesthe wallsthe iron of the roofswhich the sultry night had not cooledthe beat streamedinto the motionless air. When at rare intervals a slight breeze did ariseitbrought but a whiff of hot air filled with dust and smelling of oil paint.

There were few people in the streetsand those who were out tried to keep onthe shady side. Only the sunburnt peasantswith their bronzed faces and barkshoes on their feetwho were mending the roadsat hammering the stones intothe burning sand in the sun; while the policemenin their holland blouseswithrevolvers fastened with orange cordsstood melancholy and depressed in themiddle of the roadchanging from foot to foot; and the tramcarsthe horses ofwhich wore holland hoods on their headswith slits for the earskept passingup and down the sunny road with ringing bells.

When Nekhludoff drove up to the prison the gang had not left the yard. Thework of delivering and receiving the prisoners that had commenced at 4 A.M. wasstill going on. The gang was to consist of 623 men and 64 women; they had all tobe received according to the registry lists. The sick and the weak to be sortedoutand all to be delivered to the convoy. The new inspectorwith twoassistantsthe doctor and medical assistantthe officer of the convoyand theclerkwere sitting in the prison yard at a table covered with writing materialsand paperswhich was placed in the shade of a wall. They called the prisonersone by oneexamined and questioned themand took notes. The rays of the sunhad gradually reached the tableand it was growing very hot and oppressive forwant of air and because of the breathing crowd of prisoners that stood close by.

"Good graciouswill this never come to an end!" the convoyofficera tallfatred-faced man with high shoulderswho kept puffing thesmokeof his cigarette into his thick moustacheaskedas he drew in a longpuff. "You are killing me. From where have you got them all? Are there manymore?" the clerk inquired.

"Twenty-four men and the women."

"What are you standing there for? Come on" shouted the convoyofficer to the prisoners who had not yet passed the revisionand who stoodcrowded one behind the other. The prisoners had been standing there more thanthree hourspacked in rows in the full sunlightwaiting their turns.

While this was going on in the prison yardoutside the gatebesides thesentinel who stood there as usual with a gunwere drawn up about 20 cartstocarry the luggage of the prisoners and such prisoners as were too weak to walkand a group of relatives and friends waiting to see the prisoners as they cameout and to exchange a few words if a chance presented itself and to give them afew things. Nekhludoff took his place among the group. He had stood there aboutan hour when the clanking of chainsthe noise of footstepsauthoritativevoicesthe sound of coughingand the low murmur of a large crowd becameaudible.

This continued for about five minutesduring which several jailers went inand out of the gateway. At last the word of command was given. The gate openedwith a thundering noisethe clattering of the chains became louderand theconvoy soldiersdressed in white blouses and carrying gunscame out into thestreet and took their places in a largeexact circle in front of the gate; thiswas evidently a usualoften-practised manoeuvre. Then another command wasgivenand the prisoners began coming out in coupleswith flatpancake-shapedcaps on their shaved heads and sacks over their shouldersdragging theirchained legs and swinging one armwhile the other held up a sack.

First came the men condemned to hard labourall dressed alike in greytrousers and cloaks with marks on the back. All of them--young and oldthin andfatpale and reddark and bearded and beardlessRussiansTartarsandJews--came outclattering with their chains and briskly swinging their arms asif prepared to go a long distancebut stopped after having taken ten stepsandobediently took their places behind each otherfour abreast. Then withoutinterval streamed out more shaved mendressed in the same manner but withchains only on their legs. These were condemned to exile. They came out asbriskly and stopped as suddenlytaking their places four in a row. Then camethose exiled by their Communes. Then the women in the same orderfirst thosecondemned to hard labourwith grey cloaks and kerchiefs; then the exiled womenand those following their husbands of their own free willdressed in their owntown or village clothing. Some of the women were carrying babies wrapped in thefronts of their grey cloaks.

With the women came the childrenboys and girlswholike colts in a herdof horsespressed in among the prisoners.

The men took their places silentlyonly coughing now and thenor makingshort remarks.

The women talked without intermission. Nekhludoff thought he saw Maslova asthey were coming outbut she was at once lost in the large crowdand he couldonly see grey creaturesseemingly devoid of all that was humanor at any rateof all that was womanlywith sacks on their backs and children round themtaking their places behind the men.

Though all the prisoners had been counted inside the prison wallsthe convoycounted them againcomparing the numbers with the list. This took very longespecially as some of the prisoners moved and changed placeswhich confused theconvoy.

The convoy soldiers shouted and pushed the prisoners (who compliedobedientlybut angrily) and counted them over again. When all had been countedthe convoy officer gave a commandand the crowd became agitated. The weak menand women and children rushedracing each othertowards the cartsand beganplacing their bags on the carts and climbing up themselves. Women with cryingbabiesmerry children quarrelling for placesand dullcareworn prisoners gotinto the carts.

Several of the prisoners took off their caps and came up to the convoyofficer with some request. Nekhludoff found out later that they were asking forplaces on the carts. Nekhludoff saw how the officerwithout looking at theprisonersdrew in a whiff from his cigaretteand then suddenly waved his shortarm in front of one of the prisonerswho quickly drew his shaved head backbetween his shoulders as if afraid of a blowand sprang back.

"I will give you a lift such that you'll remember. You'll get there onfoot right enough" shouted the officer. Only one of the men was grantedhis request--an old man with chains on his legs; and Nekhludoff saw the old mantake off his pancake-shaped capand go up to the cart crossing himself. Hecould not manage to get up on the cart because of the chains that prevented hislifting his old legsand a woman who was sitting in the cart at last pulled himin by the arm.

When all the sacks were in the cartsand those who were allowed to get inwere seatedthe officer took off his capwiped his foreheadhis bald head andfatred neckand crossed himself.

"March" commanded the officer. The soldiers' guns gave a click;the prisoners took off their caps and crossed themselvesthose who were seeingthem off shouted somethingthe prisoners shouted in answera row arose amongthe womenand the gangsurrounded by the soldiers in their white blousesmoved forwardraising the dust with their chained feet. The soldiers went infront; then came the convicts condemned to hard labourclattering with theirchains; then the exiled and those exiled by the Communeschained in couples bytheir wrists; then the women. After themon the carts loaded with sackscamethe weak. High up on one of the carts sat a woman closely wrapped upand shekept shrieking and sobbing.

CHAPTER XXXIV. THE PRISONERS START FOR SIBERIA.

The gang of prisonersamong whom was Maslovawas to leave Moscowby rail at 3 p.m.; thereforein order to see the gang startand walk to thestation with the prisoners Nekhludoff meant to reach the prison before 12o'clock.

The night beforeas he was packing up and sorting his papershe came uponhis diaryand read some bits here and there. The last bit written before heleft for Petersburg ran thus: "Katusha does not wish to accept mysacrifice; she wishes to make a sacrifice herself. She has conqueredand sohave I. She makes me happy by the inner changewhich seems to methough I fearto believe itto be going on in her. I fear to believe ityet she seems to becoming back to life." Then further on he read. "I have lived throughsomething very hard and very joyful. I learnt that she has behaved very badly inthe hospitaland I suddenly felt great pain. I never expected that it could beso painful. I spoke to her with loathing and hatredthen all of a sudden Icalled to mind how many times I have beenand even still amthough but inthoughtguilty of the thing that I hated her forand immediately I becamedisgusting to myselfand pitied her and felt happy again. If only we couldmanage to see the beam in our own eye in timehow kind we should be." Thenhe wrote: "I have been to see Nathalieand again self-satisfaction made meunkind and spitefuland a heavy feeling remains. Wellwhat is to be done?Tomorrow a new life will begin. A final good-bye to the old! Many newimpressions have accumulatedbut I cannot yet bring them to unity."

When he awoke the next morning Nekhludoff's first feeling was regret aboutthe affair between him and his brother-in-law.

"I cannot go away like this" he thought. "I must go and makeit up with them." But when he looked at his watch he saw that he had nottime to gobut must hurry so as not to be too late for the departure of thegang. He hastily got everything readyand sent the things to the station with aservant and TarasTheodosia's husbandwho was going with them. Then he tookthe first isvostchik he could find and drove off to the prison.

The prisoners' train started two hours before the train by which he wasgoingso Nekhludoff paid his bill in the lodgings and left for good.

It was Julyand the weather was unbearably hot. From the stonesthe wallsthe iron of the roofswhich the sultry night had not cooledthe beat streamedinto the motionless air. When at rare intervals a slight breeze did ariseitbrought but a whiff of hot air filled with dust and smelling of oil paint.

There were few people in the streetsand those who were out tried to keep onthe shady side. Only the sunburnt peasantswith their bronzed faces and barkshoes on their feetwho were mending the roadsat hammering the stones intothe burning sand in the sun; while the policemenin their holland blouseswithrevolvers fastened with orange cordsstood melancholy and depressed in themiddle of the roadchanging from foot to foot; and the tramcarsthe horses ofwhich wore holland hoods on their headswith slits for the earskept passingup and down the sunny road with ringing bells.

When Nekhludoff drove up to the prison the gang had not left the yard. Thework of delivering and receiving the prisoners that had commenced at 4 A.M. wasstill going on. The gang was to consist of 623 men and 64 women; they had all tobe received according to the registry lists. The sick and the weak to be sortedoutand all to be delivered to the convoy. The new inspectorwith twoassistantsthe doctor and medical assistantthe officer of the convoyand theclerkwere sitting in the prison yard at a table covered with writing materialsand paperswhich was placed in the shade of a wall. They called the prisonersone by oneexamined and questioned themand took notes. The rays of the sunhad gradually reached the tableand it was growing very hot and oppressive forwant of air and because of the breathing crowd of prisoners that stood close by.

"Good graciouswill this never come to an end!" the convoyofficera tallfatred-faced man with high shoulderswho kept puffing thesmokeof his cigarette into his thick moustacheaskedas he drew in a longpuff. "You are killing me. From where have you got them all? Are there manymore?" the clerk inquired.

"Twenty-four men and the women."

"What are you standing there for? Come on" shouted the convoyofficer to the prisoners who had not yet passed the revisionand who stoodcrowded one behind the other. The prisoners had been standing there more thanthree hourspacked in rows in the full sunlightwaiting their turns.

While this was going on in the prison yardoutside the gatebesides thesentinel who stood there as usual with a gunwere drawn up about 20 cartstocarry the luggage of the prisoners and such prisoners as were too weak to walkand a group of relatives and friends waiting to see the prisoners as they cameout and to exchange a few words if a chance presented itself and to give them afew things. Nekhludoff took his place among the group. He had stood there aboutan hour when the clanking of chainsthe noise of footstepsauthoritativevoicesthe sound of coughingand the low murmur of a large crowd becameaudible.

This continued for about five minutesduring which several jailers went inand out of the gateway. At last the word of command was given. The gate openedwith a thundering noisethe clattering of the chains became louderand theconvoy soldiersdressed in white blouses and carrying gunscame out into thestreet and took their places in a largeexact circle in front of the gate; thiswas evidently a usualoften-practised manoeuvre. Then another command wasgivenand the prisoners began coming out in coupleswith flatpancake-shapedcaps on their shaved heads and sacks over their shouldersdragging theirchained legs and swinging one armwhile the other held up a sack.

First came the men condemned to hard labourall dressed alike in greytrousers and cloaks with marks on the back. All of them--young and oldthin andfatpale and reddark and bearded and beardlessRussiansTartarsandJews--came outclattering with their chains and briskly swinging their arms asif prepared to go a long distancebut stopped after having taken ten stepsandobediently took their places behind each otherfour abreast. Then withoutinterval streamed out more shaved mendressed in the same manner but withchains only on their legs. These were condemned to exile. They came out asbriskly and stopped as suddenlytaking their places four in a row. Then camethose exiled by their Communes. Then the women in the same orderfirst thosecondemned to hard labourwith grey cloaks and kerchiefs; then the exiled womenand those following their husbands of their own free willdressed in their owntown or village clothing. Some of the women were carrying babies wrapped in thefronts of their grey cloaks.

With the women came the childrenboys and girlswholike colts in a herdof horsespressed in among the prisoners.

The men took their places silentlyonly coughing now and thenor makingshort remarks.

The women talked without intermission. Nekhludoff thought he saw Maslova asthey were coming outbut she was at once lost in the large crowdand he couldonly see grey creaturesseemingly devoid of all that was humanor at any rateof all that was womanlywith sacks on their backs and children round themtaking their places behind the men.

Though all the prisoners had been counted inside the prison wallsthe convoycounted them againcomparing the numbers with the list. This took very longespecially as some of the prisoners moved and changed placeswhich confused theconvoy.

The convoy soldiers shouted and pushed the prisoners (who compliedobedientlybut angrily) and counted them over again. When all had been countedthe convoy officer gave a commandand the crowd became agitated. The weak menand women and children rushedracing each othertowards the cartsand beganplacing their bags on the carts and climbing up themselves. Women with cryingbabiesmerry children quarrelling for placesand dullcareworn prisoners gotinto the carts.

Several of the prisoners took off their caps and came up to the convoyofficer with some request. Nekhludoff found out later that they were asking forplaces on the carts. Nekhludoff saw how the officerwithout looking at theprisonersdrew in a whiff from his cigaretteand then suddenly waved his shortarm in front of one of the prisonerswho quickly drew his shaved head backbetween his shoulders as if afraid of a blowand sprang back.

"I will give you a lift such that you'll remember. You'll get there onfoot right enough" shouted the officer. Only one of the men was grantedhis request--an old man with chains on his legs; and Nekhludoff saw the old mantake off his pancake-shaped capand go up to the cart crossing himself. Hecould not manage to get up on the cart because of the chains that prevented hislifting his old legsand a woman who was sitting in the cart at last pulled himin by the arm.

When all the sacks were in the cartsand those who were allowed to get inwere seatedthe officer took off his capwiped his foreheadhis bald head andfatred neckand crossed himself.

"March" commanded the officer. The soldiers' guns gave a click;the prisoners took off their caps and crossed themselvesthose who were seeingthem off shouted somethingthe prisoners shouted in answera row arose amongthe womenand the gangsurrounded by the soldiers in their white blousesmoved forwardraising the dust with their chained feet. The soldiers went infront; then came the convicts condemned to hard labourclattering with theirchains; then the exiled and those exiled by the Communeschained in couples bytheir wrists; then the women. After themon the carts loaded with sackscamethe weak. High up on one of the carts sat a woman closely wrapped upand shekept shrieking and sobbing.

CHAPTER XXXVI. THE TENDER MERCIES OF THE LORD.

 

Nekhludoff kept up with the quick pace of the convicts. Though lightlyclothed he felt dreadfully hotand it was hard to breathe in the stiflingmotionlessburning air filled with dust.

When he had walked about a quarter of a mile he again got into the trapbutit felt still hotter in the middle of the street. He tried to recall lastnight's conversation with his brother-in-lawbut the recollections no longerexcited him as they had done in the morning. They were dulled by the impressionsmade by the starting and procession of the gangand chiefly by the intolerableheat.

On the pavementin the shade of some trees overhanging a fencehe saw twoschoolboys standing over a kneeling man who sold ices. One of the boys wasalready sucking a pink spoon and enjoying his icesthe other was waiting for aglass that was being filled with something yellowish.

"Where could I get a drink?" Nekhludoff asked his isvostchikfeeling an insurmountable desire for some refreshment.

"There is a good eating-house close by" the isvostchik answeredand turning a cornerdrove up to a door with a large signboard. The plump clerkin a Russian shirtwho stood behind the counterand the waiters in their oncewhite clothing who sat at the tables (there being hardly any customers) lookedwith curiosity at the unusual visitor and offered him their services. Nekhludoffasked for a bottle of seltzer water and sat down some way from the window at asmall table covered with a dirty cloth. Two men sat at another table withtea-things and a white bottle in front of themmopping their foreheadsandcalculating something in a friendly manner. One of them was dark and baldandhad just such a border of hair at the back as Rogozhinsky. This sight againreminded Nekhludoff of yesterday's talk with his brother-in-law and his wish tosee him and Nathalie.

"I shall hardly be able to do it before the train starts" hethought; "I'd better write." He asked for paperan envelopeand astampand as he was sipping the cooleffervescent water he considered what heshould say. But his thoughts wanderedand he could not manage to compose aletter.

My dear Nathalie--I cannot go away with the heavy impression thatyesterday'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 Ifeltand he will think that I am taking it back. Besidesthis interference ofhis in my private matters. . . NoI cannot" and again he felt hatredrising in his heart towards that man so foreign to him. He folded the unfinishedletter and put it in his pocketpaidwent outand again got into the trap tocatch up the gang. It had grown still hotter. The stones and the walls seemed tobe breathing out hot air. The pavement seemed to scorch the feetand Nekhludofffelt a burning sensation in his hand when he touched the lacquered splashguardof his trap.

The horse was jogging along at a weary trotbeating the unevendusty roadmonotonously with its hoofsthe isvostchik kept falling into a dozeNekhludoffsat without thinking of anything.

At the bottom of a streetin front of a large housea group of people hadcollectedand 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 stoneswhere thepavement slanted down to the gutterlay a broadly-builtred-beardedelderlyconvictwith his head lower than his feetand very red in the face. He had agrey cloak and grey trousers onand lay on his back with the palms of hisfreckled hands downwardsand at long intervals his broadhigh chest heavedand he groanedwhile his bloodshot eyes were fixed on the sky. By him stood across-looking policemana pedlara postmana clerkan old woman with aparasoland a short-haired boy with an empty basket.

"They are weak. Having been locked up in prison they've got weakandthen they lead them through the most broiling heat" said the clerkaddressing Nekhludoffwho had just come up.

"He'll diemost likely" said the woman with the parasolin adoleful tone.

"His shirt should be untied" said the postman.

The policeman beganwith his thicktrembling fingersclumsily to untie thetapes that fastened the shirt round the redsinewy neck. He was evidentlyexcited and confusedbut still thought it necessary to address the crowd.

"What have you collected here for? It is hot enough without your keepingthe wind off."

"They should have been examined by a doctorand the weak ones leftbehind" said the clerkshowing off his knowledge of the law.

The policemanhaving undone the tapes of the shirtrose and looked round.

"Move onI tell you. It is not your businessis it? What's there tostare at?" he saidand turned to Nekhludoff for sympathybut not findingany in his face he turned to the convoy soldier.

But the soldier stood asideexamining the trodden-down heel of his bootandwas quite indifferent to the policeman's perplexity.

"Those whose business it is don't care. Is it right to do men to deathlike this? A convict is a convictbut still he is a man" different voiceswere heard saying in the crowd.

"Put his head up higherand give him some water" said Nekhludoff.

"Water has been sent for" said the policemanand taking theprisoner under the arms he with difficulty pulled his body a little higher up.

"What's this gathering here?" said a decidedauthoritative voiceand a police officerwith a wonderfully cleanshiny blouseand still moreshiny top-bootscame up to the assembled crowd.

"Move on. No standing about here" he shouted to the crowdbeforehe knew what had attracted it.

When he came near and saw the dying convicthe made a sign of approval withhis headjust as if he had quite expected itandturning to the policemansaid"How is this?"

The policeman said thatas a gang of prisoners was passingone of theconvicts had fallen downand the convoy officer had ordered him to be leftbehind.

"Wellthat's all right. He must be taken to the police station. Call anisvostchik."

"A porter has gone for one" said the policemanwith his fingersraised to his cap.

The shopman began something about the heat.

"Is it your businesseh? Move on" said the police officerandlooked so severely at him that the clerk was silenced.

"He ought to have a little water" said Nekhludoff. The policeofficer looked severely at Nekhludoff alsobut said nothing. When the porterbrought a mug full of waterhe told the policeman to offer some to the convict.The policeman raised the drooping headand tried to pour a little water downthe mouth; but the prisoner could not swallow itand it ran down his beardwetting his jacket and his coarsedirty linen shirt.

"Pour it on his head" ordered the officer; and the policeman tookoff the pancake-shaped cap and poured the water over the red curls and bald partof the prisoner's head. His eyes opened wide as if in fearbut his positionremained unchanged.

Streams of dirt trickled down his dusty facebut the mouth continued to gaspin the same regular wayand his whole body shook.

"And what's this? Take this one" said the police officerpointingto Nekhludoff's isvostchik. "Youtheredrive up.

"I am engaged" said the isvostchikdismallyand without lookingup.

"It is my isvostchik; but take him. I will pay you" saidNekhludoffturning to the isvostchik.

"Wellwhat are you waiting for?" shouted the officer. "Catchhold."

The policemanthe porterand the convoy soldier lifted the dying man andcarried him to the trapand put him on the seat. But he could not sit up; hishead fell backand the whole of his body glided off the seat.

"Make him lie down" ordered the officer.

"It's all rightyour honour; I'll manage him like this" said thepolicemansitting down by the dying manand clasping his strongright armround the body under the arms. The convoy soldier lifted the stockingless feetin prison shoesand put them into the trap.

The police officer looked aroundand noticing the pancake-shaped hat of theconvict lifted it up and put it on the wetdrooping head.

"Go on" he ordered.

The isvostchik looked angrily roundshook his headandaccompanied by theconvoy soldierdrove back to the police station. The policemansitting besidethe convictkept dragging up the body that was continually sliding down fromthe seatwhile the head swung from side to side.

The convoy soldierwho was walking by the side of the trapkept putting thelegs in their place. Nekhludoff followed the trap.

CHAPTER XXXVII. SPILLED LIKE WATER ON THE GROUND.

 

The trap passed the fireman who stood sentinel at the entrance[theheadquarters of the fire brigade and the police stations are generally togetherin Moscow] drove into the yard of the police stationand stopped at one of thedoors. In the yard several firemen with their sleeves tucked up were washingsome kind of cart and talking loudly. When the trap stoppedseveral policemensurrounded itand taking the lifeless body of the convict under the armstookhim out of the trapwhich creaked under him. The policeman who had brought thebody got downshook his numbed armtook off his capand crossed himself. Thebody was carried through the door and up the stairs. Nekhludoff followed. In thesmalldirty room where the body was taken there stood four beds. On two of themsat a couple of sick men in dressing-gownsone with a crooked mouthwhose neckwas bandagedthe other one in consumption. Two of the beds were empty; theconvict was laid on one of them. A little manwish glistening eyes andcontinually moving browswith only his underclothes and stockings oncame upwith quicksoft stepslooked at the convict and then at Nekhludoffand burstinto loud laughter. This was a madman who was being kept in the police hospital.

"They wish to frighten mebut nothey won't succeed" he said.

The policemen who carried the corpse were followed by a police officer and amedical assistant. The medical assistant came up to the body and touched thefreckled handalready growing coldwhichthough still softwas deadly pale.He held it for a momentand then let it go. It fell lifelessly on the stomachof the dead man.

"He's ready" said the medical assistantbutevidently to bequite in orderhe undid the wetbrown shirtand tossing back the curls fromhis earput it to the yellowishbroadimmovable chest of the convict. Allwere silent. The medical assistant raised himself againshook his headandtouched with his fingers first one and then the other lid over the openfixedblue eyes.

"I'm not frightenedI'm not frightened." The madman kept repeatingthese wordsand 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 assistantdrawing theshirt over the body's chest. "HoweverI will send for Mathew Ivanovitch.Let him have a look. Petrovcall him" and the medical assistant steppedaway from the body.

"Take him to the mortuary" said the police officer. "And thenyou must come into the office and sign" he added to the convoy soldierwho had not left the convict for a moment.

"Yessir" said the soldier.

The policemen lifted the body and carried it down again. Nekhludoff wished tofollowbut the madman kept him back.

"You are not in the plot! Wellthengive me a cigarette" hesaid. Nekhludoff got out his cigarette case and gave him one.

The madmanquickly moving his brows all the timebegan relating how theytormented him by thought suggestion.

"Whythey are all against meand torment and torture me through theirmediums."

"I beg your pardon" said Nekhludoffand without listening anyfurther he left the room and went out into the yardwishing to know where thebody would be put.

The policemen with their burden had already crossed the yardand were comingto the door of a cellar. Nekhludoff wished to go up to thembut the policeofficer stopped him.

"What do you want?"

"Nothing."

"Nothing? Then go away."

"Nekhludoff obeyedand went back to his isvostchikwho was dozing. Heawoke himand they drove back towards the railway station.

They had not made a hundred steps when they met a cart accompanied by aconvoy soldier with a gun. On the cart lay another convictwho was alreadydead. The convict lay on his back in the carthis shaved headfrom which thepancake-shaped cap had slid over the black-bearded face down to the noseshaking and thumping at every jolt. The driverin his heavy bootswalked bythe side of the cartholding the reins; a policeman followed on foot.Nekhludoff touched his isvostchik's shoulder.

"Just look what they are doing" said the isvostchikstopping hishorse.

Nekhludoff got down andfollowing the cartagain passed the sentinel andentered the gate of the police station. By this time the firemen had finishedwashing the cartand a tallbony manthe chief of the fire brigadewith acoloured band round his capstood in their placeandwith his hands in hispocketswas severely looking at a fat-neckedwell-fedbay stallion that wasbeing led up and down before him by a fireman. The stallion was lame on one ofhis fore feetand the chief of the firemen was angrily saying something to aveterinary who stood by.

The police officer was also present. When he saw the cart he went up to theconvoy soldier.

"Where did you bring him from?" he askedshaking his headdisapprovingly.

"From the Gorbatovskaya" answered the policeman.

"A prisoner?" asked the chief of the fire brigade.

"Yes. It's the second to-day."

"WellI must say they've got some queer arrangements. Though of courseit's a broiling day" said the chief of the fire brigade; thenturning tothe fireman who was leading the lame stallionhe shouted: "Put him intothe corner stall. And as to youyou houndI'll teach you how to cripple horseswhich are worth more than you areyou scoundrel."

The dead man was taken from the cart by the policemen just in the same way asthe first had beenand carried upstairs into the hospital. Nekhludoff followedthem as if he were hypnotised.

"What do you want?" asked one of the policemen. But Nekhludoff didnot answerand followed where the body was being carried. The madmansittingon a bedwas smoking greedily the cigarette Nekhludoff had given him.

"Ahyou've come back" he saidand laughed. When he saw the bodyhe made a faceand said"Again! I am sick of it. I am not a boyam Ieh?" and he turned to Nekhludoff with a questioning smile.

Nekhludoff was looking at the dead manwhose facewhich had been hidden byhis capwas now visible. This convict was as handsome in face and body as theother was hideous. He was a man in the full bloom of life. Notwithstanding thathe was disfigured by the half of his head being shavedthe straightrather lowforeheadraised a bit over the blacklifeless eyeswas very fineand so wasthe nose above the thinblack moustaches. There was a smile on the lips thatwere already growing bluea small beard outlined the lower part of the faceand on the shaved side of the head a firmwell-shaped car was visible.

One could see what possibilities of a higher life had been destroyed in thisman. The fine bones of his hands and shackled feetthe strong muscles of allhis well-proportioned limbsshowed what a beautifulstrongagile human animalthis had been. As an animal merely he had been a far more perfect one of hiskind than the bay stallionabout the laming of which the fireman was so angry.

