University of Florida
THE COMPLETE WORKS OF
A LANDED PROPRIETOR
SEVASTOPOL .2 2
By COUNT LEV N. TOLSTOY
Translaled from ihe Or,,in.il Russian .nd Ediled b)
LE \\ IENER
N vIjrijnlr.1 Prloebi: .:--1 51,)%1: L Aniua '^ 31 Harbard Llrieisol%
BOSTON D DANA ESTES &
C OM1 P A N r B PUBLISHERS
EDITION DE LUNLF
Limited to On.. Th.:.unr-nd Ci.pic ,
of which this is
By DANA ESTES & COMPANY
Entered at Stationers' Hall
Colonial Press: Electrotyped and Printed by
C. H. Simonds & Co., Boston, Mass., U. S. A.
A I i~RNING I'F A LAN:; ED[ I'R.I'IE1. 1
THE C'.-'-'A'.h A N.,lEL AJv TLIE CA.I.'Ait I' 7 ',4
T E. C. T T i.L . . .. ..,T.I 4
Tn E CUTTINGN G I-,F THE F,:iRLE T .47 .
LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS
PORTRAIT OF TSAR NICHOLAS I. Frontispiece
COSSACK TROOPS QUARTERED ON A VILLAGE 100
PORTRAIT OF TOLST6Y AS AN OFFICER IN 1857 200
PLAN OF SEVASTOPOL (Bird's-eye View) 314
NIGHT ATTACK ON THE TRENCHES .. 367
INTERIOR OF THE REDAN AFTER THE FINAL ASSAULT 471
A MORNING OF A LANDED
A MORNING OF A LANDED
Fragment from an Unfinished Novel, "A Russian
PFI::CE NEKIELYODOV was- nineteen years old when he
:ieE from the Third Course (f the university to pass his
vacation on his estate, and remained there by himself all
sumnimer. In the autumn h wrote in his unformed child-
ish hand to his aunt, Counte-cs Blyelory4tski, who, in his
:'pinio:u. was hji b,:.t friend and the most brilliant woman
in the wi:rd. The letter was iw French, and ran as
DEAF. AUNT : I have made a resolution on which
the fate i:if my w.hihle life must depend. I will leave the
university in or.ler to: devote my-Velf to country life, be-
i:.'use. I feel that I was born for it. For God's sake, dear
aunty, do: not laugh at meni You will say that I am
young; and, indeed, I may still be a child, but this does
not prevent rme from feeling what miy calling is, and from
wii:hing to :do. good, aund lving it.
As I have written yo:u I:efore, I found affairs in an
inde-c,:ribalie disorder. Wi hing to straighten them out,
and t,:o under.tandi them, I disI:o\verod that the main evil
4 A MORNING OF A LANDED PROPRIETOR
lay in the most pitiable, poverty-stricken condition of the
peasants, and that the evil was such that it could be
mended by labour and patience alone. If you could only
see two of my peasants, Davyd and Ivdn, and the lives
which they lead with their families, I am sure that the
mere sight of these unfortunates would convince you more
than all I might say to explain my intention to you.
"Is it not my sacred and direct duty to care for the
welfare of these seven hundred men, for whom I shall be
held responsible before God? Is it not a sin to abandon
them to the arbitrariness of rude elders and managers,
for plans of enjoyment and ambition ? And why should
I look in another sphere for opportunities of being useful
and doing good, when such a noble, brilliant, and im-
mediate duty is open to me ?
"I feel myself capable of being a good landed propri-
etor; and, in order to be one, as I understand this word,
one needs neither a university diploma, nor ranks, which
you are so anxious I should obtain. Dear aunty, make
no ambitious plans for me! Accustom yourself to the
thought that I have chosen an entirely different path,
which is, nevertheless, good, and which, I feel, will bring
me happiness. I have thought much, very much, about
my future duty, have written out rules for my actions,
and, if God will only grant me life and strength, shall
succeed in my undertaking.
Do not show this letter to my brother Visya. I am
.afraid of his ridicule ; he is in the habit of directing me,
and I of submitting to him. VWnya will understand my
intention, even though he may not approve of it."
The countess answered with the following French
"Your letter, dear Dmitri, proved nothing to me,
except that you have a beautiful soul, which fact I have
A MORNING OF A LANDED PROPRIETOR 5
never d.iubted. Cut. dear friend, our good qualities do
ui more' h.iru in lif.. than our bad ones. I will not tell
you that y.ou are oiiummitting a folly, and that your con-
.li:t inortiliet in.e; I will try to influence you by argu-
mneuts alone. Let ua reason, my friend. You say that
yo:u feel .a calling g for country life, that you wish to make
yi.ur Ilpe.acLntz hi pl.y. and that you hope to be a good pro-
p ietor. (1) I muut tell you that we feel a calling only
hitter ;we have udr'i:' a mistake in it; (2) that it is easier
to inl.e y'u:.Lrelf hippy than others; and (3) that in
ore.ler to,: I. a1 :jl proprietor, one must be a cold and
-\ir- In.m, whi.:'h y.-.u will scarcely be, however much
I:o m.-ay try to ili.'emible.
Y:. ,..,:i-:i,.ler y:uar reflections incontrovertible, and
evef\ aliCl.t the t as rules of conduct; but at my age, my
li.a:r, .we d,: nu.t Ilelieve in reflections and rules, but only
iu e:.:p. rl.:-'-; .rni experience tells me that your plans
.ire clildih. I am nu-it far from fifty, and I have known
many worthy pe:uple-, but I have never heard of a young
nanu of goi:.id t.lily and of ability burying himself in the
country, fo:r the siake :f doing good. You always wished
to qjip-ir origin.-l, but your originality is nothing but
superfluou.s el-l:v.:. And, my dear, you had better
i.h':,,oe v w-ll-t',oddeu paths! They lead more easily to
isui:i.,:',:...-iunl i..,-e though you may not need it as suc-
i .e. i nuce-'sary in order to have the possibility of doing
the 1g:,,61 v.hich yb:ou wish.
The I":. v,.rty .-if a few peasants is a necessary evil, or
an evil :hil:h tiiay ile remedied without forgetting all
your obl.iihgtions to:, society, to your relatives, and to your-
.:elf. With :your intellect, with your heart and love of
virtue, theie is not .1 career in which you would not
oiltalu Iucice.s; 1ut at, least choose one which would be
worthy of yi:.u and would do you honour.
"- I l.elieve in yi'ur sincerity, when you say that you
hayv. Do a nilitioiu, but you are deceiving yourself. Am-
6 A MORNING OF A LANDED PROPRIETOR
bition is a virtue at your years and with your means;
but it becomes a defect and a vulgarity, when a man is
no longer able to satisfy that passion. You, too, will
experience it, if you will not be false to your intention.
Good-bye, dear Mitya! It seems to me that I love you
even more for your insipid, but noble and magnanimous,
plan. Do as you think best, but I confess I cannot
agree with you."
Having received this letter, the young man long medi-
tated over it; finally, having decided that even a brilliant
woman may make mistakes, he petitioned for a discharge
from the university, and for ever remained in the country.
Tir y':oung Ft ri':rltor, i s he wrote to his aunt, had
for:'wrt.l rul-. of ia:tio:n t':r hi- estate, and all his life and
.:.,::uptin)rj ivi.r-t z:h.lulkd.l 1y hours, days, and months.
SiJinia.vy \.'a.s pp":iut':..d. f':.r the- reception of petitioners,
diJ.l'u ti: ;an.l uiijorial -erf-, for the inspection of the
farns of the n;e.ly I'c arrnts. and for the distribution of
[upplii:.- with th.b: c:-.nn- t :.f the Commune, which met
every Sundlay eve'nirnh, anl \v.is to decide what aid each
\:is t: i,:'iv,:-i. IlIl.i.- th'rin ; year passed in these occu-
pations, and the young man was not entirely a novice,
either in the practical or in the theoretical knowledge
It was a clear June Sunday when Nekhlyidov, after
drinking his coffee, and running through a chapter of
"Maison Rustique," with a note-book and a package of
bills in the pocket of his light overcoat, walked out of the
large, columnated, and terraced country-house, in which
he occupied a small room on the lower story, and directed
his way, over the neglected, weed-grown paths of the old
English garden, to the village that was situated on both
sides of the highway. Nekhlyudov was a tall, slender
young man with long, thick, wavy, auburn hair, with a
bright sparkle in his black eyes, with red cheeks, and
ruby lips over which the first down of youth was just
appearing. In all his movements and in his gait were to
be seen strength, energy, and the good-natured self-sat-
isfaction of youth. The peasants were returning in
variegated crowds from church; old men, girls, children,
8 A MORNING OF A LANDED PROPRIETOR
women with their suckling babes, in gala attire, were
scattering to their huts, bowing low to their master, and
making a circuit around him. When Nekhlyudov reached
the street, he stopped, drew his note-book from his pocket,
and on the last page, which was covered with a childish
handwriting, read several peasant names, with notes.
"Ivan Churis asked for fork posts," he read, and, pro-
ceeding in the street, walked up to the gate of the second
hut on the right.
Churis's dwelling consisted of a half-rotten log square,
musty at the corners, bending to one side, and so sunken
in the ground that one broken, red, sliding window, with
its battered shutter, and another smaller window, stopped
up with a bundle of flax, were to be seen right over the
dung-heap. A plank vestibule, with a decayed threshold
and low door; another smaller square, more rickety and
lower than the vestibule; a gate, and a wicker shed
clung to the main hut. All that had at one time been
covered by one uneven thatch; but now the black, rotting
straw hung only over the eaves, so that in places the
framework and the rafters could be seen. In front of
the yard was a well, with a dilapidated box, with a
remnant of a post and wheel, and a dirty puddle made
by the tramping of the cattle, in which some ducks were
splashing. Near the well stood two ancient, cracked, and
broken willows, with scanty, pale green leaves. Under
one of these willows, which witnessed to the fact that at
some time in the past some one had tried to beautify the
spot, sat an eight-year-old blonde little maiden, with
another two-year-old girl crawling on the ground. A
pup, which was wagging his tail near them, ran headlong
under the gate, the moment he noticed the master, and
from there burst into a frightened, quivering bark.
Is Ivan at home ?" asked Nekhlyidov.
The older girl was almost petrified at this question,
and was opening her eyes wider and wider, but did not
A .M~t:NING OF A LANDED rIROPTrIETOPT
a nw.wer; the -maller one opened hetr mouth, and was
.ett.im re.idy to ciy. A .-mall -:11 wo:nman. i .a torn
Z.hecIkered ,.rei;, -miled low with an old., br.,ldi-h .belt,
lookk-d from b:.ehind the idolu, l.bt did :.t an wer. Nekh-
lyI.'i..v walked up to the veztil.ule, a:dl re.peate.l his
At htme, EInef:ict.r," sai,.l tih .:.1- 1 w' oman, in a quiv-
.-ring v:.ice, I.:O.wv g low, a nd i agitated with t,:rr>.,r.
\'h.e Nekl:lyihl.,l.,v gre,.tt:-e her. atndl p, :ed thr:-agh
the v-1- til'ule inut': the ua:i r.\: y:1rdl, the old '.um.:Li]n put
heir hand t.:. her chin. wall::.'l up: tO the d-..'ur, andi.l, without
turninc eve- away from tle lmazte.I, I.,e :
htak:,. her head.
The-. yardl l .-.kei. wrtetcled. Here an.i there .lay old
.i'Iackenedi manure that hail :nt been rem:i\el; .it-, the
m l.'Iure-hep lay :-.irele.sly a nmu ty 1l::k, a fork, and
t\vo: harr,: wx. The zihe. al, ;.:iuit the yardl, 'iiiler .which
:t,..J. ': n: :' si:l. e, a pli.u-l i ih and a cut wi h: tl .:1t .'wheel,
andl lay a ti -I of e-.-pty, uele;s I.reehixe in c:Ulii-ion,
weie nearly all ui thatched, :ni:l on:e ide1 hadil fallen in,
,: that the gier s n:o linger re-te.d On the fork p:',St but
i:,n the manuite.
(huric ztrikiir_ with the edl._e and he:nad iof his a:-.e, was
trvinu,- to rel ci\'e a vicker fee wv.hih the roof had
cr ui; ed. Iv.-: C'h i ri- wa.- a .1 uj .-ii ut lilty ye ir- of
age. He w:-: leluw the :veraite height. The Ifeatres
of hi tunedd, -lo.-n f.ace, encased in an an ul.urn, Iard
with stieaks ,:f pay,. -nd thick hair (,f the -.-ame. colour,
were fair and e:Hipre-sive. Hi. dark l:lue, half-shut eyes
-hone with intelli cence and : .rele-s cot.:-: nature. A
S:midl. regi.igur mn-:.ith, sha-rlyy ,l--tined uiunder a scanty
1.1iud i :moit-ti:'he, expre,:ed, whenever he CniJ.,dI, calm
self-coi.nidence aun a certalI detitive iLditierence to his
-mrt roudi.ig.-. Fr,-om the uLrsee-ue of hi- -kin, deep
wrrinkle-, sharply delmed veeius :1n hiz neck, Iace, and
hand.s, fror. hi- unnatural toop, and cio:,ked, a.-rch-like
10 A MORNING OF A LANDED PROPRIETOR
legs, it could be seen that all his life had passed in
extremely hard labour, which was beyond his strength.
His attire consisted of white hempen drawers, with blue
patches over his knees, and a similar dirty shirt, which
was threadbare on his back and arms. The shirt was
girded low by a thin ribbon, from which hung a brass key.
"God aid you !" said the master, entering the yard.
Churis looked around him, and again took up his work.
After an energetic effort he straightened out the wicker
work from under the shed; then only he struck the axe
into a block, pulled his shirt in shape, and walked into
the middle of the yard.
"I wish you a pleasant holiday, your Grace!" he said,
making a low obeisance, and shaking his hair.
"Thank you, my dear. I just came to look at your
farm," said Nekhlyddov, with childish friendliness and
embarrassment, examining the peasant's garb. Let me
see for what you need the fork posts that you asked of
me at the meeting of the Commune."
The forks? Why, your Grace, you know what forks
are for. I just wanted to give a little support to it, -
you may see for yourself. Only a few days ago a corner
fell in, and by God's kindness there were no animals in
it at the time. It barely hangs together," said Churis,
contemptuously surveying his unthatched, crooked, and
dilapidated sheds. "When it comes to that, there is not
a decent girder, rafter, or box case in them. Where am
I to get the timber? You know that yourself."
"Then why do you ask for five forks when one shed
is all fallen in, and the others soon will fall ? What you
need is not forks, but rafters, girders, posts, all new
ones," said the master, obviously parading his familiarity
with the subject.
Churis was silent.
"What you need, therefore, is timber and not forks.
You ought to have said so."
a MORNING OF A LANDED PROPRIETOP. 11
Of ....i rse, I need:: tbht. -hut where .mni I to ge:t it ? It.
w.u't .1c, to g,:, for ev\i- thing to the im.nuor. \What kirn'l
':' peasauts sholull we i.le if we were ,ieriiittedi t:.' ',o t.:,
the uau...r to: ai.k \our (Grt. : r for everything But i you
wdl permit me ti:, take thb:e k picists that ar- I iN. i u- U
lesS.ly in the threbhin.'-dtlor of the maun:ir," he s;il. l.iw-
ing', au.l rating novw ,-u -.nl. i- f'ut. ni.-w -in tihe ,'ther, I
might rauag:., by .:hanu'ing oi.. and.l CUttilUg dwvn
,Lthl'r.. to:i F:ix s :ietbiug \vith that m:1l.l material."
