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Full Online Book HomeLong StoriesAwakening - Part 3 - Chapter 3
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Awakening - Part 3 - Chapter 3 Post by :Joe_Coon Category :Long Stories Author :Leo Tolstoy Date :May 2012 Read :2526

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Awakening - Part 3 - Chapter 3

PART THIRD. CHAPTER III.

The influence exerted by Maria Pablovna over Katiousha was due to the fact that Katiousha loved Maria Pablovna. There was another influence--that of Simonson, and that was due to the fact that Simonson loved Katiousha.

Simonson decided everything by the light of his reason, and having once decided upon a thing, he never swerved. While yet a student he made up his mind that the wealth of his father, who was an officer of the Commissary Department, was dishonestly accumulated. He then declared to him that his wealth ought to be returned to the people. And when he was reprimanded he left the house and refused to avail himself of his father's means. Having come to the conclusion that all evil can be traced to the people's ignorance, he joined the Democrats, on leaving the university, and obtaining the position of village teacher, he boldly preached before his pupils and the peasants that which he considered to be just, and denounced that which he considered unjust and false.

He was arrested and prosecuted.

During the trial he decided that the court had no right to judge him, and said so. The judges disagreeing with him and proceeding with the trial, he concluded not to answer their questions and remained silent. He was sentenced to exile in the Government of Archangel. There he formulated a religious creed defining all his actions. According to this religious teaching nothing in the world is dead, there is life in everything; all those things which we consider dead, inorganic, are but parts of a huge organic body which we cannot embrace, and that, as a part of a huge organism, man's aim should be to conserve the life of that organism and the lives of all its parts. He therefore considered it a crime to destroy life; was against war, executions, the killing in any manner not only of human beings, but of animals. He also had his theory of marriage, according to which the breeding of people was man's lower function, his higher function consisting in conserving life already existing. He found confirmation of this idea in the existence of phagocites in the blood. Bachelors, according to him, were the same phagocites whose function was to help the weak, sickly parts of the organism. And true to his convictions, he had been performing this function since he became convinced of the truth of the theory, although as a youth he had led a different life. He called himself, as well as Maria Pablovna, a phagocite of the world.

His love for Katiousha did not violate this theory, since it was purely platonic. He assumed that such love not only did not prevent his phagocite activity, but aided it.

And it was this man who, falling in love with Katiousha, had a decisive influence over her. With the instincts of a woman, Maslova soon discovered it, and the consciousness that she could arouse the feeling of love in such a remarkable man raised her in her own estimation. Nekhludoff offered to marry her out of magnanimity, and the obligation for the past, but Simonson loved her as she was now, and loved her simply because he loved her. She felt, besides, that he considered her an unusual woman, distinguished from all other women, and possessing high moral qualities. She did not know exactly what those qualities were, but, at all events, not to deceive him, she endeavored with all her power to call forth her best qualities and, necessarily, be as good as she could be.

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PART THIRD. CHAPTER IV.Nekhludoff managed to see Maslova only twice between Nijhni and Perm--once in Nijhni while the prisoners were being placed on a net-covered lighter, and again in the office of the Perm prison. On both occasions he found her secretive and unkind. When he asked her about her prison conditions, or whether she wanted anything, she became confused and answered evasively and, as it seemed to him, with that hostile feeling of reproach which she had manifested before. And this gloomy temper, due only to the persecutions to which she was being subjected by the men, tormented him.But at
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PART THIRD. CHAPTER II.After six years of luxurious and pampered life in the city and two months in prison among the politicals, her present life, notwithstanding the hard conditions, seemed to Katiousha very satisfactory. The journeys of fifteen or twenty miles on foot between stopping places, the food and day's rest after two days' tramp, strengthened her physically, while her association with her new comrades opened up to her new phases of life of which she had formerly no conception.She was charmed with all her new comrades. But above all, with Maria Pablovna--nay, she even came to love her with a
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