Fathers and Sons
Dedicated to the memory of Vissarion Grigor'evich Belinsky
"WELLPYOTRSTILL NOT IN SIGHT?" WAS THE QUESTION ASKED ON 20thMay1859by a gentleman of about fortywearing a dusty overcoat and checkedtrouserswho came out hatless into the low porch of the posting station at X.He was speaking to his servanta chubby young fellow with whitish down growingon his chin and with dim little eyes.
The servantin whom everything--the turquoise ring in his earthe hairplastered down with grease and the polite flexibility of hismovements--indicated a man of the new improved generationglancedcondescendingly along the road and answered"Nosirdefinitely not insight."
"Not in sight?" repeated his master.
"Nosir" replied the servant again.
His master sighed and sat down on a little bench. We will introduce him tothe reader while he sitswith his feet tucked inlooking thoughtfully around.
His name was Nikolai Petrovich Kirsanov. He ownedabout twelve miles fromthe posting stationa fine property of two hundred serfs oras he calledit--since he had arranged the division of his land with the peasants--a "farm"of nearly five thousand acres. His fathera general in the armywho had servedin 1812a crudealmost illiteratebut good-natured type of Russianhad stuckto a routine job all his lifefirst commanding a brigade and later a divisionand lived permanently in the provinceswhere by virtue of his rank he was ableto play a certain part. Nikolai Petrovich was born in south Russiaas was hiselder brother Pavelof whom we shall hear more; till the age of fourteen he waseducated at homesurrounded by cheap tutorsfree-and-easy but fawningadjutantsand all the usual regimental and staff people. His mothera memberof the Kolyazin familywas called Agatha as a girlbut as a general's wife hername was Agafoklea Kuzminishna Kirsanov; she was a domineering military ladywore gorgeous caps and rustling silk dresses; in church she was the first to goup to the crossshe talked a lot in a loud voicelet her children kiss herhand every morning and gave them her blessing at night--in factshe enjoyed herlife and got as much out of it as she could. As a general's sonNikolaiPetrovich--though so far from brave that he had even been called a "funk"--wasintendedlike his brother Pavelto enter the army; but he broke his leg on thevery day he obtained a commission and after spending two months in bed he nevergot rid of a slight limp for the rest of his life. His father gave him up as abad job and let him go in for the civil service. He took him to Petersburg assoon as he was eighteen and placed him in the university there. His brotherhappened at the same time to become an officer in a guards regiment. The youngmen started to share a flat togetherand were kept under the remote supervisionof a cousin on their mother's sideIlya Kolyazinan important official. Theirfather returned to his division and to his wife and only occasionally wrote tohis sons on large sheets of grey paperscrawled over in an ornate clerklyhandwriting; the bottom of these sheets was adorned with a scroll enclosing thewords"Pyotr KirsanovMajor-General." In 1835 Nikolai Petrovichgraduated from the universityand in the same year General Kirsanov was put onthe retired list after an unsuccessful reviewand came with his wife to live inPetersburg. He was about to take a house in the Tavrichesky Gardensand hadjoined the English clubwhen he suddenly died of an apoplectic fit. AgafokleaKuzminishna soon followed him to the grave; she could not adapt herself to adull life in the capital and was consumed by the boredom of retirement fromregimental existence. Meanwhile Nikolai Petrovichduring his parents' lifetimeand much to their distresshad managed to fall in love with the daughter of hislandlorda petty official called Prepolovensky. She was an attractive andasthey call itwell-educated girl; she used to read the serious articles in thescience column of the newspapers. He married her as soon as the period ofmourning for his parents was overand leaving the civil servicewhere hisfather had secured him a post through patronagehe started to live very happilywith his Mashafirst in a country villa near the Forestry Instituteafterwardsin Petersburg in a pretty little flat with a clean staircase and a draughtydrawing roomand finally in the country where he settled down and where in duecourse his sonArkadywas born. Husband and wife lived well and peacefully;they were hardly ever separatedthey read togetherthey sang and played duetstogether on the pianoshe grew flowers and looked after the poultry yardhebusied himself with the estate and sometimes huntedwhile Arkady went ongrowing in the same happy and peaceful way. Ten years passed like a dream. Thenin 1847 Kirsanov's wife died. He hardly survived this blow and his hair turnedgrey in a few weeks; he was preparing to travel abroadif possible to distracthis thoughts . . . but then came the year 1848. He returned unwillingly to thecountry and after a rather long penod of inactivity he began to take an interestin improving his estate. In 1855 he brought his son to the university and spentthree winters in Petersburg with himhardly going out anywhere and trying tomake acquaintance with Arkady's young comrades. The last winter he was unable togoand here we see him in May1859already entirely grey-hairedplump andrather bentwaiting for his sonwho had just taken his university degreeasonce he had taken it himself.
The servantfrom a feeling of proprietyand perhaps also because he wasanxious to escape from his master's eyehad gone over to the gate and wassmoking a pipe. Nikolai Petrovich bowed his head and began to stare at thecrumbling steps; a big mottled hen walked sedately towards himtreading firmlywith its thick yellow legs; a dirty cat cast a disapproving look at himas shetwisted herself coyly round the railing. The sun was scorching; a smell of hotrye bread was wafted from the dim entrance of the posting station. NikolaiPetrovich started musing. "My son . . . a graduate . . . Arkasha . .." kept on turning round in his mind; he tried to think of something elsebut the same thoughts returned. He remembered his dead wife. "She did notlive to see it" he murmured sadly. A plump blue pigeon flew on to the roadand hurriedly started to drink water from a puddle near the well. NikolaiPetrovich began to watch itbut his ear had already caught the sound ofapproaching wheels . . .
"It sounds as if they're comingsir" announced the servantemerging from the gateway.
Nikolai Petrovich jumped up and fixed his eyes on the road. A carriageappeared with three posting horses abreast; inside it he caught a glimpse of theband of a student's cap and the familiar outline of a dear face . . .
"Arkasha! Arkasha!" cried Kirsanovand he ran out into the roadwaving his arms . . . A few moments later his lips were pressed to the beardlessdusty sunburnt cheek of the young graduate.
"LET ME SHAKE MYSELF FIRSTDADDY" SAID ARKADYIN A VOICE rathertired from traveling but boyish and resonantas he responded gaily to hisfather's greetings; "I'm covering you with dust."
"Never mindnever mind" repeated Nikolai Petrovichsmilingtenderlyand struck the collar of his son's cloak and his own greatcoat withhis hand. "Let me have a look at you; just show yourself" he addedmoving back from himand then hurried away towards the station yardcallingout"This waythis waybring the horses along at once.
Nikolai Petrovich seemed much more excited than his son; he was really ratherconfused and shy. Arkady stopped him.
"Daddy" he said"let me introduce you to my great friendBazarovabout whom I wrote to you so often. He has kindly agreed to come tostay with us."
Nikolai Petrovich turned round quickly and going up to a tall man in a longloose rough coat with tasselswho had just climbed out of the carriagehewarmly pressed the ungloved red hand which the latter did not at once hold outto him.
"I am delighted" he began"and grateful for your kindintention to visit us; I hope--please tell me your name and patronymic."
"Evgeny Vassilyev" answered Bazarov in a lazy but manly voiceandturning back the collar of his rough overcoat he showed his whole face. It waslong and thin with a broad foreheada nose flat at the base and sharper at theendlarge greenish eyes and sand-coloreddrooping side whiskers; it wasenlivened by a calm smile and looked self-confident and intelligent.
"I hopemy dear Evgeny Vassilichthat you won't be bored staying withus" continued Nikolai Petrovich.
Bazarov's thin lips moved slightlybut he made no answer and merely took offhis cap. His fair hairlong and thickdid not hide the prominent bumps on hisbroad skull.
"WellArkady" Nikolai Petrovich began againturning to his son"would you rather have the horses brought round at once or would you liketo rest?"
"We'll rest at homeDaddy; tell them to harness the horses."
"At onceat once" his father exclaimed. "HeyPyotrdo youhear? Get a move onmy boy." Pyotrwho as a perfectly modern servant hadnot kissed his master's hand but only bowed to him from a distancevanishedagain through the gates.
"I came here with the carriagebut there are three horses for yourtarantass also" said Nikolai Petrovich fussilywhile Arkady drank somewater from an iron bucket brought to him by the woman in charge of the stationand Bazarov began smoking a pipe and went up to the driverwho was unharnessingthe horses. "There are only two seats in the carriageand I don't know howyour friend . . ."
"He will go in the tarantass" interrupted Arkady in an undertone."Don't stand on ceremony with himplease. He's a splendid fellowsosimple--you will see."
Nikolai Petrovich's coachman brought the horses round.
"Wellmake hastebushy beard!" said Bazarovaddressing thedriver.
"Do you hearMitya" chipped in another driverstanding with hishands behind him thrust into the slits of his sheepskin coat"what thegentleman just called you? That's just what you are--a bushy beard."
Mitya only jerked his hat and pulled the reins off the steaming horses.
"Hurry upladslend a hand!" cried Nikolai Petrovich. "There'llbe something to drink our health with!"
In a few minutes the horses were harnessed; father and son took their placesin the carriage: Pyotr climbed on to the box; Bazarov jumped into the tarantassleaned his head back against the leather cushion--and both vehicles rolled away.
"SO HERE YOU AREA GRADUATE AT LAST--AND HOME AGAIN" said NikolaiPetrovichtouching Arkady now on the shouldernow on the knee. "At last!"
"And how is uncle? Is he well?" asked Arkadywho in spite of thegenuinealmost childish joy which filled himwanted as soon as possible toturn the conversation from an emotional to a more commonplace level.
"Quite well. He wanted to come with me to meet youbut for some reasonhe changed his mind."
"And did you have a long wait for me?" asked Arkady.
"Ohabout five hours."
"You dear old daddy!"
Arkady turned round briskly to his father and gave him a resounding kiss onthe cheek. Nikolai Petrovich laughed quietly.
"I've got a splendid horse for you" he began. "You will seefor yourself. And your room has been freshly papered."
"And is there a room ready for Bazarov?"
"We will find one all right."
"PleaseDaddybe kind to him. I can't tell you how much I value hisfriendship."
"You met him only recently?"
"That's how I didn't see him last winter. What is he studying?"
"His chief subject is--natural science. But he knows everything. Nextyear he wants to take his doctor's degree."
"Ah! he's in the medical faculty" remarked Nikolai Petrovichandfell silent. "Pyotr" he went onstretching out his hand"aren'tthose our peasants driving along?"
Pyotr looked aside to where his master was pointing. A few cartsdrawn byunbridled horseswere rolling rapidly along a narrow side-track. In each cartwere seated one or two peasants in unbuttoned sheepskin coats.
"Just sosir" replied Pyotr.
"Where are they going--to the town?"
"To the townI suppose--to the pub" Pyotr added contemptuouslyand half turned towards the coachman as if including him in the reproach. Butthe latter did not turn a hair; he was a man of the old type and did not sharethe latest views of the younger generation.
"The peasants have given me a lot of trouble this year" went onNikolai Petrovichturning to his son. "They won't pay their rent. What isone to do?"
"And are you satisfied with your hired laborers?"
"Yes" said Nikolai Petrovich between his teeth. "But they'rebeing set against methat's the worst of itand they don't really workproperly; they spoil the tools. Howeverthey've managed to plough the land. Weshall manage somehow--there will be enough flour to go round. Are you startingto be interested in agriculture?"
"What a pity you have no shade" remarked Arkadywithout answeringthe last question.
"I have had a big awning put up on the north side over theveranda" said Nikolai Petrovich; "now we can even have dinner in theopen air."
"Won't it be rather too like a summer villa? . . . But that's a minormatter. What air there is here! How wonderful it smells. Really it seems to meno air in the world is so sweetly scented as here! And the sky too . . ."Arkady suddenly stoppedcast a quick look behind him and did not finish hissentence.
"Naturally" observed Nikolai Petrovich"you were born hereso everything is bound to strike you with a special----"
"ReallyDaddyit makes absolutely no difference where a person is born."
"Noit makes no difference at all."
Nikolai Petrovich glanced sideways at his sonand the carriage went on halfa mile farther before their conversation was renewed.
"I forget if I wrote to you" began Nikolai Petrovich"thatyour old nurse Yegorovna has died."
"Really? Poor old woman! And is Prokovich still alive?"
"Yesand not changed a bit. He grumbles as much as ever. Indeedyouwon't find many changes at Maryino."
"Have you still the same bailiff?"
"WellI have made a change there. I decided it was better not to keeparound me any freed serfs who had been house servants; at least not to entrustthem with any responsible jobs." Arkady glanced towards Pyotr. "Il estlibre en effet" said Nikolai Petrovich in an undertone"but as youseehe's only a valet. My new bailiff is a townsman--he seems fairly efficient.I pay him 250 rubles a year. But" added Nikolai Petrovichrubbing hisforehead and eyebrows with his hand (which was always with him a sign ofembarrassment)"I told you just now you would find no changes at Maryino. . . That's not quite true . . . I think it my duty to tell you in advancethough . . . ."
He hesitated for a moment and then went on in French.
"A severe moralist would consider my frankness improperbut in thefirst place I can't conceal itand thenas you knowI have always had my ownparticular principles about relations between father and son. Of course you havea right to blame me. At my age . . . To cut a long story shortthat--that girlabout whom you've probably heard . . . ."
"Fenichka?" inquired Arkady casually.
Nikolai Petrovich blushed.
"Don't mention her name so loudlyplease . . . Wellyes . . . shelives with me now. I have installed her in the house . . . there were two smallrooms available. Of courseall that can be altered."
"But whyDaddy; what for?'
"Your friend will be staying with us . . . it will be awkward."
"Please don't worry about Bazarov. He's above all that."
"Wellbut you too" added Nikolai Petrovich. "Unfortunatelythe little side-wing is in such a bad state."
"For goodness' sakeDaddy" interposed Arkady. "You needn'tapologize. Are you ashamed?"
"Of courseI ought to be ashamed" answered Nikolai Petrovichturning redder and redder.
"Enough of thatDaddyplease don't . . ." Arkady smiledaffectionately. "What a thing to apologize for" he thought to himselfand his heart was filled with a feeling of indulgent tenderness for his kindsoft-hearted fathermixed with a sense of secret superiority. "Please stopthat" he repeated once moreinstinctively enjoying the awareness of hisown more emancipated outlook.
Nikolai Petrovich looked at his son through the fingers of the hand withwhich he was again rubbing his foreheadand a pang seized his heart . . . buthe immediately reproached himself for it.
"Here are our own meadows at last" he remarked after a longsilence.
"And that is our forest over thereisn't it?" asked Arkady.
"Yes. But I have sold it. This year they will cut it down for timber."
"Why did you sell it?"
"We need the money; besidesthat land will be taken over by thepeasants."
"Who don't pay their rent?"
"That's their affair; anyhow they will pay it some day."
"It's a pity about the forest" said Arkadyand began to lookaround him.
The country through which they were driving could not possibly be calledpicturesque. Field after field stretched right up to the horizonnow gentlysloping upwardsthen slanting down again; in some places woods were visible andwinding ravinesplanted with low scrubby bushesvividly reminiscent of the wayin which they were represented on the old maps of Catherine's times. They passedby little streams with hollow banks and ponds with narrow damssmall villageswith low huts under dark and often crumbling roofsand crooked barns with wallswoven out of dry twigs and with gaping doorways opening on to neglectedthreshing floors; and churchessome brick-built with the stucco coveringpeeling off in patchesothers built of woodnear crosses fallen crooked in theovergrown graveyards. Gradually Arkady's heart began to sink. As if to completethe picturethe peasants whom they met were all in rags and mounted on the mostwretched-looking little horses; the willowswith their broken branches andtrunks stripped of barkstood like tattered beggars along the roadside; leanand shaggy cowspinched with hungerwere greedily tearing up grass along theditches. They looked as if they had just been snatched out of the clutches ofsome terrifying murderous monster; and the pitiful sight of these emaciatedanimals in the setting of that gorgeous spring day conjured uplike a whiteghostthe vision of interminable joyless winter with its stormsfrosts andsnows . . . "No" thought Arkady"this country is far from richand the people seem neither contented nor industrious; we just can't let thingsgo on like this; reforms are indispensable . . . but how are we to execute themhow should we begin?"
Such were Arkady's thoughts . . . but even while he was thinkingthe springregained its sway. All around lay a sea of golden green--everythingtreesbushes and grassvibrated and stirred in gentle waves under the breath of thewarm breeze; from every side the larks were pouring out their loud continuoustrills; the plovers were calling as they glided over the low-lying meadows ornoiselessly ran over the tufts of grass; the crows strutted about in the lowspring cornlooking picturesquely black against its tender green; theydisappeared in the already whitening ryeonly from time to time their headspeeped out from among its misty waves. Arkady gazed and gazed and his thoughtsgrew slowly fainter and died away . . . He flung off his overcoat and turnedround with such a bright boyish look that his father hugged him once again.
"We're not far away now" remarked Nikolai Petrovich. "As soonas we get to the top of this hill the house will be in sight. We shall have afine life togetherArkasha; you will help me to farm the landif only itdoesn't bore you. We must draw close to each other now and get to know eachother bettermustn't we?"
"Of course" murmured Arkady. "But what a wonderful day it is!"
"To welcome you homemy dear one. Yesthis is spring in all its glory.Though I agree with Pushkin--do you rememberin Evgeny Onegin
"'To me how sad your coming isSpringspringsweet time of love!What----'"
"Arkady" shouted Bazarov's voice from the tarantass"give mea match. I've got nothing to light my pipe with."
Nikolai Petrovich fell silentwhile Arkadywho had been listening to himwith some surprise but not without sympathyhurriedly pulled a silver matchboxout of his pocket and told Pyotr to take it over to Bazarov.
"Do you want a cigar?" shouted Bazarov again.
"Thanks" answered Arkady.
Pyotr came back to the carriage and handed himtogether with the matchboxathick black cigarwhich Arkady started to smoke at oncespreading around himsuch a strong and acrid smell of cheap tobacco
that Nikolai Petrovichwho had never been a smokerwas forced to turn awayhis headwhich he did unobtrusivelyto avoid hurting his son's feelings.
A quarter of an hour later both carriages drew up in front of the porch of anew wooden housepainted greywith a red iron roof. This was Maryinoalsoknown as New Hamletor as the peasants had nicknamed itLandless Farm.
NO CROWD OF HOUSE SERVANTS RAN OUT TO MEET THEIR MASTER; there appeared onlya little twelve-year-old girland behind her a young ladvery like Pyotrcameout of the house; he was dressed in a grey livery with white armorial buttonsand was the servant of Pavel Petrovich Kirsanov. He silently opened the carriagedoor and unbuttoned the apron of the tarantass. Nikolai Petrovich with his sonand Bazarov walked through a dark and almost empty hallthrough the door ofwhich they caught a glimpse of a young woman's faceand into a drawing roomfurnished in the most modern style.
"Wellhere we are at home" said Nikolai Petrovichremoving hiscap and shaking back his hair. "Now the main thing is to have supper andthen to rest."
"It wouldn't be a bad thing to have a mealcertainly" saidBazarovstretching himselfand he sank on to a sofa.
"Yesyeslet us have supper at once" exclaimed NikolaiPetrovichand for no apparent reason stamped his foot. "Ahhere comesProkovichjust at the right moment."
A man of sixty enteredwhite-hairedthin and swarthydressed in a browncoat with brass buttons and a pink neckerchief. He grinnedwent up to kissArkady's handand after bowing to the guestretreated to the door and put hishands behind his back.
"Here he isProkovich" began Nikolai Petrovich; "at last hehas come back to us . . . Well? How do you find him?"
"As well as could be" said the old manand grinned again. Then hequickly knitted his bushy eyebrows. "Do you want supper served?" heasked solemnly.
"Yesyesplease. But don't you want to go to your room firstEvgenyVassilich?"
"Nothanks. There's no need. Only tell them to carry my little trunk inthere and this garmenttoo" he addedtaking off his loose overcoat.
"Certainly. Prokovichtake the gentleman's coat." (Prokovichwitha puzzled lookpicked up Bazarov's "garment" with both handsandholding it high above his head went out on tiptoe.) "And youArkadyareyou going to your room for a moment?"
"YesI must wash" answered Arkadyand was just moving towardsthe door when at that moment there entered the drawing room a man of mediumheightdressed in a dark English suita fashionable low cravat and patentleather shoesPavel Petrovich Kirsanov. He looked about forty-five; his closelycropped grey hair shone with a dark luster like unpolished silver; hisivory-colored facewithout wrinkleshad exceptionally regular and clearfeaturesas though carved by a sharp and delicate chiseland showed traces ofoutstanding beauty; particularly fine were his shiningdark almond-shaped eyes.The whole figure of Arkady's unclegraceful and aristocratichad preserved theflexibility of youth and that air of striving upwardsaway from the earthwhich usually disappears when people are over thirty.
Pavel Petrovich drew from his trouser pocket his beautiful hand with its longpink nailsa hand which looked even more beautiful against the snowy white cuffbuttoned with a single large opaland stretched it out to his nephew. After apreliminary European hand shakehe kissed him three times in the Russian style;in fact he touched his cheek three times with his perfumed mustacheand said"Welcome!"
Nikolai Petrovich introduced him to Bazarov; Pavel Petrovich responded with aslight inclination of his supple body and a slight smilebut he did not givehim his hand and even put it back in his pocket.
"I began to think that you weren't coming today" he began in apleasant voicewith an amiable swing and shrug of the shoulders; his smileshowed his splendid white teeth. "Did anything go wrong on the road?"
"Nothing went wrong" answered Arkady. "Only we dawdled a bit.So now we're as hungry as wolves. Make Prokovich hurry upDaddy; I'll be backin a moment."
"WaitI'm coming with you" exclaimed Bazarovsuddenly pullinghimself off the sofa. Both the young men went out.
"Who is he?" asked Pavel Petrovich.
"A friend of Arkasha's; according to him a very clever young man."
"Is he going to stay with us?"
"That unkempt creature!"
Pavel Petrovich drummed on the table with his finger tips. "I fancyArkady s'est dgourdi" he observed. "I'm glad he has comeback."
At supper there was little conversation. Bazarov uttered hardly a wordbutate a lot. Nikolai Petrovich told various anecdotes about what he called hisfarming careertalked about the forthcoming government measuresaboutcommitteesdeputationsthe need to introduce new machineryetc. PavelPetrovich paced slowly up and down the dining room (he never ate supper)occasionally sipping from a glass of red wine and less often uttering someremark or rather exclamationsuch as "Ah! aha! hm!" Arkady spokeabout the latest news from Petersburgbut he was conscious of being a bitawkwardwith that awkwardness which usually overcomes a youth when he has juststopped being a child and has come back to a place where they are accustomed toregard and treat him as a child. He made his sentences quite unnecessarily longavoided the word "Daddy" and even sometimes replaced it by the word"Father" mumbled between his teeth; with exaggerated carelessness hepoured into his glass far more wine than he really wanted and drank it all.Prokovich did not take his eyes off him and kept on chewing his lips. Aftersupper they all separated at once.
"Your uncle's a queer fellow" Bazarov said to Arkadyas he sat inhis dressing gown by the bedsmoking a short pipe. "All that smartdandyism in the country. Just think of it! And his nailshis nails--they oughtto be sent to an exhibition!"
"Whyof course you don't know" replied Arkady; "he was agreat figure in his day. I'll tell you his story sometime. He was extremelyhandsomeand used to turn all the women's heads."
"Ohthat's it! So he keeps it up for the sake of old times. What a pitythere's no one for him to fascinate here! I kept on looking at his astonishingcollarjust like marble--and his chinso meticulously shaved. ComecomeArkadyisn't it ridiculous?"
"Perhaps it isbut he's a good man really."
"An archaic survival! But your father is a splendid fellow. He wasteshis time reading poetry and knows precious little about farmingbut he'skindhearted."
"My father has a heart of gold."
"Did you notice how shy he was?"
Arkady shook his headas if he were not shy himself.
"It's something astonishing" went on Bazarov"these oldromantic idealists! They go on developing their nervous systems till they gethighly strung and irritablethen they lose their balance completely. Wellgoodnight. In my room there's an English washstandbut the door won't fasten.Anyhowthat ought to be encouraged--English washstands--they stand forprogress!"
Bazarov went outand a sense of peaceful happiness stole over Arkady. It wassweet to fall asleep in one's own homein the familiar bedunder the quiltwhich had been worked by loving handsperhaps the hands of his old nursethosegentlegood and tireless hands. Arkady remembered Yegorovnaand sighed andwished"God rest her soul" . . . for himself he said no prayer.
Both he and Bazarov soon fell asleepbut others in the house remained awakemuch longer. Nikolai Petrovich was agitated by his son's return. He lay in bedbut did not put out the candlesand propping his head in his hands he went onthinking. His brother was sitting till long after midnight in his studyin awide armchair in front of the fireplacein which some embers glowed faintly.Pavel Petrovich had not undressedbut some red Chinese slippers had replacedhis patent leather shoes. He held in his hand the last number of Galignanibuthe was not reading it; he gazed fixedly into the fireplacewhere a bluish flameflickereddying down and flaring up again at intervals . . . God knows wherehis thoughts were wanderingbut they were not wandering only in the past; hisface had a stern and concentrated expressionunlike that of a man who is solelyabsorbed in his memories. And in a little back roomon a large chestsat ayoung woman in a blue jacket with a white kerchief thrown over her dark hair;this was Fenichka; she was now listeningnow dozingnow looking across towardsthe open doorthrough which a child's bed was visible and the regular breathingof a sleeping infant could be heard.
THE NEXT MORNING BAZAROV WOKE UP EARLIER THAN ANYONE else and went out of thehouse. "Ugh!" he thought"this isn't much of a place!" WhenNikolai Petrovich had divided his estate with his peasantshe had to set asidefor his new manor house four acres of entirely flat and barren land. He hadbuilt a houseoffices and farm buildingslaid out a gardendug a pond andsunk two wells; but the young trees had not flourishedvery little water hadcollected in the pondand the well water had a brackish taste. Only one arborof lilac and acacia had grown up properly; the family sometimes drank tea ordined there. In a few minutes Bazarov had explored all the little paths in thegarden; he went into the cattle yard and the stablesdiscovered two farm boyswith whom he made friends at onceand went off with them to a small swamp abouta mile from the house in order to search for frogs.
"What do you want frogs forsir?" asked one of the boys.
"I'll tell you what for" answered Bazarovwho had a specialcapacity for winning the confidence of lower-class peoplethough he nevercringed to them and indeed treated them casually; "I shall cut the frogopen to see what goes on inside himand thenas you and I are much the same asfrogs except that we walk on legsI shall learn what is going on inside us aswell."
"And why do you want to know that?"
"In order not to make a mistake if you're taken ill and I have to cureyou."
"Are you a doctorthen?"
"Vaskadid you hear that? The gentleman says that you and I are justlike frogs; that's queer."
"I'm frightened of frogs" remarked Vaskaa boy of seven withflaxen hair and bare feetdressed in a grey smock with a high collar.
"What are you frightened of? Do they bite?"
"Therepaddle along into the wateryou philosophers" saidBazarov.
Meanwhile Nikolai Petrovich had also awakened and had gone to see Arkadywhom he found dressed. Father and son went out on to the terrace under theshelter of the awning; the samovar was already boiling on the table near thebalustrade among great bunches of lilac. A little girl appearedthe same onewho had first met them on their arrival the evening before. In a shrill voiceshe said"Fedosya Nikolayevna is not very well and she can't come; shetold me to ask youwill you pour out tea yourself or should she sendDunyasha?"
"I'll pour myselfof course" interposed Nikolai Petrovichhurriedly. "Arkadyhow do you like your teawith cream or withlemon?"
"With cream" answered Arkadythen after a brief pause he mutteredquestioningly"Daddy?"
Nikolai Petrovich looked at his son with embarrassment. "Well?" hesaid.
Arkady lowered his eyes.
"Excuse meDaddyif my question seems to you indiscreet" hebegan; "but you yourself by your frank talk yesterday encouraged me to befrank . . . you won't be angry?"
"You make me bold enough to ask youisn't the reason why Fen . . .isn't it only because I'm here that she won't come to pour out tea?"
Nikolai Petrovich turned slightly aside.
"Perhaps" he at length answered"she supposes . . . shefeels ashamed."
Arkady glanced quickly at his father. "She has no reason to feelashamed. In the first placeyou know my point of view" (Arkady muchenjoyed pronouncing these words) "and secondlyhow could I want tointerfere in the smallest way with your life and habits? BesidesI'm sure youcouldn't make a bad choice; if you allow her to live under the same roof withyoushe must be worthy of it; in any caseit's not for a son to judge hisfather--particularly for meand with such a fatherwho has always let me doeverything I wanted."
Arkady's voice trembled to start with; he felt he was being magnanimous andrealized at the same time that he was delivering something like a lecture to hisfather; but the sound of his own voice has a powerful effect on any manandArkady pronounced the last words firmly and even emphatically.
"Thank youArkasha" said Nikolai Petrovich thicklyand hisfingers again passed over his eyebrows. "What you suppose is in fact quitetrue. Of course if this girl hadn't deserved . . . it's not just a frivolousfancy. It's awkward for me to talk to you about thisbut you understand thatit's difficult for her to come here in your presenceespecially on the firstday of your arrival."
"In that case I'll go to her myself!" exclaimed Arkadywith afresh onrush of generous excitementand he jumped up from his seat. "Iwill explain to her that she has no need to feel ashamed in front of me."
Nikolai Petrovich got up also.
"Arkady" he began"please . . . how is it possible . . .there . . . I haven't told you yet . . ."
But Arkady was no longer listening to him; he had run off the terrace.Nikolai Petrovich gazed after him and sank into a chair overwhelmed withconfusion. His heart began to throb . . . Did he realize at that moment theinevitable strangeness of his future relations with his son? Was he aware thatArkady might have shown him more respect if he had never mentioned that subjectat all? Did he reproach himself for weakness? It is hard to say. All thesefeelings moved within him. though in the state of vague sensations onlybut theflush remained on his faceand his heart beat rapidly.
Then came the sound of hurrying footsteps and Arkady appeared on the terrace."We have introduced ourselvesDaddy!" he cried with an expression ofaffectionate and good-natured triumph on his face. "Fedosya Nikolayevna isreally not very well todayand she will come out a little later. But why didn'tyou tell me I have a brother? I should have kissed him last night as I kissedhim just now!"
Nikolai Petrovich tried to say somethingtried to rise and open wide hisarms. Arkady flung himself on his neck.
"What's this? Embracing again!" sounded the voice of PavelPetrovich behind them.
Father and son were both equally glad to see him at that moment; there aresituationshowever touchingfrom which one nevertheless wants to escape asquickly as possible.
"Why are you surprised at that?" said Nikolai Petrovich gaily."What ages I've been waiting for Arkasha. I haven't had time to look at himproperly since yesterday."
Arkady went up to his uncle and again felt on his cheeks the touch of thatperfumed mustache. Pavel Petrovich sat down at the table. He was wearing anotherelegant English suit with a bright little fez on his head. That fez and thecarelessly tied little cravat suggested the freedom of country lifebut thestiff collar of his shirt--not whiteit is truebut stripedas is correctwith morning dress--stood up as inexorably as ever against his well-shaved chin.
"Where is your new friend?" he asked Arkady.
"He's not in the house; he usually gets up early and goes off somewhere.The main thing is not to pay any attention to him; he dislikes ceremony."
"Yesthat's obvious" Pavel Petrovich beganslowly spreadingbutter on his bread. "Is he going to stay long with us?"
"Possibly. He came here on his way to his father's."
"And where does his father live?"
"In our provinceabout sixty-five miles from here. He has a smallproperty there. He used to be an army doctor."
"Tuttuttut! Of course. I kept on asking myself'Where have I heardthat name beforeBazarov?' Nikolaidon't you rememberthere was a surgeoncalled Bazarov in our father's division."
"I believe there was."
"Exactly. So that surgeon is his father. Hm!" Pavel Petrovichpulled his mustache. "Welland Monsieur Bazarovwhat is he?" heasked in a leisurely tone.
"What is Bazarov?" Arkady smiled. "Would you like me to tellyouunclewhat he really is?"
"He is a nihilist!"
"What?" asked Nikolai Petrovichwhile Pavel Petrovich lifted hisknife in the air with a small piece of butter on the tip and remainedmotionless.
"He is a nihilist" repeated Arkady.
"A nihilist" said Nikolai Petrovich. "That comes from theLatin nihilnothingas far as I can judge; the word must mean a man who . . .who recognizes nothing?"
"Say--who respects nothing" interposed Pavel Petrovich and loweredhis knife with the butter on it.
"Who regards everything from the critical point of view" saidArkady.
"Isn't that exactly the same thing?" asked Pavel Petrovich.
"Noit's not the same thing. A nihilist is a person who does not bowdown to any authoritywho does not accept any principle on faithhowever muchthat principle may be revered."
"Welland is that good?" asked Pavel Petrovich. "Thatdependsuncle dear. For some it is goodfor others very bad."
"Indeed. WellI see that's not in our line. We old-fashioned peoplethink that without principlestaken as you say on faithone can't take a stepor even breathe. Vous avez chang tout cela; may God grant you health and ageneral's rankand we shall be content to look on and admire your . . . whatwas the name?"
"Nihilists" said Arkadypronouncing very distinctly.
"Yesthere used to be Hegelists and now there are nihilists. We shallsee how you will manage to exist in the empty airless void; and now ringpleasebrother Nikolaiit's time for me to drink my cocoa."
Nikolai Petrovich rang the bell and called"Dunyasha!" But insteadof DunyashaFenichka herself appeared on the terrace. She was a young woman ofabout twenty-three with a soft white skindark hair and eyeschildishlypouting lips and plump little hands. She wore a neat cotton dress; a new bluekerchief lay lightly over her soft shoulders. She carried a large cup of cocoaand setting it down in front of Pavel Petrovichshe was overcome withconfusion; the hot blood rushed in a wave of crimson under the delicate skin ofher charming face. She lowered her eyes and stood by the table slightly pressingit with her finger tips. She looked as if she were ashamed of having come in andsomehow felt at the same time that she had a right to come.
Pavel Petrovich frowned and Nikolai Petrovich looked embarrassed. "GoodmorningFenichka" he muttered through his teeth.
"Good morning" she replied in a voice not loud but resonantandcasting a quick glance at Arkadywho gave her a friendly smileshe wentquietly away. She had a slightly swaying walkbut that also suited her.
For some minutes silence reigned on the terrace. Pavel Petrovich was sippinghis cocoa; suddenly he raised his head. "Here is Mr. Nihilist coming overto visit us" he murmured.
Bazarov was in fact approaching through the gardenstriding over the flowerbeds. His linen coat and trousers were bespattered with mud; a clinging marshplant was twined round the crown of his old round hatin his right hand he helda small bag in which something alive was wriggling. He walked quickly up to theterrace and said with a nod"Good morninggentlemen; sorry I was late fortea; I'll join you in a moment. I just have to put these prisoners away."
"What have you thereleeches?" asked Pavel Petrovich.
"Do you eat them or keep them for breeding?"
"For experiments" answered Bazarov indifferentlyand went intothe house.
"So he's going to cut them up" observed Pavel Petrovich; "hehas no faith in principlesbut he has faith in frogs."
Arkady looked sadly at his uncle; Nikolai Petrovich almost imperceptiblyshrugged his shoulders. Pavel Petrovich himself felt that his epigram hadmisfired and he began to talk about farming and the new bailiff who had come tohim the evening before to complain that a laborerFomawas"debauched" and had become unmanageable. "He's such an sop"he remarked. "He announces to everyone that he's a worthless fellow; hewants to have a good time and then he'll suddenly leave his job on account ofsome stupidity."
BAZAROV CAME BACKSAT DOWN AT THE TABLE AND BEGAN to drink tea hurriedly.Both brothers watched him in silenceand Arkady glanced furtively from one tothe other.
"Did you walk far this morning?" asked Nikolai Petrovich at last.
"To where you've got a little marsh near an aspen wood. I scared awayfive snipe. You might shoot themArkady."
"So you're not a sportsman yourself?"
"Isn't physics your special subject?" asked Pavel Petrovich in histurn.
"Yesphysicsand natural science in general."
"They say the Teutons have lately had great success in that line."
"Yesthe Germans are our teachers in it" Bazarov answeredcarelessly.
Pavel Petrovich had used the word "Teutons" instead of"Germans" with an ironical intentionwhichhoweverno one noticed.
"Have you such a high opinion of Germans?" asked Pavel Petrovichwith exaggerated politeness. He was beginning to feel a concealed irritation.Bazarov's complete nonchalance disgusted his aristocratic nature. This surgeon'sson was not only self-assuredhe even answered abruptly and unwillingly andthere was something coarse and almost insolent in the tone of his voice.
"Their scientists are a clever lot."
"Ahyes. I expect you hold a less flattering opinion about Russianscientists."
"That is very praiseworthy self-denial" said Pavel Petrovichdrawing himself up and throwing back his head. "But how is it that ArkadyNikolaich was telling us just now that you acknowledge no authorities? Don't youeven believe in them?"
"Why should I acknowledge themor believe in them? If they tell me thetruthI agree--that's all."
"And do all Germans tell the truth?" murmured Pavel Petrovichandhis face took on a distantdetached expressionas if he had withdrawn to somemisty height.
"Not all" answered Bazarov with a short yawnobviously notwanting to prolong the discussion.
Pavel Petrovich looked at Arkadyas if he wanted to say"How politeyour friend is."
"As far as I'm concerned" he began again with some effort"Iplead guilty of not liking Germans. There's no need to mention Russian Germanswe all know what sort of creatures they are. But even German Germans don'tappeal to me. Formerly there were a few Germans here and there; wellSchillerfor instanceor Goethe--my brother is particularly fond of them--but nowadaysthey all seem to have turned into chemists and materialists . . ."
"A decent chemist is twenty times more useful than any poet"interrupted Bazarov.
"Ohindeed!" remarked Pavel Petrovichand as if he were fallingasleep he slightly raised his eyebrows. "So you don't acknowledgeart?"
"The art of making money or of advertising pills!" cried Bazarovwith a contemptuous laugh.
"Ahjust so; you like jokingI see. So you reject all that Very well.So you believe in science only?"
"I have already explained to you that I don't believe in anything; andwhat is science--science in the abstract? There are sciencesas there aretrades and professionsbut abstract science just doesn't exist."
"Excellent. Welland do you maintain the same negative attitude towardsother traditions which have become generally accepted for human conduct?"
"What is thisa cross-examination?" asked Bazarov.
Pavel Petrovich turned a little pale . . . Nikolai Petrovich felt that themoment had come for him to intervene in the conversation.
"Sometime we should discuss this subject with you in greater detailmydear Evgeny Vassilich; we will hear your views and express our own. I must sayI'm personally very glad you are studying natural science. I heard that Liebigmade some wonderful discoveries about improving the soil. You can help me in myagricultural work and give me some useful advice."
"I'm at your serviceNikolai Petrovichbut Liebig is quite above ourheads. We must first learn the alphabet and only then begin to readand wehaven't yet grasped the a b c."
"You are a nihilist all right" thought Nikolai Petrovichandadded aloud"All the same I hope you will let me apply to youoccasionally. And nowbrotherI think it's time for us to go and have our talkwith the bailiff."
Pavel Petrovich rose from his seat. "Yes" he saidwithout lookingat anyone; "it's sad to have lived like this for five years in the countryfar from mighty intellects! You turn into a fool straight away. You try not toforget what you have learned--and then one fine day it turns out to be allrubbishand they tell you that experienced people have nothing to do with suchnonsenseand that youif you pleaseare an antiquated old simpleton. What'sto be done? Obviously young people are cleverer than we."
Pavel Petrovich turned slowly on his heels and went out; Nikolai Petrovichfollowed him.
"Is he always like that?" Bazarov coolly asked Arkady directly thedoor had closed behind the two brothers.
"I must sayEvgenyyou were unnecessarily rude to him" remarkedArkady. "You hurt his feelings."
"Wellam I to humor themthese provincial aristocrats? Whyit's allpersonal vanitysmart habitsand foppery. He should have continued his careerin Petersburg if that's his turn of mind . . . But enough of him! I've found arather rare specimen of water beetleDytiscus marginatus--do you know it? I'llshow you."
"I promised to tell you his story . . ." began Arkady.
"The story of the beetle?"
"ComecomeEvgeny--the story of my uncle. You'll see he's not the kindof man you take him for. He deserves pity rather than ridicule."
"I don't disputebut why do you worry about him?"
"One should be justEvgeny."
"How does that follow?"
"Nolisten . . ."
And Arkady told him his uncle's story. The reader will find it in thefollowing chapter.
PAVEL PETROVICH KIRSANOV WAS EDUCATED FIRST AT HOMELIKE his youngerbrotherand afterwards in the Corps of Pages. From childhood he wasdistinguished by his remarkable beauty; he was self-confidentrather ironicaland had a biting sense of humor; he could not fail to please people. He began tobe received everywhere directly he had obtained his commission as an officer. Hewas pampered by societyand indulged in every kind of whim and follybut thatdid not make him any less attractive. Women went crazy about himmen called hima fop and secretly envied him. He shared a flat with his brotherwhom he lovedsincerely although he was most unlike him. Nikolai Petrovich was rather lamehad smallagreeable but somewhat melancholy featureslittle black eyes andsoft thin hair; he enjoyed being lazybut he also liked reading and was shy insociety. Pavel Petrovich did not spend a single evening at homeprided himselfon his boldness and agility (he was just bringing gymnastics into fashion amongthe young men of his set)and had read in all five or six French books. Attwenty-eight he was already a captain; a brilliant career lay before him.Suddenly all that was changed.
In those days there used to appear occasionally in Petersburg society a womanwho has even now not been forgotten--Princess R. She had a well-educated andrespectablebut rather stupid husbandand no children. She used suddenly totravel abroad and equally suddenly return to Russiaand in general she led aneccentric life. She was reputed to be a frivolous coquetteabandoned herselfkeenly to every kind of pleasuredanced to exhaustionlaughed and joked withyoung men whom she used to receive before dinner in a dimly lit drawing roombut at night she wept and said prayersfinding no peace anywhereand oftenpaced her room till morningwringing her hands in anguishor satpale andcoldreading a psalter. Day came and she turned again into a lady of fashionshe went about againlaughedchatted and literally flung herself into anyactivity which could afford her the slightest distraction. She had a wonderfulfigure; her hairgolden in color and heavy like goldfell below her kneesyetno one would have called her a beauty; the only striking feature in her wholeface was her eyes--and even her eyes were grey and not large--but their glancewas swift and deeply penetratingcarefree to the point of audacity andthoughtful to the verge of melancholy--an enigmatic glance. Somethingextraordinary shone in those eyes even when her tongue was chattering theemptiest gossip. She dressed equisitely. Pavel Petrovich met her at a balldanced a mazurka with herin the course of which she did not utter a singlesensible wordand fell passionately in love with her. Accustomed to makingconquestshe succeeded with her alsobut his easy triumph did not damp hisenthusiasm. On the contraryhe found himself in a still closer and moretormenting bondage to this womanin whomeven when she surrendered herselfwithout reservethere seemed always to remain something mysterious andunattainableto which no one could penetrate. What was hidden in that soul--Godalone knows! It seemed as if she were in the grip of some strange powersunknown even to herself; they seemed to play with her at will and her limitedmind was not strong enough to master their caprices. Her whole behavior was amaze of inconsistencies; the only letters which could have aroused her husband'sjust suspicions she wrote to a man who was almost a stranger to herand herlove had always an element of sadness; she no longer laughed and joked with theman whom she had chosenbut listened to him and looked at him in bewilderment.Sometimes this bewilderment would change suddenly into a cold horror; her facewould take on a wilddeathlike expression and she would lock herself up in herbedroom; her maidputting her ear to the keyholecould hear her smotheredsobs. More than onceas he returned home after a tender meetingKirsanov feltwithin him that heart-rendingbitter gloom which follows the consciousness oftotal failure. "What more do I want?" he asked himselfbut his heartwas heavy. He once gave her a ring which had a sphinx engraved in the stone.
