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The Complete Works of

Volume XXI.



"Maslova started up"

PhotOi;r(Wure from Painting by L. O. Fdsiernak


" qu Ьэ)1б1г бУо1гбМ "




Translated from the Original Russian and Edited by


Assistant Professor of Slavic Languages at Harvard University






Limited to One Thousand Copies,
of which this is


Copyright, igo4
By Dana Estes & Company

Entered at Stationers^ Hall

Colonial Press : Electrotyped and Printed by
C. H. Simonds & Co., Boston, Mass., U. S. A.




Part the First ^

Part the Second 2^^


— ♦ —


"MXsLOVA STARTED UP " {p. 46) . . . Frontispiece
"The soldier . . . stuck the paper into the

rolled -up sleeve of his overcoat" ... 6

«Lying on his high, crumpled spring bed" . . 16

The Judges 32

The Jury 43

Visiting Day at the Prison 209

In PAnovo. Beggar Women 316

Mariette in the Box 440



Parts I. and 11.


"Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord, how often shall
my brother sin against me, and I forgive him ? till seven
times ?

" Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee. Until seven
times : but Until seventy times seven." (Matt, xviii. 21-22.)

" And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's
eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine ovfn eye ? "
(Matt. vii. 3.)

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

" The disciple is not above his master : but every one that
is perfect shall be as his master." (Luke vi. 40.)


No matter how people, congregating in one small spot
to the number of several hundred thousand, tried to
deform the earth on which they were josthng ; how they
paved the earth with stones, that nothing might grow
upon it ; how they weeded out every sprouting blade ; how
they smoked up the air with coal and naphtha ; how they
lopped the trees and expelled all animals and birds ; —
spring was spring, even in the city. The sun gave
warmth ; the grass, reviving, grew strong and lush wher-
ever it had not been scraped away, not only on the
greenswards of the boulevards, but also between the flag-



stones ; and the birches, the poplars, and the bird-cherries
had unfolded their viscid, fragrant leaves, and the lindens
had swelled their bursting buds ; the jackdaws, the
sparrows, and the pigeons were cheerfully building their
vernal nests, and the flies, warmed by the sun, were
buzzing along the walls. Happy were the plants, and the
birds, and the insects, and the children. But the people

— the big, the grown people — did not stop cheating and
tormenting themselves and each other. People regarded
as sacred and important not this spring morning, nor this
beauty of God's world, given to all creatures to enjoy,

— a beauty which disposes to peace, concord, and love, —
but that which they themselves had invented, in order to
rule over each other.

Thus, in the office of the provincial prison, what they
regarded as sacred and important was not that the bhssf ul-
ness and joy of spring had been given to all animals and
to all people, but that on the previous day a numbered
document, bearing a seal and a superscription, had been
received, which said that at nine o'clock in the morning,
of this, the twenty-eighth of April, three prisoners, two
women and one man, who were kept in the prison subject
to a judicial inquest, should be brought to the court-house.
One of these women, being the most important criminal,
was to be delivered separately.

To carry out this instruction, the chief warden entered,
at eight o'clock of the twenty-eighth of April, the malo-
dorous corridor of the women's department. He was
followed by a woman with a care-worn face and curling
gray hair, wearing a jersey, with sleeves bordered by
galloons, and girded with a blue-edged belt. This was
the matron.

"Do you want Maslova ? " she asked, going up with
the warden of the day to one of the cell doors which
opened into the corridor.

The warden, ratthng his keys, turned the lock, and open-


ing the door of the cell, from which burst forth an even
greater stench than there was in the corridor, called out :

" Maslova, to court ! " and again closed the door, while
waiting for her to come.

Even in the prison yard there was the brisk, vivifying
air of the fields, wafted to the city by the wind. But in
the corridor there was a distressing, jail-fever atmosphere,
saturated by the odour of excrements, tar, and decay,,
which immediately cast a gloom of sadness on every new-
comer. The same feehng was now experienced by the
matron, who had just arrived from the outside, notwith-
standing the fact that she was accustomed to this foul
air. The moment she entered the corridor she was over-
come by fatigue, and felt sleepy.

