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dren. And whenever he heard that she was about to be-
come a mother, he experienced a feeling of compassion
for her being again infected with something bad by the
man who was so unlike all of them.

The Ragojhinskys arrived without their ^children, and
engaged the best suite in the best hotel. Natalie Ivanovna
immediately went to the old home of her mother, and
learning there that her brother had moved to furnished
rooms, she went to his new home. The dirty servant,
meeting her in the dark, ill-smelling corridor, which was
lit up by a lamp during the day, announced that the Prince
was away.

Desiring to leave a note, Natalie Ivanovna was shown
into his apartments. She closely examined the two small
rooms. She noticed in every corner the familiar cleanli-
ness and order, and she was struck by the modesty of the
appointments. On the writing table she saw a familiar
paper-press, with the bronze figure of a dog, neatly ar-
ranged portfolios, papers, volumes of the Criminal Code
and an English book of Henry George, and a French one
by Tard, between the leaves of which was an ivory paper

She left a note asking him to call on her the same even-
ing, and, shaking her head in wonder at what she had
seen, returned to her hotel.

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266 The Awakening.

There were two questions relating to her brother that
interested Natalie Ivanovno — ^his marriage to Katiousha,
of which she had heard in her city, where it was a matter
of common gossip, and the distribution by him of his land
to the peasants, upon which some people looked as some-
thing political and dangerous. From one point of view,
she rather liked the idea of his marrying Katiousha. She
admired his resolution, seeing in it herself and him as they
had been before her marriage. At the same time, she was
horror-stricken at the thought that her brother was to
marry such an awful woman. The latter feeling was the
stronger, and she decided to dissuade him from marrying
her, although she knew how hard that would be.

The other affair, that of his parting with his land, she
did not take so close to heart, but her husband was indig-
nant at such folly, and demanded that she influence her
brother to abandon the attempt. Ignatius Nikiforovitch
said that it was the height of inconsistency, foolhardiness
and pride ; that such an act could only be explained, if at
all, by a desire to be odd, to have something to brag about,
and to make people talk about one's self.

"Wtiat sense is there in giving the land to the peasants
and making them pay rent to themselves?*' he said. "If
his mind was set on doing it, he could sell them the land
through the bank. There would be some sense in that.
Taking all in all, his act is very eccentric," said Ignatius
Nikiforovitch, already considering the necessity of a
guardianship, and he demanded that his wife should seri-
ously speak to her brother of this, his strange intention.


In the evening Nekhludoff went to his sister. Ignatius
Nikiforovitch was resting in another room, and Natalie
Ivanovna alone met him. She wore a tight-fitting black
silk dress, with a knot of red ribbon, and her hair was
done up according to the latest fashion. She was evident-
ly making herself look young for her husband. Seeing
her brother, she quickly rose from the divan, and, rustling
with her silk skirt, she went out to meet him. They kissed

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The Awakening. 267

and, smiling, looked at each other. There was an ex-
cliange of those mysterious, significant glances in which
everything was truth ; then followed an exchange of words
in which that truth was lacking. They had not met since
the death of their mother.

"You have grown stout and young," he said.

Her lips contracted with pleasure.

"And you have grown thin."

"Well, 4iow is Ignatius Nikiforovitch ?" asked Nekhlu-

"He is resting. He has not slept all night."

A great deal should have been said here, but their words
said nothing, and their glances said that that which inter-
ested them most was left unsaid.

"I have been at your lodging."

"Yes, I know it. I have moved from the house. I am
so lonely and weary. I do not need any of those things,
so you take them — ^the furniture— everything."

"Yes, Agrippina Petrovna told me. I have been there.
I thank you very much. But— — "

At that moment the servant brought in a silver tea serv-
ice. Natalie Ivanovna busied herself with making the tea.
Nekhludoflf was silent.

"Well, Dimitri, I know everything," Natalie said, reso-
lutely, glancing at him.

"I am very glad that you know."

"Do you think it possible to, reform her after such a

He was sitting erect on a small chair, attentively listen-
ing to her, prepared to answer satisfactorily her every
question. He was still in that frame of mind which, after
his last meeting with Maslova, filled his soul with tranquil
happiness and love for all mankind.