Yet he had been done to deathand no one was sorry for him as a mannor wasany one sorry that so fine a working animal had perished. The only feelingevinced was that of annoyance because of the bother caused by the necessity ofgetting this bodythreatening putrefactionout of the way. The doctor and hisassistant entered the hospitalaccompanied by the inspector of the policestation. The doctor was a thick-set mandressed in pongee silk coat andtrousers of the same materialclosely fitting his muscular thighs. Theinspector was a little fat fellowwith a red faceround as a ballwhich hemade still broader by a habit he had of filling his cheeks with airand slowlyletting it out again. The doctor sat down on the bed by the side of the deadmanand touched the hands in the same way as his assistant had doneput hisear to the heartroseand pulled his trousers straight. "Could not bemore dead" he said.

The inspector filled his mouth with air and slowly blew it out again.

"Which prison is he from?" he asked the convoy soldier.

The soldier told himand reminded him of the chains on the dead man's feet.

"I'll have them taken off; we have got a smith aboutthe Lord bethanked" said the inspectorand blew up his cheeks again; he went towardsthe doorslowly 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 sunstrokeyou mean? This iswhy: They sit all through the winter without exercise and without lightandsuddenly they are taken out into the sunshineand on a day like thisand theymarch in a crowd so that they get no airand sunstroke is the result."

"Then why are they sent out?"

"Ohas to thatgo and ask those who send them. But may I ask who areyou?

"I am a stranger."

"Ahwellgood-afternoon; I have no time." The doctor was vexed;he gave his trousers a downward pulland went towards the beds of the sick.

"Wellhow are you getting on?" he asked the pale man with thecrooked mouth and bandaged neck.

Meanwhile the madman sat on a bedand having finished his cigarettekeptspitting in the direction of the doctor.

Nekhludoff went down into the yard and out of the gate past the firemen'shorses and the hens and the sentinel in his brass helmetand got into the trapthe driver of which had again fallen asleep.

CHAPTER XXXVIII. THE CONVICT TRAIN.

 

When Nekhludoff came to the stationthe prisoners were all seated in railwaycarriages with grated windows. Several personscome to see them offstood onthe platformbut were not allowed to come up to the carriages.

The convoy was much troubled that day. On the way from the prison to thestationbesides the two Nekhludoff had seenthree other prisoners had fallenand died of sunstroke. One was taken to the nearest police station like thefirst twoand the other two died at the railway station. [In Moscowin thebeginning of the eighth decade of this centuryfive convicts died of sunstrokein 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 diedwhile in their charge. This did not trouble thembut they were concerned lestanything that the law required in such cases should be omitted. To convey thebodies to the places appointedto deliver up their papersto take them off thelists of those to be conveyed to Nijni--all this was very troublesomeespecially on so hot a day.

It was this that occupied the convoy menand before it could all beaccomplished Nekhludoff and the others who asked for leave to go up to thecarriages were not allowed to do so. Nekhludoffhoweverwas soon allowed to goupbecause he tipped the convoy sergeant. The sergeant let Nekhludoff passbutasked him to be quick and get his talk over before any of the authoritiesnoticed. There were 15 carriages in alland except one carriage for theofficialsthey were full of prisoners. As Nekhludoff passed the carriages helistened to what was going on in them. In all the carriages was heard theclanging of chainsthe sound of bustlemixed with loud and senseless languagebut not a word was being said about their dead fellow-prisoners. The talk wasall about sacksdrinking waterand the choice of seats.

Looking into one of the carriagesNekhludoff saw convoy soldiers taking themanacles off the hands of the prisoners. The prisoners held out their armsandone of the soldiers unlocked the manacles with a key and took them off; theother collected them.

After he had passed all the other carriagesNekhludoff came up to thewomen's carriages. From the second of these he heard a woman's groans: "Ohohoh! O God! Ohoh! O God!"

Nekhludoff passed this carriage and went up to a window of the thirdcarriagewhich a soldier pointed out to him. When he approached his face to thewindowhe felt the hot airfilled with the smell of perspirationcoming outof itand heard distinctly the shrill sound of women's voices. All the seatswere filled with redperspiringloudly-talking womendressed in prison cloaksand white jackets. Nekhludoff's face at the window attracted their attention.Those nearest ceased talking and drew closer. Maslovain her white jacket andher head uncoveredsat by the opposite window. The white-skinnedsmilingTheodosia sat a little nearer. When she recognised Nekhludoffshe nudgedMaslova and pointed to the window. Maslova rose hurriedlythrew her kerchiefover her black hairand with a smile on her hotred face came up to the windowand took hold of one of the bars.

"Wellit is hot" she saidwith a glad smile.

"Did you get the things?

"Yesthank you."

"Is there anything more you want?" asked Nekhludoffwhile the aircame out of the hot carriage as out of an oven.

"I want nothingthank you."

"If we could get a drink?" said Theodosia.

"Yesif we could get a drink" repeated Maslova.

"Whyhave you not got any water?"

"They put some inbut it is all gone."

"DirectlyI will ask one of the convoy men. Now we shall not see eachother till we get to Nijni."

"Why? Are you going?" said Maslovaas if she did not know itandlooked joyfully at Nekhludoff.

"I am going by the next train."

Maslova said nothingbut only sighed deeply.

"Is it truesirthat 12 convicts have been done to death?" said asevere-looking old prisoner with a deep voice like a man's.

It was Korableva. "I did not hear of 12; I have seen two" saidNekhludoff.

"They say there were 12 they killed. And will nothing be done to them?Only think! The fiends!"

"And have none of the women fallen ill?" Nekhludoff asked.

"Women are stronger" said another of the prisoners--a short littlewomanand laughed; "only there's one that has taken it into her head to bedelivered. There she goes" she saidpointing to the next carriagewhenceproceeded the groans.

"You ask if we want anything" said Maslovatrying to keep thesmile of joy from her lips; "could not this woman be left behind. sufferingas she is? Therenowif you would tell the authorities."

"YesI will."

"And one thing more; could she not see her husbandTaras?" sheaddedpointing with her eyes to the smiling Theodosia.

"He is going with youis he not?"

"Siryou must not talk" said a convoy sergeantnot the one whohad let Nekhludoff come up. Nekhludoff left the carriage and went in search ofan official to whom he might speak for the woman in travail and about Tarasbutcould not find himnor get an answer from any of the convoy for a long time.They were all in a bustle; some were leading a prisoner somewhere or otherothers running to get themselves provisionssome were placing their things inthe carriages or attending on a lady who was going to accompany the convoyofficerand they answered Nekhludoff's questions unwillingly. Nekhludoff foundthe convoy officer only after the second bell had been rung. The officer withhis short arm was wiping the moustaches that covered his mouth and shrugging hisshouldersreproving the corporal for something or other.

"What is it you want?" he asked Nekhludoff.

You've got a woman there who is being confinedso I thought best--"

"Welllet her be confined; we shall see later on" and brisklyswinging his short armshe ran up to his carriage. At the moment the guardpassed with a whistle in his handand from the people on the platform and fromthe women's carriages there arose a sound of weeping and words of prayer.

Nekhludoff stood on the platform by the side of Tarasand looked howoneafter the otherthe carriages glided past himwith the shaved heads of the menat the grated windows. Then the first of the women's carriages came upwithwomen's heads at the windowssome covered with kerchiefs and some uncoveredthen the secondwhence proceeded the same groansthen the carriage whereMaslova was. She stood with the others at the windowand looked at Nekhludoffwith a pathetic smile.

CHAPTER XXXIX. BROTHER AND SISTER.

 

There were still two hours before the passenger train by which Nekhludoff wasgoing would start. He had thought of using this interval to see his sisteragain; but after the impressions of the morning he felt much excited and so doneup thatsitting down on a sofa in the first-class refreshment-roomhe suddenlygrew so drowsy that he turned over on to his sideandlaying his face on hishandfell asleep at once. A waiter in a dress coat with a napkin in his handwoke him.

"Sirsirare you not Prince Nekhludoff? There's a lady looking foryou."

Nekhludoff started up and recollected where he was and all that had happenedin the morning.

He saw in his imagination the procession of prisonersthe dead bodiestherailway carriages with barred windowsand the women locked up in themone ofwhom was groaning in travail with no one to help herand another who waspathetically smiling at him through the bars.

The reality before his eyes was very differenti.e.a table with vasescandlesticks and crockeryand agile waiters moving round the tableand in thebackground a cupboard and a counter laden with fruit and bottlesbehind it abarmanand in front the backs of passengers who had come up for refreshments.When Nekhludoff had risen and sat gradually collecting his thoughtshe noticedthat everybody in the room was inquisitively looking at something that waspassing by the open doors.

He also lookedand saw a group of people carrying a chair on which sat alady whose head was wrapped in a kind of airy fabric.

Nekhludoff thought he knew the footman who was supporting the chair in front.And also the man behindand a doorkeeper with gold cord on his capseemedfamiliar. A lady's maid with a fringe and an apronwho was carrying a parcelaparasoland something round in a leather casewas walking behind the chair.Then came Prince Korchaginwith his thick lipsapoplectic neckand atravelling cap on his head; behind him Missyher cousin Mishaand anacquaintance of Nekhludoff's--the long-necked diplomat Ostenwith hisprotruding Adam's apple and his unvarying merry mood and expression. He wassaying something very emphaticallythough jokinglyto the smiling Missy. TheKorchagins were moving from their estate near the city to the estate of thePrincess's sister on the Nijni railway. The procession--the men carrying thechairthe maidand the doctor--vanished into the ladies' waiting-roomevokinga feeling of curiosity and respect in the onlookers. But the old Prince remainedand sat down at the tablecalled a waiterand ordered food and drink. Missyand Osten also remained in the refreshment-room and were about to sit downwhenthey saw an acquaintance in the doorwayand went up to her. It was NathalieRogozhinsky. Nathalie came into the refreshment-room accompanied by AgraphenaPetrovnaand both looked round the room. Nathalie noticed at one and the samemoment both her brother and Missy. She first went up to Missyonly nodding toher brother; buthaving kissed herat once turned to him.

"At last I have found you" she said. Nekhludoff rose to greetMissyMishaand Ostenand to say a few words to them. Missy told him abouttheir house in the country having been burnt downwhich necessitated theirmoving to her aunt's. Osten began relating a funny story about a fire.Nekhludoff paid no attentionand turned to his sister.

"How glad I am that you have come."

"I have been here a long time" she said. "Agraphena Petrovnais with me." And she pointed to Agraphena Petrovnawhoin a waterproofand with a bonnet on her headstood some way offand bowed to him with kindlydignity and some confusionnot wishing to intrude.

"We looked for you everywhere."

"And I had fallen asleep here. How glad I am that you have come"repeated Nekhludoff. "I had begun to write to you."

"Really?" she saidlooking frightened. "What about?"

Missy and the gentlemannoticing that an intimate conversation was about tocommence between the brother and sisterwent away. Nekhludoff and his sistersat down by the window on a velvet-covered sofaon which lay a plaida boxand a few other things.

"Yesterdayafter I left youI felt inclined to return and express myregretbut I did not know how he would take it" said Nekhludoff. "Ispoke hastily to your husbandand this tormented me."

"I knew" said his sister"that you did not mean to. Ohyouknow!" and the tears came to her eyesand she touched his hand. Thesentence was not clearbut he understood it perfectlyand was touched by whatit expressed. Her words meant thatbesides the love for her husband which heldher in its swayshe prized and considered important the love she had for himher brotherand that every misunderstanding between them caused her deepsuffering.

"Thank youthank you. Oh! what I have seen to-day!" he saidsuddenly recalling the second of the dead convicts. "Two prisoners havebeen done to death."

"Done to death? How?"

"Yesdone to death. They led them in this heatand two died ofsunstroke."

"Impossible! Whatto-day? just now?"

"Yesjust now. I have seen their bodies."

"But why done to death? Who killed them?" asked Nathalie.

"They who forced them to go killed them" said Nekhludoffwithirritationfeeling that she looked at thistoowith her husband's eyes.

"OhLord!" said Agraphena Petrovnawho had come up to them.

"Yeswe have not the slightest idea of what is being done to theseunfortunate beings. But it ought to be known" added Nekhludoffand lookedat old Korchaginwho sat with a napkin tied round him and a bottle before himand who looked round at Nekhludoff.

"Nekhludoff" he called out"won't you join me and take somerefreshment? It is excellent before a journey."

Nekhludoff refusedand turned away.

"But what are you going to do?" Nathalie continued.

"What I can. I don't knowbut I feel I must do something. And I shalldo what I am able to."

"YesI understand. And how about them?" she continuedwith asmile and a look towards Korchagin. "Is it possible that it is allover?"

"Completelyand I think without any regret on either side."

"It is a pity. I am sorry. I am fond of her. Howeverit's all right.But why do you wish to bind yourself?" she added shyly. "Why are yougoing?"

"I go because I must" answered Nekhludoffseriously and drylyasif wishing to stop this conversation. But he felt ashamed of his coldnesstowards his sister at once. "Why not tell her all I am thinking?" hethought"and let Agraphena Petrovna also hear it" he thoughtwith alook at the old servantwhose presence made the wish to repeat his decision tohis sister even stronger.

"You mean my intention to marry Katusha? Wellyou seeI made up mymind to do itbut she refuses definitely and firmly" he saidand hisvoice shookas it always did when he spoke of it. "She does not wish toaccept my sacrificebut is herself sacrificing what in her position means muchand I cannot accept this sacrificeif it is only a momentary impulse. And so Iam going with herand shall be where she isand shall try to lighten her fateas much as I can."

Nathalie said nothing. Agraphena Petrovna looked at her with a questioninglookand shook her head. At this moment the former procession issued from theladies' room. The same handsome footman (Philip). and the doorkeeper werecarrying the Princess Korchagin. She stopped the men who were carrying herandmotioned to Nekhludoff to approachandwith a pitifullanguishing airsheextended her whiteringed handexpecting the firm pressure of his hand with asense of horror.

"Epouvantable!" she saidmeaning the heat. "I cannot standit! Ce climat me tue!" Andafter a short talk about the horrors of theRussian climateshe gave the men a sign to go on.

"Be sure and come" she addedturning her long face towardsNekhludoff as she was borne away.

The procession with the Princess turned to the right towards the first-classcarriages. Nekhludoffwith the porter who was carrying his thingsand Taraswith his bagturned to the left.

"This is my companion" said Nekhludoff to his sisterpointing toTaraswhose story he had told her before.

"Surely not third class?" said Nathaliewhen Nekhludoff stopped infront of a third-class carriageand Taras and the porter with the things wentin.

"Yes; it is more convenient for me to be with Taras" he said."One thing more" he added; "up to now I have not given theKousminski land to the peasants; so thatin case of my deathyour childrenwill inherit it."

"Dmitridon't!" said Nathalie.

"If I do give it awayall I can say is that the rest will be theirsasit is not likely I shall marry; and if I do marry I shall have no childrensothat--"

"Dmitridon't talk like that!" said Nathalie. And yet Nekhludoffnoticed that she was glad to hear him say it.

Higher upby the side of a first-class carriagethere stood a group ofpeople still looking at the carriage into which the Princess Korchagin had beencarried. Most of the passengers were already seated. Some of the late comershurriedly clattered along the boards of the platformthe guard was closing thedoors and asking the passengers to get in and those who were seeing them off tocome out.

Nekhludoff entered the hotsmelling carriagebut at once stepped out againon to the small platform at the back of the carriage. Nathalie stood oppositethe carriagewith her fashionable bonnet and capeby the side of AgraphenaPetrovnaand was evidently trying to find something to say. She could not evensay ecrivezbecause they had long ago laughed at this wordhabitually spokenby those about to part. The short conversation about money matters had in amoment destroyed the tender brotherly and sisterly feelings that had taken holdof them. They felt estrangedso that Nathalie was glad when the train moved;and she could only saynodding her head with a sad and tender look"Goodbyegood-byeDmitri." But as soon as the carriage had passedher she thought of how she should repeat her conversation with her brother toher husbandand her face became serious and troubled.

Nekhludofftoothough he had nothing but the kindest feelings for hissisterand had hidden nothing from hernow felt depressed and uncomfortablewith herand was glad to part. He felt that the Nathalie who was once so nearto him no longer existedand in her place was only a slave of that hairyunpleasant husbandwho was so foreign to him. He saw it clearly when her facelit up with peculiar animation as he spoke of what would peculiarly interest herhusbandi.e.the giving up of the land to the peasants and the inheritance.

And this made him sad.

CHAPTER XL. THE FUNDAMENTAL LAW OF HUMAN LIFE.

 

The heat in the large third-class carriagewhich had been standing in theburning sun all daywas so great that Nekhludoff did not go inbut stopped onthe little platform behind the carriage which formed a passage to the next one.But there was not a breath of fresh air here eitherand Nekhludoff breathedfreely only when the train had passed the buildings and the draught blew acrossthe platform.

"Yeskilled" he repeated to himselfthe words he had used to hissister. And in his imagination in the midst of all other impressions there arosewith wonderful clearness the beautiful face of the second dead convictwith thesmile of the lipsthe severe expression of the browsand the smallfirm earbelow the shaved bluish skull.

And what seemed terrible was that he had been murderedand no one knew whohad murdered him. Yet he had been murdered. He was led out like all the rest ofthe prisoners by Maslennikoff's orders. Maslennikoff had probably given theorder in the usual mannerhad signed with his stupid flourish the paper withthe printed headingand most certainly would not consider himself guilty. Stillless would the careful doctor who examined the convicts consider himself guilty.He had performed his duty accuratelyand had separated the weak. How could hehave foreseen this terrible heator the fact that they would start so late inthe day and in such crowds? The prison inspector? But the inspector had onlycarried into execution the order that on a given day a certain number of exilesand convicts--men and women--had to be sent off. The convoy officer could not beguilty eitherfor his business was to receive a certain number of persons in acertain placeand to deliver up the same number. He conducted them in the usualmannerand could not foresee that two such strong men as those Nekhludoff sawwould not be able to stand it and would die. No one is guiltyand yet the menhave been murdered by these people who are not guilty of their murder.

"All this comes" Nekhludoff thought"from the fact that allthese peoplegovernorsinspectorspolice officersand menconsider thatthere are circumstances in which human relations are not necessary between humanbeings. All these menMaslennikoffand the inspectorand the convoy officerif they were not governorinspectorofficerwould have considered twentytimes before sending people in such heat in such a mass--would have stoppedtwenty times on the wayandseeing that a man was growing weakgasping forbreathwould have led him into the shadewould have given him water and lethim restand if an accident had still occurred they would have expressed pity.But they not only did not do itbut hindered others from doing itbecause theyconsidered not men and their duty towards them but only the office theythemselves filledand held what that office demanded of them to be above humanrelations. "That's what it is" Nekhludoff went on in his thoughts."If one acknowledges but for a single hour that anything can be moreimportant than love for one's fellowmeneven in some one exceptional caseanycrime can be committed without a feeling of guilt."

Nekhludoff was so engrossed by his thoughts that he did not notice how theweather changed. The sun was covered over by a low-hangingragged cloud. Acompactlight grey cloud was rapidly coming from the westand was alreadyfalling in heavydriving rain on the fields and woods far in the distance.Moisturecoming from the cloudmixed with the air. Now and then the cloud wasrent by flashes of lightningand peals of thunder mingled more and more oftenwith the rattling of the train. The cloud came nearer and nearerthe rain-dropsdriven by the wind began to spot the platform and Nekhludoff's coat; and hestepped to the other side of the little platformandinhaling the freshmoistair--filled with the smell of corn and wet earth that had long been waiting forrain--he stood looking at the gardensthe woodsthe yellow rye fieldsthegreen oatfieldsthe dark-green strips of potatoes in bloomthat glided past.Everything looked as if covered over with varnish--the green turned greenertheyellow yellowerthe black blacker.

"More! more!" said Nekhludoffgladdened by the sight of gardensand fields revived by the beneficent shower. The shower did not last long. Partof the cloud had come down in rainpart passed overand the last fine dropsfell straight on to the earth. The sun reappearedeverything began to glistenand in the east--not very high above the horizon--appeared a bright rainbowwith the violet tint very distinct and broken only at one end.

"Whywhat was I thinking about?" Nekhludoff asked himself when allthese changes in nature were overand the train ran into a cutting between twohigh banks.

"Oh! I was thinking that all those people (inspectorconvoy men--allthose in the service) are for the greater part kind people--cruel only becausethey are serving." He recalled Maslennikoff's indifference when he told himabout what was being done in the prisonthe inspector's severitythe crueltyof the convoy officer when he refused places on the carts to those who asked forthemand paid no attention to the fact that there was a woman in travail in thetrain. All these people were evidently invulnerable and impregnable to thesimplest feelings of compassion only because they held offices. "Asofficials they were impermeable to the feelings of humanityas this pavedground is impermeable to the rain." Thus thought Nekhludoff as he looked atthe railway embankment paved with stones of different coloursdown which thewater was running in streams instead of soaking into the earth. "Perhaps itis necessary to pave the banks with stonesbut it is sad to look at the groundwhich might be yielding corngrassbushesor trees in the same way as theground visible up there is doing--deprived of vegetationand so it is withmen" thought Nekhludoff. "Perhaps these governorsinspectorspolicemenare neededbut it is terrible to see men deprived of the chief humanattributethat of love and sympathy for one another. The thing is" hecontinued"that these people consider lawful what is not lawfuland donot consider the eternalimmutable lawwritten in the hearts of men by Godaslaw. That is why I feel so depressed when I am with these people. I am simplyafraid of themand really they are terriblemore terrible than robbers. Arobber mightafter allfeel pitybut they can feel no pitythey are inuredagainst pity as these stones are against vegetation. That is what makes themterrible. It is said that the Pougatcheffsthe Razins [leaders of rebellions inRussia: Stonka Razin in the 17th and Pougatcheff in the 18th century] areterrible. These are a thousand times more terrible" he continuedin histhoughts. "If a psychological problem were set to find means of making menof our time--Christianhumanesimplekind people--perform the most horriblecrimes without feeling guiltyonly one solution could be devised: to go ondoing what is being done. It is only necessary that these people should hegovernorsinspectorspolicemen; that they should be fully convinced that thereis a kind of businesscalled government servicewhich allows men to treatother men as thingswithout human brotherly relations with themand also thatthese people should be so linked together by this government service that theresponsibility for the results of their actions should not fall on any one ofthem separately. Without these conditionsthe terrible acts I witnessed to-daywould be impossible in our times. It all lies in the fact that men think thereare circumstances in which one may deal with human beings without love; andthere are no such circumstances. One may deal with things without love. one maycut down treesmake brickshammer iron without love; but you cannot deal withmen without itjust as one cannot deal with bees without being careful. If youdeal carelessly with bees you will injure themand will yourself be injured.And so with men. It cannot be otherwisebecause natural love is the fundamentallaw of human life. It is true that a man cannot force another to love himas hecan force him to work for him; but it does not follow that a man may deal withmen without loveespecially to demand anything from them. If you feel no lovesit still" Nekhludoff thought; "occupy yourself with thingswithyourselfwith anything you likeonly not with men. You can only eat withoutinjuring yourself when you feel inclined to eatso you can only deal with menusefully when you love. Only let yourself deal with a man without loveas I didyesterday with my brother-in-lawand there are no limits to the suffering youwill bring on yourselfas all my life proves. Yesyesit is so" thoughtNekhludoff; "it is good; yesit is good" he repeatedenjoying thefreshness after the torturing heatand conscious of having attained to thefullest clearness on a question that had long occupied him.

CHAPTER XLI. TARAS'S STORY.

 

The carriage in which Nekhludoff had taken his place was half filled withpeople. There were in it servantsworking menfactory handsbutchersJewsshopmenworkmen's wivesa soldiertwo ladiesa young one and an old one withbracelets on her armand a severe-looking gentleman with a cockade on his blackcap. All these people were sitting quietly; the bustle of taking their placeswas long over; some sat cracking and eating sunflower seedssome smokingsometalking.

Taras satlooking very happyopposite the doorkeeping a place forNekhludoffand carrying on an animated conversation with a man in a cloth coatwho sat opposite to himand who wasas Nekhludoff afterwards found outagardener going to a new situation. Before reaching the place where Taras satNekhludoff stopped between the seats near a reverend-looking old man with awhite beard and nankeen coatwho was talking with a young woman in peasantdress. A little girl of about sevendressed in a new peasant costumesatherlittle legs dangling above the floorby the side of the womanand keptcracking seeds.

The old man turned roundandseeing Nekhludoffhe moved the lappets of hiscoat off the varnished seat next to himand saidin a friendly manner:

"Pleasehere's a seat."

Nekhludoff thanked himand took the seat. As soon as he was seated the womancontinued the interrupted conversation.

She was returning to her villageand related how her husbandwhom she hadbeen visitinghad received her in town.

"I was there during the carnivaland nowby the Lord's helpI've beenagain" she said. "ThenGod willingat Christmas I'll goagain."

"That's right" said the old manwith a look at Nekhludoff"it's the best way to go and see himelse a young man can easily go to thebadliving in a town."

"Ohnosirmine is not such a man. No nonsense of any kind about him;his life is as good as a young maiden's. The money he earns he sends home all toa copeck. Andas to our girl herehe was so glad to see herthere are nowords for it" said the womanand smiled.

The little girlwho sat cracking her seeds and spitting out the shellslistened to her mother's wordsandas if to confirm themlooked up with calmintelligent eyes into Nekhludoff's and the old man's faces.

"Wellif he's goodthat's better still" said the old man."And none of that sort of thing?" he addedwith a look at a coupleevidently factory handswho sat at the other side of the carriage. The husbandwith his head thrown backwas pouring vodka down his throat out of a bottleand the wife sat holding a bagout of which they had taken the bottleandwatched him intently.

"Nomine neither drinks nor smokes" said the woman who wasconversing with the old manglad of the opportunity of praising her husbandonce more. "Nosirthe earth does not hold many such." Andturningto Nekhludoffshe added"That's the sort of man he is."

"What could be better" said the old manlooking at the factoryworkerwho had had his drink and had passed the bottle to his wife. The wifelaughedshook her headand also raised the bottle to her lips.

Noticing Nekhludoff's and the old man's look directed towards themthefactory worker addressed the former.

"What is itsir? That we are drinking? Ahno one sees how we workbutevery one sees how we drink. I have earned itand I am drinking and treating mywifeand no one else."

"Yesyes" said Nekhludoffnot knowing what to say.

"Truesir. My wife is a steady woman. I am satisfied with my wifebecause she can feel for me. Is it right what I'm sayingMavra?"

"There you aretake itI don't want any more" said the wifereturning the bottle to him. "And what are you jawing for like that?"she added.

"There now! She's good--that good; and suddenly she'll begin squeakinglike a wheel that's not greased. Mavrais it right what I'm saying?"

Mavra laughed and moved her hand with a tipsy gesture.

"Ohmyhe's at it again."

"There nowshe's that good--that good; but let her get her tail overthe reinsand you can't think what she'll be up to. . . . Is it right what I'msaying? You must excuse mesirI've had a drop! What's to be done?" saidthe factory workerandpreparing to go to sleepput his head in his wife'slap.

Nekhludoff sat a while with the old manwho told him all about himself. Theold man was a stove builderwho had been working for 53 yearsand had built somany stoves that he had lost countand now he wanted to restbut had no time.He had been to town and found employment for the young onesand was now goingto the country to see the people at home. After hearing the old man's storyNekhludoff went to the place that Taras was keeping for him

"It's all rightsir; sit down; we'll put the bag heresaid thegardenerwho sat opposite Tarasin a friendly tonelooking up intoNekhludoff's face.

