No matter how people try to gather together in one small place several hundred thousand, mutilate the land on which they huddle, no matter how they pile stones on the ground, so that nothing grows on it, no matter how scraping any trampling grass, no matter how fumed with coal and oil, – spring remains in spring even in the city. The sun heats, the grass, reviving, growing and greening wherever it is not scraped; jackdaws, sparrows and pigeons in the spring joyfully prepare nests, and flies buzz against the walls, warmed by the sun. Vesely and plants, and birds, and insects, and children. But people – big, grown-up people – do not stop deceiving and tormenting themselves and each other. Such a joyful spring day in one of the nineties of the last century in one of the Moscow prisons, the guard, rattling with iron, unlocks the lock in one of the cells and shouts: “Maslova, to court!”
The story of this prisoner Maslova is very ordinary. She was a daughter,
who came from a traveling gypsy, an unmarried domestic woman in a village with two sisters-girls of landlords. Katyusha was three years old when her mother fell ill and died. The old ladies took Katyusha to herself, and she became a half-educated half-school girl. When she was sixteen years old, their nephew-student, a wealthy prince, an innocent young man, came to her young ladies, and Katyusha, not daring either to him or even to admit it, fell in love with him. A few years later, this same nephew, just made into officers and already corrupted by military service, drove along the road to the war to his aunts, stayed with them for four days and on the eve of his departure seduced Katyusha and, thrusting her a hundred-ruble note on the last day, left. Five months after he left, she probably found out that she was pregnant. She talked to the girls of rudeness, in which she later repented, and asked for a calculation, and the young ladies, displeased with her, let her go. She settled with a village widow, a midwife, who sold wine. The birth was easy. But the midwife, who was taking delivery in the village to a sick woman,
infected Katyusha with a fierce fever, and the child, the boy, was sent to an educational home, where he immediately died on arrival. After a while, Maslova, who had already succeeded several patrons, was searched by a detective who supplied the girls for a house of tolerance, and with Katyusha’s consent took her to the famous house of Kitaevaya. In the seventh year of her stay in the house of tolerance she was put in jail and now leads to the court together with murderers and thieves. selling wine. The birth was easy. But the midwife, who was taking delivery in the village to a sick woman, infected Katyusha with a fierce fever, and the child, the boy, was sent to an educational home, where he immediately died on arrival. After a while, Maslova, who had already succeeded several patrons, was searched by a detective who supplied the girls for a house of tolerance, and with Katyusha’s consent took her to the famous house of Kitaevaya. In the seventh year of her stay in the house of tolerance she was put in jail and now leads to the court together with murderers and thieves. selling wine. The birth was easy. But the midwife, who was taking delivery in the village to a sick woman, infected Katyusha with a fierce fever, and the child, the boy, was sent to an educational home, where he immediately died on arrival. After a while, Maslova, who had already succeeded several patrons, was searched by a detective who supplied the girls for a house of tolerance, and with Katyusha’s consent took her to the famous house of Kitaevaya. In the seventh year of her stay in the house of tolerance she was put in jail and now leads to the court together with murderers and thieves. delivering girls for the home of tolerance, and with Katyusha consent she was taken to the famous house of Kitaevaya. In the seventh year of her stay in the house of tolerance she was put in jail and now leads to the court together with murderers and thieves. delivering girls for the home of tolerance, and with Katyusha consent she was taken to the famous house of Kitaevaya. In the seventh year of her stay in the house of tolerance she was put in jail and now leads to the court together with murderers and thieves.