-" With the .I_, mat-riil But you .;siy yourselft hat
,everythiug i:f yo-urs i I- i.1l andu ri-tten. To-day ,oue ,'::'ruer
ik falling in, tO:'-tr:'rri:Ow an-thE :r, au..l dty after t.:-uni:rr.:iw
a third. S. if Vou are 1 to ilo ariythijug al:b-ut it. ,yu hal
better putt in everythli. n new, or el yor lul.:.ur will
be l ost. Tell me, what i- y:-ur ,:,iiuou l Can your
builn.lun: last thr,:ugh the %\iuter, ir uot "
i: \\h knows- '
"No. v.hat .1: you think dl they fall iu. or
C'lhuri m,.-litatel or mn,-i,,ent
It w.,ill ll l fall i," he- said. su.dlle ly.
"* Well. yo,-i see, you ought ti hire si:l at the meeting
that. you have to get the whole rro:perty ieUIeI:I., anidI
not that yo:u need a few forkl:. I aE only t.... l..3 to:
We are very well satisfied with your favour," answered
Churis, incredulously, without looking at the master. "If
you would only favour me with four logs and the forks, I
might manage it myself; and whatever useless timber
I shall take out, might be used for supports in the hut."
"Is your hut in a bad condition, too ?"
"My wife and I are expecting every moment to be
crushed," Churis answered, with indifference. Lately a
strut from the ceiling struck down my old woman."
"What? Struck down ?"
Yes, struck her down, your Grace. It just whacked
12 A MORNING OF A LANDED PROPI:I-TOrI:
her on the back so that she was left for dead' until th-.
"Well, did she get over it ?"
"She did get over it, but she is ailing now. Although,
of course, she has been sickly since her birth."
S"What, are you sick ?" Nekhlyudov asked the old
woman, who continued to stand in the door, and began to
groan the moment her husband spoke of her.
Something catches right in here, that's all," she an-
swered, pointing to her dirty, emaciated bosom.
"Again! angrily exclaimed the young master, shrug-
ging his shoulders. "There you are, sick, and you did
not come to the hospital. That is what the hospital was
made for. Have you not been told of it ?"
"They told us, benefactor, but we have had no time:
there is the manorial work, and the house, and the chil-
dren, I am all alone! There is nobody to help me "
NERKLYTOr.V \w ill-kdi anto: the hut. The uneven, grimy
,:ill: is wer iu tb-: Iitc:h,'n :'orijer covered with all kinds of
ir.i; -iI A ,:th-. hiil, tbh- corner of honour was literally
i.:l with cockr:a:h:.: tlit :\.irmed about the images and
l..Leu:bh. In tbh imlkll-, ot this black, ill-smelling, eight-
*,u-f':,:oot hut there \:as : I.uige crack in the ceiling, and
ailthuLiuh supp.:rt' w 're put iu two places, the ceiling was
, I. .:uit tht it thti't,.:u','l to : Lll down any minute.
Y -- Y the hut i- in a \'ly b.ad shape," said the master,
g.:-'ni at thi, ta.:e ':f C'halui. \,ho, it seemed, did not wish
to L.,'-gh ,1 c.:V-.ve- tio a-.xbl:out this matter.
"It will kill us, and the children, too," the old woman
kept saying, in a tearful voice, leaning against the oven
under the hanging beds.
"Don't talk!" sternly spoke Churis, and, turning to the
master, with a light, barely perceptible smile, which had
formed itself under his quivering moustache, he said: "I
am at a loss, your Grace, what to do with this hut.
I have braced it and mended it, but all in vain."
"How are we to pass a winter in it? Oh, oh, oh!"
said the woman.
"Now, if I could put in a few braces and fix a new
strut," her husband interrupted her, with a calm, business-
like expression, and change one rafter, we might be able
to get through another winter. We might be able to live
here, only it will be all cut up by the braces; and if any-
body should touch it, not a thing would be left alive; but
14 A MORNING OF A LANDED PP.O:P'I"IETOf.
it might do, as long as it tnj uids n.il hi.ld t,.eretlhr," he
concluded, evidently satifi-rili with hii ,'rigument.
Nekhlyddov was anui.':.'d :,nd pained Ibe.i: Ie C'hur-
had come to such a state without haviun asked hit aid
before, whereas he had u:nt (ouce 'iu,;e his arrival retu:ed
the peasants anything, uLjd had r.lpejtu.l that e-veryl.,:ily
should come to him dire..tly if they nieel.1 .inythin'.. He
was even vexed at the R'le.:i i t.augrily shrugedl hii hi:'ul-
ders, and frowned; but tbhr -ight i.-f wret., he.due al.": ut hini,
and Churis's calm and -lf-.ati.hatifi,:d '.oiut:ni.ti'.: .Dmidlt
this wretchedness, chanr:'. 1 hii vexatio iu tot ; Luel:i:' hboly,
"Now, Ivan, why d:d y'-Au n.i t tell Iue b:e ff' re '" he re-
marked reproachfully, cittin. lw,:nu :nu .a dirty, .-ro:okted
"I did not dare to, your I racee" auw;tred Churis, witb
the same scarcely peri.-teI.ille umile, chuttlin. hi< Ilack,
bare feet on the uneven dirt fl:oir; 1-ut lhe a-d it -:, t..i:,lly
and quietly that it was hard t:. believe th:t lie had l:eeu
afraid to approach the Lu;-ter.
We are peasants: hlow d.are we be-y.u th: w.-.,iin,
"Stop your prattling," CI'hrin :igaii turtud to:i her.
"You cannot live in thick hut, ta,.t ik iuinl:isl.le !" I aid
Nekhlyuidov, after a momnut'n -s luc. -' Thi, is what we
will do, my friend -"
"I am listening, sir," Churil interrupted him.
Have you seen the stone huts, with the hollow walls,
that I have had built in the new hamlet?"
Of course I have, sir," replied Churis, showing his
good white teeth in his smile. "We marvelled a great
deal as they were building them, wonderful huts! The
boys made sport of them, saying that the hollow walls
were storehouses, to keep rats away. Fine huts he con-
cluded, with an expression of sarcastic incredulity, shaking
his head. Regular jails!"
A MO:r-NNG OF A LANDED PROPRIETOR 15
Yei. e:..elileut hLuts, dry and warm, and not so likely
to: tae fire," ret-:.rted the uimter, with a frown on his
vy:uthful 'fac,:.e, o:l.'i'i-uly .liss;atisfied with the peasant's
SNo question' n ril.'out that, yc:.ur Grace, fine huts."
Now., ,ue 4_.f thi_.-e huts i aill ready. It is a thirty-
f-.,:t hut, with ve\sibulc.s and a storeroom, ready for occu-
panu:y. I will let you have i t t your price; you will pay
11m wihn you *.an." said the Luaster, with a self-satisfied
-,Lul'.-, whi:lh h:e .:uld. not I:kp back, at the thought that
he wvas i.:ing a g....".. a.:-t. Y:ou will break down your
old'hut," li- :'onutuiued; it will do yet for a barn. We
will trauns-tr th,. i:utlhous'- in -.:':ue way. There is excel-
leut water there. I will cut a ;garden for you out of the
..lear'.l grioutd, :and ;is will lay out a piece of land for
yo:u in thr,:',:, parc.-:. Yo.u will be happy there. Well,
ae you uo:t satirieAl '" ask-:.l Nokhlyiidov, when he no-
ti:e-ti that the uii:.ltujt l-e m: utioned changing quarters
-'huri- sto'd:l in *:ri.,pllete i l ,iijolity and, without a smile,
gazei at thoe fli,.
It i. your GCrce's will," he answered, without lifting
TlheI ol wi.mn in.i v: fi:lorwird, as if touched to the
q uI:i., and w.as abt .ut t.-. say s._.lething, but her husband
It is your Grac'e'- will," lhe repeated, firmly, and at the
1ame time hunml.ly, looking .at hi master, and shaking his
hair. -' bit. it will not do for us to live in the new hamlet."
** Why ? "
SNo,. ylou Gi.':e! We are badly off here, but if you
trausIte us thei-, we -h'n't ctny peasants long. What
kind oLf pe-a.it' :'nn ve i.e there? It is impossible to
liCe theie, iavin Ng y:uiir Gr:l:e !"
S* Why not '"
We shall be o't'i.pletely ruined, your Grace!"
P Ilat why !s it imlpsl:cslle t,- bve there ?"
16 A MORNING OF A LANDED PROPRIETOR
"What life will it be? You judge f.:.i y-iu
place has never been inhabited; the quality :,i the l ;cter
is unknown; there is no place to drive the 'ttkl ti.
Our hemp plots have been manured here .iun'e time
immemorial, but how is it there ? Why, th.:r,- i tli :othiuc-
but barrenness there. Neither fences, nor l:iluc. ij.:ir ite,d.:
-nothing. We shall be ruined, your G ', ,'. it y.'-u ilnci
upon our going there, completely ruine 1 It i, a new
place, an unknown place-" he repeated. v.ith n uelu-
choly, but firm, shake of his head.
Nekhlyidov began to prove to the p: ';.int th-it th.a
transfer would be very profitable to him, that tei,.e' :and
sheds would be put up, that the water \a'- -:.:'dod there.
and so forth; but Churis's dull silence eml.'airri-zeild iMn,.
and he felt that he was not saying what he .:i.7;ht t:o.
Churis did not reply; but when the master :t'tw 'cilut.
he remarked, with a light smile, that it wvo:'ld li.e I.i-- t t:,
settle the old domestic servants and Alhlika tit fl:..Il i
that hamlet, to keep a watch on the graiu.
"Now that would be excellent," he remrki:ed, uid
smiled again. "It is a useless affair, your Gr.,et-!"
What of it if it is an uninhabited place :'" Nel.thl ti,:iv
expatiated, patiently. "Here was once an uinibil.'iitid
place, and people are living in it now. Aul -.: y.:u b.-,l
better settle there in a lucky hour- Yet. y%:,u ha:,l lt-
ter settle there -"
"But, your Grace, there is no comp-iri,:nu! 'Chliri
answered with animation, as if afraid tlit the m.-it-r
might have taken his final resolution. Here i :a I.hli-ry
place, a gay place, and we are used to it, and to the road,
and the pond, where the women wash the clothes and the
cattle go to water; and all our peasant surroundings have
been here since time immemorial,-the threshing-floor,
the garden, and the willows that my parents have set out.
My grandfather and father have given their souls to God
here, and I ask nothing else, your Grace, but to be able
A MOINING.; OF A LANDED PROPRIETOR 17
t.. tend iny i.l.iy hr:-ri.. It it shu.uld be your favour to
in-ii. tl-: but, v.: -Lhall be gi,_.tly obliged to your Grace;
it' :t, v.: hiall lii uinLg- t., end '..ur days in the old hut.
Let u;s pr.iy to thi. Lord ll our days," he continued,
making lw : oli.a.:s. Dri,.,:- is not from our nest, sir."
While Chiutli \.as s[,al-:ri,, ever louder and louder sobs
iw..r': h..ii.l ndl.r l thi I:..1:. iti the place where his wife
-to:.., :,u.:l w in-u hI:.r hucub.ul pri:ouounced the word "sir,"
hii; wite sii.l:uly lushei.l oult au'l, weeping, threw herself
o,,'n t tlh -:L ui t r', l-.t :
S. lo A n'-,t irin I-, hi-en-fa tor'r You are our father, you
a'i our iithrbi I \\Vait ibu iiu:.- have we to move? We
n .i: *.l .Al. l'..,nly i-o:.l'l',:. Lo.th God and you-" She
l',lurt u1it in t ar-.
Neklhlyid.:v juiip..-d up t'r:.m his seat, and wanted to
ra:ie the .li .I wvA:m bit L -truck the earth floor with
a i'C:rtaiu 'v:luilpti.u:ne-:- i:t' il.esl' r, and pushed away the
'* Wit tare y:,u diug' IG-t up, please! If you do
no-t \'.ih,. yi.:, do'In ii':t ha.vi to,'" I,: said, waving his hands,
ani r.ttl ntu g t:i thi: d..Ir.
XVLheL Nekhllytil:,v se.ratd himself again on the bench,
an.d -il'u' -, rii'nid in thei hlt, interrupted only by the
hblubl:eriutg ':f tih:- i.'l '.l .ma, \'.ho had again removed
lierseli to i hir tila:e undil the I:.eds, and was there wiping
o:i' her L-tit- w-itli tli .Sleec\ ., of her shirt, the young
liropriL-tr i.,i,'ipr'lhienrded \.- ht meaning the dilapidated
v,'r.tch'iI..l hIt, the birl-:-n -ll \with the dirty puddle, the
runttiang tabl-e, aul hartir, anli th-. split willows that could
b- s t- tlrouigh the .:r.:k4ed w.'indow, had for Churfs and
hi '-it':,. ind .i h'~avy, tw-lau.:lh:ly feeling came over him,
an.l lie w.a1 eu batn nIt' d.
Why did y.iN" ju iin:t *.iy. at their meeting of last week that
yoi ue'l-d 1 hut ? I d:, u.,t knu-w now how to help you.
I tol.l you .ill .at thL,. firct mw-tiu; that I was settled in the
e:tatit. ind thit I ujri.-t t: l1vote my life to you; that I
18 A MORNING OF A LANDED PROPRIETOR
was prepared to deprive myself of everything iu or i.l.: to
see you contented and happy,-and I vow be-tfor Go:l,
that I will keep my word," said the youthful Plpr,:prieltr,
unconscious of the fact that such ebullitions weuir u na.il:
to gain the confidence of any man, least of all a R u- iiu,
who loves not words but deeds, and who is averse t.: tihe
expression of feelings, however beautiful.
The simple-hearted young man was so happy in tlhe
sentiment which he was experiencing that he co':ill not
help pouring it out.
Churis bent his head sideways and, blinking slowly,
listened with forced attention to his master as to a man
who must be listened to, though he may say things that
are not very agreeable and have not the least reference to
But I cannot give everybody all they ask of me. If
I did not refuse anybody who asks me for timber, I should
soon be left with none myself, and would be unable to
give to him who is really in need of it. That is why I
have put aside a part of the forest to be used for mending
the peasant buildings, and have turned it over to the
Commune. That forest is no longer mine, but yours,
the peasants', and I have no say about it, but the Com-
mune controls it as it sees fit. Come this evening to the
meeting; I will tell the Commune of your need: if it
resolves to give you a new hut, it is well, but I have no
forest. I am anxious to help you with all my heart; but
if you do not want to move, the Commune will have to
arrange it for you, and not I. Do you understand me ?"
"We are very well satisfied with your favour," answered
the embarrassed Churis. "If you will deign to let me
have a little timber for the outbuildings, I will manage
one way or other. The Commune ? Well, we know "
"No, you had better come."
"Your servant, sir. I shall be there. Why should I
not go ? Only I will not ask the Commune for anything."
