University of Florida
THE COMPLETE WORKS OF
YOUTH 2 THE INCURSION
By COUNT LEV N. TOLSTOY
Translated from the Original Russian and Edited by
Assistant Professor of Slavic Languages at Harvard University
BOSTON DANA ESTES &
EDITION DE LUXE
Limited to One Thousand Copies,
of which this is
By DANA ESTES & COMPANY
Entered at Stationers' Hall
Colonial Press : Electrotyped and Printed by
C. H. Simonds & Co., Boston, Mass., U. S. A.
THE present new translation of Tolstdy has the follow-
ing distinctive features:
The translator was born and educated in Russia, and
the scenes and the life depicted, and the ideas evolved by
the author, are familiar to him as to a native; on the other
hand, his later youth and his manhood have been passed
in America, where for twenty years he has taken active
part in the educational and the literary movements of
Anglo-Saxon life. Thus he is enabled correctly to inter-
pret the workings of the greatest Russian mind both from
the standpoint of a Russian and of an American. Still
further to ensure literary accuracy, all the manuscript has
been read by Miss Carrie A. Harper, herself an English
authoress, whose advice has been invaluable to him.
The translator has treated the author with sympathetic
love, which in many instances is due to a common bond
of practices of life and of ideas: the translator is a vegeta-
rian and teetotaler of even longer standing than the author,
and shares his educational ideas both in theory and in
practice. At the same time, the translator is absolutely
free from any personal bias, and in dealing with Tolstdy
brings to bear a critical spirit, born of the blending of the
Russian and the Anglo-Saxon concepts of life.
No liberties are taken with either the language or the
expression of the author's diction, which in unconscious
artistic moments is sublimely poetical and sonorous, and
in the piling up of Cyclopean thoughts lacks the binding
mortar. In such cases the translation leaves him in his
original gigantic ruggedness. No attempt has been made
to correct Tolst6y's style, which is so frequently practised
by his other translators. The last volume will contain a
sketch of Tolst6y's life and works, an analysis of all
his productions, a complete index to his thoughts, a chron-
ological table of the incidents in his life, and a bibliography
of English, French, and German books and magazine arti-
cles dealing with all possible aspects of Tolst6y and his
works. The copious illustrations accompanying the pres-
ent translation are mainly from Russian sources, many of
them rare, and invariably illustrate the scenes represented ;
wherever possible, existing illustrations to Tolst6y by
native artists have been given.
The present translation contains everything given in
the Russian complete edition published in Russia, with
such authorized corrections of passages mutilated by the
censor as have appeared abroad, and all the publications
of Tolst6y's prohibited works which have appeared in
Switzerland and in England. The only works omitted
are those which Tolst6y himself translated from other
languages. In the matter of text, the last reliable source
has been given, the corrections in various instances reach-
ing the translator just as the translations were going
through the press. No attempt has been made to give
older readings or readings mutilated by the censor, as the
time for a critical edition has not yet come. Many of
the manuscripts, in their correct form, were sent by Tol-
st6y to the RyumAntsev Museum, with the proviso that
they be made public only ten years after his death;
and the publications that have appeared abroad sometimes
rest on unreliable manuscripts. The dates given for each
production are not those of their publication (which will
be given in the chronological table), but of their writing.
I. KARL IVANOVICH, OUR TEACHER . 1
II. MAMMA 8
III. PAPA 11
IV. THE LESSONS 16
V. THE SAINTLY FOOL 20
VI. PREPARATION FOR THE HUNT 25
VII. THE HUNT 28
VIII. GAMES 33
IX. SOMETHING LIKE FIRST LOVE 36
X. THE KIND OF A MAN MY FATHER WAS .38
XI. OCCUPATIONS IN THE CABINET AND IN THE
SITTING- ROOM 41
XII. GRfSHA 45
XIII. NATALYA SAVISHNA 49
XIV. THE SEPARATION 54
XV. CHILDHOOD 60
XVI. POETRY 64
XVII. PRINCESS KORNAKOV 71
XVIII. PRINCE IVAN IVANOVICH 76
XIX. THE VINS 81
XX. GUESTS ARE COMING 89
XXI. BEFORE THE MAZURKA 94
XXII. THE MAZURKA 99
THE MAIDS' CHAMBER
KXTENKA AND LYIBOCHKA
THE BEGINNING OF THE FRIENDSHIP
AFTER THE MAZURKA
IN BED .
WHAT AWAITED US IN THE COUNTRY
THE LAST SAD MEMORIES
AT EASY STAGES
A NEW VIEW .