At the same time, Prince Dmitry Ivanovich Nekhlyudov, the same nephew of those aunt-landowners, lying in bed in the morning, recalls yesterday evening with the rich and famous Korchagins, whose daughters, as everyone supposed, he should marry. A little later, after drinking a kafia, famously rolls up to the entrance of the court, and already as a juror, wearing a pince-nez, examines the defendants accused of poisoning a merchant in order to steal money from him. “It can not be,” Nekhludoff tells himself. These two black female eyes, looking at him, remind him something black and terrible. Yes, it was she, Katyusha, whom he first saw when, in the third year of the university, preparing his essay on landed property, he spent the summer with his aunts. Without any doubt, this is the same girl, a girl-maid, in which he was in love, and then in some mad child seduced and abandoned and then never remembered, because the memory too exposed him, so proud of his decency. But he still does not submit to the feeling of repentance, which already begins to speak in him. What is happening seems to him only an unpleasant accident that will pass and not break his present pleasant life, but the court continues, and finally the jury must make a decision. Maslova, apparently innocent of what she was accused of, was found guilty, like her comrades, though with some reservations. But even the chairman of the court is surprised that the jury, having stipulated the first condition “without the intent of robbery,” forget to stipulate the necessary second “without the intention to deprive life,” and, according to the jury, that Maslova did not rob and steal, but at the same time poisoned the merchant for no apparent purpose. So as a result of a judicial error, Katyusha is sentenced to hard labor.
It is shameful and disgusting for Nekhlyudov when he returns home after a visit to his rich bride, Missy Korchagina, and a prisoner with black, squinting eyes arises in his imagination with unusual liveliness. How she cried at the last word of the defendants! Marriage on Missy, which seemed so close and inevitable recently, seems completely impossible to him now. He prays, asks God to help, and God, who lived in him, wakes up in his consciousness. All the best that a man can do, he feels capable of doing, and the thought, in order to sacrifice everything for the sake of moral satisfaction and even marry Maslova, especially touches him. Nekhlyudov wants a meeting with Katyusha. “I came next to ask for your forgiveness,” he blurts out without intonation, as a learned lesson. “I want to atone for my sin now.” ” There is nothing to bathe; “Katyusha is surprised that, having seen him, having learned his intention to serve her and his repentance, Katyusha will be delighted and moved, but, to his horror, he sees that Katyusha is not there, but there is one prostitute He is surprised and horrified that Maslova is not only not ashamed of her position as a prostitute, but she is also proud of him as an important and useful activity, since many men need it in her services. “On another occasion, she went to her prison and found her drunk, Nekhludoff declares she, that, in spite of everything, feels obligated before God. Os on it to atone not only with words, but with deeds, “Here you have time to remember God – Katyusha screams. “I’m a convict, and you are a gentleman, prince, and there’s nothing to be afraid of.” What you want to marry – it will never happen. I’ll hang myself soon. You have reveled in this life in me, you also want to be saved in the next world! You are opposed to me, and your glasses, and fat, rotten all your face. “
However, Nekhlyudov, determined to serve her, embarks on the path of trouble for her pardon and correction of the judicial error committed in his case, as a jury, connivance, and even refuses to be a juror, considering now every trial is a matter of useless and immoral. Passing each time through the wide corridors of the prison, Nekhlyudov feels strange feelings – and compassion for those people who were sitting, and horror and perplexity before those who planted and keeps them here, and for some reason, shame for themselves, for being calm considers this. The former sense of solemnity and the joy of moral renewal disappears; he decides that he will not abandon Maslova, will not change his noble decision to marry her, if only she wants it, but it’s hard and painful for him.
Nekhlyudov intends to go to Petersburg, where the Maslova case will be heard in the Senate, and in case of failure in the Senate to file a petition for the highest name, as advised by the lawyer. If the complaint is left without consequences, it will be necessary to prepare for the trip for Maslova to Siberia, so Nekhlyudov goes to his villages to settle his relations with the peasants. These relations were not living slavery, abolished in 1861, not the slavery of certain persons to the master, but the general slavery of all landless or landless peasants to large landowners, and not only that Nekhludoff knows this, he knows that it is unfair and cruel, and, while still a student, gives his father’s land to the peasants, believing that the possession of the land is the same sin as before the possession of serfs. But the death of the mother, the inheritance and the need to dispose of their property, that is, land, again raise for him the question of his relationship to landed property. He decides that, although he has a trip to Siberia and a difficult relationship with the world of jails, for which money is needed, he still can not leave the matter in the previous position, but must, at the expense of himself, change it. To this end, he decides not to cultivate the land himself, but, having given it at an inexpensive price to the peasants for rent, give them the opportunity to be independent of the landowners in general. Everything is arranged in the way Nekhlyudov wants and expects: the peasants get the land thirty per cent cheaper than the land in the district; his income from the land is reduced by almost half, but more than enough for Nekhludoff, especially with the addition of the amount received for the sold timber. Everything seems to be fine, and Nekhlyudov always feels ashamed of something. He sees that the peasants, Despite the fact that some of them are thankful to him, dissatisfied and expecting something more. It turns out that he deprived himself of much, and the peasants did not do what they expected. Nekhlyudov is unhappy with himself. What he is not happy with, he does not know, but he always feels sad and ashamed.