"It is not her that I intend to reform, but myself," he

Natalie Ivanovna sighed.

"There are other means besides marriage."

"And I think that that is the best. Besides, that will
bring me into that world in which I can be useful."

"I do not think," said Natalie Ivanovna, "that you could
be happy."

"It is not a question of my happiness."

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268 The Awakening.

"Of course ; but if she possesses a heart, she cannot be
happy — she cannot even desire it."

"She does not."

"I understand, but Hfe — demands something diflferent."

"Life only demands that we do what is right," said
Nekhludoff, looking at her face, still beautiful, although
covered with fine wrinkles around the eyes and mouth.

"Poor dear ! How she has changed !" thought Nekhlu-
doff, recalling Natalie as she had been before her mar-
riage, and a tender feeling, woven of countless recollec-
tions of their childhood, rose in his breast toward her.

At that moment Ignatius Nikiforov\tch, as usual hold-
ing his head high and projecting his broad chest, entered
the room, with shining eye-glasses, bald head and black

"How do you do? How do you do?" he greeted Nekh-
ludoff, unnaturally accentuating his words.

They pressed each other's hand, and Ignatius Nikiforo-
vitch lowered himself into an arm-chair.

"Am I disturbing you ?"

"No, I do not conceal anything I say or do from any-

As soon as Nekhludoff saw that face, those hairy hands
and heard that patronizing tone, his gentle disposition im-
mediately disappeared.

"Yes, we have been speaking about his intention," said
Natalie Ivanovna. "Shall I pour out some tea for you?"
she added, taking the tea-pot.

"Yes, if you please. What intention do you refer to?"

"My intention of going to Siberia with that party of
convicts, among whom there is a woman I have wronged,"
said Nekhludoff.

"I heard that you intended more than that."

"Yes, and marry her, if she only desires it."

"I see ! And may I ask you to explain your motives, if
it is not unpleasant to you ? I do not understand them."

"My motives are that that woman — ^that the first step

on her downward career " Nekhludoff became angry

because he could n6t find the proper expression. "My
motives are that I am guilty, while she is punished."

"If she is punished, then she is also, probably, guilty."

"She is perfectly innocent."

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The Awakening. 269

And, with unnecessary agitation, Nekhludoff related the
whole case.

"Yes, that was an omission by the presiding justice.
But in such cases there is the Senate."

"The Senate sustained the verdict.'*

"Ah, then there were no grounds of appeal," said Igna-
tius Nikiforovitch, evidently sharing the well-known opin-
ion that truth is the product of court proceedings. "The
Senate cannot go into the merits of a case. But if there
is really a judicial error, a petition should be made to the

"That was done, but there is no chance of success. In-
quiries will be made at the Ministry, which will refer them
to the Senate, and the Senate will repeat its decision, and,
as usual, the innocent will be punished."

"In the first place, the Ministry will not refer to the
Senate," and Ignatius Nikiforvitch smiled condescending-
ly, "but will call for all the dociunents in the case, and, if
it finds an error, will so decide. In the second place, an
innocent person is never, or, at least, very seldom pun-
ished. Only the guilty is punished."

"And, I am convinced that the contrary is true," said
Nekhludoff, with an unkind feeling toward his brother-in-
law. "I am convinced that the majority of the people con-
victed by courts are innocent."

"How so?"

"They are innocent in the ordinary sense of the word,
as that woman was innocent of poisoning ; as that peasant
is innocent of the murder which he has not committed ; as
that mother and son are innocent of the arson which was
committed by the owner himself, and for which they came
near being convicted."

"Of course, there always have been and always will be
judicial errors. Human institutions cannot be perfect."

"And, then, a large part of the innocent, because they
have been brought up amid certain conditions, do not con-
sider the acts committed by them criminal."

"Pardon me ; that is unfair. Every thief knows that
stealing is wrong ; that theft is immoral," Ignatius Niki-
forovitch said, with the calm, self-confident, and, at the
same time, somewhat contemptuous, smile which particu-
larly provoked Nekhludoff.

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ayo The Awakening.

"No, he docs not know. He is told not to steal, but he
sees and knows that the employers steal his labor, keep
back his pay, and that the officials are constantly robbing

"That is anarchism," Ignatius calmly defined the mean-
ing of his brother-in-law's words.