A bustle, caused by feminine voices and by the steps
of bare feet, was heard within the cell.

" Livelier there, hurry up, Maslova, I say ! " shouted
the chief warden through the door of the cell.

About two minutes later, a short, full-breasted young
woman, in a gray cloak, thrown over a white vest and a
white skirt, walked briskly out of the door, swiftly turned
around, and stopped near the warden. The woman's feet
were clad in linen stockings, and over them she wore the
prison shoes ; her head was wrapped in a white kerchief,
underneath which, apparently with design, protruded ring-
lets of curling black hair. The woman's whole counte-
nance was of that peculiar whiteness which is found on
the faces of persons who have passed a long time indoors,
and which reminds one of potato sprouts in a cellar. Of
the same colour were her small, broad hands, and her
white, full neck, which was visible from behind the large
collar of the cloak. In this countenance, especially
against the dull pallor of the face, stood out strikingly a
pair of jet-black, sparkling, slightly swollen, but very
lively eyes, one of which was a bit awry. She carried
herself very erect, extending her swelling bosom.


Upon arriving in the corridor, she threw her head back
a little, looked the warden straight in the eyes, and stood
ready to execute anything that might be demanded of
her. The warden was on the point of locking the door,
when from it emerged the pale, austere, wrinkled face of
a straight-haired old woman. The old woman began to
tell Maslova something ; but the warden pressed the door
against her head, and so it disappeared. In the cell a
feminine voice burst out laughing. Maslova herself
smiled, and turned toward the barred httle window of the
door. The old woman pressed her face to it, and said in
a hoarse voice :

" Above all, don't say a superfluous word ; stick to the
same story, and let that be the end of it ! "

" That's all one, it can't be any worse," said Maslova,
shaking her head.

" Of course, it's one, and not two," said the chief
warden, with an official consciousness of his wit. " After
me, march ! "

The eye of the old woman, visible through the window,
disappeared, and Maslova stepped into the middle of the
corridor, and with rapid, mincing steps walked behind
the chief warden. They descended the stone staircase,
passed by the men's cells, which were even more mal-
odorous and noisy than the women's, and from which
they were everywhere watched by eyes at the loopholes
in the doors : they entered the office, where two soldiers
of the guard, with their guns, were waiting for them.

The clerk, who was sitting there, handed to one of the
soldiers a document, which was saturated by tobacco
smoke, and, pointing to the prisoner, said, " Take her ! "
The soldier, a Nizhni-Novgorod peasant, with a red, pock-
marked face, stuck the paper into the rolled-up sleeve of
his overcoat, and, smiling, winked to his companion, a
broad-cheeked Chuvash, in order to direct his attention
to the prisoner. The soldiers, with the prisoner between

oin'i loqGq arU >1эи1г . . . i9iblo2 orlT**
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"The soldier . . . stuck the paper into
the rolled-up sleeve of his over-

Photogravure from Painting by L. O. Pasternak


them, descended the staircase, and walked over to the
main entrance.

A small gate was opened in the door of the main
entrance, and, stepping across the threshold of the gate
into the yard, the soldiers, with the prisoner, walked out
of the enclosure, and proceeded through the city, keeping
in the middle of the paved streets.

Cabmen, shopkeepers, cooks, workmen, and officials,
stopped to look with curiosity at the prisoner ; some
shook their heads, and thought, "This is what a bad
behaviour, not such as ours, leads to." Children looked
in terror at the murderess, being reassured only because
she was accompanied by soldiers, and could no longer do
any harm. A village peasant, who had sold coal and had
drunk some tea in the tavern, went up to her, made the
sign of the cross, and gave her a kopek. The prisoner
blushed, bent her head, and muttered something.

Being conscious of the looks which were directed
toward her, she imperceptibly, without turning her head,
cast side glances at those who were gazing at her, and
the attention which she attracted cheered her. She was
also cheered by the vernal air, which was pure in com-
parison with that in the jail ; but it was painful for her
to walk on the cobblestones, for her feet were now
unaccustomed to walking, and were clad in clumsy prison
shoes ; and so she looked down at them, and tried to step
as lightly as possible. As she passed near a flour shop,
in front of which pigeons waddled, unmolested by any-
body, she almost stepped on one: the pigeon fluttered
up, and flapping its wings, flew past the prisoner's ear,
fanning the air against her. She smiled, and drew a deep
sigh, as she recalled her situation.