"Rather a tight fitbut no matter since we are friends" saidTarassmilingand lifting the bagwhich weighed more than five stoneas ifit were a featherhe carried it across to the window.

"Plenty of room; besideswe might stand up a bit; and even under theseat it's as comfortable as you could wish. What's the good of humbugging?"he saidbeaming with friendliness and kindness.

Taras spoke of himself as being unable to utter a word when quite sober; butdrinkhe saidhelped him to find the right wordsand then he could expresseverything. And in realitywhen he was sober Taras kept silent; but when he hadbeen drinkingwhich happened rarely and only on special occasionshe becamevery pleasantly talkative. Then he spoke a great dealspoke well and verysimply and truthfullyand especially with great kindlinesswhich shone in hisgentleblue eyes and in the friendly smile that never left his lips. He was insuch a state to-day. Nekhludoff's approach interrupted the conversation; butwhen he had put the bag in its placeTaras sat down againand with his stronghands folded in his lapand looking straight into the gardener's facecontinued his story. He was telling his new acquaintance about his wife andgiving every detail: what she was being sent to Siberia forand why he was nowfollowing her. Nekhludoff had never heard a detailed account of this affairandso he listened with interest. When he came upthe story had reached the pointwhen the attempt to poison was already an accomplished factand the family haddiscovered that it was Theodosia's doing.

"It's about my troubles that I'm talking" said TarasaddressingNekhludoff with cordial friendliness. "I have chanced to come across such ahearty manand we've got into conversationand I'm telling him all."

"I see" said Nekhludoff.

"Wellthen in this waymy friendthe business became known. Mothershe takes that cake. 'I'm going' says she'to the police officer.' My fatheris a just old man. 'Waitwife' says he'the little woman is a mere childanddid not herself know what she was doing. We must have pity. She may come to hersenses.' Butdear memother would not hear of it. 'While we keep her here'she says'she may destroy us all like cockroaches.' Wellfriendso she goesoff for the police officer. He bounces in upon us at once. Calls forwitnesses."

"Welland you?" asked the gardener.

"WellIyou seefriendroll about with the pain in my stomachandvomit. All my inside is turned inside out; I can't even speak. Wellso fatherhe goes and harnesses the mareand puts Theodosia into the cartand is off tothe police-stationand then to the magistrate's. And sheyou knowjust as shehad done from the firstso also thereconfesses all to the magistrate--whereshe got the arsenicand how she kneaded the cake. 'Why did you do it?' says he.'Why' says she'because he's hateful to me. I prefer Siberia to a life withhim.' That's me" and Taras smiled.

"Wellso she confessed all. Thennaturally--the prisonand fatherreturns alone. And harvest time just comingand mother the only woman at homeand she no longer strong. So we think what we are to do. Could we not bail herout? So father went to see an official. No go. Then another. I think he went tofive of themand we thought of giving it up. Then we happened to come across aclerk--such an artful one as you don't often find. 'You give me five roublesand I'll get her out' says he. He agreed to do it for three. Welland what doyou thinkfriend? I went and pawned the linen she herself had wovenand gavehim the money. As soon as he had written that paper" drawled out Tarasjust as if he were speaking of a shot being fired"we succeeded at once. Iwent to fetch her myself. Wellfriendso I got to townput up the maretookthe paperand went to the prison. 'What do you want?' 'This is what I want'say I'you've got my wife here in prison.' 'And have you got a paper?' I gavehim the paper. He gave it a look. 'Wait' says he. So I sat down on a bench. Itwas already past noon by the sun. An official comes out. 'You are Vargoushoff?''I am.' 'Wellyou may take her.' The gates openedand they led her out in herown clothes quite all right. 'Wellcome along. Have you come on foot?' 'NoIhave the horse here.' So I went and paid the ostlerand harnessedput in allthe hay that was leftand covered it with sacking for her to sit on. She got inand wrapped her shawl round herand off we drove. She says nothing and I saynothing. just as we were coming up to the house she says'And how's mother; isshe alive?' 'Yesshe's alive.' 'And father; is he alive? 'Yeshe is.' 'ForgivemeTaras' she says'for my folly. I did not myself know what I was doing.' SoI say'Words won't mend matters. I have forgiven you long ago' and I said nomore. We got homeand she just fell at mother's feet. Mother says'The Lordwill forgive you.' And father said'How d'you do?' and 'What's past is past.Live as best you can. Now' says he'is not the time for all that; there's theharvest to be gathered in down at Skorodino' he says. 'Down on the manuredacreby the Lord's helpthe ground has borne such rye that the sickle can'ttackle it. It's all interwoven and heavyand has sunk beneath its weight; thatmust be reaped. You and Taras had better go and see to it to-morrow.' Wellfriendfrom that moment she took to the work and worked so that every onewondered. At that time we rented three desiatinsand by God's help we had awonderful crop both of oats and rye. I mow and she binds the sheavesandsometimes we both of us reap. I am good at work and not afraid of itbut she'sbetter still at whatever she takes up. She's a smart womanyoungand full oflife; and as to workfriendshe'd grown that eager that I had to stop her. Weget homeour fingers swollenour arms achingand sheinstead of restingrushes off to the barn to make binders for the sheaves for next day. Such achange!"

"Welland to you? Was she kindernow?" asked the gardener.

"That's beyond question. She clings to me as if we were one soul.Whatever I think she understands. Even motherangry as she wascould not helpsaying: 'It's as if our Theodosia had been transformed; she's quite a differentwoman now!' We were once going to cart the sheaves with two carts. She and Iwere in the firstand I say'How could you think of doing thatTheodosia?'and she says'How could I think of it? just soI did not wish to live withyou. I thought I'd rather die than live with you!' I say'And now?' and shesays'Now you're in my heart!'" Taras stoppedand smiled joyfullyshookhis head as if surprised. "Hardly had we got the harvest home when I wentto soak the hempand when I got home there was a summonsshe must go to betriedand we had forgotten all about the matter that she was to be triedfor."

"It can only be the evil one" said the gardener. "Could anyman of himself think of destroying a living soul? We had a fellow once--"and the gardener was about to commence his tale when the train began to stop.

"It seems we are coming to a station" he said. "I'll go andhave a drink."

The conversation stoppedand Nekhludoff followed the gardener out of thecarriage onto the wet platform of the station.

CHAPTER XLII. LE VRAI GRAND MONDE.

 

Before Nekhludoff got out he had noticed in the station yard several elegantequipagessome with threesome with fourwell-fed horseswith tinkling bellson their harness. When he stepped out on the wetdark-coloured boards of theplatformhe saw a group of people in front of the first-class carriageamongwhom were conspicuous a stout lady with costly feathers on her hatand awaterproofand a tallthin-legged young man in a cycling suit. The young manhad by his side an enormouswell-fed dogwith a valuable collar. Behind themstood footmenholding wraps and umbrellasand a coachmanwho had also come tomeet the train.

On the whole of the groupfrom the fat lady down to the coachman who stoodholding up his long coatthere lay the stamp of wealth and quietself-assurance. A curious and servile crowd rapidly gathered round thisgroup--the station-masterin his red capa gendarmea thin young lady in aRussian costumewith beads round her neckwho made a point of seeing thetrains come in all through the summera telegraph clerkand passengersmenand women.

In the young man with the dog Nekhludoff recognised young Korchaginagymnasium student. The fat lady was the Princess's sisterto whose estate theKorchagins were now moving. The guardwith his gold cord and shiny top-bootsopened the carriage door and stood holding it as a sign of deferencewhilePhilip and a porter with a white apron carefully carried out the long-facedPrincess in her folding chair. The sisters greeted each otherand Frenchsentences began flying about. Would the Princess go in a closed or an opencarriage? At last the procession started towards the exitthe lady's maidwithher curly fringeparasol and leather case in the rear.

Nekhludoff not wishing to meet them and to have to take leave over againstopped before he got to the doorwaiting for the procession to pass.

The Princessher sonMissythe doctorand the maid went out firsttheold Prince and his sister-in-law remained behind. Nekhludoff was too far tocatch anything but a few disconnected French sentences of their conversation Oneof the sentences uttered by the Princeas it often happensfor someunaccountable reason remained in his memory with all its intonations and thesound of the voice.

"Ohil est du vrai grand mondedu vrai grand monde" said thePrince in his loudself-assured tone as he went out of the station with hissister-in-lawaccompanied by the respectful guards and porters.

At this moment from behind the corner of the station suddenly appeared acrowd of workmen in bark shoeswearing sheepskin coats and carrying bags ontheir backs. The workmen went up to the nearest carriage with soft yetdetermined stepsand were about to get inbut were at once driven away by aguard. Without stoppingthe workmen passed onhurrying and jostling oneanotherto the next carriage and began getting incatching their bags againstthe corners and door of the carriagebut another guard caught sight of themfrom the door of the stationand shouted at them severely. The workmenwho hadalready got inhurried out again and went onwith the same soft and firmstepsstill further towards Nekhludoff's carriage. A guard was again going tostop thembut Nekhludoff said there was plenty of room insideand that theyhad better get in. They obeyed and got infollowed by Nekhludoff.

The workmen were about to take their seatswhen the gentleman with thecockade and the two ladieslooking at this attempt to settle in their carriageas a personal insult to themselvesindignantly protested and wanted to turnthem out. The workmen--there were 20 of themold men and quite young onesallof them weariedsunburntwith haggard faces--began at once to move on throughthe carriagecatching the seatsthe wallsand the doors with their bags. Theyevidently felt they had offended in some wayand seemed ready to go onindefinitely wherever they were ordered to go.

"Where are you pushing toyou fiends? Sit down here" shoutedanother guard they met.

"Voild encore des nouvelles" exclaimed the younger of the twoladiesquite convinced that she would attract Nekhludoff's notice by her goodFrench.

The other lady with the bracelets kept sniffing and making facesandremarked something about how pleasant it was to sit with smelly peasants.

The workmenwho felt the joy and calm experienced by people who have escapedsome kind of dangerthrew off their heavy bags with a movement of theirshoulders and stowed them away under the seats.

The gardener had left his own seat to talk with Tarasand now went backsothat there were two unoccupied seats opposite and one next to Taras. Three ofthe workmen took these seatsbut when Nekhludoff came up to themin hisgentleman's clothingthey got so confused that they rose to go awaybutNekhludoff asked them to stayand himself sat down on the arm of the seatbythe passage down the middle of the carriage.

One of the workmena man of about 50exchanged a surprised and evenfrightened look with a young man. That Nekhludoffinstead of scolding anddriving them awayas was natural to a gentlemanshould give up his seat tothemastonished and perplexed them. They even feared that this might have someevil result for them.

Howeverthey soon noticed that there was no underlying plot when they heardNekhludoff talking quite simply with Tarasand they grew quiet and told one ofthe lads to sit down on his bag and give his seat to Nekhludoff. At first theelderly workman who sat opposite Nekhludoff shrank and drew back his legs forfear of touching the gentlemanbut after a while he grew quite friendlyand intalking to him and Taras even slapped Nekhludoff on the knee when he wanted todraw special attention to what he was saying.

He told them all about his position and his work in the peat bogswhence hewas now returning home. He had been working there for two and a half monthsandwas bringing home his wageswhich only came to 10 roublessince part had beenpaid beforehand when he was hired. They workedas he explainedup to theirknees in water from sunrise to sunsetwith two hours' interval for dinner.

"Those who are not used to it find it hardof course" he said;" but when one's hardened it doesn't matterif only the food is right. Atfirst the food was bad. Later the people complainedand they got good foodandit was easy to work."

Then he told them howduring 28 years he went out to workand sent all hisearnings home. First to his fatherthen to his eldest brotherand now to hisnephewwho was at the head of the household. On himself he spent only two orthree roubles of the 50 or 60 he earned a yearjust for luxuries--tobacco andmatches.

"I'm a sinnerwhen tired I even drink a little vodka sometimes"he addedwith a guilty smile.

Then he told them how the women did the work at homeand how the contractorhad treated them to half a pail of vodka before they started to-dayhow one ofthem had diedand another was returning home ill. The sick workman he wastalking about was in a corner of the same carriage. He was a young ladwith apalesallow face and bluish lips. He was evidently tormented by intermittentfever. Nekhludoff went up to himbut the lad looked up with such a severe andsuffering expression that Nekhludoff did not care to bother him with questionsbut advised the elder man to give him quinineand wrote down the name of themedicine. He wished to give him some moneybut the old workman said he wouldpay for it himself.

"Wellmuch as I have travelledI have never met such a gentlemanbefore. Instead of punching your headhe actually gives up his place toyou" said the old man to Taras. "It seems there are all sorts ofgentlefolktoo."

"Yesthis is quite a new and different world" thought Nekhludofflooking at these sparesinewylimbscoarsehome-made garmentsand sunburntkindlythough weary-looking facesand feeling himself surrounded on all sideswith new people and the serious interestsjoysand sufferings of a life oflabour.

"Here is le vrai grand monde" thought Nekhludoffremembering thewords of Prince Korchagin and all that idleluxurious world to which theKorchagins belongedwith their pettymean interests. And he felt the joy of atraveller on discovering a newunknownand beautiful world.

Book III

CHAPTER I. MASLOVA MAKES NEW FRIENDS.

The gang of prisoners to which Maslova belonged had walked aboutthree thousand three hundred miles. She and the other prisoners condemned forcriminal offences had travelled by rail and by steamboats as far as the town ofPerm. It was only here that Nekhludoff succeeded in obtaining a permission forher to continue the journey with the political prisonersas Vera Doukhovawhowas among the latteradvised him to do. The journey up to Perm had been verytrying to Maslova both morally and physically. Physicallybecause of theovercrowdingthe dirtand the disgusting verminwhich gave her no peace;morallybecause of the equally disgusting men. The menlike the verminthoughthey changed at each halting-placewere everywhere alike importunate; theyswarmed round hergiving her no rest. Among the women prisoners and the menprisonersthe jailers and the convoy soldiersthe habit of a kind of cynicaldebauch was so firmly established that unless a female prisoner was willing toutilise her position as a woman she had to be constantly on the watch. To becontinually in a state of fear and strife was very trying. And Maslova wasspecially exposed to attacksher appearance being attractive and her past knownto every one. The decided resistance with which she now met the importunity ofall the men seemed offensive to themand awakened another feelingthat ofill-will towards her. But her position was made a little easier by her intimacywith Theodosiaand Theodosia's husbandwhohaving heard of the molestationshis wife was subject tohad in Nijni been arrested at his own desire in orderto be able to protect herand was now travelling with the gang as a prisoner.Maslova's position became much more bearable when she was allowed to join thepolitical prisonerswho were provided with better accomodationsbetter foodand were treated less rudelybut besides all this Maslova's condition was muchimproved because among the political prisoners she was no longer molested by themenand could live without being reminded of that past which she was so anxiousto forget. But the chief advantage of the change lay in the fact that she madethe acquaintance of several persons who exercised a decided and most beneficialinfluence on her character. Maslova was allowed to stop with the politicalprisoners at all the halting-placesbut being a strong and healthy woman shewas obliged to march with the criminal convicts. In this way she walked all theway from Tomsk. Two political prisoners also marched with the gangMaryPavlovna Schetininathe girl with the hazel eyes who had attracted Nekhludoff'sattention when he had been to visit Doukhova in prisonand one Simonsonwhowas on his way to the Takoutsk districtthe dishevelled dark young fellow withdeep-lying eyeswhom Nekhludoff had also noticed during that visit. MaryPavlovna was walking because she had given her place on the cart to one of thecriminalsa woman expecting to be confinedand Simonson because he did notdare to avail himself of a class privilege.

These three always started early in the morning before the rest of thepolitical prisonerswho followed later on in the carts.

They were ready to start in this way just outside a large townwhere a newconvoy officer had taken charge of the gang.

It was early on a dull September morning. It kept raining and snowingalternatelyand the cold wind blew in sudden gusts. The whole gang ofprisonersconsisting of four hundred men and fifty womenwas already assembledin the court of the halting station. Some of them were crowding round the chiefof the convoywho was giving to specially appointed prisoners money for twodays' keep to distribute among the restwhile others were purchasing food fromwomen who had been let into the courtyard. One could hear the voices of theprisoners counting their money and making their purchasesand the shrill voicesof the women with the food.

Simonsonin his rubber jacket and rubber overshoes fastened with a stringover his worsted stockings (he was a vegetarian and would not wear the skin ofslaughtered animals)was also in the courtyard waiting for the gang to start.He stood by the porch and jotted down in his notebook a thought that hadoccurred to him. This was what he wrote: "If a bacteria watched andexamined a human nail it would pronounce it inorganic matterand thus weexamining our globe and watching its crustpronounce it to be inorganic. Thisis incorrect."

Katusha and Mary Pavlovnaboth wearing top-boots and with shawls tied roundtheir headscame out of the building into the courtyard where the women satsheltered from the wind by the northern wall of the courtand vied with oneanotheroffering their goodshot meat piefishvermicellibuckwheatporridgeliverbeefeggsmilk. One had even a roast pig to offer.

Having bought some eggsbreadfishand some rusksMaslova was puttingthem into her bagwhile Mary Pavlovna was paying the womenwhen a movementarose among the convicts. All were silent and took their places. The officercame out and began giving the last orders before starting. Everything was donein the usual manner. The prisoners were countedthe chains on their legsexaminedand those who were to march in couples linked together with manacles.But suddenly the angryauthoritative voice of the officer shouting somethingwas heardalso the sound of a blow and the crying of a child. All was silentfor a moment and then came a hollow murmur from the crowd. Maslova and MaryPavlovna advanced towards the spot whence the noise proceeded.

CHAPTER II. AN INCIDENT OF THE MARCH.

 

This is what Mary Pavlovna and Katusha saw when they came up to the scenewhence the noise proceeded. The officera sturdy fellowwith fair moustachesstood uttering words of foul and coarse abuseand rubbing with his left thepalm of his right handwhich he had hurt in hitting a prisoner on the face. Infront of him a thintall convictwith half his head shaved and dressed in acloak too short for him and trousers much too shortstood wiping his bleedingface with one handand holding a little shrieking girl wrapped in a shawl withthe other.

"I'll give it you" (foul abuse); "I'll teach you toreason" (more abuse); "you're to give her to the women!" shoutedthe officer. "Nowthenon with them."

The convictwho was exiled by the Communehad been carrying his littledaughter all the way from Tomskwhere his wife had died of typhusand now theofficer ordered him to be manacled. The exile's explanation that he could notcarry the child if he was manacled irritated the officerwho happened to be ina bad temperand he gave the troublesome prisoner a beating. [A fact describedby Lineff in his "Transportation".] Before the injured convict stood aconvoy soldierand a black-bearded prisoner with manacles on one hand and alook of gloom on his facewhich he turned now to the officernow to theprisoner with the little girl.

The officer repeated his orders for the soldiers to take away the girl. Themurmur among the prisoners grew louder.

"All the way from Tomsk they were not put on" came a hoarse voicefrom some one in the rear. "It's a childand not a puppy."

"What's he to do with the lassie? That's not the law" said someone else.

"Who's that?" shouted the officer as if he had been stungandrushed into the crowd.

"I'll teach you the law. Who spoke. You? You?"

"Everybody says sobecause-" said a shortbroad-faced prisoner.

Before he had finished speaking the officer hit him in the face.

"Mutinyis it? I'll show you what mutiny means. I'll have you all shotlike dogsand the authorities will be only too thankful. Take the girl."The crowd was silent. One convoy soldier pulled away the girlwho was screamingdesperatelywhile another manacled the prisonerwho now submissively held outhis hand.

"Take her to the women" shouted the officerarranging his swordbelt.

The little girlwhose face had grown quite redwas trying to disengage herarms from under the shawland screamed unceasingly. Mary Pavlovna stepped outfrom among the crowd and came up to the officer.

"Will you allow me to carry the little girl?" she said.

"Who are you?" asked the officer.

"A political prisoner."

Mary Pavlovna's handsome facewith the beautiful prominent eyes (he hadnoticed her before when the prisoners were given into his charge)evidentlyproduced an effect on the officer. He looked at her in silence as ifconsideringthen said: "I don't care; carry her if you like. It is easyfor you to show pity; if he ran away who would have to answer?"

"How could he run away with the child in his arms?" said MaryPavlovna.

"I have no time to talk with you. Take her if you like."

"Shall I give her?" asked the soldier.

"Yesgive her."

"Come to me" said Mary Pavlovnatrying to coax the child to cometo her.

But the child in the soldier's arms stretched herself towards her father andcontinued to screamand would not go to Mary Pavlovna.

"Wait a bitMary Pavlovna" said Maslovagetting a rusk out ofher bag; "she will come to me."

The little girl knew Maslovaand when she saw her face and the rusk she lether take her. All was quiet. The gates were openedand the gang stepped outthe convoy counted the prisoners over againthe bags were packed and tied on tothe cartsthe weak seated on the top. Maslova with the child in her arms tookher place among the women next to Theodosia. Simonsonwho had all the time beenwatching what was going onstepped with largedetermined strides up to theofficerwhohaving given his orderswas just getting into a trapand said"You have behaved badly."

"Get to your place; it is no business of yours."

"It is my business to tell you that you have behaved badly and I havesaid it" said Simonsonlooking intently into the officer's face fromunder his bushy eyebrows.

"Ready? March!" the officer called outpaying no heed to Simonsonandtaking hold of the driver's shoulderhe got into the trap. The gangstarted and spread out as it stepped on to the muddy high road with ditches oneach sidewhich passed through a dense forest.

CHAPTER III. MARY PAVLOVNA.

 

In spite of the hard conditions in which they were placedlife among thepolitical prisoners seemed very good to Katusha after the depravedluxuriousand effeminate life she had led in town for the last six yearsand after twomonths' imprisonment with criminal prisoners. The fifteen to twenty miles theydid per daywith one day's rest after two days' marchingstrengthened herphysicallyand the fellowship with her new companions opened out to her a lifefull of interests such as she had never dreamed of. People so wonderful (as sheexpressed it) as those whom she was now going with she had not only never metbut could not even have imagined.

"There nowand I cried when I was sentenced" she said. "WhyI must thank God for it all the days of my life. I have learned to know what Inever should have found out else."

The motives she understood easily and without effort that guided thesepeopleandbeing of the peoplefully sympathised with them. She understoodthat these persons were for the people and against the upper classesand thoughthemselves belonging to the upper classes had sacrificed their privilegestheirliberty and their lives for the people. This especially made her value andadmire them. She was charmed with all the new companionsbut particularly withMary Pavlovnaand she was not only charmed with herbut loved her with apeculiarrespectful and rapturous love. She was struck by the fact that thisbeautiful girlthe daughter of a rich generalwho could speak three languagesgave away all that her rich brother sent herand lived like the simplestworking girland dressed not only simplybut poorlypaying no heed to herappearance. This trait and a complete absence of coquetry was particularlysurprising and therefore attractive to Maslova. Maslova could see that MaryPavlovna knewand was even pleased to knowthat she was handsomeand yet theeffect her appearance had on men was not at all pleasing to her; she was evenafraid of itand felt an absolute disgust to all love affairs. Her mencompanions knew itand if they felt attracted by her never permitted themselvesto show it to herbut treated her as they would a man; but with strangerswhooften molested herthe great physical strength on which she prided herselfstood her in good stead.

"It happened once" she said to Katusha"that a man followedme in the street and would not leave me on any account. At last I gave him sucha shaking that he was frightened and ran away."

She became a revolutionaryas she saidbecause she felt a dislike to thelife of the well-to-do from childhood upand loved the life of the commonpeopleand she was always being scolded for spending her time in the servants'hallin the kitchen or the stables instead of the drawing-room.

"And I found it amusing to be with cooks and the coachmenand dull withour gentlemen and ladies" she said. "Then when I came to understandthings I saw that our life was altogether wrong; I had no mother and I did notcare for my fatherand so when I was nineteen I left homeand went with a girlfriend to work as a factory hand."

After she left the factory she lived in the countrythen returned to townand lived in a lodgingwhere they had a secret printing press. There she wasarrested and sentenced to hard labour. Mary Pavlovna said nothing about itherselfbut Katusha heard from others that Mary Pavlovna was sentenced becausewhen the lodging was searched by the police and one of the revolutionists fireda shot in the darkshe pleaded guilty.

As soon as she had learned to know Mary PavlovnaKatusha noticed thatwhatever the conditions she found herself inMary Pavlovna never thought ofherselfbut was always anxious to serveto help some onein matters small orgreat. One of her present companionsNovodvoroffsaid of her that she devotedherself to philanthropic amusements. And this was true. The interest of herwhole life lay in the search for opportunities of serving others. This kind ofamusement had become the habitthe business of her life. And she did it all sonaturally that those who knew her no longer valued but simply expected it ofher.

When Maslova first came among themMary Pavlovna felt repulsed anddisgusted. Katusha noticed thisbut she also noticed thathaving made aneffort to overcome these feelingsMary Pavlovna became particularly tender andkind to her. The tenderness and kindness of so uncommon a being touched Maslovaso much that she gave her whole heartand unconsciously accepting her viewscould not help imitating her in everything.

This devoted love of Katusha touched Mary Pavlovna in her turnand shelearned to love Katusha.

These women were also united by the repulsion they both felt to sexual love.The one loathed that kind of lovehaving experienced all its horrorstheothernever having experienced itlooked on it as something incomprehensibleand at the same time as something repugnant and offensive to human dignity.

CHAPTER IV. SIMONSON.

 

Mary Pavlovna's influence was one that Maslova submitted to because she lovedMary Pavlovna. Simonson influenced her because he loved her.

Everybody lives and acts partly according to his ownpartly according toother people'sideas. This is what constitutes one of the great differencesamong men. To somethinking is a kind of mental game; they treat their reasonas if it were a fly-wheel without a connecting strapand are guided in theiractions by other people's ideasby custom or laws; while others look upon theirown ideas as the chief motive power of all their actionsand always listen tothe dictates of their own reason and submit to itaccepting other people'sopinions only on rare occasions and after weighing them critically. Simonson wasa man of the latter sort; he settled and verified everything according to hisown reason and acted on the decisions he arrived at. When a schoolboy he made uphis mind that his father's incomemade as a paymaster in government office wasdishonestly gainedand he told his father that it ought to be given to thepeople. When his fatherinstead of listening to himgave him a scoldingheleft his father's house and would not make use of his father's means. Havingcome to the conclusion that all the existing misery was a result of the people'signorancehe joined the socialistswho carried on propaganda among the peopleas soon as he left the university and got a place as a village schoolmaster. Hetaught and explained to his pupils and to the peasants what he considered to bejustand openly blamed what he thought unjust. He was arrested and tried.During his trial he determined to tell his judges that his was a just causeforwhich he ought not to be tried or punished. When the judges paid no heed to hiswordsbut went on with the trialhe decided not to answer them and keptresolutely silent when they questioned him. He was exiled to the Government ofArchangel. There he formulated a religious teaching which was founded on thetheory that everything in the world was alivethat nothing is lifelessandthat all the objects we consider to be without life or inorganic are only partsof an enormous organic body which we cannot compass. A man's task is to sustainthe life of that huge organism and all its animate parts. Therefore he wasagainst warcapital punishment and every kind of killingnot only of humanbeingsbut also of animals. Concerning marriagetoohe had a peculiar idea ofhis own; he thought that increase was a lower function of manthe highestfunction being to serve the already existing lives. He found a confirmation ofhis theory in the fact that there were phacocytes in the blood. Celibatesaccording to his opinionwere the same as phacocytestheir function being tohelp the weak and the sickly particles of the organism. From the moment he cameto this conclusion he began to consider himself as well as Mary Pavlovna asphacocytesand to live accordinglythough as a youth he had been addicted tovice. His love for Katusha did not infringe this conceptionbecause he lovedher platonicallyand such love he considered could not hinder his activity as aphacocytesbut actedon the contraryas an inspiration.