"What is this?" she asked. "A sphinx?"
"Yes" he answered"and that sphinx is--you."
"Me?" she askedand slowly looked at him with her enigmatic eyes."Do you knowthat is very flattering" she added with a meaninglesssmilewhile her eyes still looked as strangely as before.
Pavel Petrovich suffered even while Princess R. loved himbut when shebecame cold to himand that happened quite soonhe almost went out of hismind. He tortured himselfhe was jealoushe gave her no rest but followed hereverywhere. She grew sick of his persistent pursuit of her and went abroad. Heresigned from his regiment in spite of the entreaties of his friends and theadvice of his superior officersand he followed the princess abroad; four yearshe spent in foreign countriesat one time pursuing herat other times tryingto lose sight of her; he was ashamed of himselfhe was indignant at his ownlack of resolution--but nothing helped. Her image--that incomprehensiblealmostmeaninglessbut fascinating image--was too deeply rooted in his heart. In Badenhe once more revived his former relationship with her; it seemed as though shehad never before loved him so passionately . . . but in a month it was all over;the flame flared up for the last time and then died out forever. Foreseeing theinevitable separationhe wanted at least to remain her friendas if lastingfriendship with such a woman were possible . . . She left Baden secretly andfrom that time permanently avoided meeting Kirsanov. He returned to Russia andtried to live as beforebut he could not adapt himself to his old routine. Hewandered from place to place like one possessed; he still went out to partiesand retained the habits of a man of the world; he could boast of two or threemore conquests; but he no longer expected anything from himself or from othersand he undertook nothing new. He grew old and greyspending all his evenings atthe clubembittered and bored--arguing indifferently in bachelor society becamea necessity for himand that was a bad sign. Of course the thought of marriagenever even occurred to him. Ten years passed in this waygrey and fruitlessyearsbut they sped by terribly quickly. Nowhere does time fly as it does inRussia; in prisonthey sayit flies even faster. One day when he was dining athis clubPavel Petrovich heard that Princess R. was dead. She had died in Parisin a state bordering on insanity. He rose from the table and paced about therooms for a long timeoccasionally standing motionless behind the cardplayersbut he returned home no earlier than usual. A few weeks later he received apacket on which his name had been written; it contained the ring which he hadgiven to the princess. She had drawn lines in the shape of a cross over thesphinx and sent him a message to say that the solution of the enigma was thecross.
This happened at the beginning of the year 1848at the same time as NikolaiPetrovich came to Petersburg after the death of his wife. Pavel Petrovich hadhardly seen his brother since the latter had settled in the country; NikolaiPetrovich's marriage had coincided with the very first days of Pavel Petrovich'sacquaintance with the princess. When he returned from abroadhe went to thecountryintending to stay two months with his brother and to take pleasure inhis happinessbut he could stand it for only a week. The difference betweenthem was too great. In 1848 this difference had diminished; Nikolai Petrovichhad lost his wifePavel Petrovich had abandoned his memories; after the deathof the princess he tried not to think about her. But for Nikolai there remainedthe feeling of a well-spent lifeand his son was growing up under his eyes;Pavelon the contrarya lonely bachelorwas entering into that indefinitetwilight period of regrets which resemble hopes and of hopes which are akin toregretswhen youth is over and old age has not yet started.
This time was harder for Pavel Petrovich than for other peoplefor in losinghis past he lost everything he had.
"I won't ask you to come to Maryino now" Nikolai Petrovich said tohim one day (he had called his property by that name in honor of his wife);"you found it dull there even when my dear wife was aliveand nowI fearyou would be bored to death."
"I was stupid and fidgety then" answered Pavel Petrovich."Since then I have calmed downif not grown wiser. Nowon the contraryif you will let meI am ready to settle down with you for good."
Instead of answeringNikolai Petrovich embraced him; but a year and a halfelapsed after this conversation before Pavel Petrovich finally decided to carryout his intention. Once he was settled in the countryhoweverhe would notleave iteven during those three winters which Nikolai spent in Petersburg withhis son. He began to readchiefly in English; indeed he organized his wholelife in an English mannerrarely met his neighbors and went only out to thelocal electionsand then he was usually silentthough he occasionally teasedand alarmed landowners of the old school by his liberal salliesand he heldhimself aloof from members of the younger generation. Both generations regardedhim as "stuck up" and both respected him for his excellentaristocratic mannersfor his reputation as a lady killerfor the fact that hewas always perfectly dressed and always stayed in the best room in the besthotel; for the fact that he knew about good food and had once even dined withthe Duke of Wellington at Louis Philippe's table; for the fact that he took withhim everywhere a real silver dressing case and a portable bath; for the factthat he smelt of some unusual and strikingly "distinguished" perfume;for the fact that he played whist superbly and always lost; lastly theyrespected him for his incorruptible honesty. Ladies found him enchantinglyromanticbut he did not cultivate the society of ladies . . .
"So you seeEvgeny" remarked Arkadyas he finished his story"how unjustly you judge my uncle. Not to mention that he has more than oncehelped my father out of financial troublesgiven him all his money--perhaps youdon't knowthe property was never divided up--he's happy to help anyone;incidentally he is always doing something for the peasants; it is truewhen hetalks to themhe screws up his face and sniffs eau de Cologne. . . "
"Nervesobviously" interrupted Bazarov.
"Perhapsbut his heart is in the right place. And he's far from stupid.What a lot of useful advice he has given me . . . especially . . . especiallyabout relations with women."
"Aha! If you burn your mouth with hot milkyou'll even blow onwater--we know that!"
"Well" continued Arkady"in a wordhe's profoundlyunhappy--it's a crime to despise him."
"And who is despising him?" retorted Bazarov. "StillI mustsay that a man who has staked his whole life on the one card of a woman's loveand when that card failsturns sour and lets himself drift till he's fit fornothingis not really a man. You say he's unhappy; you know better than I do;but he certainly hasn't got rid of all his foibles. I'm sure that he imagines heis busy and useful because he reads Galignani and once a month saves a peasantfrom being flogged."
"But remember his educationthe age in which he grew up" saidArkady.
"Education?" ejaculated Bazarov. "Everyone should educatehimselfas I've donefor instance . . . And as for the agewhy should Idepend upon it? Let it rather depend on me. Nomy dear fellowthat's allemptiness and loose living. And what are these mysterious relations between aman and a woman? We physiologists know what they are. You study the anatomy ofthe eye; and where does it come inthat enigmatic look you talk about? That'sall romanticismrubbishand moldy sthetics. We had much better go andexamine the beetle."
And the two friends went off to Bazarov's roomwhich was already pervaded bya kind of medical surgical smellmixed with the reek of cheap tobacco.
PAVEL PETROVICH DID NOT STAY LONG AT HIS BROTHER'S INTERVIEW with thebailiffa tallthin man with the soft voice of a consumptive and cunning eyeswho to all Nikolai Petrovich's remarks answered"Indeedcertainlysir" and tried to show up the peasants as thieves and drunkards. Theestate had only just started to be run on the new systemwhose mechanism stillcreaked like an ungreased wheel and cracked in places like homemade furniture ofrawunseasoned wood. Nikolai Petrovich did not lose heart but he often sighedand felt discouraged; he realized that things could not be improved without moremoneyand his money was almost all spent. Arkady had spoken the truth; PavelPetrovich had helped his brother more than once; several timesseeing himperplexedracking his brainsnot knowing which way to turnPavel Petrovichhad moved towards the windowand with his hands thrust into his pockets hadmuttered between his teeth"Mais je puis vous donner de l'argent"and gave him money; but today he had none left himself and he preferred to goaway. The petty disputes of agricultural management wearied him; besideshecould not help feeling that Nikolai Petrovichwith all his zeal and hard workdid not set about things in the right wayalthough he could not point outexactly what were his brother's mistakes. "My brother is not practicalenough" he would say to himself; "they cheat him." On the otherhandNikolai Petrovich had the highest opinion of Pavel Petrovich's practicalcapacity and was always asking for his advice. "I'm a mildweak personI've spent my life in the depths of the country" he used to say"while you haven't seen so much of the world for nothing; you understandpeopleyou see through them with an eagle's eye." In answer to such wordsPavel Petrovich only turned aside but did not contradict his brother.
Leaving Nikolai Petrovich in the studyhe walked along the corridor whichseparated the front portion of the house from the back; on reaching a low doorhe stopped and hesitated for a momentthenpulling at his mustachehe knockedon it.
"Who is there? Come in" called out Fenichka's voice.
"It is me" said Pavel Petrovichand opened the door. Fenichkajumped up from the chair on which she was sitting with her babyand putting himinto the arms of a girl who at once carried him out of the roomshe hastilystraightened her kerchief.
"Excuse me for disturbing you" began Pavel Petrovich withoutlooking at her; "I only wanted to ask you . . . as they are sending intothe town today . . . to see that they buy some green tea for me."
"Certainly" answered Fenichka"how much tea do youwant?"
"Ohhalf a pound will be enoughI should think. I see you have madesome changes here" he addedcasting a rapid look around and at Fenichka'sface. "Those curtains" he went onseeing that she did not understandhim.
"Ohyesthe curtains; Nikolai Petrovich kindly gave them to mebutthey've been hung up for quite a long time."
"Yesand I haven't been to see you for a long time. Now it is all verynice here."
"Thanks to Nikolai Petrovich's kindness" murmured Fenichka.
"You are more comfortable here than in the little side-wing where youused to be?" inquired Pavel Petrovich politely but without any trace of asmile.
"Certainlyit is better here."
"Who has been put in your place now?"
"The laundrymaids are there now."
Pavel Petrovich was silent. "Now he will go" thought Fenichka; buthe did not go and she stood in front of him rooted to the spotmoving herfingers nervously.
"Why did you send your little one away?" said Pavel Petrovich atlast. "I love children; do let me see him."
Fenichka blushed all over with confusion and joy. She was frightened of PavelPetrovich; he hardly ever spoke to her.
"Dunyasha" she called. "Will you bring Mityaplease?"(Fenichka was polite to every member of the household.) "But wait a moment;he must have a frock on." Fenichka was going towards the door.
"That doesn't matter" remarked Pavel Petrovich.
"I shall be back in a moment" answered Fenichkaand she went outquickly.
Pavel Petrovich was left alone and this time he looked round with specialattention. The smalllow room in which he found himself was very clean andcosy. It smelt of the freshly painted floor and of camomile flowers. Along thewalls stood chairs with lyre-shaped backsbought by the late General Kirsanovin Poland during a campaign; in one corner was a little bedstead under a muslincanopy alongside a chest with iron clamps and a curved lid. In the oppositecorner a little lamp was burning in front of a bigdark picture of St. Nicholasthe Miracle-Worker; a tiny porcelain egg hung over the saint's breast suspendedby a red ribbon from his halo; on the window sills stood carefully tied greenishglass jars filled with last year's jam; Fenichka had herself written in bigletters on their paper covers the word "Gooseberry;" it was thefavorite jam of Nikolai Petrovich. A cage containing a short-tailed canary hungon a long cord from the ceiling; he constantly chirped and hopped aboutand thecage kept on swinging and shakingwhile hemp seeds fell with a light tap ontothe floor. On the wall just above a small chest of drawers hung some rather badphotographs of Nikolai Petrovich taken in various positions; theretoowas amost unsuccessful photograph of Fenichka; it showed an eyeless face smiling witheffort in a dingy frame--nothing more definite could be distinguished--and aboveFenichkaGeneral Yermolovin a Caucasian cloakscowled menacingly at distantmountainsfrom under a little silk shoe for pins which fell right over hisforehead.
Five minutes passed; a sound of rustling and whispering could be heard in thenext room. Pavel Petrovich took from the chest of drawers a greasy bookan oddvolume of Masalsky's Musketeerand turned over a few pages . . . The dooropened and Fenichka came in with Mitya in her arms. She bad dressed him in alittle red shirt with an embroidered collarhad combed his hair and washed hisface; he was breathing heavilyhis whole body moved up and downand he wavedhis little hands in the air as all healthy babies do; but his smart shirtobviously impressed him and his plump little person radiated delight. Fenichkahad also put her own hair in order and rearranged her kerchief; but she mightwell have remained as she was. Indeedis there anything more charming in theworld than a beautiful young mother with a healthy child in her arms?
"What a chubby little fellow" said Pavel Petrovichgraciouslytickling Mitya's double chin with the tapering nail of his forefinger; the babystared at the canary and laughed.
"That's uncle" said Fenichkabending her face over him andslightly rocking himwhile Dunyasha quietly set on the window sill a smolderingcandleputting a coin under it.
"How many months old is he?" asked Pavel Petrovich.
"Six monthsit will be seven on the eleventh of this month."
"Isn't it eightFedosya Nikolayevna?" Dunyasha interruptedtimidly.
"Noseven. What an idea!"
The baby laughed againstared at the chest and suddenly seized his mother'snose and mouth with all his five little fingers. "Naughty little one"said Fenichka without drawing her face away.
"He's like my brother" said Pavel Petrovich.
"Who else should he be like?" thought Fenichka.
"Yes" continued Pavel Petrovich as though speaking to himself."An unmistakable likeness." He looked attentivelyalmost sadly atFenichka.
"That's uncle" she repeatedthis time in a whisper.
"AhPavelthere you are!" suddenly resounded the voice of NikolaiPetrovich.
Pavel Petrovich turned hurriedly round with a frown on his facebut hisbrother looked at him with such delight and gratitude that he could not helpresponding to his smile.
"You've got a splendid little boy" he saidand looked at hiswatch. "I came in here to ask about some tea . . ."
Thenassuming an expression of indifferencePavel Petrovich at once leftthe room.
"Did he come here of his own accord?" Nikolai Petrovich askedFenichka.
"Yeshe just knocked and walked in."
"Welland has Arkasha come to see you again?"
"No. Hadn't I better move into the side-wing againNikolaiPetrovich?"
"Why should you?"
"I wonder whether it wouldn't be better just at first."
"No" said Nikolai Petrovich slowlyand rubbed his forehead."We should have done it sooner . . . How are youlittle balloon?" hesaidsuddenly brighteningand went up to the child and kissed him on thecheek; then he bent lower and pressed his lips to Fenichka's handwhich laywhite as milk on Mitya's little red shirt.
"Nikolai Petrovichwhat are you doing?" she murmuredlowering hereyesthen quietly looked up again; her expression was charming as she peepedfrom under her eyelids and smiled tenderly and rather stupidly.
Nikolai Petrovich had made Fenichka's acquaintance in the following way.Three years ago he had once stayed the night at an inn in a remote provincialtown. He was pleasantly surprised by the cleanliness of the room assigned to himand the freshness of the bed linen; surely there must be a German woman inchargehe thought at first; but the housekeeper turned out to be a Russianawoman of about fiftyneatly dressedwith a good-lookingsensible face and ameasured way of talking. He got into conversation with her at tea and liked hervery much. Nikolai Petrovich at that time had only just moved into his new homeand not wishing to keep serfs in the househe was looking for wage servants;the housekeeper at the inn complained about the hard times and the small numberof visitors to that town; he offered her the post of housekeeper in his home andshe accepted it. Her husband had long been dead; he had left her with an onlydaughterFenichka. Within a fortnight Arina Savishna (that was the newhousekeeper's name) arrived with her daughter at Maryino and was installed inthe side-wing. Nikolai Petrovich had made a good choice. Arina brought orderinto the household. No one talked about Fenichkawho was then seventeenandhardly anyone saw her; she lived in quiet seclusion and only on Sundays NikolaiPetrovich used to notice the delicate profile of her pale face somewhere in acorner of the church. Thus another year passed.
One morning Arina came into his studyand after bowing low as usualaskedhim if he could help her daughteras a spark from the stove had flown into hereye. Nikolai Petrovichlike many homeloving country peoplehad studied simpleremedies and had even procured a homeopathic medicine chest. He at once toldArina to bring the injured girl to him. Fenichka was much alarmed when she heardthat the master had sent for herbut she followed her mother. Nikolai Petrovichled her to the window and took her head between his hands. After thoroughlyexamining her red and swollen eyehe made up a poultice at onceand tearinghis handkerchief in strips showed her how it should be applied. Fenichkalistened to all he said and turned to go out. "Kiss the master's handyousilly girl" said Arina. Nikolai Petrovich did not hold out his hand and inconfusion himself kissed her bent head on the parting of the hair. Fenichka'seye soon healedbut the impression she had made on Nikolai Petrovich did notpass away so quickly. He had constant visions of that puregentletimidlyraised face; he felt that soft hair under the palms of his handsand saw thoseinnocentslightly parted lipsthrough which pearly teeth gleamed with moistbrilliance in the sunshine. He began to watch her very attentively in church andtried to get into conversation with her. At first she was extremely shy withhimand one daymeeting him towards evening on a narrow footpath crossing arye fieldshe ran into the tallthick ryeovergrown with cornflowers andwormwoodto avoid meeting him face to face. He caught sight of her small headthrough the golden network of ears of ryefrom which she was peering out like awild animaland called out to her affectionately"Good eveningFenichka.I won't bite."
"Good evening" murmured Fenichkawithout emerging from her hidingplace.
By degrees she began to feel more at ease with himbut she was still a shygirl when suddenly her motherArinadied of cholera. What was to become ofFenichka? She had inherited from her mother a love of ordertidiness andregularitybut she was so youngso alone in the world; Nikolai Petrovich wasso genuinely kind and considerate . . . There is no need to describe whatfollowed . . .
"So my brother came to see you?" Nikolai Petrovich asked her."He just knocked and came in?"
"Wellthat's good. Let me give Mitya a swing."
And Nikolai Petrovich began to toss him almost up to the ceilingto the vastdelight of the babyand to the considerable anxiety of his motherwho eachtime he flew upwards stretched out her arms towards his little bare legs.
Meanwhile Pavel Petrovich had gone back to his elegant studywhich wasdecorated with handsome blue wallpaperand with weapons hanging from amulticolored Persian carpet fixed to the wall; it had walnut furnitureupholstered in dark green velveta Renaissance bookcase of ancient black oakbronze statuettes on the magnificent writing deskan open hearth . . . He threwhimself on the sofaclasped his hands behind his head and remained motionlesslooking at the ceiling with an expression verging on despair. Perhaps because hewanted to hide even from the walls whatever was reflected in his faceor forsome other reasonhe rosedrew the heavy window curtains and again threwhimself on the sofa.
ON THAT SAME DAY BAZAROV MET FENICHKA. HE WAS WALKING with Arkady in thegarden and explaining to him why some of the treesparticularly the oaksweregrowing badly.
"You would do better to plant silver poplars hereor firs and perhapslimeswith some extra black earth. The arbor there has grown up well" headded"because it's acacia and lilac; they're good shrubsthey don't needlooking after. Ah! there's someone inside."
In the arbor Fenichka was sitting with Dunyasha and Mitya. Bazarov stoppedand Arkady nodded to Fenichka like an old friend.
"Who's that?" Bazarov asked him directly they had passed by."What a pretty girl!"
"Whom do you mean?"
"You must know; only one of them is pretty."
Arkadynot without embarrassmentexplained to him briefly who Fenichka was.
"Aha!" remarked Bazarov. "That shows your father's got goodtaste. I like your father; ayay! He's a good fellow. But we must makefriends" he addedand turned back towards the arbor.
"Evgeny" cried Arkady after him in bewilderment"be carefulwhat you dofor goodness' sake."
"Don't worry" said Bazarov. "I'm an experienced mannot acountry bumpkin."
Going up to Fenichkahe took off his cap. "May I introducemyself?" he beganmaking a polite bow. "I'm a friend of ArkadyNikolayevich and a harmless person."
Fenichka got up from the garden seat and looked at him without speaking.
"What a wonderful baby" continued Bazarov. "Don't be uneasymy praises have never brought the evil eye. Why are his cheeks so flushed? Is hecutting his teeth?"
"Yes" murmured Fenichka"he has cut four teeth already andnow the gums are swollen again."
"Show me . . . don't be afraidI'm a doctor." Bazarov took thebaby in his armsand to the great astonishment of both Fenichka and Dunyashathe child made no resistance and was not even frightened.
"I seeI see . . . It's nothinghe'll have a good set of teeth. Ifanything goes wrong you just tell me. And are you quite well yourself?"
"Very wellthank God."
"Thank Godthat's the main thing. And you?" he addedturning toDunyasha.
Dunyashawho behaved very primly inside the house and was frivolous out ofdoorsonly giggled in reply.
"Wellthat's all right. Here's your young hero."
Fenichka took back the baby in her arms.
"How quiet he was with you" she said in an undertone."Children are always good with me" answered Bazarov. "I have away with them."
"Children know who loves them" remarked Dunyasha. "Yestheycertainly do" Fenichka added. "Mitya won't allow some people to touchhimnot for anything."
"Will he come to me?" asked Arkadywho after standing at adistance for some time had come to join them. He tried to entice Mitya into hisarmsbut Mitya threw back his head and screamedmuch to Fenichka's confusion.
"Another daywhen he's had time to get accustomed to me" saidArkady graciouslyand the two friends walked away.
"What's her name?" asked Bazarov.
"Fenichka . . . Fedosya" answered Arkady.
"And her father's name? One must know thattoo."
"Good. What I like about her is that she's not too embarrassed. SomepeopleI supposewould think ill of her on that account. But what rubbish! Whyshould she be embarrassed? She's a mother and she's quite right."
"She is in the right" observed Arkady"but my father . .."
"He's righttoo" interposed Bazarov.
"WellnoI don't think so."
"I suppose an extra little heir is not to your liking."
"You ought to be ashamed to attribute such thoughts to me!"retorted Arkady hotly. "I don't consider my father in the wrong from thatpoint of view; as I see ithe ought to marry her."
"Wellwell" said Bazarov calmly"how generous-minded weare! So you still attach significance to marriage; I didn't expect that fromyou."
The friends walked on a few steps in silence.
"I've seen all round your father's place" began Bazarov again."The cattle are badthe horses are broken downthe buildings aren't up tomuchand the workmen look like professional loafers; and the bailiff is eithera fool or a knaveI haven't yet found out which."
"You are very severe todayEvgeny Vassilich."
"And the good peasants are taking your father in properly; you know theproverb 'the Russian peasant will cheat God himself.'"
"I begin to agree with my uncle" remarked Arkady. "Youcertainly have a poor opinion of Russians."
"As if that mattered! The only good quality of a Russian is to have thelowest possible opinion about himself. What matters is that twice two make fourand the rest is all rubbish."
"And is nature rubbish?" said Arkadygazing pensively at thecolored fields in the distancebeautifully lit up in the mellow rays of thesinking sun.
"Naturetoois rubbish in the sense you give to it. Nature is not atemple but a workshopand man is the workman in it."
At that moment the long drawn-out notes of a cello floated out to them fromthe house. Someone was playing Schubert's Expectation with feelingthough withan untrained handand the sweet melody flowed like honey through the air.
"What is that?" exclaimed Bazarov in amazement.
"Your father plays the cello?"
"And how old is your father?"
Bazarov suddenly roared with laughter.
"What are you laughing at?"
"My goodness! A man of forty-foura father of a familyin thisprovinceplays on the cello!"
Bazarov went on laughingbutmuch as he revered his friend's examplethistime Arkady did not even smile.
A FORTNIGHT PASSED BY. LIFE AT MARYINO PURSUED ITS NORMAL coursewhileArkady luxuriously enjoyed himself and Bazarov worked. Everyone in the house hadgrown accustomed to Bazarovto his casual behaviorto his curt and abruptmanner of speaking. Fenichka indeedfelt so much at ease with him that onenight she had him awakened; Mitya had been seized by convulsions; Bazarov hadgonehalf-joking and half-yawning as usualhad sat with her for two hours andrelieved the child. On the other handPavel Petrovich had grown to hate Bazarovwith all the strength of his soul; he regarded him as conceitedimpudentcynical and vulgarhe suspected that Bazarov had no respect for himthat heall but despised him--himPavel Kirsanov! Nikolai Petrovich was ratherfrightened of the young "Nihilist" and doubted the benefit of hisinfluence on Arkadybut he listened keenly to what he said and was glad to bepresent during his chemical and scientific experiments. Bazarov had brought amicroscope with him and busied himself with it for hours. The servants also tookto himthough he made fun of them; they felt that he was more like one ofthemselvesand not a master. Dunyasha was always ready to giggle with him andused to cast significant sidelong glances at him when she skipped past like asquirrel. Pyotrwho was vain and stupid to the highest degreewith a constantforced frown on his browand whose only merit consisted in the fact that helooked politecould spell out a page of reading and assiduously brushed hiscoat--even he grinned and brightened up when Bazarov paid any attention to him;the farm boys simply ran after "the doctor" like puppies. Only oldProkovich disliked him; at table he handed him dishes with a grim expression; hecalled him "butcher" and "upstart" and declared that withhis huge whiskers he looked like a pig in a sty. Prokovich in his own way wasquite as much of an aristocrat as Pavel Petrovich.
The best days of the year had come--the early June days. The weather waslovely; in the distanceit is truecholera was threateningbut theinhabitants of that province had grown used to its periodic ravages. Bazarovused to get up very early and walk for two or three milesnot for pleasure--hecould not bear walking without an object--but in order to collect specimens ofplants and insects. Sometimes he took Arkady with him. On the way home anargument often sprang upin which Arkady was usually defeated in spite oftalking more than his companion.
One day they had stayed out rather late. Nikolai Petrovich had gone into thegarden to meet themand as he reached the arbor he suddenly heard the quicksteps and voices of the two young men; they were walking on the other side ofthe arbor and could not see him.
"You don't know my father well enough" Arkady was saying."Your father is a good fellow" said Bazarov"but his day isover; his song has been sung to extinction."
Nikolai Petrovich listened intently . . . Arkady made no reply.
The man whose day was over stood still for a minute or twothen quietlyreturned to the house.
"The day before yesterday I saw him reading Pushkin" Bazarov wenton meanwhile. "Please explain to him how utterly useless that is. After allhe's not a boyit's high time he got rid of such rubbish. And what an idea tobe romantic in our times! Give him something sensible to read."
"What should I give him?" asked Arkady.
"OhI think Bchner's Stoff und Kraft to start with."
"I think so too" remarked Arkady approvingly. "Stoff undKraft is written in popular language . . ."
"So it seems" said Nikolai Petrovich the same day after dinner tohis brotheras they sat in his study"you and I are behind the timesourday is over. Well . . . perhaps Bazarov is right; but one thingI must sayhurts me; I was so hoping just now to get on really close and friendly termswith Arkadyand it turns out that I've lagged behind while he has gone forwardand we simply can't understand one another."
"But how has he gone forward? And in what way is he so different fromus?" exclaimed Pavel Petrovich impatiently. "It's that grand seigneurof a nihilist who has knocked such ideas into his head. I loathe that doctorfellow; in my opinion he's nothing but a charlatan; I'm sure that in spite ofall his tadpoles he knows precious little even in medicine."
"Nobrotheryou mustn't say that; Bazarov is clever and knows hissubject."
"And so disagreeably conceited" Pavel Petrovich broke in again.
"Yes" observed Nikolai Petrovich"he is conceited. Evidentlyone can't manage without itthat's what I failed to take into account. Ithought I was doing everything to keep up with the times; I divided the landwith the peasantsstarted a model farmso that I'm even described as a"Rebel" all over the province; I readI studyI try in every way tokeep abreast of the demands of the day--and they say my day is over. AndbrotherI really begin to think that it is."
"Why is that?"
"I'll tell you why. I was sitting and reading Pushkin today . . . Irememberit happened to be The Gypsies . . . Suddenly Arkady comes up to me andsilentlywith such a kind pity in his faceas gently as if I were a babytakes the book away from me and puts another one in front of me instead . . . aGerman book . . . smiles and goes outcarrying Pushkin off with him."
"Wellreally! What book did he give you?"
And Nikolai Petrovich pulled out of his hip pocket the ninth edition ofBchner's well-known treatise.
Pavel Petrovich turned it over in his hands. "Hm!" he growled"Arkady Nikolayevich is taking your education in hand. Wellhave you triedto read it?"
"What did you think of it?"
"Either I'm stupidor it's all nonsense. I suppose I must bestupid."
"But you haven't forgotten your German?" asked Pavel Petrovich.
"OhI understand the language all right."
Pavel Petrovich again fingered the book and glanced across at his brother.Both were silent.
"Ohby the way" began Nikolai Petrovichevidently wanting tochange the subject--"I've had a letter from Kolyazin."
"From Matvei Ilyich?"
"Yes. He has come to inspect the province. He's quite a bigwig nowhewrites to say that as a relation he wants to see us againand invites youmeand Arkady to go to stay in the town."
"Are you going?" asked Pavel Petrovich.
"No. Are you?"
"No. I shan't go. What is the sense of dragging oneself forty miles on awild-goose chase. Mathieu wants to show off to us in all his glory. Let him goto the devil! He'll have the whole province at his feetso he can get onwithout us. It's a grand honor--a privy councilor! If I had continued in theservicedrudging along in that dreary routineI should have been ageneral-adjutant by now. Besidesyou and I are behind the times."
"Yesbrother; it seems the time has come to order a coffinand tocross the arms over one's chest" remarked Nikolai Petrovich with a sigh.
"WellI shan't give in quite so soon" muttered his brother."I've got a quarrel with this doctor creature in front of meI'm sure ofthat."
The quarrel materialized that very evening at tea. Pavel Petrovich came intothe drawing room all keyed upirritable and determined. He was only waiting fora pretext to pounce upon his enemybut for some time no such pretext arose. Asa rule Bazarov spoke little in the presence of the "old Kirsanovs"(that was what he called the brothers)and that evening he felt in a bad humorand drank cup after cup of tea without saying a word. Pavel Petrovich wasburning with impatience; his wishes were fulfilled at last.
The conversation turned to one of the neighboring landowners. "Rottenaristocratic snob" observed Bazarov casually; he had met him inPetersburg.
"Allow me to ask you" began Pavel Petrovichand his lips weretrembling"do you attach an identical meaning to the words 'rotten' and'aristocrat'?"
"I said 'aristocratic snob'" replied Bazarovlazily swallowing asip of tea.
"Preciselybut I imagine you hold the same opinion of aristocrats as ofaristocratic snobs. I think it my duty to tell you that I do not share thatopinion. I venture to say that I am well known to be a man of liberal views anddevoted to progressbut for that very reason I respect aristocrats--realaristocrats. Kindly remembersir" (at these words Bazarov lifted his eyesand looked at Pavel Petrovich) "kindly remembersir" he repeatedsharply"the English aristocracy. They did not abandon one iota of theirrightsand for that reason they respect the rights of others; they demand thefulfillment of what is due to themand therefore they respect their own duties.The aristocracy gave freedom to Englandand they maintain it for her."
"We've heard that story many times; what are you trying to prove byit?"
"I am tryin' to prove by thatsir" (when Pavel Petrovich becameangry he intentionally clipped his wordsthough of course he knew very wellthat such forms are not strictly grammatical. This whim indicated a survivalfrom the period of Alexander I. The great ones of that timeon the rareoccasions when they spoke their own languagemade use of such distortions as ifseeking to show thereby that though they were genuine Russiansyet at the sametime as grands seigneurs they could afford to ignore the grammatical rules ofscholars) "I am tryin' to prove by thatsirthat without a sense ofpersonal dignitywithout self-respect--and these two feelings are developed inthe aristocrat--there is no firm foundation for the social . . . bien public ... for the social structure. Personal charactermy good sirthat is the chiefthing; a man's personality must be as strong as a rock since everything else isbuilt up on it. I am well awarefor instancethat you choose to consider myhabitsmy dresseven my tidinessridiculous; but all this comes from a senseof self-respect and of duty--yesfrom a sense of duty. I live in the wilds ofthe countrybut I refuse to lower myself. I respect the dignity of man inmyself."
"Let me ask youPavel Petrovich" muttered Bazarov"yourespect yourself and you sit with folded hands; what sort of benefit is that tothe bien public? If you didn't respect yourselfyou'd do just the same.
Pavel Petrovich turned pale. "That is quite another question. There isabsolutely no need for me to explain to you now why I sit here with foldedhandsas you are pleased to express yourself. I wish only to tell you thataristocracy--is a principleand that only depraved or stupid people can live inour time without principles. I said as much to Arkady the day after he camehomeand I repeat it to you now. Isn't that soNikolai?"
Nikolai Petrovich nodded his head.
"Aristocracyliberalismprogressprinciples" said Bazarov."Just think what a lot of foreign . . . and useless words! To a Russianthey're no good for anything!"
"What is good for Russians according to you? If we listen to youweshall find ourselves beyond the pale of humanityoutside human laws. Doesn'tthe logic of history demand . . ."
"What's the use of that logic to us? We can get along without it."
"What do you mean?"
"Whythis. You don't need logicI supposeto put a piece of bread inyour mouth when you're hungry. For what do we need those abstractions?"
Pavel Petrovich raised his hands. "I simply don't understand you afterall that. You insult the Russian people. I fail to understand how it is possiblenot to acknowledge principlesrules! By virtue of what can you act?"
"I already told youuncle dearthat we don't recognize anyauthorities" interposed Arkady.
"We act by virtue of what we recognize as useful" went on Bazarov."At present the most useful thing is denialso we deny--"
"What? Not only artpoetry . . . but . . . the thought is appalling . .."
"Everything" repeated Bazarov with indescribable composure.
Pavel Petrovich stared at him. He had not expected thisand Arkady evenblushed with satisfaction.
"But allow me" began Nikolai Petrovich. "You deny everythingor to put it more preciselyyou destroy everything . . . But one mustconstructtooyou know."
"That is not our business . . . we must first clear the ground."
"The present condition of the people demands it" added Arkadyrather sententiously; "we must fulfill those demandswe have no right toyield to the satisfaction of personal egotism."
That last phrase obviously displeased Bazarov; it smacked of philosophyorromanticismfor Bazarov called philosophy a kind of romanticism--but he did notjudge it necessary to correct his young disciple.
"Nono!" cried Pavel Petrovich with sudden vehemence. "Ican't believe that you young men really know the Russian peoplethat yourepresent their needs and aspirations! Nothe Russian people are not what youimagine them to be. They hold tradition sacredthey are a patriarchal peoplethey cannot live without faith . . ."
"I'm not going to argue with you" interrupted Bazarov. "I'meven ready to agree that there you are right."
"And if I am right . . ."
"It proves nothingall the same."
"Exactlyit proves nothing" repeated Arkady with the assurance ofan experienced chess player whohaving foreseen an apparently dangerous move onthe part of his adversaryis not in the least put out by it.
"How can it prove nothing?" mumbled Pavel Petrovich inconsternation. "In that case you must be going against your ownpeople."
"And what if we are?" exclaimed Bazarov. "The people imaginethat when it thunders the prophet Ilya is riding across the sky in his chariot.What then? Are we to agree with them? Besidesif they are Russianso amI."
"Noyou are not a Russian after what you have said. I can't admit youhave any right to call yourself a Russian."
"My grandfather ploughed the land" answered Bazarov with haughtypride. "Ask any one of your peasants which of us--you or me--he would morereadily acknowledge as a fellow countryman. You don't even know how to talk tothem."
"While you talk to them and despise them at the same time."
"What of thatif they deserve contempt! You find fault with my point ofviewbut what makes you think it came into being by chancethat it's not aproduct of that very national spirit which you are championing?"
"What an idea! How can we need nihilists?"
"Whether they are needed or not--is not for us to decide. Whyeven youimagine you're not a useless person."
"Gentlemengentlemenno personalitiesplease!" cried NikolaiPetrovichgetting up.
Pavel Petrovich smiledand laying his hand on his brother's shouldermadehim sit down again.
"Don't be alarmed" he said"I shan't forget myselfthanksto that sense of dignity which is so cruelly ridiculed by our friend--ourfriendthe doctor. Allow me to point out" he resumedturning again toBazarov"you probably think that your doctrine is a novelty? That is anillusion of yours. The materialism which you preachwas more than once in voguebefore and has always proved inadequate . . . ."
"Yet another foreign word!" broke in Bazarov. He was beginning tofeel angry and his face looked peculiarly copper-colored and coarse. "Inthe first placewe preach nothing; that's not in our line . . ."
"What do you dothen?"
"This is what we do. Not long ago we used to say that our officials tookbribesthat we had no roadsno commerceno real justice. . . ."
"OhI seeyou are reformers--that's the right nameI think. Itooshould agree with many of your reformsbut . . ."
"Then we suspected that talk and only talk about our social diseases wasnot worth whilethat it led to nothing but hypocrisy and pedantry; we saw thatour leading menour so-called advanced people and reformersare worthless;that we busy ourselves with rubbishtalk nonsense about artabout unconsciouscreationparliamentarianismtrial by juryand the devil knows what--when thereal question is daily breadwhen the grossest superstitions are stifling uswhen all our business enterprises crash simply because there aren't enoughhonest men to carry them onwhile the very emancipation which our government isstruggling to organize will hardly come to any goodbecause our peasant ishappy to rob even himself so long as he can get drunk at the pub."
"Yes" broke in Pavel Petrovich"indeedyou were convincedof all this and you therefore decided to undertake nothing seriousyourselves."
"We decided to undertake nothing" repeated Bazarov grimly. Hesuddenly felt annoyed with himself for having been so expansive in front of thisgentleman.
"But to confine yourselves to abuse."
"To confine ourselves to abuse."
"And that is called nihilism?"
"And that is called nihilism" Bazarov repeated againthis time ina particularly insolent tone.
Pavel Petrovich screwed up his eyes a little. "So that's it" hemurmured in a strangely composed voice. "Nihilism is to cure all our woesand you--you are our saviors and heroes. Very well--but why do you find faultwith othersincluding the reformers? Don't you do as much talking as anyoneelse?"
"Whatever faults we may havethat is not one of them" mutteredBazarov between his teeth.
"What thendo you act? Are you preparing for action?"
Bazarov made no reply. A tremor passed through Pavel Petrovichbut he atonce regained control of himself.
"Hm!. . . Actiondestruction . . ." he went on. "But how canyou destroy without even knowing why?"
"We shall destroy because we are a force" remarked Arkady.
Pavel Petrovich looked at his nephew and laughed.
"Yesa force can't be called to account for itself" said Arkadydrawing himself up.
"Unhappy boy" groaned Pavel Petrovichwho could no longermaintain his show of firmness. "Can't you realize the kind of thing you areencouraging in Russia with your shallow doctrine! Noit's enough to try thepatience of an angel! Force! There's force in the savage Kalmukin the Mongolbut what is that to us? What is dear to us is civilizationyesyesmy goodsirits fruits are precious to us. And don't you tell me these fruits areworthless; the poorest dauberun barbouilleurthe man who plays dance musicfor five farthings an eveningeven they are of more use than you because theystand for civilization and not for brute Mongolian force! You fancy yourselvesas advanced peopleand yet you're only fit for the Kalmuk's dirty hovel! Force!And rememberyou forceful gentlementhat you're only four men and a halfandthe others--are millionswho won't let you trample their sacred beliefs underfootbut will crush you instead!"
"If we're crushedthat's in store for us" said Bazarov. "Butit's an open question. We're not so few as you suppose."
"What? You seriously suppose you can set yourself up against a wholepeople?"
"All Moscow was burnt downyou knowby a penny candle" answeredBazarov.
"Indeed! First comes an almost Satanic pridethen cynical jeers--sothat is what attracts the youngwhat takes by storm the inexperienced hearts ofboys! Here is one of them sitting beside youready to worship the groundbeneath your feet. Look at him. (Arkady turned aside and frowned.) And thisplague has already spread far and wide. I am told that in Rome our artists don'teven enter the Vatican. Raphael they regard as a foolbecauseof coursehe isan authority; and these artists are themselves disgustingly sterile and weakmen whose imagination can soar no higher than Girls at a Fountain--and even thegirls are abominably drawn! They are fine fellows in your viewI suppose?"
"To my mind" retorted Bazarov"Raphael isn't worth a brassfarthingand they're no better than he."
"Bravobravo! ListenArkady . . . that is how modern young men shouldexpress themselves! And if you come to think of itthey're bound to follow you.Formerly young men had to study. If they didn't want to be called fools they hadto work hard whether they liked it or not. But now they need only say'Everything in the world is rubbish!' and the trick is done. Young men aredelighted. Andto be surethey were only sheep beforebut now they havesuddenly turned into Nihilists."
"You have departed from your praiseworthy sense of personaldignity" remarked Bazarov phlegmaticallywhile Arkady had turned hot allover and his eyes were flashing. "Our argument has gone too far . . .better cut it shortI think. I shall be quite ready to agree with you" headdedgetting up"when you can show me a single institution in ourpresent mode of lifein the family or in societywhich does not call forcomplete and ruthless destruction."
"I can show you millions of such institutions!" cried PavelPetrovich--"millions! Welltake the communefor instance."
A cold smile distorted Bazarov's lips. "Wellyou had better talk toyour brother about the commune. I should think he has seen by now what thecommune is like in reality--its mutual guaranteesits sobriety andsuchlike."
"Wellthe familythe family as it exists among our peasants"cried Pavel Petrovich.
"On that subjecttooI think it will be better for you not to enterinto too much detail. You know how the head of the family chooses hisdaughters-in-law? Take my advicePavel Petrovichallow yourself a day or twoto think it all over; you'll hardly find anything straight away. Go through thevarious classes of our society and examine them carefullymeanwhile Arkady andI will----"
"Will go on abusing everything" broke in Pavel Petrovich.
"Nowe will go on dissecting frogs. ComeArkady; good-by for thepresentgentlemen!"
The two friends walked off. The brothers were left alone and at first onlylooked at each other.
"So that" began Pavel Petrovich"that is our modern youth!Those young men are our heirs!"
"Our heirs!" repeated Nikolai Petrovich with a weary smile. He hadbeen sitting as if on thorns throughout the argumentand only from time to timecast a sad furtive glance at Arkady. "Do you know what I was reminded ofbrother? I once quarreled with our mother; she shouted and wouldn't listen tome. At last I said to her'Of course you can't understand me; we belong to twodifferent generations.' She was terribly offendedbut I thought'It can't behelped--a bitter pillbut she has to swallow it.' So now our turn has comeandour successors can tell us: 'You don't belong to our generation; swallow yourpill.'"
"You are much too generous and modest" replied Pavel Petrovich."I'm convincedon the contrarythat you and I are far more in the rightthan these young gentlemenalthough perhaps we express ourselves in moreold-fashioned language--vieilli--and are not so insolently conceited . . . andthe airs these young people give themselves! You ask one 'Would you like whitewine or red?' 'It is my custom to prefer red' he answers in a deep voice andwith a face as solemn as if the whole world were looking at him that moment . .."
"Do you want any more tea?" asked Fenichkaputting her head in atthe door; she had not wanted to come into the drawing room while the noisydispute was going on.
"Noyou can tell them to take away the samovar" answered NikolaiPetrovichand he got up to meet her. Pavel Petrovich said "bonsoir"to him abruptlyand went to his own study.