MY ELDER BROTHER
THE HISTORY OF KARL IVANOVICH
THE SMALL KEY
AFTER GRINDING COMES FLOUR
I. WHAT I REGARD AS THE BEGINNING OF MY
II. SPRING 255
III. DREAMS 259
IV. OUR FAMILY CIRCLE 263
.--ZV. THE RULES 268
VI. THE CONFESSION 271
VII. DRIVE TO THE MONASTERY 273
VIII. MY SECOND CONFESSION 277
IX. How I PREPARED FOR THE EXAMINATIONS 280
X. MY HISTORY EXAMINATION 283
XI. MY MATHEMATICS EXAMINATION 289
XII. THE LATIN EXAMINATION 293
XIII. I AM A GROWN-UP MAN 297
XIV. WHAT DUBK6V'S AND VOL6DYA'S OCCUPA-
TIONS WERE 303
XV. I AM CONGRATULATED 308
XVI. THE QUARREL. 12
XVII. I AM GETTING READY TO MAKE CALLS 318
XVIII. THE VALAKHINS 322
XIX. THE KORNAKOVS 328
XX. THE IVINS 332
XXI. PRINCE IVAN IVNOVICH 336
XXII. A CONFIDENTIAL TALK WITH lMY FRIEND 339
XXIII. THE NEKHLYJDOVS. 345
XXIV. LOVE 351
XXV. I AM BECOMING ACQUAINTED 357
XXVI. I Snow MYSELF FROM MY MOST ADVAN-
TAGEOUS SIDE 362
XXVII. DfTRI 367
XXVIII. IN THE COUNTRY 373
XXIX. OUR RELATIONS WITH THE GIRLS. 378
XXX. MY OCCUPATIONS 383
XXXI. COMME IL FAUT 388
XXXII. YOUTH 392
XXXIII. NEIGHBOURS. 399
XXXIV. FATHER'S MARRIAGE 404
XXXV. How WE RECEIVED THE NEWS 408
XXXVI. THE UNIVERSITY. 414
XXXVII. AFFAIRS OF THE HEART 419
XXXVIII. SOCIETY 422
XXXIX. A CAROUSAL 425
XL. MY FRIENDSHIP WITH THE NEKHLYCDOVS 430
XL. MY FRIENDSHIP WITH NEKHLYDOV 434
XLII. OUR STEPMOTHER 439
XLIII. NEW COMPANIONS 445
XLIV. ZiKHIN AND SEMENOV 452
XLV. I FLUNKED 455
THE INCURSION: STORY OF A VOLUNTEER . 459
LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS
PORTRAIT OF TOLST6Y Frontispiece
TOLST6Y'S COUNTRY HOME AT YASNAYA POLYANA 7
THE BEAUTIFUL SQUARE, Moscow 64
INTERIOR OF A PEASANT'S HOME . 145
PORTRAIT OF TOLST6Y AT THE AGE OF 20 332
THE KREMLIN AT MoSCOw IN 1823 414
PORTRAIT OF TOLST6Y AT THE AGE OF 23 459
KARL IVANOVICH, OUR TEACHER
ON the 12th of August, 18-, exactly two days after
my birthday, when I was ten years old and received such
wonderful presents, Karl Ivanovich. woke me at seven
o'clock in the morning by striking right over my head at
a fly with a flap which was made of wrapping-paper
attached to a stick. He did that so awkwardly that he
set in motion the small picture of my guardian angel
which was hanging on the oak headpiece of my bed, and
made the dead fly fall straight upon my head. I stuck
my nose out of my coverlet, stopped the swinging picture
with my hand, threw the killed fly upon the ground, and
with angry, though sleepy, eyes measured Karl Ivanovich.
But he, dressed in a many-coloured wadded dressing-gown,
which was girded by a belt of the same material, in a red
hand-knit skull-cap with a tassel, and in soft goatskin
boots, continued to make the round of the walls, and to
aim and flap at flies.
I'll admit I am a little fellow," thought I, but why
does he worry me? Why does he not kill flies over
Vol6dya's bed? There are lots of them there! No,
Vol6dya is older than I, and I am the youngest of all;
that's why he is tormenting me. All he is thinking
about," whispered I, "is how to cause me annoyance.
He knows quite well that he has waked and frightened
me, but he acts as though he did not notice it. He is a
contemptible fellow! And his dressing-gown, and cap,
and tassel, they are all contemptible !"
While I thus expressed in thought my disgust with
Karl Ivanovich, he walked up to his bed, took a look at
the watch which was hanging above it in a hand-made
shoe of glass beads, hung the flap on a nail, and, evidently
in the pleasantest mood, turned to us.
"Auf, Kinder, auf! 's ist Zeit. Die Mutter ist schon
im Saal," he cried out in his good German voice, then
came up to me, seated himself at my feet, and took his
snuff-box out of his pocket. I pretended [I was asleep.
Karl Ivanovich at first took a snuff, wiped his nose,
snapped his fingers, and then turned his attention to me.
He smiled and began to tickle the soles of my feet.
" Nun, nun, Faulenzer !" said he.
Though I was very much afraid of tickling, I did not
jump up from bed and did not answer him, but only hid
my head farther under the pillows, kicked my feet with
all my might, and made all possible efforts to keep from
"What a good man he is, and how he loves us, and
how could I have thought so ill of him ?"
I was angry at myself and at Karl Ivanovich, and I
wanted to laugh and cry at the same time; my nerves
Ach, lassen Sie, Karl Ivanovich !" cried I, with tears
in my eyes, and stuck my head out of my pillows.
Karl Ivanovich was surprised, left my soles in peace,
and with a disturbed mien began to ask what the matter
was with me, and whether I had not had a bad dream.
His good German face and the interest which he evinced
in trying to ascertain the cause of my tears made them
KARL IVANOVICH, OUR TEACHER
flow more copiously; I felt ashamed, and I could not
understand how a minute ago I could have disliked Karl
Ivanovich, and how I could have found his gown, his cap,
and his tassel contemptible. Now, on the contrary, all
those things appeared particularly charming to me, and
even the tassel seemed to be an evident proof of his
I told him that I was crying because I had had a
bad dream, that I dreamt mamma had died and was
being buried. I had made up all that myself, because
I really did not remember what it was I had dreamt
about that night; but when Karl Iv6novich, touched by
my story, began to console me, it seemed to me that I
had actually had such a terrible dream, and my tears
began to flow, this time from an entirely different cause.
When Karl Ivanovich left me, and I raised myself in
bed and began to pull my stockings on my tiny legs, my
tears flowed less abundantly, but the gloomy thoughts of
my fictitious dream did not leave me. The children's
valet, Nikol6y, entered the room. He was a small, neat
man, always serious, accurate, respectful, and a great friend
of Karl Ivinovich. He was carrying our garments and
shoes: for Vol6dya a pair of boots, and for me still the
unbearable shoes with ribbons. I felt ashamed to cry in
his presence. Besides, the morning sun shone merrily
through the windows, and Vol6dya, who was mocking
MArya IvAnovna, my sister's governess, was laughing so
merrily and loudly, as he stood at the wash-basin, that
even solemn NikolAy, with a towel over his shoulder, and
with soap in one of his hands and the water-tank in the
other, smiled and said:
"That will do, Vladimir Petr6vich! Be pleased to
wash yourself !"