Not only moralbut also most practical questions he decided in his own way.He applied a theory of his own to all practical businesshad rules relating tothe number of hours for rest and for workto the kind of food to eatthe wayto dressto heat and light up the rooms. With all this Simonson was very shyand modest; and yet when he had once made up his mind nothing could make himwaver. And this man had a decided influence on Maslova through his love for her.With a woman's instinct Maslova very soon found out that he loved her. And thefact that she could awaken love in a man of that kind raised her in her ownestimation. It was Nekhludoff's magnanimity and what had been in the past thatmade him offer to marry herbut Simonson loved her such as she was nowlovedher simply because of the love he bore her. And she felt that Simonsonconsidered her to be an exceptional womanhaving peculiarly high moralqualities. She did not quite know what the qualities he attributed to her werebut in order to be on the safe side and that he should not be disappointed inhershe tried with all her might to awaken in herself all the highest qualitiesshe could conceiveand she tried to be as good as possible. This had begunwhile they were still in prisonwhen on a common visiting day she had noticedhis kindly dark blue eyes gazing fixedly at her from under his projecting brow.Even then she had noticed that this was a peculiar manand that he was lookingat her in a peculiar mannerand had also noticed the striking combination ofsternness--the unruly hair and the frowning forehead gave him thisappearance--with the child-like kindness and innocence of his look. She saw himagain in Tomskwhere she joined the political prisoners. Though they had notuttered a wordtheir looks told plainly that they had understood one another.Even after that they had had no serious conversation with each otherbutMaslova felt that when he spoke in her presence his words were addressed to herand that he spoke for her saketrying to express himself as plainly as hecould; but it was when he started walking with the criminal prisoners that theygrew specially near to one another.

CHAPTER V. THE POLITICAL PRISONERS.

 

Until they left Perm Nekhludoff only twice managed to see Katushaonce inNijnibefore the prisoners were embarked on a barge surrounded with a wirenettingand again in Perm in the prison office. At both these interviews hefound her reserved and unkind. She answered his questions as to whether she wasin want of anythingand whether she was comfortableevasively and bashfullyandas he thoughtwith the same feeling of hostile reproach which she hadshown several times before. Her depressed state of mindwhich was only theresult of the molestations from the men that she was undergoing at the timetormented Nekhludoff. He feared lestinfluenced by the hard and degradingcircumstances in which she was placed on the journeyshe should again get intothat state of despair and discord with her own self which formerly made herirritable with himand which had caused her to drink and smoke excessively togain oblivion. But he was unable to help her in any way during this part of thejourneyas it was impossible for him to be with her. It was only when shejoined the political prisoners that he saw how unfounded his fears wereand ateach interview he noticed that inner change he so strongly desired to see in herbecoming more and more marked. The first time they met in Tomsk she was againjust as she had been when leaving Moscow. She did not frown or become confusedwhen she saw himbut met him joyfully and simplythanking him for what he haddone for herespecially for bringing her among the people with whom she nowwas.

After two months' marching with the gangthe change that had taken placewithin her became noticeable in her appearance. She grew sunburned and thinnerand seemed older; wrinkles appeared on her temples and round her mouth. She hadno ringlets on her forehead nowand her hair was covered with the kerchief; inthe way it was arrangedas well as in her dress and her mannersthere was notrace of coquetry left. And this changewhich had taken place and was stillprogressing in hermade Nekhludoff very happy.

He felt for her something he had never experienced before. This feeling hadnothing in common with his first poetic love for herand even less with thesensual love that had followednor even with the satisfaction of a dutyfulfillednot unmixed with self-admirationwith which he decided to marry herafter the trial. The present feeling was simply one of pity and tenderness. Hehad felt it when he met her in prison for the first timeand then again whenafter conquering his repugnancehe forgave her the imagined intrigue with themedical assistant in the hospital (the injustice done her had since beendiscovered); it was the same feeling he now hadonly with this differencethatformerly it was momentaryand that now it had become permanent. Whatever he wasdoingwhatever he was thinking nowa feeling of pity and tenderness dwelt withhimand not only pity and tenderness for herbut for everybody. This feelingseemed to have opened the floodgates of lovewhich had found no outlet inNekhludoff's souland the love now flowed out to every one he met.

During this journey Nekhludoff's feelings were so stimulated that he couldnot help being attentive and considerate to everybodyfrom the coachman and theconvoy soldiers to the prison inspectors and governors whom he had to deal with.Now that Maslova was among the political prisonersNekhludoff could not helpbecoming acquainted with many of themfirst in Ekaterinburgwhere they had agood deal of freedom and were kept altogether in a large celland then on theroad when Maslova was marching with three of the men and four of the women.Coming in contact with political exiles in this way made Nekhludoff completelychange his mind concerning them.

From the very beginning of the revolutionary movement in Russiabutespecially since that first of Marchwhen Alexander II was murderedNekhludoffregarded the revolutionists with dislike and contempt. He was repulsed by thecruelty and secrecy of the methods they employed in their struggles against thegovernmentespecially the cruel murders they committedand their arrogancealso disgusted him. But having learned more intimately to know them and all theyhad suffered at the hands of the governmenthe saw that they could not be otherthan they were

Terrible and endless as were the torments which were inflicted on thecriminalsthere was at least some semblance of justice shown them before andafter they were sentencedbut in the case of the political prisoners there wasnot even that semblanceas Nekhludoff saw in the case of Sholostova and that ofmany and many of his new acquaintances. These people were dealt with like fishcaught with a net; everything that gets into the nets is pulled ashoreand thenthe big fish which are required are sorted out and the little ones are left toperish unheeded on the shore. Having captured hundreds that were evidentlyguiltlessand that could not be dangerous to the governmentthey left themimprisoned for yearswhere they became consumptivewent out of their minds orcommitted suicideand kept them only because they had no inducement to set themfreewhile they might be of use to elucidate some question at a judicialinquirysafe in prison. The fate of these personsoften innocent even from thegovernment point of viewdepended on the whimthe humour ofor the amount ofleisure at the disposal of some police officer or spyor public prosecutorormagistrateor governoror minister. Some one of these officials feels dullorinclined to distinguish himselfand makes a number of arrestsand imprisons orsets freeaccording to his own fancy or that of the higher authorities. And thehigher officialactuated by like motivesaccording to whether he is inclinedto distinguish himselfor to what his relations to the minister areexiles mento the other side of the world or keeps them in solitary confinementcondemnsthem to Siberiato hard labourto deathor sets them free at the request ofsome lady.

They were dealt with as in warand they naturally employed the means thatwere used against them. And as the military men live in an atmosphere of publicopinion that not only conceals from them the guilt of their actionsbut setsthese actions up as feats of heroismso these political offenders were alsoconstantly surrounded by an atmosphere of public opinion which made the cruelactions they committedin the face of danger and at the risk of liberty andlifeand all that is dear to menseem not wicked but glorious actions.Nekhludoff found in this the explanation of the surprising phenomenon that menwith the mildest characterswho seemed incapable of witnessing the sufferingsof any living creaturemuch less of inflicting painquietly prepared to murdermennearly all of them considering murder lawful and just on certain occasionsas a means for self-defencefor the attainment of higher aims or for thegeneral welfare.

The importance they attribute to their causeand consequently to themselvesflowed naturally from the importance the government attached to their actionsand the cruelty of the punishments it inflicted on them. When Nekhludoff came toknow them better he became convinced that they were not the right-down villainsthat some imagined them to benor the complete heroes that others thought thembut ordinary peoplejust the same as othersamong whom there were some goodand some badand some mediocreas there are everywhere.

There were some among them who had turned revolutionists because theyhonestly considered it their duty to fight the existing evilsbut there werealso those who chose this work for selfishambitious motives; the majorityhoweverwas attracted to the revolutionary idea by the desire for dangerforrisksthe enjoyment of playing with one's lifewhichas Nekhludoff knew fromhis military experiencesis quite common to the most ordinary people while theyare young and full of energy. But wherein they differed from ordinary people wasthat their moral standard was a higher one than that of ordinary men. Theyconsidered not only self-controlhard livingtruthfulnessbut also thereadiness to sacrifice everythingeven lifefor the common welfare as theirduty. Therefore the best among them stood on a moral level that is not oftenreachedwhile the worst were far below the ordinary levelmany of them beinguntruthfulhypocritical and at the same time self-satisfied and proud. So thatNekhludoff learned not only to respect but to love some of his newacquaintanceswhile he remained more than indifferent to others.

CHAPTER VI. KRYLTZOFF'S STORY.

 

Nekhludoff grew especially fond of Kryltzoffa consumptive young mancondemned to hard labourwho was going with the same gang as Katusha.Nekhludoff had made his acquaintance already in Ekaterinburgand talked withhim several times on the road after that. Oncein summerNekhludoff spentnearly the whole of a day with him at a halting stationand Kryltzoffhavingonce started talkingtold him his story and how he had become a revolutionist.Up to the time of his imprisonment his story was soon told. He lost his fathera rich landed proprietor in the south of Russiawhen still a child. He was theonly sonand his mother brought him up. He learned easily in the universityaswell as the gymnasiumand was first in the mathematical faculty in his year. Hewas offered a choice of remaining in the university or going abroad. Hehesitated. He loved a girl and was thinking of marriageand taking part in therural administration. He did not like giving up either offerand could not makeup his mind. At this time his fellow-students at the university asked him formoney for a common cause. He did not know that this common cause wasrevolutionarywhich he was not interested in at that timebut gave the moneyfrom a sense of comradeship and vanityso that it should not be said that hewas afraid. Those who received the money were caughta note was found whichproved that the money had been given by Kryltzoff. he was arrestedand firstkept at the police stationthen imprisoned.

"The prison where I was put" Kryltzoff went on to relate (he wassitting on the high shelf bedsteadhis elbows on his kneeswith sunken chestthe beautifulintelligent eyes with which he looked at Nekhludoff glisteningfeverishly)-"they were not specially strict in that prison. We managed toconversenot only by tapping the wallbut could walk about the corridorsshare our provisions and our tobaccoand in the evenings we even sang inchorus. I had a fine voice--yesif it had not been for mother it would havebeen all righteven pleasant and interesting. Here I made the acquaintance ofthe famous Petroff--he afterwards killed himself with a piece of glass at thefortress --and also of others. But I was not yet a revolutionary. I also becameacquainted with my neighbours in the cells next to mine. They were both caughtwith Polish proclamations and arrested in the same causeand were tried for anattempt to escape from the convoy when they were being taken to the railwaystation. One was a PoleLozinsky; the other a JewRozovsky. Yes. WellthisRozovsky was quite a boy. He said he was seventeenbut he looked fifteen--thinsmallactivewith blacksparkling eyesandlike most Jewsvery musical.His voice was still breakingand yet he sang beautifully. Yes. I saw them bothtaken to be tried. They were taken in the morning. They returned in the eveningand said they were condemned to death. No one had expected it. Their case was sounimportant; they only tried to get away from the convoyand had not evenwounded any one. And then it was so unnatural to execute such a child asRozovsky. And we in prison all came to the conclusion that it was only done tofrighten themand would not be confirmed. At first we were excitedand then wecomforted ourselvesand life went on as before. Yes. Wellone eveningawatchman comes to my door and mysteriously announces to me that carpenters hadarrivedand were putting up the gallows. At first I did not understand. What'sthat? What gallows? But the watchman was so excited that I saw at once it wasfor our two. I wished to tap and communicate with my comradesbut was afraidthose two would hear. The comrades were also silent. Evidently everybody knew.In the corridors and in the cells everything was as still as death all thatevening. They did not tap the wall nor sing. At ten the watchman came again andannounced that a hangman had arrived from Moscow. He said it and went away. Ibegan calling him back. Suddenly I hear Rozovsky shouting to me across thecorridor: 'What's the matter? Why do you call him?' I answered something aboutasking him to get me some tobaccobut he seemed to guessand asked me: 'Whydid we not sing to-nightwhy did we not tap the walls?' I do not remember whatI saidbut I went away so as not to speak to him. Yes. It was a terrible night.I listened to every sound all night. Suddenlytowards morningI hear doorsopening and somebody walking--many persons. I went up to my window. There was alamp burning in the corridor. The first to pass was the inspector. He was stoutand seemed a resoluteself-satisfied manbut he looked ghastly paledowncastand seemed frightened; then his assistantfrowning but resolute; behind themthe watchman. They passed my door and stopped at the nextand I hear theassistant calling out in a strange voice: 'Lozinskyget up and put on cleanlinen.' Yes. Then I hear the creaking of the door; they entered into his cell.Then I hear Lozinsky's steps going to the opposite side of the corridor. I couldonly see the inspector. He stood quite paleand buttoned and unbuttoned hiscoatshrugging his shoulders. Yes. Thenas if frightened of somethinghemoved out of the way. It was Lozinskywho passed him and came up to my door. Ahandsome young fellow he wasyou knowof that nice Polish type: broadshoulderedhis head covered with finefaircurly hair as with a capand withbeautiful blue eyes. So bloomingso freshso healthy. He stopped in front ofmy windowso that I could see the whole of his face. A dreadfulgauntlividface. 'Kryltzoffhave you any cigarettes?' I wished to pass him somebut theassistant hurriedly pulled out his cigarette case and passed it to him. He tookout onethe assistant struck a matchand he lit the cigarette and began tosmoke and seemed to be thinking. Thenas if he had remembered somethinghebegan to speak. 'It is cruel and unjust. I have committed no crime. I--' I sawsomething quiver in his white young throatfrom which I could not take my eyesand he stopped. Yes. At that moment I hear Rozovsky shouting in his fineJewishvoice. Lozinsky threw away the cigarette and stepped from the door. And Rozovskyappeared at the window. His childish facewith the limpid black eyeswas redand moist. He also had clean linen onthe trousers were too wideand he keptpulling them up and trembled all over. He approached his pitiful face to mywindow. 'Kryltzoffit's true that the doctor has prescribed cough mixture formeis it not? I am not well. I'll take some more of the mixture.' No oneansweredand he looked inquiringlynow at menow at the inspector. What hemeant to say I never made out. Yes. Suddenly the assistant again put on a sternexpressionand called out in a kind of squeaking tone: 'Nowthenno nonsense.Let us go.' Rozovsky seemed incapable of understanding what awaited himandhurriedalmost ranin front of him all along the corridor. But then he drewbackand I could hear his shrill voice and his criesthen the trampling offeetand general hubbub. He was shrieking and sobbing. The sounds came fainterand fainterand at last the door rattled and all was quiet. Yes. And so theyhanged them. Throttled them both with a rope. A watchmananother onesaw itdoneand told me that Lozinsky did not resistbut Rozovsky struggled for along timeso that they had to pull him up on to the scaffold and to force hishead into the noose. Yes. This watchman was a stupid fellow. He said: 'They toldmesirthat it would be frightfulbut it was not at all frightful. After theywere hanged they only shrugged their shoulders twicelike this.' He showed howthe shoulders convulsively rose and fell. 'Then the hangman pulled a bit so asto tighten the nooseand it was all upand they never budged."' AndKryltzoff repeated the watchman's words"Not at all frightful" andtried to smilebut burst into sobs instead.

For a long time after that he kept silentbreathing heavilyand repressingthe sobs that were choking him.

"From that time I became a revolutionist. Yes" he saidwhen hewas quieter and finished his story in a few words. He belonged to theNarodovoltzy partyand was even at the head of the disorganising groupwhoseobject was to terrorise the government so that it should give up its power ofits own accord. With this object he travelled to Petersburgto Kievto Odessaand abroadand was everywhere successful. A man in whom he had full confidencebetrayed him. He was arrestedtriedkept in prison for two yearsandcondemned to deathbut the sentence was mitigated to one of hard labour forlife.

He went into consumption while in prisonand in the conditions he was nowplaced he had scarcely more than a few months longer to live. This he knewbutdid not repent of his actionbut said that if he had another life he would useit in the same way to destroy the conditions in which such things as he had seenwere possible.

This man's story and his intimacy with him explained to Nekhludoff much thathe had not previously understood.

CHAPTER VII. NEKHLUDOFF SEEKS AN INTERVIEW WITH MASLOVA.

 

On the day when the convoy officer had the encounter with the prisoners atthe halting station about the childNekhludoffwho had spent the night at thevillage innwoke up lateand was some time writing letters to post at the nextGovernment townso that he left the inn later than usualand did not catch upwith the gang on the road as he had done previouslybut came to the villagewhere the next halting station was as it was growing dusk.

Having dried himself at the innwhich was kept by an elderly woman who hadan extraordinarily fatwhite neckhe had his tea in a clean room decoratedwith a great number of icons and pictures and then hurried away to the haltingstation to ask the officer for an interview with Katusha. At the last sixhalting stations he could not get the permission for an interview from any ofthe officers. Though they had been changed several timesnot one of them wouldallow Nekhludoff inside the halting stationsso that he had not seen Katushafor more than a week. This strictness was occasioned by the fact that animportant prison official was expected to pass that way. Now this official hadpassed without looking in at the gangafter alland Nekhludoff hoped that theofficer who had taken charge of the gang in the morning would allow him aninterview with the prisonersas former officers had done.

The landlady offered Nekhludoff a trap to drive him to the halting stationsituated at the farther end of the villagebut Nekhludoff preferred to walk. Ayoung labourera broad-shouldered young fellow of herculean dimensionswithenormous top-boots freshly blackened with strongly smelling taroffered himselfas a guide.

A dense mist obscured the skyand it was so dark that when the young fellowwas three steps in advance of him Nekhludoff could not see him unless the lightof some window happened to fall on the spotbut he could hear the heavy bootswading through the deepsticky slush. After passing the open place in front ofthe church and the long streetwith its rows of windows shining brightly in thedarknessNekhludoff followed his guide to the outskirts of the villagewhereit was pitch dark. But soon heretoorays of lightstreaming through the mistfrom the lamps in the front of the halting stationbecame discernible throughthe darkness. The reddish spots of light grew bigger and bigger; at last thestakes of the palisadethe moving figure of the sentinela post painted withwhite and black stripes and the sentinel's box became visible.

The sentinel called his usual "Who goes there?" as they approachedand seeing they were strangers treated them with such severity that he would notallow them to wait by the palisade; but Nekhludoff's guide was not abashed bythis severity.

"Hallolad! why so fierce? You go and rouse your boss while we waithere?"

The sentinel gave no answerbut shouted something in at the gate and stoodlooking at the broad-shouldered young labourer scraping the mud off Nekhludoff'sboots with a chip of wood by the light of the lamp. From behind the palisadecame the hum of male and female voices. In about three minutes more somethingrattledthe gate openedand a sergeantwith his cloak thrown over hisshouldersstepped out of the darkness into the lamplight.

The sergeant was not as strict as the sentinelbut he was extremelyinquisitive. He insisted on knowing what Nekhludoff wanted the officer forandwho he wasevidently scenting his booty and anxious not to let it escape.Nekhludoff said he had come on special businessand would show his gratitudeand would the sergeant take a note for him to the officer. The sergeant took thenotenoddedand went away. Some time after the gate rattled againand womencarrying basketsboxesjugs and sacks came outloudly chattering in theirpeculiar Siberian dialect as they stepped over the threshold of the gate. Noneof them wore peasant costumesbut were dressed town fashionwearing jacketsand fur-lined cloaks. Their skirts were tucked up highand their heads wrappedup in shawls. They examined Nekhludoff and his guide curiously by the light ofthe lamp. One of them showed evident pleasure at the sight of thebroad-shouldered fellowand affectionately administered to him a dose ofSiberian abuse.

"You demonwhat are you doing here? The devil take you" she saidaddressing him.

"I've been showing this traveller here the way" answered the youngfellow. "And what have you been bringing here?"

"Dairy produceand I am to bring more in the morning."

The guide said something in answer that made not only the women but even thesentinel laughandturning to Nekhludoffhe said:

"You'll find your way alone? Won't get lostwill you?

"I shall find it all right."

"When you have passed the church it's the second from the two-storiedhouse. Ohand heretake my staff" he saidhanding the stick he wascarryingand which was longer than himselfto Nekhludoff; and splashingthrough the mud with his enormous bootshe disappeared in the darknesstogether with the women.

His voice mingling with the voices of the women was still audible through thefogwhen the gate again rattledand the sergeant appeared and asked Nekhludoffto follow him to the officer

CHAPTER VIII. NEKHLUDOFF AND THE OFFICER.

 

This halting stationlike all such stations along the Siberian roadwassurrounded by a courtyardfenced in with a palisade of sharp-pointed stakesand consisted of three one-storied houses. One of themthe largestwith gratedwindowswas for the prisonersanother for the convoy soldiersand the thirdin which the office wasfor the officers.

There were lights in the windows of all the three housesandlike all suchlightsthey promisedhere in a specially deceptive mannersomething cosyinside the walls. Lamps were burning before the porches of the houses and aboutfive lamps more along the walls lit up the yard.

The sergeant led Nekhludoff along a plank which lay across the yard up to theporch of the smallest of the houses.

When he had gone up the three steps of the porch he let Nekhludoff passbefore him into the ante-roomin which a small lamp was burningand which wasfilled with smoky fumes. By the stove a soldier in a coarse shirt with a necktieand black trousersand with one top-boot onstood blowing the charcoal in asomovarusing the other boot as bellows. [The long boots worn in Russia haveconcertina-like sidesand when held to the chimney of the somovar can be usedinstead of bellows to make the charcoal inside burn up.] When he saw Nekhludoffthe soldier left the somovar and helped him off with his waterproof; then wentinto the inner room.

"He has comeyour honour."

"Wellask him in" came an angry voice.

"Go in at the door" said the soldierand went back to thesomovar.

In the next room an officer with fair moustaches and a very red facedressedin an Austrian jacket that closely fitted his broad chest and shoulderssat ata covered tableon which were the remains of his dinner and two bottles; therewas a strong smell of tobacco and some very strongcheap scent in the warmroom. On seeing Nekhludoff the officer rose and gazed ironically andsuspiciouslyas it seemedat the newcomer.

"What is it you want?" he askedandnot waiting for a replyheshouted through the open door:

"Bernoffthe somovar! What are you about?"

"Coming at once."

"You'll get it 'at once' so that you'll remember it" shouted theofficerand his eyes flashed.

"I'm coming" shouted the soldierand brought in the somovar.Nekhludoff waited while the soldier placed the somovar on the table. When theofficer had followed the soldier out of the room with his cruel little eyeslooking as if they were aiming where best to hit himhe made the teagot thefour-cornered decanter out of his travelling case and some Albert biscuitsandhaving placed all this on the cloth he again turned to Nekhludoff. "Wellhow can I he of service to you?"

"I should like to be allowed to visit a prisoner" said Nekhludoffwithout sitting down.

"A political one? That's forbidden by the law" said the officer.

"The woman I mean is not a political prisoner" said Nekhludoff.

"Yes. But pray take a scat" said the officer. Nekhludoff sat down.

"She is not a political onebut at my request she has been allowed bythe higher authorities to join the political prisoners--"

"OhyesI know" interrupted the other; "a little dark one?Wellyesthat can be managed. Won't you smoke?" He moved a box ofcigarettes towards Nekhludoffandhaving carefully poured out two tumblers ofteahe passed one to Nekhludoff. "If you please" he said.

"Thank you; I should like to see--"

"The night is long. You'll have plenty of time. I shall order her to besent out to you."

"But could I not see her where she is? Why need she be sent for?"Nekhludoff said.

"In to the political prisoners? It is against the law."

"I have been allowed to go in several times. If there is any danger ofmy passing anything in to them I could do it through her just as well.'

"Ohno; she would be searched" said the officerand laughed inan unpleasant manner.

"Wellwhy not search me?"

"All right; we'll manage without that" said the officeropeningthe decanterand holding it out towards Nekhludoff's tumbler of tea. "MayI? No? Welljust as you like. When you are living here in Siberia you are tooglad to meet an educated person. Our workas you knowis the saddestand whenone is used to better things it is very hard. The idea they have of us is thatconvoy officers are coarseuneducated menand no one seems to remember that wemay have been born for a very different position."

This officer's red facehis scentshis ringsand especially his unpleasantlaughter disgusted Nekhludoff very muchbut to-dayas during the whole of hisjourneyhe was in that seriousattentive state which did not allow him tobehave slightingly or disdainfully towards any manbut made him feel thenecessity of speaking to every one "entirely" as he expressed tohimselfthis relation to men. When he had heard the officer and understood hisstate of mindhe said in a serious manner:

"I think that in your positiontoosome comfort could be found inhelping the suffering people" he said.

"What are their sufferings? You don't know what these people are."

"They are not special people" said Nekhludoff ; "they arejust such people as othersand some of them are quite innocent."

"Of coursethere are all sorts among themand naturally one pitiesthem. Others won't let anything offbut I try to lighten their condition whereI can. It's better that I should sufferbut not they. Others keep to the law inevery detaileven as far as to shootbut I show pity. May I?--Takeanother" he saidand poured out another tumbler of tea for Nekhludoff.

"And who is shethis woman that you want to see?" he asked.

"It is an unfortunate woman who got into a brotheland was therefalsely accused of poisoningand she is a very good woman" Nekhludoffanswered.

The officer shook his head. "Yesit does happen. I can tell you about acertain Ernma who lived in Kasan. She was a Hungarian by birthbut she hadquite Persian eyes" he continuedunable to restrain a smile at therecollection; "there was so much chic about her that a countess--"

Nekhludoff interrupted the officer and returned to the former topic ofconversation.

"I think that you could lighten the condition of the people while theyare in your charge. And in acting that way I am sure you would find greatjoy!" said Nekhludofftrying to pronounce as distinctly as possibleas hemight if talking to a foreigner or a child.

The officer looked at Nekhludoff impatientlywaiting for him to stop so asto continue the tale about the Hungarian with Persian eyeswho evidentlypresented herself very vividly to his imagination and quite absorbed hisattention.

"Yesof coursethis is all quite true" he said"and I dopity them; but I should like to tell you about Emma. What do you think shedid--?"

"It does not interest me" said Nekhludoff"and I will tellyou straightthat though I was myself very different at one timeI now hatethat kind of relation to women."

The officer gave Nekhludoff a frightened look.

"Won't you take some more tea?" he said.

"Nothank you."

"Bernoff!" the officer called"take the gentleman toVakouloff. Tell him to let him into the separate political room. He may remainthere till the inspection."

CHAPTER IX. THE POLITICAL PRISONERS.

 

Accompanied by the orderlyNekhludoff went out into the courtyardwhich wasdimly lit up by the red light of the lamps.