"I do not know what it is, but I am speaking of facts,"
Nekhludoff continued. "He knows that the officials are
robbing him. He knows that we, the landlords, own the
land which ought to be common property, and when he
gathers some twigs for his oven we send him to jail and
try to convince him that he is a thief."

"I do not understand, and if I do, I cannot agree with
you. The land cannot be nobody's property. If you di-
vide it," Ignatius Nikiforovitch began, being fully con-
vinced that Nekhludoff was a socialist, and that the theory
of socialism demands that all the land should be divided
equally; that such division is foolish, and that he can
easily refute it. "If you should divide the land to-day,
giving each inhabitant an equal share, to-morrow it will
again find its way into the hands of the more industrious
and able among them "'

"Nobodv even thinks of dividing the land into equal
shares. There ought to be no property in land, and it
ought not to be the subject of purchase and sale or rent-

"The right of property is a natural right. Without
property right there would be no interest in cultivating
the land. Destroy property right and we will return to
the condition of the savage," authoritatively said Ignatius

"On the contrary, only then will land not lie idle, as it
is now."

"But, Dimitri Ivanovich, it is perfect madness! Is it
possible in our time to destroy property in land ? I know
it is your old hobby. But permit me to tell you plain-
ly " Ignatius Nikiforovitch turned pale and his voice

trembled. The question was evidently of particular con-
cern to him. "I would advise you to consider that ques-
tion well before attempting its practical solution."

"You are speaking of my personal aflFairs ?"

"Yes. I assume that we are all placed in a certain posi*

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The Awakening. ayi

tion, and must assume the duties that result from that po-
sition, must support those conditions of existence into
which we were born, which we have inherited from our
forefathers, and which we must hand over to our poster-

"I consider it my duty "

"Excuse me/' continued Ignatius Nikiforovitch, who
would not be interrupted. "I am not speaking of myself
and my children. The fortune of my children is secure,
and I earn enough to live in easy circumstances, and,
therefore, my protest against your, permit me to say, ill-
considered actions is not based on personal interest, but
on principle. And I would advise you to g^ve it a little
more thought, to read "

"You had better let me decide my own affairs. I think
I know what to read and what not to read.'* said Nekhlu-
doff, turning pale, and, feeling that he could not control
himself, became silent and began to drink his tea.


"Well, how are the children ?" Nekhludoff asked his sis-
ter, having calmed down.

Thus the unpfeasant conversation was changed. Na-
talie became calm and talked about her children. She
would not speak, however, about those things which only
her brother understood in the presence of her husband,
and in order to continue the conversation she began to talk
of the latest news, the killing of Kanesky in the duel.

Ignatius Nikiforovitch expressed his disapproval of the
condition of things which excluded the killing in a duel
from the category of crimes.

His remark called forth Nekhludoff's reply, and a hot
discussion followed on the same subject, neither express-
ing fully his opinion, and in the end they were again at

Ignatius Nikiforovitch felt that Nekhludoff condemned
him, hating all his activity, and he wished to prove the in-
justice of his reasoning. Nekhludoff, on the other hand,
to say nothing of the vexation caused him by his brother-

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aya The Awakening.

in-law *s interference in his affairs (in the depth of his soul
he felt that his brother-in-law, his sister and their children,
as heirs, had the right to do so), was indignant at the calm
and confident manner of that narrow-minded man who
continued to consider legal and just that which to Nekhlu-
doff was undoubtedly foolish. This self-confidence irri-
tated him.

"What should the court do?" asked Nekhludoff.

"Sentence one of the duelists, as it would a common
murderer, to hard labor."

Nekhludoff's hands again turned cold, and he con-
tinued with warmth :

"Well, what would be then?"

"Justice would be done."

"As if the aim of courts was to do justice !" said Nekh-

"What else?"

"Their aim is to support class interests. Courts, ac-
cording to my idea, are only instruments for the perpetu-
ation of conditions profitable to our class."

"That is an entirely new view," said Ignatius Nikiforo-
vitch, smiling calmly. "Usually somewhat different aims
are ascribed to courts."