I cheered up completely.
Sind Sie bald fertig ? was heard the voice of Karl
Ivinovich from the study-room.
His voice was stern, and no longer had that expression
of kindness which had touched me to tears. In the class-
room Karl Ivinovich was a different man: he was an
instructor. I dressed in a hurry, washed myself, and,
with the hair-brush in my hand, trying to smooth down
my wet hair, made my appearance in response to his
Karl Iv6novich had his spectacles on his nose and a
book in his hands, and was seated in his usual place,
between the door and the window. At the left of the
door were two small shelves: one was ours, the children's,
the other was his, Karl Iv6novich's. On our shelf were
all kinds of books, school-books and others: some of
these were placed upright, others lay flat. Only two
large volumes of the "Histoire des Voyages," in red bind-
ings, were properly placed against the wall. Then fol-
lowed long, fat, large, and small books, bindings without
books, and books without bindings. We used to stick
and jam into it all kinds of things, when, just before
recess, we were ordered to fix up the "library," as Karl
Iv6novich loudly called that shelf.
The collection of books on his shelf was not so large as
ours, but it was much more varied. I remember three of
them: a German pamphlet about the manuring of gar-
dens for cabbage, -without a binding: one volume of a
history of the Seven Years' War, in parchment which
was burned at one end; and a complete course of hydro-
statics. Karl Ivinovich used to pass the greater part of
his time reading, and he had even impaired his eyesight in
that way; but he never read anything else but these
books and the Northern Bee.1
Among the objects which lay on Karl Ivanovich's shelf,
there was one which more than any other reminds me
of him. It was a circle of cardboard, stuck in a wooden
support, in which it moved, by means of pegs. Upon
1 A periodical.
KARL IVANOVICH, OUR TEACHER
that circle was pasted a picture which represented a car-
icature of a lady and a hair-dresser. Karl Ivanovich was
a good hand at pasting, and he had himself invented and
made that circle in order to shield his weak eyes against
the bright light.
Vividly I see before me the lank figure in the cotton
dressing-gown and red cap, underneath which peep out
scanty gray hairs. He is seated at the little table, upon
which is placed the circle with the hair-dresser, that
throws a shadow upon his face. In one hand he holds a
book; his other is resting on the arm of the chair. Near
him lies the watch with a chasseur painted on its
face, a checkered handkerchief, a round black snuff-box,
a green case for his glasses, and snuffers on a holder.
All these things are lying so regularly and properly in
their places, that by the order itself it is possible to
conclude that Karl IvAnovich's conscience is pure and his
soul at rest.
When we had run ourselves tired in the hall down-stairs,
we used to steal up-stairs on tiptoes, into the study, and
there we would see Karl Ivanovich sitting all alone in
his armchair and with a calmly sublime expression read-
ing one of his favourite books. There were moments
when I caught him not reading: his spectacles were dropped
lower on his large aquiline nose, his blue, half-closed eyes
looked with a certain peculiar expression, and his lips
smiled sadly. It was quiet in the room; one could hear
only the even breathing and the ticking of the watch with
At times he did not notice me, while I stood at the
door and thought: Poor, poor old man 1 There are many
of us: we are playing, we are happy; but he is all alone,
and nobody comforts him. He is telling the truth when
he says that he is an orphan. The history of his life is
terrible, indeed! I remember his telling it to NikolAy.
It is terrible to be in his place !" And I would feel so
sorry for him, that I would go up to him, take his hand,
and say: Lieber Karl Ivanovich !" He liked my speak-
ing thus to him: he would pat me, and it was evident
that he was touched.
Upon the other wall hung maps, nearly all of them
torn, but skilfully pasted up by the hand of Karl Iv6no-
vich. On the third wall, in the middle of which was a
door that led down-stairs, were hanging, on one side, two
rulers: one, all cut up, belonged to us, the other, which
was new, was his, and was used more for encouragement
than for ruling; on the other side was a blackboard, on
which our great transgressions were marked with circles,
and our small ones with crosses. At the left of the board
was the corner where we were made to kneel.
How well I remember that corner! I remember the
valve in the stove, the ventilator in that valve, and the
noise which it made whenever it was turned. When I
had stood in the corner quite awhile, until my knees and
back were aching, I thought: "Karl Ivanovich has for-
gotten about me. He, no doubt, feels rested, sitting in a
soft chair, and reading his Hydrostatics, but how about
me ?" And to make him think of me, I would softly
open and close the valve, or scratch off some stucco from
the wall; but if suddenly an unusually large piece fell
upon the ground, -then, indeed, the fright it gave me
was worse than any punishment. I looked at Karl
Ivdnovich, -but he sat there with his book in his hand,
as if he had not heard anything.
In the middle of the room stood a table which was
covered with a torn black oilcloth, underneath which
peeped out the edges that had been all cut up with pen-
knives. Around the table were a few unpainted tabourets,
which had assumed a gloss from long usage. The last
wall was occupied by three windows. From these the
following view was had: right below the windows was
the road, every puddle, every pebble, and every rut of
I I I .
KARL IVANOVICH, OUR TEACHER
which had long been familiar and dear to me; beyond the
road lay an avenue of lopped linden-trees, and beyond
that a wicker-fence could be seen in places; on the other
side of the avenue appeared a meadow, on one side of which
was a threshing-barn, and opposite it a forest; the hut of
the watchman was, visible far in the distance.
Through the window on the right was seen a part of
the terrace where the grown people used to sit before
dinner. At times, while Karl Ivanovich was correcting
the dictation sheet, I looked in that direction, and I saw
my mother's black head and somebody's back, and I dimly
heard some conversation and laughter. I felt angry because
I could not be there, and I thought: When I shall be
grown, shall I stop studying and eternally reading the
Dialogues ? And shall I not be sitting with those I love ?"