Tiic y:ouug ilrop:rietocr .id.tently wanted to ask the
1,P:-.: it pet'opile -oIethliiij ele; he did not rise from
the i:'CLh:. .1id vw.ith iLni'.le:ii:'ln looked now at Churis, and
iot'. iut: the -mpty, .:i1d oven
.. H:1ae yu hoad l oul diauer?" he finally asked them.
UTiid.,r cL'huris's iim:tiitat:l L played a sarcastic smile, as
although it aulli:it.l him to: h1:ai the master ask such foolish
,*ii-;tiout, Ihe did DIn t : :ut -r.
What, diiiii-r, bt:.iula:t.i said the old woman, with
' d'eep silgh. -"W h.:e e.-te'n some bread. That was
.iui diuuer. Tlieie \vis ti:, time to-day to go for some
:Itcl, a.ji.l C: thier., waz nothing to make soup with, and
vhljit k\ias thli.ie iwa I c.*-' to the children."
- T.i-.lay ..e hi\e :1 h l.i-g. r fast, your Grace," Churis
Ch1:1ii in,. .l -'sii. i.i- \"wif'-' words. "Bread and onions,
-- wu:h is .:'iur p.a t f::oo. Thank the Lord I have
.oiuL little i.,te.ad ; l.yV y<:.ur iavour it has lasted until now;
i.Iit tlhe r---t i:'if :,ui pI-~aiit; have not even that. The
',iii'ii, are a ladtliL thi y),ear We sent a few days ago
to Mil:iiyl:l the 'iar i-, l. I. ut he asks a penny a bunch,
.il we e-tr too p[o:r tor that.. We have not been to
i:huri:h :iinc. Ent.:t.I. an il we- have no money with which
to 1iut a ::andi.:- f io St. Ni,:hol-a s."
Nelkilyidido:\ linl lou-g lit.iwn, not by hearsay, nor
tru:.tirg th.- wond.l of i:tlhers, but by experience, all
the extreni:- wi.:t:hi.:i.lni:-ess o his peasants; but all that
ri ilit y was so: ini::imp ptil.. \'.ith his education, his turn of
luud, au:td tijUiunei i.i lit'-., that he involuntarily forgot the
20 A MORNING OF A LANDED I'PTjRIETO, .
truth; and every time when he was ri'uiind':d i:o it in a
vivid and palpable manner, as now, hib hLait felt iot.l -r-
ably heavy and sad, as though he wer', t. ucl ,.i-ltd by tihe
recollection of some unatoned crime vhi:h h. had ico'Ll-
Why are you so poor ?" he said, iu\:vluutarily expre-s-
ing his thought.
"What else are we to be, your Grac.-. if not 1'''' '
You know yourself what kind of soil w.'e h\%v,-: clay anil
clumps, and we must have angered Gi:,cl. fijl cice tie
cholera we have had very poor cr'-',' .-.f rain Th'l
meadows and fields have grown le.--; :-iinA, hiav. l:ien
taken into the estate, others have b:Ltu dirl:.tly .att:,:h:.1
to the manorial fields. I am all alone aiu.l I'. I \V.':l.l
gladly try to do something, but I hav-e on.. tren:.th My
old woman is sick, and every year sh, lI,::ar a girl; thl:y
have to be fed. I am working hard ill 1.y umyW-lf, ;-u.:l
there are seven souls in the house. It is a sin before
God our Lord, but I often think it would be well if he
took some of them away as soon as possible. It would be
easier for me and for them too, it would be better than
to suffer here -"
"Oh, oh!" the woman sighed aloud, as though con-
firming her husband's words.
"Here is my whole help," continued Churis, pointing to
a flaxen-haired, shaggy boy of some seven years, with an
immense belly, who, softly creaking the door, had just
entered timidly, and, morosely fixing his wondering eyes
upon the master, with both his hands was holding on to
his father's shirt. "Here is my entire help," continued
Churis, in a sonorous voice, passing his rough hand
through his child's hair. "It will be awhile before he
will be able to do anything, and in the meantime the
work is above my strength. It is not so much my age
as the rupture that is undoing me. In bad weather it
just makes me scream. I ought to have given up the
A MORNING OF A LANDED PROPRIETOR 21
lana. I:nc a. ai-n 1, c:.l n i:i a:cunted an old man. Here is
Ermil:v. Dinkil, Zy il..v'v.- they are all younger than
I, [llt they ihve lAI-,, .,i g.'eni up the land. But I have
n-:, n:,ne t-- whom I i'hlit turn over the land,-that's
where th,.e toul:l i. I inu't support the family, so I am
-ti ug l' iig. y':.'r Gri ';ce. '
SI would gladlly mtil;ke it easier for you, really. How
:an I '" Said lth- young iinater, sympathetically, looking
at theL [i:.c: anLt.
*- Hot- Lmak.ik it .e:ac.r ? 0I course, he who holds land
imu-t I1: the mtii.iuril v. ':irl;, that is an established rule.
I 'h:il wait for tha: little: tella:jr to grow up. If it is your
will, excuSie himl fl'r:tu ch.:..I for a few days ago the vil-
l,-i., -.rile ,'m anu.l nd aiJ tLiht your Grace wanted him to
:I:'ii.: t: -a.:h,:,:,l. ID:' ax, :cu',: him: what mind can he
have-, youir Gra'c: H,: i t::c, young, and has not much
No,; thi-. roy friend. mnu.-t I.," said the master. "Your
I.:.y :in a:, pr:.b-hi.L, it i tini, for him to study. I am
:iyin; t f:ir' yii.iir OW.L g' I. You judge yourself: when
he gir. s uLI, airld Iei ':le-- .a householder, he will know
how to reti.l inI writ,., anl lie will read in church,-
:'.veryithlu v.ial a:, wall with you, with God's aid," said
Nekhlyii:l:ov. tryin- ti: exprer himself as clearly as pos-
1il-l andl, at th,:- h -,-: tilune, Ib:lushing and stammering.
No ,.liu:it. y,:Nr Gri: e, y:u do not wish us any harm;
Il:it tl-here? i uil:i:,ly at IiUiiAte, my wife and I have to
wrvl-; in tl, :- inarial t-el., tnld, small though he is, he
l,-lp i.: 1.i:.m:r, lay ..liviniv tlhe- battlee home, and taking the
hb:,rca:- t.:. v.-, ter. A, little .1- he is, he is a peasant all
the :uEji," ,d .lj C(hLlri, i unhlig, took hold of his boy's
UI:, t La bhtwai;;n hi, thii'l; ti_',r,. and cleaned it.
S' till. Iei l.l him wi ih:u he is at home, and has time,-
do y:aiu [ear- without tadil."
('huris .hre.- a 'leep.. -h and did not reply.
THERE is something else I wanted to:. tell you," -.il1
Nekhlydidov. "Why has not your iu.iuLu: 11..u re-
"What manure is there to take awey, yi.ur (;r l:,'?
How many animals have I? A little inar. 'mj a o.t.
and the young heifer I gave last alltuimn t-.- the. porter;
that is all the animals I have."
"You have so few animals, and yet you ga:e your
heifer away ?" the master asked, in amiizmenlt.
What was I to feed her on ?"
Have you not enough straw to feed a cow with?
Everybody else has."
Others have manured land, and my land is mere clay
that you can't do anything with."
But that is what your manure is for, to take away
the clay: and the soil will produce grain, and you will
have something to feed your animals with."
But if there are no animals, where is the manure to
come from ?"
-" This is a strange cercle vicieux," thought Nekhlyddov,
but was at a loss how to advise the peasant.
And then again, your Grace, not the manure makes
the grain grow, but God," continued Churis. Now, last
year I got six ricks out of one unmanured eighth, but
from another dressed eighth I did not reap as much as a
cock. God alone!" he added, with a sigh. "And the
cattle somehow do not thrive in our yard. They have
died for six years in succession. Last year a heifer died,
A MOI)NING OF LANDED PROPRIETOR 23
the other I iol'.. [E:'r wv' had nothing to live on; two years
.,.:, a file ,:'.-w di:.-. 1 hL.: she was driven home from the
hoil th-:re waii u:othing tllh matter with her, but she sud-
d:-ulyv st.agere:d, and sta-g:red, and off she went. Just
way hbid I:k'c "
WVill, m) fiieudl, y:ui may say what you please about
not l.i.v ig any ;i c:Lt l:I, bUtcause you have no feed, and about
h. in Lu:' tfe:l, I.":.l.hts, y:ou have no cattle,- here is some
i:'on-y t:[ .1a 0-:'.,'," s.id Nokhlyddov, blushing, and taking
fior:m his t~ri:.A,:I' pi:lckeL package of crumpled bills, and
niuiujg tdir':-u'ih it. -- iiy yourself a cow, with my luck,
.in.l etl the- feted from the barn,-I will give orders.
Bl- i.iil aii.l haL-ve i .,:v.- by next Sunday,-I will
C'ihris smiil,'d a i1d ihutl'd his feet, and for so long did
ijit *tr.tclhli ..ut 1il hliand ior the money, that Nekhlyddov
put it i:,n tile :u'1 uf the table, and reddened even
\\V. are very w:ll satisfiedd with your favour," said
Chialli, \ith hi. u=ual, slightly sarcastic smile.
The ,*:ld v:on'iu .ib igled heavily several times, standing
uudier the 1'.1., aud -.cer-iij to be uttering a prayer.
The: yourijg i,-i;tr felt embarrassed; he hastily rose
frt':m l his I:c,:h, .,. ilk,.Id ).iat into the vestibule, and called
('hiLr The sPi- ,htli of a man to whom he had done a
:goodt turn w.-as ,: l.i:a,[it, that he did not wish to part
fr:iii it, 'i:- ", u.
. I :m gi.,d I caiii help; yo:u," he said, stopping near the
"ell. It si all rillit to: help you, because I know you
Ir': not i iAvy in:.-. You will work, and I will help you;
with G.:ld's aid tlin1;- *v.ill improve."
There i.- n,:. pla:e for improvement, your Grace," said
Chulii, t..izdn.lnly na'uriai g :a serious, and even an austere,
CX.[.re':,ion A':u l us fa.:-e, 1a though dissatisfied with the
inatlr's supp:'-itio:ii thla t hie might improve. "I lived
with umy b rothers when my father was alive, and we
24 A MORNING OF A LANDED PRlOPPIETOP.
suffered no want; but when he died., a..I w.e -.Ialnatil,
things went from worse to worse. It i- all blj.:au-. ,\.
But why did you separate?"
"All on account of the women, yo,: G(.:.e. At that
time your grandfather was not livilj. :,i thel wv:iil un:,t
have dared to; then there was real :o'nler. He l.ked
after everything, like you,--and we -h ..ill un:.t.hi\a-
dared to think of separating. YouI giaud fath lid.li itiit
let the peasants off so easily. But aitei him the: et.ite
was managed by Andrdy Ilich,- t.iy lie n,:t li\.e I.y
this memory,-he was a drunkard :iil .-in .lz rrli:labi
man. We went to him once, and a -i.1:,nl tini Tlhi r
is no getting along with the womn:-j,' w. e -aid lI:t 1ii
separate.' Well, he gave it to us, I.,t, iu the tend. the-
women had their way, and we separate-.l, .uin 1 y:.a ki:'".c-
what a peasant is all by himself! Well. t.lei w.-i n.i
order here, and Andr6y Ilich treat. .I n11 as h, prleaceIl.
'Let there be everything!' but he nu\e-r ,iA-ke.l h'e-h a
peasant was to get it. Then they iLL': Ira.-'l tlhe I:.lpita-
tion tax, and began to collect moi:- li:,I\sl;-u i'i. t'he
table, but the land grew less, and the .ir:'~p I:.eg;an t,: i ,il.
And when it came to resurveying the 1 iij. e atti.l.:ed
our manured land to the manorial jtrit. thl ri-.:.-1. -ii
he left us just to die!
"Your father the kingdom of hle-.,' I..e hi - ..i,
a good master, but we hardly ever saw Imii lil h i:l all
the time in Moscow; of course, we ;ha.: t-. :.ary -, .!ill1:
there frequently. There may have i:b.u i..id1 r::":l., Ju.I
no fodder, but we had to go! HII .w ..'ilI tLe ii-ttr
get along without it? We can't ':r'lrl'lain al.,lat that.
only there was no order. Now, your Gi.ae a.lit ,:veiy
peasant into your presence, and we ii, dlilli-rent pe:i'le:.
and the steward is a different m.il. int li.eijoe, the
estate was left in guardianship, an:l th..r:' wa.- n. real
master; the guardian was master, au..l It:h was Uiaztel,
A MORNING OF A LANDED PROPRIETOR 25
:.nd hi; witf:- w is mistress, and the scribe was master.
The rpe i ts :ta cme to grief, oh, to so much grief!"
A.\Jdi Nrkhl I idov experienced a feeling akin to shame
i:.r t., pl!l;s ':'f scienceienc. He raised his hat a little, and
"YUKHVANKA the Shrewd wants t.:, sell a h..rse,"
Nekhlyudov read in his note-book, and Ir l,:-s the t trlet.
YukhvAnka's hut was carefully thatched\ with .-traw fr:.ni
-the manorial barn, and was construct e.i :- tr' sh, lhlgh
gray aspen timbers (also from the m:iLi.ri l tore-ti, with
two shutters painted red, and a porch with r.:.o:, iud:l a
quaint shingle balustrade of an artistE.. I..-i.n. The ves-
tibule and the "cold" hut were also iin r':'ler :,-iditi u ;
but the general aspect of sufficien,:y :aId wrll-I.einc,
which this collection of buildings had. we ..:mwewhnit im-
paired by the outhouse which leane. against tlhe t .it-,
with its unfinished wicker fence and i:l,.-u that:h whi:h
could be seen from behind it.
At the same time that Nekhlyuid .: .v wa.i. app.roa:h-
ing the porch from one side, two pa-.mant .vomien caini
from the other with a full tub. One of th.im wvva. the wvifr,
the other the mother of Yukhvdnka tL:- .hrwi-v..l. The
first was a plump, red-cheeked womar, with .a untriu-ijlly
well-developed' bosom, and broad, fleshy heel:-l,:nl i She
wore a clean shirt, embroidered on the ile-e.- au..l ,'::llar,
an apron similarly decorated, a new blij ;ir iit, leather
shoes, glass beads, and a foppish squ ir, he.:-.l--edar ma.ile
of red paper and spangles.
The end of the yoke did not shake, 1.-it lay fi6rlly :u
her broad and solid shoulder. The li-ht exertion whi':h
was noticeable in her ruddy face, in the :Luratture .tf li r
back, and in the measured motion of her ariri .id. leg.-,
pointed to extraordinary health and ma.-icul:u -treugth.