HALF AN HOUR LATER NIKOLAI PETROVICH WENT INTO THE garden to his favoritearbor. He was filled with melancholy thoughts. For the first time he saw clearlythe distance separating him from his son and he foresaw that it would grow widerevery day. So they were spent in vainthose winters in Petersburgwhensometimes he had pored for whole days on end over the latest books; in vain hadhe listened to the talk of the young menand rejoiced when he succeeded inslipping a few of his own words into heated discussions.
"My brother says we are right" he thought"and laying asideall vanityit even seems to me that they are further from the truth than wearethough all the same I feel they have something behind them which we lacksome superiority over us . . . is it youth? Noit can't only be that; theirsuperiority may be that they show fewer traces of the slaveowner than wedo."
Nikolai Petrovich's head sank despondentlyand he passed his hand over hisface.
"But to renounce poetryto have no feeling for artfor nature . .."
And he looked roundas though trying to understand how it was possible tohave no feeling for nature. It was already evening; the sun was hidden behind asmall clump of aspens which grew about a quarter of a mile from the garden; itsshadow stretched indefinitely across the motionless fields. A little peasant ona white pony was riding along the dark narrow path near the wood; his wholefigure was clearly visible even to the patch on his shoulderalthough he was inthe shade; the pony's hoofs rose and fell with graceful distinctness. The sun'srays on the farther side fell full on the clump of treesand piercing throughthem threw such a warm light on the aspen trunks that they looked like pinesand their leaves seemed almost dark bluewhile above them rose a pale blue skytinged by the red sunset glow. The swallows flew high; the wind had quite dieddownsome late bees hummed lazily among the lilac blossomsa swarm of midgeshung like a cloud over a solitary branch which stood out against the sky."How beautifulmy God!" thought Nikolai Petrovichand his favoriteverses almost rose to his lips; then he remembered Arkady's Stoff und Kraft--andremained silentbut he still sat thereabandoning himself to the sadconsolation of solitary thought. He was fond of dreamingand his country lifehad developed that tendency in him. How short a time ago he had been dreaminglike thiswaiting for his son at the posting stationand how much had changedsince that day; their relationsthen indeterminatehad now been defined--andhow defined! His dead wife came back to his imaginationbut not as he had knownher for so many yearsnot as a good domesticated housewifebut as a young girlwith a slim waistan innocent inquiring look and a tightly twisted pigtail onher childish neck. He remembered how he had seen her for the first time. He wasstill a student then. He had met her on the staircase of his lodgingsandrunning into her by accident he tried to apologize but could only mutter"PardonMonsieur" while she bowedsmiledthen suddenly seemedfrightened and ran awayglanced quickly back at himlooked serious andblushed. Afterwards the first timid visitsthe hintsthe half-smiles andembarrassment; the uncertain sadnessthe ups and downs and at last thatoverwhelming joy . . . where had it all vanished away? She had been his wifehehad been happy as few on earth are happy . . . "But" he mused"those sweet fleeting momentswhy could one not live an eternal undyinglife in them?"
He made no effort to clarify his thoughtsbut he felt that he longed to holdthat blissful time by something stronger than memory; he longed to feel hisMarya near himto sense her warmth and breathing; already he could fancy heractual presence . . .
"Nikolai Petrovich" came the sound of Fenichka's voice close by."Where are you?"
He started. He felt no remorseno shame. He never admitted even thepossibility of comparison between his wife and Fenichkabut he was sorry thatshe had thought of coming to look for him. Her voice had brought back to him atonce his grey hairshis agehis daily existence . . .
The enchanted world arising out of the dim mists of the pastinto which hehad just steppedquivered--and disappeared.
"I'm here" he answered; "I'm coming. You run along.""There they aretraces of the slaveowner" flashed through his mind.Fenichka peeped into the arbor without speaking to him and went away again; andhe noticed with surprise that night had fallen while he was dreaming. Everythingaround was dark and hushedand Fenichka's face had glimmered in front of himso pale and slight. He got up and was about to go homebut the emotionsstirring his heart could not be calmed so soonand he began walking slowlyabout the gardensometimes meditatively surveying the groundthen raising hiseyes to the sky where multitudes of stars were twinkling. He went on walkingtill he was almost tired outbut the restlessness within hima yearning vaguemelancholy excitementwas still not appeased. Ohhow Bazarov would havelaughed at him if he had known what was happening to him then! Even Arkady wouldhave condemned him. Hea man of forty-fouran agriculturist and a landownerwas shedding tearstears without reason; it was a hundred times worse thanplaying the cello.
Nikolai Petrovich still walked up and down and could not make up his mind togo into the houseinto the cosy peaceful nestwhich looked at him sohospitably from its lighted windows; he had not the strength to tear himselfaway from the darknessthe gardenthe sensation of fresh air on his faceandfrom that sad restless excitement.
At a turn in the path he met Pavel Petrovich. "What is the matter withyou?" he asked Nikolai Petrovich. "You are as white as a ghost; youmust be unwell. Why don't you go to bed?" Nikolai said a few words to hisbrother about his state of mind and moved away. Pavel Petrovich walked on to theend of the gardenalso deep in thoughtand hetooraised his eyes to thesky--but his beautiful dark eyes reflected only the light of the stars. He wasnot born a romantic idealistand his fastidiously dry though ardent soulwithits tinge of French scepticismwas not addicted to dreaming . . .
"Do you know what?" Bazarov was saying to Arkady that very night."I've had a splendid idea. Your father was saying today that he hadreceived an invitation from that illustrious relative of yours. Your fatherdoesn't want to gobut why shouldn't we be off to X? You know the man invitesyou as well. You see what fine weather it is; we'll stroll around and look atthe town. Let's have a jaunt for five or six daysno more.
"And you'll come back here afterwards?"
"NoI must go to my father's. You know he lives about twenty miles fromX. I've not seen him or my mother for a long time; I must cheer the old peopleup. They've been good to memy father particularly; he's awfully funny. I'mtheir only one. "Will you stay long with them?"
"I don't think so. It will be dullof course. "And you'll come tous again on your way back."
"I don't know . . . we'll see. Wellwhat do you say? Shall we go?"
"If you like" answered Arkady languidly.
In his heart he was overjoyed by his friend's suggestionbut thought it aduty to conceal his feeling. He was not a nihilist for nothing!
The next day he set off with Bazarov to X. The younger members of thehousehold at Maryino were sorry about their departure; Dunyasha even wept . . .but the older people breathed more freely.
THE TOWN OF X. TO WHICH OUR FRIENDS SET OFF WAS UNDER THE jurisdiction of agovernorwho was still a young manand who was at once progressive anddespoticas so often happens with Russians. Before the end of the first year ofhis governorshiphe had managed to quarrel not only with the marshal ofnobilitya retired guards-officerwho kept open house and a stud of horsesbut even with his own subordinates. The resulting feuds at length grew to suchproportions that the ministry in Petersburg found it necessary to send a trustedofficial with a commission to investigate everything on the spot. The choice ofthe authorities fell on Matvei Ilyich Kolyazinthe son of that Kolyazin underwhose protection the brothers Kirsanov had been when they were students inPetersburg. He was also a "young man" that is to sayhe was onlyjust over fortybut he was well on the way to becoming a statesman and alreadywore two stars on his breast--admittedlyone of them was a foreign star and notof the first magnitude. Like the governorupon whom he had come to passjudgmenthe was considered a "progressive" and though he was alreadya bigwig he was not altogether like the majority of bigwigs. Of himself he hadthe highest opinionhis vanity knew no boundsbut his manners were simplehehad a friendly facehe listened indulgently and laughed so good-naturedly thaton first acquaintance he might even have been taken for "a jolly goodfellow." On important occasionshoweverhe knewso to speakhow to makehis authority felt. "Energy is essential" he used to say then;"l'energie est la premire qualit d'un homme d'tat" yet inspite of all thathe was habitually cheatedand any thoroughly experiencedofficial could twist him round his finger. Matvei Ilyich used to speak withgreat respect about Guizotand tried to impress everyone with the idea that hedid not belong to the class of routine officials and old-fashioned bureaucratsthat not a single phenomenon of social life escaped his attention . . . He wasquite at home with phrases of the latter kind. He even followed (with a certaincasual condescensionit is true) the development of contemporary literature--asa grown-up man who meets a crowd of street urchins will sometimes join them outof curiosity. In realityMatvei Ilyich had not got much further than thosepoliticians of the time of Alexander Iwho used to prepare for an evening partyat Madame Svyechin's by reading a page of Condillac; only his methods weredifferent and more modern. He was a skillful courtierand extremely cunninghypocriteand little more; he had no aptitude for handling public affairsandhis intellect was scantybut he knew how to manage his own affairssuccessfully; no one could get the better of him thereand of coursethat is amost important thing.
Matvei Ilyich received Arkady with the amiabilityor should we sayplayfulnesscharacteristic of the enlightened higher official. He wasastonishedhoweverwhen he heard that both the cousins he had invited hadstayed at home in the country. "Your father was always a queerfellow" he remarkedplaying with the tassels of his magnificent velvetdressing gownand turning suddenly to a young official in a faultlesslybuttoned-up uniformhe shouted with an air of concern"What?" Theyoung manwhose lips were almost glued together from prolonged silencecameforward and looked in perplexity at his chief . . . But having embarrassed hissubordinateMatvei Ilyich paid him no further attention. Our higher officialsare fond of upsetting their subordinatesand they resort to quite varied meansof achieving that end. The following methodamong othersis often used"is quite a favorite" as the English say: a high official suddenlyceases to understand the simplest words and pretends to be deaf; he asksforinstancewhat day of the week it is.
He is respectfully informed"Today's Fridayyour Excellency."
"Eh? What? What's that? What do you say?" the great man repeatswith strained attention.
"Today's Fridayyour Excellency."
"Eh? What? What's Friday? What Friday?"
"Fridayyour Excellencythe day of the week."
"Whatare you presuming to teach me something?"
Matvei Ilyich remained a higher officialthough he considered himself aliberal.
"I advise youmy dear boyto go and call on the governor" hesaid to Arkady. "You understand I don't advise you to do so on account ofany old-fashioned ideas about the necessity of paying respect to theauthoritiesbut simply because the governor is a decent fellow; besidesyouprobably want to get to know the society here . . . You're not a bearI hope?And he's giving a large ball the day after tomorrow."
"Will you be at the ball?" inquired Arkady.
"He gives it in my honor" answered Matvei Ilyichalmostpityingly. "Do you dance?"
"YesI dancebut not well."
"That's a pity! There are pretty women hereand it's a shame for ayoung man not to dance. Of course I don't say that because of any oldconventions; I would never suggest that a man's wit lies in his feetbutByronism has become ridiculous-- il a fait son temps."
"Butuncleit's not because of Byronism that I don't . . ."
"I'll introduce you to some of the local ladies and take you under mywing" interrupted Matvei Ilyichand he laughed a self-satisfied laugh."You'll find it warmeh?"
A servant entered and announced the arrival of the superintendent ofgovernment institutionsan old man with tender eyes and deep lines round hismouthwho was extremely fond of natureespecially on summer dayswhento usehis wordsevery little busy bee takes a little bribe from every littleflower." Arkady withdrew.
He found Bazarov at the inn where they were stayingand took a long time topersuade him to accompany him to the governor's.
"Wellit can't be helped" said Bazarov at last. "It's nogood doing things by halves. We came to look at the landownersso let us lookat them!"
The governor received the young men affablybut he did not ask them to sitdownnor did he sit down himself. He was perpetually fussing and hurrying;every morning he put on a tight uniform and an extremely stiff cravat; he neverate or drank enough; he could never stop making arrangements. He invitedKirsanov and Bazarov to his balland within a few minutes he invited them asecond timetaking them for brothers and calling them Kisarov.
They were on their way back from the governor'swhen suddenly a short man inSlav national dress jumped out of a passing carriage and crying "EvgenyVassilich" rushed up to Bazarov.
"Ahit's youHerr Sitnikov" remarked Bazarovstill walkingalong the pavement. "What chance brought you here?"
"Just fancyquite by accident" the man repliedand returning tothe carriagehe waved his arms several times and shouted"Followfollowus! My father had business here" he went onjumping across the gutter"and so he asked me to come . . . I heard today you had arrived and havealready been to visit you." (In fact on returning home the friends did findthere a card with the corners turned downbearing the name Sitnikovin Frenchon one sideand in Slavonic characters on the other.) "I hope you are notcoming from the governor's."
"It's no use hoping. We've come straight from him."
"Ahin that case I will call on himtoo . . . Evgeny Vassilichintroduce me to your . . . to the. . . ."
"SitnikovKirsanov" mumbled Bazarovwithout stopping.
"I am much honored" began Sitnikovstepping sidewayssmirkingand pulling off his overelegant gloves. "I have heard so much . . . I am anold acquaintance of Evgeny Vassilich and I may say--his disciple. I owe to himmy regeneration..."
Arkady looked at Bazarov's disciple. There was an expression of excitedstupidity in the small but agreeable features of his well-groomed face; hislittle eyeswhich looked permanently surprisedhad a staring uneasy lookhislaughtoowas uneasy--an abrupt wooden laugh.
"Would you believe it" he continued"when Evgeny Vassilichfor the first time said before me that we should acknowledge no authoritiesIfelt such enthusiasm . . . my eyes were opened! By the wayEvgeny Vassilichyou simply must get to know a lady here who is really capable of understandingyou and for whom your visit would be a real treat; you may have heard ofher?"
"Who is it?" grunted Bazarov unwillingly.
"KukshinaEudoxieEvdoksya Kukshina. She's a remarkable naturemancipein the true sense of the wordan advanced woman. Do you know what? Let us allgo and visit her now. She lives only two steps from here . . . We will havelunch there. I suppose you have not lunched yet?"
"Wellthat's splendid. She has separatedyou understandfrom herhusband; she is not dependent on anyone."
"Is she pretty?" Bazarov broke in.
"N--noone couldn't say that."
"Then what the devil are you asking us to see her for?"
"Ha! You must have your joke . . . she will give us a bottle ofchampagne."
"So that's it. The practical man shows himself at once. By the wayisyour father still in the vodka business?"
"Yes" said Sitnikov hurriedly and burst into a shrill laugh."Wellshall we go?"
"You wanted to meet peoplego along" said Arkady in an undertone.
"And what do you say about itMr. Kirsanov?" interposed Sitnikov."You must come too--we can't go without you."
"But how can we burst in upon her all at once?"
"Never mind about that. Kukshina is a good sort!"
"Will there be a bottle of champagne?" asked Bazarov.
"Three!" cried Sitnikov"I'll answer for that."
"My own head."
"Better with your father's purse. Howeverwe'll come along."
THE SMALL DETACHED HOUSE IN MOSCOW STYLE INHABITED BY Avdotya Nikitishna--orEvdoksya Kukshinastood in one of those streets of X. which had been latelyburnt down (it is well known that our Russian provincial towns are burnt downonce every five years). At the doorabove a visiting card nailed on at a slanthung a bell handleand in the hall the visitors were met by someone in a capnot quite a servant nor quite a companion--unmistakable signs of the progressiveaspirations of the lady of the house. Sitnikov asked if Avdotya Nikitishna wasat home.
"Is that youViktor?" sounded a shrill voice from the other room."Come in!"
The woman in the cap disappeared at once.
"I'm not alone" said Sitnikovcasting a sharp look at Arkady andBazarov as he briskly pulled off his cloakbeneath which appeared somethinglike a leather jacket.
"No matter" answered the voice. "Entrez."
The young men went in. The room which they entered was more like a workingstudy than a drawing room. Paperslettersfat issues of Russian journalsforthe most part uncutlay thrown about on dusty tables; white cigarette ends werescattered all over the place. A ladystill youngwas half lying on aleather-covered sofa; her blonde hair was disheveled and she was wearing acrumpled silk dresswith heavy bracelets on her short arms and a lace kerchiefover her head. She rose from the sofaand carelessly drawing over her shouldersa velvet cape trimmed with faded ermineshe murmured languidly"GoodmorningViktor" and held out her hand to Sitnikov.
"BazarovKirsanov" he announced abruptlysuccessfully imitatingBazarov's manner.
"So glad to meet you" answered Madame Kukshinafixing on Bazarovher round eyesbetween which appeared a forlorn little turned-up red nose"I know you" she addedand pressed his hand.
Bazarov frowned. There was nothing definitely ugly in the small plain figureof the emancipated woman; but her facial expression produced an uncomfortableeffect on the spectator. One felt impelled to ask her"What's the matterare you hungry? Or bored? Or shy? Why are you fidgeting?" Both she andSitnikov had the same nervous manner. Her movements and speech were veryunconstrained and at the same time awkward; she evidently regarded herself as agood-natured simple creatureyet all the timewhatever she didit alwaysstruck one that it was not exactly what she wanted to do; everything with herseemedas children saydone on purposethat isnot spontaneously or simply.
"YesyesI know youBazarov" she repeated. (She had thehabit--peculiar to many provincial and Moscow ladies--of calling men by theirbare surnames from the moment she first met them.) "Would you like acigar?"
"A cigar is all very well" interjected Sitnikovwho was alreadylolling in an armchair with his legs in the air"but give us some lunch.We're frightfully hungry; and tell them to bring us up a little bottle ofchampagne."
"You sybarite" cried Evdoksya with a laugh. (When she laughed thegums showed over her upper teeth.) "Isn't it trueBazarovhe's asybarite?"
"I like comfort in life" pronounced Sitnikov gravely. "Butthat doesn't prevent me from being a liberal."
"It doesthoughit does!" exclaimed Evdoksyaand neverthelessgave instructions to her maid both about the lunch and about the champagne."What do you think about that?" she addedturning to Bazarov."I'm sure you share my opinion."
"Wellno" retorted Bazarov; "a piece of meat is better thana piece of bread even from the point of view of chemistry."
"You are studying chemistry? That's my passion. I've invented a new sortof paste."
"A paste? You?"
"Yes. And do you know what it's for? To make dolls' headsso that theycan't break. I'm practical alsoyou see. But it's not quite ready yet. I'vestill got to read Liebig. By the wayhave you read Kislyakov's article onfemale labor in the Moscow News? Please read it. Of course you're interested inthe woman's question--and in the schoolstoo? What does your friend do? What ishis name?"
Madame Kukshina poured out her questions one after anotherwith affectednegligencewithout waiting for the answers; spoilt children talk like that totheir nurses.
"My name is Arkady Nikolaich Kirsanovand I do nothing." Evdoksyagiggled. "Ohhow charming! Whatdon't you smoke? Viktoryou know I'mvery angry with you."
"They tell me you've begun praising George Sand. A backward woman andnothing else! How can people compare her with Emerson? She hasn't a single ideaabout education or physiology or anything. I'm sure she's never even heard ofembryology and in these days what can be done without that? (Evdoksya actuallythrew up her hands.) Ohwhat a wonderful article Elisyevich has written aboutit! He's a gentleman of genius. (Evdoksya constantly used the word"gentleman" instead of the word "man.") Bazarovsit by meon the sofa. You don't knowperhapsbut I'm awfully afraid of you."
"And whymay I ask?"
"You're a dangerous gentlemanyou're such a critic. My Godhow absurd!I'm talking like some provincial landowner--but I really am one. I manage myproperty myselfand just imaginemy bailiff Yerofay--he's a wonderful typejust like Fenimore Cooper's Pathfinder--there's something so spontaneous abouthim! I've come to settle down here; it's an intolerable townisn't it? But whatis one to do?"
"The town's like any other town" remarked Bazarov coolly.
"All its interests are so pettythat's what is so dreadful! I used tospend the winters in Moscow . . . but now my lawful husband Monsieur Kukshinlives there. And besidesMoscow nowadays--I don't knowit's not what it was.I'm thinking of going abroad--I almost went last year."
"To ParisI suppose" said Bazarov.
"To Paris and to Heidelberg."
"Why to Heidelberg?"
"How can you ask! Bunsen lives there!"
Bazarov could find no reply to that one.
"Pierre Sapozhnikov . . . do you know him?"
"Not know Pierre Sapozhnikov . . . he's always at LydiaKhostatov's."
"I don't know her either."
"Wellhe undertook to escort me. Thank God I'm independent--I've nochildren . . . what did I say? Thank God! Never mind though!"
Evdoksya rolled a cigarette between her fingersbrown with tobacco stainsput it across her tonguelicked it and started to smoke. The maid came in witha tray.
"Ahhere's lunch! Will you have an apritif first? Viktoropen thebottle; that's in your line."
"Yesit's in my line" mumbled Sitnikovand again uttered apiercing convulsive laugh.
"Are there any pretty women here?" asked Bazarovas he drank downa third glass.
"Yesthere are" answered Evdoksya"but they're all soempty-headed. For instancemy friend Odintsova is nice looking. It's a pityshe's got such a reputation . . . Of course that wouldn't matterbut she has noindependent viewsno breadth of outlooknothing . . . of that kind. The wholesystem of education wants changing. I've thought a lot about it; our women areso badly educated."
"There's nothing to be done with them" interposed Sitnikov;"one ought to despise them and I do despise them utterly andcompletely." (The possibility of feeling and expressing contempt was themost agreeable sensation to Sitnikov; he attacked women in particularneversuspecting that it would be his fate a few months later to cringe to his wifemerely because she had been born a princess Durdoleosov.) "Not one of themwould be capable of understanding our conversation; not one of them deserves tobe spoken about by serious men like us."
"But there's no need whatsoever for them to understand ourconversation" remarked Bazarov.
"Whom do you mean?" sad Evdoksya.
"What? Do you then share the ideas of Proudhon?"
Bazarov drew himself up haughtily.
"I share no one's ideas; I have my own."
"Damn all authorities!" shouted Sitnikovdelighted to have anopportunity of expressing himself boldly in front of the man he slavishlyadmired.
"But even Macaulay . . ." Madame Kukshina was trying to say.
"Damn Macaulay!" thundered Sitnikov. "Are you going to standup for those silly females?"
"Not for silly femalesnobut for the rights of women which I havesworn to defend to the last drop of my blood."
"Damn . . ." but here Sitnikov stopped. "But I don't denyyou that" he said.
"NoI see you're a Slavophil!"
"NoI'm not a Slavophilthoughof course . . . ."
"Nonono! You are a Slavophil. You're a supporter of patriarchaldespotism. You want to have the whip in your hand!"
"A whip is a good thing" said Bazarov"but we've got to thelast drop . . ."
"Of what?" interrupted Evdoksya.
"Of champagnemost honored Avdotya Nikitishnaof champagne--not ofyour blood."
"I can never listen calmly when women are attacked" went onEvdoksya. "It's awfulawful. Instead of attacking them you should readMichelet's book De l'Amour! That's something exquisite! Gentlemenlet us talkabout love" added Evdoksyaletting her arm rest on the crumpled sofacushion.
A sudden silence followed.
"Nowhy should we talk of love?" said Bazarov. "But youmentioned just now a Madame Odintsov . . . That was the nameI think--who isthe lady?"
"She's charmingdelightful" squeaked Sitnikov. "I'llintroduce you. Cleverricha widow. It's a pity she's not yet advanced enough;she ought to see more of our Evdoksya. I drink to your healthEudoxieclinkglasses! Et toc et toc et tin-tin-tin! Et tocet tocet tin-tin-tin!"
"Viktoryou're a rascal!"
The lunch was prolonged. The first bottle of champagne was followed byanotherby a thirdand even by a fourth . . . Evdoksya chattered away withoutdrawing breath; Sitnikov seconded her. They talked a lot about whether marriagewas a prejudice or a crimewhether men were born equal or notand preciselywhat constitutes individuality. Finally things went so far that Evdoksyaflushed from the wine she had drunkbegan tapping with her flat finger tips ona discordant pianoand singing in a husky voicefirst gipsy songsthenSeymour Schiff's song Granada lies slumberingwhile Sitnikov tied a scarf roundhis head and represented the dying lover at the words
"And thy lips to mine In burning kiss entwine. . ."
Arkady could stand no more. "Gentlementhis is approachingbedlam" he remarked aloud.
Bazarovwho at rare intervals had thrown a sarcastic word or two into theconversation--he paid more attention to the champagne--yawned loudlyrose tohis feet and without taking leave of their hostesshe walked off with Arkady.Sitnikov jumped up and followed them.
"Wellwhat do you think of her?" he askedhopping obsequiouslyfrom one side to another. "As I told youa remarkable personality! If onlywe had more women like that! She isin her own waya highly moralphenomenon."
"And is that establishment of your father's also a moralphenomenon?" muttered Bazarovpointing to a vodka shop which they werepassing at that moment.
Sitnikov again gave vent to his shrill laugh. He was much ashamed of hisoriginand hardly knew whether to feel flattered or offended by Bazarov'sunexpected familiarity.
TWO DAYS LATER THE GOVERNOR'S BALL TOOK PLACE. MATVEI Ilyich was the realhero of the occasion. The marshal of nobility announced to all and sundry thathe had come only out of respect for himwhile the governoreven at the balland even while he was standing stillcontinued to "makearrangements." The amiability of Matvei Ilyich's manner was equaled only byhis dignity. He behaved graciously to everyoneto some with a shade of disgustto others with a shade of respecthe was gallant"en vrai chevalier franais"to all the ladiesand was continually bursting into hearty resounding laughterin which no one else joinedas befits a high official. He slapped Arkady on theback and called him "nephew" loudlybestowed on Bazarov--who wasdressed in a shabby frock coat--an absent-minded but indulgent sidelong glanceand an indistinct but affable grunt in which the words "I" and"very" were vaguely distinguishable; held out a finger to Sitnikov andsmiled at him though his head had already turned round to greet someone else;even to Madame Kukshinawho appeared at the ball without a crinolinewearingdirty gloves and a bird of paradise in her hairhe said "enchant."There were crowds of people and plenty of men dancers; most of the civiliansstood in rows along the wallsbut the officers danced assiduouslyespeciallyone who had spent six weeks in Pariswhere he had mastered several daringexclamations such as--zutAh fichtrepstpstmon bibiand so on. Hepronounced them perfectly with real genuine Parisian chicand at the same timehe said "si j'aurais" instead of "si j'avais" and"absolument" in the sense of "absolutely" expressed himselfin fact in that great Russo-French jargon which the French laugh at when theyhave no reason to assure us that we speak French like angels--"comme desanges."
Arkady danced badlyas we already knowand Bazarov did not dance at all.They both took up their position in a cornerwhere Sitnikov joined them. Withan expression of contemptuous mockery on his facehe uttered one spitefulremark after anotherlooked insolently around himand appeared to bethoroughly enjoying himself. Suddenly his face changedand turning to Arkady hesaid in a rather embarrassed tone"Odintsova has arrived."
Arkady looked round and saw a tall woman in a black dress standing near thedoor. He was struck by her dignified bearing. Her bare arms lay gracefullyacross her slim waist; light sprays of fuchsia hung from her shining hair overher sloping shoulders; her clear eyes looked out from under a prominent whiteforehead; their expression was calm and intelligent--calm but not pensive--andher lips showed a scarcely perceptible smile. A sort of affectionate and gentlestrength emanated from her face.
"Do you know her?" Arkady asked Sitnikov.
"Very well. Would you like me to introduce you?"
"Please . . . after this quadrille."
Bazarov also noticed Madame Odintsov.
"What a striking figure" he said. "She's not like the otherfemales."
When the quadrille was overSitnikov led Arkady over to Madame Odintsov. Buthe hardly seemed to know her at alland stumbled over his wordswhile shelooked at him in some surprise. But she looked pleased when she heard Arkady'sfamily nameand she asked him whether he was not the son of Nikolai Petrovich.
"I have seen your father twice and heard a lot about him" she wenton. "I am very glad to meet you."
At this moment some adjutant rushed up to her and asked her for a quadrille.She accepted.
"Do you dance then?" asked Arkady respectfully.
"Yesand why should you suppose I don't dance? Do you think I'm tooold?"
"Pleasehow could I possibly . . . but in that case may I ask you for amazurka?"
Madame Odintsov smiled graciously. "Certainly" she saidandlooked at Arkadynot exactly patronizingly but in the way married sisters lookat very young brothers. She was in fact not much older than Arkady--she wastwenty-nine--but in her presence he felt like a schoolboyso that thedifference in their ages seemed to matter much more. Matvei Ilyich came up toher in a majestic manner and started to pay her compliments. Arkady moved asidebut he still watched her; he could not take his eyes off her even during thequadrille. She talked to her partner as easily as she had to the grand officialslightly turning her head and eyesand once or twice she laughed softly. Hernose--like most Russian noses--was rather thickand her complexion was nottranslucently clear; nevertheless Arkady decided that he had never before metsuch a fascinating woman. The sound of her voice clung to his earsthe veryfolds of her dress seemed to fall differently--more gracefully and amply than onother women--and her movements were wonderfully flowing and at the same timenatural.
Arkady was overcome by shyness when at the first sounds of the mazurka hetook a seat beside his parther; he wanted to talk to herbut he only passed hishand through his hair and could not find a single word to say. But his shynessand agitation soon passed; Madame Odintsov's tranquillity communicated itself tohim; within a quarter of an hour he was telling her freely about his fatherhisunclehis life in Petersburg and in the country. Madame Odintsov listened tohim with courteous sympathyslowly opening and closing her fan. Theconversation was broken off when her partners claimed her; Sitnikovamongothersasked her to dance twice. She came backsat down againtook up herfanand did not even breathe more rapidlywhile Arkady started talking againpenetrated through and through by the happiness of being near hertalking toherlooking at her eyesher lovely forehead and her whole charmingdignifiedand intelligent face. She said littlebut her words showed an understanding oflife; judging by some of her remarks Arkady came to the conclusion that thisyoung woman had already experienced and thought a great deal . . .
"Who is that you were standing with" she asked him"when Mr.Sitnikov brought you over to me?"
"So you noticed him?" asked Arkady in his turn. "He has awonderful facehasn't he? That's my friend Bazarov."
Arkady went on to discuss "his friend." He spoke of him in suchdetail and with so much enthusiasm that Madame Odintsov turned round and lookedat him attentively. Meanwhile the mazurka was drawing to a close. Arkady wassorry to leave his partnerhe had spent almost an hour with her so happily!Certainly he had felt the whole time as though she were showing indulgence tohimas though he ought to be grateful to her . . . but young hearts are notweighed down by that feeling.
The music stopped.
"Merci" murmured Madame Odintsovrising.
"You promised to pay me a visit; bring your friend with you. I am verycurious to meet a man who has the courage to believe in nothing."
The governor came up to Madame Odintsovannounced that supper was readyandwith a worried look offered her his arm. As she went outshe turned to smileonce more at Arkady. He bowed lowfollowed her with his eyes (how graceful herfigure seemed to himhow radiant in the sober luster of the black silk folds!)and he was conscious of some kind of refreshing humility of soul as he thought"This very minute she has forgotten my existence."
"Well?" Bazarov asked Arkady as soon as he had returned to thecorner. "Did you have a good time? A man has just told me that your ladyis--oh never mind what--but the fellow is probably a fool. What do you think? Isshe?"
"I don't understand what you mean" said Arkady.
"My goodnesswhat innocence!"
"In that case I don't understand the man you quote. Madame Odintsov isvery charmingbut she is so cold and reserved that . . ."
"Still waters run deepyou know" interposed Bazarov. "Yousay she is cold; that just adds to the flavor. You like icesI expect."
"Perhaps" muttered Arkady. "I can't express any opinion aboutthat. She wants to meet you and asked me to bring you over to visit her."
"I can imagine how you described me! Never mindyou did well. Take mealong. Whoever she may bewhether she's just a provincial climber or an'emancipated' woman like Kukshina--anyhow she's got a pair of shoulders the likeof which I haven't seen for a long time."
Arkady was hurt by Bazarov's cynicismbut--as often happens--he did notblame his friend for those particular things which he disliked in him . . .
"Why do you disagree with free thought for women?" he asked in alow voice.
"Becausemy ladas far as I can seefree-thinking women are allmonsters."
The conversation was cut short at this point. Both young men left immediatelyafter supper. They were pursued by a nervously angry but fainthearted laugh fromMadame Kukshinawhose vanity had been deeply wounded by the fact that neitherof them had paid the slightest attention to her. She stayed later than anyoneelse at the balland at four o'clock in the morning she was dancing apolka-mazurka in Parisian style with Sitnikov. The governor's ball culminated inthis edifying spectacle.
"WE'LL SOON SEE TO WHAT SPECIES OF MAMMAL THIS SPECIMEN belongs"Bazarov said to Arkady the following day as they mounted the staircase of thehotel where Madame Odintsov was staying. "I can smell something wronghere."
"I'm surprised at you" cried Arkady. "What? Youof allpeopleBazarovclinging to that narrow morality which . . ."
"What a funny fellow you are!" said Bazarov carelesslycutting himshort. "Don't you know that in my dialect and for my purpose 'somethingwrong' means 'something right'? That's just my advantage. Didn't you tell meyourself this morning that she made a strange marriagethoughto my mind tomarry a rich old man is far from a strange thing to do--but on the contrarysensible enough. I don't believe the gossip of the townbut I should like tothinkas our enlightened governor saysthat it's just."
Arkady made no answerand knocked at the door of the apartment. A youngservant in livery ushered the two friends into a large roomfurnished in badtaste like all Russian hotel roomsbut filled with flowers. Madame Odintsovsoon appeared in a simple morning dress. In the light of the spring sunshine shelooked even younger than before. Arkady introduced Bazarovand noticed withconcealed astonishment that he seemed embarrassedwhile Madame Odintsovremained perfectly calmas she had been on the previous day. Bazarov washimself conscious of feeling embarrassed and was annoyed about it. "What anidea! Frightened of a female" he thoughtand lolling in an armchairquite like Sitnikovhe began to talk in an exaggeratedly casual mannerwhileMadame Odintsov kept her clear eyes fixed on him.
Anna Sergeyevna Odintsova was the daughter of Sergei Nikolayevich Loktevnotorious for his personal beautyspeculations and gamblingwho after fifteenyears of a stormy and sensational life in Petersburg and Moscowended byruining himself completely at cards and was obliged to retire to the countrywhere soon afterwards he diedleaving a very small property to his twodaughters--Annaa girl of twenty at that timeand Katyaa child of twelve.Their motherwho belonged to an impoverished princely familyhad died inPetersburg while her husband was still in his heyday. Anna's position after herfather's death was a very difficult one. The brilliant education which she hadreceived in Petersburg had not fitted her for the cares of domestic andhousehold economy--nor for an obscure life buried in the country. She knew noone in the whole neighborhoodand there was no one she could consult. Herfather had tried to avoid all contact with his neighbors; he despised them inhis way and they despised him in theirs. Howevershe did not lose her headandpromptly sent for a sister of her mother'sPrincess Avdotya Stepanovna X.--aspitefularrogant old lady whoon installing herself in her niece's houseappropriated the best rooms for herselfgrumbled and scolded from morning tillnight and refused to walk a stepeven in the gardenwithout being attended byher one and only serfa surly footman in a threadbare pea-green livery withlight-blue trimming and a three-cornered hat. Anna patiently put up with all heraunt's capricesgradually set to work on her sister's education andit seemedwas already reconciled to the idea of fading away in the wilderness . . . Butfate had decreed otherwise. She happened to be seen by a certain Odintsovawealthy man of forty-sixan eccentric hypochondriacswollenheavy and sourbut not stupid and quite good-natured; he fell in love with her and proposedmarriage. She agreed to become his wifeand they lived together for six years;then he diedleaving her all his property. For nearly a year after his deathAnna Sergeyevna remained in the country; then she went abroad with her sisterbut stayed only in Germany; she soon grew tired of it and came back to live ather beloved Nikolskoenearly thirty miles from the town of X. Her house wasmagnificentluxuriously furnished and had a beautiful garden withconservatories; her late husband had spared no expense to gratify his wishes.Anna Sergeyevna rarely visited the townand as a rule only on business; eventhen she did not stay long. She was not popular in the province; there had beena fearful outcry when she married Odintsov; all sorts of slanderous stories wereinvented about her; it was asserted that she had helped her father in hisgambling escapades and even that she had gone abroad for a special reason toconceal some unfortunate consequences . . . "You understand?" theindignant gossips would conclude. "She has been through fire andwater" they said of herto which a noted provincial wit added "Andthrough the brass instruments." All this talk reached herbut she turned adeaf ear to it; she had an independent and sufficiently determined character.
Madame Odintsov sat leaning back in her armchairher hands foldedandlistened to Bazarov. Contrary to his habithe was talking a lot and wasobviously trying to interest her--which also surprised Arkady. He could not besure whether Bazarov had achieved his objectfor it was difficult to learn fromAnna Sergeyevna's face what impression was being made on her; it retained thesame gracious refined look; her bright eyes shone with attentionbut it was anunruffled attention. During the first minutes of the visitBazarov's awkwardmanners had impressed her disagreeablylike a bad smellor a discordant sound;but she saw at once that he was nervous and that flattered her. Only thecommonplace was repulsive to herand no one would have accused Bazarov of beingcommonplace. Arkady had several surprises in store for him that day. He hadexpected that Bazarov would talk to an intelligent woman like Madame Odintsovabout his convictions and views; she herself had expressed a desire to hear theman "who dares to believe in nothing" but instead of that Bazarovtalked about medicineabout homeopathy and about botany. It turned out thatMadame Odintsov had not wasted her time in solitude; she had read a number ofgood books and herself spoke an excellent Russian. She turned the conversationto musicbutobserving that Bazarov had no appreciation of artquietly turnedit back to botanyalthough Arkady was just launching out on a discourse aboutthe significance of national melodies. Madame Odintsov continued to treat him asthough he were a younger brother; she seemed to appreciate his good nature andyouthful simplicity--and that was all. A lively conversation went on for overthree hoursranging freely over a variety of subjects.
At last the friends got up and began to take their leave. Anna Sergeyevnalooked at them kindlyheld out her beautiful white hand to each in turnandafter a moment's thoughtsaid with a diffident but delightful smile"Ifyou are not afraid of being boredgentlemencome and see me atNikolskoe."
"OhAnna Sergeyevna" cried Arkady"that will be thegreatest happiness for me."
"And youMonsieur Bazarov?"
Bazarov only bowed--and Arkady had yet another surprise; he noticed that hisfriend was blushing.
"Well" he said to him in the street"do you still thinkshe's . . ."
"Who can tell! Just see how frozen she is!" answered Bazaroy; thenafter a short pause he added"She's a real Grand Duchessa commandingsort of person; she only needs a train behind herand a crown on herhead."
"Our Grand Duchesses can't talk Russian like that" observedArkady.
"She has known ups and downsmy lad; she's been hard up."
"Anyhowshe's delightful" said Arkady.
"What a magnificent body" went on Bazarov. "How I should liketo see it on the dissecting table."
"Stopfor heaven's sakeEvgeny! You go too far!"
"Welldon't get angryyou baby! I meant it's first-rate. We must go tostay with her."
"Wellwhy not the day after tomorrow. What is there to do here? Drinkchampagne with Kukshina? Listen to your cousinthe liberal statesman? . . .Let's be off the day after tomorrow. By the way--my father's little place is notfar from there. This Nikolskoe is on the X. roadisn't it?"
"Excellent. Why hesitate? Leave that to fools--and intellectuals. Isay--what a splendid body!"
Three days later the two friends were driving along the road to Nikolskoe.The day was bright and not too hotand the plump post horses trotted smartlyalongflicking their tied and plaited tails. Arkady looked at the roadandwithout knowing whyhe smiled.
"Congratulate me" exclaimed Bazarov suddenly. "Today's the22nd of Junemy saint's day. Let us see how he will watch over me. They expectme home today" he addeddropping his voice . . . "Wellthey canwait--what does it matter!"
THE COUNTRY HOUSE IN WHICH ANNA SERGEYEVNA LIVED STOOD on the slope of a lowhill not far from a yellow stone church with a green roofwhite columnsanddecorated with a fresco over the main entrancerepresenting The Resurrection ofChrist in the Italian style. Especially remarkable for its voluminous contourswas the figure of a swarthy soldier in a helmetsprawling in the foreground ofthe picture. Behind the church stretched a long village street with chimneyspeeping out here and there from thatched roofs. The manor house was built in thesame style as the churchthe style now famous as that of Alexander I; the wholehouse was painted yellowand it had a green roofwhite columns and a pedimentwith a coat of arms carved on it. The provincial architect had designed bothbuildings according to the instructions of the late Odintsovwho could notendure--as he expressed it--senseless and arbitrary innovations. The house wasflanked on both sides by the dark trees of an old garden; an avenue of clippedpines led up to the main entrance
Our friends were met in the hall by two tall footmen in livery; one of themran at once to fetch the butler. The butlera stout man in a black tail coatpromptly appeared and led the visitors up a staircase covered with rugs into aspecially prepared room in which two beds had been arranged with every kind oftoilet accessory. It was evident that order reigned in the house; everything wascleanand there was everywhere a peculiar dignified fragrance such as oneencounters in ministerial reception rooms.
"Anna Sergeyevna asks you to come to see her in half an hour" thebutler announced. "Have you any orders to give meanwhile?"
"No ordersmy good sir" answered Bazarov"but perhaps youwill kindly trouble yourself to bring a glass of vodka."
"Certainlysir" said the butlerlooking rather surprisedandwent outhis boots creaking.
"What grand genre" remarked Bazarov"that's what you call itin your setI think. A Grand Duchess complete."
"A nice Grand Duchess" answered Arkady"to invite straightaway such great aristocrats as you and me to stay with her."
"Especially mea future doctor and a doctor's sonand grandson of avillage priest . . . you know thatI suppose . . . a village priest's grandsonlike the statesman Speransky" added Bazarovafter a brief silencepursing his lips. "Anyhowshe gives herself the best of everythingthispampered lady! Shan't we soon find ourselves wearing tail coats?"
Arkady only shrugged his shoulders . . . but hetoofelt a certainembarrassment.
Half an hour later Bazarov and Arkady made their way together into thedrawing room. It was a large lofty roomluxuriously furnished but with littlepersonal taste. Heavy expensive furniture stood in a conventional stiffarrangement along the wallswhich were covered in a buff wall paper decoratedwith golden arabesques. Odintsov had ordered the furniture from Moscow through awine merchant who was a friend and agent of his. Over a sofa in the center ofone wall hung a portrait of a flabby fair-haired manwhich seemed to lookdisapprovingly at the visitors. "It must be the late husband"whispered Bazarov to Arkady. "Shall we dash off?" But at that momentthe hostess entered. She wore a light muslin dress; her hairsmoothly brushedback behind her earsimparted a girlish expression to her purefresh face.
"Thank you for keeping your promise" she began. "You muststay a little while; you won't find it so bad here. I will introduce you to mysister; she plays the piano well. That's a matter of indifference to youMonsieur Bazarovbut youMonsieur Kirsanovare fond of musicI believe.Apart from my sisteran old aunt lives with meand a neighbor sometimes comesover to play cards. That makes up our whole circle. And now let us sitdown."
Madame Odintsov delivered this whole little speech very fluently anddistinctlyas if she had learned it by heart; then she turned to Arkady. Itappeared that her mother had known Arkady's mother and had even been herconfidante in her love for Nikolai Petrovich. Arkady began to talk with warmfeeling about his dead mother; meanwhile Bazarov sat and looked through somealbums. "What a tame cat I've become" he thought.
A beautiful white wolfhound with a blue collar ran into the drawing room andtapped on the floor with its paws; it was followed by a girl of eighteen with around and pleasing face and small dark eyes. In her hands she held a basketfilled with flowers.