"Where to?" asked the convoy sergeantaddressing the orderly.

"Into the separate cellNo. 5."

"You can't pass here; the boss has gone to the village and taken thekeys."

"Wellthenpass this way."

The soldier led Nekhludoff along a board to another entrance. While still inthe yard Nekhludoff could hear the din of voices and general commotion going oninside as in a beehive when the bees are preparing to swarm; but when he camenearer and the door opened the din grew louderand changed into distinct soundsof shoutingabuse and laughter. He heard the clatter of chairs and smelt thewell-known foul air. This din of voices and the clatter of the chairstogetherwith the close smellalways flowed into one tormenting sensationand producedin Nekhludoff a feeling of moral nausea which grew into physical sicknessthetwo feelings mingling with and heightening each other.

The first thing Nekhludoff sawon enteringwas a largestinking tub. Acorridor into which several doors opened led from the entrance. The first wasthe family roomthen the bachelors' roomand at the very end two small roomswere set apart for the political prisoners.

The buildingswhich were arranged to hold one hundred and fifty prisonersnow that there were four hundred and fifty insidewere so crowded that theprisoners could not all get into the roomsbut filled the passagetoo. Somewere sitting or lying on the floorsome were going out with empty teapotsorbringing them back filled with boiling water. Among the latter was Taras. Heovertook Nekhludoff and greeted him affectionately. The kind face of Taras wasdisfigured by dark bruises on his nose and under his eye.

"What has happened to you?" asked Nekhludoff.

"Yessomething did happen" Taras saidwith a smile.

"All because of the woman" added a prisonerwho followed Taras;"he's had a row with Blind Fedka."

"And how's Theodosia?"

"She's all right. Here I am bringing her the water for her tea"Taras answeredand went into the family room.

Nekhludoff looked in at the door. The room was crowded with women and mensome of whom were on and some under the bedsteads; it was full of steam from thewet clothes that were dryingand the chatter of women's voices was unceasing.The next door led into the bachelors' room. This room was still more crowded;even the doorway and the passage in front of it were blocked by a noisy crowd ofmenin wet garmentsbusy doing or deciding something or other.

The convoy sergeant explained that it was the prisoner appointed to buyprovisionspaying off out of the food money what was owing to a sharper who hadwon from or lent money to the prisonersand receiving back little tickets madeof playing cards. When they saw the convoy soldier and a gentlemanthose whowere nearest became silentand followed them with looks of ill-will. Among themNekhludoff noticed the criminal Fedoroffwhom he knewand who always kept amiserable lad with a swelled appearance and raised eyebrows beside himand alsoa disgustingnoselesspock-marked trampwho was notorious among the prisonersbecause he killed his comrade in the marshes while trying to escapeand hadasit was rumouredfed on his flesh. The tramp stood in the passage with his wetcloak thrown over one shoulderlooking mockingly and boldly at Nekhludoffanddid not move out of the way. Nekhludoff passed him by.

Though this kind of scene had now become quite familiar to himthough he hadduring the last three months seen these four hundred criminal prisoners over andover again in many different circumstances; in the heatenveloped in clouds ofdust which they raised as they dragged their chained feet along the roadand atthe resting places by the waywhere the most horrible scenes of barefaceddebauchery had occurredyet every time he came among themand felt theirattention fixed upon him as it was nowshame and consciousness of his sinagainst them tormented him. To this sense of shame and guilt was added anunconquerable feeling of loathing and horror. He knew thatplaced in a positionsuch as theirsthey could not he other than they wereand yet he was unable tostifle his disgust.

"It's well for them do-nothings" Nekhludoff heard some one say ina hoarse voice as he approached the room of the political prisoners. Thenfollowed a word of obscene abuseand spitefulmocking laughter.

CHAPTER X. MAKAR DEVKIN.

 

When they had passed the bachelors' room the sergeant who accompaniedNekhludoff left himpromising to come for him before the inspection would takeplace. As soon as the sergeant was gone a prisonerquickly stepping with hisbare feet and holding up the chainscame close up to Nekhludoffenveloping himin the strongacid smell of perspirationand said in a mysterious whisper:

"Help the ladsir; he's got into an awful mess. Been drinking. To-dayhe's given his name as Karmanoff at the inspection. Take his partsir. We darenotor they'll kill us" and looking uneasily round he turned away.

This is what had happened. The criminal Kalmanoff had persuaded a youngfellow who resembled him in appearance and was sentenced to exile to changenames with him and go to the mines instead of himwhile he only went to exile.Nekhludoff knew all this. Some convict had told him about this exchange the weekbefore. He nodded as a sign that he understood and would do what was in hispowerand continued his way without looking round.

Nekhludoff knew this convictand was surprised by his action. When inEkaterinburg the convict had asked Nekhludoff to get a permission for his wifeto follow him. The convict was a man of medium size and of the most ordinarypeasant typeabout thirty years old. He was condemned to hard labour for anattempt to murder and rob. His name was Makar Devkin. His crime was a verycurious one. In the account he gave of it to Nekhludoffhe said it was not hisbut his devil's doing. He said that a traveller had come to his father's houseand hired his sledge to drive him to a village thirty miles off for two roubles.Makar's father told him to drive the stranger. Makar harnessed the horsedressedand sat down to drink tea with the stranger. The stranger related atthe tea-table that he was going to be married and had five hundred roubleswhich he had earned in Moscowwith him. When he had heard thisMakar went outinto the yard and put an axe into the sledge under the straw. "And I didnot myself know why I was taking the axe" he said. "'Take the axe'says HEand I took it. We got in and started. We drove along all right; I evenforgot about the axe. Wellwe were getting near the village; only about fourmiles more to go. The way from the cross-road to the high road was up hillandI got out. I walked behind the sledge and HE whispers to me'What are youthinking about? When you get to the top of the hill you will meet people alongthe highwayand then there will be the village. He will carry the money away.If you mean to do itnow's the time.' I stooped over the sledge as if toarrange the strawand the axe seemed to jump into my hand of itself. The manturned round. 'What are you doing?' I lifted the axe and tried to knock himdownbut he was quickjumped outand took hold of my hands. 'What are youdoingyou villain?' He threw me down into the snowand I did not evenstrugglebut gave in at once. He bound my arms with his girdleand threw meinto the sledgeand took me straight to the police station. I was imprisonedand tried. The commune gave me a good charactersaid that I was a good manandthat nothing wrong had been noticed about me. The masters for whom I worked alsospoke well of mebut we had no money to engage a lawyerand so I was condemnedto four years' hard labour."

It was this man whowishing to save a fellow-villagerknowing that he wasrisking his life therebytold Nekhludoff the prisoner's secretfor doing which(if found out) he should certainly be throttled.

CHAPTER XI. MASLOVA AND HER COMPANIONS.

The political prisoners were kept in two small roomsthe doors ofwhich opened into a part of the passage partitioned off from the rest. The firstperson Nekhludoff saw on entering into this part of the passage was Simonson inhis rubber jacket and with a log of pine wood in his handscrouching in frontof a stovethe door of which trembleddrawn in by the heat inside.

When he saw Nekhludoff he looked up at him from under his protruding browand gave him his hand without rising.

"I am glad you have come; I want to speak to you" he saidlookingNekhludoff straight in the eyes with an expression of importance.

"Yes; what is it?" Nekhludoff asked.

"It will do later on; I am busy just now" and Simonson turnedagain towards the stovewhich he was heating according to a theory of his ownso as to lose as little heat energy as possible.

Nekhludoff was going to enter in at the first doorwhen Maslovastoopingand pushing a large heap of rubbish and dust towards the stove with a handlelessbirch broomcame out of the other. She had a white jacket onher skirt wastucked upand a kerchiefdrawn down to her eyebrowsprotected her hair fromthe dust. When she saw Nekhludoffshe drew herself upflushing and animatedput down the broomwiped her hands on her skirtand stopped right in front ofhim. "You are tidying up the apartmentsI see" said Nekhludoffshaking hands.

"Yes; my old occupation" and she smiled. "But the dirt! Youcan't imagine what it is. We have been cleaning and cleaning. Wellis the plaiddry?" she askedturning to Simonson.

"Almost" Simonson answeredgiving her a strange lookwhichstruck Nekhludoff.

"All rightI'll come for itand will bring the cloaks to dry. Ourpeople are all in here" she said to Nekhludoffpointing to the first dooras she went out of the second.

Nekhludoff opened the door and entered a small room dimly lit by a littlemetal lampwhich was standing low down on the shelf bedstead. It was cold inthe roomand there was a smell of the dustwhich had not had time to settledamp and tobacco smoke.

Only those who were close to the lamp were clearly visiblethe bedsteadswere in the shade and wavering shadows glided over the walls. Two menappointedas catererswho had gone to fetch boiling water and provisionswere away; mostof the political prisoners were gathered together in the small room. There wasNekhludoff's old acquaintanceVera Doukhovawith her largefrightened eyesand the swollen vein on her foreheadin a grey jacket with short hairandthinner and yellower than ever.. She had a newspaper spread out in front of herand sat rolling cigarettes with a jerky movement of her hands.

Emily Rintzevawhom Nekhludoff considered to be the pleasantest of thepolitical prisonerswas also here. She looked after the housekeepingandmanaged to spread a feeling of home comfort even in the midst of the most tryingsurroundings. She sat beside the lampwith her sleeves rolled upwiping cupsand mugsand placing themwith her deftred and sunburnt handson a cloththat was spread on the bedstead. Rintzeva was a plain-looking young womanwitha clever and mild expression of facewhichwhen she smiledhad a way ofsuddenly becoming merryanimated and captivating. It was with such a smile thatshe now welcomed Nekhludoff.

"Whywe thought you had gone back to Russia" she said.

Here in a dark corner was also Mary Pavlovnabusy with a littlefair-hairedgirlwho kept prattling in her sweetchildish accents.

"How nice that you have come" she said to Nekhludoff.

Have you seen Katusha? And we have a visitor here" and she pointed tothe little girl.

Here was also Anatole Kryltzoff with felt boots onsitting in a far cornerwith his feet under himdoubled up and shiveringhis arms folded in thesleeves of his cloakand looking at Nekhludoff with feverish eyes. Nekhludoffwas going up to himbut to the right of the door a man with spectacles andreddish curlsdressed in a rubber jacketsat talking to the prettysmilingGrabetz. This was the celebrated revolutionist Novodvoroff. Nekhludoff hastenedto greet him. He was in a particular hurry about itbecause this man was theonly one among all the political prisoners whom he disliked. Novodvoroff's eyesglistened through his spectacles as he looked at Nekhludoff and held his narrowhand out to him.

"Wellare you having a pleasant journey?" he askedwith apparentirony.

"Yesthere is much that is interesting" Nekhludoff answeredasif he did not notice the ironybut took the question for politenessand passedon to Kryltzoff.

Though Nekhludoff appeared indifferenthe was really far from indifferentand these words of Novodvoroffshowing his evident desire to say or dosomething unpleasantinterfered with the state of kindness in which Nekhludofffound himselfand he felt depressed and sad.

"Wellhow are you?" he askedpressing Kryltzoff's cold andtrembling hand.

"Pretty wellonly I cannot get warm; I got wet through" Kryltzoffansweredquickly replacing his hands into the sleeves of his cloak. "Andhere it is also beastly cold. Therelookthe window-panes are broken"and he pointed to the broken panes behind the iron bars. "And how are you?Why did you not come?"

"I was not allowed tothe authorities were so strictbut to-day theofficer is lenient."

"Lenient indeed!" Kryltzoff remarked. "Ask Mary what she didthis morning."

Mary Pavlovna from her place in the corner related what had happened aboutthe little girl that morning when they left the halting station.

"I think it is absolutely necessary to make a collective protest"said Vera Doukhovain a determined toneand yet looking now at onenow atanotherwith a frightenedundecided look. "Valdemar Simonson did protestbut that is not sufficient."

"What protest!" muttered Kryltzoffcross and frowning. Her want ofsimplicityartificial tone and nervousness had evidently been irritating himfor a long time.

"Are you looking for Katusha?" he askedaddressing Nekhludoff."She is working all the time. She has cleaned thisthe men's roomand nowshe has gone to clean the women's! Only it is not possible to clean away thefleas. And what is Mary doing there?" he askednodding towards the cornerwhere Mary Pavlovna sat.

"She is combing out her adopted daughter's hair" replied Rintzeva.

"But won't she let the insects loose on us?" asked Kryltzoff.

"Nono; I am very careful. She is a clean little girl now. You takeher" said Maryturning to Rintzeva"while I go and help Katushaand I will also bring him his plaid."

Rintzeva took the little girl on her lappressing her plumpbarelittlearms to her bosom with a mother's tendernessand gave her a bit of sugar. AsMary Pavlovna left the roomtwo men came in with boiling water and provisions

CHAPTER XII. NABATOFF AND MARKEL.

 

One of the men who came in was a shortthinyoung manwho had acloth-covered sheepskin coat onand high top-boots. He stepped lightly andquicklycarrying two steaming teapotsand holding a loaf wrapped in a clothunder his arm.

"Wellso our prince has put in an appearance again" he saidashe placed the teapot beside the cupsand handed the bread to Rintzeva. "Wehave bought wonderful things" he continuedas he took off his sheepskinand flung it over the heads of the others into the corner of the bedstead."Markel has bought milk and eggs. Whywe'll have a regular ball to-day.And Rintzeva is spreading out her aesthetic cleanliness" he saidandlooked with a smile at Rintzeva"and now she will make the tea."

The whole presence of this man--his motionhis voicehis look--seemed tobreathe vigour and merriment. The other newcomer was just the reverse of thefirst. He looked despondent and sad. He was shortbonyhad very prominentcheek bonesa sallow complexionthin lips and beautifulgreenish eyesratherfar apart. He wore an old wadded coattop-boots and goloshesand was carryingtwo pots of milk and two round boxes made of birch barkwhich he placed infront of Rintzeva. He bowed to Nekhludoffbending only his neckand with hiseyes fixed on him. Thenhaving reluctantly given him his damp hand to shakehebegan to take out the provisions.

Both these political prisoners were of the people; the first was Nabatoffapeasant; the secondMarkel Kondratieffa factory hand. Markel did not comeamong the revolutionists till he was quite a manNabatoff only eighteen. Afterleaving the village schoolowing to his exceptional talents Nabatoff enteredthe gymnasiumand maintained himself by giving lessons all the time he studiedthereand obtained the gold medal. He did not go to the university becausewhile still in the seventh class of the gymnasiumhe made up his mind to goamong the people and enlighten his neglected brethren. This he didfirstgetting the place of a Government clerk in a large village. He was soon arrestedbecause he read to the peasants and arranged a co-operative industrialassociation among them. They kept him imprisoned for eight months and then sethim freebut he remained under police supervision. As soon as he was liberatedhe went to another villagegot a place as schoolmasterand did the same as hehad done in the first village. He was again taken up and kept fourteen months inprisonwhere his convictions became yet stronger. After that he was exiled tothe Perm Governmentfrom where he escaped. Then he was put to prison for sevenmonths and after that exiled to Archangel. There he refused to take the oath ofallegiance that was required of them and was condemned to be exiled to theTakoutsk Governmentso that half his life since he reached manhood was passedin prison and exile. All these adventures did not embitter him nor weaken hisenergybut rather stimulated it. He was a lively young fellowwith a splendiddigestionalways activegay and vigorous. He never repented of anythingneverlooked far aheadand used all his powershis clevernesshis practicalknowledge to act in the present. When free he worked towards the aim he had sethimselfthe enlightening and the uniting of the working menespecially thecountry labourers. When in prison he was just as energetic and practical infinding means to come in contact with the outer worldand in arranging his ownlife and the life of his group as comfortably as the conditions would allow.Above all things he was a communist. He wantedas it seemed to himnothing forhimself and contented himself with very littlebut demanded very much for thegroup of his comradesand could work for it either physically or mentally dayand nightwithout sleep or food. As a peasant he had been industriousobservantclever at his workand naturally self-controlledpolite without anyeffortand attentive not only to the wishes but also the opinions of others.His widowed motheran illiteratesuperstitiousold peasant womanwas stilllivingand Nabatoff helped her and went to see her while he was free. Duringthe time he spent at home he entered into all the interests of his mother'slifehelped her in her workand continued his intercourse with formerplayfellows; smoked cheap tobacco with them in so-called "dog's feet"[a kind of cigarette that the peasants smokemade of a bit of paper and bent atone end into a hook] took part in their fist fightsand explained to them howthey were all being deceived by the Stateand how they ought to disentanglethemselves out of the deception they were kept in. When he thought or spoke ofwhat a revolution would do for the people he always imagined this people fromwhom he had sprung himself left in very nearly the same conditions as they wereinonly with sufficient land and without the gentry and without officials. Therevolutionaccording to himand in this he differed from Novodvoroff andNovodvoroff's followerMarkel Kondratieffshould not alter the elementaryforms of the life of the peopleshould not break down the whole edificebutshould only alter the inner walls of the beautifulstrongenormous oldstructure he loved so dearly. He was also a typical peasant in his views onreligionnever thinking about metaphysical questionsabout the origin of alloriginor the future life. God was to himas also to Aragoan hypothesiswhich he had had no need of up to now. He had no business with the origin of theworldwhether Moses or Darwin was right. Darwinismwhich seemed so importantto his fellowswas only the same kind of plaything of the mind as the creationin six days. The question how the world had originated did not interest himjust because the question how it would be best to live in this world was everbefore him. He never thought about future lifealways bearing in the depth ofhis soul the firm and quiet conviction inherited from his forefathersandcommon to all labourers on the landthat just as in the world of plants andanimals nothing ceases to existbut continually changes its formthe manureinto grainthe grain into a foodthe tadpole into a frogthe caterpillar intoa butterflythe acorn into an oakso man also does not perishbut onlyundergoes a change. He believed in thisand therefore always looked deathstraight in the faceand bravely bore the sufferings that lead towards itbutdid not care and did not know how to speak about it. He loved workwas alwaysemployed in some practical businessand put his comrades in the way of the samekind of practical work.

The other political prisoner from among the peopleMarkel Kondratieffwas avery different kind of man. He began to work at the age of fifteenand took tosmoking and drinking in order to stifle a dense sense of being wronged. He firstrealised he was wronged one Christmas when theythe factory childrenwereinvited to a Christmas treegot up by the employer's wifewhere he received afarthing whistlean applea gilt walnut and a figwhile the employer'schildren had presents given them which seemed gifts from fairylandand had costmore than fifty roublesas he afterwards heard.

When he was twenty a celebrated revolutionist came to their factory to workas a working girland noticing his superior qualities began giving books andpamphlets to Kondratieff and to talk and explain his position to himand how toremedy it. When the possibility of freeing himself and others from theiroppressed state rose clearly in his mindthe injustice of this state appearedmore cruel and more terrible than beforeand he longed passionately not onlyfor freedombut also for the punishment of those who had arranged and who keptup this cruel injustice. Kondratieff devoted himself with passion to theacquirement of knowledge. It was not clear to him how knowledge should bringabout the realisation of the social idealbut he believed that the knowledgethat had shown him the injustice of the state in which he lived would alsoabolish that injustice itself. Besides knowledge wouldin his opinionraisehim above others. Therefore he left off drinking and smokingand devoted allhis leisure time to study. The revolutionist gave him lessonsand his thirstfor every kind of knowledgeand the facility with which he took it insurprised her. In two years he had mastered algebrageometryhistory--which hewas specially fond of--and made acquaintance with artistic and criticalandespecially socialistic literature. The revolutionist was arrestedandKondratieff with herforbidden books having been found in their possessionandthey were imprisoned and then exiled to the Vologda Government. ThereKondratieff became acquainted with Novodvoroffand read a great deal morerevolutionary literatureremembered it alland became still firmer in hissocialistic views. While in exile he became leader in a large strikewhichended in the destruction of a factory and the murder of the director. He wasagain arrested and condemned to Siberia.

His religious views were of the same negative nature as his views of theexisting economic conditions. Having seen the absurdity of the religion in whichhe was brought upand having gained with great effortand at first with fearbut later with rapturefreedom from ithe did not tire of viciously and withvenom ridiculing priests and religious dogmasas if wishing to revenge himselffor the deception that had been practised on him.

He was ascetic through habitcontented himself with very littleandlikeall those used to work from childhood and whose muscles have been developedhecould work much and easilyand was quick at any manual labour; but what hevalued most was the leisure in prisons and halting stationswhich enabled himto continue his studies. He was now studying the first volume of Karl Marks'sand carefully hid the book in his sack as if it were a great treasure. Hebehaved with reserve and indifference to all his comradesexcept Novodvoroffto whom he was greatly attachedand whose arguments on all subjects he acceptedas unanswerable truths.

He had an indefinite contempt for womenwhom he looked upon as a hindrancein all necessary business. But he pitied Maslova and was gentle with herfor heconsidered her an example of the way the lower are exploited by the upperclasses. The same reason made him dislike Nekhludoffso that he talked littlewith himand never pressed Nekhludoff's handbut only held out his own to bepressed when greeting him.

CHAPTER XIII. LOVE AFFAIRS OF THE EXILES.

 

The stove had burned up and got warmthe tea was made and poured out intomugs and cupsand milk was added to it; rusksfresh rye and wheat breadhard-boiled eggsbutterand calf's head and feet were placed on the cloth.Everybody moved towards the part of the shelf beds which took the place of thetable and sat eating and talking. Rintzeva sat on a box pouring out the tea. Therest crowded round heronly Kryltzoffwho had taken off his wet cloak andwrapped himself in his dry plaid and lay in his own place talking to Nekhludoff.

After the cold and damp march and the dirt and disorder they had found hereand after the pains they had taken to get it tidyafter having drunk hot teaand eatenthey were all in the best and brightest of spirits.

The fact that the tramp of feetthe screams and abuse of the criminalsreached them through the wallreminding them of their surroundingsseemed onlyto increase the sense of coziness. As on an island in the midst of the seathese people felt themselves for a brief interval not swamped by the degradationand sufferings which surrounded them; this made their spirits riseand excitedthem. They talked about everything except their present position and that whichawaited them. Thenas it generally happens among young menand womenespeciallyif they are forced to remain togetheras these people wereallsorts of agreements and disagreements and attractionscuriously blendedhadsprung up among them. Almost all of them were in love. Novodvoroff was in lovewith the prettysmiling Grabetz. This Grabetz was a youngthoughtless girl whohad gone in for a course of studyperfectly indifferent to revolutionaryquestionsbut succumbing to the influence of the dayshe compromised herselfin some way and was exiled. The chief interest of her life during the time ofher trial in prison and in exile was her success with menjust as it had beenwhen she was free. Now on the way she comforted herself with the fact thatNovodvoroff had taken a fancy to herand she fell in love with him. VeraDoukhovawho was very prone to fall in love herselfbut did not awaken love inothersthough she was always hoping for mutual lovewas sometimes drawn toNabatoffthen to Novodvoroff. Kryltzoff felt something like love for MaryPavlovna. He loved her with a man's lovebut knowing how she regarded this sortof lovehid his feelings under the guise of friendship and gratitude for thetenderness with which she attended to his wants. Nabatoff and Rintzeva wereattached to each other by very complicated ties. Just as Mary Pavlovna was aperfectly chaste maidenin the same way Rintzeva was perfectly chaste as herown husband's wife. When only a schoolgirl of sixteen she fell in love withRintzeffa student of the Petersburg Universityand married him before he leftthe universitywhen she was only nineteen years old. During his fourth year atthe university her husband had become involved in the students' rowswas exiledfrom Petersburgand turned revolutionist. She left the medical courses she wasattendingfollowed himand also turned revolutionist. If she had notconsidered her husband the cleverest and best of men she would not have fallenin love with him; and if she had not fallen in love would not have married; buthaving fallen in love and married him whom she thought the best and cleverest ofmenshe naturally looked upon life and its aims in the way the best andcleverest of men looked at them. At first he thought the aim of life was tolearnand she looked upon study as the aim of life. He became a revolutionistand so did she. She could demonstrate very clearly that the existing state ofthings could not go onand that it was everybody's duty to fight this state ofthings and to try to bring about conditions in which the individual coulddevelop freelyetc. And she imagined that she really thought and felt all thisbut in reality she only regarded everything her husband thought as absolutetruthand only sought for perfect agreementperfect identification of her ownsoul with his which alone could give her full moral satisfaction. The partingwith her husband and their childwhom her mother had takenwas very hard tobear; but she bore it firmly and quietlysince it was for her husband's sakeand for that cause which she had not the slightest doubt was truesince heserved it. She was always with her husband in thoughtsand did not love andcould not love any other any more than she had done before. But Nabatoff'sdevoted and pure love touched and excited her. This moralfirm manherhusband's friendtried to treat her as a sisterbut something more appeared inhis behaviour to herand this something frightened them bothand yet gavecolour to their life of hardship.

So that in all this circle only Mary Pavlovna and Kondratieff were quite freefrom love affairs.

CHAPTER XIV. CONVERSATIONS IN PRISON.

 

Expecting to have a private talk with Katushaas usualafter teaNekhludoff sat by the side of Kryltzoffconversing with him. Among other thingshe told him the story of Makar's crime and about his request to him. Kryltzofflistened attentivelygazing at Nekhludoff with glistening eyes.

"Yes" said Kryltzoff suddenly"I often think that here weare going side by side with themand who are they? The same for whose sake weare goingand yet we not only do not know thembut do not even wish to knowthem. And theyeven worse than thatthey hate us and look upon us as enemies.This is terrible."

"There is nothing terrible about it" broke in Novodvoroff."The masses always worship power only. The government is in powerand theyworship it and hate us. To-morrow we shall have the powerand they will worshipus" he said with his grating voice. At that moment a volley of abuse andthe rattle of chains sounded from behind the wallsomething was heard thumpingagainst it and screaming and shriekingsome one was being beatenand some onewas calling out"Murder! help!"

"Hear themthe beasts! What intercourse can there be between us andsuch as them?" quietly remarked Novodvoroff.

"You call them beastsand Nekhludoff was just telling me about such anaction!" irritably retorted Kryltzoffand went on to say how Makar wasrisking his life to save a fellow-villager. "That is not the action of abeastit is heroism."

"Sentimentality!" Novodvoroff ejaculated ironically; "it isdifficult for us to understand the emotions of these people and the motives onwhich they act. You see generosity in the actand it may be simply jealousy ofthat other criminal."

"How is it that you never wish to see anything good in another? "Mary Pavlovna said suddenlyflaring up.

"How can one see what does not exist!"

"How does it not existwhen a man risks dying a terrible death?"

"I think" said Novodvoroff"that if we mean to do our workthe first condition is that" (here Kondratieff put down the book he wasreading by the lamplight and began to listen attentively to his master's words)"we should not give way to fancybut look at things as they are. We shoulddo all in our power for the massesand expect nothing in return. The masses canonly be the object of our activitybut cannot be our fellow-workers as long asthey remain in that state of inertia they are in at present" he went onas if delivering a lecture. "Thereforeto expect help from them before theprocess of development--that process which we are preparing them for--has takenplace is an illusion."

"What process of development? " Kryltzoff beganflushing all over."We say that we are against arbitrary rule and despotismand is this notthe most awful despotism?"

"No despotism whatever" quietly rejoined Novodvoroff. "I amonly saying that I know the path that the people must traveland can show themthat path."