Anger passed into sadness, and I fell to musing, God
knows why or over what, so that I did not hear Karl
IvAnovich's angry words over my mistakes.
Karl Ivinovich took off his dressing-gown, put on his
blue uniform with elevations and gatherings at the
shoulders, fixed his cravat before the mirror, and took us
down-stairs, to bid mother good morning.
MOTHER was sitting in the drawing-room and pour-
ing out tea. With one hand she held the teapot, with
the other the faucet of the samovar, from which the water
ran over the teapot to the tray. Though she was look-
ing fixedly at it, she did not notice it, nor that we had
So many memories of the past rise before one, trying
to resurrect in imagination the features of a beloved being,
that one sees them dimly through these recollections as
through tears. When I try to recall my mother as she
was at that time, I can think only of her brown eyes,
which always expressed the same kindness and love, of
a birthmark upon her neck, a little below the place where
the small hairs curled, of her white linen collar, of her
tender dry hand which had so often fondled me, and
which I had so often kissed; her general expression
To the left of the sofa stood an old English grand
piano. At the piano was seated my swarthy sister Lyd-
bochka, who with her rosy fingers that had just been
washed in cold water was playing with evident expression
Clementi's Etudes. She was eleven years old. She wore
a short gingham dress and white, lace-bordered pantalets,
and she could encompass octaves only by arpeggio. Near
her, and half turned around, sat Mirya Ivinovna, in a
cap with rose-coloured ribbons, and wearing a blue jersey.
Her angry red face assumed a sterner expression the
moment Karl Ivanovich entered. She looked angrily at
him and, without answering his greeting, continued to
stamp her foot and to count: un, deux, trois, un, deux,
trois, louder and more commandingly than before.
Karl Ivanovich paid no attention whatsoever to it, and,
as was his custom, with German politeness went straight
up to take my mother's hand. She awoke from her
reverie, shook her head, as if wishing to dispel her gloomy
thoughts with that motion, gave her hand to Karl Ivano-
vich, and kissed his furrowed temple, while he was kissing
"Ich danke, lieber Karl Ivanovich!" and continuing
to speak German, she asked him whether the children
had slept well.
Karl Ivdnovich was deaf in one ear, and just then he
could hear nothing because of the noise at the piano. He
bent lower down to the sofa, leaned with one arm against
the table, while standing on one foot, and with a smile,
which then appeared to me the acme of refinement, lifted
his cap on his head and said:
"Excuse me, Natilya NikolAevna !"
Not to catch a cold, Karl IvAnovich never took off his
red cap, but every time he entered the sitting-room, he
asked permission to keep it on.
"Put it on, Karl Ivinovich. I am asking you whether
the children have slept well," said mamma, quite aloud,
as she moved up to him.
But he again had not heard anything. He covered his
bald head with his red cap, and smiled even more sweetly.
Stop a minute, Mimi," said mamma to Marya Ivi-
novna, smiling. One can't hear a thing."
Whenever mother smiled, her face, which was very
pretty, became even more beautiful, and everything
around her seemed to grow happier. If, in the heavy
moments of my life, I had been able to see that smile,
even in passing, I should not have known what grief is.
It seems to me that in the smile alone is contained that
which is called the beauty of the face: if the smile adds
charm to the face, the face is beautiful; if it does not
change it, it is common; if it spoils it, it is homely.
Having greeted me, mamma took my head with both
her hands, and threw it back, then looked fixedly at me,
"You have been crying to-day ?"
I did not answer. She kissed my eyes, and asked in
"What were you crying about?"
Whenever she spoke to us in a friendly manner, she
spoke in that language, which she had mastered perfectly.
I had been crying in my dream, mamma," said I, as I
recalled the fictitious dream with all its details and
involuntarily shuddered at the thought.
Karl Iv6novich confirmed my words, but kept silent
about the dream. Having said something about the
weather, in which conversation Mimi, too, took part,
mamma placed six pieces of sugar on the tray for some
especially honoured servants, then arose and walked up to
the embroidery-frame which stood near the window.
"Well, go now to papa, children, and tell him to be
sure and come to see me before he goes to the threshing-
The music, the counting, and the stern glances began
anew, and we went to papa. After passing the room
which from grandfather's time had preserved the name of
officiating-room, we entered his study.
HE was standing near the writing-table and, pointing
to some envelopes, papers, and heaps of money, was
speaking excitedly about something to steward Yakov
Mikhiylovich, who was standing in his customary place,
between the door and the barometer, with his hands
behind his back, rapidly moving his fingers in all direc-
The more excitedly father spoke, the more rapidly his
fingers twitched, and, again, when father stopped speak-
ing, his fingers ceased moving; but when Yikov himself
began to speak his fingers came into the greatest commo-
tion and desperately jumped on all sides. It seems to
me one could have guessed Yakov's secret thoughts by
their motion. But his face was quiet, and expressed the
consciousness of his dignity and at the same time of his
subserviency, as much as to say: "I am right; however,
as you may wish it!"
When papa saw us, he only said:
Wait a moment."
With a motion of his head he pointed to the door,
which he wanted some one of us to close.
Oh, merciful Lord! What is the matter with you
to-day, Yakov ?" continued he to the steward, twitching
his shoulders, which was a habit of his. "This envelope
with the enclosed eight hundred roubles -"
Yakov moved up the abacus, cast 800 upon it, and
fixed his eyes upon an indefinite point, waiting for things
"-are for farm expenses during my absence. You
understand? For the mill you are to get one thousand
roubles -is it not so? You will get back deposits from
the treasury, eight thousand roubles; for the hay, of
which, according to your own calculation, we ought to
sell seven thousand puds, let me say at forty-five
kopeks, -you will receive three thousand roubles; con-
sequently, how much money will you have in all?