The story of prisoner Maslova's life was nothing out of
the ordinary. Maslova was the daughter of an unmarried
manorial servant-giri, who had been living with her
mother in the capacity of dairymaid, on the estate of
two maiden sisters. This unmarried woman bore a child
every year ; as always happens in the country, the baby
was baptized, but afterward the mother did not suckle
the undesired child, and it died of starvation.

Thus five cMldren had died. They had all been bap-
tized, then they were not fed, and died. The sixth,
begotten by an itinerant gipsy, was a girl, and her fate
would have been the same, if it had not happened that
one of the old maids had gone into the stable to upbraid
the milkers on account of the cream, which smelled of
the cows. In the stable lay the mother with her pretty,
healthy, new-born baby. The old maid upbraided them
on account of the cream and for having allowed a lying-in
woman in the stable, and was about to leave, when, having
espied the child, she took pity upon her, and offered to
become her godmother. She had her baptized, and,
pitying her godchild, gave the mother milk and money,
and thus the girl remained alive. The old maids even
called her the " saved " girl.

The child was three years old when her mother fell ill

and died. The old stable-woman, her grandmother, was

harassed by her grandchild, and so the ladies took her to

the house. The black-eyed girl grew to be exceedingly

vivacious and charming, and the old maids took delight

in her.



The younger, Sofya Ivanovna, who had had the child
baptized, was the kinder of the two, and the elder, Marya
Ivanovna, was the more austere. Sofya Ivanovna dressed
her, taught her to read, and wanted to educate her. Marya
Ivanovna, however, said that she ought to be brought up
as a working girl, — a good chambermaid, — and conse-
quently was exacting, and punished and even struck her,
when not in a good humour. Thus, between these two
influences, the girl grew up to be partly educated and
partly a chambermaid. She was even called by a dimin-
utive, expressive neither of endearment, nor of command,
but of something intermediate, namely, not Katka or Ka-
tenka, but Katyusha. She did the sewing, tidied up the
rooms, cleaned the pictures with chalk, cooked, ground,
served the coffee, washed the small linen, and often sat
with the ladies and read to them.

Several men sued for her hand, but she did not wish to
marry, feeling that a life with those working people, her
suitors, would be hard for her, who had been spoiled by
the comforts of the manor.

Thus she lived until her sixteenth year. She had just
passed her sixteenth birthday, when the ladies received a
visit from their student-nephew, a rich prince, and Kat-
yusha, not daring to acknowledge the fact to him or even
to herself, fell in love with him. Two years later, this
same nephew of theirs called on his aunts, on his way to
the war, and passed four days with them ; on the day
preceding his departure, he seduced Katyusha, and press-
ing a hundred-rouble bill into her hand, he left her. Five
months after his visit she knew for sure that she was

After that she grew tired of everything, and thought of
nothing else but of a means for freeing herself from the
shame which awaited her ; she not only began to serve
the ladies reluctantly and badly, but once, not knowing
herself how it came about, her patience gave way : she said


some rude things to them, which she herself regretted
later, and asked for her dismissal.

The ladies, who had been very much dissatisfied with
her, let her go. She then accepted the position of cham-
bermaid at the house of a country judge, but she could
stand it there no longer than three months, because the
judge, a man fifty years of age, began to annoy her ; once,
when he had become unusually persistent in his attentions,
she grew excited, called him a fool and an old devil, and
dealt him such a blow in the chest that he fell down.
She was sent away for her rudeness. It was useless to
take another place, for the child was soon to be born, and
so she went to hve with a widow, who was a country
midwife and trafficked in liquor. She had an easy child-
birth, but the midwife, who had dehvered a sick woman
in the village, infected Katyusha with puerperal fever, and
the child, a boy, was taken to the foundling house, where,
according to the story of the old woman who had carried
him there, he died soon after his arrival.