"This is my Katya" said Madame Odintsovnodding in her direction.
Katya made a slight curtseysat down beside her sister and began arrangingthe flowers. The wolfhoundwhose name was Fifiwent up to both visitors inturnwagging its tail and thrusting its cold nose into their hands.
"Did you pick them all yourself?" asked Madame Odintsov.
"Yes" answered Katya.
"Is auntie coming down for tea?"
When Katya spokeher face had a charming smileat once bashful and candidand she looked up from under her eyebrows with a kind of amusing severity.Everything about her was naive and undevelopedher voicethe downy bloom onher facethe rosy hands with white palms and the rather narrow shoulders . . .she was constantly blushing and she breathed quickly.
Madame Odintsov turned to Bazarov. "You are looking at pictures out ofpolitenessEvgeny Vassilich" she began. "It doesn't interest yousoyou had better come and join usand we will have a discussion aboutsomething."
Bazarov moved nearer. "What have you decided to discuss?" hemuttered.
"Whatever you like. I warn youI am dreadfully argumentative."
"Yes. That seems to surprise you. Why?"
"Becauseso far as I can judgeyou have a calm and cool temperamentand to be argumentative one needs to get excited."
"How have you managed to sum me up so quickly? In the first place I amimpatient and persistent--you should ask Katya; and secondly I am very easilycarried away."
Bazarov looked at Anna Sergeyevna.
"Perhaps. You know best. Very wellif you want a discussion--so be it.I was looking at the views of Swiss mountains in your albumsand you remarkedthat they couldn't interest me. You said that because you suppose I have noartistic feeling--and it is true I have none; but those views might interest mefrom a geological standpointfor studying the formation of mountainsforinstance."
"Excuse me; but as a geologistyou would rather study a booksomespecial work on the subject and not a drawing."
"The drawing shows me at one glance what might be spread over ten pagesin a book."
Anna Sergeyevna was silent for a few moments.
"So you have no feeling whatsoever for art?" she saidleaning herelbow on the table and by so doing bringing her face nearer to Bazarov."How do you manage without it?"
"Whywhat is it needed formay I ask?"
"Wellat least to help one to know and understand people."
Bazarov smiled. "In the first placeexperience of life does thatandin the secondI assure you the study of separate individuals is not worth thetrouble it involves. All people resemble each otherin soul as well as in body;each of us has a brainspleenheart and lungs of similar construction; theso-called moral qualities are the same in all of us; the slight variations areinsignificant. It is enough to have one single human specimen in order to judgeall the others. People are like trees in a forest; no botanist would think ofstudying each individual birch tree."
Katyawho was arranging the flowers one by one in a leisurely wayraisedher eyes to Bazarov with a puzzled expressionand meeting his quick casualglanceshe blushed right up to her ears. Anna Sergeyevna shook her head.
"The trees in a forest" she repeated. "Then according to youthere is no difference between a stupid and an intelligent personor between agood and a bad one."
"Nothere is a differenceas there is between the sick and thehealthy. The lungs of a consumptive person are not in the same condition asyours or minealthough their construction is the same. We know more or lesswhat causes physical ailments; but moral diseases are caused by bad educationby all the rubbish with which people's heads are stuffed from childhood onwardsin shortby the disordered state of society. Reform societyand there will beno diseases."
Bazarov said all this with an air as though he were all the while thinking tohimself. "Believe me or not as you wishit's all the same to me!" Heslowly passed his long fingers over his whiskers and his eyes strayed round theroom.
"And you suppose" said Anna Sergeyevna"that when society isreformed there will be no longer any stupid or wicked people?"
"At any ratein a properly organized society it will make no differencewhether a man is stupid or cleverbad or good."
"YesI understand. They will all have the same spleen."
Madame Odintsov turned to Arkady. "And what is your opinionArkadyNikolayevich?"
"I agree with Evgeny" he answered.
Katya looked at him from under her eyelids.
"You amaze megentlemen" commented Madame Odintsov"but wewill talk about this again. I hear my aunt now coming in to tea--we must spareher."
Anna Sergeyevna's auntPrincess X.a small shriveled woman with apinched-up face like a fistwith staring bad-tempered eyes under her greybrowscame inand scarcely bowing to the guestssank into a broadvelvet-covered armchairin which no one except herself was privileged to sit.Katya put a stool under her feet; the old lady did not thank her or even look atheronly her hands shook under the yellow shawl which almost covered herdecrepit body. The princess liked yelloweven her cap had yellow ribbons.
"How did you sleepauntie?" asked Madame Odintsovraising hervoice.
"That dog here again" mumbled the old lady in replyand noticingthat Fifi was making two hesitating steps in her directionshe hissed loudly.
Katya called Fifi and opened the door for her. Fifi rushed out gailyimagining she was going to be taken for a walkbut when she found herself leftalone outside the door she began to scratch and whine. The princess frowned.Katya rose to go out . . .
"I expect tea is ready" said Madame Odintsov. "Comegentlemen; auntiewill you go in to tea?"
The princess rose from her chair without speaking and led the way out of thedrawing room. They all followed her into the dining room. A little Cossack pagedrew back noisily from the table a chair covered with cushionsalso dedicatedto the princesswho sank into it. Katyawho poured out teahanded her first acup decorated with a coat of arms. The old lady helped herself to honeywhichshe put in her cup (she considered it both sinful and extravagant to drink teawith sugar in italthough she never spent a penny of her own on anything)andsuddenly asked in a hoarse voice"And what does Prince Ivan write?"
No one made any reply. Bazarov and Arkady soon observed that the family paidno attention to her although they treated her respectfully. "They put upwith her because of her princely family" thought Bazarov. After tea AnnaSergeyevna suggested that they should go out for a walkbut it began to rain alittleand the whole partyexcept the princessreturned to the drawing room.The neighbor arrivedthe devoted cardplayer; his name was Porfiri Platonichaplump greyish little man with short spindly legsvery polite and jocular. AnnaSergeyevnawho still talked principally to Bazarovasked him whether he wouldlike to play an old-fashioned game of preference with them. Bazarov acceptedsaying that he certainly needed to prepare himself in advance for the duties instore for him as a country doctor.
"You must be careful" remarked Anna Sergeyevna; "PorfiriPlatonich and I will defeat you. And youKatya" she added"playsomething to Arkady Nikolaich; he's fond of musicand we shall enjoy listeningtoo."
Katya went unwillingly to the pianoand Arkadyalthough he was genuinelyfond of musicunwillingly followed her; it seemed to him that Madame Odintsovwas getting rid of himand he felt already like most young men of his ageavague and oppressive excitementlike a foretaste of love. Katya lifted the lidof the pianoand without looking at Arkadyasked in an undertone "What amI to play to you?"
"What you like" answered Arkady indifferently.
"What sort of music do you prefer?" went on Katyawithout changingher attitude.
"Classical" answered Arkady in the same tone of voice.
"Do you like Mozart?"
"YesI like Mozart."
Katya pulled out Mozart's Sonata Fantasia in C minor. She played very wellalthough a little too precisely and drily. She sat upright and motionlesswithout taking her eyes off the musicher lips tightly compressedand onlytowards the end of the sonata her face started to glowher hair loosened and alittle lock fell over her dark brow.
Arkady was especially struck by the last part of the sonatathe part wherethe enchanting gaiety of the careless melody at its height is suddenly brokeninto by the pangs of such a sad and almost tragic suffering . . . but the ideasinspired in him by the sounds of Mozart were not related to Katya. Looking atherhe merely thought"Wellthat young lady doesn't play too badlyandshe's not bad lookingeither."
When she had finished the sonataKatyawithout taking her hands from thekeysasked"Is that enough?"
Arkady said that he would not venture to trouble her furtherand begantalking to her about Mozart; he asked her whether she had chosen that sonataherselfor someone else had recommended it to her. But Katya answered him inmonosyllables and withdrew into herself. When this happenedshe did not comeout again quickly; at such times her face took on an obstinatealmost stupidexpression. She was not exactly shybut she was diffident and rather overawedby her sisterwho had educated herbut who never even suspected that such afeeling existed in Katya. Arkady was at length reduced to calling Fifi over tohim and stroking her on the head with a benevolent smile in order to create theimpression of being at his ease. Katya went on arranging her flowers.
Meanwhile Bazarov was losing and losing. Anna Sergeyevna played cards withmasterly skill; Porfiri Platonich also knew how to hold his own. Bazarov lost asumwhich though trifling in itselfwas none too pleasant for him. At supperAnna Sergeyevna again turned the conversation to botany.
"Let us go for a walk tomorrow morning" she said to him; "Iwant you to teach me the Latin names of several wild plants and theirspecies."
"What's the good of the Latin names to you?" asked Bazarov.
"Order is needed for everything" she answered.
"What a wonderful woman Anna Sergeyevna is!" cried Arkadywhen hewas alone in their room with his friend.
"Yes" answered Bazarov"a female with brains; and she's seenlife too."
"In what sense do you mean thatEvgeny Vassilich?"
"In a good sensein a good sensemy worthy Arkady Nikolayevich! I'msure she also manages her estate very efficiently. But what is wonderful is notherbut her sister."
"What? That little dark creature?"
"Yesthe little dark creature--she's freshuntouched and shy andsilentanything you want . . . one could work on her and make something out ofher--but the other--she's an experienced hand."
Arkady did not answer Bazarovand each of them got into bed occupied withhis own particular thoughts.
Anna Sergeyevna was also thinking about her guests that evening. She likedBazarov for his absence of flattery and for his definite downright views. Shefound in him something newwhich she had not met beforeand she was curious.Anna Sergeyevna was a rather strange person. Having no prejudices at alland nostrong convictions eithershe neither avoided things nor went out of her way tosecure anything special. She was clear-sighted and she had many interestsbutnothing completely satisfied her; indeedshe hardly desired any completesatisfaction. Her mind was at once inquiring and indifferent; though her doubtswere never soothed by forgetfulnessthey never grew powerful enough to agitateher disagreeably. Had she not been rich and independentshe would probably havethrown herself into the struggle and experienced passion . . . But life raneasily for heralthough she was sometimes boredand she went on from day today without hurrying and only rarely feeling disturbed. Rainbow-colored visionssometimes glowed before her eyesbut she breathed more peacefully when theyfaded awayand she did not hanker after them. Her imagination certainlyoverstepped the limits of conventional moralitybut all the time her bloodflowed as quietly as ever in her charmingly gracefultranquil body. Sometimesemerging from her fragrant bathwarm and languidshe would start musing on theemptiness of lifeits sorrowlabor and vindictiveness . . . her soul would befilled with sudden daring and burn with generous ardor; but then a draught wouldblow from a half-open window and Anna Sergeyevna would shrink back into herselfwith a plaintivealmost angry feelingand there was only one thing she neededat that particular moment--to get away from that nasty draught.
Like all women who have not succeeded in lovingshe wanted something withoutknowing what it was. Actually she wanted nothingthough it seemed to her thatshe wanted everything. She could hardly endure the late Odintsov (she marriedhim for practical reasons though she might not have agreed to become his wife ifshe had not regarded him as a good-natured man)and she had conceived a hiddenrepugnance for all menwhom she could think of only as slovenlyclumsydullfeebly irritating creatures. Oncesomewhere abroadshe had met a handsomeyoung Swede with a chivalrous expression and with honest eyes under an openbrow; he made a strong impression on herbut that had not prevented her fromreturning to Russia.
"A strange man this doctor" she thought as she lay in hermagnificent bedon lace pillows under a light silk eiderdown. Anna Sergeyevnahad inherited from her father some of his passion for luxury. She had beendevoted to himand he had idolized herused to joke with her as though shewere a friend and equalconfided his secrets to her and asked her advice. Hermother she scarcely remembered.
"This doctor is a strange man" she repeated to herself. Shestretchedsmiledclasped her hands behind her headran her eyes over twopages of a stupid French noveldropped the book--and fell asleeppure and coldin her clean and fragrant linen.
The following morning Anna Sergeyevna went off botanizing with Bazarovimmediately after breakfast and returned just before dinner; Arkady did not goout anywherebut spent about an hour with Katya. He was not bored in hercompany. She offered of her own accord to play the Mozart sonata again; but whenMadame Odintsov came back at last and he caught sight of herhe felt a suddenpain in his heart . . . She walked through the garden with a rather tired stepher cheeks were burning and her eyes shone more brightly than usual under herround straw hat. She was twirling in her fingers the thin stalk of some wildflowerher light shawl had slipped down to her elbowsand the broad greyribbons of her hat hung over her bosom. Bazarov walked behind herself-confident and casual as everbut Arkady disliked the expression of hisfacealthough it was cheerful and even affectionate. Bazarov muttered"Good day" between his teeth and went straight to his roomand MadameOdintsov shook Arkady's hand absent-mindedly and also walked past him.
"Why good day?" thought Arkady. "As if we had not seen eachother already today!"
AS WE ALL KNOWTIME SOMETIMES FLIES LIKE A BIRDAND sometimes crawls like awormbut people may be unusually happy when they do not even notice whethertime has passed quickly or slowly; in this way Arkady and Bazarov spent a wholefortnight with Madame Odintsov. Such a result was achieved partly by the orderand regularity which she had established in her house and mode of life. Sheadhered strictly to this order herself and obliged others to submit to it aswell. Everything during the day was done at a fixed time. In the morningateight o'clock preciselythe whole party assembled for tea; from then tillbreakfast everyone did what he likedthe hostess herself was engaged with herbailiff (the estate was run on the rental system)her butlerand her headhousekeeper. Before dinner the party met again for conversation or reading; theevening was devoted to walkingcardsor music; at half-past ten AnnaSergeyevna retired to her own roomgave her orders for the next day and went tobed. Bazarov did not care for this measured and rather formal regularity indaily lifelike "gliding along rails" he called it; livened footmenand stately butlers offended his democratic sentiments. He declared that onceyou went so far you might as well dine in the English style--in tail coats andwhite ties. He once spoke out his views on the subject to Anna Sergeyevna. Hermanner was such that people never hesitated to say what they thought in front ofher. She heard him outand then remarked"From your point of view you areright--and perhaps in that way I am too much of a lady--but one must lead anorderly life in the country; otherwise one is overcome by boredom"--andshe continued to go her own way. Bazarov grumbledbut both he and Arkady foundlife easy at Madame Odintsov's just because everything in the house ran sosmoothly "on rails." Nevertheless some change had occurred in both theyoung men since the first days of their stay at Nikolskoe. Bazarovwhosecompany Anna Sergeyevna obviously enjoyedthough she rarely agreed with himbegan to show quite unprecedented signs of unrest; he was easily irritatedspoke with reluctanceoften looked angryand could not sit still in one placeas if moved about by some irresistible desire; while Arkadywho hadconclusively made up his mind that he was in love with Madame Odintsovbegan toabandon himself to a quiet melancholy. This melancholyhoweverdid not preventhim from making friends with Katya; it even helped him to develop a moreaffectionate relationship with her. "She does not appreciate me!" hethought. "So be it . . . ! but here is a kind person who does not repulseme" and his heart again knew the sweetness of generous emotions. Katyavaguely understood that he was seeking a kind of consolation in her companyanddid not deny him or herself the innocent pleasure of a shy confidentialfriendship. They did not talk to each other in Anna Sergeyevna's presence; Katyaalways shrank into herself under her sister's sharp eyeswhile Arkady naturallycould pay attention to nothing else when he was close to the object of his love;but he felt happy with Katya when he was alone with her. He knew that it wasbeyond his power to interest Madame Odintsov; he was shy and at a loss when hewas left in her companynor had she anything special to say to him; he was tooyoung for her. On the other handwith Katya Arkady felt quite at home; hetreated her indulgentlyencouraged her to talk about her own impressions ofmusicnovelsverses and other trifleswithout noticing or acknowledging thatthese trifles interested him also. Katyafor her partdid not interfere withhis melancholy. Arkady felt at ease with Katyaand Madame Odintsov withBazarovso it usually happened that after the two couples had been together fora whilethey went off on their separate waysespecially during walks. Katyaadored natureand so did Arkadythough he did not dare to admit it; MadameOdintsovlike Bazarovwas rather indifferent to natural beauties. Thecontinued separation of the two friends produced its consequences; theirrelationship began to change. Bazarov gave up talking to Arkady about MadameOdintsovhe even stopped abusing her "aristocratic habits"; howeverhe continued to praise Katyaand advised Arkady only to restrain hersentimental tendenciesbut his praises were hurried and perfunctoryhis advicewas dryand in general he talked much less to Arkady than before . . . heseemed to avoid himhe was ill at ease in his presence . . .
Arkady observed all thisbut kept his observations to himself.
The real cause of all this "novelty" was the feeling inspired inBazarov by Madame Odintsova feeling which at once tortured and maddened himand which he would have promptly denied with contemptuous laughter and cynicalabuse if anyone had even remotely hinted at the possibility of what washappening within him. Bazarov was very fond of women and of feminine beautybutlove in the idealor as he called it romanticsensehe described as idiocyunpardonable folly; he regarded chivalrous feelings as a kind of deformity ordiseaseand had more than once expressed his amazement that Toggenburg and allthe minnesingers and troubadours had not been shut up in a lunatic asylum."If a woman appeals to you" he used to say"try to gain yourend; and if you can't--welljust turn your back on her--there are lots moregood fish in the sea." Madame Odintsov appealed to him; the rumors he hadheard about herthe freedom and independence of her ideasher obvious likingfor him--all seemed to be in his favor; but he soon saw that with her he couldnot "gain his end" and as for turning his back on herhe foundtohis own amazementhe had no strength to do so. His blood was on fire directlyhe thought about her; he could easily have mastered bis bloodbut somethingelse was taking possession of himsomething he had never allowedat which hehad always scoffed and at which his pride revolted. In his conversations withAnna Sergeyevna he expressed more strongly than ever his calm indifference toany kind of "romanticism"; but when he was alone he indignantlyrecognized romanticism in himself. Then he would go off into the forestandstride about smashing the twigs which came in his way and cursing under hisbreath both her and himself; or he would go into the hayloft in the barnandobstinately closing his eyesforce himself to sleepin whichof coursehedid not always succeed. Suddenly he would imagine those chaste hands twiningthemselves around his neckthose proud lips responding to his kissesthoseintelligent eyes looking with tenderness--yeswith tenderness--into hisandhis head went roundand he forgot himself for a momenttill indignation boiledup again within him. He caught himself indulging in all sorts of "shamefulthoughts" as though a devil were mocking at him. It seemed to himsometimes that a change was also taking place in Madame Odintsovthat her faceexpressed something unusualthat perhaps . . . but at that point he would stampon the groundgrind his teeth or clench his fist.
Meanwhile he was not entirely mistaken. He had struck Madame Odintsov'simagination; he interested her; she thought a lot about him. In his absence shewas not exactly boredshe did not wait for him with impatiencebut when heappeared she immediately became livelier; she enjoyed being left alone with himand she enjoyed talking to himeven when he annoyed her or offended her tasteand her refined habits. She seemed eager both to test him and to analyseherself.
One daywalking with her in the gardenhe abruptly announced in a surlyvoice that he intended to leave very soon to go to his father's place . . . Sheturned whiteas if something had pricked her heart; she was surprised at thesudden pain she felt and pondered long afterwards on what it could mean. Bazarovhad told her about his departure without any idea of trying out the effect ofthe news upon her; he never fabricated stories. That same morning he had seenhis father's bailiffTimofeichwho had looked after him as a child. ThisTimofeichan experienced and astute little old manwith faded yellow hairaweather-beaten red face and with tiny teardrops in his shrunken eyeshadappeared quite unexpectedly in front of Bazarovin his short coat of thickgrey-blue clothleather girdle and tarred boots.
"Hulloold manhow are you?" exclaimed Bazarov.
"How do you doEvgeny Vassilich?" began the little old mansmiling with joyso that his whole face was immediately covered with wrinkles.
"What have you come here for? They sent you to find meeh?"
"Fancy thatsir! How is it possible?" mumbled Timofeich (heremembered the strict injunctions he had received from his master before heleft). "We were sent to town on the master's business and heard news ofyour honorso we turned off on the way--well--to have a look at your honor . .. as if we could think of disturbing you!"
"Now thendon't lie!" Bazarov cut him short. "It's no useyour pretending this is on the road to the town."
Timofeich hesitated and said nothing.
"Is my father well?"
"And my mother?"
"Arina Vlasyevna tooglory be to God."
"They're expecting meI suppose."
The old man leaned his little head on one side.
"OhEvgeny Vassilichhow they wait for you! Believe meit makes theheart ache to see them."
"All rightall rightdon't rub it in. Tell them I'm coming soon."
"I obey" answered Timofeich with a sigh.
As he left the house he pulled his cap down with both hands over his headthen clambered into a dilapidated racing carriageand went off at a trotbutnot in the direction of the town.
On the evening of that day Madame Odintsov was sitting in one room withBazarov while Arkady walked up and down the hall listening to Katya playing thepiano. The princess had gone upstairs to her own room; she always loathedvisitorsbut she resented particularly the "new raving lunatics" asshe called them. In the main rooms she only sulkedbut she made up for that inher own room by bursting into such a torrent of abuse in front of her maid thatthe cap danced on her headwig and all. Madame Odintsov knew all about this.
"How is it that you are proposing to leave us" she began;"what about your promises?"
Bazarov made a movement of surprise. "What promises?"
"Have you forgotten? You intended to give me some chemistrylessons."
"It can't be helped! My father expects me; I can't put it off anylonger. Besidesyou can read Pelouse et FrmyNotions Gnrales deChimie; it's a good book and clearly written. You will find in it all youneed."
"But you remember you assured me that a book can't take the place of . .. I forget how you put itbut you know what I mean . . . don't youremember?"
"It can't be helped" repeated Bazarov.
"Why should you go?" said Madame Odintsovdropping her voice.
He glanced at her. Her head had fallen on the back of the armchair and herarmsbare to the elbowwere folded over her bosom. She seemed paler in thelight of the single lamp covered with a translucent paper shade. A broad whitedress covered her completely in its soft folds; even the tips of her feetalsocrossedwere hardly visible.
"And why should I stay?" answered Bazarov.
Madame Odintsov turned her head slightly. "You ask why. Have you notenjoyed staying here? Or do you think no one will miss you when you aregone?"
"I am sure of that."
Madame Odintsov was silent for a moment. "You are wrong in thinking so.But I don't believe you. You can't say that seriously." Bazarov continuedto sit motionless. "Evgeny Vassilichwhy don't you speak?"
"What am I to say to you? There is no point in missing peopleand thatapplies to me even more than to most."
"I'm a straightforward uninteresting person. I don't know how totalk."
"You are fishing for complimentsEvgeny Vassilich."
"That's not my custom. Don't you know yourself that the graceful side oflifewhich you value so highlyis beyond my reach?"
Madame Odintsov bit the corner of her handkerchief.
"You may think what you likebut I shall find it dull when you goaway."
"Arkady will stay on" remarked Bazarov. Madame Odintsov slightlyshrugged her shoulders.
"It will be dull for me" she repeated.
"Really? In any case you won't feel like that for long."
"What makes you suppose so?"
"Because you told me yourself that you are bored only when your orderlyroutine is disturbed. You have organized your life with such impeccableregularity that there can't be any place left in it for boredom or sadness . . .for any painful emotions."
"And do you consider that I am so impeccable . . . I meanthat I haveorganized my life so thoroughly . . ."
"I should think so! For examplein five minutes the clock will striketen and I already know in advance that you will turn me out of the room."
"NoI won't turn you outEvgeny Vassilich. You may stay. Open thatwindow . . . I feel half stifled."
Bazarov got up and pushed the window; it flew wide open with a crash . . . hehad not expected it to open so easily; alsohis hands were trembling. The softdark night looked into the roomwith its nearly black skyits faintly rustlingtreesand the fresh fragrance of the pure open air.
"Draw the blind and sit down" said Madame Odintsov. "I wantto have a talk with you before you go away. Tell me something about yourself;you never talk about yourself."
"I try to talk to you about useful subjectsAnna Sergeyevna."
"You are very modest . . . but I should like to know something aboutyouabout your family and your fatherfor whom you are forsaking us."
"Why is she talking like this?" thought Bazarov.
"All that is very uninteresting" he said aloud"particularlyfor you. We are obscure people."
"You regard me as an aristocrat?"
Bazarov lifted his eyes and looked at Madame Odintsov.
"Yes" he said with exaggerated harshness.
She smiled. "I see you know me very littlethough of course youmaintain that all people are alike and that it is not worth while studyingindividuals. I will tell the story of my life sometime . . . but first tell meyours."
"I know you very little" repeated Bazarov. "Perhaps you areright; perhaps really everyone is a riddle. Youfor instance; you avoidsocietyyou find it tedious--and you invited two students to stay with you.What makes youwith your beauty and your intelligencelive permanently in thecountry?"
"What? What did you say?" Madame Odintsov interposed eagerly"with . . . my beauty?"
Bazarov frowned. "Never mind about that" he muttered; "Iwanted to say that I don't properly understand why you settled in thecountry!"
"You don't understand it . . . yet you explain it to yourselfsomehow?"
"Yes . . . I suppose that you prefer to remain in one place because youare self-indulgentvery fond of comfort and ease and very indifferent toeverything else."
Madame Odintsov smiled again.
"You absolutely refuse to believe that I am capable of being carriedaway by anything?"
Bazarov glanced at her from under his brows.
"By curiosity--perhapsbut in no other way."
"Indeed? Wellnow I understand why we have become such friendsyou arejust like me--"
"We have become friends . . ." Bazarov muttered in a hollowvoice.
"Yes. . . . WhyI had forgotten that you want to go away."
Bazarov got up. The lamp burned dimly in the darkeningisolated fragrantroom; the blind swayed from time to time and let in the stimulating freshness ofthe night and its mysterious whispers. Madame Odintsov did not stirbut ahidden excitement gradually took possession of her . . . It communicated itselfto Bazarov. He suddenly felt he was alone with a young and beautiful woman . . .
"Where are you going?" she said slowly. He made no answer and sankinto a chair.
"And so you consider me a placidpamperedself-indulgentcreature" she continued in the same tone and without taking her eyes offthe window. "But I know so much about myself that I am unhappy."
"You unhappy! What for? Surely you can't attach any importance toslanderous gossip!"
Madame Odintsov frowned. She was upset that he had understood her words inthat way.
"Such gossip does not even amuse meEvgeny Vassilichand I am tooproud to allow it to disturb me. I am unhappy because . . . I have no desiresno love of life. You look at me suspiciously; you think those are the words ofan aristocrat who sits in lace on a velvet chair. I don't deny for a moment thatI like what you call comfortand at the same time I have little desire to live.Reconcile that contradiction as best you can. Of course it is all sheerromanticism to you."
Bazarov shook his head; "You are healthyindependent and rich; whatmore is left? What do you want?"
"What do I want" repeated Madame Odintsov and sighed. "I amvery tiredI am oldI feel as if I had lived a very long time. YesI amold--" she addedsoftly drawing the ends of her shawl over her bare arms.Her eyes met Bazarov's and she blushed slightly. "So many memories arebehind me; life in Petersburgwealththen povertythen my father's deathmarriagethen traveling abroadas was inevitable . . . so many memories and solittle worth rememberingand in front of me--a longlong road without a goal .. . I have not even the desire to go on."
"Are you so disappointed?" asked Bazarov.
"No" answered Madame Odintsovspeaking with deliberation"but I am dissatisfied. I think if I were strongly attached to something .. ."
"You want to fall in love" Bazarov interrupted her"but youcan't love. That is your unhappiness."
Madame Odintsov started looking at the shawl over her sleeve.
"Am I incapable of love?" she murmured.
"Hardly! But I was wrong in calling it unhappiness. On the contraryaperson should rather be pitied when that happens to him."
"When what happens to him?"
"Falling in love."
"And how do you know that?"
"I have heard it" answered Bazarov angrily. "You areflirting" he thought. "You're bored and are playing with me for wantof anything better to dowhile I . . ." Truly his heart was torn.
"Besidesyou may be expecting too much" he saidleaning forwardwith his whole body and playing with the fringe of his chair.
"Perhaps. I want everything or nothing. A life for a lifetaking oneand giving up another without hesitation and beyond recall. Or else better havenothing!"
"Well" observed Bazarov"those are fair termsand I'msurprised that so far you . . . haven't found what you want."
"And do you think it would be easy to give oneself up entirely toanything?"
"Not easyif you start reflectingwaitingestimating your valueappraising yourselfI mean; but to give oneself unreasoningly is veryeasy."
"How can one help valuing oneself? If I have no valuethen who needs mydevotion?"
"That is not my affair; it is for another person to investigate myvalue. The main thing is to know how to devote oneself."
Madame Odintsov leaned forward from the back of her chair.
"You speak as if you had experienced it all yourself" she said."It happened to come up in the course of our conversation; but all thatasyou knowis not in my line."
"But could you devote yourself unreservedly?"
"I don't know. I don't want to boast."
Madame Odintsov said nothing and Bazarov remained silent. The sounds of thepiano floated up to them from the drawing room.
"How is it that Katya is playing so late?" observed MadameOdintsov.
Bazarov got up.
"Yesit really is late nowtime for you to go to bed."
"Wait a littlewhy should you hurry? . . . I want to say one word toyou."
"What is it?"
"Wait a little" whispered Madame Odintsov. Her eyes rested onBazarov; it seemed as if she was examining him attentively.
He walked across the roomthen suddenly came up to herhurriedly said"Good-by" squeezed her hand so that she almost screamed and went out.She raised her compressed fingers to her lipsbreathed on themthen roseimpulsively from her armchair and moved rapidly towards the dooras if shewanted to bring Bazarov back . . . A maid entered the room carrying a decanteron a silver tray. Madame Odintsov stood stilltold the maid she could goandsat down again deep in thought. Her hair slipped loose and fell in a dark coilover her shoulders. The lamp went on burning for a long time in her room whileshe still sat there motionlessonly from time to time rubbing her hands whichwere bitten by the cold night air.
Bazarov returned to his bedroom two hours laterhis boots wet with dewlooking disheveled and gloomy. He found Arkady sitting at the writing desk witha book in his handshis coat buttoned up to the neck.
"Not in bed yet?" he exclaimed with what sounded like annoyance.
"You were sitting a long time with Anna Sergeyevna this evening"said Arkady without answering his question.
"YesI sat with her all the time you were playing the piano withKaterina Sergeyevna."
"I was not playing . . ." began Arkady and stopped. He felt thattears were rising in his eyes and he did not want to cry in front of hissarcastic friend.
THE NEXT DAY WHEN MADAME ODINTSOV CAME DOWN TO TEABazarov sat for a longtime bending over his cupthen suddenly glanced up at her . . . she turnedtowards him as if he had touched herand he fancied that her face was palersince the night before. She soon went off to her own room and did not reappeartill breakfast. It had rained since early morningso that there was no questionof going for walks. The whole party assembled in the drawing room. Arkady tookup the last number of a journal and began to read. The princessas usualfirsttried to express angry amazement by her facial expressionas though he weredoing something indecentthen glared angrily at himbut he paid no attentionto her.
"Evgeny Vassilich" said Anna Sergeyevna"let us go to myroom. I want to ask you . . . you mentioned a textbook yesterday..."
She got up and went to the door. The princess looked round as if she wantedto say"Look at me; see how shocked I am!" and again stared atArkadybut he merely raised his headand exchanging glances with Katyanearwhom he was sittinghe went on reading.
Madame Odintsov walked quickly into her study. Bazarov followed her withoutraising his eyesand only listening to the delicate swish and rustle of hersilk dress gliding in front of him. Madame Odintsov sat down in the samearmchair in which she had sat the evening beforeand Bazarov also sat down inhis former place.
"Wellwhat is that book called?" she began after a short silence.
"Pelouse et FrNotions Gnrales . . ." answered Bazarov."HoweverI might recommend to you also GanotTrait lmentaire dePhysique Exprimentale. In that book the illustrations are clearerand as acomplete textbook--"
Madame Odintsov held out her hand.
"Evgeny Vassilichexcuse mebut I didn't invite you here to discusstextbooks. I wanted to go on with our conversation of last night. You went awayso suddenly . . . It won't bore you?"
"I am at your serviceAnna Sergeyevna. But what were we talking aboutlast night?"
Madame Odintsov cast a sidelong glance at Bazarov.
"We were talking about happinessI believe. I told you about myself. Bythe wayI just mentioned the word 'happiness.' Tell mewhy is it that evenwhen we are enjoyingfor instancemusica beautiful eveningor aconversation with agreeable peopleit all seems to be rather a hint ofimmeasurable happiness existing somewhere apartrather than genuine happinesssuchI meanas we ourselves can really possess? Why is it? Or perhaps younever experience that kind of feeling?"
"You know the saying'Happiness is where we are not'" repliedBazarov. "Besidesyou told me yesterday that you are discontented. But itis as you sayno such ideas ever enter my head."
"Perhaps they seem ridiculous to you?"
"Nothey just don't enter my head."
"Really. Do you knowI should very much like to know what you do thinkabout?"
"How? I don't understand you."
"ListenI have long wanted to have a frank talk with you. There is noneed to tell you--for you know it yourself--that you are not an ordinary person;you are still young--your whole life lies before you. For what are you preparingyourself? What future awaits you? I mean to saywhat purpose are you aiming atin what direction are you movingwhat is in your heart? In shortwho and whatare you?"
"You surprise meAnna Sergeyevna. You knowthat I am studying naturalscience and who I . . ."
"Yeswho are you?"
"I have already told you that I am going to be a district doctor."
Anna Sergeyevna made an impatient movement.
"What do you say that for? You don't believe it yourself. Arkady mightanswer me in that waybut not you."
"How does Arkady come in?"
"Stop! Is it possible you could content yourself with such a humblecareerand aren't you always declaring that medicine doesn't exist for you?You--with your ambition--a district doctor! You answer me like that in order toput me off because you have no confidence in me. But you knowEvgeny VassilichI should be able to understand you; I also have been poor and ambitiouslikeyou; perhaps I went through the same trials as you."
"That's all very wellAnna Sergeyevnabut you must excuse me . . . Iam not in the habit of talking freely about myself in generaland there is sucha gulf between you and me . . ."
"In what waya gulf? Do you mean to tell me again that I am anaristocrat? Enough of thatEvgeny Vassilich; I thought I had convinced you . .."
"And apart from all that" broke in Bazarov"how can we wantto talk and think about the futurewhich for the most part doesn't depend onourselves? If an opportunity turns up of doing something--so much the betterand if it doesn't turn up--at least one can be glad that one didn't idly gossipabout it beforehand."
"You call a friendly conversation gossip! Or perhaps you consider me asa woman unworthy of your confidence? I know you despise us all!"
"I don't despise youAnna Sergeyevnaand you know that."
"NoI don't know anything . . . but let us suppose so. I understandyour disinclination to talk about your future careerbut as to what is takingplace within you now . . ."
"Taking place!" repeated Bazarov. "As if I were some kind ofgovernment or society! In any caseit is completely uninterestingand besidescan a person always speak out loud of everything which 'takes place' withinhim!"
"But I don't see why you shouldn't speak freelyabout everything youhave in your heart."
"Can you?" asked Bazarov.
"I can" answered Anna Sergeyevnaafter a moment's hesitation.
Bazarov bowed his head. "You are luckier than I."
"As you like" she continued"but still something tells methat we did not get to know each other for nothingthat we shall become goodfriends. I am sure that your--how shall I say--your constraintyour reservewill disappear eventually."
"So you have noticed in me reserve . . . andhow did you putit--constraint?"
Bazarov got up and went to the window.
"And would you like to know the reason for this reservewould you liketo know what is happening within me?"
"Yes" repeated Madame Odintsovwith a sort of dread which she didnot quite understand.
"And you will not be angry?"
"No?" Bazarov was standing with his back to her. "Let me tellyou then that I love you like a foollike a madman . . . Thereyou've got thatout of me."
Madame Odintsov raised both her hands in front of herwhile Bazarov pressedhis forehead against the windowpane. He was breathing hard; his whole bodytrembled visibly. But it was not the trembling of youthful timiditynot thesweet awe of the first declaration that possessed him: it was passion beatingwithin hima powerful heavy passion not unlike fury and perhaps akin to it . .. Madame Odintsov began to feel both frightened and sorry for him.
"Evgeny Vassilich . . ." she murmuredand her voice rang withunconscious tenderness.
He quickly turned roundthrew a devouring look at her--and seizing both herhandshe suddenly pressed her to him.
She did not free herself at once from his embracebut a moment later she wasstanding far away in a corner and looking from there at Bazarov. He rushedtowards her . . .
"You misunderstood me" she whispered in hurried alarm. It seemedthat if he had made one more step she would have screamed . . . Bazarov bit hislips and went out.
Half an hour later a maid gave Anna Sergeyevna a note from Bazarov; itconsisted merely of one line: "Am I to leave todayor can I stop tilltomorrow?"
"Why should you leave? I did not understand you--you did not understandme" Anna Sergeyevna answeredbut to herself she thought "I did notunderstand myself either."
She did not show herself till dinnertimeand kept walking up and down herroomwith her arms behind her backsometimes stopping in front of the windowor the mirrorand sometimes slowly rubbing her handkerchief over her neckonwhich she still seemed to feel a burning spot. She asked herself what hadimpelled her to get that out of himas Bazarov had expressed itto secure hisconfidenceand whether she had really suspected nothing . . . "I am toblame" she concluded aloud"but I could not have foreseenthis." She became pensive and blushed when she recalled Bazarov's almostanimal face when he had rushed at her . . .
"Or?" she suddenly uttered aloudstopped short and shook her curls. . . she caught sight of herself in the mirror; her tossed-back headwith amysterious smile on the half-closedhalf-open eyes and lipstold heritseemedin a flash something at which she herself felt confused . . .
"No" she decided at last. "God alone knows what it would leadto; he couldn't be trifled with; after allpeace is better than anything elsein the world."
Her own peace of mind was not deeply disturbed; but she felt sad and onceeven burst into tearswithout knowing why--but not on account of the insult shehad just experienced. She did not feel insulted; she was more inclined to feelguilty. Under the influence of various confused impulsesthe consciousness thatlife was passing her bythe craving for noveltyshe had forced herself to moveon to a certain pointforced herself also to look beyond it--and there she hadseen not even an abyssbut only sheer emptiness . . . or something hideous.
IN SPITE OF HER MA5TERLY SELF-CONTROL AND SUPERIORITY TO every kind ofprejudiceMadame Odintsov felt awkward when she entered the dining room fordinner. Howeverthe meal went off quite satisfactorily. Porfiri Platonichturned up and told various anecdotes; he had just returned from the town. Amongother thingshe announced that the governor had ordered his secretaries onspecial commissions to wear spursin case he might want to send them offsomewhere on horsebackat greater speed. Arkady talked in an undertone toKatyaand attended diplomatically to the princess. Bazarov maintained a grimand obstinate silence. Madame Odintsov glanced at him twicenot furtivelybutstraight in his facewhich looked stern and cholericwith downcast eyes and acontemptuous determination stamped on every featureand she thought: "No .. . no . . . no." After dinnershe went with the whole company into thegardenand seeing that Bazarov wanted to speak to hershe walked a few stepsto one side and stopped. He approached herbut even then he did not raise hiseyes and said in a husky voice: "I have to apologize to youAnnaSergeyevna. You must be furious with me."
"NoI'm not angry with youEvgeny Vassilichbut I'm upset."
"So much the worse. In any case I've been punished enough. I findmyselfI'm sure you will agreein a very stupid position. You wrote to me'Why go away?' But I can't stay and I don't want to. Tomorrow I shall no longerbe here."
"Evgeny Vassilichwhy are you . . ."
"Why am I going away?"
"NoI didn't mean that."
"The past won't returnAnna Sergeyevnabut sooner or later this wasbound to happen. Therefore I must go. I can imagine only one condition whichwould have enabled me to stay: but that condition will never be. Forsurely--excuse my impudence--you don't love me and never will love me?"
Bazarov's eyes glittered for a moment from under his dark brows.
Anna Sergeyevna did not answer him.
"I'm afraid of this man" was the thought that flashed through hermind.
"Farewell then" muttered Bazarovas if he guessed her thoughtand he turned back to the house.
Anna Sergeyevna followed him slowlyand calling Katya to hershe took herarm. She kept Katya by her side till the evening. She did not play cards andkept on laughingwhich was not at all in keeping with her pale and worriedface. Arkady was perplexedand looked at heras young people doconstantlywondering: "What can it mean?" Bazarov shut himself up in his room andonly reappeared at teatime. Anna Sergeyevna wanted to say a kind word to himbut she could not bring herself to address him . . .
An unexpected incident rescued her from her embarrassment: the butlerannounced the arrival of Sitnikov.
Words can hardly describe the strange figure cut by the young champion ofprogress as he fluttered into the room. He had decided with his characteristicimpudence to go to the country to visit a woman whom he hardly knewwho hadnever invited himbut with whomas he had ascertainedsuch talented peopleand intimate friends of his were staying; neverthelesshe was trembling to themarrow of his bones with frightand instead of bringing out the excuses andcompliments which he had learned by heart beforehandhe muttered somethingidiotic about Evdoksya Kukshina having sent him to inquire after AnnaSergeyevna's health and that Arkady Nikolayevich had always spoken to him interms of the highest praise . . . At this point he faltered and lost hispresence of mind so completely that he sat down on his hat. Howeversince noone turned him outand Anna Sergeyevna even introduced him to her aunt andsisterhe soon recovered himself and began to chatter to his heart's content.The introduction of something commonplace is often useful in life; it relievesan overstrained tensionand sobers down self-confident or self-sacrificingfeelings by recalling how closely it is related to them. With Sitnikov'sappearance everything became somehow dullermore trivial--and easier: they alleven ate supper with a better appetiteand went to bed half an hour earlierthan usual.
"I can now repeat to you" said Arkadyas he lay down in bedtoBazarovwho was also undressing"what you once said to me: 'Why are youso melancholy? It looks as though you were fulfilling some sacred duty.'"
For some time past a tone of artificially free-and-easy banter had sprung upbetween the two young menalways a sure sign of secret dissatisfaction or ofunexpressed suspicion.
"I'm going to my father's place tomorrow" said Bazarov.
Arkady raised himself and leaned on his elbow. He felt both surprised andsomehow pleased. "Ah" he remarked"and is that why you aresad?"
Bazarov yawned. "If you know too muchyou grow old."
"And what about Anna Sergeyevna?"
"What about her?"
"I meanwill she let you go?"
"I'm not in her employment."
Arkady became thoughtful while Bazarov lay down and turned his face to thewall. Some minutes passed in silence.
"Evgeny!" suddenly exclaimed Arkady.
"I shall also leave tomorrow."
Bazarov made no answer.
"Only I shall go home" continued Arkady. "We will go togetheras far as Khokhlovskyand there you can get horses at Fedot's. I should havebeen delighted to meet your peoplebut I'm afraid I should only get in theirway and yours. Of course you're coming back to stay with us?"
"I've left all my things with you" said Bazarovwithout turninground.
"Why doesn't he ask me why I'm going away?--and just as suddenly as heis?" thought Arkady. "As a matter of factwhy am I goingand why ishe?" he went on reflecting. He could find no satisfactory answer to his ownquestionthough his heart was filled with some bitter feeling. He felt he wouldfind it hard to part from this life to which he had grown so accustomed; but forhim to stay on alone would also be queer. "Something has happened betweenthem" he reasoned to himself; "what's the good of my hanging aroundhere after he has gone? Obviously I should bore her stiffand lose even thelittle that remains for me." He began to conjure up a picture of AnnaSergeyevna; then other features gradually eclipsed the lovely image of the youngwidow.