MORNING OF A LANDED PROPRIETOR 27
YuklhviLuk:t' Litler, \who was carrying the other end
if Lth yI:'ke, w: i, I:.u tl-. ',:o:trary, one of those old women
\lj:o eiew t,:, have re.:h:':l h the extreme limit of old age
Inl dJi.Irlte.tiLati<:.u p..-ible in living man. Her bony
fla mll:, C'o-:.r'-l \with a I.i.i_.k, torn shirt and colourless
Akit. w: i-,- l-.-ut th.it thc: yoke rested more on her back
thl, n c' li i shoulder. Brl:th her hands, with the dis-
to:rtc.l tinger- of \'hiclih sh- seemed to cling to the yoke,
V\'.,:i ,I Of lark l.,a:,.nu lourlour, and seemed incapable of
uulnhellnbg; he:l I.,ri:,,Ini_ head, which was wrapped in a
ra,'r, I.i:re- tlih- mLi,:t mLLn:,.tr,:us traces of wretchedness and
ol: age- From un.l-r hlir narrow brow, which was fur-
ri:\e:i in all d:ir'.A,:tL:nuc iy deep wrinkles, two red eyes,
bi.eeft :fi tlieil l.tlie.. l,:oked dimly to the ground. One
yellh:w tootlh protru.l-..i fr .m her upper sunken lip, and,
shaking conutnuall), Lnow and then collided with her
sharp chin. The wrinkles on the lower part of her face
and throat resembled pouches that kept on shaking with
every motion. She breathed heavily and hoarsely; but
her bare, distorted feet, though apparently shuffling with
difficulty against the ground, moved evenly one after
HAVING almost collided with the master, the youn.
woman deftly put down the tub, looked abashed, made a
bow, glanced timidly at the master with her sparklie
eyes, and trying with the sleeve of her embroidered shirt
to conceal a light smile, and tripping in her leather shoes.
ran up the steps.
Mother, take the yoke to Aunt Nastisya," she said,
stopping in the door and turning to the old woman.
The modest young proprietor looked sternly, but atten-
tively, at the ruddy woman, frowned, and turned to tiSe
old woman, who straightened out the yoke with h':r
crooked fingers, and, slinging it over her shoulder, obedi-
ently directed her steps to the neighboring hut.
Is your son at home?" asked the master.
The old woman bent her arched figure still more,
bowed, and was about to say something, but she put her
hands to her mouth and coughed so convulsively that
Nekhlyidov did not wait for the answer, and walked int'.
Yukhv6nka, who was sitting in the red corner on a
bench, rushed to the oven the moment he espied the mas-
ter, as if trying to hide from him; he hastily pushed
something on the beds, and twitching his mouth and eyes,
pressed against the wall, as if to make way for the master.
Yukhvinka was a blond, about thirty years of age,
spare, slender, with a young beard that ran down to a
point; he would have been a handsome man but for his
SThe best corner, corresponding to a sitting-room, is called "red."
A MORNING OF A LANDED PROPRIETOR 29
fleeting hazel eyes which looked unpleasantly beneath
his wrinkled brows, and for the absence of two front teeth,
which was very noticeable because his lips were short and
in continuous motion. He was clad in a holiday shirt
with bright red gussets, striped calico drawers, and heavy
boots with wrinkled boot-legs.
The interior of YukhvAnka's hut was not so small and
gloomy as Churis's, though it was as close, and smelled of
smoke and sheepskins, and the peasant clothes and uten-
sils were scattered about in the same disorderly fashion.
Two things strangely arrested the attention: a small
dented samovar, which stood on a shelf, and a black
frame with a remnant of a glass, and a portrait of a gen-
eral in a red uniform, which was hanging near the images.
Nekhlyudov looked with dissatisfaction at the samovar,
at the general's portrait, and at the beds, where from
under a rag peeped out the end of a brass-covered pipe,
and turned to the peasant.
"Good morning, Epifin," he said, looking into his eyes.
Epifdn bowed, and mumbled, We wish you health, 'r
Grace," pronouncing the last words with peculiar tender-
ness, and his eyes in a twinkle surveyed the whole form
of the master, the hut, the floor, and the ceiling, not stop-
ping at anything; then he hurriedly walked up to the
beds, pulled down a coat from them, and began to put
"Why are you dressing yourself ?" said Nekhlyddov,
seating himself on a bench, and obviously trying to look
as stern as possible at Epifan.
Please, 'r Grace, how can I? It seems to me we
I came in to see why you must sell a horse, how
many horses you have, and what horse it is you want to
sell," dryly said the master, evidently repeating questions
prepared in advance.
We are well satisfied with 'r Grace, because you have
30 A MORNING OF A LANDED PROPRIETOR
deigned to call on me, a peasant," replied Yukhvanka,
casting rapid glances at the general's portrait, at the oven,
at the master's boots, and at all objects except Nekhlyii-
dov's face. "We always pray God for 'r Grace -"
"Why are you selling a horse?" repeated Nekhlyddov,
raising his voice, and clearing his throat.
YukhvAnka sighed, shook his hair (his glance again
surveyed the whole hut), and, noticing the cat that had
been quietly purring on a bench, he called out to her,
"Scat, you scamp !" and hurriedly turned to the master.
"The horse, 'r Grace, which is useless If it were a
good animal I would not sell it, 'r Grace."
"How many horses have you in all ?"
"Three, 'r Grace."
Have you any colts?"
Why, yes, 'r Grace! I have one colt."
"COME, show me your horses! Are they in the
yard ? "
Yes, 'r Grace. I have done as I have been ordered
to, 'r Grace. Would we dare to disobey 'r Grace ? YAkov
Alpitych commanded me not to let the horses out to
pasture for the next day, as the prince wanted to inspect
them, so we did not let them out. We do not dare dis-
obey 'r Grace."
As Nekhlyudov walked out of the door, Yukhvanka
got the pipe down from the beds, and threw it behind the
oven. His lips quivered just as restlessly, though the
master was not looking at him.
A lean gray mare was rummaging through some musty
hay under the shed; a two-months-old, long-legged colt of
an indefinable colour, with bluish feet and mouth, did not
leave her mother's thin tail that was all stuck up with
burrs. In the middle of the yard stood, blinking and
pensively lowering his head, a thick-bellied chestnut geld-
ing, apparently a good peasant horse.
SAre these all your horses ?"
"By no means, 'r Grace. Here is a little mare and a
little colt," answered Yukhvanka, pointing to the horses
which the master could not help having noticed.
I see that. Now, which one do you want to sell ?"
"This one, 'r Grace," he answered, waving with the flap
of his coat in the direction of the drowsy gelding, con-
tinually blinking, and twitching his lips. The gelding
opened his eyes and lazily turned his back to him.
32 A MORNING OF A LANDED PROPRIETOR
"He does not look old, and is apparently a sound
horse," said Nekhlyidov. Catch him, and show me his
teeth I will find out if he is old."
It is impossible for one person to catch him, 'r Grace.
The whole beast is not worth a penny. He has a temper:
he bites and kicks, 'r Grace," answered Yukhv6nka, smil-
ing merrily, and turning his eyes in all directions.
"What nonsense Catch him, I tell you !"
YukhvAnka smiled for a long time, and shuffled his
feet, and not until Nekhlyidov cried out in anger,
" Well, will you ?" did he run under the shed and bring
a halter. He began to run after the horse, frightening
him, and walking up to him from behind, and not in
The young master was evidently disgusted, and, no
doubt, wanted to show his agility. Give me the halter !"
I pray, 'r Grace How can you ? -"
But Nekhlyutdov walked up to the horse's head and,
suddenly taking hold of his ears, bent it down with such
a force that the gelding, who, as could be seen, was a
very gentle peasant horse, tottered and groaned, in his at-
tempt to tear himself away. When Nekhlyidov noticed
that it was unnecessary to use such force, and when he
glanced at Yukhvanka, who did not cease smiling, the
thought, so offensive at his years, occurred to him that
Yukhvanka was making fun of him and mentally regard-
ing him as a child. He blushed, let the horse go, and
without the help of a halter opened his mouth and ex-
amined his teeth: the teeth were sound, the crowns full,
and the young proprietor was enough informed to know
that all this meant that the horse was young.
Yukhvanka, in the meantime, had gone under the
shed, and, noticing that the harrow was not in place, he
lifted it and put it on edge against the fence.
"Come here!" cried the master, with an expression of
A MOruNING OF A LANDED PROPRIETOR 33
,.hillllk, anu':yau..i : .ii, n lii; face, and almost with tears
O:f tin:lrtilicatioL aI aiu.,'_-,.Ar ilu his voice. "Well, you call
that aiu ':,l..l li,-i', '
-- I pr.y., 'r Gi:,:,:', 1.; i- \lry old, some twenty years
Sil-Lce! Yi.iu art ., li-ir and a good-for-nothing, be-
cau. .. In hv'Ln?- t p~~- Lt \,':ul..l not lie,- he has no cause
to lie!" said Nekhlyuidov, choking with tears of anger,
which rose in his throat. He grew silent in order not to
burst out into tears, and thus disgrace himself before the
peasant. Yukhvanka, too, was silent, and, with the ex-
pression of a man who is ready to burst into tears, snuflled
and slightly jerked his head.
Well, with what animal will you plough your field
when you have sold this horse ?" continued Nekhlytidov,
having calmed down sufficiently to speak in his customary
voice. You are purposely sent to do work on foot, so as
to give your horses a chance to improve for the ploughing,
and you want to sell your last horse. But, the main thing
is, why do you ie ?"
The moment the master grew calm, Yukhvanka quieted
down, too. He stood straight, and, still jerking his lips,
let his eyes flit from one object to another.
We will drive out to work, 'r Grace," he replied, not
worse than the rest."
What will you drive with?"
"Do not worry, we will do the work of 'r Grace," he
answered, shouting to the gelding, and driving him away.
" I should not have thought of selling him if I did not
need the money."
What do you need the money for ? "
"There is no bread, 'r Grace, and I have to pay my
debts to the peasants, 'r Grace."
How so, no bread ? How is it the others, who have
families, have bread, and you, who have none, have not
any ? What has become of your grain ?"
34 A MORNING OF A LANDED PROPRIETOR
We have eaten it up, and now not a crumb is left. I
will buy a horse in the fall, 'r Grace."
You shall not dare sell this horse !"
If so, 'r Grace, what kind of a life will it be ? There
is no bread, and I must not sell anything," he answered
sideways, twitching his lips, and suddenly casting a bold
glance upon the master's face. It means, we shall have
Look here, man!" cried Nekhlyddov, pale with anger,
and experiencing a feeling of personal hatred for the
peasant. I will not keep such peasants as you. It will
go hard with you."
Such will be your will, 'r Grace," he answered, cover-
ing his eyes with a feigned expression of humility, "if I
have not served you right. And yet, nobody has noticed
any vices in me. Of course, if 'r Grace is displeased with
me, 'r Grace will do as you wish; only I do not know
why I should suffer."
"I will tell you why: because your yard is not fenced
in, your manure not ploughed up, your fences are
broken, and you sit at home and smoke a pipe, and do not
work; because you do not give your mother, who has
turned the whole farm over to you, a piece of bread, and
permit your wife to strike her, and have treated her so
badly that she has come to me to complain about you."
I beg your pardon,'r Grace, I do not know what pipes
you are speaking of," Yukhvanka answered, confusedly,
apparently very much insulted by the accusation of smok-
ing a pipe. It is easy to say anything about a man."
There you are lying again I saw myself -"
"How would I dare to lie to 'r Grace ?"
Nekhlyidov was silent, and, biting his lips, paced the
yard. Yukhvinka stood in one spot and, without raising
his eyes, watched his master's feet.
Listen, Epifan," said Nekhlyudov, in a voice of child-
like gentleness, stopping in front of the peasant, and en-
A MORNING OiF A LANDED PROPRIETOR 35
li.av'urring ti:. :u.::il hii ag.itaition. "Bethink yourself.
If y,:'i w.aut to I.e .i i, 2:-:-l p.,.i t, you must change your
life: leave your k-.l h.iL -.t'p lying, give up drinking,
Aid h.-;'iou:'il your mititier.I I l:nvw all about you. Attend
t:o v:lor tfa.in, f ",i. top st-aling timber in the Crown for-
est and fr,'..ql.eutiig the, t.Eavei, What good is there in
it, think' If y'o i-i have nreel of' anything, come to me,
.,rk Etraight c-ilJ for wlh.t yit need, and tell why you
uned it, an;.l ,.lo n-,t lie, but tell the whole truth, and I will
,lit efi-eI youi i utliin I C:an d:o for you."
If y':u plee.--, 'r Ir.i.:e, V\.'- i:an understand 'r Grace!"
,unweir:i.l Yukliinkdll.I. -uiinug, s if fully comprehending
thle ith iri, Of thi- liv .t,.r. '-t.
Thi-: l-wile .Indi i'-ply c',mmipl:etely disappointed Nekh-
lyidl'v, wh.m: h.ai hlimup l to ttouI:h the peasant and bring
him ba(ik :,nu thei tri.' path.l[ I.'y persuasion. And then, it
Ulted imI r Ini -er' f-r hill. \vh was possessed of power, to
peri-tile hii pe.-'lint. aidl it .s- med, too, that everything
hj.- -i-l wa.R :not e:xitly w.h.at he ought to have said. He
lowered his head m sadness and walked into the vestibule.
The old woman was sitting on the threshold and groaning
aloud, in order, as it seemed, to express her sympathy
with the master's words which she had heard.
Here is some money for bread," Nekhlytidov whis-
pered into her ear, putting a bill into her hand. "Only
buy for yourself, and do not give it to Yukhv6nka, who
will spend it in drinks."
The old woman took hold of the lintel with her bony
hand, in order to rise and thank the master, and her head
began to shake, but Nekhlyidov was on the other side of
the street when she rose.
DAVfDKA the White asked for grain and posts," it said
in the note-book after Yukhvynka.
After passing several huts, Nekhlyddov, in turning into
a lane, met his steward, Yakov AlpAtych, who, upon
noticing his master at a distance, doffed his oilcloth cap,
and, taking out his fulled handkerchief, began to wipe his
fat, red face.
"Put it on, Yakov YAkov, put it on, I tell you -"
Where have you been, your Grace ?" asked Yakov,
protecting himself with his cap against the sun, but not
I have been at Yukhvanka the Shrewd's. Tell me, if
you please, what has made him so bad," said the master,
continuing on his way.
"Why so, your Grace ?" replied the manager, following
the master at a respectful distance. He had put on his
cap and was twirling his moustache.
Why ? He is a thorough scamp, a lazy man, a thief,
a liar; he torments his mother, and, so far as I can see,
he is such a confirmed good-for-nothing that he will never
I do not know, your Grace, why he has displeased
you so much-"
And his wife," the master interrupted his manager,
seems to be a worthless wench. The old woman is clad
worse than a mendicant, and has nothing to eat, but she
is all dressed up, and so is he. I really do not know
what to do with them."
A MOiNIN. -:'F .\ LANDED PROPRIETOR 37
Y:ik..'. \.a i,:l.,\i':uly iemibarrassed when Nekhlyiidov
'l:,l:e .:i Vuk t r.inkl-a \it'c.
W,'.I, it lie hliai a:t-ed like that, your Grace," he began,
w,: mui-t ftiLl Um,'aiL. It is true he is indigent, like all
pe.a-uts "~Il.i fte -'h.,u, but he is taking some care of
lhi elf, u.t like the *..th,.-.. He is a clever and intelli-
2,11t rp..-iAt, and' pi:sably honest. He always comes
when the capitation tax is collected. And he has been
elder for three years, during my administration, and no
fault was found with him. In the third year it pleased
the guardian to depose him, and then he attended properly
to his farm. It is true, when he lived at the post in town,
he used to drink a bit, -and measures must be taken.
