"In an unfinished house on Varkarka Street, with a post-house on the ground floor, drunken shouting and singing was heard. Some ten factory workers were sitting on benches by the tables in a small, dirty room. Drunk, sweaty, bleary-eyed, straining and opening their mouths wide, they were all singing the same song."
There is a fight between the landlord and a blacksmith. Someone shouts that a man has been killed. They are discussing whether to call the police, but knowing there has been a total social breakdown, that no one was in control. Scary.
I am not a regular reader of The New York Times, but an article in today's edition by Ann Louise Bardach caught my eye because I have been practicing yoga for decades. It is entitled "How Yoga Won the West", about the first yogi to visit the United States, Vivekananda. Lo and behold, there is a reference to Leo Tolstoy!
"Among those who never doubted the messenger during his lifetime was Leo Tolstoy. The restless Russian was especially keen for writings on Ramakrishna, Vivekananda’s own guru. Two years before his death, Tolstoy wrote, “Since 6 in the morning I have been thinking of Vivekananda,” and later, “It is doubtful if in this age man has ever risen above this selfless, spiritual meditation.” That is very cool! -- Lola
from page 343-344, volume 2 of original text
Pevear/Volokhonsky translation page 880-881