"I'm sorry about Katya too" Arkady whispered to his pillowonwhich a tear had already fallen . . . Suddenly he shook back his hair and saidaloud: "What the devil brought that idiotic Sitnikov here?"
Bazarov started to move about in his bedand then made the following answer:"I see you're still stupidmy boy. Sitnikovs are indispensable to us. Formedon't you understand--I need such blockheads. In factit's not for the godsto bake bricks . . ."
"Oho!" thought Arkadyand only then he saw in a flash the wholefathomless depth of Bazarov's conceit. "So you and I are godsin thatcase? At leastyou're a godbut I suppose I'm one of the blockheads."
"Yes" repeated Bazarov gloomily. "You're still stupid."
Madame Odintsov expressed no particular surprise when Arkady told her thenext day that he was going with Bazarov; she seemed tired and preoccupied. Katyalooked at him with silent gravity. The princess went so far as to cross herselfunder her shawlso that he could not help noticing it; but Sitnikovon theother handwas most disconcerted. He had just appeared for. breakfast in asmart new costumenot this time in the Slavophil fashion; the previous eveninghe had astonished the man appointed to look after him by the quantity of linenhe had broughtand now all of a sudden his comrades were deserting him! He tooka few quick stepsdarted round like a hunted hare on the edge of a woodandabruptlyalmost with terroralmost with a wailhe announced that he alsoproposed to leave. Madame Odintsov made no attempt to detain him.
"My carriage is very comfortable" added the unlucky young manturning to Arkady; "I can take youwhile Evgeny Vassilich takes yourtarantassso that will be even more convenient."
"But reallyit's quite off your roadand it's a long way to where Ilive."
"Never mindthat's nothing; I've plenty of timebesides I havebusiness in that direction."
"Selling vodka?" asked Arkadyrather too contemptuously. ButSitnikov was already reduced to such despair that he did not even laugh as heusually did. "I assure youmy carriage is extremely comfortable" hemuttered"and there will be room for everyone."
"Don't upset Monsieur Sitnikov by refusing . . ." murmured AnnaSergeyevna.
Arkady glanced at her and bowed his head significantly.
The visitors left after breakfast. As she said good-by to BazarovMadameOdintsov held out her hand to himand said"We shall meet againshan'twe?"
"As you command" answered Bazarov.
"In that casewe shall."
Arkady was the first to go out into the porch; he climbed into Sitnikov'scarriage. The butler tucked him in respectfullybut Arkady would gladly havestruck him or burst into tears. Bazarov seated himself in the tarantass. Whenthey reached KhokhlovskyArkady waited till Fedotthe keeper of the postingstationhad harnessed the horsesthen going up to the tarantasshe said withhis old smile to Bazarov"Evgenytake me with youI want to come to yourplace."
"Get in" muttered Bazarov between his teeth.
Sitnikovwho had been walking up and down by the wheels of his carriagewhistling boldlycould only open his mouth and gape when he heard these words;while Arkady coolly pulled his luggage out of the carriagetook his seat besideBazarovandbowing politely to his former traveling companionshouted"Drive off!" The tarantass rolled away and was soon out of sight . . .Sitnikovutterly confusedlooked at his coachmanbut he was flicking his whipround the tail of the off-side horse. Finally Sitnikov jumped into hiscarriage--and yelling at two passing peasants"Put on your capsfools!" he drove to the townwhere he arrived very lateand where thenext dayat Madame Kukshin's he spoke severely about two "disgustinglystuck-up and ignorant fellows."
Sitting in the tarantass alongside BazarovArkady pressed his friend's handwarmlyand for a long time he said nothing. It seemed as though Bazarovappreciated both Arkady's action and his silence. He had not slept at all theprevious nightneither had he smokedand for several days he had scarcelyeaten anything. His thin profile stood out darkly and sharply from under hiscapwhich was pulled down over his eyebrows.
"Wellbrother" he said at last"give me a cigar . . . butlookI sayis my tongue yellow?"
"It's yellow" answered Arkady.
"Hm--yes . . . and the cigar has no taste. The machine is out ofgear."
"You have certainly changed lately" observed Arkady.
"That's nothing; we shall soon recover. One thing bothers me--my motheris so softhearted; if your tummy doesn't grow round as a barrel and you don'teat ten times a dayshe's in despair. My father's all righthe's beeneverywhere and known all the ups and downs. NoI can't smoke" he addedand flung the cigar away into the dusty road.
"Do you think it's another sixteen miles to your place?" askedArkady.
"Yesbut ask this wise man." He pointed to the peasant sitting onthe boxa laborer of Fedot's.
But the wise man only answered: "Who's to know? miles aren't measuredhereabouts" and went on swearing under his breath at the shaft horse for"kicking with her headpiece" by which he meantjerking her head.
"Yesyes" began Bazarov"it's a lesson for youmy youngfriendan instructive example. The devil knows what rubbish it is. Every manhangs by a threadany minute the abyss may open under his feetand yet he mustgo and invent for himself all kinds of troubles and spoil his life."
"What are you hinting at?" asked Arkady.
"I'm not hinting at anything; I'm saying plainly that we both behavedlike fools. What's the use of talking about it? But I've noticed in hospitalworkthe man who's angry with his illness--he's sure to get over it."
"I don't quite understand you" remarked Arkady"it seems youhave nothing to complain about."
"Wellif you don't quite understand meI'll tell you this; to my mindit's better to break stones on the road than to let a woman get the mastery ofeven the end of one's little finger. That's all . . ." Bazarov was aboutto utter his favorite word "romanticism" but checked himself and said"rubbish." "You won't believe me nowbut I'll tell you; you andI fell into feminine society and very nice we found it; but we throw off thatsort of society--it's like taking a dip in cold water on a hot day. A man has notime for these trifles. A man must be untamedsays an old Spanish proverb. Nowyoumy wise friend" he addedaddressing the peasant on the box. "Isuppose you have a wife?"
The peasant turned his dull bleary-eyed face towards the two young friends.
"A wife? Yes. How could it be otherwise?"
"Do you beat her?"
"My wife? Anything may happen. We don't beat her without a reason."
"That's fine. Welland does she beat you?"
The peasant tugged at the reins. "What things you saysir. You like ajoke." He was obviously offended.
"You hearArkady Nikolayevich. But we've been properly beaten--that'swhat comes of being educated people."
Arkady gave a forced laughwhile Bazarov turned away and did not open hismouth again for the rest of the journey.
Those sixteen miles seemed to Arkady quite like double the distance. But atlast on the slope of some rising ground the little village where Bazarov'sparents lived came into sight. Close to itin a young birch copsestood asmall house with a thatched roof. Two peasants with their hats on stood near thefirst hut swearing at each other. "You're a great swine" said one"you're worse than a little sucking pig." "And your wife's awitch" retorted the other.
"By their unconstrained behavior" remarked Bazarov to Arkady"and by the playfulness of their phraseologyyou can guess that myfather's peasants are not overmuch oppressed. But there he is himself coming outon the steps of the house. He must have heard the bells; it's him all rightIrecognize his figure; ay! ay! only how grey he's grownpoor old chap!"
BAZAROV LEANED OUT OF THE TARANTASSWHILE ARKADY stretched out his head frombehind his companion's back and saw standing on the steps of the little house atall thinnish man with ruffled hair and a sharp aquiline nosedressed in an oldmilitary coatnot buttoned up. He stood with his legs wide apartsmoking along pipe and screwing up his eyes to keep the sun out of them.
The horses stopped.
"Arrived at last!" exclaimed Bazarov's fatherstill continuing tosmokethough the pipe was fairly jumping up and down between his fingers."Comeget outget outlet me hug you."
He began embracing his son . . . "EnyushaEnyusha" resounded awoman's quavering voice. The door flew open and on the threshold appeared aplump little old woman in a white cap and short colored jacket. She criedstaggeredand would probably have fallen if Bazarov had not supported her. Herplump little hands were instantly twined round his neckher head was pressed tohis breastand there followed a complete hushonly interrupted by the sound ofher broken sobs.
Old Bazarov breathed hard and screwed up his eyes more than before.
"Therethat's enoughenoughArisha! leave off!" he saidexchanging a look with Arkadywho remained standing motionless by thetarantasswhile even the peasant on the box turned his head away. "That'squite unnecessary! Please leave off."
"AhVassily Ivanich" faltered the old woman"for what agesmy dear onemy darlingEnyushenka . . ." and without unclasping herhandsshe drew back her wrinkled facewet with tearsand overwhelmed withtendernessand looked at him with blissful and somehow comic eyes and thenagain fell on his neck.
"Wellyes of coursethat's all in the nature of things" remarkedVassily Ivanich. "Only we had better come indoors. Here's a visitor arrivedwith Evgeny. You must excuse this" he addedturning to Arkady andslightly scraping the ground with his foot: "You understanda woman'sweaknessand wella mother's heart."
His own lips and eyebrows were quivering and his chin shook--but obviously hewas trying to master his feelings and to appear almost indifferent. Arkadybowed.
"Let's go inmotherreally" said Bazarovand he led theenfeebled old woman into the house. He put her in a comfortable armchaironcemore hurriedly embraced his fatherand introduced Arkady to him.
"Heartily glad to make your acquaintance" said Vassily Ivanich"but you mustn't expect anything grand: we live very simply herelikemilitary people. Arina Vlasyevnapray calm yourself; what faintheartedness! Ourguest will think ill of you."
"My good sir" said the old woman through her tears"Ihaven't the honor of knowing your name and your father's."
"Arkady Nikolayevich" interposed Vassily Ivanich solemnlyin alow voice.
"Excuse a foolish old woman like me." She blew her noseandbending her head from left to rightshe carefully wiped one eye after theother. "You must excuse me. I really thought I should diethat I shouldnot live to see again my darling--"
"Well and here we have lived to see him againmadam" put inVassily Ivanovich. "Tanyushka" he saidturning to a bare-leggedlittle girl of thirteen in a bright red cotton dresswho was shyly peeping inat the door"bring your mistress a glass of water--on a traydo youhear?--and yougentlemen" he added with a kind of old-fashionedplayfulness--"allow me to invite you into the study of a retiredveteran."
"Just once more let me embrace youEnyushka" groaned ArinaVlasyevna. Bazarov bent down to her. "Gracioushow handsome you'vegrown!"
"WellI don't know about being handsome" remarked VassilyIvanovich. "But he's a manas the saying goes--ommfay. And now I hopeArina Vlasyevnahaving satisfied your maternal heartyou will turn yourthoughts to satisfying the appetites of our dear guestsbecauseas you knoweven nightingales can't be fed on fairy tales."
The old lady rose from her chair. "This very minuteVassily Ivanovichthe table shall be laid. I will myself run to the kitchen and order the samovarto be brought in; everything will be readyeverything. Whyfor three wholeyears I have not seen himhave not been able to give him food or drink--is thatnothing?"
"Wellyou see to thingslittle hostessbustle aboutdon't put us toshame; and yougentlemenI beg you to follow me. Here is Timofeich come to payhis respects to youEvgeny. And the old dogI dare say he too is delighted.Ayaren't you delightedold dog? Be so good as to follow me."
And Vassily Ivanovich went bustling aheadshuffling and flapping with hisdown-at-heel slippers.
His whole house consisted of six tiny rooms. One of these--the one into whichhe led our friends--was called the study. A thick-legged tablelittered withpapers blackened by an ancient accumulation of dust as if they had been smokedoccupied the whole space between the two windows; on the walls hung Turkishfirearmswhipsa sabertwo mapssome anatomical diagramsa portrait ofHufelanda monogram woven out of hair in a blackened frameand a diploma underglass; a leather sofatorn and worn hollow in placesstood between two hugecupboards of Karelian birchwood; on the shelvesbookslittle boxesstuffedbirdsjars and phials were crowded together in confusion; in one corner lay abroken electric battery.
"I warned youmy dear guest" began Vassily Ivanovich"thatwe liveso to speakbivouacking . . ."
"Now stop thatwhat are you apologizing for?" Bazarov interrupted."Kirsanov knows very well that we're not Croesuses and that you don't livein a palace. Where are we going to put himthat's the question?"
"To be sureEvgenythere's an excellent room in the little wing; hewill be very comfortable there."
"So you've had a wing built on?"
"Of coursewhere the bathhouse is" put in Timofeich. "Thatis next to the bathroom" Vassily Ivanovich added hurriedly. "It'ssummer now . . . I will run over there at once and arrange things; and youTimofeichbring in their luggage meanwhile. Of course I hand over my study toyouEvgeny. Suum cuique."
"There you have him! A most comical old chap and verygood-natured" remarked Bazarovas soon as Vassily Ivanovich had gone."Just as queer a fish as yoursonly in a different way. He chatters toomuch."
"And your mother seems a wonderful woman" remarked Arkady.
"Yesthere's no humbug about her. You just see what a dinner she'llgive us."
"They weren't expecting you todaysirthey've not brought anybeef" observed Timofeichwho was just dragging in Bazarov's trunk.
"We shall manage all right even without beef; you can't squeeze waterfrom a stone. Povertythey sayis no crime."
"How many serfs has your father?" asked Arkady suddenly. "Theproperty is not hisbut mother's; there are fifteen serfsif I remember."
"Twenty-two in all" added Timofeich in a dissatisfied tone. Theshuffling of slippers was heard and Vassily Ivanovich reappeared. "In a fewminutes your room will be ready to receive you" he exclaimed triumphantly."Arkady--Nikolaich? I think that's how I should call you. And here is yourservant" he addedindicating a boy with close-cropped hairwho had comein with himwearing a long blue caftan with holes in the elbows and a pair ofboots which did not belong to him. "His name is FedkaI repeat againthough my son has forbidden ityou must not expect anything grand. But thisfellow knows how to fill a pipe. You smokeof course?"
"I prefer to smoke cigars" answered Arkady.
"And you're quite right there. I like cigars myselfbut in these remoteparts it is extremely difficult to get them."
"Enough crying poverty" interrupted Bazarov. "You had bettersit down on the sofa here and let us have a look at you."
Vassily Ivanovich laughed and sat down. His face was very much like hisson'sonly his brow was lower and narrowerhis mouth rather widerand henever stopped making restless movementsshrugged his shoulders as though hiscoat cut him under the armpitsblinkedcleared his throat and gesticulatedwith his fingerswhereas his son's most striking characteristic was thenonchalant immobility of his manner.
"Crying poverty" repeated Vassily Ivanovich. "You mustsupposeEvgenythat I want our guestso to speakto take pity on usbymaking out that we live in such a wilderness. On the contrary I maintain thatfor a thinking man there is no such thing as a wilderness. At least I tryasfar as possiblenot to grow rustyso to speaknot to fall behind thetimes."
Vassily Ivanovich drew out of his pocket a new yellow silk handkerchiefwhich he had found time to snatch up when he ran over to Arkady's roomandflourishing it in the airhe went on: "I am not speaking now of the factthat Ifor instanceat the cost of quite considerable sacrifices to myselfhave put my peasants on the rent system and given up my land to them in returnfor half the proceeds. I considered it my duty; common sense alone demands thatit should be donethough other landowners don't even think about doing it. ButI speak now of the sciencesof education."
"YesI see you have here the Friend of Health for 1855" remarkedBazarov.
"That was sent me by an old comrade as a friendly gesture" VassilyIvanovich hastily announced; "but we havefor instancesome idea even ofphrenology" he addedaddressing himself principally to Arkadyandpointing out a small plaster head on the cupboarddivided into numberedsquares; "even Sch"nlein is not unknown to us--and Rademacher."
"Do people still believe in Rademacher in this province?" inquiredBazarov.
Vassily Ivanovich cleared his throat. "In this province . . . of coursegentlemenyou know better; how could we keep pace with you? You are here totake our places. Even in my timethere was a so-called humoralist Hoffmananda certain Brown with his vitalism--they seemed very ridiculous to usbut theytoohad great reputations at one time. Someone new has taken Rademacher's placewith you; you bow down to himbut in another twenty years it will probably behis turn to be laughed at."
"For your consolation I can tell you" said Bazarov"that wenowadays laugh at medicine altogether and bow down to nobody."
"How do you mean? Surely you want to be a doctor."
"Yesbut the one doesn't prevent the other."
Vassily Ivanovich poked his middle finger into his pipewhere a littlesmoldering ash was left. "Wellperhapsperhaps--I'm not going to dispute.What am I? A retired army doctorvalla too; and now farming has fallen to mylot. I served in your grandfather's brigade" he addressed himself toArkady again. "YesyesI have seen many sights in my time. And I mixedwith every kind of society. I myselfthe man you see before youhave felt thepulse of Prince Wittgenstein and of Zhukovsky! They were in the southern armythe fourteenthyou understand" (and here Vassily Ivanovich pursed his lipssignificantly). "I knew them all inside out. Wellwellbut my work wasonly on one side; stick to your lancet and be content! Your grandfather was avery honorable man and a real soldier."
"Confesshe was a regular blockhead" remarked Bazarov lazily.
"AhEvgenyhow can you use such an expression? Do consider . . . ofcourse General Kirsanov was not one of those . . ."
"Welldrop him" interrupted Bazarov. "As I was driving alongI was pleased to see your birch plantation; it has sprung up admirably."
Vassily Ivanovich brightened. "And you must see the little garden I'vegot now. I planted every tree myself. I have fruitraspberries and all kinds ofmedicinal herbs. However much you young gentlemen may knowold Paracelsus spokethe sacred truth; in herbisverbis et lapidibus . . . I've retired frompracticeas you knowbut at least twice a week something happens to bring meback to my old work. They come for advice--I can't drive them away--andsometimes the poor people need help. Indeed there are no doctors here at all.One of the neighbors herea retired majorjust imagine ithe doctors thepeople too. I ask the question: 'Has he studied medicine?' They answer: 'Nohehasn't studiedhe does it more from philanthropy' . . . ha! ha! fromphilanthropy! What do you think of that? Ha! ha!"
"Fedka! fill me a pipe!" said Bazarov sternly.
"And there's another doctor here who had just visited a patient"continued Vassily Ivanovich in a kind of desperation"but the patient hadalready gone ad patres; the servant wouldn't let the doctor inand tells him:'You're no longer needed.' He never expected thisgot confused and asked:'Welldid your master hiccup before he died?' 'Yes.' 'Did he hiccup much?''Yes.' 'Ahwellthat's all right' and off he went again. Ha! ha! ha!"
The old man laughed alone. Arkady managed to show a smile on his face.Bazarov merely stretched himself. The conversation continued in this way forabout an hour. Arkady found time to go to his room which turned out to be theanteroom to the bathroombut it was very cosy and clean. At last Tanyushka camein and announced that dinner was ready.
Vassily Ivanovich was the first to get up. "Comegentlemenyou mustpardon me generously if I have bored you. Maybe my good wife will give youbetter satisfaction."
The dinnerthough hastily preparedwas very good and even abundant; onlythe wine was not quite up to the mark; it was sherryalmost blackbought byTimofeich in the town from a well-known merchantand it had a flavor of copperor resin; the flies also were a nuisance. On ordinary days a serf boy used tokeep driving them away with a big green branchbut on this occasion VassilyIvanovich had sent him away for fear of adverse criticism from the youngergeneration. Arina Vlasyevna had changed her dressand was wearing a high capwith silk ribbons and a pale blue flowered shawl. She started crying again assoon as she caught sight of her Enyushabut her husband did not need toadmonish her; she herself made haste to dry her tears in order not to spoil hershawl. Only the young men ate; the host and hostess had both dined long ago.Fedka waited at tableobviously encumbered by his unfamiliar boots; he washelped by a woman with a masculine cast of face and one eyecalled Anfisushka;she fulfilled the duties of housekeeperpoultry woman and laundress. VassilyIvanovich walked up and down throughout the dinnerand with a perfectlycontented and even blissful face talked about the grave anxieties he had feltabout Napoleon's policy and the complications of the Italian question. ArinaVlasyevna took no notice of Arkady and did not press him to eat; leaning herround face on her little fisther full cherry-colored lips and the little moleson her cheeks and over her eyebrows adding to her extremely kindgood-naturedexpressionshe did not take her eyes off her son and constantly sighed; she wasdying to know for how long he would staybut she was afraid to ask him."What if he stays for two days?" she thoughtand her heart sank.After the roast Vassily Ivanovich disappeared for a moment and returned with anopened half-bottle of champagne.
"Here" he exclaimed"though we do live in the wildswe havesomething to make merry with on festive occasions!" He poured out threefull glasses and a little wineglassproposed the health of "our invaluableguests" and at once tossed off his glass in military fashion and madeArina Vlasyevna drink her wineglass to the last drop. When the time came for thesweet preservesArkadywho could not bear anything sweetthought it his dutyhoweverto taste four different kinds which had been freshly made--all the moresince Bazarov flatly refused them and began at once to smoke a cigar. Afterwardstea was served with creambutter and rolls; then Vassily Ivanovich took themall out into the garden to admire the beauty of the evening. As they passed agarden seat he whispered to Arkady"This is the spot where I love tomeditate as I watch the sunset; it suits a recluse like me. And therea littlefarther offI have planted some of the trees beloved by Horace."
"What trees?" asked Bazarovoverhearing"Oh . . .acacias."
Bazarov began to yawn.
"I suppose it is time our travelers were in the embrace ofMorpheus" observed Vassily Ivanovich.
"In other wordsit's time for bed" Bazarov interposed."That's a correct judgment; it certainly is high time!"
Saying good night to his motherhe kissed her on the forehead while sheembraced him and secretly behind his back she gave him her blessing three times.Vassily Ivanovich showed Arkady to his room and wished him "as refreshingrepose as I also enjoyed at your happy years." In fact Arkady sleptextremely well in his bathhouse; it smelt of mintand two crickets behind thestove rivaled each other in their prolonged drowsy chirping. Vassily Ivanovichwent from Arkady's room to his own study andsettling down on the sofa at hisson's feetwas looking forward to having a chat with him; but Bazarov sent himaway at oncesaying he felt sleepybut he did not fall asleep till morning.With wide-open eyes he stared angrily into the darkness; memories of childhoodhad no power over himand besides he had not yet been able to rid himself ofthe impression of his recent bitter experiences. Arina Vlasyevna first prayed toher heart's contentthen she had a longlong conversation with Anfisushkawhostood rooted to the spot in front of her mistressand fixing her solitary eyeupon hercommunicated in a mysterious whisper all her observations andconjectures about Evgeny Vassilevich. The old lady's head was giddy withhappinesswine and tobacco smoke; her husband tried to talk to her--but with awave of the hand he gave it up.
Arina Vlasyevna was a genuine Russian lady of olden times; she ought to havelived two centuries beforein the ancient Moscow days. She was very devout andemotional; she believed in fortunetellingcharmsdreams and omens of everyconceivable kind; she believed in the prophecies of crazy peoplein housespiritsin wood spiritsin unlucky meetingsin the evil eyein popularremedies; she ate specially prepared salt on Holy Thursday and believed that theend of the world was close at hand; she believed that if on Easter Sunday thecandles did not go out at Vespersthen there would be a good crop of buckwheatand that a mushroom will not grow after a human eye has seen it; she believedthat the devil likes to be where there is waterand that every Jew has ablood-stained spot on his breast; she was afraid of miceof snakesof frogsof sparrowsof leechesof thunderof cold waterof draughtsof horsesofgoatsof red-haired people and of black cats; she regarded crickets and dogs asunclean animals; she never ate vealpigeonscrayfishcheeseasparagusJerusalem artichokesharesor watermelons because a cut watermelon suggestedthe head of John the Baptist; she could not speak of oysters without a shudder;she enjoyed eating--but strictly observed fasts; she slept ten hours out of thetwenty-four--and never went to bed at all if Vassily Ivanovich had so much as aheadache; she had never read a single book except Alexis or the Cottage in theForest; she wrote one or at most two letters in a yearbut she was an experthousewifeknew all about preserving and jam makingthough she touched nothingwith her own hands and was usually reluctant to move from her place. ArinaVlasyevna was very kindhearted and in her own way far from stupid. She knew thatthe world is divided into masters whose duty it is to commandand simple peoplewhose duty it is to serve--and so she felt no disgust for servile behavior orbowing to the ground; but she treated affectionately and gently those insubjection to hernever let a single beggar go away empty-handedand neverspoke ill of anyonethough she was fond of gossip. In her youth she had beenvery prettyhad played the clavichord and spoken a little French; but in thecourse of many years of wandering with her husbandwhom she had married againsther willshe had grown stout and forgotten both music and French. Her son sheloved and feared unutterably; she had handed over the management of her littleestate to Vassily Ivanovich--and she no longer took any part in it; she wouldgroanwave her handkerchief and raise her eyebrows higher and higher in horrordirectly her old husband began to discuss impending land reforms and his ownplans. She was apprehensivealways expecting some great calamityand wouldweep at once whenever she remembered anything sad . . . Nowadays such women havealmost ceased to exist. God knows whether this should be a cause for rejoicing!
ON GETTING UPARKADY OPENED THE WINDOWAND THE FIRST object which met hiseyes was Vassily Ivanovich. In a Turkish dressing gown tied round the waist witha pocket handkerchiefthe old man was zealously digging his kitchen garden. Henoticed his young visitor and leaning on his spade he called out"Goodhealth to you! How did you sleep?"
"Splendidly" answered Arkady.
"And here I amas you seelike some Cincinnatuspreparing a bed forlate turnips. The time has come now--and thank God for it!--when everyone shouldsecure his sustenance by the work of his own hands: it is useless to rely onothers; one must labor oneself. So it turns out that Jean Jacques Rousseau isright. Half an hour agomy dear young siryou could have seen me in anentirely different position. One peasant womanwho complained oflooseness--that's how they express itbut in our languagedysentery--I--howshall I express it? I injected her with opium; and for another I extracted atooth. I offered her an anestheticbut she refused. I do all that gratis--anamatyer. HoweverI'm used to it; you see I'm a plebeianhomo nous--not oneof the old stocknot like my wife . . . But wouldn't you like to come over herein the shade and breathe the morning freshness before having tea?"
Arkady went out to him.
"Welcome once more!" said Vassily Ivanovichraising his hand in amilitary salute to the greasy skullcap which covered his head. "YouIknoware accustomed to luxury and pleasuresbut even the great ones of thisworld do not disdain to spend a brief time under a cottage roof."
"Gracious heavens" protested Arkady"as if I were a greatone of this world! And I'm not accustomed to luxury either."
"Pardon mepardon me" replied Vassily Ivanovich with an amiablegrimace. "Though I am a back number nowI also have knocked about theworld--I know a bird by its flight. I am something of a psychologist in my wayand a physiognomist. If I had notI venture to saybeen granted that giftIshould have come to grief long ago; a little man like me would have been blottedout. I must tell you without flatterythe friendship I observe between you andmy son sincerely delights me. I have just seen him; he got up very early as hehabitually does--you probably know that--and ran off for a ramble in theneighborhood. Permit me to be so inquisitive--have you known my Evgenylong?"
"Since last winter."
"Indeed. And permit me to question you further--but why shouldn't we sitdown? Permit me as a father to ask you frankly: what is your opinion of myEvgeny?"
"Your son is one of the most remarkable men I have ever met"answered Arkady emphatically.
Vassily Ivanovich's eyes suddenly opened wideand a slight flush suffusedhis cheeks. The spade dropped from his hand.
"And so you expect . . ." he began.
"I'm convinced" interrupted Arkady"that your son has agreat future before himthat he will do honor to your name. I've felt sure ofthat ever since I met him."
"How--how did it happen?" articulated Vassily Ivanovich with someeffort. An enthusiastic smile parted his broad lips and would not leave them.
"Would you like me to tell you how we met?"
"Yes . . . and all about it--"
Arkady began his story and spoke of Bazarov with even greater warmthevengreater enthusiasm than he had done on that evening when he danced a mazurkawith Madame Odintsov.
Vassily Ivanovich listened and listenedblew his noserolled hishandkerchief up into a ball with both handscleared his throatruffled up hishair--and at length could contain himself no longer; he bent down to Arkady andkissed him on the shoulder. "You have made me perfectly happy" hesaidwithout ceasing to smile. "I ought to tell youI . . . idolize myson; I won't even speak of my old wife--naturallya mother--but I dare not showmy feelings in front of himbecause he disapproves of that. He is opposed toevery demonstration of emotion; many people even find fault with him for suchstrength of characterand take it for a sign of pride or lack of feeling; butpeople like him ought not to be judged by any ordinary standardsought they?Look at thisfor example; others in his place would have been a constant dragon their parents; but he--would you believe it?--from the day he was born he hasnever taken a farthing more than he could helpthat's God's truth."
"He is a disinterestedhonest man" remarked Arkady.
"Exactly sodisinterested. And I not only idolize himArkadyNikolaichI am proud of himand the height of my only ambition is that someday there will be the following words in his biography: 'The son of an ordinaryarmy doctorwho was ablehoweverto recognize his talent early and spared nopains for his education . . .'" The old man's voice broke.
Arkady pressed his hand.
"What do you think?" inquired Vassily Ivanovich after a shortsilence"surely he will not attain in the sphere of medicine the celebritywhich you prophesy for him?"
"Of coursenot in medicinethough even there he will be one of theleading scientific men."
"In what thenArkady Nikolaich?"
"It would be hard to say nowbut he will be famous."
"He will be famous" repeated the old manand he relapsed intothought.
"Arina Vlasyevna sent me to call you in to tea" announcedAnfisushkapassing by with a huge dish of ripe raspberries.
Vassily Ivanovich started. "And will the cream be cooled for theraspberries?"
"Be sure it is cold! Don't stand on ceremony. Arkady Nikolaich--takesome more. How is it Evgeny doesn't come back?"
"I'm here" called Bazarov's voice from inside Arkady's room.
Vassily Ivanovich turned round quickly.
"Ahayou wanted to pay a visit to your friend; but you were too lateamiceand we have already had a long conversation. Now we must go in to tea;mother has sent for us. By the wayI want to have a talk with you."
"There's a peasant here; he's suffering from icterus . . ."
"You mean jaundice?"
"Yesa chronic and very obstinate case of icterus. I have prescribedhim centaury and St. John's worttold him to eat carrotsgiven him soda; butall those are palliative measures; we need some more radical treatment. Althoughyou laugh at medicineI'm sure you can give me some practical advice. But wewill talk about that later. Now let us go and drink tea."
Vassily Ivanovich jumped up briskly from the garden seat and hummed the airfrom Robert le Diable.
"The lawthe law we set ourselvesTo liveto liveforpleasure."
"Astonishing vitality" observed Bazarovmoving away from thewindow.
Midday arrived. The sun was burning from under a thin veil of unbrokenwhitish clouds. All was still; only the cocks in the village broke the silenceby their vigorous crowingwhich produced in everyone who heard it a strangesense of drowsiness and tedium; and from somewhere high up in a treetop soundedthe plaintive and persistent chirp of a young hawk. Arkady and Bazarov lay inthe shade of a small haystackand put under themselves two armfuls of rustlingdry but still green and fragrant grass.
"That poplar tree" began Bazarov"reminds me of mychildhood; it grows on the edge of the pit where the brick shed used to beandin those days I firmly believed that the poplar and the pit possessed thepeculiar power of a talisman; I never felt dull when I was near them. I did notunderstand then that I was not dull just because I was a child. Wellnow I'mgrown upthe talisman no longer works."
"How long did you live here altogether?" asked Arkady.
"Two years on end; after that we traveled about. We led a roving lifechiefly wandering from town to town."
"And has this house been standing long?"
"Yes. My grandfather built itmy mother's father."
"Who was heyour grandfather?"
"The devil knows--some kind of second-major. He served under Suvorov andalways told stories about marching across the Alps--inventions probably."
"You have a portrait of Suvorov hanging in the drawing room. I like suchlittle houses as yoursold-fashioned and warm; and they always have a specialkind of scent about them."
"A smell of lamp oil and clover" remarked Bazarovyawning."And the flies in these dear little houses . . . fugh!"
"Tell me" began Arkady after a short pause"were they strictwith you as a child?"
"You see what my parents are like. They're not a severe sort."
"Are you fond of themEvgeny?"
"How they adore you!"
Bazarov was silent for a while. "Do you know what I'm thinkingabout?" he said at lastclasping his hands behind his head.
"No. What is it?"
"I'm thinking how happy life is for my parents! My father at the age ofsixty can fuss aroundchat about 'palliative measures' heal people; he playsthe magnanimous master with the peasants--has a gay time in fact; and my motheris happy too; her day is so crammed with all sorts of jobswith sighs andgroansthat she hasn't a moment to think about herself; while I... ."
"While I think; here I lie under a haystack . . . The tiny narrow spaceI occupy is so minutely small in comparison with the rest of space where I amnot and which has nothing to do with me; and the portion of time in which it ismy lot to live is so insignificant beside the eternity where I have not been andwill not be . . . And in this atomin this mathematical pointthe bloodcirculatesthe brain works and wants something . . . how disgusting! howpetty!"
"Allow me to point out that what you say applies generally toeveryone."
"You're right" interrupted Bazarov. "I wanted to say thattheymy parents I meanare occupied and don't worry about their ownnothingness; it doesn't sicken them . . . while I . . . I feel nothing butboredom and anger."
"Anger? Why anger?"
"Why? How can you ask why? Have you forgotten?"
"I remember everythingbut still I can't agree that you have any rightto be angry. You're unhappyI realizebut . . ."
"Ugh! I can seeArkady Nikolaichthat you regard love like all modernyoung men; cluckcluckcluckyou call to the henand the moment the hencomes nearoff you run! I'm not like that. But enough of it all. It's a shameto talk about what can't be helped." He turned over on his side. "Ahthere goes a brave ant dragging along a half-dead fly. Take her awaybrothertake her! Don't pay any attention to her resistance; take full advantage of youranimal privilege to be without pity--not like us self-destructivecreatures!"
"What are you talking aboutEvgeny? When did you destroyyourself?"
Bazarov raised his head.
"That's the only thing I'm proud of. I have not crushed myselfso alittle woman can't crush me. Amen! It's all over. You won't hear another wordfrom me about it."
Both friends lay for a time in silence.
"Yes" began Bazarov"man is a strange animal. When one getsa side view from a distance of the dumb life our 'fathers' lead hereonethinks: what could be better? You eat and drink and know you are acting in themost righteous and sensible way. If notyou're devoured by the tedium of it.One wants to have dealings with people even if it's only to abuse them."
"One ought to arrange one's life so that every moment of it becomessignificant" remarked Arkady thoughtfully.
"I dare say. The significant may be deceptive but sweetthough it'seven quite possible to put up with the insignificant . . . But petty squabblespetty squabbles . . . that's a misery."
"Petty squabbles don't exist for the man who refuses to recognize themas such."
"Hm . . . what you have said is a commonplace turned upside-down."
"What? What do you mean by that phrase?"
"I'll explain; to say for instance that education is beneficialthat'sa commonplacebut to say that education is harmful is a commonplace turnedupside-down. It sounds more stylishbut fundamentally it's one and the samething!"
"But where is the truth--on which side?"
"Where? I answer you like an echo; where?"
"You're in a melancholy mood todayEvgeny."
"Really? The sun must have melted my brain and I ought not to have eatenso many raspberries either."
"In that case it wouldn't be a bad plan to doze a bit" remarkedArkady.
"Certainly. Only don't look at me; everyone has a stupid face when he'sasleep."
"But isn't it all the same to you what people think of you?"
"I don't quite know how to answer you. A real man ought not to worryabout such things; a real man is not meant to be thought aboutbut is someonewho must be either obeyed or hated."
"It's odd! I don't hate anyone" observed Arkady after a pause.
"And I hate so many. You're a tenderhearted listless creature; how couldyou hate anyone . . . ? You're timidyou haven't much self-reliance."
"And you" interrupted Arkady"do you rely on yourself? Haveyou a high opinion of yourself?"
Bazarov paused. "When I meet a man who can hold his own beside me"he said with slow deliberation"then I'll change my opinion of myself.Hatred! You saidfor instancetoday as we passed the cottage of our bailiffPhilip--the one that's so neat and clean--wellyou saidRussia will achieveperfection when the poorest peasant has a house like thatand every one of usought to help to bring it about . . . And I felt such a hatred for this poorestpeasantthis Philip or Sidorfor whom I have to be ready to sacrifice my skinand who won't even thank me for it--and why should he thank me? Wellsuppose helives in a clean housewhile weeds grow out of me--sowhat next?"
"That's enoughEvgeny . . . listening to you today one would be drivento agree with those who reproach us for absence of principles."
"You talk like your uncle. Principles don't exist in general--youhaven't yet managed to understand even that much!--but there are sensations.Everything depends on them."
"How is that?"
"Welltake me for instance; I adopt a negative attitude by virtue of mysensations; I like to denymy brain is made like that--and there's nothing moreto it. Why does chemistry appeal to me? Why do you like apples?--also by virtueof our sensations. It's all the same thing. People will never penetrate deeperthan that. Not everyone would tell you soand another time I shouldn't tell youso myself."
"Whatand is honesty also--a sensation?"
"I should think so."
"Evgeny . . . !" began Arkady in a dejected tone.
"Well? What? That's not to your taste?" broke in Bazarov. "Nobrother. If you've made up your mind to mow down everything--don't spare yourown legs . . . ! But we've philosophized enough. 'Nature heaps up the silence ofsleep' said Pushkin."
"He never said anything of the kind" retorted Arkady.
"Wellif he didn'the might have and ought to have said it as a poet.By the wayhe must have served in the army."
"Pushkin was never in the army!"
"Whyon every page of his one readsto arms! to arms! for Russia'shonor!"
"What legends you invent! Reallyit's positive slander."
"Slander? There's a weighty matter. He's found a solemn word to frightenme with. Whatever slander you may utter against a manyou may be sure hedeserves twenty times worse than that in reality."
"We had better go to sleep" said Arkady with vexation.
"With the greatest of pleasure" answered Bazarov.
But neither of them slept. Some kind of almost hostile feeling had taken holdof both young men. Five minutes laterthey opened their eyes and glanced ateach other in silence.
"Look" said Arkady suddenly"a dry maple leaf has broken offand is falling to the ground; its movements are exactly like a butterfly'sflight. Isn't it strange? Such a gloomy dead thing so like the most care-freeand lively one."
"Ohmy friend Arkady Nikolaich" exclaimed Bazarov"onething I implore of you; no beautiful talk."
"I talk as I best know how to . . . yesreally this is sheer despotism.A thought came into my head; why shouldn't I express it?"
"All rightand why shouldn't I express my thoughts? I think that sortof beautiful talk is positively indecent."
"And what is decent? Abuse?"
"Ahso I see clearly you intend to follow in your uncle's footsteps.How pleased that idiot would be if he could hear you now!"
"What did you call Pavel Petrovich?"
"I called himas he deserves to be calledan idiot."
"Reallythis is unbearable" cried Arkady.
"Aha! family feeling spoke out" remarked Bazarov coolly."I've noticed how obstinately it clings to people. A man is ready to giveup everything and break with every prejudice; but to admitfor instancethathis brother who steals other people's handkerchiefs is a thief--that's beyondhis power. And as a matter of fact--to think--my brothermine--and nogenius--that's more than one can swallow!"
"A simple sense of justice spoke in me and no family feeling atall" retorted Arkady vehemently. "But since you don't understand sucha feelingas it's not among your sensationsyou're in no position to judgeit!"
"In other wordsArkady Kirsanov is too exalted for my understanding. Ibow down to him and say no more."
"That's enoughEvgeny; we shall end by quarreling."
"AhArkadydo me a favorlet's quarrel properly for onceto thebitter endto the point of destruction."
"But then perhaps we should end by . . ."
"By fighting?" broke in Bazarov. "Well? Here in the hayinsuch idyllic surroundingsfar from the world and from human eyesit wouldn'tmatter. But you'd be no match for me. I'd have you by the throat at once . .."
Barazov stretched out his long tough fingers.
Arkady turned round and preparedas if jokingto resist . . . But hisfriend's face struck him as so sinister--he saw such a grim threat in thecrooked smile which twisted his lipsin his glaring eyesthat he feltinstinctively taken aback . . .
"So that is where you have got to" said the voice of VassilyIvanovich at this momentand the old army doctor appeared before the young mendressed in a homemade linen jacketwith a straw hatalso homemadeon hishead. "I've been looking for you everywhere . . . But you've picked out asplendid place and you're perfectly employed. Lying on the earth and gazing upto heaven--do you know there's a special significance in that?"
"I gaze up to heaven only when I want to sneeze" growled Bazarovand turning to Arkadyhe added in an undertone: "A pity he interruptedus."
"Wellthat's enough" whispered Arkadyand secretly squeezed hisfriend's hand. But no friendship can withstand such shocks for long.
"I look at youmy youthful friends" said Vassily Ivanovichmeanwhileshaking his head and leaning his folded arms on a skillfully bentstick which he himself had carved with a Turk's figure for a knob. "I lookand I can't refrain from admiration. You have so much strengthsuch youthfulbloomabilities and talents! Truly . . . A Castor and Pollux."
"Get along with you--shooting off into mythology!" said Bazarov."You can see he was a Latin scholar in his day. WhyI seem to rememberyou won the silver medal for Latin compositiondidn't you?"
"The Dioscurithe Dioscuri!"; repeated Vassily Ivanovich.
"Comestop thatfather; don't go sentimental."
"Just once in an agesurely it's permissible" murmured the oldman. "AnyhowI have not been searching for yougentlemenin order to payyou complimentsbut in order to tell youin the first placethat we shallsoon be dining; and secondlyI wanted to warn youEvgeny . . . you are asensible manyou know the world and you know what women areand therefore youwill excuse . . . your mother wanted a service held for you in thanksgivingforyour arrival. Don't imagine that I'm asking you to attend that service--it'salready over; but Father Alexei . . ."
"Wellyesthe priest; he is--to dine with us . . . I did not expectthis and was not even in favor of it--but somehow it turned out like that--hemisunderstood me--andwellArina Vlasyevna--besideshe's a worthy andreasonable man."
"I suppose he won't eat my share at dinner?" inquired Bazarov.
Vassily Ivanovich laughed. "The things you say!"
"WellI ask nothing more. I'm ready to sit down at table withanyone."
Vassily Ivanovich set his hat straight.
"I was sure in advance" he said"that you were above allsuch prejudices. Here am Ian old man of sixty-twoand even I have none."(Vassily Ivanovich dared not confess that he had himself wanted the thanksgivingservice--he was no less devout than his wife.) "And Father Alexei very muchwanted to make your acquaintance. You will like himyou'll see. He doesn't mindplaying cards evenand he sometimes--but this is between ourselves--goes so faras to smoke a pipe."
"Fancy that. We'll have a round of whist after dinner and I'll beathim."
"Ha! ha! ha! we shall see; that's an open question."
"Wellwon't it remind you of old times?" said Bazarov with apeculiar emphasis.
Vassily Ivanovich's bronzed cheeks blushed with confusion. "For shameEvgeny. . . Let bygones be bygones. WellI'm ready to confess before thisgentlemanI had that very passion in my youth--and how I paid for it too . . .! But how hot it is. May I sit down with you? I hope I shan't be in yourway."
"Not in the least" answered Arkady.
Vassily Ivanovich lowered himselfsighinginto the hay. "Your presentquartersmy dear sirs" he began"remind me of my militarybivouacking existencethe halts of the field hospital somewhere like this undera haystack--and even for that we thanked God." He sighed. "What a lotI've experienced in my time. For instanceif you allow meI will tell you acurious episode about the plague in Bessarabia."
