BLTC Press Titles


available for Kindle at Amazon.com


Vanity Fair

William Thackery


Theory of Colours

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe


The Art of Worldly Wisdom

Baltasar Gracian


Novalis Including Hymns to the Night

Novalis, George MacDonald, Thomas Carlyle


The long exile

by Leo Tolstoy (graf)

Excerpt:

My little children, let us not love in word, neither with the tongue, but in deed and truth, (iii. 17, 18.)

Love is of God; and every one that loveth is begotten of God and knoweth God.

He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love, (iv. 7, 8.)

No man hath beheld God at any time: if we love one another, God abideth in us. (iv. 12.)

God is love; and he that abideth in love abideth in God, and God abideth in him. (iv. 16.)

If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen cannot love God whom he hath not seen. (iv. 20.)

I.

A COBBLER and his wife and children had lodgings with a peasant. He owned neither house nor land, and he supported himself and his family by shoemaking.

Bread was dear and labor poorly paid, and whatever he earned went for food.

The cobbler and his wife had one shuba* between them, and this had come to tatters, and for two years the cobbler had been hoarding in order to buy skeepskins for a new shuba.

When autumn came, the cobbler's hoard had grown; three paper rubles f lay in his wife's box, and five rubles and twenty kopeks more were due the cobbler from his customers.

One morning the cobbler betook himself to the village to get his new shuba. He put on his wife's wadded nankeen jacket over his shirt, and outside of all a woollen kaftan. He put the three ruble notes in his pocket, broke off a staff, and after breakfast he set forth.

He said to himself, "I will get my five rubles from the peasant, and that with these three will buy pelts for my shuba."

The cobbler reached the village and went to one peasant's; he was not at home, but his wife promised to send her husband with the money the next week, but she could not give him any money. He went to another, and this peasant swore that he had no money at all; but he paid him twenty kopeks for cobbling his boots.

* Fur or sheepskin outside garment.

t The paper ruble is woqth about forty-two cents; a ruble contains 100 kopeks.

The cobbler made up his mind to get the pelts on credit. But the fur-dealer refused to sell on credit. "Bring the money," says he; "then you can make your choice: but we know how hard it is to get what is one's due."

And so the cobbler did not do his errand, but he had the twenty kopeks for cobbling the boots, and he took from a peasant an old pair of felt boots to mend with leather.

At first the cobbler was vexed at heart; then he spent the twenty kopeks for vodka, and started to go home. In the morning he had felt cold, but after having drunken the vodka he was warm enough even without the shuba.

The cobbler was walking along the road, striking the frozen ground with the staff that he had in one hand, and swinging the felt boots in the other, and thus he talked to himself:—

"I," says he, "am warm even without a shuba. I drank a glass, and it dances through all my veins. And so I don't need a sheepskin coat. I walk along, and all my vexation is forgotten. That is just like me! What do I need? I can get along without the shuba. I don't need it at all. There's one thing: the wife will feel bad. Indeed, it is too bad; here I have been working for it, and now to have missed it! You just wait now! if you don't bring the money, I will take your hat, I vow I will! What a way of doing things! He pays me twenty kopeks at a time! Now what can you do with twenty kopeks? Get a drink; that's all! You say, 'I am poor!' But if you are poor, how is it with me? You have a house and cattle and everything; I have nothing but my own hands. You raise your own grain, but I have to buy mine, when I can, and it costs me three rubles a week for food alone. When I get home now, we shall be out of bread. Another ruble and a half of out-go! So you must give me what you owe me."


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