"But how can you be sure that the path you show is the true path? Isthis not the same kind of despotism that lay at the bottom of the Inquisitionall persecutionsand the great revolution? Theytooknew the one true waybymeans of their science."

"Their having erred is no proof of my going to err; besidesthere is agreat difference between the ravings of idealogues and the facts based on soundeconomic science." Novodvoroff's voice filled the room; he alone wasspeakingall the rest were silent.

"They are always disputing" Mary Pavlovna saidwhen there was amoment's silence. "And you yourselfwhat do you think about it?"Nekhludoff asked her.

"I think Kryltzoff is right when he says we should not force our viewson the people."

"And youKatusha? " asked Nekhludoff with a smilewaitinganxiously for her answerfearing she would say something awkward.

I think the common people are wronged" she saidand blushed scarlet."I think they are dreadfully wronged."

"That's rightMaslovaquite right" cried Nabatoff. "Theyare terribly wrongedthe peopleand they must not he wrongedand therein liesthe whole of our task."

"A curious idea of the object of revolution" Novodvoroff remarkedcrosslyand began to smoke.

"I cannot talk to him" said Kryltzoff in a whisperand wassilent.

"And it is much better not to talk" Nekhludoff said.

CHAPTER XV. NOVODVOROFF.

 

 

Although Novodvoroff was highly esteemed of all the revolutioniststhough hewas very learnedand considered very wiseNekhludoff reckoned him among thoseof the revolutionists whobeing below the average moral levelwere very farbelow it. His inner life was of a nature directly opposite to that ofSimonson's. Simonson was one of those people (of an essentially masculine type)whose actions follow the dictates of their reasonand are determined by it.Novodvoroff belongedon the contraryto the class of people of a femininetypewhose reason is directed partly towards the attainment of aims set bytheir feelingspartly to the justification of acts suggested by their feelings.The whole of Novodvoroff's revolutionary activitythough he could explain itvery eloquently and very convincinglyappeared to Nekhludoff to be founded onnothing but ambition and the desire for supremacy. At first his capacity forassimilating the thoughts of othersand of expressing them correctlyhad givenhim a position of supremacy among pupils and teachers in the gymnasium and theuniversitywhere qualities such as his are highly prizedand he was satisfied.When he had finished his studies and received his diploma he suddenly alteredhis viewsand from a modern liberal he turned into a rabid Narodovoletzinorder (so Kryltzoffwho did not like himsaid) to gain supremacy in anothersphere.

As he was devoid of those moral and aesthetic qualities which call forthdoubts and hesitationhe very soon acquired a position in the revolutionaryworld which satisfied him--that of the leader of a party. Having once chosen adirectionhe never doubted or hesitatedand was therefore certain that henever made a mistake. Everything seemed quite simpleclear and certain. And thenarrowness and one-sidedness of his views did make everything seem simple andclear. One only had to be logicalas he said. His self-assurance was so greatthat it either repelled people or made them submit to him. As he carried on hiswork among very young peoplehis boundless self-assurance led them to believehim very profound and wise; the majority did submit to himand he had a greatsuccess in revolutionary circles. His activity was directed to the preparationof a rising in which he was to usurp the power and call together a council. Aprogrammecomposed by himshould he proposed before the counciland he feltsure that this programme of his solved every problemand that it would heimpossible not to carry it out.

His comrades respected but did not love him. He did not love any onelookedupon all men of note as upon rivalsand would have willingly treated them asold male monkeys treat young ones if he could have done it. He would have tornall mental powerevery capacityfrom other menso that they should notinterfere with the display of his talents. He behaved well only to those whobowed before him. Nowon the journey he behaved well to Kondratieffwho wasinfluenced by his propaganda; to Vera Doukhova and pretty little Grabetzwhowere both in love with him. Although in principle he was in favour of thewoman's movementyet in the depth of his soul he considered all women stupidand insignificant except those whom he was sentimentally in love with (as he wasnow in love with Grabetz)and such women he considered to be exceptionswhosemerits he alone was capable of discerning.

The question of the relations of the sexes he also looked upon as thoroughlysolved by accepting free union. He had one nominal and one real wifefrom bothof whom he was separatedhaving come to the conclusion that there was no reallove between themand now he thought of entering on a free union with Grabetz.He despised Nekhludoff for "playing the fool" as Novodvoroff termeditwith Maslovabut especially for the freedom Nekhludoff took of consideringthe defects of the existing system and the methods of correcting those defectsin a manner which was not only not exactly the same as Novodvoroff'sbut wasNekhludoff's own--a prince'sthat isa fool's manner. Nekhludoff felt thisrelation of Novodvoroff's towards himand knew to his sorrow that in spite ofthe state of good will in which he found himself on this journey he could nothelp paying this man in his own coinand could not stifle the strong antipathyhe felt for him.

CHAPTER XVI. SIMONSON SPEAKS TO NEKHLUDOFF.

 

The voices of officials sounded from the next room. All the prisoners weresilentand a sergeantfollowed by two convoy soldiersentered. The time ofthe inspection had come. The sergeant counted every oneand when Nekhludoff'sturn came he addressed him with kindly familiarity.

"You must not stay any longerPrinceafter the inspection; you must gonow."

Nekhludoff knew what this meantwent up to the sergeant and shoved athree-rouble note into his hand.

"Ahwellwhat is one to do with you; stay a bit longerif youlike." The sergeant was about to go when another sergeantfollowed by aconvicta spare man with a thin beard and a bruise under his eyecame in.

"It's about the girl I have come" said the convict.

"Here's daddy come" came the ringing accents of a child's voiceand a flaxen head appeared from behind Rintzevawhowith Katusha's and MaryPavlovna's helpwas making a new garment for the child out of one of Rintzeva'sown petticoats.

"Yesdaughterit's me" Bousovkinthe prisonersaid softly.

"She is quite comfortable here" said Mary Pavlovnalooking withpity at Bousovkin's bruised face. "Leave her with us."

"The ladies are making me new clothes" said the girlpointing toRintzeva's sewing--"nice red ones" she went onprattling.

"Do you wish to sleep with us?" asked Rintzevacaressing thechild.

"YesI wish. And daddytoo."

"Nodaddy can't. Wellleave her then" she saidturning to thefather.

"Yesyou may leave her" said the first sergeantand went outwith the other.

As soon as they were out of the room Nabatoff went up to Bousovkinslappedhim on the shoulderand said: "I sayold fellowis it true thatKarmanoff wishes to exchange?"

Bousovkin's kindlygentle face turned suddenly sad and a veil seemed to dimhis eyes.

"We have heard nothing--hardly" he saidand with the same dimnessstill over his eyes he turned to the child.

"WellAksutkait seems you're to make yourself comfortable with theladies" and he hurried away.

"It's true about the exchangeand he knows it very well" saidNabatoff.

"What are you going to do?"

"I shall tell the authorities in the next town. I know both prisoners bysight" said Nekhludoff.

All were silentfearing a recommencement of the dispute.

Simonsonwho had been lying with his arms thrown back behind his headandnot speakingroseand determinately walked up to Nekhludoffcarefully passinground those who were sitting.

"Could you listen to me now?

"Of course" and Nekhludoff rose and followed him.

Katusha looked up with an expression of suspenseand meeting Nekhludoff'seyesshe blushed and shook her head.

"What I want to speak to you about is this" Simonson beganwhenthey had come out into the passage. In the passage the din of the criminal'svoices and shouts sounded louder. Nekhludoff made a facebut Simonson did notseem to take any notice.

"Knowing of your relations to Katerina Maslova" he began seriouslyand franklywith his kind eyes looking straight into Nekhludoff's face"Iconsider it my duty"--He was obliged to stop because two voices were hearddisputing and shoutingboth at onceclose to the door.

"I tell youblockheadthey are not mine" one voice shouted.

"May you chokeyou devil" snorted the other.

At this moment Mary Pavlovna came out into the passage.

"How can one talk here?" she said; "go inVera is alonethere" and she went in at the second doorand entered a tiny roomevidently meant for a solitary cellwhich was now placed at the disposal of thepolitical women prisonersVera Doukhova lay covered uphead and allon thebed.

"She has got a headacheand is asleepso she cannot hear youand Iwill go away" said Mary Pavlovna.

"On the contrarystay here" said Simonson; "I have nosecrets from any onecertainly none from you."

"All right" said Mary Pavlovnaand moving her whole body fromside to sidelike a childso as to get farther back on to the bedshe settleddown to listenher beautiful hazel eyes seeming to look somewhere far away.

"Wellthenthis is my business" Simonson repeated. "Knowingof your relations to Katerina MaslovaI consider myself bound to explain to youmy relations to her."

Nekhludoff could not help admiring the simplicity and truthfulness with whichSimonson spoke to him.

"What do you mean?"

"I mean that I should like to marry Katerina Maslova--"

"How strange!" said Mary Pavlovnafixing her eyes on Simonson.

"--And so I made up my mind to ask her to be my wife" Simonsoncontinued.

"What can I do? It depends on her" said Nekhludoff.

"Yes; but she will not come to any decision without you."

"Why?"

"Because as long as your relations with her are unsettled she cannotmake up her mind."

"As far as I am concernedit is finally settled. I should like to dowhat I consider to be my duty and also to lighten her fatebut on no accountwould I wish to put any restraint on her."

"Yesbut she does not wish to accept your sacrifice."

"It is no sacrifice."

"And I know that this decision of hers is final."

"Wellthenthere is no need to speak to me" said Nekhludoff.

"She wants you to acknowledge that you think as she does."

"How can I acknowledge that I must not do what I consider to be my duty?All I can say is that I am not freebut she is."

Simonson was silent; thenafter thinking a littlehe said: "Very wellthenI'll tell her. You must not think I am in love with her" hecontinued; "I love her as a splendiduniquehuman being who has sufferedmuch. I want nothing from her. I have only an awful longing to help hertolighten her posi--"

Nekhludoff was surprised to hear the trembling in Simonson's voice.

"--To lighten her position" Simonson continued. "If she doesnot wish to accept your helplet her accept mine. If she consentsI shall askto be sent to the place where she will be imprisoned. Four years are not aneternity. I would live near herand perhaps might lighten her fate--" andhe again stoppedtoo agitated to continue.

"What am I to say?" said Nekhludoff. "I am very glad she hasfound such a protector as you--"

"That's what I wanted to know" Simonson interrupted.

"I wanted to know ifloving her and wishing her happinessyou wouldconsider it good for her to marry me?"

"Ohyes" said Nekhludoff decidedly.

"It all depends on her; I only wish that this suffering soul should findrest" said Simonsonwith such childlike tenderness as no one could haveexpected from so morose-looking a man.

Simonson roseand stretching his lips out to Nekhludoffsmiled shyly andkissed him.

"So I shall tell her" and he went away.

CHAPTER XVII. "I HAVE NOTHING MORE TO SAY."

 

What do you think of that?" said Mary Pavlovna. "In love--quite inlove. Nowthat's a thing I never should have expectedthat Valdemar Simonsonshould be in loveand in the silliestmost boyish manner. It is strangeandto say the truthit is sad" and she sighed.

"But she? Katusha? How does she look at itdo you think?"Nekhludoff asked.

"She?" Mary Pavlovna waitedevidently wishing to give as exact ananswer as possible. "She? Wellyou seein spite of her past she has oneof the most moral natures--and such fine feelings. She loves you--loves youwelland is happy to be able to do you even the negative good of not lettingyou get entangled with her. Marriage with you would be a terrible fall for herworse than all that's pastand therefore she will never consent to it. And yetyour presence troubles her."

"Wellwhat am I to do? Ought I to vanish?"

Mary Pavlovna smiled her sweetchildlike smileand said"Yespartly."

"How is one to vanish partly?"

"I am talking nonsense. But as for herI should like to tell you thatshe probably sees the silliness of this rapturous kind of love (he has notspoken to her)and is both flattered and afraid of it. I am not competent tojudge in such affairsyou knowstill I believe that on his part it is the mostordinary man's feelingthough it is masked. He says that this love arouses hisenergy and is Platonicbut I know that even if it is exceptionalstill at thebottom it is degrading."

Mary Pavlovna had wandered from the subjecthaving started on her favouritetheme.

"Wellbut what am I to do?" Nekhludoff asked.

"I think you should tell her everything; it is always best thateverything should be clear. Have a talk with her; I shall call her. ShallI?" said Mary Pavlovna.

"If you please" said Nekhludoffand Mary Pavlovna went.

A strange feeling overcame Nekhludoff when he was alone in the little roomwith the sleeping Vera Doukhovalistening to her soft breathingbroken now andthen by moansand to the incessant dirt that came through the two doors thatseparated him from the criminals. What Simonson had told him freed him from theself-imposed dutywhich had seemed hard and strange to him in his weak momentsand yet now he felt something that was not merely unpleasant but painful.

He had a feeling that this offer of Simonson's destroyed the exceptionalcharacter of his sacrificeand thereby lessened its value in his own andothers' eyes; if so good a man who was not bound to her by any kind of tiewanted to join his fate to hersthen this sacrifice was not so great. There mayhave also been an admixture of ordinary jealousy. He had got so used to her lovethat he did not like to admit that she loved another.

Then it also upset the plans he had formed of living near her while she wasdoing her term. If she married Simonson his presence would be unnecessaryandhe would have to form new plans.

Before he had time to analyse his feelings the loud din of the prisoners'voices came in with a rush (something special was going on among them to-day) asthe door opened to let Katusha in.

She stepped briskly close up to him and said"Mary Pavlovna has sentme."

"YesI must have a talk with you. Sit down. Valdemar Simonson has beenspeaking to me."

She sat down and folded her hands in her lap and seemed quite calmbuthardly had Nekhludoff uttered Simonson's name when she flushed crimson.

"What did he say?" she asked.

"He told me he wanted to marry you."

Her face suddenly puckered up with painbut she said nothing and only castdown her eyes.

"He is asking for my consent or my advice. I told him that it alldepends entirely on you--that you must decide."

"Ahwhat does it all mean? Why?" she mutteredand looked in hiseyes with that peculiar squint that always strangely affected Nekhludoff.

They sat silent for a few minutes looking into each other's eyesand thislook told much to both of them.

"You must decide" Nekhludoff repeated.

"What am I to decide? Everything has long been decided."

"No; you must decide whether you will accept Mr. Simonson's offer"said Nekhludoff.

"What sort of a wife can I be--Ia convict? Why should I ruin Mr.Simonsontoo?" she saidwith a frown.

"Wellbut if the sentence should be mitigated."

"Ohleave me alone. I have nothing more to say" she saidandrose to leave the room.

CHAPTER XVIII. NEVEROFF'S FATE.

 

Whenfollowing KatushaNekhludoff returned to the men's roomhe foundevery one there in agitation. Nabatoffwho went about all over the placeandwho got to know everybodyand noticed everythinghad just brought news whichstaggered them all. The news was that he had discovered a note on a wallwritten by the revolutionist Petlinwho had been sentenced to hard labourandwhoevery one thoughthad long since reached the Kara; and now it turned outthat he had passed this way quite recentlythe only political prisoner amongcriminal convicts.

"On the 17th of August" so ran the note"I was sent offalone with the criminals. Neveroff was with mebut hanged himself in thelunatic asylum in Kasan. I am well and in good spirits and hope for thebest."

All were discussing Petlin's position and the possible reasons of Neveroff'ssuicide. Only Kryltzoff sat silent and preoccupiedhis glistening eyes gazingfixedly in front of him.

"My husband told me that Neveroff had a vision while still in thePetropavlovski prison" said Rintzeva.

"Yeshe was a poeta dreamer; this sort of people cannot standsolitary confinement" said Novodvoroff. "NowI never gave myimagination vent when in solitary confinementbut arranged my days mostsystematicallyand in this way always bore it very well."

"What is there unbearable about it? WhyI used to be glad when theylocked me up" said Nabatoff cheerfullywishing to dispel the generaldepression.

"A fellow's afraid of everything; of being arrested himself andentangling othersand of spoiling the whole businessand then he gets lockedupand all responsibility is at an endand he can rest; he can just sit andsmoke."

"You knew him well?" asked Mary Pavlovnaglancing anxiously at thealteredhaggard expression of Kryltzoff's face.

"Neveroff a dreamer?" Kryltzoff suddenly beganpanting for breathas if he had been shouting or singing for a long time. "Neveroff was a man'such as the earth bears few of' as our doorkeeper used to express it. Yeshehad a nature like crystalyou could see him right through; he could not liehecould not dissemble; not simply thin skinnedbut with all his nerves laid bareas if he were flayed. Yeshis was a complicatedrich naturenot such a-Butwhere is the use of talking?" he addedwith a vicious frown. "Shallwe first educate the people and then change the forms of lifeor first changethe forms and then struggleusing peaceful propaganda or terrorism? So we go ondisputing while they kill; they do not dispute--they know their business; theydon't care whether dozenshundreds of men perish--and what men! No; that thebest should perish is just what they want. YesHerzen said that when theDecembrists were withdrawn from circulation the average level of our societysank. I should think soindeed. Then Herzen himself and his fellows werewithdrawn; now is the turn of the Neveroffs."

"They can't all be got rid off" said Nabatoffin his cheerfultones." There will always be left enough to continue the breed. Notherewon'tif we show any pity to THEM there" Nabatoff saidraising hisvoice; and not letting himself be interrupted"Give me a cigarette."

"OhAnatoleit is not good for you" said Mary Pavlovna."Please do not smoke."

"Ohleave me alone" he said angrilyand lit a cigarettebut atonce began to cough and to retchas if he were going to be sick. Having clearedhis throat thoughhe went on:

"What we have been doing is not the thing at all. Not to arguebut forall to unite--to destroy them--that's it."

"But they are also human beings" said Nekhludoff.

"Nothey are not humanthey who can do what they are doing-No-TherenowI heard that some kind of bombs and balloons have been invented. Welloneought to go up in such a balloon and sprinkle bombs down on them as if they werebugsuntil they are all exterminated-Yes. Because--" he was going tocontinuebutflushing all overhe began coughing worse than beforeand astream of blood rushed from his mouth.

Nabatoff ran to get ice. Mary Pavlovna brought valerian drops and offeredthem to himbut hebreathing quickly and heavilypushed her away with histhinwhite handand kept his eyes closed. When the ice and cold water hadeased Kryltzoff a littleand he had been put to bedNekhludoffhaving saidgood-night to everybodywent out with the sergeantwho had been waiting forhim some time.

The criminals were now quietand most of them were asleep. Though the peoplewere lying on and under the bed shelves and in the space betweenthey could notall be placed inside the roomsand some of them lay in the passage with theirsacks under their heads and covered with their cloaks. The moans and sleepyvoices came through the open doors and sounded through the passage. Everywherelay compact heaps of human beings covered with prison cloaks. Only a few men whowere sitting in the bachelors' room by the light of a candle endwhich they putout when they noticed the sergeantwere awakeand an old man who sat nakedunder the lamp in the passage picking the vermin off his shirt. The foul air inthe political prisoners' rooms seemed pure compared to the stinking closenesshere. The smoking lamp shone dimly as through a mistand it was difficult tobreathe. Stepping along the passageone had to look carefully for an emptyspaceand having put down one foot had to find place for the other. Threepersonswho had evidently found no room even in the passagelay in theanteroomclose to the stinking and leaking tub. One of these was an old idiotwhom Nekhludoff had often seen marching with the gang; another was a boy abouttwelve; he lay between the two other convictswith his head on the leg of oneof them.

When he had passed out of the gate Nekhludoff took a deep breath and longcontinued to breathe in deep draughts of frosty air.

CHAPTER XIX. WHY IS IT DONE?

 

It had cleared up and was starlight. Except in a few places the mud wasfrozen hard when Nekhludoff returned to his inn and knocked at one of its darkwindows. The broad-shouldered labourer came barefooted to open the door for himand let him in. Through a door on the rightleading to the back premisescamethe loud snoring of the carterswho slept thereand the sound of many horseschewing oats came from the yard. The front roomwhere a red lamp was burning infront of the iconssmelt of wormwood and perspirationand some one with mightylungs was snoring behind a partition. Nekhludoff undressedput his leathertravelling pillow on the oilcloth sofaspread out his rug and lay downthinking over all he had seen and heard that day; the boy sleeping on the liquidthat oozed from the stinking tubwith his head on the convict's legseemedmore dreadful than all else.

Unexpected and important as his conversation with Simonson and Katusha thatevening had beenhe did not dwell on it; his situation in relation to thatsubject was so complicated and indefinite that he drove the thought from hismind. But the picture of those unfortunate beingsinhaling the noisome airandlying in the liquid oozing out of the stinking tubespecially that of the boywith his innocent face asleep on the leg of a criminalcame all the morevividly to his mindand he could not get it out of his head.

To know that somewhere far away there are men who torture other men byinflicting all sorts of humiliations and inhuman degradation and sufferings onthemor for three months incessantly to look on while men were inflicting thesehumiliations and sufferings on other men is a very different thing. AndNekhludoff felt it. More than once during these three months he asked himself"Am I mad because I see what others do notor are they mad that do thesethings that I see?"

Yet they (and there were many of them) did what seemed so astonishing andterrible to him with such quiet assurance that what they were doing wasnecessary and was important and useful work that it was hard to believe theywere mad; nor could heconscious of the clearness of his thoughtsbelieve hewas mad; and all this kept him continually in a state of perplexity.

This is how the things he saw during these three months impressed Nekhludoff:From among the people who were freethose were chosenby means of trials andthe administrationwho were the most nervousthe most hot temperedthe mostexcitablethe most giftedand the strongestbut the least careful andcunning. These peoplenot a wit more dangerous than many of those who remainedfreewere first locked in prisonstransported to Siberiawhere they wereprovided for and kept months and years in perfect idlenessand away fromnaturetheir familiesand useful work--that isaway from the conditionsnecessary for a natural and moral life. This firstly. Secondlythese peoplewere subjected to all sorts of unnecessary indignity in these differentPlaces--chainsshaved headsshameful clothing--that isthey were deprived ofthe chief motives that induce the weak to live good livesthe regard for publicopinionthe sense of shame and the consciousness of human dignity. Thirdlythey were continually exposed to dangerssuch as the epidemics so frequent inplaces of confinementexhaustionfloggingnot to mention accidentssuch assunstrokesdrowning or conflagrationswhen the instinct of self-preservationmakes even the kindestmost moral men commit cruel actionsand excuse suchactions when committed by others.

Fourthlythese people were forced to associate with others who wereparticularly depraved by lifeand especially by these very institutions--rakesmurderers and villains--who act on those who are not yet corrupted by themeasures inflicted on them as leaven acts on dough.

Andfifthlythe fact that all sorts of violencecrueltyinhumanityarenot only toleratedbut even permitted by the governmentwhen it suits itspurposeswas impressed on them most forcibly by the inhuman treatment they weresubjected to; by the sufferings inflicted on childrenwomen and old men; byfloggings with rods and whips; by rewards offered for bringing a fugitive backdead or alive; by the separation of husbands and wivesand the uniting themwith the wives and husbands of others for sexual intercourse; by shooting orhanging them. To those who were deprived of their freedomwho were in want andmiseryacts of violence were evidently still more permissible. All theseinstitutions seemed purposely invented for the production of depravity and vicecondensed to such a degree that no other conditions could produce itand forthe spreading of this condensed depravity and vice broadcast among the wholepopulation

"Just as if a problem had been set to find the bestthe surest means ofdepraving the greatest number of persons" thought Nekhludoffwhileinvestigating the deeds that were being done in the prisons and haltingstations. Every year hundreds of thousands were brought to the highest pitch ofdepravityand when completely depraved they were set free to carry thedepravity they had caught in prison among the people. In the prisons of TamenEkaterinburgTomsk and at the halting stations Nekhludoff saw how successfullythe object society seemed to have set itself was attained.

Ordinarysimple men with a conception of the demands of the social andChristian Russian peasant morality lost this conceptionand found a new onefounded chiefly on the idea that any outrage or violence was justifiable if itseemed profitable. After living in a prison those people became conscious withthe whole of their being thatjudging by what was happening to themselvesallthe moral lawsthe respect and the sympathy for others which church and themoral teachers preachwas really set asideand thatthereforetheytooneed not keep the laws. Nekhludoff noticed the effects of prison life on all theconvicts he knew--on Fedoroffon Makarand even on Taraswhoafter twomonths among the convictsstruck Nekhludoff by the want of morality in hisarguments. Nekhludoff found out during his journey how trampsescaping into themarshespersuade a comrade to escape with themand then kill him and feed onhis flesh. (He saw a living man who was accused of this and acknowledged thefact.) And the most terrible part was that this was not a solitarybut arecurring case.

Only by a special cultivation of vicesuch as was perpetrated in theseestablishmentscould a Russian be brought to the state of this trampwhoexcelled Nietzsche's newest teachingand held that everything was possible andnothing forbiddenand who spread this teaching first among the convicts andthen among the people in general.

The only explanation of all that was being done was the wish to put a stop tocrime by fearby correctionby lawful vengeance as it was written in thebooks. But in reality nothing in the least resembling any of these results cameto pass. Instead of vice being put a stop toit only spread further; instead ofbeing frightenedthe criminals were encouraged (many a tramp returned to prisonof his own free will). Instead of being correctedevery kind of vice wassystematically instilledwhile the desire for vengeance did not weaken by themeasures of the governmentbut was bred in the people who had none of it.

"Then why is it done?" Nekhludoff asked himselfbut could find noanswer. And what seemed most surprising was that all this was not being doneaccidentallynot by mistakenot oncebut that it had continued for centurieswith this difference onlythat at first the people's nostrils used to be tornand their ears cut off; then they were brandedand now they were manacled andtransported by steam instead of on the old carts. The arguments brought forwardby those in government servicewho said that the things which aroused hisindignation were simply due to the imperfect arrangements of the places ofconfinementand that they could all be put to rights if prisons of a moderntype were builtdid not satisfy Nekhludoffbecause he knew that what revoltedhim was not the consequence of a better or worse arrangement of the prisons. Hehad read of model prisons with electric bellsof executions by electricityrecommended by Tard; but this refined kind of violence revolted him even more.

But what revolted Nekhludoff most was that there were men in the law courtsand in the ministry who received large salariestaken from the peopleforreferring to books written by men like themselves and with like motivesandsorting actions that violated laws made by themselves according to differentstatutes; andin obedience to these statutessending those guilty of suchactions to places where they were completely at the mercy of cruelhardenedinspectorsjailersconvoy soldierswhere millions of them perished body andsoul.

Now that he had a closer knowledge of prisonsNekhludoff found out that allthose vices which developed among the prisoners--drunkennessgamblingcrueltyand all these terrible crimeseven cannibalism--were not casualor due todegeneration or to the existence of monstrosities of the criminal typeassciencegoing hand in hand with the governmentexplained itbut anunavoidable consequence of the incomprehensible delusion that men may punish oneanother. Nekhludoff saw that cannibalism did not commence in the marshesbut inthe ministry. He saw that his brother-in-lawfor exampleandin factall thelawyers and officialsfrom the usher to the ministerdo not care in the leastfor justice or the good of the people about whom they spokebut only for theroubles they were paid for doing the things that were the source whence all thisdegradation and suffering flowed. This was quite evident.