"For which you won the Vladimir cross?" interposed Bazarov."We know--we know . . . By the waywhy aren't you wearing it?"
"WhyI told you that I have no prejudices" muttered VassilyIvanovich (only the evening before he had had the red ribbon unpicked from hiscoat) and he started to tell his story about the plague. "Whyhe hasfallen asleep" he whispered suddenly to Arkadypointing to Evgenyandwinked good-naturedly. "Evgenyget up!" he added loudly. "Let'sgo in to dinner."
Father Alexeia handsome stout man with thickcarefully combed hairwithan embroidered belt round his mauve silk cassockappeared to be a very skillfuland adaptable person. He made haste to be the first to offer his hand to Arkadyand Bazarovas though realizing in advance that they did not want his blessingand in general he behaved without constraint. He neither betrayed his ownopinions nor provoked the other members of the company; he made an appropriatejoke about seminary Latin and stood up in defense of his bishop; he drank twoglasses of wine and refused a third; he accepted a cigar from Arkadybut didnot smoke it on the spotsaying he would take it home with him. Only he had asomewhat unpleasant habit of raising his hand from time to timeslowly andcarefullyto catch the flies on his faceand sometimes managing to squashthem. He took his seat at the green card table with a measured expression ofsatisfactionand ended by winning from Bazarov two and a half rubles in notes(they had no idea of how to reckon in silver in Arina Vlasyevna's house). Shesatas beforeclose to her son--she did not play cards--and as before sheleaned her cheek on her little clenched hand; she got up only to order somefresh sweetmeat to be served. She was afraid to caress Bazarovand he gave herno encouragementfor he did nothing to invite her caresses; and besidesVassily Ivanovich had advised her not to "disturb" him too much."Young men are not fond of that sort of thing" he explained to her.(There is no need to say what dinner was like that day; Timofeich in person hadgalloped off at dawn to procure some special Circassian beef; the bailiff hadgone off in another direction for turbotperch and crayfish; for mushroomsalone the peasant woman had been paid forty-two kopeks in copper); but ArinaVlasyevna's eyeslooking steadfastly at Bazarovexpressed not devotion andtenderness alonefor sorrow was visible in them alsomingled with curiosityand fearand with a trace of humble reproachfulness.
Bazarovhoweverwas in no state of mind to analyze the exact expression ofhis mother's eyes; he seldom turned to her and then only with some shortquestion. Once he asked her for her hand "for luck"; she quietlyplaced her soft little hand on his rough broad palm.
"Well" she asked after waiting for a time"did ithelp?"
"Worse luck than before" he answered with a careless smile."He plays too rashly" pronounced Father Alexeias it werecompassionatelyand stroked his handsome beard.
"That was Napoleon's principlegood FatherNapoleon's"interposed Vassily Ivanovichleading with an ace.
"But it brought him to the isle of St. Helena" observed FatherAlexeiand trumped his ace.
"Wouldn't you like some black-currant teaEnyushka?" asked ArinaVlasyevna.
Bazarov merely shrugged his shoulders.
"No!" he said to Arkady the following day"I go away fromhere tomorrow. I'm bored; I want to work but I can't here. I will come again toyour place; I left all my apparatus there. In your house at least one can shutoneself upbut here my father keeps on repeating to me'My study is at yourdisposal--nobody shall interfere with you' and all the time he himself ishardly two steps away. And I'm ashamed somehow to shut myself away from him.It's the same thing with my mother. I hear how she sighs on the other side ofthe walland then if one goes in to see her--one has nothing to say."
"She will be most upset" said Arkady"and so will he."
"I shall come back to them."
"Wellwhen I'm on my way to Petersburg."
"I feel particularly sorry for your mother."
"How's that? Has she won your heart with her raspberries?"
Arkady lowered his eyes.
"You don't understand your motherEvgeny. She's not only a very goodwomanshe's really very wise. This morning she talked to me for half an hourand so interestinglyso much to the point."
"I suppose she was expatiating about me the whole time."
"We didn't talk about you only."
"Maybe as an outsider you see more. If a woman can keep up aconversation for half an hourit's already a good sign. But I'm going awayallthe same."
"It won't be easy for you to break the news to them. They are makingplans for us a fortnight ahead."
"No; it won't be easy. Some devil drove me to tease my father today; hehad one of his rent-paying peasants flogged the other day and quite rightlytoo--yesyesdon't look at me in such horror--he did right because thatpeasant is a frightful thief and drunkard; only my father had no idea that Iasthey saybecame aware of the facts. He was very much embarrassedand now Ishall have to upset him as well . . . Never mind! He'll get over it."
Bazarov said"Never mind" but the whole day passed before hecould bring himself to tell Vassily Ivanovich about his decision. At last whenhe was just saying good night to him in the studyhe remarked with a strainedyawn: "Oh yes . . . I almost forgot to tell you--will you send to Fedot'sfor our horses tomorrow?"
Vassily Ivanovich was dumbfounded.
"Is Mr. Kirsanov leaving us then?"
"Yesand I'm going with him."
Vassily Ivanovich almost reeled over. "You are going away?"
"Yes . . . I must. Make the arrangements about the horsesplease."
"Very good . . . to the posting station . . . very good--only--only--whyis it?"
"I must go to stay with him for a short time. Afterwards I will comeback here again."
"Ah! for a short time . . . very good."
Vassily Ivanovich took out his handkerchief and as he blew his nose benthimself almost double to the ground. "All rightit will--all be done. Ihad thought you were going to stay with us . . . a little longer. Three days . .. after three years. . . that's rather littlerather littleEvgeny."
"But I tell you I'm coming back soon. I have to go."
"You have to . . . Well! Duty comes before everything else . . . So youwant the horses sent? All right. Of course Anna and I never expected this. Shehas just managed to get some flowers from a neighbor; she wanted to decorateyour room." (Vassily Ivanovich did not even mention that every morning themoment it was light he consulted with Timofeichand standing with his bare feetin slipperspulling out with trembling fingers one crumpled ruble note afteranotherentrusted him with various purchasesparticularly of good things toeatand of red winewhichas far as he could observethe young men likedextremely.) "Liberty--is the main thing--that is my principle . . . one hasno right to interfere. . . no . . ."
He suddenly fell silent and made for the door.
"We shall soon see each other againfatherreally."
But Vassily Ivanovich did not turn roundhe only waved his hand and wentout. When he got back to the bedroomhe found his wife in bed and began to sayhis prayers in a whisper in order not to wake her up. She wokehowever.
"Is that youVassily Ivanovich?" she asked.
"Have you come from Enyusha? Do you knowI'm afraid he may not becomfortable on that sofa. I told Anfisushka to put out for him your travelingmattress and the new pillows; I should have given him our feather bedbut Iseem to remember he doesn't like sleeping soft."
"Never mindlittle motherdon't you worry. He's all right. Lord havemercy on us sinners" he continued his prayer in a low voice. VassilyIvanovich felt sorry for his old wife; he did not wish to tell her overnightwhat sorrow there was in store for her.
Bazarov and Arkady left on the following day. From early morning the housewas filled with gloom; Anfisushka let the dishes slip out of her hand; evenFedka became bewildered and at length took off his boots. Vassily Ivanovichfussed more than ever; obviously he was trying to make the best of ittalkedloudly and stamped his feetbut his face looked haggard and he continuallyavoided looking his son in the eyes. Arina Vlasyevna wept quietly; she wouldhave broken down and lost all control of herself if her husband had not spenttwc whole hours exhorting her early that morning. When Bazarovafter repeatedpromises to come back within a month at the latesttore himself at last fromthe embraces detaining himand took his seat in the tarantasswhen the horsesstartedthe bell rang and the wheels were moving--and when it was no longer anyuse gazing after themwhen the dust had settled downand Timofeichall bentand tottering as he walkedhad crept back to his little room; when the oldpeople were left alone in the housewhich also seemed to have suddenly shrunkand grown decrepit--Vassily Ivanovichwho a few moments before had beenheartily waving his handkerchief on the stepssank into a chair and his headfell on his breast.
"He has abandoned uscast us off!" he muttered. "Abandonedushe only feels bored with us now. Aloneall alonelike a solitaryfinger" he repeated several timesstretching out his hand with theforefinger standing out from the others.
Then Arina Vlasyevna came up to him and leaning her grey head against hisgrey headshe said: "What can we doVasya? A son is a piece broken off.He's like a falcon that flies home and flies away again when it wants; but youand I are like mushrooms growing in the hollow of a treewe sit side by sidewithout moving from the same place. Only I will never change for youand youwill always be the same for me."
Vassily Ivanovich took his hands from his face and embraced his wifehisfriendmore warmly than he had ever embraced her in his youth; she comfortedhim in his sorrow.
IN SILENCEONLY RARELY EXCHANGING A FEW WORDSOUR friends traveled as faras Fedot's.
Bazarov was not altogether pleased with himselfand Arkady was displeasedwith him. He also felt gripped by that melancholy without a causewhich onlyvery young people experience. The coachman changed the horses and getting up onto the boxinquired: "To the right or to the left?"
Arkady shuddered. The road to the right led to the townand from there home;the road to the left led to Madame Odintsov's place. He looked at Bazarov."Evgeny" he asked"to the left?"
Bazarov turned away.
"What folly is this?" he muttered.
"I know it is folly" answered Arkady. "But what harm does itdo? It's not for the first time."
Bazarov pulled his cap down over his forehead. "As you like" hesaid at last.
"Turn to the left" shouted Arkady.
The tarantass rolled off in the direction of Nikolskoe. But having decided oncommitting the follythe friends maintained an even more obstinate silence thanbeforeand seemed positively bad tempered.
Alreadyby the manner in which the butler met them in the porch of MadameOdintsov's housethe friends could guess that they had acted injudiciously ingiving way so suddenly to a passing caprice. They were obviously not expected.They sat for quite a long time in the drawing room with rather stupid faces. Atlength Madame Odintsov came in to them. She greeted them with her usualpolitenessbut showed surprise at their rapid returnand judging by thedeliberation of her gestures and wordsshe was not over pleased about it. Theyhastened to explain that they had only called there on their wayand withinfour hours must continue their journey to the town. She confined herself to amild exclamationasked Arkady to convey her greetings to his fatherand sentfor her aunt. The princess appearedlooking half asleepwhich gave herwrinkled old face an even more hostile expression. Katya was unwell and did notleave her room. Arkady suddenly realized that he was at least as anxious to seeKatya as to see Anna Sergeyevna herself. The four hours passed in small talkabout one thing or another; Anna Sergeyevna both listened and talked withoutsmiling. It was only when they were already saying good-by that her formerfriendliness seemed somehow to light up again in her.
"I have an attack of spleen just now" she said"but don'tpay any attention to thatand come here again--I say that to both ofyou--before long."
Both Bazarov and Arkady responded with a silent bowtook their seats in thecarriageand without stopping again anywheredrove straight home to Maryinowhere they arrived safely on the evening of the following day. During the wholejourney neither of them so much as mentioned the name of Madame Odintsov;Bazarovin particularhardly opened his mouthand kept staring sideways atthe road with a kind of embittered concentration.
At Maryino everyone was overjoyed to see them. The prolonged absence of hisson had begun to make Nikolai Petrovich uneasy; he uttered a joyful exclamationand bounced up and down on the sofadangling his legswhen Fenichka ran in tohim with sparkling eyes and announced the arrival of the "younggentlemen"; even Pavel Petrovich felt to some degree pleasantly excitedand smiled indulgently as he shook hands with the returned wanderers. Talk andquestions followed quickly; Arkady talked mostespecially at supperwhichlasted till long after midnight. Nikolai Petrovich ordered up some bottles ofporter which had just been brought from Moscowand he himself made merry tillhis cheeks turned purplelaughing repeatedly with a rather childlike butnervous laughter. Even the servants were affected by the general gaiety.Dunyasha ran up and down like one possessedslamming doors from time to time;while Pyotr at three o'clock in the morning was still trying to play a Cossackwaltz on the guitar. The strings emitted their sweet and plaintive sounds in themotionless airbut except for some short preliminary flourishes the culturedvalet's efforts failed to produce any tune; nature had granted him no moretalent for music than it had for anything else.
But meanwhile things had not been going too well at Maryinoand poor NikolaiPetrovich was having a hard time. Every day difficulties arose on thefarm--senselessdistressing difficulties. The troubles with the hired laborershad become intolerable. Some gave notice or asked for higher wageswhile otherswalked off with wages they had received in advance; the horses fell sick; theharness was damaged as though it had been burnt; the work was carelessly done; athreshing machine ordered from Moscow turned out to be unusable because it wastoo heavy; another winnowing machine was ruined the very first time it was used;half the cattle sheds were burned down because a blind old woman on the farmwent with a blazing firebrand in windy weather to fumigate her cow . . . ofcoursethe old woman maintained that the whole mishap was due to the master'splan of introducing new-fangled cheeses and dairy products. The bailiff suddenlyturned lazy and began to grow fat as every Russian grows fat when he gets aneasy living. When he caught sight of Nikolai Petrovich in the distancehe wouldtry to demonstrate his zeal by throwing a stick at a passing pigor bythreatening some half-naked ragamuffinbut for the rest of the time he wasgenerally asleep. The peasants who had been put on the rent system did not payin time and stole wood from the forest; almost every night the watchmen caughtpeasants' horses in the farm meadows and sometimes removed them after ascrimmage. Nikolai Petrovich would fix a money fine for damagesbut the matterusually ended by the horses being returned to their owners after they had beenkept for a day or two on the master's forage. On top of all this the peasantsbegan to quarrel among themselves; brothers asked for their property to bedividedtheir wives could not get on together in one house; suddenly a quarrelwould flare upthey would all rise to their feetas though at a given signalwould run to the porch of the estate officeand crawl in front of the masteroften in a drunken state with battered facesdemanding justice and retribution;an uproar and clamor would ensuethe shrill screams of the women mingling withthe curses of the men. The contending parties had to be examinedand one had toshout oneself hoarseknowing in advance that it was in any case quiteimpossible to reach a just settlement. There were not enough hands for theharvest; a neighboring yeomanin the most benevolent mannercontracted tosupply him with reapers for a commission of two rubles per acre--and cheated himin the most shameless way; his peasant women demanded exorbitant pricesandmeanwhile the corn got spoiled; the harvest was not in the common ownershipbutat the same time the Council of Guardians issued threats and demanded immediateand full payment of interest due . . .
"It's beyond my power!" exclaimed Nikolai Petrovich several timesin despair. "I can't flog them myself; to send for the police--is againstmy principlesbut without the fear of punishment you can do absolutely nothingwith them!"
"Du calmedu calme" Pavel Petrovich would remark on theseoccasionsbut he hummed to himselffrowned and twisted his mustache.
Bazarov held himself aloof from all the "squabbles" and indeed asa guest it was not incumbent on him to meddle in other people's affairs. On theday after his arrival in Maryino he set to work on his frogshis infusoriaandhis chemical experimentsand spent all his time over them. Arkadyon thecontraryconsidered it his dutyif not to help his fatherat least to createan impression of being ready to help him. He listened to him patiently andsometimes gave his advicenot that he expected it to be acted uponbut inorder to show his concern. The details of agricultural management were notrepugnant to him; he even indulged in pleasant dreams about agricultural workbut at this time his mind was preoccupied with other ideas. To his own surpriseArkady found he was thinking incessantly of Nikolskoe; formerly he would havejust shrugged his shoulders if anyone had told him he could feel bored under thesame roof as Bazarov--particularly in his own home--but now he was bored andlonged to get away. He tried walking till he was tired outbut that did nothelp either. One day when talking to his fatherhe found out that NikolaiPetrovich possessed a number of quite interesting letterswritten to his wifeby Madame Odintsov's motherand Arkady gave him no peace until he had taken outthe lettersfor which Nikolai Petrovich was obliged to rummage in twentydifferent drawers and boxes. Having gained possession of these crumbling papersArkady somehow calmed down as if he had secured a clearer vision of the goaltowards which he ought now to move. "'I say that to both of you'" hekept on repeating to himself"those were the words she added. I shall gothereI shall gohang it all!" Then he recalled his last visitthe coldreception and his previous embarrassmentand shyness overwhelmed him. But theadventurous daring of youththe secret desire to try his luckto test hispowers independently without anyone else's protection--prevailed at last. Beforeten days had passed after his return to Maryinoon the pretext of going tostudy the organization of Sunday schoolshe galloped off again to the townandfrom there on to Nikolskoe.
Uninterruptedly urging the driver forwardhe dashed on like a young officerriding into battle; he felt at once frightened and lighthearted and breathlesswith impatience. "The main thing is--I mustn't think" he kept onsaying to himself. His driver happened to be a high-spirited fellowwho stoppedin front of every inn and exclaimed"A drink?" or "What about adrink?" butto make up for thatafter the drink he did not spare hishorses. At length there came into sight the high roof of the familiar house . .. "What shall I do?" suddenly flashed through Arkady's mind."AnyhowI can't turn back now!" The three horses sped gaily on; thedriver yelled and whistled at them. Already the little bridge was echoing underthe wheels and the horses' hoofsand the avenue of lopped pines was drawingnearer . . . he caught a glimpse of a woman's pink dress moving among the darkgreen treesand a young face peeped out from under the light fringe of aparasol . . . he recognized Katyaand she recognized him. Arkady ordered thedriver to stop the galloping horsesjumped out of the carriage and went up toher.
"It's you!" she murmured and slowly blushed all over; "let usgo to my sistershe's here in the garden; she will be pleased to see you."
Katya led Arkady into the garden. His meeting with her struck him as aparticularly happy omen; he was delighted to see heras though she were someoneclose to his heart. Everything had happened so agreeably; no butlerno formalannouncement. At a turn in the path he caught sight of Anna Sergeyevna. She wasstanding with her back to him; hearing his footstepsshe gently turned round.
Arkady would have felt embarrassed againbut the first words which sheuttered immediately set him at ease. "Welcomeyou runaway!" she saidin her smooth caressing voiceand came forward to meet himsmiling andscrewing up her eyes from the sun and breeze. "Where did you find himKatya?"
"I have brought you somethingAnna Sergeyevna" he began"which you certainly don't expect . . ."
"You have brought yourself; that's better than anything else."
HAVING SEEN ARKADY OFF WITH IRONICAL SYMPATHYAND GIVEN him to understandthat he was not in the least deceived about the real object of his journeyBazarov shut himself up in solitudeand set to work with feverish intensity. Heno longer argued with Pavel Petrovichparticularly since the latter assumed inhis presence an oppressively aristocratic manner and expressed his opinions moreby inarticulate sounds than by words. Only on one occasion Pavel Petrovich fellinto a controversy with the nihilist over the then much discussed question aboutthe rights of the nobles in the Baltic provincesbut he quickly stoppedhimselfremarking with a chilly politeness: "Howeverwe cannot understandone another; Iat leasthave not the honor of understanding you."
"I should think not!" exclaimed Bazarov. "A human being canunderstand everything--how the ether vibratesand what's going on in the sun;but how another person can blow his nose differently from himthat he'sincapable of understanding."
"Whatis that a joke?" remarked Pavel Petrovich in a questioningtone and walked away.
Howeverhe sometimes asked permission to be present at Bazarov's experimentsand once even placed his perfumed facewashed with the finest soapover themicroscopein order to see how a transparent protozoon swallowed a green speckand busily chewed it with two very adroit organs which were in its throat.Nikolai Petrovich visited Bazarov much oftener than his brother; he would havecome every day "to learn" as he expressed itif the worries of hisfarm had not kept him too busy. He did not interfere with the young researchworker; he used to sit down in a corner of the room and watch attentivelyoccasionally permitting himself some discreet question. During dinner and supperhe used to try to turn the conversation to physicsgeology or chemistrysinceall other subjectseven agricultureto say nothing of politicsmight leadifnot to collisionsat least to mutual dissatisfaction. Nikolai Petrovich guessedthat his brother's dislike of Bazarov had not diminished. A minor incidentamong many othersconfirmed his surmise. Cholera began to break out in someplaces in the neighborhoodand even "carried off" two people fromMaryino itself. One night Pavel Petrovich had a rather severe attack of illness.He was in pain till the morningbut he never asked for Bazarov's help; when hemet him the next dayin reply to his question why he had not sent for himheansweredstill very palebut perfectly brushed and shaved. "Surely Iremember you said yourself you don't believe in medicine." So the dayspassed. Bazarov went on working obstinately and grimly . . . and meanwhile therewas in Nikolai Petrovich's house one person to whomif he did not open hishearthe was at least glad to talk . . . that person was Fenichka.
He used to meet her chiefly in the early morningin the garden or thefarmyard; he never went to see her in her room and she had only once come to hisdoor to inquire--should she give Mitya his bath or not? She not only hadconfidence in him and was not afraid of himshe felt freer and more at easewith him than she did with Nikolai Petrovich himself. It is hard to say how thiscame about; perhaps because unconsciously she felt in Bazarov the absence ofanything aristocraticof all that superiority which at once attracts andoverawes. In her eyes he was both an excellent doctor and a simple man. Sheattended to her baby in his presence without any embarrassmentand once whenshe was suddenly overcome by giddiness and headache she took a spoonful ofmedicine from his hands. When Nikolai Petrovich was there she kept Bazarovsomehow at a distance; she did this not out of hypocrisy but from a definitesense of propriety. Of Pavel Petrovich she was more afraid than ever; for sometime he had begun to watch herand would suddenly appearas if he had sprungout of the earth behind her backin his English suit with an impassive vigilantface and with his hands in his pockets.
"It's like having cold water thrown over one" said Fenichka toDunyashawho sighed in response and thought of another "heartless"man. Bazarovwithout the faintest suspicion of the facthad become the"cruel tyrant" of her heart.
Fenichka liked Bazarovand he liked her also. His face was even transformedwhen he talked to her; it took on an open kindly expressionand his habitualnonchalance was modified by a kind of jocular attentiveness. Fenichka wasgrowing prettier every day. There is a period in the life of young women whenthey suddenly begin to expand and blossom like summer roses; such a time hadcome for Fenichka. Everything contributed to iteven the June heat which wasthen at its height. Dressed in a light white dressshe seemed herself whiterand more graceful; the sun had not tanned her skin; but the heatfrom which shecould not protect herselfspread a slight flush over her cheeks and ears and agentle languor through her whole bodyreflected in the dreamy expression of hercharming eyes. She was almost unable to work and kept on sighing and complainingwith a comic helplessness.
"You should go oftener to bathe" Nikolai Petrovich told her. Hehad arranged a large bathing place covered with an awning in the only one of hisponds which had not yet completely dried up.
"OhNikolai Petrovich! But you die before you get to the pond and onthe way back you die again. You seethere's no shade in the garden."
"That's truethere's no shade" said Nikolai Petrovichwiping hisforehead.
One day at seven o'clock in the morningBazarov was returning from a walkand encountered Fenichka in the lilac arborwhich had long ceased to flower butwas still thick with green leaves. She was sitting on the bench and had as usualthrown a white kerchief over her head; beside her lay a whole heap of red andwhite roses still wet with dew. He said good morning to her.
"OhEvgeny Vassilich!" she said and lifted the edge of herkerchief a little in order to look at himin doing which her arm was bared tothe elbow.
"What are you doing here?" said Bazarovsitting down beside her."Are you making a bouquet?"
"Yesfor the table at lunch. Nikolai Petrovich likes it."
"But lunch is still a long way off. What a mass of flowers."
"I gathered them nowfor it will be hot later on and one can't go out.Even now one can only just breathe. I feel quite weak from the heat. I'm quiteafraid I may get ill."
"What an idea! Let me feel your pulse."
Bazarov took her handfelt for the evenly throbbing pulse but did not evenstart to count its beats.
"You'll live a hundred years" he saiddropping her hand.
"AhGod forbid!" she cried.
"But why? Don't you want a long life?"
"Wellbut a hundred years! We had an old woman of eighty-five nearus--and what a martyr she was! Dirtydeafbentalways coughingshe was onlya burden to herself. What kind of a life is that?"
"So it's better to be young."
"But why is it better? Tell me!"
"How can you ask why? Whyhere am Inow I'm youngI can doeverything--come and go and carryand I don't need to ask anyone for anything .. . What can be better?"
"But it's all the same to mewhether I'm young or old."
"How do you mean--all the same? It's impossible what you say."
"Welljudge for yourselfFedosya Nikolayevnawhat good is my youth tome? I live alonea solitary man . . ."
"That always depends on you."
"It doesn't all depend on me! At least someone ought to take pity onme."
Fenichka looked sideways at Bazarovbut said nothing. "What's that bookyou have?" she saidafter a short pause.
"That? It's a scientific booka difficult one."
"Are you still studying? Don't you find it dull? I should think you mustknow everything already."
"Evidently not everything. You try to read a little of it."
"But I don't understand a word of it. Is it Russian?" askedFenichkataking the heavily bound book in both hands. "How thick itis!"
"All the same I shan't understand anything."
"Well and I don't want you to understand it. I want to look at you whileyou are reading. When you read the tip of your nose moves so nicely."
Fenichkawho had started to spell out in a low voice an article "OnCreosote" she had chanced uponlaughed and threw down the book . . . itslipped from the bench to the ground. "I like it too when you laugh"remarked Bazarov.
"I like it when you talk. It's like a little brook babbling."
Fenichka turned her head away.
"What a one you are!" she murmuredas she went on sorting out theflowers. "And how can you like listening to me? You have talked with suchclever ladies."
"AhFedosya Nikolayevna! Believe meall the clever ladies in the worldaren't worth your little elbow."
"There nowwhat will you invent next!" whispered Fenichkaclasping her hands together.
Bazarov picked up the book from the ground.
"That's a medical book. Why do you throw it away?"
"Medical?" repeated Fenichkaand turned round to him. "Do youknowever since you gave me those drops--do you remember?--Mitya has slept sowell. I really don't know how to thank you; you are so goodreally."
"But actually you have to pay doctors" said Bazarov with a smile."Doctorsyou know yourselfare grasping people."
Fenichka raised her eyes which seemed still darker from the whitishreflection cast on the upper part of her faceand looked at Bazarov. She didnot know whether he was joking or not.
"If you wantwe shall be very glad . . . I shall have to ask NikolaiPetrovich . . ."
"You think I want money?" interrupted Bazarov. "NoI don'twant money from you."
"What then?" asked Fenichka.
"What?" repeated Bazarov. "Guess."
"As if I'm likely to guess."
"WellI will tell you; I want--one of those roses." Fenichkalaughed again and even threw up her hands--so amused she was by Bazarov'srequest. She laughed and at the same time she felt flattered. Bazarov waswatching her intently. "By all means" she said at lengthand bendingover the bench she began to pick out some roses. "Which will you have--ared or a white one?"
"Redand not too large."
She sat up again. "Heretake it" she saidbut at once drew backher outstretched handand biting her lipslooked towards the entrance of thesummerhouse and then listened.
"What is it?" asked Bazarov. "Nikolai Petrovich?"
"No--he has gone to the fields . . . and I'm not afraid of him . . . butPavel Petrovich . . . I fancied ." .
"It seemed to me he was passing by. No . . . it was no one. Takeit." Fenichka gave Bazarov the rose.
"What makes you afraid of Pavel Petrovich?"
"He always frightens me. One talks--and he says nothingbut just looksknowing. Of courseyou don't like him either. You remember you were alwaysquarreling with him. I don't know what you quarreled aboutbut I can see youturning him this way and that . . ."
Fenichka showed with her hands how in her opinion Bazarov turned PavelPetrovich round about.
Bazarov smiled. "And if he defeated me" he asked"would youstand up for me?"
"How could I stand up for you? But noone doesn't get the better ofyou."
"You think so? But I know a hand whichif it wanted tocould knock medown with one finger."
"What hand is that?"
"Whydon't you know really? Smell the wonderful scent of this rose yougave me."
Fenichka stretched her little neck forward and put her face close to theflower. . . The kerchief slipped from her hair on to her shouldersdisclosinga soft mass of black shining and slightly ruffled hair.
"Wait a moment; I want to smell it with you" said Bazarov; he bentdown and kissed her vigorously on her parted lips.
She shudderedpushed him back with both her hands on his breastbut pushedweaklyso that he was able to renew and prolong his kiss.
A dry cough made itself heard behind the lilac bushes. Fenichka instantlymoved away to the other end of the bench. Pavel Petrovich showed himself in theentrancebowed slightlymuttered in a tone of sorrowful anger"You arehere!" and walked away. Fenichka at once gathered up all her roses and wentout of the summerhouse.
"That was wrong of youEvgeny Vassilich" she whispered as sheleft; there was a tone of sincere reproach in her whisper.
Bazarov remembered another recent scene and he felt both ashamed andcontemptuously annoyed. But he shook his head at onceironically congratulatedhimself on his formal assumption of the rle of a Don Juanand went back tohis own room.
Pavel Petrovich went out of the garden and made his way with slow steps tothe wood. He stayed there quite a long timeand when he returned to lunchNikolai Petrovich inquired anxiously whether he felt unwell; his face had turnedso dark.
"You know I sometimes suffer from bilious attacks" Pavel Petrovichanswered calmly.
TWO HOURS LATER HE KNOCKED AT BAZAROV'S DOOR.
"I must apologize for hindering you in your scientific researches"he beganseating himself in a chair by the window and leaning with both handson a handsome walking-stick with an ivory knob (he usually walked without astick)"but I am obliged to ask you to spare me five minutes of your time. . . no more."
"All my time is at your disposal" answered Bazarovwhose facequickly changed its expression the moment Pavel Petrovich crossed the threshold.
"Five minutes will be enough for me. I have come to put one question toyou."
"A question? What about?"
"I will tell you if you will be good enough to listen to me. At thebeginning of your stay in my brother's housebefore I had renounced thepleasure of conversing with youI had occasion to hear your opinion on manysubjects; but as far as I can rememberneither between usnor in my presencewas the subject of singlecombats or dueling discussed. Allow me to hear what areyour views on that subject?"
Bazarovwho had stood up to meet Pavel Petrovichsat down on the edge ofthe table and folded his arms.
"My view is" he said"that from the theoretical point ofview dueling is absurd; but from the practical point of view--wellthat's quiteanother matter."
"Soyou mean to sayif I understand you rightlythat whatevertheoretical views you may hold about duelingyou would in practice not allowyourself to be insulted without demanding satisfaction?"
"You have guessed my meaning completely."
"Very good. I am very glad to hear that from you. Your words release mefrom a state of uncertainty . . "
"Of indecisiondo you mean?"
"That is all the same; I express myself in order to be understood; I . .. am not a seminary rat. Your words have saved me from a rather grievousnecessity. I have made up my mind to fight you."
Bazarov opened his eyes wide.
"And what formay I ask?"
"I could explain the reason to you" began Pavel Petrovich"but I prefer to keep silent about it. To my mind your presence here issuperfluous. I find you intolerableI despise youand if that is not enoughfor you . . ."
Pavel Petrovich's eyes flashed . . . Bazarov's too were glittering.
"Very good" he said. "Further explanations are unnecessary.You've taken it into your head to try out on me your chivalrous spirit. I couldrefuse you this pleasure--but it can't be helped!"
"I am sensible of my obligations to you" answered Pavel Petrovich"and I may count then on your accepting my challengewithout compelling meto resort to violent measures?"
"That meansspeaking without metaphorto that stick?" Bazarovremarked coolly. "That is entirely correct. You have no need to insult me;indeed it would not be quite safe . . . you can remain a gentleman . . . Iaccept your challenge also like a gentleman."
"Excellent" observed Pavel Petrovichand put his stick down inthe corner. "We will say a few words now about the conditions of our duel;but I should first like to know whether you consider it necessary to resort tothe formality of a trifling dispute which might serve as a pretext for mychallenge?"
"Noit's better without formalities."
"I also think so. I suggest it is also inappropriate to dwell further onthe real reason for our skirmish. We cannot endure one another. What more isnecessary?"
"What more is necessary?" repeated Bazarov ironically. "Asregards the conditions of the duel itselfsince we shall have no seconds--forwhere could we get them?"
"Exactlywhere could we get any?"
"I therefore have the honor to put the following proposals to you; weshall fight early tomorrow morningat sixlet us saybehind the plantationwith pistolsat a distance of ten paces . . ."
"At ten paces? That will do; we can still hate each other at thatdistance."
"We could make it eight" remarked Pavel Petrovich.
"We could; why not?"
"We fire twiceand to be prepared for everythinglet each put a letterin his pocketaccepting responsibility for his own end."
"I don't quite agree with that" said Bazarov. "It smacks toomuch of a French novela bit unreal."
"Perhaps. You will agreehoweverthat it would be unpleasant to incurthe suspicion of murder?"
"I agree. But there is a means of avoiding that painful accusation. Weshall have no secondsbut we could have a witness."
"And whomay I ask?"
"Your brother's valet. He's a man standing at the height of contemporaryculturewho would play his part in such an affair with all the necessary ;repeated Vassily comilfo."
"I think you are jokingsir."
"Not in the least. If you think over my suggestion you will be convincedthat it is full of common sense and simplicity. Murder will out--but I canundertake to prepare Pyotr in a suitable manner and bring him to the field ofbattle."
"You persist in joking" said Pavel Petrovichgetting up from hischair. "But after the courteous readiness you have shownI have no rightto claim . . . so everything is arranged . . . by the wayI suppose you have nopistols?"
"How should I have pistolsPavel Petrovich? I'm not an army man."
"In that caseI offer you mine. You may rest assured that I have notshot with them for five years."
"That's a very consoling piece of news.--"
Pavel Petrovich picked up his stick . . . "And nowmy dear sirit onlyremains for me to thank you and to leave you to your studies. I have the honorto take leave of you."
"Until we have the pleasure of meeting againmy dear sir" saidBazarovconducting his visitor to the door.
Pavel Petrovich went out; Bazarov remained standing for a moment in front ofthe doorthen suddenly exclaimed"What the devil-- How fine and howstupid! A pretty farce we've been acting; like trained dogs dancing on theirhind legs. But it was out of the question to refuse; I really believe he wouldhave struck meand then . . ." (Bazarov turned pale at the very thought;all his pride stood up on end.) "I might have had to strangle him like akitten." He went back to his microscopebut his heart was beating fast andthe composure so essential for accurate observation had disappeared. "Hesaw us today" he thought"but can it be that he would do all this onaccount of his brother? And how serious a matter is it--a kiss? There must besomething else in it. Bah! Isn't he in love with her himself? Obviously he's inlove--it's as clear as daylight. What a messjust think . . . it's a badbusiness!" he decided at last. "It's bad from whatever angle one looksat it. In the first place to risk a bullet through one's brainand then in anycase to go away from here; and what about Arkady . . . and that good-naturedcreature Nikolai Petrovich? It's a bad business."
The day passed in a peculiar calm and dullness. Fenichka gave no sign of lifeat all; she sat in her little room like a mouse in its hole. Nikolai Petrovichhad a careworn look. He had just heard that his wheat crop on which he had sethigh hopes had begun to show signs of blightPavel Petrovich overwhelmedeveryoneeven Prokovichwith his icy politeness. Bazarov began a letter to hisfatherbut tore it up and threw it under the table. "If I die" hethought"they will hear about it; but I shan't die; noI shall strugglealong in this world for a long time yet." He gave Pyotr an order to come tohim on important business the next morning as soon as it was light. Pyotrimagined that Bazarov wanted to take him to Petersburg. Bazarov went to bedlateand all night long he was oppressed by disordered dreams . . . MadameOdintsov kept on appearing in them; now she was his mother and she was followedby a kitten with black whiskersand this kitten was really Fenichka; then PavelPetrovich took the shape of a great forestwith which he had still to fight.Pyotr woke him at four o'clock; he dressed at once and went out with him.
It was a lovely fresh morning; tiny flecked clouds stood overhead like fleecylambs in the clear blue sky; fine dewdrops lay on the leaves and grasssparkling like silver on the spiders' webs; the damp dark earth seemed still topreserve the rosy traces of the dawn; the songs of larks poured down from allover the sky. Bazarov walked as far as the plantationsat down in the shade atits edge and only then disclosed to Pyotr the nature of the service he expectedfrom him. The cultured valet was mortally alarmed; but Bazarov quieted him downby the assurance that he would have nothing to do except to stand at a distanceand look onand that he would not incur any sort of responsibility. "Andbesides" he added"only think what an important part you have toplay." Pyotr threw up his handscast down his eyesand leaned against abirch treelooking green with terror.
The road from Maryino skirted the plantation; a light dust lay on ituntouched by wheel or foot since the previous day. Bazarov found himself staringalong this roadpicking and chewing a piece of grassand he kept on repeatingto himself: "What a piece of idiocy!" The morning chill made himshiver twice . . . Pyotr looked at him dismallybut Bazarov only smiled; he wasnot frightened.
The tramp of horses' hoofs could be heard coming along the road . . . Apeasant came into sight from behind the trees. He was driving before him twohorses hobbled togetherand as he passed Bazarov he looked at him ratherstrangelywithout removing his capwhich evidently disturbed Pyotras anunlucky omen.
"There's someone else up early too" thought Bazarov"but heat least has got up for work while we . . ."
"It seems the gentleman is coming" whispered Pyotr suddenly.
Bazarov raised his head and caught sight of Pavel Petrovich. Dressed in alight checked coat and snow-white trousershe was walking quickly along theroad; under his arm he carried a box wrapped in green cloth.
"Excuse meI think I have kept you waiting" he saidbowing firstto Bazarov and then to Pyotrwhom he treated respectfully at that moment asrepresenting some kind of second. "I did not want to wake up my man."
"It doesn't matter" said Bazarov. "We've only just arrivedourselves."
"Ah! so much the better!" Pavel Petrovich looked around."There's no one in sight; no one to interfere with us . . we canproceed?"
"Let us proceed."
"You don't demand any more explanationsI suppose."
"Would you like to load?" inquired Pavel Petrovichtaking thepistols out of the box.
"No; you loadand I will measure out the paces. My legs arelonger" added Bazarov with a smile. "Onetwothree . . ."
"Evgeny Vassilich" stammered Pyotr with difficulty (he wastrembling as if he had fever)"say what you likebut I am going fartheroff."
"Fourfive . . . all rightmove awaymy good fellow; you can evenstand behind a tree and stop up your earsonly don't shut your eyes; and ifanyone fallsrun and pick him up. Six . . . seven . . . eight . . ."Bazarov stopped. "Is that enough?" he askedturning to PavelPetrovich"or shall I add two paces more?"
"As you like" replied the latterpressing the second bullet intothe barrel.
"Wellwe'll make two paces more" Bazarov drew a line on theground with the toe of his boot. "There's the barrier. By the wayhow manypaces may each of us go back from the barrier? That's an important question too.It was not discussed yesterday."
"I supposeten" replied Pavel Petrovichhanding Bazarov bothpistols. "Will you be so good as to choose?"
"I will be so good. But you must admitPavel Petrovichthat our duelis unusual to the point of absurdity. Only look at the face of our second."
"You are disposed to laugh at everything" answered PavelPetrovich. "I don't deny the strangeness of our duelbut I think it is myduty to warn you that I intend to fight seriously. A bon entendeursalut!"
"Oh! I don't doubt that we've made up our minds to do away with eachother; but why not laugh and unite utile dulci? So you can talk to me in Frenchand I'll reply in Latin."
"I intend to fight seriously" repeated Pavel Petrovich and hewalked off to his place. Bazarov on his side counted off ten paces from thebarrier and stood still.
"Are you ready?" asked Pavel Petrovich.
"We can approach each other."
Bazarov moved slowly forward and Pavel Petrovich walked towards himhis lefthand thrust in his pocketgradually raising the muzzle of his pistol . . ."He's aiming straight at my nose" thought Bazarov"and howcarefully he screws up his eyesthe scoundrel! Not an agreeable sensation. I'dbetter look at his watch-chain Something whizzed by sharply close to Bazarov'searand a shot rang out at that moment. "I heard itso it must be allright" managed to flash through Bazarov's brain. He took one more stepand without taking aimpressed the trigger.
Pavel Petrovich swayed slightly and clutched at his thigh. A thin stream ofblood began to trickle down his white trousers.
Bazarov threw his pistol aside and went up to his antagonist. "Are youwounded?" he asked.
"You had the right to call me up to the barrier" said PavelPetrovich. "This is a trifle. According to our agreementeach of us hasthe right to one more shot."
"Wellbut excuse mewe'll leave that to another time" answeredBazarovand caught hold of Pavel Petrovichwho was beginning to turn pale."Now I'm no longer a duelist but a doctorand first of all I must have alook at your wound. Pyotr! Come herePyotr! Where have you hiddenyourself?"
"What nonsense . . . I need help from nobody" said Pavel Petrovichjerkily"and--we must--again . . ." He tried to pull at his mustachebut his hand failed himhis eyes grew dimand he fainted.
"Here's a pretty pass. A fainting-fit! What next!" Bazarovexclaimed involuntarily as he laid Pavel Petrovich on the grass. "Let's seewhat is wrong." He pulled out a handkerchiefwiped away the bloodandbegan to feel around the wound . . . "The bone's not touched" hemuttered through his teeth"the bullet didn't go deep; only one musclevastus externus grazed. He'll be dancing about in three weeks. Fainting! Ohthese nervous people! Fancywhat a delicate skin."
"Is he killed?" whispered the trembling voice of Pyotr behind hisback.
Bazarov looked round.
"Go for some water quicklymy good fellowand he'll outlive you and meyet."
But the perfect servant failed apparently to understand his words and did notmove from the spot. Pavel Petrovich slowly opened his eyes. "He'sdying" murmured Pyotr and started crossing himself. "You are right .. . what an idiotic face!" remarked the wounded gentleman with a forcedsmile.
"Go and fetch the waterdamn you!" shouted Bazarov.
"There's no need . . . it was a momentary vertigo. Help me to sit up . .. therethat's right . . . I only need something to bind up this scratchand Ican reach home on footor else you can send for a droshky for me. The duelifyou agreeneed not be renewed. You have behaved honorably . . . todaytoday--take note."
"There's no need to recall the past" answered Bazarov"andas regards the futureit's not worth breaking your head about that eitherforI intend to move off from here immediately. Let me bind up your leg now; yourwound--is not dangerousbut it's always better to stop the bleeding. But firstI must bring this corpse to his senses."
Bazarov shook Pyotr by the collar and sent him off to fetch a droshky.
"Mind you don't frighten my brother" Pavel Petrovich said to him;"don't inform him on any account."
Pyotr dashed offand while he was running for a droshkythe two antagonistssat on the ground in silence. Pavel Petrovich tried not to look at Bazarov; hedid not want to be reconciled to him in any case; he felt ashamed of his ownarroganceof his failure; he was ashamed of the whole affair he had arrangedeven though he realized it could not have ended more auspiciously. "Atleast he won't go on hanging around here" he consoled himself by thinking:"one should be thankful even for that." The prolonged silence wasoppressive and awkward. Both of them felt ill at ease; each was conscious thatthe other understood him. For friends such a feeling is agreeablebut for thosewho are not friends it is most unpleasantespecially when it is impossibleeither to come to an understanding or to separate.
"Haven't I bound up your leg too tight?" asked Bazarov at last.
"Nonot at allit's excellent" answered Pavel Petrovichandadded after a pause"we can't deceive my brotherhe will have to be toldthat we quarreled about politics."
"Very good" said Bazarov. "You can say that I cursed allAnglomaniacs."
