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Leo Tolstoy

What Men Live By

A shoemaker named Simon saw something whitish behind a shrine and went along sniffling and wrapping his wife's coat round him. Matryona noticed that her husband smelt of spirits. Matryona got angry...

41 min read · Rating: G · Read story

Work, Death and Sickness

God made men so they had no need to work, but after some time they quarrelled with one another and cursed life, so God made it impossible for people to live without working. This brought them...

5 min read · Rating: G · Read story

Under Seas

Captain Andrey gave the order to submerge, and went over to the navigating compartment. The Kate sank and ran ahead under water, until it struck against something hard, and a grating sound broke...

15 min read · Rating: G · Read story

Two Old Men

Two old men decided to go on a pilgrimage to worship God at Jerusalem. Elisha persuaded one of them to sell ten hives to his neighbour and left home in a cheerful mood. The old men had been walking...

45 min read · Rating: G · Read story

Three Questions

A certain king wanted to know the right time for every action, but learned men told him it was impossible to decide beforehand. So he decided to have a Council of wise men help him decide the right...

8 min read · Rating: G · Read story

Three Parables

A wise master told the tenants of a meadow not to mow the weed, but they did not heed the advice and the meadow grew more and more infested. He says we ought not to mow the meadow, but they say we...

18 min read · Rating: G · Read story

Three Deaths

The sick woman stretched back her head and gradually opened her eyes, and the doctor suggested they try to persuade her to stop till the winter season. Aksusha leaped across the threshold ran out...

27 min read · Rating: G · Read story

The Young Tsar

The young Tsar received official visitors, stretched himself, retired to his apartments, took off his uniform, and suddenly ceased to perceive the odour. Six men in long grey coats, some in felt...

26 min read · Rating: G · Read story

The Two Brothers and the Gold

Two brothers lived at Jerusalem, worked for the poor, and only met together on the Sabbath. Every week the Angel of the Lord came down to them and blessed them, and they lived for many...

5 min read · Rating: G · Read story

There are No Guilty People

Alexander Ivanovich Volgin, a bachelor and a clerk in a Moscow bank, was staying in a country-house. He smoked a cigarette, talked to the student and the secretary about the weather, and went out...

22 min read · Rating: G · Read story

The Penitent Sinner

A man lived in the world for seventy years and did not repent. At his deathbed, he burst into tears and asked the Lord to forgive him. A sinner came to the doors of heaven and begged to be...

5 min read · Rating: G · Read story

The Gray Hare

A gray hare lived during the winter near a village. At night he would prick up one ear, snuff, and sit up on his hind legs, then leap through the snow and look all around. The hare was walking...

3 min read · Rating: G · Read story