"In theory, but not in practice, as I have learned. The
only aim of the courts is to preserve the existing state of
things, and for this reason they persecute and kill all those
who are above the common level and who wish to raise it
as well as those who are below it."

"I cannot agree with the view that criminals are exe-
cuted because they are above the level of the average. For
the most part they are the excrescence of society, just as
perverted, though in a different manner, as are those
criminal types whom you consider below the level of the

"And I know people who are far above their judges."

But Ignatius Nikiforovitch, not accustomed to being in-
terrupted when speaking, did not listen to Nekhludoff,
which was particularly irritating to the latter, and con-
tinued to talk while Nekhludoff was talking.

"I cannot agree with you that the aim of courts is to
support the existing order of things. The courts have
their aims : either the correction "

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The Awakening. 273

"Prisons are great places for correction/* Nekhludoff
put in.

"Or the removal/' persistently continued Ignatius Niki-
forovitch, "of those depraved and savage people who
threaten the existence of society."

"That is just where the trouble is. Courts can do
neither the one nor the other. Society has no means of
doing it."

"How is that? I don't understand " asked Ignatius

Nikiforovitch, with a forced smile.

"I mean to say that there are only two sensible modes of
punishment — ^those that have been used in olden times:
corporal punishment and capital punishment. But with
the advance of civilization they have gone out of exist-

"That is both new and surprising to hear from you."

"Yes, there is sense in inflicting pain on a man that he
might not repeat that for which the pain was inflicted ; and
it is perfectly sensible to cut the head off a harmful and
dangerous member of society. But what sense is there in
imprisoning a man, who is depraved by idleness and bad
example, and keeping him in secure and compulsory idle-
ness in the society of the most depraved people? Or to
transport him, for some reason, at an expense to the gov-
ernment of five hundred roubles, from the District of Tula
to the District of Irkutsk, or from Kursk "

"But people seem to fear these journeys at government
expense. And were it not for these journeys, we would
not be sitting here as we are sitting now."

"Prisons cannot secure our safety, because people are
not imprisoned for life, but are released. On the contrary,
these institutions are the greatest breeders of vice and cor-
ruption — i. e., they increase the danger."

"You mean to say that the penitentiary system ought to
be perfected ?"

"It cannot be perfected. Perfected prisons would cost
more than is spent on popular education and would be a
new burden on the populace."

"But the deficiencies of the penitentiary system do not
invalidate the judicial system," Ignatius Nikiforovitch
again continued, without listening to his brother-in-law.

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274 ^^^ Awakening.

"These deficiencies cannot be corrected," said Nekhlu-
doff , raising his voice.

"What then ? Would you kill ? Or, as a certain states-
man suggested, pluck out their eyes?" said Ignatius Niki-
forovitch, smiling triumphantly.

"Yes ; that would be cruel, but expjedient. What we are
doing now is both cruel and inexpedient."

"And I am taking part in it," said Ignatius Nikiforo-
vitch, paling.

"That is your business. But I do not understand it."

"I think there are many things you do not understand,"
said Ignatius Nikiforovitch, with a quiver in his voice.

*^I saw a public prosecutor in court trying his utmost to
convict an unfortunate boy, who could only arouse com-
passion in any unperverted man "

"If I thought so, I should give up my position," said
Ignatius Nikiforovitch, rising.

Nekhludoff noticed a peculiar glitter under his brother-
in-laWs eye-glasses. "Can it be tears?" thought Nekhlu-
doff. They really were tears. Ignatius Nikiforovitch was
offended. Going toward the window, he drew a handker-
chief from his pocket, coughed, and began to wipe his eye-
glasses, and, removing them, he also wiped his eyes. Re-
turning to the couch, Ignatius Nikiforovitch lit a cigar
and spoke no more. Nekhludoff was pained and ashamed
at the grief that he had caused his bfother-in-law and sis-
ter, especially as he was leaving the next day and would
not see them again. In great agitation he took leave of
them and departed.

"It is quite possible that what I said was true. At any
fate, he did not refute me. But it was wrong to speak that
way. Little have I changed if I could insult him and
grieve poor Natalie," he thought.