When he went on a spree, we threatened him, and he
came back to his senses: he was then all right, and in his
family there was peace ; but if you are not pleased to take
these measures, I really do not know what to do with
him. Well, he has got very low. He is not fit to be sent
into the army again because, as you may have noticed, he
lacks two teeth. But he is not the only one, I take the
liberty of reporting to you, who is not in the least afraid "
Let this alone, Ydkov," answered Nekhlyudov, softly
smiling; we have talked it over often enough. You
know what I think of it, and I shall not change my mind,
whatever you may tell me."
"Of course, your Grace, all this is known to you," said
Yakov, shrugging his shoulders and gazing at the master's
back, as though what he saw did not promise anything
good. But as to your troubling yourself about the old
woman, it is all in vain," he continued. It is true she
has brought up the orphans, has raised and married off
YukhvAnka, and all that. But it is a common rule with
the peasants that when a father or mother transfers the
farm to the son, the son and daughter-in-law become the
masters, and the old woman has to earn her bread as best
she can. Of course they have not any tender feelings, but
38 A MORNING OF A LANDED PROPRIETOR
that is the common rule among peasants. And I take the
liberty of informing you that the old woman has troubled
you in vain. She is a clever old woman and a good house-
keeper; but why should she trouble the master for every-
thing ? I will admit she may have quarrelled with her
daughter-in-law, and the daughter-in-law may have pushed
her, those are women's affairs. They might have made
up again, without her troubling you. You deign to take
it too much to heart," said the manager, looking with a
certain gentleness and condescension at the master, who
was silently walking, with long steps, up the street in
front of him.
"Homeward bound, sir ?" he asked.
"No, to Davydka the White, or Kozl6v: is not that his
"He, too, is a good-for-nothing, permit me to inform
you. The whole tribe of the Kozl6vs is like that. No
matter what you may do with them, it has no effect. I
drove yesterday over the peasant field, and I saw he had
not sowed any buckwheat; what are we to do with such
a lot ? If only the old man taught the son, but he is just
such a good-for-nothing: he bungles everything, whether
he works for himself or for the manor. The guardian and
I have tried everything with him: we have sent him to
the commissary's office, and have punished him at home,
- but you do not like that "
Whom, the old man ?"
The old man, sir. The guardian has punished him
often, and at the full gatherings of the Commune; but
will you believe it, your Grace, it had no effect: he just
shook himself, and went away, and did the same. And I
must say, Davydka is a peaceful peasant, and not at all
stupid: he does not smoke, nor drink, that is," explained
YAkov, he does something worse than drink. All there
is left to do is to send him to the army, or to Siberia, and
nothing else. The whole tribe of the Kozl6vs is like that.
A MORNING OF A LANDED PROPRIETOR 39
M.atryvihl;a, who lives in that hovel, also belongs to their
f.anily,.ud l the same kind of an accursed good-for-noth-
ing S: y...u do not need me, your Grace?" added the
iuaiii:,,. ni t icing that the master was not listening to him.
N., y':iu may go," Nekhlyddov answered, absent-
luind'.lly, aud directed his steps to Davydka the White.
Da'. \Nkl: .i' hut stood crooked and alone at the edge of
th:. vll.iL:. Near it was no yard, no kiln, no barn; only
, it:i dulty -talls clung to one side of it: on the other
were heaped in a pile wattles and timber that were to be
used for the yard. Tall, green steppe-grass grew in the
place where formerly had been the yard. There was not
a living being near the hut, except a pig that lay in the
mud in front of the threshold, and squealed.
Nekhlyidov knocked at the broken window; but, as
nobody answered him, he walked up to the vestibule and
shouted: Ho there!" Nobody replied. He walked
through the vestibule, looked into the empty stalls, and
walked through the open door into the hut.
An old red cock and two hens promenaded over the
floor and benches, jerking their crops, and clattering with
their claws. When they saw a man, they fluttered with
wide-spread wings against the walls with a clucking of
despair, and one of them flew upon the oven.
The eighteen-foot hut was all occupied by the oven
with a broken pipe, a weaver's loom which had not been
removed in spite of summer, and a begrimed table with a
warped and cracked board. Though it was dry without,
there was a dirty puddle near the threshold which had
been formed at a previous rain by a leak in the ceiling
and roof. There were no beds. It was hard to believe
that this was an inhabited place, there was such a de-
cided aspect of neglect and disorder, both inside and out-
side the hut; and yet Davydka the White lived in it
with his whole family. At that particular moment, in
spite of the heat of the June day, Davydka lay, his
40 A MORNING OF A LANDED PROPRIETOR
head wrapped in a sheepskin half-coat, on the corner o.i
the oven, fast asleep. The frightened hen, which hi..l
alighted on the oven and had not yet calmed down, w.is
walking over Davfdka's back, without waking him.
Not finding any one in the hut, Nekhlyidov was o:.
the point of leaving, when a protracted, humid sigh be-
trayed the peasant.
Oh, who is there?" cried the master.
On the oven was heard another protracted sigh.
"Who is there ? Come here !"
Another sigh, a growl, and a loud yawn were the answer
to the master's call.
"Well, will you come ?"
Something stirred on the oven. There appeared the
flap of a worn-out sheepskin; a big foot in a torn bast
shoe came down, then another, and finally the whole
form of Davydka the White sat up on the oven, and
lazily and discontentedly rubbed his eyes with his large
fist. He slowly bent his head, yawned, gazed at the hut,
and, when he espied the master, began to turn around a
little faster than before, but still so leisurely that Nekh-
lyddov had sufficient time to pace three times the distance
from the puddle to the loom, before Davydka got off the
Davydka the White was actually white; his hair, his
body, and face, everything was exceedingly white. He
was tall and very stout, that is, stout like a peasant, with
his whole body, and not merely with his belly; but it
was a flabby, unhealthy obesity. His fairly handsome
face, with its dark blue, calm eyes and broad, long beard,
bore the imprint of infirmity. There was neither tan
nor ruddiness in his face; it was of a pale, sallow com-
plexion, with a light violet shade under his eyes, and
looked suffused with fat, and swollen. His hands were
swollen and sallow, like those of people who suffer with
the dropsy, and were covered with fine white hair. He
MORNING OF A LANDED PROPRIETOR 41
was s.:% s.li:. that hi' coi:ul not open his eyes wide, nor
stall -(il. wilth':iut t,:,tt-:,iii and yawning.
r Anre y,:u not vhi.lzrii," began Nekhlyidov, "to sleep
in bl.ri-1ht *daylightL. '.vhn ought to build a yard, and
x l'e, y,:'u b:tve i:, i.' ain a '"'
.\: s1:.n as. I.t l'dka c.iiie to his senses, and began to
uild:erst.ln'l that tli: a.ist-:r was standing before him, he
fohl~led lu. h.iil- over his :abdomen, lowered his head,
turning it a little to one side, and did not stir a limb.
He was silent; but the expression of his face and the
attitude of his whole form said, I know, I know, it is
not the first time I hear that. Beat me if you must, -
I will bear it."
It looked as though he wanted the master to stop
talking and to start beating him at once; to strike him
hard on his cheeks, but to leave him in peace as soon as
When Nekhlyidov noticed that Davydka did not
understand him, he tried with various questions to rouse
the peasant from his servile and patient silence.
"Why did you ask me for timber when you have had
some lying here for a month, and that, too, when you
have most time your own, eh ?"
Davydka kept stubborn silence, and did not stir.
Well, answer !"
Davydka muttered something, and blinked with his
But you must work, my dear: what will happen
without work? Now, you have no grain, and why?
Because your land is badly ploughed, and has not been
harrowed, and was sowed in too late, all on account of
laziness. You ask me for grain: suppose I give it to
you, because you must not starve! It will not do to act
in this way. Whose grain am I giving you ? What do
you think, whose? Answer me: whose grain am I giving
you ?" Nekhlydidov stubbornly repeated his question.
42 A MORNING OF A LANDED PROPRIETOR
"The manorial," mumbled Davydka, timidly and ques-
tioningly raising his eyes.
And where does the manorial grain come from ?
Think of it: who has ploughed the field ? Who has har-
rowed it? Who has sowed it in, and garnered it ? The
peasants? Is it not so ? So you see, if I am to give
the manorial grain to the peasants, I ought to give more
to those who have worked more for it; but you have
worked less, and they complain of you at the manor;
you have worked less, and you ask more. Why should
I give to you, and not to others ? If all were lying on
their sides and sleeping, as you are doing, we should all
have starved long ago. We must work, my friend, but
this is bad,- do you hear, Davd ?"
"I hear, sir," he slowly muttered through his teeth.
.JUt r th:-n the- head of a peasant woman carrying linen
_L.u F yo.ke thlh:i by the window, and a minute later
Davydka's mother entered the hut. She was a tall
woman of about fifty years, and was well preserved and
active. Her pockmarked and wrinkled face was not
handsome, but her straight, firm nose, her compressed thin
lips, and her keen gray eyes expressed intelligence and
energy. The angularity of her shoulders, the flatness of
her bosom, the bony state of her hands, and the well-
developed muscles on her black bare feet witnessed to
the fact that she had long ceased to be a woman, and
was only a labourer.
She entered boldly into the room, closed the door,
pulled down her skirt, and angrily looked at her son.
Nekhlytidov wanted to tell her something, but she turned
away from him, and began to make the signs of the
cross before a black wooden image that peered out from
behind the loom. Having finished her devotion, she
straightened out her dirty checkered kerchief in which
her head was wrapped, and made a low obeisance before
A pleasant Lord's Day to your Grace," she said.
"May God preserve you, our father "
When Davydka saw his mother he evidently became
embarrassed, bent his back a little, and lowered his neck
Thank you, Arina," answered Nekhlyidov. I have
just been speaking with your son about your farm."
44 A MORNING OF A LANDED PROPRIETOR
Arna, or, as the peasants had called her when she was
still a maiden, Anrishka-Burlik,1 supported her chin with
the fist of her right hand, which, in its turn, was resting
on the palm of her left hand; and, without hearing what
the master had still to say, began to speak in such a pen-
etrating and loud voice that the whole hut was filled with
sound, and in the street it might have appeared that sev-
eral women were speaking at the same time.
What use, father, is there of speaking to him? He
can't even speak like a man. There he stands, block-
head," she continued, contemptuously pointing with her
head to Davydka's wretched, massive figure. My farm,
your Grace ? We are mendicants; there are no people in
your whole village more wretched: we have neither of
our own, nor anything for the manorial dues -a shame!
He has brought us to all this. I bore him, raised, and
fed him, and with anticipation waited for him to grow up.
Here he is: the grain is bursting, but there is no more
work in him than in this rotten log. All he knows how
to do is to lie on the oven, or to stand and scratch his
stupid head," she said, mocking him. "If you, father,
could threaten him somehow! I beg you: punish him
for the Lord's sake; send him to the army, and make an
end of it. I have lost my patience with him, I tell
"How is it you are not ashamed, Davfdka, to bring
your mother to such a state?" said Nekhlyiidov, re-
proachfully turning to the peasant.
Dav-dka did not budge.
"It would be different if he were a sickly man," Arina
continued, with the same vivacity and gestures, but you
look at him, he is fatter than a mill pig. He is a good-
looking chap, fit enough to work! But no, he lies like a
lubber all day on the oven. My eyes get tired looking
when he undertakes to do something; when he rises, or
1 Burlik is a labourer towing boats up the V61ga.
A MORNING OF A LANDED PROPRIETOR 45
m.,ves. o:r aiytllng." -.L said, drawling her words and
nakv.\ardly triinlg her ,ligular shoulders from side to
:le. Now, ft:1 e fx:mple. to-day the old man has gone
f-..r Il.'rllbw. 1:.1 it ht. the foi:.st, and he has told him to dig
h:ole; liit Ljnu:. uL:t he, ihe has not had the spade in his
Lhal d- She greIw ;ilent for a moment. "He has
ih..l.:,ti me, al.':aud,:,u'..l ..-,man ]" she suddenly whined,
\\n\'iug li'i lai,.l, ,.il walking up to her son with a
tlie-ite:nng ge-tur-. ** Your smooth, good-for-nothing
snout, the Lord forgive me!"
She turned away contemptuously and in despair from
him, spit out, and again turned to the master, continuing
to wave her hands, with the same animation and with
tears in her eyes:
I am all alone, benefactor. My old man is sick and
old, and there is little good in him, and I am all sole
alone. It is enough to make a stone burst. It would be
easier if I just could die; that would be the end. He has
worn me out, that rascal! Our father I have no more
strength! My daughter-in-law died from work, and I
WHAT, died ?" Nekhlyddov asked, incredulously.
She died from exertion, benefactor, as God is holy.
We took her two years ago from Babdrin," she continued,
suddenly changing her angry expression to one of tearful-
ness and sadness. She was a young, healthy, obedient
woman, father. She had lived, as a maiden, in plenty, at
her father's home, and had experienced no want; but
when she came to us, and had to do the work, -in the
manor and at home, and everywhere She and I, that
was all there was. To me it did not matter much. I am
used to it, but she was pregnant, and began to suffer; and
she worked all the while beyond her strength, until she,
my dear girl, overworked herself. Last year, during St.
Peter's Fast, she, to her misfortune, bore a boy, and there
was no bread; we barely managed to pick up something,
father; the hard work was on hand, and her breasts dried
up. It was her first-born, there was no cow, and we are
peasant people, and it is not for us to bring up children
on the bottle; and, of course, she was a foolish woman,
and worried her life away. And when her baby died, she
cried and cried from sorrow, and sobbed and sobbed, my
darling, and there was want, and work, ever worse and
worse; she wore herself out all summer, and died, my
darling, on the day of St. Mary's Intercession. It is he
who has undone her, beast She again turned to her son
with the anger of despair. "I wanted to ask you, your
Grace," she continued after a short silence, lowering her
head, and bowing.
A MI:T.NING OF A LANDED PROPRIETOR 47
W \\hat ir it '" Nekhlyudov asked absent-mindedly, still
,,tn t,.d I.y lilt recital.
HIe i- .1 y':Iug man yet. You can't expect much work
fi'.in me; tK-Il.ay I am alive, to-morrow dead. How can
hit: he withLout wife? He will not be a peasant, if he is
Lt m.irri:.I. HIIave pity on us, father."
That is, you want to marry him off? Well ?"
"Do us this favour before God! You are our father
She gave her son a sign, and both dropped on the
ground before their master's feet.
"Why do you make these earth obeisances?" said
Nekhlyidov, angrily raising her by her shoulder. Can't
you tell it without doing so ? You know that I do not
like it. Marry off your son, if you wish. I should be
glad to hear that you have a bride in view."
The old woman rose, and began to wipe off her dry
eyes with her sleeve. Davfdka followed her example,
and, having wiped his eyes with his dry fist, continued to
stand in the same patient and subservient attitude as
before, and to listen to what Arina was saying.
There is a bride, why not ? Mikh4y's Vasyutka is a
likely enough girl, but she will not marry him without
"Does she not consent?"
No, benefactor, not if it comes to consenting."
