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Page:Complete Works of Count Tolstoy - 02.djvu/40

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V.

"Тhere is something else I wanted to tell you," said Nekhlyúdov. "Why has not your manure been removed?"

"What manure is there to take away, your Grace? How many animals have I? A little mare and a colt, and the young heifer I gave last autumn to the porter; that is all the animals I have."

"You have so few animals, and yet you gave your heifer away?" the master asked, in amazement.

"What was I to feed her on?"

"Have you not enough straw to feed a cow with? Everybody else has."

"Others have manured land, and my land is mere clay that you can't do anything with."

"But that is what your manure is for, to take away the clay: and the soil will produce grain, and you will have something to feed your animals with."

"But if there are no animals, where is the manure to come from?"

"This is a strange cercle vicieux," thought Nekhlyúdov, but was at a loss how to advise the peasant.

"And then again, your Grace, not the manure makes the grain grow, but God," continued Churís. "Now, last year I got six ricks out of one unmanured eighth, but from another dressed eighth I did not reap as much as a cock. God alone!" he added, with a sigh. "And the cattle somehow do not thrive in our yard. They have died for six years in succession. Last year a heifer died,

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