Twelve thousand, am I not right ? "
Just so, sir," said Yakov.
But I noticed by the rapidity with which his fingers
moved that he was about to retort something. Papa
Well, from these moneys you will send ten thousand
to the Council for the Petr6vskoe estate. Now, the money
which is in the office," continued papa (Y6kov had dis-
turbed the former 12,000, and now cast 21,000 on his
abacus), "you will bring to me, and you will write it
down among the expenses of this date." (Ydkov mixed
up the accounts and turned over the abacus, no doubt
wishing to say by this that the 21,000 would be equally
lost.) "But this envelope with the enclosed money you
will deliver in my name according to the address."
I was standing near the table and looked at the inscrip-
tion. It ran: "To Karl Ivdnych Mauer." (rc l ,
Evidently noticing that I had read what I ought not to
know, papa placed his hand upon my shoulder, and with
a slight motion indicated a direction away from the table.
I did not understand whether that was a favour or a
reprimand, but in any case kissed his large venous hand
which lay upon my shoulder. S ~w
At your service, sir," said YAkov. "And what is your
order in regard to the Khab6rovka money ?"
Khabarovka was mother's estate.
Leave it in the office, and never use it without my
Yakov was silent for a few moments; then suddenly
his fingers began to move with increased rapidity, and,
changing the expression of submissive stupidity with
which he listened to his master's commands, into one of
shrewd cunning, which was peculiar to him, he moved
the abacus up to him, and began to speak.
Permit me to report to you, Peter AleksAndrovich, that
your will shall be done, but it is impossible to pay into
the Council at the proper time. You have deigned to
say," continued he, speaking more slowly, that money is
due from the deposits, the mill, and the hay." (As he
mentioned these items, he cast them on the abacus.)
" But I am afraid we may have made a mistake in our
calculations," he added, after a short silence, and looking
thoughtfully at papa.
"Permit me to show you: as to the mill, the miller
has come to see me twice to ask for a delay; he swore by
Christ that he had no money, and he is here even now;
perhaps you would be pleased to speak to him yourself ?"
"What does he say?" asked papa, making a sign
with his head that he did not wish to speak with the
"The same old thing! He says that there has been
no grinding at all, that all the money he had he put into
a dam. What advantage would there be for us, sir, to
push him for it ? As to the deposits, which you mentioned,
it seems to me I already have reported that our money
is stuck fast there, and that it will not be so easy to get
it soon. I only lately sent to town a wagon of flour to
Ivan Afanisich, and with it a note in regard to this
matter: he answered that it would give him pleasure to
do something for Peter Aleksindrych, but that the affair
was not in his hands, and that, according to appearances,
the receipt would not be delivered for two months yet.
In regard to the hay you have deigned to remark, suppose
even we shall get three thousand roubles -"
He cast 3,000 on the abacus and kept silent for about
a minute, looking now at the abacus, now into father's
eyes, as much as to say:
You see yourself how little that is! And the hay,
again, will have to be sold first; if we were to sell it
now, you can see for yourself "
He evidently had still a great supply of proofs; it was,
no doubt, for this reason that papa interrupted him.
"I sha'n't change my order," said he; "but if there
will really be a delay in the receipt of the money, then
we can't help ourselves, and you will take as much money
of the KhabArovka estate as will be necessary."
Your servant, sir !"
By YAkov's expression of face and by his fingers one
could tell that this latter order afforded him a great
Yakov was a serf, but a very zealous and devoted man.
Like all good stewards, he was extremely close-fisted for
his master, and had the strangest conceptions about his
master's advantages. He eternally schemed for the
increase of his master's property at the expense of that
of his mistress, and tried to prove that it was necessary
to use all the income from her estates for the Petr6vskoe
village, where we were living. He was triumphant at
this moment, because he had been completely successful.
Having bid us good morning, papa told us that we had
been long enough frittering our time away in the village,
that we were no longer babies, and that it was time for
us to begin studying in earnest.
"I think you know already that I am this very evening
going to Moscow, and that I shall take you with me,"
said he. "You will be living with grandmother, and
mamma will stay here with the girls. And remember
this: her only consolation will be to hear that you are
studying well and that people are satisfied with you."
Although from the preparations which had been going
on for several days we expected something unusual, yet
this news gave us a terrible shock. Vol6dya blushed and
with a trembling voice gave him mother's message.
"So this is what my dream foreboded!" thought I.
"God grant only that nothing worse may happen."
I was very sorry for mother; at the same time the
thought that we were now grown gave me pleasure.
"If we are to travel to-day, there will be no classes:
that is glorious!" thought I. "However, I am sorry for
Karl Iv6novich. He will, no doubt, be dismissed, or else
they would not have fixed an envelope for him. It would
be better, after all, to study all our lives and not to go
away, not to leave mother, and not to offend poor Karl
Ivanovich. He is unfortunate enough without it!"
These thoughts flashed through my head: I did not
budge from the spot, and fixed my eyes on the black
ribbons of my shoes.
My father said a few words to Karl Ivanovich about
the falling of the barometer, and ordered Y6kov not to
feed the dogs, so that before his leave-taking he might
go out in the afternoon and listen to the baying of the
young hounds. Contrary to my expectation he sent us
back to study, consoling us, however, with a promise to
take us out on the hunt.
On my way up-stairs I ran out on the terrace. At the
door lay father's favourite greyhound, Milka, blinking her
eyes in the sun.
"Dear Milka," said I, patting her and kissing her
mouth," we are going away to-day. Good-bye! We shall
never see each other again."
I was agitated, and I began to weep.
KARL IVANOVICH was not at all in humour. That was
evident from his knit brow, from the manner with which
he threw his coat into the drawer, from his girding him-
self angrily, and from his making a deep mark with his
thumb in the book of Dialogues, in order to indicate the
place to which we were to memorize.
