BLTC Press Titles

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The Souls of Black Folk

W. E. B. DuBois

Theory of Colours

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

The Fairy Tale of the Green Snake and the Beautiful Lily

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Thomas Carlyle, Rudolf Steiner

Leaves of Grass

Walt Whitman

Anna Karenina



He vividly recalled Mile. Roland's black roguish eyes and her smile.

"But then, while she was here in the house with us, I did not permit myself any liberties. And the worst of all is that she is already.... All this must needs happen just to spite me. Al! al! ai! But what, what is to be done?"

There was no answer except that common answer which life gives to all the most complicated and unsolvable questions, — this answer: You must live according to circumstances, in other words, forget yourself. But as you cannot forget yourself in sleep — at least till night, as you cannot return to that music which the water-bottle woman sang, therefore you must forget yourself in the dream of life!

"We shall see by and by," said Stepan Arkadyevitch to himself, and rising he put on his gray dressing-gown with blue silk lining, tied the tassels into a knot, and took a full breath into his ample lungs. Then with his usual firm step, his legs spread somewhat apart and easily bearing the solid weight of his body, he went over to the window, lifted the curtain, and loudly rang the bell. It was instantly answered by his old friend and valet Matve, who came in bringing his clothes, boots, and a telegram. Behind Matve came the barber with the shaving utensils.

"Are there any papers from the court-house ?" asked Stepan Arkadyevitch, taking the telegram and taking his seat in front of the mirror.

...." On the breakfast-table," replied Matve, looking inquiringly and with sympathy at his master, and after an instant's pause, added with a sly smile, "They have come from the boss of the livery-stable."

Stepan Arkadyevitch made no reply and only looked at Matve in the mirror. By the look which they interchanged it could be seen how they understood each other. The look of Stepan Arkadyevitch seemed to ask, "Why did you say that? Don't you know?"

Matve thrust his hands in his jacket pockets, kicked out his leg, and silently, good-naturedly, almost smiling, looked back to his master: —

"I ordered him to come on Sunday, and till then that you and I should not be annoyed without reason," said he, with a phrase evidently ready on his tongue.

Stepan Arkadyevitch perceived that Matve wanted to make some jesting reply and attract attention to himself. Tearing open the telegram, he read it, using his wits to make out the words, that were as usual blindly written, and his face brightened.

...." Matve, sister Anna Arkadyevna will be here to-morrow," said he, staying for a moment the plump gleaming hand of his barber, who was making a pink path through his long, curly whiskers.

"Thank God," cried Matve, showing by this exclamation that he understood as well as his master the significance of this arrival, that it meant that Anna Arkadyevna, Prince Stepan's loving sister, might effect a reconciliation between husband and wife.

"Alone, or with her husband?" asked Matve.

Stepan Arkadyevitch could not speak, as the barber was engaged on his upper lip, but he lifted one finger. Matve nodded his head toward the mirror.

"Alone. Get her room ready?"

"Report to Darya Aleksandrovna, and let her decide."

"To Darya Aleksandrovna? "repeated Matve, rather skeptically.

"Yes! report to her. And here, take the telegram, give it to her, and do as she says."

"You want to try an experiment," was the thought in Matve's mind; but he only said, "I will obey!"

By this time Stepan Arkadyevitch had finished his bath and his toilet, and was just putting on his clothes, when Matve, stepping slowly with squeaking boots, and with the telegram in his hand, returned to the room. The barber was no longer there.

"Darya Aleksandrovna bade me tell you she is going away just as he — as you—please about it," said Matve, with a smile lurking in his eyes. Thrusting his hands into his pockets, and bending his head to one side, he looked at his master. Stepan Arkadyevitch was silent. Then a good-humored and rather pitiful smile lighted up his handsome face.

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