When Katyusha took up her residence at the midwife's,
she had in all 127 roubles, twenty-seven of which she had
earned, and one hundred roubles which her seducer had
given her. When she came away from that house, all she
had left was six roubles. She did not know how to take
care of money, and spent it on herself, and gave it away
to all who asked for some. The midwife took for her
two months' board — for the food and the tea — forty
roubles ; twenty-five roubles went for despatching the
child ; forty roubles the midwife borrowed of her to buy
a cow with ; and twenty roubles were spent for clothes
and for presents, so that there was no money left, when
Katyusha got well again, and had to look for a place.
She found one at a forester's.

The forester was a married man, but, just like the judge
before him, he began the very first day to annoy Katyu-
sha with his attentions. He was hateful to her, and she


tried to evade him. But he was more experienced and
cunning than she; above all, he was her master, who
could send her wherever he pleased, and, waiting for an
opportune moment, he conquered her. His wife found
it out, and, discovering her husband alone in a room with
Katyusha, she assaulted her. Katyusha defended her-
self, and a fight ensued, in consequence of which she was
expelled from the house, without getting her wages.
Then Katyusha journeyed to the city and stopped with
her aunt. Her aunt's husband was a bookbinder, who
used to make a good living, but now had lost all his
customers, and was given to drinking, spending every-
thing that came into his hands. Her aunt had a small
laundry establishment, and thus supported herself with
her children and her good-for-nothing husband. She
offered to Maslova a place in her laundry ; but, seeing
the hard life which the laundresses at her aunt's were
leading, Maslova hesitated, and went to the employment
offices to look for a place as a domestic.

She found such a place with a lady who was living
with her two sons, students at the gymnasium. A week
after entering upon her service, the elder boy, with sprout-
ing moustaches, a gymnasiast of the sixth form, quit
working and gave Maslova no rest, importuning her with
his attentions. The mother accused Maslova of every-
thing and discharged her.

She could not find another situation ; but it so hap-
pened that when Maslova once went to an employment
office, she there met a lady with rings and bracelets on
her plump bare hands. Having learned of Mdslova's
search for a place, the lady gave her her address, and
invited her to her house. Maslova went there. The
lady received her kindly, treated her to pastry and sweet
wine, and sent her chambermaid somewhere with a note.

In the evening a tall man, with long grayish hair and
gray beard, entered the room ; the old man at once sat


down near Maslova, and began, with gleaming eyes, and
smiling, to survey her, and to jest with her. The land-
lady called him out into another room, and Maslova
heard her say : " She is fresh, straight from the country ! "
Then the landlady called out Maslova and told her that
this man was an author, who had much money, and who
would not be stingy with it, if he took a liking to her.
She pleased the author, who gave her twenty-five roubles,
promising to see her often. The money was soon spent
in paying her aunt for board, and on a new dress, a hat,
and ribbons. A few days later the author sent for her
again. She went. He again gave hei twenty-five roubles,
and proposed that she take rooms for herself somewhere.

While living in the apartments which the author had
rented for her, Maslova fell in love with a merry clerk,
who was living in the same yard. She herself told the
author about it, and took up other, smaller quarters.
The clerk, who had promised to marry her, suddenly left
for Nizhni-Novgorod, without saying a word to her, with
the evident intention of abandoning her, and she was left
alone. She wanted to keep the rooms by herself, but
was not permitted to do so. The inspector of pohce told
her that she could continue to live there only by getting
a yellow certificate and subjecting herself to examination.

So she went back to her aunt's. Her aunt, seeing her
fashionable dress, her mantle, and her hat, received her
respectfully, and did not dare to offer her a laundress's
place, since she considered her as having risen to a higher
sphere of life. For Maslova the question whether she
had better become a laundress or not, no longer existed.
She now looked with compassion at that life of enforced
labour, down in the basement, which the pale laundresses,
with their lean arms, — some of them were consumptive,
— were leading, washing and ironing in an atmosphere of
thirty degrees Eeaumur, fiUed with steam from the soap-
suds, the windows remaining open, winter and summer, —


and she shuddered at the thought that she, too, might be
brought to such a life. And just at this time, which was
exceedingly hard for Maslova, as she could not find a
single protector, she was approached by a procuress, who
furnished houses of prostitution with girls.