Vol6dya studied pretty well, but I was so disconcerted
that I could do absolutely nothing. I looked for a long
time senselessly into the book of Dialogues, but I could
not read through the tears which had gathered in my
eyes at the thought of the impending departure. But
when the time came to recite the Dialogues to Karl Ivano-
vich, who listened to me with half-closed eyes (that was
a bad sign), particularly when I reached the place
where one says, Wo kommen Sie her ?" and the other
answers: Ich komme vom Kaffeehause," I could no longer
restrain my tears, and through my sobs could not pro-
nounce: Haben Sie die Zeitung nicht gelesen ?" When we
reached penmanship, my tears that fell on the paper made
blotches as if I were writing on wrapping-paper.
Karl IvAnovich grew angry, put me on my knees,
insisted that it was nothing but stubbornness and a puppet-
show (that was his favourite expression), threatened me
with the ruler, and demanded that I should ask forgive-
ness, though I could not pronounce a word through my
tears. In the end, he evidently felt that he was unjust
and went away into Nikolhy's room, slamming the door
In the class-room we could hear the conversation in
the valet's room.
"Have you heard, Nikolay, that the children are going
to Moscow ?" said Karl Ivanovich, as he entered the
Indeed, I have."
Nikolay, it seems, was on the point of rising, because
Karl Ivanovich said: "Keep your seat, Nikoliy!" and
immediately after closed the door. I left my corner
and went to the door to listen.
No matter how much good you may do to people, no
matter how attached you may be, you evidently cannot
expect any gratitude, Nikoly ? said Karl Ivanovich,
Nikolay, who was sitting at the window, cobbling away
at a boot, nodded his head in affirmation.
"I have been living in this house these fifteen years,
and I can say before God, Nikolay," continued Karl
Ivanovich, raising his eyes and his snuff-box toward the
ceiling, that I have loved them and have worked with
them more than if they were my own children. You
remember, NikolMy, when Vol6denka had the fever, how
I sat for nine days by his bed, without closing my eyes.
Yes! when I was good, dear Karl Ivanovich, I was needed,
but now," added he, smiling ironically, now the children
have grown, and they must study in earnest. As if they
were not studying here, Nikolay!"
"I should say they were, it seems!" said Nikolay,
putting down the awl, and pulling through the waxed
thread with both his hands.
"Yes, I am superfluous now, so I am sent away; but
where are the promises ? where is the gratitude? I
respect and love NatAlya Nikolaevna, Nikolay," said he,
putting his hand on his breast, "but what is she? Her
will has as much power in this house as this!" saying
which, he with an expressive mien threw upon the floor
a chip of leather. "I know whose tricks they are, and
why I am superfluous now; it is because I do not flatter
and approve everything, as other people do. I am in the
habit of speaking the truth at all times and to everybody,"
said he, proudly. God be with them They will not
grow rich by not having me here, and I, God is merciful,
will find a piece of bread somewhere. Am I right,
Nikolay raised his head and looked at Karl Ivanovich,
as if he wanted to assure himself that he would really be
able to find a piece of bread, but he did not say anything.
Karl Ivanovich spoke much and long in that strain;
he told of how his services had been much better appreciated
at some general's, where he used to live (that pained me
very much), he told of Saxony, of his parents, of his
friend, tailor Schdnheit, and so forth.
I sympathized with his sorrow, and I felt pained be-
cause my father and Karl Ivanovich, whom I respected
about equally, did not understand each other; I again
betook myself to my corner, sat down on my heels, and
began to consider how to restore the right understanding
When Karl Ivanovich returned to the class-room, he
ordered me to get up, and to prepare the copy-book for
dictation. When everything was ready, he majestically
fell back into his chair, and in a voice which seemed to
issue from some depth began to dictate as follows: "' Von
al-len Lei-den-schaf-ten die grau-sam-ste ist'- haben Sie
geschrieben ?" Here he stopped, slowly snuffed some
tobacco, and continued with renewed strength: "'Die
grausamste ist, die Un-dank-bar-keit' -ein grosses U."
Having finished the last word, and in expectation of
something to follow, I looked at him.
Punctum," said he, with a barely perceptible smile,
and made a sign that we should hand him our copy-
He read that motto several times, with various intona-
tions and with an expression of the greatest satisfaction.
The motto expressed his innermost thought. Then he
gave us a lesson from history, and seated himself at the
window. His face was not as stern as before; it expressed
the satisfaction of a man who had in a fitting manner
avenged the insult which had been offered him.
It was fifteen minutes to one, but Karl Ivinovich did
not even think of dismissing us; he continued giving us
new lessons. Ennui and appetite grew in the same pro-
portion. With the greatest impatience I followed all the
tokens which indicated the nearness of the dinner. There
was the peasant woman going with a mop to wash the
dishes; there the rattle of the plates was heard in the
butler's room; the table was drawn out and chairs were
placed; and there Mimi was coming from the garden with
Lyiibochka and Kitenka (Kitenka was the twelve-year-
old daughter of Mimi), but F6ka was not yet to be seen,
servant F6ka, who always came and announced that din-
ner was served. Only then would we be allowed to throw
aside our books and run down, without paying any heed
to Karl Ivanovich.
Steps were heard on the staircase, but that was not
F6ka. I had studied his walk, and always could recog-
nize the creak of his boots. The door opened, and an
entirely unfamiliar figure made its appearance.
THE SAINTLY FOOL
INTO the room entered a man of about fifty years of
age, with a pale, pock-marked, oval face, long gray hair,
and a scanty reddish beard. He was so tall that, in order
to enter, he had to bend not only his head, but his whole
body. He was dressed in something torn that resembled
a caftan and a cassock; in his hand he held a huge staff.
