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The Awakening (The Resurrection)   By: (1828-1910)

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THE AWAKENING

(The Resurrection)

by

COUNT LEO TOLSTOI

Author of

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

Translated by William E. Smith

[Illustration: COUNT LEO TOLSTOI.]

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

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

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

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

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

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

THE AWAKENING.

PART FIRST.

CHAPTER I.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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




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