The party of convicts, which included Maslova, was to
leave on the three o'clock train, and in order to see them
coming out of the prison and follow them to the railroad
station Nekhludoff decided to get to the prison before

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The Awakening. 375

While packing his clothes and papers, Nekhludoff came
across his diary and began to read the entry he had
made before leaving for St. Petersburg. "Katiusha does
not desire my sacrifice, but is willing to sacrifice herself,'*
it ran. "She has conquered, and I have conquered. I
am rejoicing at that inner change which she seems to me
to be undergoing. I fear to believe it, but it appears to
me that she is awakening." Immediately after this was
the following entry : "I have lived through a very pain-
ful and very joyous experience. I was told that she had
misbehaved in the hospital. It was very painful to hear
it. Did not think it would so affect me. Have spoken to
her with contempt and hatred, but suddenly remembered
how often I myself have been guilty — am even now,
although only in thought, of that for which I hated her,
and suddenly I was seized with disgust for myself and
pity for her, and I became very joyful. If we would only
see in time the beam in our own eye, how much kinder
we would be." Then he made the following entry for
the day : "Have seen Katiusha, and, because of my self-
content, was unkind and angry, and departed with a feel-
ing of oppression. But what can I do? A new life be-
gins to-morrow. Farewell to the old life ! My mind is
filled with numberless impressions, but I cannot yet re-
duce them to order.''

On awakening the following morning, NekhludoflE's
first feeling was one of sorrow for the unpleasant inci*
dent with his brother-in-law.

"I must go to see them," he thought, "and smooth it

But, looking at the clock, he saw that there was no time
left, and that he must hasten to the prison to see the
departure of the convicts. Hastily packing up his things
and sending them to the depot, Nekhludoflf hired a trap
and drove to the prison.

• 4( an * * 3|t4( 4( ♦

The hot July days had set in. The stones of the
street, the houses, and the tins of the roofs, failing to
cool off during the suffocating night, exhaled their
warmth into the hot, still air. There was no breeze, and
such as rose every now and then was laden with dust and

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276 The Awakening.

the stench of oil paint. The few people that were on the
streets sought shelter in the shade of the houses. Only
sun-burnt street-pavers in bast shoes were sitting in the
middle of the street, setting boulders into the hot sand ;
gloomy policemen in unstarched blouses and carrying re-
volvers attached to yellow cords, were lazily shuffling
about, and tram-cars with drawn blinds on the sides ex-
posed to the sun, and drawn by white-hooded horses, were
running up and down the street.

When Nekhludoflf arrived at the priscm, the formal de-
livery and acceptance of the departing convicts, which be-
gan at four in the morning, were still going on. The
party consisted of six hundred and twenty-three men and
sixty- four women; all had to be counted, the weak and
sick had to be separated, and they were to be delivered
to the convoy. The new inspector, two assistants, a
physician, his assistant, the officer of the convoy and a
clerk were sitting in the shade around a table with papers
and dociunents, calling and examining each convict and
making entries in their books.

One-half of the table was already exposed to the sun.
It was getting warm and close from want of air, and
from the breaSiing of the convicts standing near by.

"Will there ever be an end?" said a tall, stout, red*
faced captain of the convoy, incessantly smoking a
cigarette*and blowing the smoke through the moustache
which covered his mouth. "I am exhausted. Where
have you taken so many ? How many more are there ?"

The clerk consulted the books.

"Twenty-four men and the women."
• "Why are you standing there? Come forward!"
shouted the captain to the crowding convicts.

The convicts had already been standing three hours in
a broiling sun, waiting their turn.

All this was taking place in the court-yard of the prison,
while without the prison stood the usual armed soldier,
about two dozen trucks for the baggage, and the infirm
convicts, and on the comer a crowd of relatives and
friends of the convicts, waiting for a chance to see the
exiles as they emerged from the prison, and, if possible,
to have a last few words with them, or deliver some things

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The Awakening. 277

they had brought for them. Nekhludoff joined this

He stood there about an hour. At the end of the hour,
from behind the gates came the clatter of chains, the
tramping of feet, voices of command, coughing and the
low conversation of a large crowd. This lasted about
five minutes, during which time prison officers flitted in
and out through the wicket. Finally there was heard a
sharp command.

The gates were noisily flung open, the clatter of the
chains became more distinct, and a detachment of guards-
men in white blouses and shouldering guns marched forth

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