As he entered the room, he with all his might struck the
floor with it, and, furrowing his brow and opening his
mouth beyond measure, laughed out in a most terrible and
unnatural manner. One of his eyes was maimed, and the
white pupil of that eye kept on leaping about and giving
to his otherwise ugly face a more disgusting expression.
"Aha, caught!" he cried out, running up to Vol6dya
with mincing steps, getting hold of his head, and begin-
ning carefully to examine his crown. Then he walked
away from him with an entirely solemn expression on his
face, stepped to the table, and began to blow under the
oilcloth and to make the sign of the cross over it.
Oh, a pity! Oh, painful! Dear ones will fly
away," said he then, in a voice quivering with tears, feel-
ingly looking at Vol6dya, and beginning with his sleeves
to wipe off the tears which had really started to fall.
His voice was rough and hoarse, his motions hasty and
uneven, his speech senseless and incoherent (he never
used any pronouns), but the accents were so touching, and
his yellow, maimed face at times assumed such an expres-
THE SAINTLY FOOL 21
sion of sincere sorrow, that, hearing him, it was not pos-
sible to abstain from a certain mingled feeling of pity, fear,
That was the saintly fool and pilgrim, Grisha.
Whence did he come? Who were his parents? What
had incited him to choose the pilgrim's life which he was
leading? Nobody knew that. I only know that he had
been known as a saintly fool ever since his fifteenth year,
that he walked barefoot in summer and winter, that he
visited monasteries, presented images to those he took a
fancy to, and spoke mysterious words which some regarded
as prophecies, that no one had ever known him otherwise,
that he at times called on grandmother, and that some
said that he was the unfortunate son of rich parents, but
a pure soul, while others maintained that he was simply
a peasant and a lazy man.
At last long-wished-for and punctual F6ka appeared,
and we went down-stairs. Grisha, sobbing and continuing
to utter incoherent words, went down after us, and struck
the steps with his staff. Papa and mamma were walking
hand in hand in the living-room, and discussing something.
M6rya Iv6novna sat stiffly in an armchair, which sym-
metrically adjoined the sofa at right angles, and in a stern,
though reserved voice, gave instructions to the girls, who
were sitting near her.
The moment Karl Ivanovich entered the room, she
glanced at him, immediately turned away, and her face
assumed an expression which may be rendered by, I do
not notice you, Karl Ivanovich." We could read in the
eyes of the girls that they were anxious to transmit to us
some very important information, but it would have been
a transgression of Mimi's rules to jump up from their seats
and come to us. We had first to walk up to her, to say
" Bonjour, Mimi !" to scuff, and then only we were per-
mitted to enter into a conversation.
What an intolerable person that Mimi was! In her
presence it was not possible to speak about anything; she
found everything improper. Besides, she continually
nagged us, Parlez done franfais," every time we, as if
to spite her, wanted to chat in Russian; or, at dinner, we
would just get the taste of some dish and would not want
to be interrupted by any one, when she would burst in
with Mangez done avec du pain," or Comment-ce que
vous tenez votre fourchette ?" What business has she
with us ?" we would think. "Let her teach the girls; we
have Karl IvAnovich for that." I absolutely shared his
hatred of other people.
Ask mamma to take us out to the hunt," said Kitenka,
in a whisper, stopping me by my blouse, when the grown
people had entered the dining-room.
All right, we shall try."
Grisha dined in the dining-room, but at a separate table.
He did not raise his eyes from his plate, but now and then
sobbed, made terrible grimaces, and kept on saying, as if
to himself, A pity! flown away the dove has flown to
heaven Oh, there is a stone on the grave !" and so on.
Mamma had been out of humour since morning: the
presence, words and acts of Grisha perceptibly intensified
that feeling in her.
Oh, yes, I almost forgot to ask you for one thing," said
she, as she passed a plate of soup to father.
What is it ?"
Please have your awful dogs locked up; they almost
bit poor Grisha to death as he crossed the yard. They
might attack the children some day."
When Grisha heard them speaking about him, he turned
toward the table, began to show the torn corners of his
garment, and munching, said:
"Wanted to kill. God did not let. A sin to hunt with
dogs, a great sin! Strike no big ones, why strike ? God
will forgive, different days."
What is he talking about ?" asked papa, sharply
THE SAINTLY FOOL
and severely surveying him. I do not understand a
But I understand," answered mamma. "He is telling
me that a certain hunter had on purpose urged the dogs
against him, and so he says, Wanted to kill but God did
not let,' and he is asking you not to punish the hunter."
Oh, that's it ?" said papa. "But how does he know
that I had intended to punish the hunter ? You know, I
am not at all fond of these gentlemen," he continued in
French, but this one is especially objectionable to me,
and, no doubt "
Oh, do not say that, my dear," mamma interrupted
him, as if frightened at something, how do you know ?"
"It seems to me I have had occasion to become ac-
quainted with his tribe, there are a lot of them coming
to see you, they are all of the same pattern. Always one
and the same story."
It was evident mamma was of an entirely different
opinion in regard to that matter, and did not wish to dis-
"Hand me that pasty, if you please," said she. "Are
they good to-day ? "
No, I am angry," continued papa, taking the pasty in
his hand, but holding it at such a distance that mamma
could not reach it, no, I am angry whenever I see intel-
ligent and cultivated people given to such deception."
And he struck the table with his fork.
I have asked you to hand me the pasty," repeated she,
extending her hand.
"They are doing just right," continued papa, moving
his hand away, when they put them in jail. The only
good they do is to destroy the otherwise weak nerves of
certain persons," added he, with a smile, as he noticed that
this conversation did not please mamma. Then he handed
her the pasty.