Maslova had started smoking long before, and had be-
come accustomed to drinking during the end of her con-
nection with the clerk, and still more so after he had
abandoned her. Wine attracted her, not only because it
tasted good, but more especially because it made her
forget all the heavy experiences in the past, and because
it gave her ease and confidence in her own worth, which
she did not have without it. Without wine she always
felt sad and ashamed. The procuress treated her aunt to
dainties, and having given wine to Maslova, proposed
that she should enter the best establishment in the city,
representing to her all the advantages and privileges of
such a position.

Maslova had the choice : either the humiliating position
of a servant, where there would certainly be persecution on
the side of the men, and secret, temporary adultery, or a
secure quiet, legalized condition, and open, legitimate, and
well-paid constant adultery, — and she chose the latter.
Besides, she thought in this manner to be able to avenge
the wrong done her by her seducer, the clerk, and all
other people who had treated her shamefully. She was
also enticed by the words of the procuress, — and this
was one of the causes that led to her final decision, —
that she could order any dresses she wished, of velvet, of
gauze, of silk, or baU-dresses with bare shoulders and
arms. And when Maslova imagined herself in a bright-
yellow silk garment, with black velvet trimmings, —
decollete, — she could not withstand the temptation, and
surrendered her passport. On that same evening the pro-
curess called a cab and took her to Kitaeva's well-known


From that time began for Maslova that life of chronic
transgression of divine and human laws, which is led by
hundreds and thousands of thousands of women, not only
by permission, but under the protection of the government
caring for the well-being of its citizens : that life which ends
for nine out of every ten women in agonizing disease, pre-
mature old age, and death.

In the morning and in the daytime — slumber after the
orgies of the night. At three or four o'clock — a tired
waking in an unclean bed, seltzer to counteract the effects
of immoderate drinking, coffee, indolent strolling through
the rooms in dressing-gowns, vests or cloaks, looking behind
the curtain through the windows, a lazy exchange of angry
words ; then ablutions, pomading, perfuming of the body
and the hair, the trying on of dresses, quarrels with the
landlady on account of these garments, surveying oneself
in the mirror, painting the face, dyeing the eyebrows, eat-
ing pastry and fat food ; then putting on a bright silk dress,
which exposed the body ; then coming out into a bright,
gaily illuminated parlour : the arrival of guests ; music,
dances, sweetmeats, wine, smoking, and adultery with
youths, half-grown men, half-children, and desperate old
men ; with bachelors, married men, merchants, clerks, Ar-
menians, Jews, Tartars; with men who were rich, poor,
healthy, sick, drunk, sober, coarse, tender; with officers,
private citizens, students, gymnasiasts, — of all condi-
tions, ages and characters. And cries, and jokes, and
quarrels, and music, and tobacco and wine, and wine
and tobacco, and music, from evening to daybreak. And
only in the morning liberation and heavy slumber. And
the same thing every day, the whole week. At the end of
the week — a drive to a government institution, the роИсе
station, where officers in government service, the doctors,
men who sometimes seriously and austerely, and some-
times with playful mirthfulness, examined these women,
annihilating that very sense of shame which has been


given by Nature not only to men, but also to animals, in
order to put a check to transgressions ; then they handed
them a patent for the continuation of these transgressions,
of which they and their partners had been guilty during
the past week. And again such a week. And thus every
day, — in summer and winter, on week-days and on holi-

Maslova had passed seven years in this manner. Dur-
ing that time she had changed houses twice, and had been
once in a hospital. In the seventh year of her sojourn
in a house of prostitution, and in the eighth since her first
fall, when she was twenty-six years old, there had hap-
pened to her that for which she had been imprisoned, and
now was being led to the court-house, after six months in
jail, with murderers and thieves.


At the same time that Maslova, worn out by the long
march, reached, with the soldiers of the guard, the build-
ing of the circuit court, that very nephew of her educators,

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