"Well, then what is to be done? I cannot compel
her; look for another girl, if not here, elsewhere; I will
buy her out, as long as she will give her own consent,
but you can't marry by force. There is no law for that,
and it would be a great sin."
0 benefactor But is it likely that any girl would
be willing to marry him, seeing our manner of life and
poverty ? Even a soldier's wife would not wish to take
upon herself such misery. What peasant will be willing
to give his daughter to us ? The most desperate man will
48 A MORNING OF A LANDED PROPRIETOR
not give his. We are mendicants, and nothing else.
They will say that we have starved one woman, and
would do so with their daughter. Who will give his?"
she added, skeptically shaking her head. "Consider this,
"But what can I do ?"
"Think of some plan for us, father !" Arina repeated,
persuasively. What are we to do ?"
What plan can I find ? I can do nothing for you in
"Who will do something for us, if not you ?" said
Arina, dropping her head, and waving her hands with an
expression of sad perplexity.
You have asked for grain, and I will order it to be
given to you," said the master, after a short silence, during
which Arina drew deep breaths and Davydka seconded
her. That is all I can do."
Nekhlyddov stepped into the vestibule. The woman
and her son followed the master, bowing.
0 My orphanhood '" -aid Arina, drawing a deep
She stopped, and angrily looked at her son. Davydka
immediately wheeled around and, with difficulty lifting
his fat leg, in an immense dirty bast shoe, over the
threshold, was lost in the opposite door.
What am I going to do with him, father?" continued
Arina, turning to the master. You see yourself what he
is He is not a bad peasant: he does not drink, is peace-
ful, and would not harm a child, it would be a sin to
say otherwise; there is nothing bad about him, and God
only knows what it is that has befallen him that he has
become his own enemy. He himself is not satisfied with
it. Really, father, it makes my heart bleed when I see
how he worries about it himself. Such as he is, my womb
has borne him; I am sorry, very sorry for him! He
would do no harm to me, or his father, or the authorities;
he is a timid man, I might say, like a child. How can he
remain a widower? Do something for us, benefactor,"
she repeated, evidently trying to correct the bad impres-
sion which her scolding might have produced on the
master. "Your Grace;' she continued, in a confidential
whisper, "I have reasoned this way and that way, but
I can't make out what has made him so. It cannot be
otherwise but that evil people have bewitched him."
She was silent for a moment.
"If the man could be found, he might be cured."
50 A MORNING OF A LANDED PROPRIETOR
What nonsense you are talking, Arina How can
one bewitch ?"
Father, they can bewitch so as to make one a no-man
for all his life There are many evil people in the world 1
Out of malice they take out a handful of earth in one's
track-or something else-and one is a no-man for
ever. It is easy to sin I have been thinking of going
to see old man DundUk, who lives at Vorob4vka: he
knows all kinds of incantations, and he knows herbs, and
he takes away the evil eye, and draws the dropsy out of
the spine. Maybe he will help !" said the woman.
"Maybe he will cure him! "
"Now that is wretchedness and ignorance!" thought
the young master, sorrowfully bending his head, and
walking with long strides down the village. "What
shall I do with him ? It is impossible to leave him in
this state, on my account, and as an example for others,
and for his own sake," he said to himself, counting out
the causes on his fingers. "I cannot see him in this con-
dition, but how am I to take him out of it ? He destroys
all my best plans for the estate. If such peasants are
left in it, my dreams will never be fulfilled," he thought,
experiencing mortification and anger against the peasant
for destroying his plans. Shall I send him as a settler
to Siberia, as Yakov says, when he does not want to be
well off, or into the army ? That's it. I shall at least
be rid of him, and shall thus save a good peasant,"
He thought of it with delight; at the same time a cer-
tain indistinct consciousness told him that he was think-
ing with one side of his reason only, and something was
wrong. He stopped. "Wait, what am I thinking about ?"
he said to himself; "yes, into the army, to Siberia. For
what ? He is a good man, better than many others, and
how do I know Give him his liberty? he reflected,
considering the question not with one side of his reason
A MO1.NIN; O'F .A LANDED PROPRIETOR 51
:.Dulv, [as bef,:re. It is uuju-t, and impossible." Sud-
denlyl. a th.:.ught C.-1i111 t... hliii that gave him great pleasure;
h- smileil. with the fexpr..ssi.:ni of a man who has solved a
*lit .ult ,r,:ileIm. "I v.ill take him to the manor," he
said to himself. -' I will watch over him myself, and with
gentleness and persuasion, and proper selection of occupa-
tions, accustom him to work, and reform him."
"I WILL do so," Nekhlyudov said to himself .ith
cheerful self-satisfaction, and, recalling that he hail to:
visit yet the rich peasant, Dutl6v, he directed his step, t,:
a tall and spacious building, with two chimneys, wLi..h
stood in the middle of the village. As he was getting
near it, he met, near the neighboring hut, a tall, slatte i ly
woman, of some forty years of age, who came out to
"A pleasant holiday, sir," the woman said, without ithe
least timidity, stopping near him, smiling pleasantly, aul
"Good morning, nurse," he answered. "How are yo:.
getting on ? I am going to see your neighbour."
Yes, your Grace, that is good. But why do you u-.t
deign to call on us? My old man would be ever i:
happy to see you."
Well, I will come in, to talk with you, nurse. Is thi,
your hut ?"
And the nurse ran ahead. Nekhlyidov walked after
her into the vestibule, sat down on a pail, took out a
cigarette, and lighted it.
"It is hot there; let us stay here and talk," he answ.rctl
to the nurse's invitation to walk into the hut.
The nurse was still in her prime, and a fine-looking
woman. In her features, and especially in her large black
eyes, there was a great resemblance to the master's fa',:c.
She put her hands under her apron, and, boldly looking
A MORNING OF A LANDED PROPRIETOR 53
at the min-ter and continually shaking her head, began
tu [,.eak with him:
V W'hat ij the reason, sir, you are honouring Dutl6v
with a visit ?"
I want him to rent from me thirty desyatinas1 of land,
and start a farm of his own, and also to buy some tim-
ber with me. He has money, why should it lie idle ?
What do you think about that, nurse ? "
"Well! Of course, sir, the Dutl6vs are powerful people.
I suppose he is the first peasant in the whole estate,"
answered the nurse, nodding her head. "Last year he
added a new structure out of his own timber,- he did
not trouble the master. Of horses, there will be some six
sets of three, outside of colts and yearlings; and of stock,
there are so many cows and sheep that when they drive
them home from the field, and the women go out to
drive them into the yard, there is a terrible crush at the
gate; and of bees, there must be two hundred hives, and
maybe more. He is a powerful peasant, he must have
"Do you think he has much money?" the master
"People say, of course, out of malice, that the man has
a great deal; naturally, he would not tell, nor would he
let his sons know, but he must have. Why should he not
put his money out for a forest? Unless he should be
afraid to let out the rumour about having money. Some
five years ago he invested a little money in bottom meadows
with Shkilik the porter; but I think ShkAlik cheated
him, so that the old man was out of three hundred roubles;
since then he has given it up. And why should he not
be well fixed, your Grace," continued the nurse, "he is
living on three parcels of land, the family is large, all
workers, and the old man himself there is nothing to
be said against him -is a fine manager. He has luck in
'A desyatina is equal to 2,400 square fathoms.
54 A MORNING OF A LANDED PROPRIETOR
*everything, so that the people are all wondering; he has
luck with the grain, with the horses, the cattle, the bees,
-and his children. He has married them all off. He
found wives for them among his own, and now he has
married Ilydshka to a free girl,- he has himself paid for
her emancipation. And she has turned out to be a fine
"Do they live peaceably ?" asked the master.
"As long as there is a real head in the house, there
will be peace. Though with the Dutl6vs it is as else-
where with women: the daughters-in-law quarrel behind
the oven, yet the sons live peacefully together under the
The nurse grew silent for a moment.
"Now the old man wants to make his eldest son, Karp,
the master of the house. He says he is getting too old
and that his business is with the bees. Well, Karp is a
good man, an accurate man, but he will not be such a
manager as the old man, by a good deal. He has not his
"Maybe Karp will be willing to take up land and
forests, what do you think ? said the master, wishing to
find out from his nurse what she knew about her neigh-
I doubt it, sir," continued the nurse; "the old man
has not disclosed his money to his son. As long as the
old man is alive, and the money is in his house, his mind
will direct affairs; besides, they are more interested in
And the old man will not consent? "
"He will be afraid."
"What will he be afraid of ?"
"How can a manorial peasant declare his money, sir ?
There might be an unlucky hour, and all his money would
be lost! There, he went into partnership with the porter,
and he made a mistake. How could he sue him ? And
A MORNING OF A LANDED PROPRIETOR 55
thus the money was all lost; and with the proprietor it
would be lost without appeal."
Yes, on this account- said Nekhlyddov, blushing.
Good-bye, your Grace. I thank you humbly."
HAD I not better go home ?" thought Nekhlyudov,
walking up to Dutl6v's gate, and feeling an indefinable
melancholy and moral fatigue.
Just then the new plank gate opened before him with
a creak, and a fine-looking, ruddy, light-complexioned lad,
of about eighteen years of age, in driver's attire, appeared
in the gateway, leading behind him a set of three stout-
legged, sweaty, shaggy horses; boldly shaking his flaxen
hair, he bowed to the master.
Is your father at home, Ily ?" asked Nekhlyddov.
He is with the bees, back of the yard," answered the
lad, leading one horse after another through the half-open
No, I will stick to my determination; I will make
the proposition to him, and will do my part," thought
Nekhlyldov, and, letting the horses pass by, he went into
Dutl6v's spacious yard. He could see that the manure
had lately been removed: the earth was still black and
sweaty, and in places, particularly near the gate, lay
scattered red-fibred shreds. In the yard, and under the
high sheds, stood in good order many carts, ploughs,
sleighs, blocks, tubs, and all kinds of peasant possessions.
Pigeons flitted to and fro and cooed in the shade under
the broad, solid rafters. There was an odour of manure
In one corner Karp and Igndt were fixing a new tran-
som-bed on a large, three-horse, steel-rimmed cart. Dut-
d1v's three sons resembled each other very much. The
.\ MIOI:NN-. OF A LANDED PROPRIETOR 57
yi-:un':st. Ilya, vwh,:ri Nekhlyuidov had met in the gate,
hadt no: Im.,e.iI,. aud was smaller, ruddier, and more fop-
[pichly ,: lad thau the other two. The second, Igndt, was
tall.tr, nilii t.inu.l, had a pointed beard, and, although
le t,.:: w\':'r: Il::ts,, a driver's shirt, and a lambskin cap, he
dlidi not lave. the .i areless, holiday aspect of his younger
l'rotht.r Tlih'e 'aIle-t. Karp, was taller still, wore bast
Ih':"!, .1 'ray i:altn, and a shirt without gussets; he had
a; oIug i.,d I,..1d:l. .nd. looked not only solemn, but even
** Do y':ou ''_:mLni iud. me to send for father, your Grace ?"
he i.tl, w.-lliujg up to the master and bowing slightly
:au,.I .wlk a.:arlly.
.' N:1, I w ill ': myself to the apiary; I wish to look at
his arrangement ot it; but I want to talk with you," said
Nekhlyuidov, walking over to the other end of the yard,
so that Ignat might not hear what he was going to say to
The self-confidence and a certain pride, which were
noticeable in the whole manner of these two peasants,
and that which his nurse had told him, so embarrassed
the young master that he found it hard to make up his
mind to tell him of the matter in hand. He felt as
though he were guilty of something; and it was easier for
him to speak to one of the brothers, without being heard
by the other. Karp looked somewhat surprised at being
asked by the master to step aside, but he followed him.
It is this," began Nekhlyidov, hesitating, "I wanted
to ask you how many horses you had."
"There will be some five sets of three; there are also
some colts," Karp answered, freely, scratching his back.
"Do your brothers drive the stage ?"
We drive the stage with three tr6ykas. Ilyiishka
has been doing some hauling; he has just returned."
Do you find that profitable ? How much do you earn
in this manner ?"
58 A MORNING OF A LANDED PROPRIETOR
What profit can there be, your Grace ? We just feed
ourselves and the horses, and God be thanked for that."
"Then why do you not busy yourselves with some-
thing else ? You might buy some forest or rent some
Of course, your Grace, we might rent some land, if it
"This is what I want to propose to you. What is the
use of teaming, just to earn your feed, when you can rent
some thirty desyatinas of me ? I will let you have the
whole parcel which lies behind Sdpov's, and you can start
a large farm."
Nekhlyudov was now carried away by his plan of a
peasant farm, which he had thought over and recited
to himself more than once, and he began to expound to
Karp, without stammering, his plan of a peasant farm.
Karp listened attentively to the words of the master.
We are very well satisfied with your favour," he said,
when Nekhlyuidov stopped and looked at him, expecting
an answer. Of course, there is nothing bad in this. It
is better for a peasant to attend to the soil than to flourish
his whip. Peasants of our kind get easily spoilt, when
they travel among strange men, and meet all kinds of
people. There is nothing better for a peasant than to
busy himself with the land."
"What do you think of it, then?"
"As long as father is alive, your Grace, there is no use
in my thinking. His will decides."
"Take me to the apiary; I will talk to him."
"This way, if you please," said Karp, slowly turning
toward the barn in the back of the yard. He opened a
low gate which led to the beehives, and, letting the mas-
ter walk through it, and closing it, he walked up to Ignit,
and resumed his interrupted work.
NEiKllY'L'froV L.bent Ills hI ld, and passed through the low
gate underneath the shady shed to the apiary, which was
back of the yard. The small space, surrounded by straw
and a wicker fence which admitted the sunlight, where
stood symmetrically arranged the beehives, covered with
small boards, and surrounded by golden bees circling nois-
ily about them, was all bathed in the hot, brilliant rays
of the June sun.
A well-trodden path led from the gate through the
middle of the apiary to a wooden-roofed cross with a
brass-foil image upon it, which shone glaringly in the sun.
A few stately linden-trees, which towered with their curly
tops above the straw thatch of the neighboring yard,
rustled their fresh dark green foliage almost inaudibly, on
account of the buzzing of the bees. All the shadows
from the roofed fence, from the lindens, and from the bee-
hives that were covered with boards, fell black and short
upon the small, wiry grass that sprouted between the
The small, bent form of an old man, with his uncovered
gray, and partly bald, head shining in the sun, was seen
near the door of a newly thatched, moss-calked plank
building, which was situated between the lindens. Upon
hearing the creaking of the gate, the old man turned
around and, wiping off his perspiring, sunburnt face with
the skirt of his shirt, and smiling gently and joyfully,
came to meet the master.
The apiary was so cosy, so pleasant, so quiet, and so
60 A MORNING OF A LANDED PROPRIETOR
sunlit; the face of the gray-haired old man, with the
abundant ray-like wrinkles about his eyes, in his wide
shoes over his bare feet, who, waddling along and smiling
good-naturedly and contentedly, welcomed the master in
his exclusive possessions, was so simple-hearted and kind,
that Nekhlyuidov immediately forgot the heavy impres-
sions of the morning, and his favourite dream rose up
before him. He saw all his peasants just as rich and
good-natured as old Dutl6v, and all smiled kindly and joy-
ously at him, because they owed to him alone all their
wealth and happiness.