"All right. What do you suppose that man thinks about us now?"continued Pavel Petrovichpointing at the same peasant who had driven thehobbled horses past Bazarov a few minutes before the dueland who was now goingback again along the same road and took off his cap at the sight of the"masters."
"Who knows him!" answered Bazarov. "Most likely of all hethinks about nothing. The Russian peasant is that mysterious unknown personabout whom Mrs. Radcliffe used to say so much. Who can understand him? Hedoesn't understand himself."
"Ahso that's what you think" Pavel Petrovich beganthensuddenly exclaimed"Look what your fool of a Pyotr has done! Here's mybrother galloping towards us."
Bazarov turned round and saw Nikolai Petrovich sitting in a droshkyhis facepale. He jumped out before it had stopped and ran up to his brother.
"What does this mean?" he called out in an agitated voice."Evgeny Vassilichwhat is this?"
"Nothing" answered Pavel Petrovich"they have alarmed youquite unnecessarily. We had a little disputeMr. Bazarov and I--and I have hadto pay for it a little."
"But for heaven's sakewhat was it all about?"
"How shall I explain? Mr. Bazarov alluded disrespectfully to Sir RobertPeel. I hasten to add that I am the only person to blame in all thisand Mr.Bazarov has behaved honorably. I challenged him."
"But you're covered with blood!"
"Welldid you suppose I had water in my veins? But this bloodlettingpositively does me good. Isn't that sodoctor? Help me to get into the droshkyand don't give way to gloomy thoughts. I shall be quite well tomorrow. That'sit; excellent. Drive offcoachman."
Nikolai Petrovich followed the droshky on foot. Bazarov lagged behind . . .
"I must ask you to look after my brother" Nikolai Petrovich saidto him"until we get another doctor from the town."
Bazarov nodded his head without speaking. An hour later Pavel Petrovich wasalready lying in bed with a skillfully bandaged leg. The whole house was upset;Fenichka felt ill; Nikolai Petrovich was silently wringing his handswhilePavel Petrovich laughed and jokedespecially with Bazarov; he had put on a finecambric nightshirtan elegant morning jacketand a fez; he did not allow theblinds to be drawn downand humorously complained about the necessity of notbeing allowed to eat.
Towards nighthoweverhe grew feverish; his head ached. The doctor arrivedfrom the town. (Nikolai Petrovich would not listen to his brothernor didBazarov want him to; he sat the whole day in his roomlooking yellow and angryand only went in to the invalid for as brief a visit as possible; twice hehappened to meet Fenichkabut she shrank away from him in horror.) The newdoctor advised a cooling diet; he confirmedhoweverBazarov's assurance thatthere was no danger. Nikolai Petrovich told him that his brother had hurthimself accidentallyto which the doctor replied "Hm!" but on havingtwenty-five silver rubles slipped into his hand on the spothe remarked"You don't say so! Wellsuch things often happenof course."
No one in the house went to bed or undressed. Nikolai Petrovich from time totime went in on tiptoe to his brother's room and tiptoed out again; PavelPetrovich dozedsighed a littletold his brother in French"Couchez-vous" and asked for something to drink. Nikolai Petrovichsent Fenichka in to him once with a glass of lemonade; Pavel Petrovich looked ather intently and drank off the glass to the last drop. Towards morning the feverhad increased a little; a slight delirium started. At first Pavel Petrovichuttered incoherent words; then suddenly he opened his eyesand seeing hisbrother beside his bedanxiously leaning over himhe murmured"Don't youthinkNikolaiFenichka has something in common with Nellie?"
"What NelliePavel dear?"
"How can you ask that? With Princess R . Especially in the upper part ofthe face. C'est de la mme famille."
Nikolai Petrovich made no answerbut inwardly he marveled at the persistentvitality of old passions in a man. "This is what happens when it comes tothe surface" he thought.
"Ahhow I love that empty creature!" groaned Pavel Petrovichmournfully clasping his hands behind his head. "I can't bear that anyinsolent upstart should dare to touch . . ." he muttered a few minuteslater.
Nikolai Petrovich only sighed; he never even suspected to whom these wordsreferred.
Bazarov came to see him on the following day at eight o'clock. He had alreadymanaged to pack and had set free all his frogsinsects and birds.
"You have come to say good-by to me?" said Nikolai Petrovichgetting up to meet him.
"I understand and fully approve of you. My poor brother is of course toblame; but he has been punished for it. He told me that he made it impossiblefor you to act otherwise. I believe that you could not avoid this duelwhich .. . which to some extent is explained by the almost constant antagonism of yourdifferent points of view." (Nikolai Petrovich began to get rather mixed upin his words.) "My brother is a man of the old schoolhot-tempered andobstinate . . . thank God that it has only ended in this way. I have taken allpossible precautions to avoid publicity."
"I'll leave you my addressin case there's any fuss" said Bazarovcasually.
"I hope there will be no fussEvgeny Vassilich . . . I am very sorrythat your stay in my house should have come to . . . such an end. It distressesme all the more on account of Arkady's . . ."
"I expect I shall see him" replied Bazarovin whom every kind of"explanation" and "pronouncement" always aroused a feelingof impatience. "In case I don'tmay I ask you to say good-by to him for meand to accept the expression of my regret."
"And Itooask . . ." began Nikolai Petrovich with a bow. ButBazarov did not wait for him to finish his sentence and went out of the room.
On hearing that Bazarov was goingPavel Petrovich expressed a desire to seehim and shook him by the hand. But even then Bazarov remained as cold as ice; herealized that Pavel Petrovich wanted to display magnanimity. He found noopportunity of saying good-by to Fenichka; he only exchanged glances with herfrom the window. Her face struck him by its sad look. "She'll come togriefprobably" he said to himself"though she may pull throughsomehow!"
Pyotrhoweverwas so overcome that he wept on his shoulderuntil Bazarovcooled him down by asking if he had a constant water supply in his eyes; andDunyasha felt obliged to run away into the plantation to hide her emotion. Theoriginator of all this distress climbed into a country cartlit a cigarandwhenthree miles further on at a bend in the roadhe saw for the last time theKirsanovs' farmstead and its new manor house standing together on the sky linehe merely spat and muttering"Damned noblemen" wrapped himself moretightly in his cloak.
Pavel Petrovich was soon better; but he had to lie in bed for about a week.He bore his captivityas he called itfairly patientlythough he took greattrouble over his toilet and had everything scented with eau de Cologne. NikolaiPetrovich read papers to him; Fenichka waited on him as beforebrought himsouplemonadeboiled eggs and tea; but a secret dread seized her every timeshe came into his room. Pavel Petrovich's unexpected action had alarmed everyonein the houseand her most of all; Prokovich was the only person not troubled byitand he discoursed on how gentlemen used to fight in his day only with realgentlemenbut such low scoundrels they would have ordered to be horsewhipped inthe stables for their insolence.
Fenichka's conscience scarcely reproached herbut she was tormented at timesby the thought of the real cause of the quarrel; and Pavel Petrovichtoolooked at her so strangely . . . so that even when her back was turned she felthis eyes fixed on her. She grew thinner from constant inward agitation andasit happenedbecame still more charming.
One day--the incident took place in the early morning--Pavel Petrovich feltbetter and moved from his bed to the sofawhile Nikolai Petrovichhavingpreviously made inquiries about his brother's healthwent off to the threshingfloor. Fenichka brought him a cup of teaand setting it down on a little tablewas about to withdrawPavel Petrovich detained her.
"Where are you going in such a hurryFedosya Nikolayevna" hebegan"are you so busy?"
"No . . . yesI have to pour out tea."
"Dunyasha will do that without you; sit down for a little while with aninvalid. By the wayI must have a talk with you."
Fenichka sat down on the edge of an armchair without speaking.
"Listen" said Pavel Petrovichpulling at his mustache"Ihave wanted to ask you for a long time; you seem somehow afraid of me."
"I . . . ?"
"Yesyou. You never look me in the faceas if your conscience were notclear."
Fenichka blushed but looked up at Pavel Petrovich. He seemed so strange toher and her heart began quietly throbbing. "Surely you have a clearconscience?" he asked her.
"Why should it not be clear?" she whispered.
"Why indeed. Besideswhom could you have wronged? Me? That is unlikely.Any other people living in the house? That is also a fantastic idea. Could it bemy brother? But surely you love him?"
"I love him."
"With your whole soulwith your whole heart?"
"I love Nikolai Petrovich with my whole heart."
"Truly? Look at meFenichka." (He called her by that name for thefirst time.) . . . "You knowit is a great sin to tell lies!"
"I am not lyingPavel Petrovich. If I did not love Nikolai Petrovichthere would be no point in my living any longer."
"And you will never give him up for anyone else?"
"For whom else could I give him up?"
"For whom indeed! Wellwhat about that gentleman who has just gone awayfrom here?"
Fenichka got up.
"My GodPavel Petrovichwhy are you torturing me? What have I done toyou? How can you say such things?"
"Fenichka" said Pavel Petrovich in a sad voice"you know Isaw . . ."
"What did you see?"
"Wellthere . . . in the summerhouse."
Fenichka blushed to the roots of her hair and to her ears. "How can I beblamed for that?" she pronounced with an effort.
Pavel Petrovich raised himself up. "You were not to blame? No? Not atall?"
"I love Nikolai Petrovich and no one else in the world and I shallalways love him!" cried Fenichka with sudden forcewhile sobs rose in herthroat. "As for what you sawI will say on the dreadful day of lastjudgment that I am innocent of any blame for it and always wasand I wouldrather die at once if people can suspect me of any such thing against mybenefactorNikolai Petrovich . . ."
But here her voice failedand at the same moment she felt that PavelPetrovich was seizing and pressing her hand . . . She looked at him and wasalmost petrified. He had turned even paler than before; his eyes were shiningand most surprising of all--one large solitary tear was rolling down his cheek."Fenichka!" he said in a strange whisper. "Love himlove mybrother! He is such a good kind man. Don't give him up for anyonedon't listento anyone else's talk. Only thinkwhat can be more terrible than to love andnot to be loved in return. Never leave my poor Nikolai!" Fenichka's eyeswere dry and her fright had vanished--so great was her amazement. But what wereher feelings when Pavel PetrovichPavel Petrovich of all peoplepressed herhand to his lips and seemed to pierce into it without kissing itonly breathingconvulsively from time to time . . .
"Good heavens!" she thought"is he suffering from someattack?"
At that moment his whole ruined life stirred within him.
The staircase creaked under rapidly approaching footsteps. . . . He pushedher away from him and let his head drop back on the pillow. The door openedandNikolai Petrovich came inlooking cheerfulfresh and ruddy. Mityajust asfresh and rosy as his fatherwith nothing but his little shirt onwas friskingabout in his armssnatching with bare little toes at the buttons of his roughcountry coat.
Fenichka simply flung herself upon him and clasping him and her son togetherin her armsdropped her head on his shoulder. Nikolai Petrovich was astonished;Fenichkaso shy and modestnever demonstrated her feelings for him in front ofa third person.
"What's the matter?" he saidand glancing at his brother he handedMitya to her. "You don't feel worse?" he askedgoing up to PavelPetrovichwho buried his face in a cambric handkerchief.
"No . . . not at all . . . on the contraryI am much better."
"You shouldn't have been in such a hurry to move to the sofa. Where areyou going?" added Nikolai Petrovichturning towards Fenichkabut she hadalready closed the door behind her. "I was bringing my young hero in toshow you; he has been crying for his uncle. Why did she carry him off? What'swrong with youthough? Has anything happened between you?"
"Brother!" said Pavel Petrovich gravely. "Give me your word tocarry out my one request."
"What requesttell me."
"It is very important; it seems to me the whole happiness of your lifedepends on it. I have been thinking a lot all this time about what I want to sayto you now . . . Brotherdo your dutythe duty of an honest and generous manput an end to the scandal and the bad example you are setting--youthe best ofmen!"
"What do you meanPavel?"
"Marry Fenichka . . . she loves you; she is--the mother of yourson."
Nikolai Petrovich moved a step backwards and threw up his hands. "Yousay thatPavel? Youwhom I always took for the most relentless opponent ofsuch marriages! You say that! But don't you know that it was only out of respectfor you that I have not done what you rightly called my duty!"
"Your respect for me was quite mistaken in this case" said PavelPetrovich with a weary smile. "I begin to think that Bazarov was right whenhe accused me of being an aristocratic snob. Nodear brotherlet us stopworrying ourselves about the opinion of the outside world; we are elderly humblepeople by now; it's high time we laid aside all these empty vanities. We must doour dutyjust as you sayand maybe we shall find happiness that way inaddition."
Nikolai Petrovich rushed over to embrace his brother. "You have reallyopened my eyes" he exclaimed. "I was right in always maintaining thatyou are the kindest and wisest man in the worldand now I see you are just asreasonable as you are generous-minded."
"Softlysoftly" Pavel Petrovich interrupted him. "Don'tknock the leg of your reasonable brother who at close on fifty has been fightinga duel like a young lieutenant. Sothenthe matter is settled; Fenichka is tobe my . . . belle-soeur."
"My darling Pavel! But what will Arkady say?"
"Arkady? He'll be enthusiasticof course! Marriage is not a principlefor himbut on the other hand his sentiment of equality will be gratified. Yesand after all what is the good of caste divisions au dix-neuvimesicle?"
"AhPavelPavel! let me kiss you once more! Don't be afraidI'll becareful."
The brothers embraced each other.
"What do you thinkshouldn't you tell her straight away what you intendto do?"
"Why should we hurry?" answered Nikolai Petrovich. "Did youhave a conversation with her?"
"A conversationbetween us? Quelle ide!"
"Wellthat's all right. First of allyou must get well; it won't runaway from usand meanwhile we must think it over and consider . . ."
"But surely you have made up your mind?"
"Of course I haveand I thank you from the bottom of my heart. I willleave you now; you must rest; any excitement is bad for you . . . But we willtalk it over another time. Go to sleepmy dearand God grant you goodhealth!"
"Why does he thank me like that?" thought Pavel Petrovichwhen hewas left alone. "As if it did not depend on himself! Then as soon as hemarries I will go away somewherefar from hereto Dresden or Florenceand Iwill live there till I expire." Pavel Petrovich moistened his forehead witheau de Cologne and closed his eyes. Lit up by the brilliant daylighthisbeautiful emaciated head lay on the white pillow like the head of a dead man . .. And indeed he was a dead man.
AT NIKOLSKOE KATYA AND ARKADY WERE SITTING IN THE GARDEN on a turf seat inthe shade of a tall ash tree; Fifi had placed herself on the ground near themgiving her long body that graceful curve which is known among sportsmen as the"hare's bend." Both Arkady and Katya were silent; he held in his handsa half-open bookwhile she was picking out of a basket some remaining crumbs ofwhite bread and throwing them to the small family of sparrows which with theirpeculiar cowardly impudence were chirping and hopping around right up to herfeet. A faint breezestirring the ash leaveskept gently moving pale goldpatches of sunlight up and down across the shady path and over Fifi's back; anunbroken shadow fell on Arkady and Katya; only from time to time a bright streakgleamed in her hair. Both were silentbut the way in which they were silent andsitting together indicated a certain confidential friendliness; each of themseemed not to be thinking of the otherwhile secretly rejoicing at each other'spresence. Their facestoohad changed since we saw them last; Arkady seemedmore composed and Katya brighter and more self-confident.
"Don't you think" began Arkady"that the ash has been verywell named in Russian Yasen; not a single other tree is so light andtranslucently clear (yasno) against the sky."
Katya raised her eyes upwards and murmured"Yes" and Arkadythought"Wellshe doesn't reproach me for talking poetically."
"I don't care for Heine" said Katyaglancing at the book whichArkady held in his hands"either when he laughs or when he weeps. I likehim when he is thoughtful and sad."
"And I like him when he laughs" remarked Arkady.
"Those are the relics of your old satirical tendency."("Relics" thought Arkady. "If Bazarov could have heardthat!") "Wait a bit; we shall transform you.
"Who will transform me? You?"
"Who? My sisterPorfiry Platonovichwhom you've stopped quarrelingwithmy auntwhom you escorted to church the day before yesterday."
"WellI couldn't refuse. Butas for Anna Sergeyevnayou remember sheagreed with Evgeny in a great many things."
"My sister was under his influence thenjust as you were."
"As I was! Have you noticed that I've already shaken off hisinfluence?"
Katya remained silent.
"I know" continued Arkady"you never liked him."
"I'm unable to judge him."
"Do you knowKaterina Sergeyevnaevery time I hear that answerIdon't believe it . . . there is no one beyond the capacity of judgment of any ofus! That is just a pretext for getting out of it."
"WellI'll tell you thenhe is . . . not because I don't like himbutI feel he is quite alien to meand I am alien to him . . . and you too arealien to him."
"Why is that?"
"How can I tell you? He's a wild beastwhile we are both domesticanimals."
"And am I a domestic animal?"
Katya nodded her head.
Arkady scratched his ear. "ListenKaterina Sergeyevnasurely that isin the nature of an insult."
"Whywould you rather be wild?"
"Not wildbut powerfulenergetic."
"It's no good wishing to be that . . . your friendyou seedoesn'twish for itbut he has it."
"Hm! So you suppose he had a great influence on Anna Sergeyevna?"
"Yes. But no one can keep the upper hand of her for long" addedKatya in a low voice.
"Why do you think that?"
"She's very proud . . . I didn't mean to say that . . she values herindependence very much."
"Who doesn't value it?" asked Arkadyand the thought flashedthrough his mind: "What is it for?" The same thought occurred toKatya. Young people who are friendly and often together constantly findthemselves thinking the same thoughts.
Arkady smiled andcoming a little closer to Katyahe said in a whisper:"Confessyou are a little afraid of her."
"Of her" repeated Arkady significantly.
"And how about you?" asked Katya in her turn.
"I am also. Please note I saidI am also."
Katya wagged her finger at him threateningly.
"I wonder at that" she began; "my sister has never felt sofriendly towards you as just now; much more than when you first came here."
"And you haven't noticed it? Aren't you glad about it?"
Arkady became thoughtful.
"How have I succeeded in winning Anna Sergeyevna's favor? Could it bebecause I brought her your mother's letters?"
"Both for that and for other reasons which I won't tell you."
"I shan't say."
"OhI knowyou're very obstinate."
Katya cast a sidelong glance at Arkady. "Perhaps so; does that annoyyou? What are you thinking about?"
"I'm wondering how you have grown to be so observant as you certainlyare. You are so shy and distrustful; you keep everyone at a distance . . ."
"I live so much alone; that in itself leads to thoughtfulness. But do Ikeep everyone at a distance?"
Arkady flung a grateful glance at Katya.
"That's all very well" he went on; "but people in yourposition--I mean with your fortuneseldom possess that gift; it is hard forthemas it is for emperorsto get at the truth."
"Butyou seeI am not rich."
Arkady was surprised and did not at once understand Katya. "Whyas amatter of factthe property is all her sister's!" struck him suddenly; thethought was not disagreeable to him.
"How nicely you said that" he remarked.
"You said it nicelysimplywithout either being ashamed or making muchof it. By the wayI imagine there must always be something speciala kind ofpride in the feeling of a person who knows and says that he is poor."
"I have never experienced anything of that sortthanks to my sister. Ireferred to my position just now only because it happened to come up in ourconversation."
"Wellbut you must admit that even you have something of that pride Ispoke of just now."
"For instancesurely you--excuse my question--you wouldn't be willingto marry a rich man?"
"If I loved him very much . . . noprobably even then I wouldn't marryhim."
"Thereyou see!" cried Arkadyand after a moment's pause headded"And why wouldn't you marry him?"
"Because even in the ballads unequal matches are always unlucky."
"Perhaps you want to dominateor . . ."
"Ohno! What's the good of that? On the contraryI'm ready to obey;only inequality is difficult. But to keep one's self-respect and to obey--that Ican understand; that is happiness; but a subordinate existence . . . noI'vehad enough of that as it is."
"Had enough of that" repeated Arkady after Katya. "You're notAnna Sergeyevna's sister for nothing; you're just as independent as she is; butyou're more reserved. I'm sure you would never be the first to express yourfeelingshowever strong or sacred . . ."
"Wellwhat would you expect?" asked Katya.
"You are equally intelligent; you have as much characterif not morethan she . . ."
"Don't compare me with my sisterplease" interrupted Katyahurriedly; "it puts me too much at a disadvantage. You seem to forget thatmy sister is beautiful and clever and . . . you in particularArkady Nikolaichought not to say such things and with such a serious face too."
"What does that mean? 'You in particular.' And what makes you concludethat I'm joking?"
"Of course you're joking."
"Do you think so? But what if I'm convinced of what I say? If I findthat I've not even put it strongly enough?"
"I don't understand you."
"Really? Wellnow I see that I certainly overestimated your powers ofobservation."
"How is that?"
Arkady made no answer and turned awaybut Katya searched for a few morecrumbs in the basket and began throwing them to the sparrows; but she moved herarm too vigorously and the birds flew away without stopping to pick them up.
"Katerina Sergeyevna" began Arkady suddenly"it is probablya matter of indifference to you; but you should knowI would not exchange youneither for your sisternor for anyone else in the world."
He got up and walked quickly awayas if he were frightened by the wordswhich had burst from his lips.
Katya let her two hands drop together with the basketon to her kneesandwith bowed head she gazed for some time after Arkady. Gradually a crimson flushspread a little to her cheeksbut her lips did not smileand her dark eyes hada look of perplexity and of some other still undefined feeling.
"Are you alone?" sounded the voice of Anna Sergeyevnaquite closeto her. "I thought you came into the garden with Arkady."
Katya slowly raised her eyes to her sister (elegantlyalmost elaboratelydressedshe was standing on the path and tickling Fifi's ears with the tip ofher parasol) and slowly answered"I'm alone."
"So I see" answered the other sister with a laugh. "I supposehe has gone back to his room."
"Were you reading together?"
Anna Sergeyevna took Katya under the chin and raised her face.
"You didn't quarrelI hope."
"No" said Katyaquietly moving away her sister's hand.
"How solemnly you answer. I thought I should find him here and was goingto suggest a walk with him. He keeps on asking me about it. They have broughtyour new shoes from the town; go and try them on; I noticed yesterday that yourold ones are quite worn out. Really you don't pay enough attention to thesethings; but all the same you've got such lovely little feet! And your hands aregood . . . only rather large; so you must make the most of your feet. But you'renot a flirt."
Anna Sergeyevna went farther down the pathher beautiful dress rustlingslightly as she walked.
Katya rose from the benchand taking Heine with heralso went off--only notto try on the new shoes.
"Lovely little feet" she thoughtas she slowly and lightlymounted the stone steps of the terrace which were burning from the heat of thesun. "Lovely little feetyou call them . . . Wellhe shall be at myfeet."
But a feeling of shame came over her at onceand she ran swiftly upstairs.
Arkady was going along the passage to his room when he was overtaken by thebutlerwho announced that Mr. Bazarov was sitting in his room.
"Evgeny!" muttered Arkady in a startled tone. "Has he beenhere long?"
"He has arrived only this minuteand gave orders not to be announced toAnna Sergeyevna but to be shown straight up to you."
"Can any misfortune have happened at home?" thought Arkadyandrunning hurriedly up the stairs he opened the door at once. The sight of Bazarovimmediately reassured himthough a more experienced eye would probably havediscerned signs of inward excitement in the sunken but still energetic face ofthe unexpected visitor. With a dusty cloak over his shouldersand a cap on hisheadhe was sitting by the window; he did not even get up when Arkady flunghimself on his neck with loud exclamations.
"Wellhow unexpected! What good luck has brought you?" he kept onrepeatingbustling about the room like someone who both imagines and wants toshow that he is pleased. "I suppose everything is all right at home;they're all wellaren't they?"
"Everything is all right therebut not everyone is well" saidBazarov. "But don't go on chatteringget them to bring me some kvasssitdown and listen to what I'm going to tell youin a fewbutI hopefairlyvigorous sentences."
Arkady kept quiet while Bazarov told him about his duel with Pavel Petrovich.Arkady was greatly surprised and even upsetbut he did not think it necessaryto show this; he asked only whether his uncle's wound was really not seriousand on receiving the reply that it was--most interestingthough not from amedical point of view--he gave a forced smilebut he felt sick at heart andsomehow ashamed. Bazarov seemed to understand him.
"Yesbrother" he said"you see what comes of living withfeudal people. One becomes feudal oneself and takes part in knightlytournaments. Wellso I set off for my father's place" Bazarov concluded"and on the way I turned in here . . . to tell you all thisI should sayif I didn't think it a useless and stupid lie. NoI turned in here--the devilknows why. You see it's sometimes a good thing for a man to take himself by thescruff of the neck and pull himself awaylike a radish out of its bed; that'swhat I've just done . . . But I wanted to take one more look at what I've partedcompany withat the bed where I've been sitting."
"I hope that those words don't apply to me" retorted Arkadyexcitedly. "I hope you don't think of parting from me."
Bazarov looked at him intently; his eyes were almost piercing.
"Would that upset you so much? It strikes me that you have parted fromme already; you look so fresh and smart . . . your affairs with Anna Sergeyevnamust be proceeding very well."
"What do you mean by my affairs with Anna Sergeyevna?"
"Whydidn't you come here from the town on her accountmy little bird?By the wayhow are those Sunday schools getting on? Do you mean to tell meyou're not in love with her? Or have you already reached the stage of beingbashful about it?"
"Evgenyyou know I've always been frank with you; I can assure youIswear to youyou're making a mistake."
"Hm! A new story" remarked Bazarov under his breath"but youneedn't get agitated about itfor it's a matter of complete indifference to me.A romantic would say: I feel that our roads are beginning to branch out indifferent directionsbut I will simply say that we're tired of eachother."
"Evgeny . . ."
"There's no harm in thatmy good soul; one gets tired of plenty ofother things in the world! And now I think we had better say good-by. Ever sinceI've been here I've felt so disgustingjust as if I'd been reading Gogol'sletters to the wife of the Governor of Kaluga. By the wayI didn't tell them tounharness the horses."
"Good heavensthat's impossible!"
"I say nothing of myselfbut it would be the height of discourtesy toAnna Sergeyevnawho will certainly want to see you."
"Wellyou're mistaken there."
"On the contraryI'm convinced that I'm right" retorted Arkady."And what are you pretending for? For that matterhaven't you come herebecause of her?"
"That might even be truebut you're mistaken all the same." ButArkady was right. Anna Sergeyevna wanted to see Bazarov and sent a message tohim to that effect through the butler. Bazarov changed his clothes before hewent to her; it turned out that he had packed his new suit in such a way as tobe able to take it out easily.
Madame Odintsov received himnot in the room where he had so unexpectedlydeclared his love to herbut in the drawing room. She held her finger tips outto him amiablybut her face showed signs of involuntary tension.
"Anna Sergeyevna" Bazarov hastened to say"first of all Imust set your mind at rest. Before you stands a simple mortalwho came to hissenses long agoand hopes that other people too have forgotten his follies. Iam going away for a long timeand though I'm by no means a soft creatureIshould be sorry to carry away with me the thought that you remember me withabhorrence."
Anna Sergeyevna gave a deep sigh like one who has just climbed to the top ofa high mountainand her face lit up with a smile. She held out her hand toBazarov a second time and responded to his pressure.
"Let bygones be bygones" she said"all the more sosinceto say what is on my conscienceI was also to blame theneither for flirtingor for something else. In a wordlet us be friends as we were before. The otherwas a dreamwasn't it? And who remembers dreams?"
"Who remembers them? And besideslove . . . surely it's an imaginaryfeeling."
"Indeed? I am very pleased to hear that." Anna Sergeyevna expressedherself thus and so did Bazarov; they both thought they were speaking the truth.Was the truththe whole truthto be found in their words? They themselves didnot knowmuch less could the author. But a conversation ensued between themjust as if they believed one another completely.
Anna Sergeyevna asked Bazarovamong other thingswhat he had been doing atthe Kirsanovs'. He was on the point of telling her about his duel with PavelPetrovichbut he checked himself with the thought that she might suppose he wastrying to make himself interestingand answered that he had been working thewhole time.
"And I" observed Anna Sergeyevna"had a fit of depression tostart withgoodness knows why; I even planned to go abroadjust fancy! Butthat passed off; your friend Arkady Nikolaich arrivedand I settled down to myroutine againto my proper function."
"And what is that functionmay I ask?"
"To be an auntguardianmother--call it what you like. Incidentallydo you know I used not to understand before your close friendship with ArkadyNikolaich; I found him rather insignificant. But now I have got to know himbetterand I recognize his intelligence . . . but he is youngso youngit's agreat thing . . . not like you and meEvgeny Vassilich."
"Is he still shy in your presence?" asked Bazarov.
"But was he . . ." began Anna Sergeyevnaand after a short pauseshe went on. "He has grown more trustful now; he talks to me; formerly heused to avoid me; thoughas a matter of factI didn't seek his society either.He is more Katya's friend."
Bazarov felt vexed. "A woman can't help being a hypocrite" hethought.
"You say he used to avoid you" he said aloud with a cold smile;"but probably it's no secret to you that he was in love with you?"
"What? He too?" ejaculated Anna Sergeyevna.
"He too" repeated Bazarovwith a submissive bow. "Can it bethat you didn't know it and that I've told you something new?"
Anna Sergeyevna lowered her eyes. "You are mistakenEvgenyVassilich."
"I don't think so. But perhaps I ought not to have mentioned it."
"And don't you try to fool me any more" he added to himself.
"Why not mention it? But I imagine that here as well you attach too muchimportance to a transitory impression. I begin to suspect that you are inclinedto exaggerate."
"We had better not talk about thatAnna Sergeyevna."
"And why?" she repliedbut herself diverted the conversation intoanother channel. She still felt ill at ease with Bazarovthough she had bothtold and assured herself that everything was forgotten. While exchanging thesimplest remarks with himeven when she joked with himshe was conscious of anembarrassed fear. Thus do people on a steamer at sea talk and laugh carelesslyfor all the world as if they were on dry land; but the moment there is somehitchif the smallest sign appears of something unusualthere emerges at onceon every face an expression of peculiar alarmrevealing the constant awarenessof constant danger.
Anna Sergeyevna's conversation with Bazarov did not last long. She began tohe absorbed in her own thoughtsto answer absentmindedly and ended bysuggesting that they should go into the hallwhere they found the princess andKatya.
"But where is Arkady Nikolaich?" asked the hostessand on hearingthat he had not been seen for more than an hourshe sent someone to look forhim. He was not found at once; he had hidden himself away in the wildest part ofthe gardenand with his chin propped on his folded handshe was sittingwrapped in thought. His thoughts were deep and seriousbut not mournful. Heknew that Anna Sergeyevna was sitting alone with Bazarovand he felt nojealousy as he had before; on the contraryhis face slowly brightened; itseemed as if he was at once wondering and rejoicing and deciding to dosomething.
THE LATE ODINTSOV HAD DISLIKED INNOVATIONSBUT HE admitted "a certainplay of ennobled taste" and had consequently erected in his gardenbetweenthe hothouse and the lakea building in the style of a Creek templemade ofRussian brick. Along the windowless back wall of this temple or gallery wereplaced six niches for statueswhich Odintsov proceeded to order from abroad.These statues were intended to represent SolitudeSilenceMeditationMelancholyModesty and Sensibility. One of themthe Goddess of Silencewithher finger on her lipshad been delivered and placed in position; but on thevery same day some of the farm boys knocked off her noseand although theneighboring plasterer undertook to make her a new nose"twice as good asthe previous one" Odintsov ordered her to be removedand she could stillbe seen in the corner of the threshing barnwhere she had stood for many yearsa source of superstitious terror to the peasant women. The front part of thetemple had long ago been overgrown with thick bushes; only the capitals of thecolumns could be seen above the thick green. Inside the temple itself it wascool even at midday. Anna Sergeyevna did not like visiting this place ever sinceshe had seen a snake there; but Katya often came and sat on a wide stone seatconstructed under one of the niches. Heresurrounded by shade and coolnesssheused to read and workor give herself up to that sensation of perfect peaceknown probably to everyonethe charm of which consists in the half-consciousmute listening to that vast current of life which uninterruptedly flows botharound us and within us.
On the day after Bazarov's arrivalKatya was sitting on her favorite stoneseatand Arkady was sitting beside her again. He had begged her to come withhim to the temple.
It was about an hour before lunchtime; the dewy morning had given place to ahot day. Arkady's face retained the expression of the preceding day; Katyalooked preoccupied. Her sisterimmediately after their morning teahad calledher into her studyand after some preliminary caresses--which always ratheralarmed Katya--advised her to be more guarded in her behavior with Arkadyandto avoid solitary talks with himwhich had attracted the attention of her auntand the household. Apart from thatAnna Sergeyevna was still in a bad mood fromthe evening beforeand Katya herself felt embarrassedas if she had donesomething wrong. When she yielded to Arkady's entreatiesshe said to herselfthat it was for the last time.
"Katerina Sergeyevna" he began with a sort of bashfulcarelessness"ever since I have had the happiness of living under the sameroof with youI have discussed many things with youbut meanwhile there is onevery important question--for me--which I have not yet touched on. You remarkedyesterday that I have been transformed here" he went onat once catchingand avoiding the inquiring look which Katya fixed on him. "In fact I havechanged a lotand you know that better than anyone else--you to whom above allI owe this change."
"I . . . ? Me . . . ?" said Katya.
"I am no longer now the conceited boy I was when I arrived here"went on Arkady. "I've not reached the age of twenty-three for nothing; asbefore I want to be usefulI want to devote all my powers to the truth; but Idon't look for my ideals where I used to look before; they have shown themselvesto me . . . so much nearer. Up till now I failed to understand myselfI setmyself tasks which were beyond my strength . . . My eyes have recently beenopenedthanks to one feeling . . . I'm not expressing myself quite clearlybutI hope you understand me . . ."
Katya made no replybut she stopped looking at Arkady.
"I suppose" he began againthis time in a more agitated voicewhile above his head a chaffinch sang its song heedlessly among the leaves of abirch tree"I suppose it is the duty of every honest person to beabsolutely frank with those . . . with those peoplewho . . . in a wordwiththose who are near to himand so I . . . I intend . . ."
But at this point Arkady's eloquence abandoned him; he fumbled for wordsstammered and was obliged to pause for a while. Katya still did not raise hereyes. It seemed as though she did not even understand what he was leading up towith all thisas though she were awaiting something.
"I foresee that I shall surprise you" began Arkadypullinghimself together again with an effort; "all the more since this feeling isconnected in a certain way--in a certain wayremember--with you. You reproachedme yesterdayyou rememberfor a lack of seriousness" Arkady went on withthe air of a person who has walked into a swampfeels that he is sinking indeeper and deeper at every stepand yet hurries forward in the hope of crossingit quicker; "that reproach is often aimed . . . often falls . . . on youngmen even when they no longer deserve it; and if I had more self-confidence . .." ("Comehelp medo help me" Arkady was thinking indesperationbut Katya kept her head averted as before.) "If I could hope .. ."
"If I could feel convinced of what you said" sounded at thatmoment the clear voice of Anna Sergeyevna.
Arkady fell silent at once and Katya turned pale. Alongside the very busheswhich screened the temple ran a little path. Anna Sergeyevna was walking alongit accompanied by Bazarov. Katya and Arkady could not see thembut they heardevery wordthe rustle of their clothestheir very breathing. They walked on afew steps and thenas if on purposestopped right opposite the temple.
"You see" continued Anna Sergeyevna"you and I made amistake; we have both passed our first youthful stageI particularly; we haveseen lifewe are tired; we are both intelligent--why pretend otfierwise?--atfirst we were interested in each otherour curiosity was aroused . . . andafterwards. . ."
"And afterwards my interest fell flat" interposed Bazarov.
"You know that was not the cause of our misunderstanding. But howeverthat may bewe did not need each otherthat's the main thing; there was in us. . . how shall I put it? . . . too much of the same thing. We did not realizethat straight away. Now Arkadyon the contrary . . ."
"Do you need him?" asked Bazarov.
"StopEvgeny Vassilich. You say he is not indifferent to meand italways seemed to me that he liked me. I know that I could well be his auntbutI don't want to conceal from you that I have begun to think about him moreoften. In that fresh youthful feeling there is a special charm . . ."
"The word fascination is more often used in such cases"interrupted Bazarov; a violent suppressed bitterness could be detected in thesteady but hollow tone of his voice. "Arkady was secretive with me aboutsomething yesterdayand wouldn't talk about either you or your sister . . .that's a serious symptom."
"He's just like a brother with Katya" remarked Anna Sergeyevna"and I like that in himthough perhaps I ought not to have let them becomeso intimate."
"Is that idea prompted by your feelings . . . as a sister?" saidBazarovdragging out his words.
"Of course . . . but why are we standing here? Let us go on. What astrange talk we're havingaren't we? I could never have believed I should talkto you like this. You knowI'm afraid of you . . . and at the same time I trustyoubecause at bottom you are very good."
"In the first placeI'm far from good; and in the second place I nolonger mean anything to youand you tell me that I am good . . . It's just likeplacing a wreath of flowers round the head of a corpse."
"Evgeny Vassilichwe are not masters . . ." began Anna Sergeyevna;but a gust of wind blew acrossstarted the leaves rustling and carried away herwords.
"Of courseyou are free" said Bazarov after a pause. Nothing morecould be distinguished; the steps went farther away . . . all became quietagain.
Arkady turned to Katya. She was sitting in the same positionbut her headbent still lower.
"Katerina Sergeyevna" he said; his voice shook and he clenched hishands; "I love you--forever and irrevocablyand I love no one except you.I wanted to tell you thisto find out what you will say and to ask you to marrymebecauseof courseI'm not rich and I feel ready for any kind of sacrifice. . . You don't answer? You don't believe me? Do you think I'm talking lightly?But remember these last days! Surely you must be convinced by now thateverything else--you understand me--absolutely everything else has vanished longago and left no trace? Look at mesay one word to me . . . I love . . . I loveyou . . . believe me."
Katya turned her eyes to Arkady with a grave and radiant lookand after along reflective pauseshe murmuredsmiling slightly"Yes."
Arkady jumped up from the seat.
"Yes! You said 'yes' Katerina Sergeyevna! What does that word mean?Just that I love youthat you believe me . . . or . . . I daren't go on .."
"Yes" repeated Katyaand this time he understood her. He seizedher large beautiful hands andbreathless with enthusiasmhe pressed them tohis heart. He could hardly stand on his feetand only kept on repeating"KatyaKatya . . ." and she began to weep in such an innocent waysmiling gently at her own tears. Whoever has not seen such tears in the eyes ofa beloved person has not yet experienced to what an extentoverwhelmed withgratitude and awea human being may find happiness on earth.
The next day in the early morningAnna Sergeyevna sent a message askingBazarov to come to her studyand with a strained laugh she handed him a foldedsheet of notepaper. It was a letter from Arkadyin which he asked for hersister's hand in marriage.
Bazarov quickly read through the letterand could only with some effortconceal the malicious impulse which at once flared up within him.
"So there it is" he remarked"and apparently you thought nolonger ago than yesterday that his feelings for Katerina Sergeyevna were of thebrotherly sort. What do you intend to do now?"
"What would you advise me to do?" asked Anna Sergeyevnacontinuingto laugh.
"WellI suppose" answered Bazarovalso with a laughthough hefelt anything but gay and no more wanted to laugh than she did; "I supposeyou ought to give the young people your blessing. It's a good match from everypoint of view; Kirsanov is tolerably well offhe's the only sonand hisfather's a good-natured fellow; he won't object."
Madame Odintsov walked up and down the room. Her face flushed and turned paleby turns.
"You think so?" she said. "WellI see no obstacles . . . I'mglad for Katya . . . and for Arkady Nikolaich. Of courseI shall wait for hisfather's answer. I will send him in person to him. So it turns out that I wasright yesterday when I told you that we have both become old people. . . . Howwas it I noticed nothing? That surprises me."
Anna Sergeyevna laughed again and quickly turned her head away.
"The younger generation of today has grown painfully cunning"remarked Bazarovand he also gave a short laugh. "Good-by" he beganagain after a short silence. "I hope you will bring this affair to the mostagreeable conclusion; and I will rejoice from a distance."
Madame Odintsov turned to him quickly. "Are you going away? Whyshouldn't you stay now? Do stay . . . it's such fun talking to you . . . oneseems to be walking on the edge of a precipice. At first one feels timidbutone gets somehow exhilarated as one goes along. Won't you stay?"
"Thank you for the invitationAnna Sergeyevnaand for your flatteringopinion of my conversational talents. But I find I've already been moving aroundfor too long in a sphere which is alien to me. Flying fish can hold out for atime in the airbut soon they have to splash back into the water; you mustallow me too to flop down into my natural element."
Madame Odintsov looked at Bazarov. A bitter smile twisted his pale face."This man loved me" she thoughtand she felt sorry for him and heldout her hand with sympathy.
But he too understood her. "No" he saidstepping back a pace."I'm a poor manbut I've never accepted charity so far. Good-by and goodluck."
"I am sure that we are not seeing each other for the last time"said Anna Sergeyevna with an unconscious movement.
"Anything can happen in this world" answered Bazarovand he bowedand went out.
"So you propose to build yourself a nest?" he said the same day toArkadycrouching on the floor as he packed his trunk. "Wellit's a goodthing. Only you needn't have been such a humbug about it. I expected you'd go inquite a different direction. Perhapsthoughit took you unawares?"
"I certainly didn't expect this when I left you" answered Arkady;"but why are you being a humbug yourself and calling it a 'good thing' asif I didn't know your opinion of marriage?"
"Ahmy dear friend" said Bazarov"how you express yourself.You see what I'm doing; there happened to be an empty space in my trunkand I'mputting hay into it; that's how it is with the luggage of our life; we wouldstuff it up with anything rather than leave a void. Don't be offendedplease;you probably remember what I always thought of Katerina Sergeyevna. Many a younglady is called intelligent simply because she can sigh intelligently; but yourscan hold her ownand indeed she'll hold it so well that she'll have you underher thumb--welland that's quite as it should be." He slammed the lid andgot up from the floor. "And now I say againfarewell . . . because it'suseless to deceive ourselves; we are parting foreverand you know it yourself .. . you acted sensibly; you were not made for our bitterroughlonelyexistence. There's no daring in youno hatredthough you've got youthful dashand youthful fervor; that's not enough for our business. Your sortthenobilitycan never go farther than noble resignation or noble indignationbutthose things are trifles. For instanceyou won't fight--and yet you fancyyourselves as brave fellows--but we want to fight. So there! Our dust would getinto your eyesour mud would soil youbut you're not up to our standardyouunconsciously admire yourselves and you enjoy finding fault with yourselves; butwe're fed up with all that--we want something else! We want to smash people!You're a fine fellowbut all the same you're a mild little liberalgentleman--ay volatooas my parent would say."
"You are bidding good-by to me for everEvgeny" said Arkadysadly"and you have nothing else to say to me."
Bazarov scratched the back of his head.
"YesArkadyI have other things to say to youbut I won't say thembecause that's romanticism--that means sentimental trash. But you hurry up andmarrysettle down in your nest and have as many children as you like. They'llhave the gumption to be born in a better time than you and me. Aha! I see thehorses are ready. It's time to go. I've said good-by to everyone . . . wellwhat's this? Embracingeh?"
Arkady threw himself on the neck of his former teacher and friendand tearsfairly streamed from his eyes.
"That's what comes of being young!" remarked Bazarov calmly."But I rely on Katerina Sergeyevna. You'll see how quickly she can consoleyou."