After a trip to the village of Nekhlyudov, he feels disgust with the whole being towards the environment in which he lived until now, to the environment where so painstakingly millions of people were so carefully hidden to provide the comforts and pleasures of a small number of people. In St. Petersburg, Nekhludoff has several cases at once, for which he undertakes, having become better acquainted with the world of prisoners. In addition to cassation petition Maslova in the Senate, there are still troubles for some political, as well as the case of sectarians referring to the Caucasus for not properly reading and interpreting the Gospel. After many visits to necessary and unnecessary people, Nekhlyudov wakes up one morning in Petersburg with the feeling that he is doing something disgusting. He is constantly harassed by the bad thoughts that all his present intentions are to marry Katyusha, the return of land to the peasants – that all these are unrealizable dreams, that he will not stand it all, that all this is artificial, unnatural, but it is necessary to live as he always lived. But no matter how difficult and new that he intends to do, he knows that this is now the only possible life for him, and the return to the former is death. Returning to Moscow, he informs Maslova that the senate has approved the court’s decision that it is necessary to prepare for sending to Siberia, and he follows it himself.
The party with which Maslova is going has already passed about five thousand versts. Prior to Perm Maslova goes with the criminal, but Nekhlyudov manages to achieve her move to political, which are the same party. Not to mention the fact that political people are better off, eat better, are less rude, Katyusha’s transfer to politics improves her position by stopping the harassment of men and can live without being reminded at any minute of her past, which she now wants to forget. With her walking two political on foot: a good woman Marya Schetinina and a referring to the Yakut region someone Vladimir Si – 642
Monson. After the depraved, luxurious and pampered life of recent years in the city and the last months in the prison, the present life with political, despite the severity of the conditions, seems to be good for Katyusha. Transitions from twenty to thirty versts on foot with good food, daytime rest after two days of walking strengthen her physically, and communication with new comrades reveals to her such interests in life, about which she had no idea. Such wonderful people she not only did not know, but she could not imagine. “I cried that I was sentenced,” she says, “Yes, I must thank the age.” I learned what I would not have known in my whole life. ” Vladimir Simonson loves Katyusha, who very soon realizes this with a woman’s instinct, and the consciousness that she can arouse love in such an extraordinary person raises her in her own opinion, and it makes her try to be as good as she can be. Nekhlyudov offers her a marriage of generosity, and Simonson loves her as she is now, and loves just because she loves, and when Nekhlyudov brings her the long-awaited news of the procured pardon, she says that it will be where Vladimir Ivanovich Simonson is.
Feeling the need to remain alone to ponder all that has happened, Nekhlyudov comes to a local hotel and, without going to bed, goes for a long time back and forth at the number. His case with Katyusha is over, he does not need it, and it’s embarrassing and sad, but it does not torment him. All the public evil that he saw and learned lately, and especially in prison, tortures him and demands some kind of activity, but there is no possibility that he can conquer evil, but even understand how to defeat him. Tired of walking and thinking, he sits down on the couch and automatically opens the gospel given to him by the memory of an Englishman traveling by. “They say that there is permission for everything,” he thinks, and begins to read where he opened, and the eighteenth chapter of Matthew opened. From this night a completely new life begins for Nekhludoff. How will this new period of life end for him,