"Can it bethenthat all this is done simply through misapprehension?Could it not be managed that all these officials should have their salariessecured to themand a premium paid thembesidesso that they should leaveoffdoing all that they were doing now?" Nekhludoff thoughtand in spiteof the fleasthat seemed to spring up round him like water from a fountainwhenever he movedhe fell fast asleep.

CHAPTER XX. THE JOURNEY RESUMED.

 

 

he carters had left the inn long before Nekhludoff awoke. The landlady hadhad her teaand came in wiping her fatperspiring neck with her handkerchiefand said that a soldier had brought a note from the halting station. The notewas from Mary Pavlovna. She wrote that Kryltzoff's attack was more serious thanthey had imagined. "We wished him to be left behind and to remain with himbut this has not been allowedso that we shall take him on; but we fear theworst. Please arrange so that if he should he left in the next townone of usmight remain with him. If in order to get the permission to stay I should beobliged to get married to himI am of course ready to do so."

Nekhludoff sent the young labourer to the post station to order horses andbegan packing up hurriedly. Before he had drunk his second tumbler of tea thethree-horsed postcart drove up to the porch with ringing bellsthe wheelsrattling on the frozen mud as on stones. Nekhludoff paid the fat-neckedlandladyhurried out and got into the cartand gave orders to the driver to goon as fast as possibleso as to overtake the gang. Just past the gates of thecommune pasture ground they did overtake the cartsloaded with sacks and thesick prisonersas they rattled over the frozen mudthat was just beginning tobe rolled smooth by the wheels (the officer was not therehe had gone inadvance). The soldierswho had evidently been drinkingfollowed by the side ofthe roadchatting merrily. There were a great many carts. In each of the firstcarts sat six invalid criminal convictsclose packed. On each of the last twowere three political prisoners. NovodvoroffGrabetz and Kondratieff sat on oneRintzevaNabatoff and the woman to whom Mary Pavlovna had given up her ownplace on the otherand on one of the carts lay Kryltzoff on a heap of haywitha pillow under his headand Mary Pavlovna sat by him on the edge of the cart.Nekhludoff ordered his driver to stopgot out and went up to Kryltzoff. One ofthe tipsy soldiers waved his hand towards Nekhludoffbut he paid no attentionand started walking by Kryltzoff's sideholding on to the side of the cart withhis hand. Dressed in a sheepskin coatwith a fur cap on his head and his mouthbound up with a handkerchiefhe seemed paler and thinner than ever. Hisbeautiful eyes looked very large and brilliant. Shaken from side to side by thejottings of the carthe lay with his eyes fixed on Nekhludoff; but when askedabout his healthhe only closed his eyes and angrily shook his head. All hisenergy seemed to be needed in order to bear the jolting of the cart. MaryPavlovna was on the other side. She exchanged a significant glance withNekhludoffwhich expressed all her anxiety about Kryltzoff's stateand thenbegan to talk at once in a cheerful manner.

"It seems the officer is ashamed of himself" she shoutedso as tobe heard above the rattle of the wheels. "Bousovkin's manacles have beenremovedand he is carrying his little girl himself. Katusha and Simonson arewith himand Veratoo. She has taken my place."

Kryltzoff said something that could not be heard because of the noiseandfrowning in the effort to repress his cough shook his head. Then Nekhludoffstooped towards himso as to hearand Kryltzofffreeing his mouth of thehandkerchiefwhispered:

"Much better now. Only not to catch cold."

Nekhludoff nodded in acquiescenceand again exchanged a glance with MaryPavlovna.

"How about the problem of the three bodies?" whispered Kryltzoffsmiling with great difficulty. "The solution is difficult."

Nekhludoff did not understandbut Mary Pavlovna explained that he meant thewell-known mathematical problem which defined the position of the sunmoon andearthwhich Kryltzoff compared to the relations between NekhludoffKatusha andSimonson. Kryltzoff noddedto show that Mary Pavlovna had explained his jokecorrectly.

"The decision does not lie with me" Nekhludoff said.

"Did you get my note? Will you do it?" Mary Pavlovna asked.

"Certainly" answered Nekhludoff ; and noticing a look ofdispleasure on Kryltzoff's facehe returned to his conveyanceand holding withboth hands to the sides of the cartgot inwhich jolted with him over the rutsof the rough road. He passed the gangwhichwith its grey cloaks and sheepskincoatschains and manaclesstretched over three-quarters of a mile of the road.On the opposite side of the road Nekhludoff noticed Katusha's blue shawlVeraDoukhova's black coatand Simonson's crochet capwhite worsted stockingswithbandslike those of sandalstied round him. Simonson was walking with thewoman and carrying on a heated discussion.

When they saw Nekhludoff they bowed to himand Simonson raised his hat in asolemn manner. Nekhludoffhaving nothing to saydid not stopand was soonahead of the carts. Having got again on to a smoother part of the roadtheydrove still more quicklybut they had continually to turn aside to let passlong rows of carts that were moving along the road in both directions.

The roadwhich was cut up by deep rutslay through a thick pine forestmingled with birch trees and larchesbright with yellow leaves they had not yetshed. By the time Nekhludoff had passed about half the gang he reached the endof the forest. Fields now lay stretched along both sides of the roadand thecrosses and cupolas of a monastery appeared in the distance. The clouds haddispersedand it had cleared up completely; the leavesthe frozen puddles andthe gilt crosses and cupolas of the monastery glittered brightly in the sun thathad risen above the forest. A little to the right mountains began to gleam whitein the blue-grey distanceand the trap entered a large village. The villagestreet was full of peopleboth Russians and other nationalitieswearingpeculiar caps and cloaks. Tipsy men and women crowded and chattered roundboothstraktirspublic houses and carts. The vicinity of a town wasnoticeable. Giving a pull and a lash of the whip to the horse on his rightthedriver sat down sideways on the right edge of the scatso that the reins hungover that sideand with evident desire of showing offhe drove quickly down tothe riverwhich had to be crossed by a ferry. The raft was coming towards themand had reached the middle of the river. About twenty carts were waiting tocross. Nekhludoff had not long to wait. The raftwhich had been pulled far upthe streamquickly approached the landingcarried by the swift waters. Thetallsilentbroad-shoulderedmuscular ferrymandressed in sheepskinsthrewthe ropes and moored the raft with practised handlanded the carts that were onitand put those that were waiting on the bank on board. The whole raft wasfilled with vehicles and horses shuffling at the sight of the water. The broadswift river splashed against the sides of the ferryboatstightening theirmoorings.

When the raft was fulland Nekhludoff's cartwith the horses taken out ofitstood closely surrounded by other carts on the side of the rafttheferryman barred the entranceandpaying no heed to the prayers of those whohad not found room in the raftunfastened the ropes and set off.

All was quiet on the raft; one could hear nothing but the tramp of theferryman's boots and the horses changing from foot to foot.

CHAPTER XXI. "JUST A WORTHLESS TRAMP."

 

Nekhludoff stood on the edge of the raft looking at the broad river. Twopictures kept rising up in his mind. Onethat of Kryltzoffunprepared fordeath and dyingmade a heavysorrowful impression on him. The otherthat ofKatushafull of energyhaving gained the love of such a man as Simonsonandfound a true and solid path towards righteousnessshould have been pleasantyet it also created a heavy impression on Nekhludoff's mindand he could notconquer this impression.

The vibrating sounds of a big brass bell reached them from the town.Nekhludoff's driverwho stood by his sideand the other men on the raft raisedtheir caps and crossed themselvesall except a shortdishevelled old manwhostood close to the railway and whom Nekhludoff had not noticed before. He didnot cross himselfbut raised his head and looked at Nekhludoff. This old manwore a patched coatcloth trousers and worn and patched shoes. He had a smallwallet on his backand a high fur cap with the fur much rubbed on his head.

"Why don't you prayold chap?" asked Nekhludoff's driver as hereplaced and straightened his cap. "Are you unbaptized?"

"Who's one to pray to?" asked the old man quicklyin adeterminately aggressive tone.

"To whom? To Godof course" said the driver sarcastically.

"And you just show me where he isthat god." There was somethingso serious and firm in the expression of the old manthat the driver felt thathe had to do with a strong-minded manand was a bit abashed. And trying not toshow thisnot to be silencedand not to be put to shame before the crowd thatwas observing themhe answered quickly.

"Where? In heavenof course."

"And have you been up there?"

"Whether I've been or notevery one knows that you must pray toGod."

""No one has ever seen God at any time. The only begotten Son whois in the bosom of the Father he hath declared him" said the old man inthe same rapid mannerand with a severe frown on his brow.

"It's clear you are not a Christianbut a hole worshipper. You pray toa hole" said the drivershoving the handle of his whip into his girdlepulling straight the harness on one of the horses.

Some one laughed.

"What is your faithDad?" asked a middle-aged manwho stood byhis cart on the same side of the raft.

"I have no kind of faithbecause I believe no one--no one butmyself" said the old man as quickly and decidedly as before.

"How can you believe yourself?" Nekhludoff askedentering into aconversation with him. "You might make a mistake."

"Never in your life" the old man said decidedlywith a toss ofhis head.

"Then why are there different faiths?" Nekhludoff asked.

"It's just because men believe others and do not believe themselves thatthere are different faiths. I also believed othersand lost myself as in aswamp--lost myself so that I had no hope of finding my way out. Old believersand new believers and Judaisers and Khlysty and Popovitzyand Bespopovitzy andAvstriaks and Molokans and Skoptzy --every faith praises itself onlyand sothey all creep about like blind puppies. There are many faithsbut the spiritis one--in me and in you and in him. So that if every one believes himself allwill he united. Every one he himselfand all will be as one."

The old man spoke loudly and often looked roundevidently wishing that asmany as possible should hear him.

"And have you long held this faith?"

"I? A long time. This is the twenty-third year that they persecuteme."

"Persecute you? How?

"As they persecuted Christso they persecute me. They seize meandtake me before the courts and before the prieststhe Scribes and the Pharisees.Once they put me into a madhouse; but they can do nothing because I am free.They say'What is your name?' thinking I shall name myself. But I do not givemyself a name. I have given up everything: I have no nameno placeno countrynor anything. I am just myself. 'What is your name?' 'Man.' 'How old are you?' Isay'I do not count my years and cannot count thembecause I always wasIalways shall be.' ' Who are your parents?' 'I have no parents except God andMother Earth. God is my father.' 'And the Tsar? Do you recognise the Tsar?' theysay. I say'Why not? He is his own Tsarand I am my own Tsar.' 'Where's thegood of talking to him' they sayand I say'I do not ask you to talk to me.'And so they begin tormenting me."

"And where are you going now?" asked Nekhludoff.

"Where God will lead me. I work when I can find workand when I can't Ibeg." The old man noticed that the raft was approaching the bank andstoppedlooking round at the bystanders with a look of triumph.

Nekhludoff got out his purse and offered some money to the old manbut herefusedsaying:

"I do not accept this sort of thing--bread I do accept."

"Wellthenexcuse me."

"There is nothing to excuseyou have not offended me. And it is notpossible to offend me." And the old man put the wallet he had taken offagain on his back. Meanwhilethe post-cart had been landed and the horsesharnessed.

"I wonder you should care to talk to himsir" said the driverwhen Nekhludoffhaving tipped the bowing ferrymangot into the cart again."He is just a worthless tramp."

CHAPTER XXII. NEKHLUDOFF SEES THE GENERAL.

When they got to the top of the hill bank the driver turned toNekhludoff.

"Which hotel am I to drive to?"

"Which is the best?"

"Nothing could be better than the Siberianbut Dukeoff's is alsogood."

"Drive to whichever you like."

The driver again seated himself sideways and drove faster. The town was likeall such towns. The same kind of houses with attic windows and green roofsthesame kind of cathedralthe same kind of shops and stores in the principalstreetand even the same kind of policemen. Only the houses were almost all ofthem woodenand the streets were not paved. In one of the chief streets thedriver stopped at the door of an hotelbut there was no room to be hadso hedrove to another. And here Nekhludoffafter two monthsfound himself onceagain in surroundings such as he had been accustomed to as far as comfort andcleanliness went. Though the room he was shown to was simple enoughyetNekhludoff felt greatly relieved to be there after two months of post-cartscountry inns and halting stations. His first business was to clean himself ofthe lice which he had never been able to get thoroughly rid of after visiting ahalting station. When he had unpacked he went to the Russian bathafter whichhe made himself fit to be seen in a townput on a starched shirttrousers thathad got rather creased along the seamsa frock-coat and an overcoatand droveto the Governor of the district. The hotel-keeper called an isvostchikwhosewell-fed Kirghiz horse and vibrating trap soon brought Nekhludoff to the largeporch of a big buildingin front of which stood sentinels and a policeman. Thehouse had a garden in frontand at the backamong the naked branches of aspenand birch treesthere grew thick and dark green pines and firs. The General wasnot welland did not receive; but Nekhludoff asked the footman to hand in hiscard all the sameand the footman came back with a favourable reply.

"You are asked to come in."

The hallthe footmanthe orderlythe staircasethe dancing-roomwith itswell-polished floorwere very much the same as in Petersburgonly moreimposing and rather dirtier. Nekhludoff was shown into the cabinet.

The Generala bloatedpotato-nosed manwith a sanguine dispositionlargebumps on his foreheadbald headand puffs under his eyessat wrapped in aTartar silk dressing-gown smoking a cigarette and sipping his tea out of atumbler in a silver holder.

"How do you dosir? Excuse my dressing-gown; it is better so than if Ihad not received you at all" he saidpulling up his dressing-gown overhis fat neck with its deep folds at the nape. "I am not quite welland donot go out. What has brought you to our remote region?"

"I am accompanying a gang of prisonersamong whom there is a personclosely connected with mesaid Nekhludoffand now I have come to see yourExcellency partly in behalf of this personand partly about anotherbusiness." The General took a whiff and a sip of teaput his cigaretteinto a malachite ashpanwith his narrow eyes fixed on Nekhludofflisteningseriously. He only interrupted him once to offer him a cigarette.

The General belonged to the learned type of military men who believed thatliberal and humane views can be reconciled with their profession. But being bynature a kind and intelligent manhe soon felt the impossibility of such areconciliation; so as not to feel the inner discord in which he was livinghegave himself up more and more to the habit of drinkingwhich is so widelyspread among military menand was now suffering from what doctors termalcoholism. He was imbued with alcoholand if he drank any kind of liquor itmade him tipsy. Yet strong drink was an absolute necessity to himhe could notlive without itso he was quite drunk every evening; but had grown so used tothis state that he did not reel nor talk any special nonsense. And if he didtalk nonsenseit was accepted as words of wisdom because of the important andhigh position which he occupied. Only in the morningjust at the timeNekhludoff came to see himhe was like a reasonable beingcould understandwhat was said to himand fulfil more or less aptly a proverb he was fond ofrepeating: "He's tipsybut he's wiseso he's pleasant in two ways."

The higher authorities knew he was a drunkardbut he was more educated thanthe restthough his education had stopped at the spot where drunkenness had gothold of him. He was boldadroitof imposing appearanceand showed tact evenwhen tipsy; thereforehe was appointedand was allowed to retain so public andresponsible an office.

Nekhludoff told him that the person he was interested in was a womanthatshe was sentencedthough innocentand that a petition had been sent to theEmperor in her behalf.

"Yeswell?" said the General.

"I was promised in Petersburg that the news concerning her fate shouldbe sent to me not later than this month and to this place-"

The General stretched his hand with its stumpy fingers towards the tableandrang a bellstill looking at Nekhludoff and puffing at his cigarette.

"So I would like to ask you that this woman should he allowed to remainhere until the answer to her petition comes."

The footmanan orderly in uniformcame in.

"Ask if Anna Vasilievna is up" said the General to the orderly"and bring some more tea." Thenturning to Nekhludoff"Yesandwhat else?"

"My other request concerns a political prisoner who is with the samegang."

"Dear me" said the Generalwith a significant shake of the head.

"He is seriously ill--dyingand he will probably he left here in thehospitalso one of the women prisoners would like to stay behind withhim."

"She is no relation of his?"

"Nobut she is willing to marry him if that will enable her to remainwith him."

The General looked fixedly with twinkling eyes at his interlocutorandevidently with a wish to discomfit himlistenedsmoking in silence.

When Nekhludoff had finishedthe General took a book off the tableandwetting his fingerquickly turned over the pages and found the statute relatingto marriage.

"What is she sentenced to?" he askedlooking up from the book.

"She? To hard labour."

"Wellthenthe position of one sentenced to that cannot be bettered bymarriage."

"Yesbut-"

"Excuse me. Even if a free man should marry hershe would have to serveher term. The question in such cases iswhose is the heavier punishmenthersor his?"

"They are both sentenced to hard labour."

"Very well; so they are quits" said the Generalwith a laugh.She's got what he hasonly as he is sick he may be left behindand of coursewhat can be done to lighten his fate shall be done. But as for hereven if shedid marry himshe could not remain behind."

"The Generaless is having her coffee" the footman announced.

The General nodded and continued:

"HoweverI shall think about it. What are their names? Put them downhere."

Nekhludoff wrote down the names.

Nekhludoff's request to be allowed to see the dying man the General answeredby saying"Neither can I do that. Of course I do not suspect youbut youtake an interest in him and in the othersand you have moneyand here with usanything can be done with money. I have been told to put down bribery. But howcan I put down bribery when everybody takes bribes? And the lower their rank themore ready they are to be bribed. How can one find it out across more than threethousand miles? There any official is a little Tsarjust as I am here"and he laughed. "You have in all likelihood been to see the politicalprisoners; you gave money and got permission to see them" he saidwith asmile. "Is it not so?

"Yesit is."

"I quite understand that you had to do it. You pity a political prisonerand wish to see him. And the inspector or the convoy soldier acceptsbecause hehas a salary of twice twenty copecks and a familyand he can't help acceptingit. In his place and yours I should have acted in the same way as you and hedid. But in my position I do not permit myself to swerve an inch from the letterof the lawjust because I am a manand might be influenced by pity. But I am amember of the executiveand I have been placed in a position of trust oncertain conditionsand these conditions I must carry out. Wellso thisbusiness is finished. And now let us hear what is going on in themetropolis." And the General began questioning with the evident desire tohear the news and to show how very human he was.

CHAPTER XXIII. THE SENTENCE COMMUTED.

By-the-waywhere are you staying?" asked the General as hewas taking leave of Nekhludoff. "At Duke's? Wellit's horrid enough there.Come and dine with us at five o'clock. You speak English?

"YesI do."

"That's good. You seean English traveller has just arrived here. He isstudying the question of transportation and examining the prisons of Siberia.Wellhe is dining with us to-nightand you come and meet him. We dine at fiveand my wife expects punctuality. Then I shall also give you an answer what to doabout that womanand perhaps it may be possible to leave some one behind withthe sick prisoner."

Having made his bow to the GeneralNekhludoff drove to the post-officefeeling himself in an extremely animated and energetic frame of mind.

The post-office was a low-vaulted room. Several officials sat behind acounter serving the peopleof whom there was quite a crowd. One official satwith his head bent to one side and kept stamping the envelopeswhich he slippeddexterously under the stamp. Nekhludoff had not long to wait. As soon as he hadgiven his nameeverything that had come for him by post was at once handed tohim. There was a good deal: lettersand moneyand booksand the last numberof Fatherland Notes. Nekhludoff took all these things to a wooden benchonwhich a soldier with a book in his hand sat waiting for somethingtook the seatby his sideand began sorting the letters. Among them was one registered letterin a fine envelopewith a distinctly stamped bright red seal. He broke thesealand seeing a letter from Selenin and some official paper inside theenvelopehe felt the blood rush to his faceand his heart stood still. It wasthe answer to Katusha's petition. What would that answer be? Nekhludoff glancedhurriedly through the letterwritten in an illegibly smallhardand crampedhandand breathed a sigh of relief. The answer was a favourable one.

"Dear friend" wrote Selenin"our last talk has made aprofound impression on me. You were right concerning Maslova. I looked carefullythrough the caseand see that shocking injustice has been done her. It could heremedied only by the Committee of Petitions before which you laid it. I managedto assist at the examination of the caseand I enclose herewith the copy of themitigation of the sentence. Your auntthe Countess Katerina Ivanovnagave methe address which I am sending this to. The original document has been sent tothe place where she was imprisoned before her trialand will from there heprobably sent at once to the principal Government office in Siberia. I hasten tocommunicate this glad news to you and warmly press your hand.

"Yours

"SELENIN."

The document ran thus: "His Majesty's office for the reception ofpetitionsaddressed to his Imperial name"--here followed thedate----"by order of the chief of his Majesty's office for the reception ofpetitions addressed to his Imperial name. The meschanka Katerina Maslova ishereby informed that his Imperial Majestywith reference to her most loyalpetitioncondescending to her requestdeigns to order that her sentence tohard labour should be commuted to one of exile to the less distant districts ofSiberia-"

This was joyful and important news; all that Nekhludoff could have hoped forKatushaand for himself alsohad happened. It was true that the new positionshe was in brought new complications with it. While she was a convictmarriagewith her could only be fictitiousand would have had no meaning except that hewould have been in a position to alleviate her condition. And now there wasnothing to prevent their living togetherand Nekhludoff had not preparedhimself for that. Andbesideswhat of her relations to Simonson? What was themeaning of her words yesterday? If she consented to a union with Simonsonwouldit be well? He could not unravel all these questionsand gave up thinking aboutit. "It will all clear itself up later on" he thought; "I mustnot think about it nowbut convey the glad news to her as soon as possibleandset her free. He thought that the copy of the document he had received wouldsufficeso when he left the post-office he told the isvostchik to drive him tothe prison.

Though he had received no order from the governor to visit the prison thatmorninghe knew by experience that it was easy to get from the subordinateswhat the higher officials would not grantso now he meant to try and get intothe prison to bring Katusha the joyful newsand perhaps to get her set freeand at the same time to inquire about Kryltzoff's state of healthand tell himand Mary Pavlovna what the general had said. The prison inspector was a tallimposing-looking manwith moustaches and whiskers that twisted towards thecorners of his mouth. He received Nekhludoff very gravelyand told him plainlythat he could not grant an outsider the permission to interview the prisonerswithout a special order from his chief. To Nekhludoff's remark that he had beenallowed to visit the prisoners even in the cities he answered:

"That may be sobut I do not allow it" and his tone implied"You city gentlemen may think to surprise and perplex usbut we in EasternSiberia also know what the law isand may even teach it you." The copy ofa document straight from the Emperor's own office did not have any effect on theprison inspector either. He decidedly refused to let Nekhludoff come inside theprison walls. He only smiled contemptuously at Nekhludoff's naive conclusionthat the copy he had received would suffice to set Maslova freeand declaredthat a direct order from his own superiors would be needed before any one couldbe set at liberty. The only things he agreed to do were to communicate toMaslova that a mitigation had arrived for herand to promise that he would notdetain her an hour after the order from his chief to liberate her would arrive.He would also give no news of Kryltzoffsaying he could not even tell if therewas such a prisoner; and so Nekhludoffhaving accomplished next to nothinggotinto his trap and drove back to his hotel.

The strictness of the inspector was chiefly due to the fact that an epidemicof typhus had broken out in the prisonowing to twice the number of personsthat it was intended for being crowded in it. The isvostchik who droveNekhludoff said"Quite a lot of people are dying in the prison every daysome kind of disease having sprung up among themso that as many as twenty wereburied in one day."

CHAPTER XXIV. THE GENERAL'S HOUSEHOLD.

 

In spite of his ineffectual attempt at the prisonNekhludoffstill in thesame vigorousenergetic frame of mindwent to the Governor's office to see ifthe original of the document had arrived for Maslova. It had not arrivedsoNekhludoff went back to the hotel and wrote without delay to Selenin and theadvocate about it. When he had finished writing he looked at his watch and sawit was time to go to the General's dinner party.

On the way he again began wondering how Katusha would receive the news of themitigation of her sentence. Where she would be settled? How he should live withher? What about Simonson? What would his relations to her be? He remembered thechange that had taken place in herand this reminded him of her past. "Imust forget it for the present" he thoughtand again hastened to driveher out of his mind. "When the time comes I shall see" he said tohimselfand began to think of what he ought to say to the General.

The dinner at the General'swith the luxury habitual to the lives of thewealthy and those of high rankto which Nekhludoff had been accustomedwasextremely enjoyable after he had been so long deprived not only of luxury buteven of the most ordinary comforts. The mistress of the house was a Petersburggrande dame of the old schoola maid of honour at the court of Nicholas I.whospoke French quite naturally and Russian very unnaturally. She held herself veryerect andmoving her handsshe kept her elbows close to her waist. She wasquietly andsomewhat sadly considerate for her husbandand extremely kind toall her visitorsthough with a tinge of difference in her behaviour accordingto their position. She received Nekhludoff as if he were one of themand herfinealmost imperceptible flattery made him once again aware of his virtues andgave him a feeling of satisfaction. She made him feel that she knew of thathonest though rather singular step of his which had brought him to Siberiaandheld him to be an exceptional man. This refined flattery and the elegance andluxury of the General's house had the effect of making Nekhludoff succumb to theenjoyment of the handsome surroundingsthe delicate dishes and the case andpleasure of intercourse with educated people of his own classso that thesurroundings in the midst of which he had lived for the last months seemed adream from which he had awakened to reality. Besides those of the householdtheGeneral's daughter and her husband and an aide-de-campthere were anEnglishmana merchant interested in gold minesand the governor of a distantSiberian town. All these people seemed pleasant to Nekhludoff. The Englishmanahealthy man with a rosy complexionwho spoke very bad Frenchbut whose commandof his own language was very good and oratorically impressivewho had seen agreat dealwas very interesting to listen to when he spoke about AmericaIndiaJapan and Siberia.

The young merchant interested in the gold minesthe son of a peasantwhoseevening dress was made in Londonwho had diamond studs to his shirtpossesseda fine librarycontributed freely to philanthropic workand held liberalEuropean viewsseemed pleasant to Nekhludoff as a sample of a quite new andgood type of civilised European culturegrafted on a healthyuncultivatedpeasant stem.

The governor of the distant Siberian town was that same man who had been somuch talked about in Petersburg at the time Nekhludoff was there. He was plumpwith thincurly hairsoft blue eyescarefully-tended white handswith ringson the fingersa pleasant smileand very big in the lower part of his body.The master of the house valued this governor because of all the officials he wasthe only one who would not be bribed. The mistress of the housewho was veryfond of music and a very good pianist herselfvalued him because he was a goodmusician and played duets with her.

Nekhludoff was in such good humour that even this man was not unpleasant tohimin spite of what he knew of his vices. The brightenergetic aide-de-campwith his bluey grey chinwho was continually offering his servicespleasedNekhludoff by his good nature. But it was the charming young coupletheGeneral's daughter and her husbandwho pleased Nekhludoff best. The daughterwas a plain-lookingsimple-minded young womanwholly absorbed in her twochildren. Her husbandwhom she had fallen in love with and married after a longstruggle with her parentswas a Liberalwho had taken honours at the MoscowUniversitya modest and intellectual young man in Government servicewho madeup statistics and studied chiefly the foreign tribeswhich he liked and triedto save from dying out.