Will you not have a net, your Grace ? The bees are
angry now, and they sting," said the old man, taking down
from the fence a dirty linen bag fragrant with honey,
which was sewed to a bark hoop, and offering it to the
master. The bees know me, and do not sting me," he
added, with a gentle smile, which hardly ever left his
handsome, sunburnt face.
"Then I shall not need it, either. Well, are they
swarming already?" asked Nekhlyiidov, also smiling,
though he knew not why.
"They are swarming, Father Dmitri Nikoldevich," an-
swered the old man, wishing to express his especial kind-
ness by calling his master by his name and patronymic,
"but they have just begun to do it properly. It has
been a cold spring, you know."
I have read in a book," began Nekhly~dov, warding
off a bee that had lost itself in his hair, and was buzzing
over his very ear, "that when the combs are placed
straight on little bars, the bees begin to swarm earlier.
For this purpose they make hives out of boards with
"Please do not wave your hand, it will make it only
worse," said the old man. Had I not better give you
the net ?"
Nekhlyudov was experiencing pain, but a certain child-
A MOPNIN'.I OF A LANDED PROPRIETOR 61
i-h cou,':,it pi.veunt.I him filui, acknowledging it; he
;agIi refu-a'- the net, and i-ouatlued to tell the old man
abol.iat tht : ion-trir ti, n of beehlies, of which he had read
in the MaiI:Lu 1:Lliti:qu,:-,' ani.L in which the bees, accord-
ijg to: hl opino.nL, would i.waiui twice as much; but a
i,:- -tuli, hIii nl:-:k, .-nd lie stopl'.ed confused in the mid-
dle ,:I hi- -giitn,-it.
T- That i .- O:. Flthi:'er DiLtri Nikolevich," said the old
maIn pl.ranci;ng t tihe l, iitter vith fatherly condescension,
* they write .: in b...t.k-. But they may write so mali-
ciously. Let him do,' they probably say, 'as we write,
and we will have the laugh on him.' I believe that is
possible! For how are you going to teach the bees where
to build their combs? They fix them in the hollow
blocks as they please, sometimes crossways, and at others
straight. Look here, if you please," he added, uncorking
one of the nearest blocks, and looking through the open-
ing, which was covered with buzzing and creeping bees
along the crooked combs. Now here, these young ones,
they have their mind on a queen bee, but they build the
comb straightways and aslant, just as it fits best into
the block," said the old man, obviously carried away by
his favourite subject, and not noticing the master's condi-
tion. "They are coming heavily laden to-day, it is a
warm day, and everything can be seen," he added, corking
up the hive, and crushing a creeping bee with a rag, and
then brushing off with his coarse hand a few bees from
his wrinkled brow. The bees did not sting him. But
Nekhlyddov could no longer repress his desire to run out
of the apiary; the bees had stung him in three places,
and they were buzzing on all sides about his head and
"Have you many hives ?" he asked, retreating to the
As many as God has given," answered Dutl6v, smil-
ing. "One must -not count them, father! the bees do
62 A MORNING OF A LANDED PROPRIETOR
not like that. Now, your Grace, I wanted to ask yo:i,
he continued, pointing, to thin hives that stood near tl,:
fence, "in regard to Osip, the nurse's husband. Coull
you not tell him to stop it? It is mean to act thus to a
neighbour of your own village."
"What is mean ? But they do sting me!" answ -r-e
the master, taking hold of the latch of the gate.
"Every year he lets out his bees against my young
ones. They ought to have a chance to improve, but
somebody else's bees steal their wax, and do other dam-
age," said the old man, without noticing the master's
"All right, later, directly," said Nekhlyudov, and, un-
able to stand the pain any longer, he rushed out of the
gate, defending himself with both hands.
"Rub it in with dirt; it will pass," said the old man,
following the master into the yard. The master rubbed
with dirt the place where he had been stung, blushingly
looked at Karp and Ignit, who did not see him, and
I WANTED to ask your Grace about my children," said
the old man, accidentally or purposely paying no atten-
tion to the master's angry look.
"Thank the Lord, we are well off for horses, and we
have a hired man, so there will be no trouble about the
"What of it ?"
"If you would be kind enough to let my sons substitute
money payment for their manorial labour, Ilyuishka and
Ign6t would take out three tr6ykas to do some teaming
all summer. They may be able to earn something."
"Where will they go ?"
Wherever it may be," replied Ilyuishka, who had in the
meantime tied the horses under the shed, and had come
up to his father. The KadmA boys took eight tr6ykas
out to R6men, and they made a good living, and brought
back home thirty roubles for each tr6yka; and they say
fodder is cheap in Odessa."
"It is precisely this that I wanted to talk to you
about," said the master, turning to the old man, and try-
ing to introduce the discussion about the farm as deftly
as possible. Tell me, if you please, is it more profitable
to do hauling than attend to a farm ?"
"No end more profitable, your Grace!" again inter-
rupted Ilyi, boldly shaking his hair. There is no fodder
at home to feed the horses with."
64 A MORNING OF A LANDED PROPRIETOR
Well, and how much do you expect to earn w .
In the spring, when fodder was dreadfully expensive,
we travelled to Kiev with goods; in Kursk we again
took a load of grits for Moscow, and we made our living,
the horses had enough to eat, and I brought fifteen roubles
It is not a disgrace to have an honest trade," said the
master, again turning to the old man, "but it seems to
me one might find another occupation; besides, it is a
kind of work where a young fellow travels about, sees all
kinds of people, and gets easily spoilt," he said, repeating
"What are we peasants to take up, if not hauling?"
answered the old man, with his gentle smile. "If you
have a good job at teaming, you yourself have enough
to eat, and so have the horses. And as to spoiling,
thank the Lord, they are not hauling the first year; and I
myself have done teaming, and have never seen anything
bad, nothing but good."
There are many things you might take up at home:
land and meadows "
How can we, your Grace?" Ilyuishka interrupted him
with animation. "We were born for this; we know all
about it; the business is adapted to us, and we like it
very much, your Grace, and there is nothing like teaming
for us fellows."
"Your Grace, will you do us the honour to walk into
the hut? You have not yet seen our new house," said
the old man, bowing low, and winking to his son.
Ilytishka ran at full speed into the hut, and Nekhlyddov
followed him, with the old man.
WHEN they entered the hut, the old man bowed again,
wiped off the bench in the front corner with the flap of his
coat, and, smiling, asked:
What may we serve to you, your Grace ? "
The hut was white (with a chimney), spacious, and had
both hanging and bench beds. The fresh aspen-wood
beams, between which the moss-calking had just begun to
fade, had not yet turned black; the new benches and beds
had not yet become smooth, and the floor was not yet
A young, haggard peasant woman, with an oval, pensive
face, Ilyd's wife, was sitting on the bench-bed, and rock-
ing with her foot a cradle that hung down from the ceiling
by a long pole. In the cradle a suckling babe lay stretched
out, and slept, barely breathing, and closing its eyes.
Another, a plump, red-cheeked woman, Karp's wife, stood,
with her sunburnt arms bared above the elbows, near
the oven, and cut onions into a wooden bowl. A third, a
pockmarked, pregnant woman, stood at the oven, shielding
herself with her sleeve. The hut was hot, not only from
the sun, but from the oven also, and was fragrant with
freshly baked bread. From the hanging beds the flaxen
heads of two boys and a girl, who had climbed there in
expectation of dinner, looked down with curiosity at the
Nekhlyddov was happy to see this well-being; but, at
the same time, he felt embarrassed before these women
66 A MORNING OF A LANDED PROPRIETOR
and children who gazed at him. He sat down on th e
Give me a piece of warm bread, I like it," he said, ;,nd
blushed even more.
Karp's wife cut off a big slice of bread, and handed it
to the master on a plate. Nekhlyudov was silent, u.t
knowing what to say; the women were silent, too; th.:
old man smiled gently.
"Really, what am I ashamed of? I am acting :s
though I were guilty of something," thought Nekhlydi.kv.
"Why should I not make the proposition about the f.irl
to him? How foolish !" But still he kept silent.
"Well, Father Dmitri Nikol6evich, what will y:,iur
order be about the boys ?" said the old man.
I should advise you not to send them away, but to
find work for them here," suddenly spoke Nekhlyudov,
taking courage. Do you know what I have thought
out for you ? Buy in partnership with me a young grove
in the Crown forest, and fields -"
"How, your Grace ? Where shall I get the money for
it ? he interrupted the master.
"A small grove, for about two hundred roubles," re-
The old man smiled angrily.
It would not hurt to buy it if I had the money," he
Do you mean to tell-me you have not that amount ?"
said the master, reproachfully.
Oh, your Grace !" answered the old man, in a sorrow-
ful voice, looking at the door. "I have enough to do to
feed the family, and it is not for me to buy groves."
But you have money, and why should it lie idle?"
The old man became greatly agitated; his eyes flashed,
he began to shrug his shoulders.
"It may be evil people have told you something about
.A Ml:I;[NIN' OF A LANDED PROPRIETOR 67
ne." he .pk':'k lu a trembling voice, but, as you believe
III G;od," h, I. s.d, b,:'coming more and more animated, and
tur Lg hli e\e,- to: the image, may my eyes burst, may I
: thrilugh the tL:d:r, if I have anything outside of the
fitt[Utnl iubl which h Ilyushka has brought me, and I
must pa) the capitation tax, and, you know yourself,
I have just built a new hut-"
All right, all right !" said the master, rising from the
bench. "Good-bye, people!"
"MY God My God!" thought Nekhlyidov, making
his way with long strides to the house through the shady
avenues of the weed-grown garden, and absent-mindedly
tearing off leaves and branches on his way. Is it possible
all my dreams of the aims and duties of my life have been
absurd ? Why do I feel so oppressed and melancholy, as
though I were dissatisfied with myself, whereas I had
imagined that the moment I entered on the path, I would
continually experience that fulness of a morally satisfied
feeling which I had experienced when these thoughts
came to me for the first time?"
He transferred himself, in imagination, with extraordi-
nary vividness and clearness, a year back, to that blissful
He had risen early in the morning before everybody in
the house, painfully agitated by some secret, inexpressi-
ble impulses of youth; had aimlessly walked into the
garden, thence into the forest; and, amidst the strong,
luscious, but calm Nature of a May day, he had long
wandered alone, without thought, suffering from an excess
of some feeling, and unable to find an expression for it.
His youthful imagination, full of the charm of the
unknown, represented to him the voluptuous image of
a woman, and it seemed to him that this was the unex-
pressed desire. But another higher feeling said to him,
"Not this," and compelled him to seek something else.
Then again, his vivid imagination, rising higher and
higher, into the sphere of abstractions, opened up to him,
A MORNING; OF A LANDED PROPRIETOR 69
as he thought, the laws of being, and he dwelt with proud
delight upon these thoughts. And again a higher feeling
said, "Not this," and again caused him to seek and be
Without ideas and desires, as always happens after an
intensified activity, he lay down on his back under a tree,
and began to gaze at the translucent morning clouds,
which scudded above him over the deep, endless sky.
Suddenly tears stood, without any cause, in his eyes, and,
God knows how, there came to him the clear thought,
which filled his soul, and which he seized with delight, -
the thought that love and goodness were truth and hap-
piness, and the only truth and possible happiness in the
world. A higher feeling did not say, Not this," and he
arose, and began to verify his thought.
"It is, it is, yes!" he said to himself in ecstasy, meas-
uring all his former convictions, all the phenomena of life,
with the newly discovered and, as he thought, entirely
new truth. How stupid is all which I have known, and
which I have believed in and loved," he said to himself.
" Love, self-sacrifice, these constitute the only true hap-
piness which is independent of accident!" he repeated,
smiling, and waving his hands. He applied this thought
to life from every side, and he found its confirmation in
life, and in the inner voice which told him, It is this,"
and he experienced a novel feeling of joyful agitation and
transport. "And thus, I must do good in order to be
happy," he thought, and all his future was vividly pictured
to him, not in the abstract, but in concrete form, in the
shape of a landed proprietor.
He saw before him an immense field of action for his
whole life, which he would henceforth devote to doing
good, and in which he, consequently, would be happy.
He would not have to look for a sphere of action: it was
there; he had a direct duty, he had peasants -
What refreshing and grateful labour his imagination
70 A MORNING OF A LANDED PROPRIETOR
evoked: "To act upon this simple, receptive, uncorrupted
class of people; to save them from poverty; to give them
a sufficiency; to transmit to them the education which I
enjoy through good fortune; to reform their vices which
are the issue of ignorance and superstition; to develop
their morality ; to cause them to love goodness What a
brilliant and happy future! And I, who will be doing it
all for my own happiness, shall enjoy their gratitude, and
shall see how with every day I come nearer and nearer to
the goal which I have set for myself. Enchanting future!
How could I have failed to see it before ?
And besides," he thought at the same time, who pre-
vents my being happy in my love for a woman, in
domestic life ?"
And his youthful imagination painted a still more
entrancing future to him.
"I and my wife, whom I love as no one in the world
has ever loved, will always live amidst this tranquil, poeti-
cal country Nature, with our children, perhaps with an old
aunt. We have a common love, the love for our children,
and both of us know that our destiny is goodness. We
help each other to walk toward this goal. I take general
measures, furnish general and just assistance, start a farm,
savings-banks, factories; but she, with her pretty little
head, in a simple white dress, lifted over her dainty foot,
walks through the mud to the peasant school, to the hos-
pital, to some unfortunate peasant, who really does not
deserve any aid, and everywhere she consoles and helps -
The children and the old men and women worship her,
and look upon her as upon an angel, a vision. Then she
returns home, and she conceals from me that she has gone
to see the unfortunate peasant, and has given him money;
but I know everything, and I embrace her tightly, and
firmly and tenderly kiss her charming eyes, her bashfully
blushing cheeks, and her smiling ruddy lips -"
"WHERE are these dreams?" now thought the youth,
as he approached his house after his visits. "It is now
more than a year that I have been seeking happiness upon
this road, and what have I found ? It is true, at times I
feel that I might be satisfied with myself, but it is a kind
of dry, mental satisfaction. Yes and no, I am simply dis-
satisfied with myself! I am dissatisfied because I have
found no happiness here, and yet I wish, I passionately
wish for happiness. I have not experienced enjoyment,
and have already cut off from me everything which gives
it. Why? For what? Who has been better off for it?
My aunt was right when she said that it is easier to find
happiness than to give it to others.
"Have my peasants grown richer? Have they been
morally educated and developed? Not in the least.
They are not better off, but I feel worse with every day.
If I only saw any success in my undertaking, if I saw
gratitude but no, I see the perverted routine, vice, sus-
"I am wasting in vain the best years of my life," he
thought, and it occurred to him that his nurse had told
him that his neighbours called him a "minor"; that
there was no money left in his office; that the new
.threshing-machine, which he had invented, to the com-
mon delight of the peasants, only whistled but did not
thresh, when it was for the first time set in motion in the
.threshing-barn, before a large audience; that from day to
72 A MORNING OF A LANDED PROPRIETOR
day he might expect the arrival of the agrarian court in
order to take an invoice of the estate, since he had allowed
payments on the mortgage to lapse, in his preoccupation
with all kinds of new farm undertakings.