"Farewellbrother" he called out to Arkadyas he was alreadyclimbing into the cartand pointing to a pair of jackdawssitting side by sideon the roof of the stableshe added"There you are! Learn from theexample."
"What does that mean?" asked Arkady.
"What? Are you so weak in natural history or have you forgotten that thejackdaw is a most respectable family bird! An example to you . . . !Good-by."
The cart creaked and rolled away.
Bazarov spoke the truth. Talking that evening with KatyaArkady hadcompletely forgotten about his former teacher. He had already begun to followher leadand Katya felt this and was not surprised. He was to set off the nextday to Maryino to see Nikolai Petrovich. Anna Sergeyevna had no wish to hamperthe freedom of the young peoplebut on account of decorum she did not leavethem alone for too long. She generously kept the princess out of their way; theold lady had been reduced to a state of tearful frenzy by the news of theapproaching marriage. At first Anna Sergeyevna was afraid that the sight oftheir happiness would prove rather upsetting to herselfbut it turned out tothe contrary; it not only did not upset her to see their happinessit occupiedher mindand in the end it even soothed her heart. This outcome both gladdenedand grieved Anna Sergeyevna. "Evidently Bazarov was right" shethought"I have curiositynothing but curiosityand love of a quietlifeand egoism . . ."
"Children" she said aloud"do you think love is an imaginaryfeeling?"
But neither Katya nor Arkady even understood her. They were shy with her; thefragment of conversation which they had accidentally overheard haunted theirminds. But Anna Sergeyevna soon relieved their anxietiesand that was notdifficult for her; she had set her own mind at rest.
BAZAROV'S OLD PARENTS WERE ALL THE MORE OVERJOYED BY their son's suddenarrival on account of its complete unexpectedness. Arina Vlasyevna was soagitatedcontinually bustling about all over the housethat Vassily Ivanovichsaid she was like a partridge; the short flat tail of her little jacketcertainly gave her a birdlike look. He himself made noises and bit the ambermouthpiece of his pipeorclutching his neck with his fingersturned his headroundas though he were trying to find out if it was properly screwed onthensuddenly opened his wide mouth and laughed noiselessly.
"I've come to stay with you for six whole weeksold man" Bazarovsaid to him. "I want to workso please don't interrupt me."
"You will forget what my face looks likethat's how I will interruptyou!" answered Vassily Ivanovich.
He kept his promise. After installing his son in his study as beforehealmost hid himself away from him and he restrained his wife from any kind ofsuperfluous demonstration of affection. "Last time Enyushka visited uslittle motherwe bored him a little; we must be wiser this time." ArinaVlasyevna agreed with her husbandbut she gained nothing therebysince she sawher son only at meals and was in the end afraid to say a word to him.
"Enyushenka" she would sometimes start to say--but before he hadtime to look round she would nervously finger the tassels of her handbag andmurmur"Never mindI only . . . ." and afterwards she would go toVassily Ivanovich and ask himher cheek leaning on her hand"If only youcould find outdarlingwhat Enyusha would like best for dinner todaybeet-root soup or cabbage broth?" "But why didn't you ask himyourself?" "Ohhe'll get tired of me!" Bazarovhoweversoonceased to shut himself up; his fever for work abated and was replaced by painfulboredom and a vague restlessness. A strange weariness began to show itself inall his movements; even his walkonce so firmbold and impetuouswas changed.He gave up his solitary rambles and began to seek company; he drank tea in thedrawing roomstrolled about the kitchen garden with Vassily Ivanovichsmoked apipe with him in silence and once even inquired after Father Alexei. At firstVassily Ivanovich rejoiced at this changebut his joy was short-lived.
"Enyusha is breaking my heart" he plaintively confided to hiswife. "It's not that he's dissatisfied or angry--that would be almostnothing; but he's distressedhe's downcast--and that is terrible. He's alwayssilent; if only he would start to scold us; he's growing thinand he's lost allthe color in his face."
"Lord have mercy on us!" whispered the old woman. "I wouldhang a charm round his neckbut of course he won't allow it."
Vassily Ivanovich tried several times in a very tactful manner to questionBazarov about his workhis healthand about Arkady . . . But Bazarov's replieswere reluctant and casualand oncenoticing that his father was tryinggradually to lead up to something in the conversationhe remarked in a vexedtone"Why do you always seem to be following me about on tiptoe? That wayis even worse than the old one."
"WellwellI didn't mean anything!" hurriedly answered poorVassily Ivanovich. So his diplomatic hints remained fruitless.
One daytalking about the approaching liberation of the serfshe hoped toarouse his son's sympathy by making some remarks about progress; but Bazarovonly answered indifferently"Yesterday I was walking along the fence andheard our peasant boysinstead of singing an old folk songbawling some streetditty about 'the time has come for love' . . . that's what your progress amountsto."
Sometimes Bazarov went into the village and in his usual bantering tone gotinto conversation with some peasant. "Well" he would say to him"expound your views on life to mebrother; after allthey say the wholestrength and future of Russia lies in your handsthat a new era in history willbe started by you--that you will give us our real language and our laws."The peasant either answered nothingor pronounced a few words like these"Ohwe'll try . . . alsobecauseyou seein our position . . ."
"You explain to me what your world is" Bazarov interrupted"and is it the same world which is said to rest on three fishes?"
"Nobatyushkait's the land that rests on three fishes" thepeasant explained soothingly in a good-natured patriarchal sing-song voice;"and over against our 'world' we know there's the master's willbecauseyou are our fathers. And the stricter the master's rulethe better it is forthe peasant."
After hearing such a reply one dayBazarov shrugged his shoulderscontemptuously and turned awaywhile the peasant walked homewards.
"What was he talking about?" inquired another peasanta surlymiddle-aged man who from the door of his hut had witnessed at a distance theconversation with Bazarov. "Was it about arrears of taxes?"
"Arrears? No fear of thatbrother" answered the first peasantand his voice had lost every trace of the patriarchal sing-song; on thecontrarya note of scornful severity could be detected in it. "He was justchattering about somethingfelt like exercising his tongue. Of coursehe's agentleman. What can he understand?"
"How could he understand!" answered the other peasantand pushingback their caps and loosening their belts they both started discussing theiraffairs and their needs. Alas! Bazarovshrugging his shoulders contemptuouslyhe who knew how to talk to the peasants (as he had boasted in his dispute withPavel Petrovich)the self-confident Bazarov did not for a moment suspect thatin their eyes he was all the same a kind of buffoon . . . .
Howeverhe found an occupation for himself at last. One day VassilyIvanovich was bandaging a peasant's injured leg in his presencebut the oldman's hands trembled and he could not manage the bandages; his son helped himand from that time regularly took part in his father's practicethough withoutceasing to joke both about the remedies he himself advised and about his fatherwho immediately applied them. But Bazarov's gibes did not upset VassilyIvanovich in the least; they even comforted him. Holding his greasy dressinggown with two fingers over his stomach and smoking his pipehe listened toBazarov with enjoymentand the more malicious his salliesthe moregood-humoredly did his delighted father chuckleshowing all his discoloredblack teeth. He even used to repeat these often blunt or pointless witticismsand for instancewith no reason at allwent on saying for several days"Wellthat's a far away business" simply because his sonon hearingthat he was going to the early church servicehad used that expression."Thank Godhe has got over his melancholy" he whispered to his wife."How he went for me todayit was marvelous!" Besidesthe idea ofhaving such an assistant filled him with enthusiasm and pride. "Yesyes" he said to a peasant woman wearing a man's cloak and a horn-shapedhoodas he handed her a bottle of Goulard's extract or a pot of white ointment"youmy dearought to be thanking God every minute that my son is stayingwith me; you will be treated now by the most up-to-date scientific methods; doyou know what that means? The Emperor of the FrenchNapoleoneven he has nobetter doctor." But the peasant womanwho had come to complain that shefelt queer all over (though she was unable to explain what she meant by thesewords)only bowed low and fumbled in her bosom where she had four eggs tied upin the corner of a towel.
Once Bazarov pulled out a tooth for a traveling pedlar of clothand althoughthis tooth was quite an ordinary specimenVassily Ivanovich preserved it likesome rare object and incessantly repeatedas he showed it to Father Alexei"Only lookwhat roots! The strength Evgeny has! That pedlar was justlifted up in the air . . . even if it had been an oakhe would have rooted itup!"
"Admirable!" Father Alexei would comment at lastnot knowing whatto answer or how to get rid of the ecstatic old man.
One day a peasant from a neighboring village brought over to VassilyIvanovich his brotherwho was stricken with typhus. The unhappy manlying flaton a truss of strawwas dying; his body was covered with dark patcheshe hadlong ago lost consciousness. Vassily Ivanovich expressed his regret that no onehad taken any steps to secure medical aid earlier and said it was impossible tosave the man. In fact the peasant never got his brother home again; he died ashe waslying in the cart.
Three days later Bazarov came into his father's room and asked him if he hadany silver nitrate.
"Yes; what do you want it for?"
"I want it . . . to burn out a cut."
"How for yourself? What is that? What sort of a cut? Where is it?"
"Hereon my finger. I went today to the village where they brought thatpeasant with typhusyou know. They wanted to open the body for some reasonandI've had no practice at that sort of thing for a long time."
"Wellso I asked the district doctor to help; and so I cutmyself."
Vassily Ivanovich suddenly turned completely whiteand without saying a wordrushed into his study and returned at once with a piece of silver nitrate in hishand. Bazarov was about to take it and go away.
"For God's sake" muttered Vassily Ivanovich"let me do itmyself."
"What a devoted practitioner you are!"
"Don't laughplease. Show me your finger. It's a small cut. Am Ihurting you?"
"Press harder; don't be afraid."
Vassily Ivanovich stopped.
"What do you thinkEvgeny; wouldn't it be better to burn it with a hotiron?"
"That ought to have been done soonernow really even the silver nitrateis useless. If I've caught the infectionit's too late now."
"How . . . too late . . . ?" murmured Vassily Ivanovich almostinaudibly.
"I should think so! It's over four hours ago."
Vassily Ivanovich burned the cut a little more.
"But hadn't the district doctor got any caustic?"
"How can that begood heavens! A doctor who is without such anindispensable thing!"
"You should have seen his lancets" remarked Bazarovand went out.
Till late that evening and all the following day Vassily Ivanovich keptseizing on every possible pretext to go into his son's roomand thoughfarfrom mentioning the cuthe even tried to talk about the most irrelevantsubjectshe looked so persistently into his son's face and watched him with somuch anxiety that Bazarov lost patience and threatened to leave the house.Vassily Ivanovich then promised not to bother himand he did this the morereadily since Arina Vlasyevnafrom whomof coursehe had kept it all secretwas beginning to worry him about why he did not sleep and what trouble had comeover him. For two whole days he held firmthough he did not at all like thelook of his sonwhom he kept watching on the sly . . . but on the third day atdinner he could bear it no longer. Bazarov was sitting with downcast eyes andhad not touched a single dish.
"Why don't you eatEvgeny?" he inquiredputting on a perfectlycarefree expression. "The foodI thinkis very well prepared."
"I don't want anythingso I don't eat."
"You have no appetite? And your head" he added timidly"doesit ache?"
"Yesof course it aches."
Arina Vlasyevna sat bolt upright and became very alert.
"Please don't be angryEvgeny" went on Vassily Ivanovich"but won't you let me feel your pulse?"
Bazarov got up.
"I can tell you without feeling my pulseI'm feverish."
"And have you been shivering?"
"YesI've been shivering. I'll go and lie down; and you can send me insome lime-flower tea. I must have caught cold."
"Of courseI heard you coughing last night" murmured ArinaVlasyevna.
"I've caught cold" repeated Bazarovand left the room.
Arina Vlasyevna busied herself with the preparation of the lime-flower teawhile Vassily Ivanovich went into the next room and desperately clutched at hishair in silence.
Bazarov did not get up again that day and passed the whole night in heavyhalf-conscious slumber. At one o'clock in the morningopening his eyes with anefforthe saw by the light of a lamp his father's pale face bending over himand told him to go away; the old man obeyedbut immediately returned on tiptoeand half-hidden behind the cupboard door he gazed persistently at his son. ArinaVlasyevna did not go to bed eitherand leaving the study door a little openshe kept coming up to it to listen "how Enyusha was breathing" and tolook at Vassily Ivanovich. She could see only his motionless bent backbut eventhat have her some kind of consolation. In the morning Bazarov tried to get up;he was seized with giddinessand his nose began to bleed; he lay down again.Vassily Ivanovich waited on him in silence; Arina Vlasyevna went up to him andasked him how he felt. He answered"Better" and turned his face tothe wall. Vassily Ivanovich made a gesture to his wife with both hands; she bither lip to stop herself from crying and left the room. The whole house seemed tohave suddenly darkened; every person had a drawn face and a strange stillnessreigned; the servants carried off from the courtyard into the village a loudlycrowing cockwho for a long time was unable to grasp what they were doing withhim. Bazarov continued to lie with his face to the wall. Vassily Ivanovich triedto ask him various questionsbut they wearied Bazarovand the old man sankback in his chaironly occasionally cracking the joints of his fingers. He wentinto the garden for a few minutesstood there like a stone idolas thoughoverwhelmed with unutterable amazement (a bewildered expression never left hisface)then went back again to his sontrying to avoid his wife's questions. Atlast she caught him by the armand convulsivelyalmost threateninglyasked"What is wrong with him?" Then he collected his thoughts and forcedhimself to smile at her in replybut to his own horrorinstead of smilinghesuddenly started to laugh. He had sent for a doctor at daybreak. He thought itnecessary to warn his son about thisin case he might be angry.
Bazarov abruptly turned round on the sofalooked fixedly with dim eyes athis father and asked for something to drink.
Vassily Ivanovich gave him some water and in so doing felt his forehead; itwas burning.
"Listenold man" began Bazarov in a slow husky voice"I'min a bad way. I've caught the infection and in a few days you'll have to buryme."
Vassily Ivanovich staggered as though someone had knocked his legs from underhim.
"Evgeny" he muttered"what are you saying? God have mercy onyou! You've caught cold . . ."
"Stop that" interrupted Bazarov in the same slowdeliberatevoice; "a doctor has no right to talk like that. I've all the symptoms ofinfectionyou can see for yourself."
"What symptoms . . . of infectionEvgeny? . . . Good heavens!"
"Wellwhat's this?" said Bazarovand pulling up his shirt sleevehe showed his father the ominous red patches coming out on his arm.
Vassily Ivanovich trembled and turned cold from fear.
"Supposing" he said at last"supposing . . . even supposing. . . there is something like an infection . . ."
"Blood poisoning" repeated Bazarov severely and distinctly;"have you forgotten your textbooks?"
"Wellyesyesas you like . . . all the same we shall cure you!"
"Ohthat's rubbish. And it's not the point. I never expected to die sosoon; it's a chancea very unpleasant oneto tell the truth. You and mothermust now take advantage of your strong religious faith; here's an opportunity ofputting it to the test." He drank a little more water. "But I want toask you one thing--while my brain is still under control. Tomorrow orthe dayafteryou knowmy brain will cease to function. I'm not quite certain evennowif I'm expressing myself clearly. While I was lying here I kept onimagining that red dogs were running round meand you made them point at measif I were a blackcock. I thought I was drunk. Do you understand me allright?"
"Of courseEvgenyyou talk perfectly clearly."
"So much the better. You told me you'd sent for the doctor . . . you didthat to console yourself . . . now console me too; send a messenger . . ."
"To Arkady Nikolaich?" interposed the old man.
"Who's Arkady Nikolaich?" said Bazarov with some hesitation . . ."Ohyesthat little fledgeling! Noleave him alonehe's turned into ajackdaw now. Don't look surprisedI'm not raving yet. But you send a messengerto Madame OdintsovAnna Sergeyevnashe's a landowner near by--do youknow?" (Vassily Ivanovich nodded his head.) "Say 'Evgeny Bazarov sendshis greetingsand sent to say he is dying.' Will you do that?"
"I will . . . But is it a possible thingthat you should dieyouEvgeny . . . judge for yourself. Where would divine justice be after that?"
"I don't know; only you send the messenger."
"I'll send him this minuteand I'll write a letter myself."
"Nowhy? SayI send my greetingsand nothing more is necessary. Andnow I'll go back to my dogs. How strange! I want to fix my thoughts on deathand nothing comes of it. I see a kind of patch . . . and nothing more."
He turned over heavily towards the wall; and Vassily Ivanovich went out ofthe study andstruggling as far as his wife's bedroomcollapsed on his kneesin front of the sacred images.
"PrayArinapray to God!" he groaned. "Our son isdying."
The doctorthat same district doctor who had been without any causticarrivedand after examining the patientadvised them to persevere with acooling treatment and threw in a few words about the possibility of recovery.
"Have you ever seen people in my state not setting off for the Elysianfields?" asked Bazarovand suddenly snatching the leg of a heavy tablestanding near his sofahe swung it round and pushed it away.
"There's strength enough" he murmured. "It's all there stilland I must die . . . An old man has time at least to outgrow the habit oflivingbut I . . . welllet me try to deny death. It will deny meand that'sthe end of it! Who's crying there?" he added after a pause. "Mother?Poor mother! Whom will she feed now with her wonderful cabbage soup? And Ibelieve you're whimpering tooVassily Ivanovich! Whyif Christianity doesn'thelp yoube a philosophera Stoicand that sort of thing! Surely you pridedyourself on being a philosopher?"
"What kind of philosopher am I!" sobbed Vassily Ivanovichand thetears streamed down his cheeks.
Bazarov got worse with every hour; the disease progressed rapidlyas usuallyhappens in cases of surgical poisoning. He had not yet lost consciousness andunderstood what was said to him; he still struggled. "I don't want to startraving" he mutteredclenching his fists; "what rubbish it allis!" And then he said abruptly"Cometake ten from eightwhatremains?" Vassily Ivanovich wandered about like one possessedproposingfirst one remedythen anotherand ended by doing nothing except cover up hisson's feet. "Try wrapping up in cold sheets . . . emetic . . . mustardplasters on the stomach . . . bleeding" he said with an effort. Thedoctorwhom he had begged to stayagreed with everything he saidgave thepatient lemonade to drinkand for himself asked for a pipe and for something"warming and strengthening"--meaning vodka. Arina Vlasyevna sat on alow stool near the door and only went out from time to time to pray. A few dayspreviouslya little mirror had slipped out of her hands and brokenand she hadalways considered this as a bad omen; even Anfisushka was unable to say anythingto her. Timofeich had gone off to Madame Odintsov's place.
The night passed badly for Bazarov . . . High fever tortured him. Towards themorning he felt a little easier. He asked Arina Vlasyevna to comb his hairkissed her hand and swallowed a few sips of tea. Vassily Ivanovich revived alittle.
"Thank God!" he repeated"the crisis is near . . . the crisisis coming."
"Therethink of that!" muttered Bazarov. "What a lot a wordcan do! He's found one; he said 'crisis' and is comforted. It's an astoundingthing how human beings have faith in words. You tell a manfor instancethathe's a fooland even if you don't thrash him he'll be miserable; call him aclever fellowand he'll be delighted even if you go off without payinghim."
This little speech of Bazarov'srecalling his old salliesgreatly movedVassily Ivanovich.
"Bravo! splendidly saidsplendid!" he exclaimedmaking as thoughto clap his hands.
Bazarov smiled ruefully.
"Wellso do you think the crisis is over or approaching?"
"You're betterthat's what I seethat's what rejoices me.
"Very well; there's never any harm in rejoicing. Anddo you rememberdid you send the message to her?"
"Of course I did."
The change for the better did not last long. The disease resumed itsonslaughts. Vassily Ivanovich was sitting close to Bazarov. The old man seemedto be tormented by some particular anguish. He tried several times to speak--butcould not.
"Evgeny!" he ejaculated at last"My sonmy dearbelovedson!"
This unexpected outburst produced an effect on Bazarov . . . He turned hishead a littleevidently trying to fight against the load of oblivion weighingdown on himand said"What is itfather?"
"Evgeny" went on Vassily Ivanovichand fell on his knees in frontof his sonwho had not opened his eyes and could not see him. "You'rebetter now; please Godyou will recover; but make good use of this intervalcomfort your mother and mefulfill your duty as a Christian! How hard it is forme to say this to you--how terrible; but still more terrible would be . . .forever and everEvgeny . . . just think what . . ."
The old man's voice broke and a strange look passed over his son's facethough he still lay with his eyes closed.
"I won't refuseif it's going to bring any comfort to youhe mutteredat last; "but it seems to me there's no need to hurry about it. You sayyourselfI'm better."
"YesEvgenyyou're bettercertainlybut who knowsall that is inGod's handsand in fulfilling your duty . ."
"NoI'll wait a bit" interrupted Bazarov. "I agree with youthat the crisis has come. But if we're mistakenwhat then? Surely they give thesacrament to people who are already unconscious."
"For heaven's sakeEvgeny. ."
"I'll waitI want to sleep now. Don't disturb me."
And he laid his head back on the pillow. The old man rose from his kneessatdown on a chair and clutching at his chin began to bite his fingers. . . ."
The sound of a carriage on springsa sound so remarkably distinguishable inthe depths of the countrysuddenly struck upon his hearing. The light wheelsrolled nearer and nearer; the snorting of the horses was already audible. . . .Vassily Ivanovich jumped up and ran to the window. A two-seated carriageharnessed with four horses was driving into the courtyard of his little house.Without stopping to consider what this could meanfeeling a kind of senselessoutburst of joyhe ran out into the porch . . . A livened groom was opening thecarriage door; a lady in a black shawlher face covered with a black veilstepped out of it . . .
"I am Madame Odintsov" she murmured. "Is Evgeny Vassilichstill alive? Are you his father? I have brought a doctor with me."
"Benefactress!" exclaimed Vassily Ivanovichand seizing her handhe pressed it convulsively to his lipswhile the doctor brought by AnnaSergeyevnaa little man in spectacleswith a German faceclimbed verydeliberately out of the carriage. "He's still alivemy Evgeny is alive andnow he will be saved! Wife! Wife! An angel from heaven has come to us . .."
"What is thismy God!" stammered the old womanrunning out of thedrawing roomand understanding nothingshe fell on the spot in the hall atAnna Sergeyevna's feet and began kissing her skirt like a mad woman.
"What are you doing?" protested Anna Sergeyevna; but ArinaVlasyevna did not heed her and Vassily Ivanovich could only repeat"Anangel! An angel!"
"Wo ist der Kranke? Where is the patient?" said the doctor at lastin some indignation.
Vassily Ivanovich came to his senses.
"Herethis wayplease follow mewerthester Herr Kollege" headdedremembering his old habits.
"Ah!" said the German with a sour grin.
Vassily Ivanovich led him into the study.
"A doctor from Anna Sergeyevna Odintsov" he saidbending rightdown to his son's ear"and she herself is here."
Bazarov suddenly opened his eyes.
"What did you say?"
"I tell you that Anna Sergeyevna is here and has brought this gentlemana doctorwith her."
Bazarov's eyes looked round the room.
"She is here . . . I want to see her."
"You will see herEvgeny; but first we must have a talk with thedoctor. I will tell him the whole history of your illnessas Sidor Sidorich(this was the district doctor's name) has goneand we will have a littleconsultation."
Bazarov glanced at the German.
"Welltalk away quicklyonly not in Latin; you see I know the meaningof 'jam moritur.'"
"Der Herr scheint des Deutschen mchtig zu sein" began the newdisciple of Aesculapiusturning to Vassily Ivanovich."
"Ich . . . gabe . . . We had better speak Russian" said the oldman.
"Ah! so that's how it is . . . by all means . . ." And theconsultation began.
Half an hour later Anna Sergeyevnaaccompanied by Vassily Ivanovichenteredthe study. The doctor managed to whisper to her that it was hopeless even tothink that the patient might recover.
She looked at Bazarovand stopped short in the doorway--so abruptly was shestruck by his inflamed and at the same time deathlike face and by his dim eyesfixed on her. She felt a pang of sheer terrora cold and exhausting terror; thethought that she would not have felt like this if she had really lovedhim--flashed for a moment through her mind.
"Thank you" he said in a strained voice; "I never expectedthis. It is a good deed. So we see each other once moreas you promised."
"Anna Sergeyevna was so good . . ." began Vassily Ivanovich.
"Fatherleave us alone . . . Anna Sergeyevnayou will allow itIthinknow . . ." With a motion of his head he indicated his prostratehelpless body.
Vassily Ivanovich went out.
"Wellthank you" repeated Bazarov. "This is royally done.They say that emperors also visit the dying."
"Evgeny VassilichI hope . . ."
"AhAnna Sergeyevnalet's speak the truth. It's all over with me. I'vefallen under the wheel. So it turns out that there was no point in thinkingabout the future. Death is an old jokebut it comes like new to everyone. Sofar I'm not afraid . . . but soon I'll lose consciousness and that's theend!" (He waved his hand feebly.) "Wellwhat have I to say to you . .. I loved you? That had no sense even beforeand less than ever now. Love is aformbut my own form is already dissolving. Better for me to say--how wonderfulyou are! And now you stand thereso beautiful. . ."
Anna Sergeyevna involuntarily shuddered.
"Never minddon't be agitated . . . Sit down over there . . . Don'tcome close to me; you know my disease is infectious."
Anna Sergeyevna walked quickly across the room and sat down in the armchairnear the sofa on which Bazarov was lying.
"Noble-hearted" he whispered. "Ohhow nearand how youngfresh and pure . . . in this disgusting room! Wellgood-by! Live longthat'sbest of alland made the most of it while there is time. You seewhat ahideous spectaclea wormhalf-crushedbut writhing still. Of course I alsothoughtI'll break down so many thingsI won't diewhy should I? There areproblems for me to solveand I'm a giant! And now the only problem of thisgiant is how to die decentlythough that too makes no difference to anyone . .. Never mind; I'm not going to wag my tail."
Barazov fell silent and began feeling with his hand for the glass. AnnaSergeyevna gave him some water to drinkwithout taking off her glove andbreathing apprehensively.
"You will forget me" he began again. "The dead is nocompanion for the living. My father will tell you what a man Russia has lost inme . . . That's nonsensebut don't disillusion the old man. Whatever toycomforts the child . . . you know. And be kind to my mother. People like themcan't be found in your great world even if you search for them by day with atorch . . . Russia needed me . . . noclearly I wasn't needed. And who isneeded? The shoemaker's neededthe tailor's neededthe butcher . . . sellsmeat . . . the butcher--wait a bitI'm getting mixed up . . . there's a foresthere . . ."
Bazarov put his hand on his forehead.
Anna Sergeyevna bent over him. "Evgeny VassilichI am here . . ."
He at once took his hand away and raised himself.
"Good-by" he said with sudden forceand his eyes flashed with aparting gleam. "Good-by . . . Listen . . . you know I never kissed you then. . . Breathe on the dying lamp and let it go out."
Anna Sergeyevna touched his forehead with her lips.
"Enough" he murmuredand fell back on the pillow. "And now .. . darkness . . ."
Anna Sergeyevna slipped softly out.
"Well?" Vassily Ivanovich asked her in a whisper.
"He has fallen asleep" she answeredalmost inaudibly.
Bazarov was not destined to awaken again. Towards evening he sank into acomplete comaand the following day he died. Father Alexei performed the lastrites of religion over him. When they anointed himand the holy oil touched hisbreastone of his eyes openedand it seemed as thoughat the sight of thepriest in his vestmentsof the smoking censerof the candle burning in frontof the imagesomething like a shudder of horror passed through hisdeath-stricken face. When at last he had stopped breathing and a generallamentation arose in the houseVassily Ivanovich was seized by a sudden fit offrenzy.
"I said I should rebel!" he shouted hoarselyhis face red anddistortedand shaking his fist in the air as if he were threatening someone."And I rebelI rebel!"
But Arina Vlasyevnaall in tearsflung her arms round his neck and bothfell on their knees together. "So side by side" related Anfisushkaafterwards in the servants' room"they bowed their poor heads like lambsin the heat of noon-day. . ."
But the heat of noonday passes and is followed by evening and nightandthere comes the return to a quiet refuge where sleep is sweet for the tormentedand weary . . .
SIX MONTHS PASSED. WHITE WINTER HAD SET IN WITH THE CRUEL stillness ofcloudless frostswith its thick crunching snowrosy hoarfrost on the treespale emerald skywreaths of smoke curling above the chimneyssteam emergingfrom momentarily opened doorswith those fresh faces which look bitten by coldand the hurried trot of shivering horses. A January day was drawing to itsclose; the evening cold pierced keenly through the motionless airand abrilliant sunset was rapidly dying away. Lights were burning in the windows ofthe house at Maryino; Prokovich in a black tail coat and white gloveswith anair of unusual solemnitywas laying the table for seven. A week earlier in thesmall parish churchtwo weddings had taken place quietlyalmost withoutwitnesses--Arkady's marriage to Katya and that of Nikolai Petrovich to Fenichka;and on this day Nikolai Petrovich was giving a farewell dinner for his brotherwho was going away to Moscow on some business. Anna Sergeyevna had also gonethere directly the wedding was overafter making generous presents to the youngcouple.
Punctually at three o'clock the whole company assembled at the table. Mityawas brought along too and with him appeared a nurse in an embroidered peasantheaddress. Pavel Petrovich sat between Katya and Fenichka; the husbands sat nextto their wives. Our friends had somewhat changed lately; they all seemed to havegrown better looking and stronger; only Pavel Petrovich had become thinnerwhichincidentallystill further enhanced the elegant and "grandseigneur" quality of his expressive features . . . Fenichkatoowasdifferent. In a fresh-colored silk dress with a wide velvet headdress on herhairand a gold chain round her neckshe sat respectfully motionlessrespectful towards herself and everyone around herand smiledas if she wantedto say: "Excuse meI'm not to blame." And not only she--the othersalso all smiled and seemed to excuse themselves; they all felt a little awkwarda little sadbut fundamentally happy. They all helped each other with anamusing attentivenessas if they had agreed in advance to act some good-naturedcomedy. Katya was quieter than any of the others; she looked confidently aroundherand it was already noticeable that Nikolai Petrovich had managed to becomequite devoted to her. Just before the dinner was over he stood up andholdinghis glass in his handturned to Pavel Petrovich.
"You are leaving us . . . you are leaving usdear brother" hebegan"not for longof course; but still I can't help telling you what I. . . what we . . . how much I . . . how much we . . . That's the worst of itwe don't know how to make speeches. Arkadyyou speak."
"NodaddyI'm not prepared for it."
"And I'm so well prepared! WellbrotherI simply sayallow us toembrace youto wish you all the bestand come back to us soon!"
Pavel Petrovich exchanged kisses with everyonenot excluding Mityaofcourse; moreoverhe kissed Fenichka's handwhich she had not yet learned tooffer properlyand drinking off his refilled glasshe said with a deep sigh:"Be happymy friends! Farewell!" This English ending passedunnoticed; but everyone was deeply touched.
"To Bazarov's memory" whispered Katya in her husband's ear as sheclinked glasses with him. Arkady pressed her hand warmly in responsebut he didnot venture to propose that toast aloud.
This would seem to be the end; but perhaps some of our readers would care toknow what each of the characters we have introduced is doing nowat the presentmoment. We are ready to satisfy that interest.
Anna Sergeyevna has recently married againnot for love but out ofreasonable convictiona man who may be one of the future leaders of Russiaavery clever lawyer with vigorous practical sensea strong will and a remarkablegift of eloquence--still younggood-naturedand cold as ice. They live veryharmoniously together and may live to the point of attaining happiness . . .perhaps even love. Princess X. is deadforgotten on the day of her death. TheKirsanovsfather and sonlive at Maryino. Their fortunes are beginning tomend. Arkady has become assiduous in the management of the estateand the"farm" now yields a fairly substantial income. Nikolai Petrovich hasbecome one of the arbitrators in the land reforms and works with all his energy;he is constantly driving about the districtdelivers long speeches (he belongsto those who believe that the peasants must be "made to understand"meaning that by frequent repetition of the same words they should be broughtinto a state of quiescence); and yetto tell the truthhe does not fullysatisfy either the cultured landownerstalking with a hiss or with a sigh aboutthe emancipation (pronouncing it like a French word) or the uncultured ones whowithout ceremony curse the "damned emancipation." He is toosofthearted for either set. Katerina Sergeyevna has a sonKolyaand Mityaalready runs about fearlesslyand talks a lot. FenichkaFedosya Nikolaevnaafter her husband and Mityaadores no one so much as her daughter-in-lawandwhen Katerina plays the pianoshe would gladly spend the whole day at her side.A passing word about Pyotr. He has grown quite rigid with stupidity andself-importanceand pronounces all his o's like u'sbut he too is marriedandreceived a respectable dowry with his wifethe daughter of a market gardener inthe townwho had refused two excellent suitorsonly because they had nowatches; while Pyotr not only had a watch--he even had a pair of patent leathershoes.
In Dresden on the Brhl terracebetween two and four o'clock--the mostfashionable time for walking--you may meet a man of about fiftyalready quitegrey and looking as though he suffered from goutbut still handsomeelegantlydressed and with that special style which comes only to those who have long beenaccustomed to move in the higher ranks of society. This man is Pavel Petrovich.From Moscow he went abroad for his healthand has settled down in Dresdenwhere he associates chiefly with English people and with Russian visitors. Withthe English he behaves simplyalmost modestlybut with dignity; they find hima trifle boring but respect him for beingas they say"a perfectgentleman." With Russians he is more free and easygives vent to hisspleenmakes fun of them and of himselfbut he does all this very agreeablywith an air of ease and civility. He holds Slavophil views; this is known to beregarded in the best society as trs distingu. He reads nothing in Russianbut on his writing-desk there stands a silver ash tray in the shape of apeasant's plaited shoe. He is much sought after by our Russian tourists. MatveiIlyich Kolyazinhappening to be "in temporary opposition" paid him aceremonious visit on his way to a Bohemian watering place; and the localpopulationwith whomincidentallyhe has little to dotreat him with analmost awestruck veneration. No one can so readily and quickly secure ticketsfor the court choir and the theater as the Herr Baron von Kirsanov. He does asmuch good as he can; he still causes some stir in the worldnot for nothing washe once such a great social lion; but his life is a burden to him . . . aheavier burden than he himself suspects. One should look at him in the Russianchurch: when leaning against the wall on one sidehe stands absorbed in thoughtwithout stirring for a long timebitterly compressing his lipsthen suddenlyrecollects himself and begins almost imperceptibly to cross himself . . .
Madame Kukshina also settled abroad. She is now in Heidelbergand is nolonger studying natural history but has turned to architecturein whichaccording to her own accountshe has discovered new laws. As beforesheassociates with studentsespecially with young Russians studying physics andchemistry with whom Heidelberg is crowdedand who at first astonish the naveGerman professors by their sober outlook on thingsbut later on astound thesame professors by their complete incapability and absolute laziness. In companywith two or three such young chemistry studentswho cannot distinguish oxygenfrom nitrogenbut are brimming over with destructive criticism and conceitSitnikovtogether with the great Elisyevichalso prepares to become a greatman; he roams about in Petersburgconvinced that he is carrying on the"task" of Bazarov. There is a story that someone recently gave him abeatingbut that he secured his revenge: in an obscure little articlehiddenaway in some obscure little periodicalhe hinted that the man who had beatenhim was--a coward. He calls this irony. His father bullies him as beforewhilehis wife regards him as a fool . . . and a literary man.
There is a small village graveyard in one of the remote corners of Russia.Like almost all our graveyardsit has a melancholy look; the ditchessurrounding it have long been overgrown; grey wooden crosses have fallen askewand rotted under their once painted gables; the gravestones are all out ofpositionjust as if someone had pushed them from below; two or three bare treeshardly provide some meager shade; the sheep wander unchecked among the tombs . .. But among them is one grave untouched by human beings and not trampled on byany animal; only the birds perch on it and sing at daybreak. An iron railingsurrounds it and two young fir trees have been planted thereone at each end;Evgeny Bazarov is buried in this tomb. Often from the near-by village two frailold people come to visit it--a husband and wife. Supporting one anothertheywalk with heavy steps; they go up to the iron railingfall on their knees andweep long and bitterlyand gaze intently at the silent stone under which theirson lies buried; they exchange a few wordswipe away the dust from the stone ortidy up some branches of a fir treethen start to pray again and cannot tearthemselves away from that place where they seem to be nearer to their sontotheir memories of him . . . Can it be that their prayers and their tears arefruitless? Can it be that lovesacred devoted loveis not all powerful? Ohno! However passionatesinful or rebellious the heart hidden in the tombtheflowers growing over it peep at us serenely with their innocent eyes; they tellus not only of eternal peaceof that great peace of "indifferent"nature; they tell us also of eternal reconciliation and of life without end.
Following notes are by Eric Eldred1998:
Fathers and Sons: the literal translaton of the Russian title is"Fathers and Children" which is what the copytext uses. Howeverthistitle is the traditional one.
Turgenev: 1818-1883. Russian author of many novels and some plays and poems.After publishing this novellived mostly in France and the Westfollowingopera singer Mme Viardother husband and children. Turgenev's works weretranslated into French but it was not until about 1894 that Constance Garnettfirst translated them into English. Turgenev's style had a great effect on thosewriters who followed the banners of naturalism or realism. He was praised byFlaubert and Henry James and William Dean Howells.
1861: Turgenev wrote that he got the idea for this book on the beach atVentnorEnglandin August1860but that Bazarov was really based on a personhe knewa "Dr. D." He finished writing it on his Russian estate inJuly of 1861and published it in March1862in The Russian Heralda magazinethat had become conservative. Before this bookliberal Russian critics hadpraised his realistic depictions of the serfs. But they considered his depictionof Bazarov here to be an attack on liberalismand reactionary Russianconservatives praised the author. Turgenevhoweverstated that he tried toobey aesthetic truth rather than write political propaganda. The controversycontinues.
Belinsky: liberal critic (1811-1848)mentor of Turgenev.
1859: carefully before the emancipation of the serfsFebruary 191861.
new improved generation: sarcastic of coursesince the adoption of Westernfashions here is superficial. HoweverPyotr is a servant and really only servesas comic relief.
posting station: like a stage coach stopwhere horses were watered orchanged and mail exchanged.
serfs: not really slaves as the African-Americans werebut landlessagricultural workers who owed labor to the large landowners as in the feudalsystem. The emancipation gave them some land but made them earn wages.
farm: some liberal landowners anticipated the liberation by starting up theirown money system; as seen hereit was a bit premature.
1812: war with Napoleonsubject of Tolstoy's War and Peace.
funk: mainly British term for cowardly fear.
Petersburg: St. Petersburgthe capital founded by Peter the GreatlaterPetrograd and Leningrad.
flat: British for apartment.
Pyotr: the name in the original is spelled phoneticallyto indicate themajor-general was illiterate.
1848: after democratic rebellions of that yearrepression ensued and travelbecame impossible.
Bazarov: sounds like "bazaar"andindeedhis ideas were currentin that marketplace. With his background in sciencehe does believe in aHegelian determinism of history or economics. With his background from the lowermiddle classhe must make his owndifficultway in the world and has reasonto be bitter. In later generations he might be an "angry young man" ora "beatnik" or even "punk".
patronymic: Russian names were formed from a Christian first name and aversion of the father's name. Bazarov uses the curtunconventional form here.Later we will see complications as the women characters use various patronymicforms.
tarantass: a four-wheeledspringless cart.
"Il est libre en effet": He is actually free. (The Russian upperclass spoke Frenchin formal intercourseand to keep from being understood byservants.)
bailiff: agricultural agentmanageror foreman.
Evgeny Onegin: or Eugene Oneginfamous verse novel of 1823-31.
s'est dgourdi: Frenchhe seems relaxed.
Galignani: Galignani's Messenger newspaper published in Paris in English readby cultured Russians.
nihilists: literally"nothing-ists"those who believe in nothingat all but deny all values. Laterthe term became more sinister when Russiansusing this name advocated assassination and terrorism.
principles: Pavel says it with the soft FrenchBazarov with the harshRussianpronunciation.
Vous avez chang tout cela;: FrenchYou have changed all that.
Hegelists: followers of the German idealist philosopher Georg W. F. Hegel(1770-1831).
"Education?": Bazarov is evidently parroting pretty exactly thewritings of the liberal critic N. A. Dobrolyubov (1836-1861)who valuedliterature only insofar as it expressed progressive political ideas.
"Mais je puis vous donner de l'argent": FrenchBut I can stillgive you money.
"Naturetoois rubbish in the sense you give to it": Evidentlyanother parroting of a literary criticthis time Chernyshevsky's The AestheticRelations of Art to Reality (1855).
Bchner's Stoff und Kraft: Matter and Force1855 book by Ludwig Bchnernot actually translated into Russian until 1860.
bonsoir: Frenchgood night.
"l'energie est la premire qualit d'un homme d'tat": FrenchEnergy is the first requirement for a statesman.
Madame Svyechin's by reading a page of Condillac: Svyechin--religious mystic;Condillac--writer of French Enlightenment.
Byronism: followers of George Byron (1788-1824)English poet and romanticrevolutionary.
il a fait son temps.: it's had its day.
Slav national dress: those who rejected Western influencethe Slavophileswore what they imagined was original Slavic clothing style.
Liebig: Baron Justus von Liebig (1803-1874)German chemistfounder ofagricultural chemistry.
Kislyakov's: imaginary author; literally"sourpuss".
Fenimore Cooper's Pathfinder: The Pathfinderby the American James FenimoreCooper1840.
sybarite: person devoted to luxury and pleasure.
George Sand: Amandine Aurore Lucie DupinBaronne Dudevant (1803-1876)French writerfriend of de MussetChopinBalzacLisztothers.
Emerson: Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882)American writertranscendentalphilosopher.
Bunsen: Robert Bunsen (1811-1899)chemistry professor at Heidelberg1852-1889.
Proudhon: Pierre Joseph Proudhon (1809-1865)anarchist and socialistadvocated living in common.
Macaulay: Thomas Babington Macaulay (1800-1859)English writer.
Michelet's book De l'Amour: On Love1859by Jules MicheletFrenchhistorian1798-1874.
Speransky: statesman M. M. Speransky (1772-1839) was the son of a priest andthus of lower class origin.
ommfay: a real manFrench"homme fait".
Suum cuique: Latinto each his own.
valla too: FrenchVoil tout. Look--that's all.
Alexis or the Cottage in the Forest: popular woman's novel.
ad patres: Latinto his Father; dead.
anamatyer: En amateurFrenchnot for money.
Robert le Diable: Meyerbeer's popular opera of 1831.
"The Dioscurithe Dioscuri!": the GeminiCastor and Pollux.
comilfo: Frenchcomme il fait
A bon entendeursalut!: FrenchTo who listenshello!
utile dulci: Latinunite the useful with the pleasant (Horace).
droshky: another four-wheeled Russian cartthis one with a narrow bench inthe center for passengers sitting sideways.
Couchez-vous: Frenchgo to bed.
C'est de la mme famille: Frenchit's the same sort (family).
au dix-neuvime sicle: Frenchin the 19th century.
Quelle ide: Frenchwhat an idea!
Gogol's letters: a slight anachronismas these letters that offendedeveryone did not get published until 1860.
"world": In the Russian text the peasant used the word mirwhichmeans "world" but alsoas in this case"villagecommunity." [R.H.] Russian legends say the world is supported by threefish. Of course"Mir" is the name of the Russian space station.
'jam moritur.': Latindying.
"Der Herr scheint des Deutschen mchtig zu sein": GermanThedoctor seems to have mastered German.