All of them were not only kind and attentive to Nekhludoffbut evidentlypleased to see himas a new and interesting acquaintance. The Generalwho camein to dinner in uniform and with a white cross round his neckgreetedNekhludoff as a friendand asked the visitors to the side table to take a glassof vodka and something to whet their appetites. The General asked Nekhludoffwhat he had been doing since he left that morningand Nekhludoff told him hehad been to the post-office and received the news of the mitigation of thatperson's sentence that he had spoken of in the morningand again asked for apermission to visit the prison.

The Generalapparently displeased that business should be mentioned atdinnerfrowned and said nothing.

"Have a glass of vodka" he saidaddressing the Englishmanwho hadjust come up to the table. The Englishman drank a glassand said he had been tosee the cathedral and the factorybut would like to visit the greattransportation prison.

"Ohthat will just fit in" said the General to Nekhludoff."You will he able to go together. Give them a pass" he addedturningto his aide-de-camp.

"When would you like to go?" Nekhludoff asked.

"I prefer visiting the prisons in the evening" the Englishmananswered. "All are indoors and there is no preparation; you find them allas they are."

"Ahhe would like to see it in all its glory! Let him do so. I havewritten about it and no attention has been paid to it. Let him find out fromforeign publications" the General saidand went up to the dinner tablewhere the mistress of the house was showing the visitors their places.Nekhludoff sat between his hostess and the Englishman. In front of him sat theGeneral's daughter and the ex-director of the Government department inPetersburg. The conversation at dinner was carried on by fits and startsnow itwas India that the Englishman talked aboutnow the Tonkin expedition that theGeneral strongly disapproved ofnow the universal bribery and corruption inSiberia. All these topics did not interest Nekhludoff much.

But after dinnerover their coffeeNekhludoff and the Englishman began avery interesting conversation about Gladstoneand Nekhludoff thought he hadsaid many clever things which were noticed by his interlocutor. And Nekhludofffelt it more and more pleasant to be sipping his coffee seated in an easy-chairamong amiablewell-bred people. And when at the Englishman's request thehostess went up to the piano with the ex-director of the Government departmentand they began to play in well-practised style Beethoven's fifth symphonyNekhludoff fell into a mental state of perfect self-satisfaction to which he hadlong been a strangeras though he had only just found out what a good fellow hewas.

The grand piano was a splendid instrumentthe symphony was well performed.At leastso it seemed to Nekhludoffwho knew and liked that symphony.Listening to the beautiful andantehe felt a tickling in his nosehe was sotouched by his many virtues.

Nekhludoff thanked his hostess for the enjoyment that he had been deprived offor so longand was about to say goodbye and go when the daughter of the housecame up to him with a determined look and saidwith a blush"You askedabout my children. Would you like to see them?"

"She thinks that everybody wants to see her children" said hermothersmiling at her daughter's winning tactlessness. "The Prince is notat all interested."

"On the contraryI am very much interested" said Nekhludofftouched by this overflowinghappy mother-love. "Please let me seethem."

"She's taking the Prince to see her babies" the General shoutedlaughing from the card-tablewhere he sat with his son-in-lawthe mine ownerand the aide-de-camp. "Gogopay your tribute." The young womanvisibly excited by the thought that judgment was about to be passed on herchildrenwent quickly towards the inner apartmentsfollowed by Nekhludoff. Inthe thirda lofty roompapered with white and lit up by a shaded lampstoodtwo small cotsand a nurse with a white cape on her shoulders sat between thecots. She had a kindlytrue Siberian facewith its high cheek-bones.

The nurse rose and bowed. The mother stooped over the first cotin which atwo-year-old little girl lay peacefully sleeping with her little mouth open andher longcurly hair tumbled over the pillow.

"This is Katie" said the motherstraightening the white and bluecrochet coverletfrom under which a little white foot pushed itself languidlyout.

"Is she not pretty? She's only two years oldyou know."

"Lovely."

"And this is Vasiukas 'grandpapa' calls him. Quite a different type. ASiberianis he not?"

"A splendid boy" said Nekhludoffas he looked at the little fattylying asleep on his stomach.

"Yes" said the motherwith a smile full of meaning.

Nekhludoff recalled to his mind chainsshaved headsfighting debaucherythe dying KryltzoffKatusha and the whole of her pastand he began to feelenvious and to wish for what he saw herewhich now seemed to him pure andrefined happiness.

After having repeatedly expressed his admiration of the childrenthereby atleast partially satisfying their motherwho eagerly drank in this praisehefollowed her back to the drawing-roomwhere the Englishman was waiting for himto go and visit the prisonas they had arranged. Having taken leave of theirhoststhe old and the young onesthe Englishman and Nekhludoff went out intothe porch of the General's house.

The weather had changed. It was snowingand the snow fell densely in largeflakesand already covered the roadthe roof and the trees in the gardenthesteps of the porchthe roof of the trap and the back of the horse.

The Englishman had a trap of his ownand Nekhludoffhaving told thecoachman to drive to the prisoncalled his isvostchik and got in with the heavysense of having to fulfil an unpleasant dutyand followed the Englishman overthe soft snowthrough which the wheels turned with difficulty.

CHAPTER XXV. MASLOVA'S DECISION.

 

The dismal prison housewith its sentinel and lamp burning under thegatewayproduced an even more dismal impressionwith its long row of lightedwindowsthan it had done in the morningin spite of the white covering thatnow lay over everything--the porchthe roof and the walls.

The imposing inspector came up to the gate and read the pass that had beengiven to Nekhludoff and the Englishman by the light of the lampshrugged hisfine shoulders in surprisebutin obedience to the orderasked the visitorsto follow him in. He led them through the courtyard and then in at a door to theright and up a staircase into the office. He offered them a seat and asked whathe could do for themand when he heard that Nekhludoff would like to seeMaslova at oncehe sent a jailer to fetch her. Then he prepared himself toanswer the questions which the Englishman began to put to himNekhludoff actingas interpreter.

"How many persons is the prison built to hold?" the Englishmanasked. "How many are confined in it? How many men? How many women?Children? How many sentenced to the mines? How many exiles? How many sickpersons?"

Nekhludoff translated the Englishman's and the inspector's words withoutpaying any attention to their meaningand felt an awkwardness he had not in theleast expected at the thought of the impending interview. Whenin the midst ofa sentence he was translating for the Englishmanhe heard the sound ofapproaching footstepsand the office door openedandas had happened manytimes beforea jailer came infollowed by Katushaand he saw her with akerchief tied round her headand in a prison jacket a heavy sensation came overhim. "I wish to liveI want a familychildrenI want a human life."These thoughts flashed through his mind as she entered the room with rapid stepsand blinking her eyes.

He rose and made a few steps to meet herand her face appeared hard andunpleasant to him. It was again as it had been at the time when she reproachedhim. She flushed and turned paleher fingers nervously twisting a corner of herjacket. She looked up at himthen cast down her eyes.

"You know that a mitigation has come?"

"Yesthe jailer told me."

"So that as soon as the original document arrives you may come away andsettle where you like. We shall consider--"

She interrupted him hurriedly. "What have I to consider? Where ValdemarSimonson goesthere I shall follow." In spite of the excitement she was inshe raised her eyes to Nekhludoff's and pronounced these words quickly anddistinctlyas if she had prepared what she had to say.

"Indeed!"

"WellDmitri Ivanovitchyou see he wishes me to live with him--"and she stoppedquite frightenedand corrected herself. "He wishes me tobe near him. What more can I desire? I must look upon it as happiness. What elseis there for me--"

"One of two things" thought he. "Either she loves Simonsonand does not in the least require the sacrifice I imagined I was bringing heror she still loves me and refuses me for my own sakeand is burning her shipsby uniting her fate with Simonson." And Nekhludoff felt ashamed and knewthat he was blushing.

"And you yourselfdo you love him?" he asked.

"Loving or not lovingwhat does it matter? I have given up all that.And then Valdemar Simonson is quite an exceptional man."

"Yesof course" Nekhludoff began. "He is a splendid manandI think--"

But she again interrupted himas if afraid that he might say too much orthat she should not say all. "NoDmitri Ivanovitchyou must forgive me ifI am not doing what you wish" and she looked at him with thoseunfathomablesquinting eyes of hers. "Yesit evidently must be so. Youmust livetoo."

She said just what he had been telling himself a few moments beforebut heno longer thought so now and felt very differently. He was not only ashamedbutfelt sorry to lose all he was losing with her. "I did not expectthis" he said.

"Why should you live here and suffer? You have suffered enough."

"I have not suffered. It was good for meand I should like to go onserving you if I could."

"We do not want anything" she saidand looked at him.

"You have done so much for me as it is. If it had not been foryou--" She wished to say morebut her voice trembled.

"You certainly have no reason to thank me" Nekhludoff said.

"Where is the use of our reckoning? God will make up our accounts"she saidand her black eyes began to glisten with the tears that filled them.

"What a good woman you are" he said.

"I good?" she said through her tearsand a pathetic smile lit upher face.

"Are you ready?" the Englishman asked.

"Directly" replied Nekhludoff and asked her about Kryltzoff.

She got over her emotion and quietly told him all she knew. Kryltzoff wasvery weak and had been sent into the infirmary. Mary Pavlovna was very anxiousand had asked to be allowed to go to the infirmary as a nursebut could not getthe permission.

"Am I to go?" she askednoticing that the Englishman was waiting.

"I will not say good-bye; I shall see you again" said Nekhludoffholding out his hand.

"Forgive me" she said so low that he could hardly hear her. Theireyes metand Nekhludoff knew by the strange look of her squinting eyes and thepathetic smile with which she said not "Good-bye" but "Forgiveme" that of the two reasons that might have led to her resolutionthesecond was the real one. She loved himand thought that by uniting herself tohim she would be spoiling his life. By going with Simonson she thought she wouldbe setting Nekhludoff freeand felt glad that she had done what she meant todoand yet she suffered at parting from him.

She pressed his handturned quickly and left the room.

Nekhludoff was ready to gobut saw that the Englishman was noting somethingdownand did not disturb himbut sat down on a wooden seat by the wallandsuddenly a feeling of terrible weariness came over him. It was not a sleeplessnight that had tired himnot the journeynot the excitementbut he feltterribly tired of living. He leaned against the back of the benchshut his eyesand in a moment fell into a deepheavy sleep.

"Wellwould you like to look round the cells now?" the inspectorasked.

Nekhludoff looked up and was surprised to find himself where he was. TheEnglishman had finished his notes and expressed a wish to see the cells.

Nekhludofftired and indifferentfollowed him.

CHAPTER XXVI. THE ENGLISH VISITOR.

hen they had passed the anteroom and the sickeningstinkingcorridorthe Englishman and Nekhludoffaccompanied by the inspectorenteredthe first cellwhere those sentenced to hard labour were confined. The bedstook up the middle of the cell and the prisoners were all in bed. There wereabout 70 of them. When the visitors entered all the prisoners jumped up andstood beside the bedsexcepting twoa young man who was in a state of highfeverand an old man who did nothing but groan.

The Englishman asked if the young man had long been ill. The inspector saidthat he was taken ill in the morningbut that the old man had long beensuffering with pains in the stomachbut could not be removedas the infirmaryhad been overfilled for a long time. The Englishman shook his headdisapprovinglysaid he would like to say a few words to these peopleaskingNekhludoff to interpret. It turned out that besides studying the places of exileand the prisons of Siberiathe Englishman had another object in viewthat ofpreaching salvation through faith and by the redemption.

"Tell them" he said"that Christ died for them. If theybelieve in this they shall be saved." While he spokeall the prisonersstood silent with their arms at their sides. "This booktell them"he continued"says all about it. Can any of them read?"

There were more than 20 who could.

The Englishman took several bound Testaments out of a hang-bagand manystrong hands with their hardblack nails stretched out from beneath the coarseshirt-sleeves towards him. He gave away two Testaments in this cell.

The same thing happened in the second cell. There was the same foul airthesame icon hanging between the windowsthe same tub to the left of the doorandthey were all lying side by side close to one anotherand jumped up in the samemanner and stood stretched full length with their arms by their sidesall butthreetwo of whom sat up and one remained lyingand did not even look at thenewcomers; these three were also ill. The Englishman made the same speech andagain gave away two books.

In the third room four were ill. When the Englishman asked why the sick werenot put all together into one cellthe inspector said that they did not wish itthemselvesthat their diseases were not infectiousand that the medicalassistant watched them and attended to them.

"He has not set foot here for a fortnight" muttered a voice.

The inspector did not say anything and led the way to the next cell. Againthe door was unlockedand all got up and stood silent. Again the Englishmangave away Testaments. It was the same in the fifth and sixth cellsin those tothe right and those to the left.

From those sentenced to hard labour they went on to the exiles.

From the exiles to those evicted by the Commune and those who followed oftheir own free will.

Everywhere mencoldhungryidleinfecteddegradedimprisonedwereshown off like wild beasts.

The Englishmanhaving given away the appointed number of Testamentsstoppedgiving any moreand made no speeches. The oppressing sightand especially thestifling atmospherequelled even his energyand he went from cell to cellsaying nothing but "All right" to the inspector's remarks about whatprisoners there were in each cell.

Nekhludoff followed as in a dreamunable either to refuse to go on or to goawayand with the same feelings of weariness and hopelessness.

CHAPTER XXVII. KRYLTZOFF AT REST.

 

In one of the exiles' cells Nekhludoffto his surpriserecognised thestrange old man he had seen crossing the ferry that morning. This old man wassitting on the floor by the bedsbarefootedwith only a dirty cinder-colouredshirt ontorn on one shoulderand similar trousers. He looked severely andenquiringly at the newcomers. His emaciated bodyvisible through the holes ofhis shirtlooked miserably weakbut in his face was even more concentratedseriousness and animation than when Nekhludoff saw him crossing the ferry. As inall the other cellsso here also the prisoners jumped up and stood erect whenthe official enteredbut the old man remained sitting. His eyes glittered andhis brows frowned with wrath.

"Get up" the inspector called out to him.

The old man did not rise and only smiled contemptuously.

"Thy servants are standing before thee. I am not thy servant. Thoubearest the seal--" The old man pointed to the inspector's forehead.

"Wha-a-t?" said the inspector threateninglyand made a steptowards him.

"I know this man" Nekhludoff hastened to say; "what is heimprisoned for?"

"The police have sent him here because he has no passport. We ask themnot to send suchbut they will do it" said the inspectorcasting anangry side look at the old man.

"And so it seems thoutooart one of Antichrist's army?" the oldman said to Nekhludoff.

"NoI am a visitor" said Nekhludoff.

"Whathast thou come to see how Antichrist tortures men? Therelookhe has locked them up in a cagea whole army of them. Men should cat bread inthe sweat of their brow. And he has locked them up with no work to doand feedsthem like swineso that they should turn into beasts."

"What is he saying?" asked the Englishman.

Nekhludoff told him the old man was blaming the inspector for keeping menimprisoned.

"Ask him how he thinks one should treat those who do not keep to thelaws" said the Englishman.

Nekhludoff translated the question. The old man laughed in a strange mannershowing his teeth.

"The laws?" he repeated with contempt. "He first robbedeverybodytook all the earthall the rights away from menkilled all thosewho were against himand then wrote lawsforbidding robbery and murder. Heshould have written these laws before."

Nekhludoff translated. The Englishman smiled. "Wellanyhowask him howone should treat thieves and murderers at present?"

Nekhludoff again translated his question.

"Tell him he should take the seal of Antichrist off himself" theold man saidfrowning severely; "then there will he no thieves andmurderers. Tell him so."

"He is crazy" said the Englishmanwhen Nekhludoff had translatedthe old man's wordsandshrugging his shouldershe left the cell.

"Do thy business and leave them alone. Every one for himself. God knowswhom to executewhom to forgiveand we do not know" said the old man."Every man be his own chiefthen the chiefs will not be wanted. Gogo!" he addedangrily frowning and looking with glittering eyes atNekhludoffwho lingered in the cell. "Hast thou not looked on long enoughhow the servants of Antichrist feed lice on men? Gogo!"

When Nekhludoff went out he saw the Englishman standing by the open door ofan empty cell with the inspectorasking what the cell was for. The inspectorexplained that it was the mortuary.

"Oh" said the Englishman when Nekhludoff had translatedandexpressed the wish to go in.

The mortuary was an ordinary cellnot very large. A small lamp hung on thewall and dimly lit up sacks and logs of wood that were piled up in one cornerand four dead bodies lay on the bedshelves to the right. The first body had acoarse linen shirt and trousers on; it was that of a tall man with a small beardand half his head shaved. The body was quite rigid; the bluish handsthat hadevidently been folded on the breasthad separated; the legs were also apart andthe bare feet were sticking out. Next to him lay a bare-footed old woman in awhite petticoather headwith its thin plait of hairuncoveredwith alittlepinched yellow face and a sharp nose. Beyond her was another man withsomething lilac on. This colour reminded Nekhludoff of something. He came nearerand looked at the body. The smallpointed beard sticking upwardsthe firmwell-shaped nosethe highwhite foreheadthe thincurly hair; he recognisedthe familiar features and could hardly believe his eyes. Yesterday he had seenthis faceangryexcitedand full of suffering; now it was quietmotionlessand terribly beautiful. Yesit was Kryltzoffor at any rate the trace that hismaterial existence had left behind. "Why had he suffered? Why had he lived?Does he now understand?" Nekhludoff thoughtand there seemed to be noanswerseemed to be nothing but deathand he felt faint. Without taking leaveof the EnglishmanNekhludoff asked the inspector to lead him out into the yardand feeling the absolute necessity of being alone to think over all that hadhappened that eveninghe drove back to his hotel.

CHAPTER XXVIII. A NEW LIFE DAWNS FOR NEKHLUDOFF.

Nekhludoff did not go to bedbut went up and down his room for along time. His business with Katusha was at an end. He was not wantedand thismade him sad and ashamed. His other business was not only unfinishedbuttroubled him more than ever and demanded his activity. All this horrible evilthat he had seen and learned to know latelyand especially to-day in that awfulprisonthis evilwhich had killed that dear Kryltzoffruled and wastriumphantand he could foreseen possibility of conquering or even knowing howto conquer it. Those hundreds and thousands of degraded human beings locked upin the noisome prisons by indifferent generalsprocureursinspectorsrose upin his imagination; he remembered the strangefree old man accusing theofficialsand therefore considered madand among the corpses the beautifulwaxen face of Kryltzoffwho had died in anger. And again the question as towhether he was mad or those who considered they were in their right minds whilethey committed all these deeds stood before him with renewed force and demandedan answer.

Tired of pacing up and downtired of thinkinghe sat down on the sofa nearthe lamp and mechanically opened the Testament which the Englishman had givenhim as a remembranceand which he had thrown on the table when he emptied hispockets on coming in.

"It is said one can find an answer to everything here" he thoughtand opened the Testament at random and began reading Matt. xviii. 1-4: "Inthat hour came the disciples unto JesussayingWho then is greatest in theKingdom of Heaven? And He called to Him a little childand set him in the midstof themand saidVerily I say unto youExcept ye turn and become as littlechildrenye shall in nowise enter into the Kingdom of Heaven. Whosoevertherefore shall humble himself as this little child the same is the greatest inthe Kingdom of Heaven."

"Yesyesthat is true" he saidremembering that he had knownthe peace and joy of life only when he had humbled himself.

"And whosoever shall receive one such little child in My name receivethMebut whoso shall cause one of these little ones to stumbleit is moreprofitable for him that a great millstone should be hanged about his neck andthat he should be sunk in the depths of the sea." (Matt. xviii. 56.)

"What is this for'Whosoever shall receive?' Receive where? And whatdoes 'in my name' mean?" he askedfeeling that these words did not tellhim anything. "And why 'the millstone round his neck and the depths of thesea?' Nothat is not it: it is not clear" and he remembered how more thanonce in his life he had taken to reading the Gospelsand how want of clearnessin these passages had repulsed him. He went on to read the seventheighthninthand tenth verses about the occasions of stumblingand that they mustcomeand about punishment by casting men into hell fireand some kind ofangels who see the face of the Father in Heaven. "What a pity that this isso incoherent" he thought"yet one feels that there is somethinggood in it."

"For the Son of Man came to save that which was lost" he continuedto read.

"How think ye? If any man have a hundred sheep and one of them goastraydoth he not leave the ninety and nine and go into the mountains and seekthat which goeth astray? And if so be that he find itverily I say unto youherejoiceth over it more than over the ninety and nine which have not gone astray.

"Even so it is not the will of your Father which is in Heaven that oneof these little ones should perish."

"Yesit is not the will of the Father that they should perishand herethey are perishing by hundreds and thousands. And there is no possibility ofsaving them" he thought.

Then came Peter and said to himHow oft shall my brother offend me and Iforgive him? Until seven times? Jesus saith unto himI say not unto thee untilseven timesbut until seventy times seven.

"Therefore is the Kingdom of Heaven likened unto a certain king whichmade a reckoning with his servants. And when he had begun to reckonone wasbrought unto him which owed him ten thousand talents. But forasmuch as he hadnot wherewith to payhis lord commanded him to be soldand his wife andchildrenand all that he hadand payment to be made. The servant thereforefell down and worshipped himsayingLordhave patience with me; I will paythee all. And the lord of that servantbeing moved with compassionreleasedhim and forgave him the debt. But that servant went outand found one of hisfellow-servants which owed him a hundred pence; and he laid hold on him and tookhim by the throatsayingPay what thou owest. So his fellow-servant fell downand besought himsayingHave patience with me and I will pay thee. And hewould notbut went and cast him into prison till he should pay that which wasdue. So when his fellow-servants saw what was donethey were exceeding sorryand came and told unto their lord all that was done. Then his lord called himunto him and saith to himThou wicked servantI forgave thee all that debtbecause thou besought me; shouldst not thou also have mercy on thyfellow-servant as I had mercy on thee?"

"And is this all?" Nekhludoff suddenly exclaimed aloudand theinner voice of the whole of his being said"Yesit is all." And ithappened to Nekhludoffas it often happens to men who are living a spirituallife. The thought that seemed strange at first and paradoxical or even to beonly a jokebeing confirmed more and more often by life's experiencesuddenlyappeared as the simplesttruest certainty. In this way the idea that the onlycertain means of salvation from the terrible evil from which men were sufferingwas that they should always acknowledge themselves to be sinning against Godand therefore unable to punish or correct othersbecause they were dear to Him.It became clear to him that all the dreadful evil he had been witnessing inprisons and jails and the quiet self-satisfaction of the perpetrators of thisevil were the consequences of men trying to do what was impossible; trying tocorrect evil while being evil themselves; vicious men were trying to correctother vicious menand thought they could do it by using mechanical meansandthe only consequence of all this was that the needs and the cupidity of some meninduced them to take up this so-called punishment and correction as aprofessionand have themselves become utterly corruptand go on unceasinglydepraving those whom they torment. Now he saw clearly what all the terrors hehad seen came fromand what ought to be done to put a stop to them. The answerhe could not find was the same that Christ gave to Peter. It was that we shouldforgive always an infinite number of times because there are no men who have notsinned themselvesand therefore none can punish or correct others.

"But surely it cannot he so simple" thought Nekhludoffand yet hesaw with certaintystrange as it had seemed at firstthat it was not only atheoretical but also a practical solution of the question. The usual objection"What is one to do with the evil doers? Surely not let them gounpunished?" no longer confused him. This objection might have a meaning ifit were proved that punishment lessened crimeor improved the criminalbutwhen the contrary was provedand it was evident that it was not in people'spower to correct each otherthe only reasonable thing to do is to leave offdoing the things which are not only uselessbut harmfulimmoral and cruel.

For many centuries people who were considered criminals have been tortured.Welland have they ceased to exist? No; their numbers have been increased notalone by the criminals corrupted by punishment but also by those lawfulcriminalsthe judgesprocureursmagistrates and jailerswho judge and punishmen. Nekhludoff now understood that society and order in general exists notbecause of these lawful criminals who judge and punish othersbut because inspite of men being thus depravedthey still pity and love one another.

In hopes of finding a confirmation of this thought in the GospelNekhludoffbegan reading it from the beginning. When he had read the Sermon on the Mountwhich had always touched himhe saw in it for the first time to-day notbeautiful abstract thoughtssetting forth for the most part exaggerated andimpossible demandsbut simpleclearpractical laws. If these laws werecarried out in practice (and this was quite possible) they would establishperfectly new and surprising conditions of social lifein which the violencethat filled Nekhludoff with such indignation would cease of itself. Not onlythisbut the greatest blessing that is obtainable to menthe Kingdom of Heavenon Earth would he established. There were five of these laws.

The first (Matt. v. 21-26)that man should not only do no murderbut noteven be angry with his brothershould not consider any one worthless:"Raca" and if he has quarrelled with any one he should make it upwith him before bringing his gift to God--i.e.before praying.

The second (Matt. v. 27-32)that man should not only not commit adultery butshould not even seek for enjoyment in a woman's beautyand if he has once cometogether with a woman he should never be faithless to her.

The third (Matt. 33-37)that man should never bind himself by oath.

The fourth (Matt. 38-42)that man should not only not demand an eye for aneyebut when struck on one cheek should hold out the othershould forgive anoffence and bear it humblyand never refuse the service others demand of him.

The fifth (Matt. 43-48)that man should not only not hate his enemy and notfight himbut love himhelp himserve him.

Nekhludoff sat staring at the lamp and his heart stood still. Recalling themonstrous confusion of the life we leadhe distinctly saw what that life couldbe if men were brought up to obey these rulesand rapture such as he had longnot felt filled his souljust as if after long days of weariness and sufferinghe had suddenly found ease and freedom.

He did not sleep all nightand as it happens to many and many a man whoreads the Gospels he understood for the first time the full meaning of the wordsread so often before but passed by unnoticed. He imbibed all these necessaryimportant and joyful revelations as a sponge imbibes water. And all he readseemed so familiar and seemed to confirmto form into a conceptionwhat he hadknown long agobut had never realised and never quite believed. Now he realisedand believed itand not only realised and believed that if men would obey theselaws they would obtain the highest blessing they can attain tohe also realisedand believed that the only duty of every man is to fulfil these laws; that inthis lies the only reasonable meaning of lifethat every stepping aside fromthese laws is a mistake which is immediately followed by retribution. Thisflowed from the whole of the teachingand was most strongly and clearlyillustrated in the parable of the vineyard.

The husbandman imagined that the vineyard in which they were sent to work fortheir master was their ownthat all that was in was made for themand thattheir business was to enjoy life in this vineyardforgetting the Master andkilling all those who reminded them of his existence. "Are we do not doingthe same" Nekhludoff thought"when we imagine ourselves to bemasters of our livesand that life is given us for enjoyment? This evidently isan incongruity. We were sent here by some one's will and for some reason. And wehave concluded that we live only for our own joyand of course we feel unhappyas labourers do when not fulfilling their Master's orders. The Master's will isexpressed in these commandments. If men will only fulfil these lawsthe Kingdomof Heaven will be established on earthand men will receive the greatest goodthat they can attain to.

"'Seek ye first the Kingdom and His righteousnessand all these thingsshall be added unto you.'

"And so here it isthe business of my life. Scarcely have I finishedone and another has commenced." And a perfectly new life dawned that nightfor Nekhludoffnot because he had entered into new conditions of lifebutbecause everything he did after that night had a new and quite differentsignificance than before. How this new period of his life will end time alonewill prove.




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