And suddenly, just as vividly as before, came to him
the picture of his walk through the forest, and the dream
of a country life; and just as vividly stood before him his
student room in Moscow, in which he used to stay up late
at night, by one candle, with his classmate and adored
sixteen-year-old friend. They read and recited for hours
in succession some tiresome notes of civil law, and, after
finishing them, sent for supper, pooled on a bottle of
champagne, and talked of the future that was in store for
them. How differently the future had presented itself to
a young student! Then the future was full of enjoy-
ment, of varied activities, of splendid successes, and incon-
testably led both of them to the highest good in the
world, as it then was understood by them, to fame!
"He is walking, and rapidly walking, on that road,"
thought Nekhlyddov of his friend, and I "
At this time he had arrived at the entrance of the
house, where ten or more peasants and domestics stood,
waiting for the master with all kinds of requests, and he
had to turn from his dreams to the reality before him.
Here was a ragged, dishevelled, and blood-stained peas-
ant woman who complained in tears of her father-in-law,
who, she said, wanted to kill her; here were two brothers
who had been for two years quarrelling about the division
of their farm, and who looked upon each other with des-
perate malice; here was also an unshaven, gray-haired
servant, with hands quivering from intoxication, whom
his son, the gardener, had brought to the master, to com-
plain of his dissolute conduct; here was a peasant who
had driven his wife out of the house because she had not
worked all the spring; here was also that sick woman,
his wife, who sat, sobbing and saying nothing, on the
A MORNING OF A LANDED PROPRIETOR 73
gra.s ur.ar the entrance, and displayed her inflamed, swol-
l':.n lic:, carelessly wrapped in a dirty rag -
Nekhlyi'dov listened to all requests and complaints,
-and he gave his advice to some, and settled the quarrels
or made promises to others. He experienced a certain
mixed feeling of weariness, shame, helplessness, and re-
morse, and walked to his room.
IN the small room which Nekhlyiidov occupied, stokd
an old leather divan studded with brass nails, several
chairs of the same description, an open antiquated carl-
table, with incrustations, indentations, and a brass rim.
on which lay papers, and an antiquated, yellow, olpe
English grand, with worn, narrow keys. Between the
windows hung a large mirror in an old gilt carved fram,-.
On the floor, near the table, lay stacks of papers, bookl-,
and accounts. The room bore altogether a disorderly
aspect, and was devoid of character; and this living
disorder formed a sharp contrast to the affected, ol.-
fashioned, aristocratic arrangement of the other rooms 't
the large house.
Upon entering the room Nekhlyudov angrily threw
his hat upon the table, and sat down on a chair which
stood in front of the grand, and crossed his legs and
dropped his head.
Well, will you have your breakfast, your Grace?"
said, upon entering the room, a tall, haggard, wrinkled
old woman, in cap, large kerchief, and chintz dress.
Nekhlyudov turned around to take a look at her, and
kept'silent for awhile, as though considering something.
No, I do not care to, nurse," he said, and again
The nurse angrily shook her head at him, and sighed.
"Oh, Dmitri NikolAevich, why do you look so sad?
There are greater sorrows, and they pass,-really they
.A MORNING OF A LANDED PROPRIETOR 75
But I am u,:t sad. What makes you think so, Mother
Mal.in\a Fin_-.'uovna?" answered Nekhlyddov, trying
t,: ii li '.
Yel;, v:ui ar'. Don't I see it?" the nurse began to
.eak v.ith animation. "You are day in, day out, all
alone. And you take everything to heart, and attend
to everything yourself. You have even quit eating. Is
this right ? If you only went to visit the city, or your
neighbours, -but this is an unheard-of thing. You
are young, so why should you worry about everything?
Forgive me, sir, I will sit down," continued the nurse,
seating herself near the door. You have been so indul-
gent with them, that nobody is afraid of you. Is this the
way masters do ? There is nothing good in it. You are
ruining yourself, and the people are getting spoilt. You
know, our peasants do not understand what you are doing
for them, really they don't. Why do you not go to see
your aunty; she wrote you the truth-" the nurse
Nekhlyddov kept growing more and more despondent.
His right hand, which was resting on his knee, fell
flaccidly upon the keys. They gave forth a chord, a
second, a third Nekhlyddov moved up, drew his other
hand from his pocket, and began to play. The chords
which he took were sometimes unprepared, and not
always correct; they were often common enough to be
trite, and did not display the least musical talent; but
this occupation afforded him a certain indefinable melan-
At every change of harmony, he waited in breathless
expectancy what would come out of it, and, when some-
thing came, his imagination dimly supplied what was
lacking. It seemed to him that he heard hundreds of
melodies: a chorus and an orchestra, in conformity with
But he derived his chief pleasure from the intensified
76 A MORNING OF A LANDED PROPRIETOR
activity of his imagination, which at that time brought
up before him, disconnectedly and fragmentarily, but wit h
wonderful clearness, the most varied, mixed, and absuid
images and pictures from the past and future.
Now he saw the bloated form of Davydka the Whi:e
timidly blinking with his white eyelashes at the sight :.f
his mother's black, venous fist; his curved back, and
immense hands covered with white hair, answering to
all tortures and deprivations with patience and submis-
sion to fate.
Then he saw the nimble nurse, emboldened through
her association with the manor, and he imagined h.-r
visiting the villages and preaching to the peasants that
they must conceal their money from the proprietors; and
he unconsciously repeated to himself, "Yes, it is necessary
to conceal the money from the proprietors!"
Then suddenly presented itself to him the blonde head
of his future wife, for some reason in tears, and in great
anguish leaning upon his shoulder.
Then he saw Churis's kindly blue eyes, tenderly lookih i
down upon his only thick-bellied little son. Yes, he sawv
in him not only a son, but a helper and saviour. "TTiL
is love !" he whispered.
Then he recalled Yukhvinka's mother, and the expre -
sion of long-suffering and forgiveness which he hal
noticed upon her aged face, in spite of her prominent
tooth and abhorrent features. "No doubt, I am the fii t
one to have noticed this, in the seventy years of her life,"
he thought; and he whispered, "It is strange," and cou-
tinued unconsciously to run his fingers over the keys and
to listen to the sounds they made.
Then he vividly recalled his flight from the apiary, and
the expression of the faces of Ignit and Karp, who evi-
dently wanted to laugh, but pretended that they did not
He blushed, and involuntarily looked at his nurse, who
A MORNING OF A LANDED PROPRIETOR 77
Irtin,-d sitting -it tihe do:l)r, ilently gazing at him, and
uiw :inIl thcu shaking her gray hair.
Suldd.ltly thir'- '.:,mi,. to him the tr6yka of sweaty horses,
aUi'I Ilyi '-h k.i' I Inh i:ll:rioe andl strong figure, with his blond
:Iris. I.'.a-mu. nl aro Itrr lu': I. y:e-s, ruddy cheeks, and light-
c.1l.,ired di:'.-un j' t Ib:Lgmuiji.i to cover his lip and chin.
H.:- euie:l.,.red hol:\ Ili islj:. was afraid he would not
be permimed to go teammg, and how warmly he defended
his cause, which he liked so well. And lie saw a gray,
misty morning, a slippery highway, and a long row of
heavily laden, mat-covered three-horse wagons, marked
with big black letters. The stout-legged, well-fed horses,
jingling their bells, bending their backs, and tugging at
their traces, pulled evenly up-hill, straining their legs so
that the sponges might catch on the slippery road. Down-
hill, past the train of wagons, came dashing the stage,
tinkling its little bells, which regchoed far into the large
forest that extended on both sides of the road.
"Whew!" shouted, in a childish voice, the first driver,
with a tin label on his lambskin cap, raising his whip
above his head.
Karp, with his red beard and gloomy look, was striding
heavily in his huge boots beside the front wheel of the
first wagon. From the second wagon stuck out the hand-
some head of Ilytishka, who, at the early dawn, was
making himself snug and warm under the front mat.
Three tr6ykas, laden with portmanteaus, dashed by, with
rumbling wheels, jingling bells, and shouts. Ilyishka
again hid his handsome head under the mat, and fell
Now it was a clear, warm evening. The plank gate
creaked for the tired teams that were crowded in front
of the tavern, and the tall, mat-covered wagons, jolting
over the board that lay in the gate entrance, disappeared
one after another under the spacious sheds.
Ilyiishka merrily greeted the fair-complexioned, broad-
78 A MORNING OF A LANDED PROPRIETOR
chested landlady, who asked, "Do you come far ? And
will you have a good supper ?" looking with pleasure at
the handsome lad, with his sparkling, kindly eyes.
Now, having unharnessed the horses, he went into the
close hut crowded with people, made the sign of the cross,
sat down at a full wooden bowl, and chatted merrily with
the landlady and his companions.
And then his bed was under the starry heaven, which
was visible from the shed, and upon the fragrant hay,
near his horses which, stamping and snorting, rummaged
through the fodder in the wooden cribs. He walked up
to the hay, turned to the east, and, crossing himself some
thirty times in succession, over his broad, powerful breast,
and shaking his bright curls, he said the Lord's Prayer,
and repeated some twenty times the Kyrie eleison," and,
wrapping his cloak around body and head, slept the
sound, careless sleep of a strong, healthy man.
And he saw in his dream the city of Kiev, with its
saints and throngs of pilgrims; R6men, with its merchants
and merchandise; and Odessa and the endless blue sea
with its white sails; and the city of Constantinople, with
its golden houses, and white-breasted, black-browed Turk-
ish maidens; and he flew there, rising on some invisible
pinions. He flew freely and easily, farther and farther,
and saw below him golden cities bathed in bright splen-
dour, and the blue heaven with its pure stars, and the
blue sea with its white sails, and he felt a joy and pleas-
ure in flying ever farther and farther -
Glorious !" Nekhlyidov whispered to himself, and the
thought came to him, Why am I not Ilyuishka ?"
A Novel of the Caucasus
A Novel of the Caucasus
EVERYTHING was quiet in Moscow. In a few isolated
places could be heard the squeak of wheels over the
wintry street. There were no lights in the windows, and
the lamps were extinguished. From the churches rang
out the sounds of bells which, billowing over the sleepy
city, reminded one of morning.
The streets were empty. Here and there a night cab-
man caused the sand and snow to become mixed under
the narrow runners of his sleigh, and, betaking himself
to the opposite corner, fell asleep, waiting for a passenger.
An old woman walked by, on her way to church, where,
reflected from the gold foils of the holy images, burnt
with a red light a few unsymmetrically placed wax
tapers. Working people were rising after the long
winter night, and walking to work.
But for gentlemen it was still evening.
In one of the windows of Chevalier's establishment
there peeped, contrary to law, a light through the closed
shutter. At the entrance stood a carriage, a sleigh, and.
cabs, closely pressed together, with their backs to the
curbstone. Here was also a stage tr6yka. The janitor,
wrapped in his furs and crouching, seemed to be hiding
around the corner of the house.
What makes them keep up this unending prattle
thought the lackey with the haggard face, who n\.,
sitting in the antechamber. "And that, too, when I .ani
keeping watch !"
In the adjoining, brightly illuminated room could 1:..
heard the voices of three young men, who were dining.
They were sitting at a table, upon which stood the ren,-
nants of a supper and wine. One of them, a small.
clean-looking, haggard, and homely fellow was seatel.
and looking with kindly, though wearied, eyes at hir
who was to depart. Another, a tall man, was reclininrz
near the table, that was covered with empty bottles, and
playing with his watch-key. A third, in a new short iur
coat, paced the room, now and then stopped to crack in
almond between his fairly fat and powerful fingers, with
their manicured nails, and smiled for some reason ,:1i
other. His eyes and face were flushed. He spoke v.itl
ardour and in gestures; but it was evident that he could
not find words, and that all the words which occur r.-d
to him appeared insufficient to express everything th:t
was upon his heart. He was continually smiling.
"Now I may say everything!" said the departing m.in.
"I do not mean to justify myself, but I should like t.,
have you understand me as I understand myself, and u,:,t
as the malicious regard this affair. You say that I :tu
guilty toward her," he turned to the one who looked up.:.n
him with kindly eyes.
"Yes, guilty," answered the short, homely fellow, ; u.l
there seemed to be even more kindness and weariri-.-
expressed in his glance.
"I know why you say so," answered the departing
man. "To be loved is, in your opinion, just such happi-
ness as to love, and it is sufficient for a whole life, if y,.'u
once obtain it."
Yes, quite suficient, my dear! More than enough,"
cl:illIraiil the shot, homely fellow, opening and closing
B Dut why should one not love?" said the departing
man, falling into a reverie, and looking at his companion,
as though with compassion. "Why not love? Don't
feel like loving No, to be loved is a misfortune when
you feel that you are guilty because you are not returning
the love, nor ever can return it. O Lord !" and he waved
his hand. "If all this had happened in a sensible way !
But no, it is all topsyturvy, not according to our ways,
but in its own peculiar manner. I feel as though I had
stolen that sentiment. And you think the same way;
do not deny it, you certainly must think that way. And
would you believe it ? Of all the mean and stupid acts
that I have managed to commit in my life, this is the
only one for which I do not feel, nor ever can feel,
remorse. Neither in the beginning, nor later, have I
lied to myself, nor to her. I imagined that at last I had
fallen in love with her; and then I saw that it was an
involuntary lie, that it was impossible thus to love, and
I was unable to go any farther; but she did go farther.
Am I to be blamed because I could not? What could
"Well, now it is all ended !" said his friend, lighting
a cigar in order to dispel sleep. "There is this much:
you have not loved yet, and you do not know what
The one who wore the short fur coat was on the point
of saying something, and he grasped his head with both
his hands. But he did not express what he intended
"I have not loved Yes, it is true, I have not loved.
I certainly desire to love, and there is nothing stronger
than my desire And then again, is there such a love ?
There always remains something unfinished. Well, what
84 THE COSSACKS
is the use of speaking ? I have blundered and blundered
in my life. But now all is ended, you are right. And I
feel that a new life is to begin."
"In which you will blunder again," said the one who
was lying on the sofa and playing with his watch-key;
but the departing man did not hear him.
I am both sad and happy to leave," he continued.
"Why sad? I do not know."
And the departing man began to speak of himself.
without noticing that the others were not as much inter-
ested in this as he. Man is never such an egotist as in
the moment of sentimental transport. It seems to him
then that there is nothing in the world more beautiful
and interesting than he himself. -
"Dmitri Andrdevich, the driver refuses to wait!" said,
upon entering, a young manorial servant, in a fur coat.
and wrapped in a scarf. "The horses have been stand-
ing since twelve o'clock, and now it is four."
Dmitri Andr6evich looked at his Vanyiisha. In his
scarf, felt boots, and sleepy face he heard the voice of
another life which called him, a life of labour, priva-
tion, and activity.
"That is so, good-bye!" he said, searching for the
unhooked eye of his fur coat.
In spite of the advice of his friends to give the driver
a pourboire, he donned his cap, and stood in the middle
of the room. They kissed once, twice, then stopped, and
kissed for the third time. The one who was in the short
fur coat walked up to the table, emptied a beaker that
was standing upon it, took the hand of the short, homely
fellow, and blushed.
"No, I will say it I ought to be and can be frank
with you, because I love you You love her ? I always
thought so yes ?"
"Yes," answered his friend, smiling more gently still.
And maybe "