"I shall reply only this much to you: it is hard to be-
lieve that a man who, in spite of his sixty years, in sum-
mer and winter walks barefoot, and uninterruptedly wears
under his garments chains of two puds in weight, and who
more than once has declined the proposition to live in
peace and contentment, -it is hard to believe that such
a man should be doing it all out of laziness. As to the
prophecies," she added, with a sigh and after a short si-
lence, "je suis payie pour y croire, it seems to me, I have
told you how Kirydsha foretold papa's death to him to
the very hour and day."
Oh, what have you done with me ?" said papa, smil-
ing and placing his hand to his mouth on the side where
Mimi was sitting. (Whenever he did so, I listened with
redoubled attention, expecting something funny.) "Why
did you remind me of his feet ? I have looked at them,
and now I sha'n't eat anything."
The dinner was coming to an end. Lydbochka and
Kitenka kept on winking to us, moving restlessly in their
chairs, and, in general, showing great anxiety. This
winking meant, Why do you not ask to take us to the
hunt?" I nudged Vol6dya with my elbow. Vol6dya
nudged me, and finally took courage; at first speaking in
a timid voice, then more firmly and loudly, he declared
that, as we were to depart to-day, we should like to have
the girls go with us to the hunt, in the carriage. After a
short consultation between the grown people, the question
was decided in our favour, and, what was even more
agreeable, mamma said she would herself go with us.
PREPARATION FOR THE HUNT
YAKOV was called during the dessert and orders were
given in regard to the carriage, the dogs, and the saddle-
horses, all this with the minutest details, calling each
horse by its name.
As Vol6dya's horse was lame, papa ordered a hunter's
horse to be saddled for him. This word, "hunter's horse,"
somehow sounded strange in mamma's ears; it seemed to
her that a hunter's horse must be some kind of a ferocious
animal, which must by all means run away with and kill
Vol6dya. In spite of the assurance of papa and of Vold-
dya, who said with remarkable pluck that it was all
nothing and that he was very fond of being carried rapidly
by a horse, poor mamma continued saying that she should
be worrying during the whole picnic.
The dinner came to an end. The grown people went
into the cabinet to drink coffee, and we ran into the gar-
den, to scuff along the paths, which were covered with
fallen yellow leaves, and to have a chat. We began to
talk about Vol6dya's riding on a hunter's horse, about its
being a shame that Lydbochka did not run so fast as
Katenka, about its being interesting to get a look at
Grisha's chains, and so on, but not a word was said of our
departure. Our conversation was interrupted by the rattle
of the approaching carriage, on each spring of which a
village boy was seated. Behind the carriage followed the
hunters with their dogs, and behind the hunters, coachman
IgnAt, riding on the horse which was intended for Vol6dya,
and leading my old nag by the hand. At first we all
rushed to the fence, from which all these interesting things
could be seen, and then we all ran up-stairs shouting and
rattling, to get dressed, and to get dressed in such a man-
ner as to resemble hunters most. One of the chief means
for obtaining that end was to tuck our pantaloons into our
boots. We betook ourselves to that work without any
loss of time, hastening to get done as soon as possible and
to run out on the veranda, to enjoy the sight of the dogs
and of the horses, and to have a chat with the hunters.
It was a hot day. White, fantastic clouds had ap-
peared in the horizon early in the morning; then a soft
breeze began to drive them nearer and nearer, so that at
times they shrouded the sun. Though the clouds moved
about and grew dark, it was, evidently, not fated that they
should gather into a storm-cloud and break up our last
enjoyment. Toward evening they again began to scatter:
they grew paler, lengthened out, and ran down to the
horizon; others, above our very heads, changed into white,
transparent scales; only one large, black cloud hovered
somewhere in the east. Karl IvAnovich always knew
whither each cloud went. He announced that that cloud
would go to Mislovka, that there would be no rain, and
that the weather would be fine.
F6k'a, in spite of his declining years, very nimbly and
rapidly ran ddwn-stairs, called out, "Drive up!" and,
spreading his feet, planted himself in the middle of the
driveway, between the place where the coachman was to
drive up the carriage and the threshold, in the attitude of
a man who need not be reminded of his duties. The
ladies came down, and after a short discussion where each
one was to sit, and to whom each one was to hold on
thoughh, it seemed to me, there was no need at all to hold
on), they seated themselves, opened their parasols, and
started. As the carriage moved off, mamma pointed to the
PREPARATION FOR THE HUNT
" hunter's horse and asked the coachman with a quiver-
Is this horse for Vladimir Petr6vich ?"
When the coachman answered in the affirmative, she
waved her hand and turned away. I was in great
impatience. I mounted my pony, looked between its
ears, and made all kinds of evolutions in the yard.
"Please not to crush the dogs," said a hunter to me.
"Have no fear, this is not my first time," answered I,
Vol6dya seated himself on the "hunter's horse" not
without a certain trembling, in spite of the firmness of
his character, and, patting it, asked several times:
Is it a gentle horse ?"
He looked very well on a horse, just like a grown
person. His tightly stretched thighs lay so well on the
saddle that I was envious, because, as far as I could
judge by the shadow, I did not make such a fine
Then papa's steps were heard on the staircase. The
dog-keeper collected the hounds that had run ahead.
The hunters with their greyhounds called up their dogs,
and all mounted their horses. The groom led a horse
up to the veranda. The dogs of father's leash, that had
been lying before in various artistic positions near the
horse, now rushed up to him. Milka ran out after him,
in a beaded collar, tinkling her iron ,clapper. Whenever
she came out, she greeted the dogs of the kennel; with
some of them she played, others she scented or growled
at, and on others, again, she looked for fleas.
Papa mounted his horse, and we started.
TURKA, the Chief Hunter, rode ahead of us, on a gray,
hook-nosed horse. He wore a shaggy cap, and had
a huge horn on his shoulders and a hunting-knife in his
belt. From the gloomy and ferocious exterior of that
man one would have concluded that he was going to
a mortal conflict rather than to a hunt. At the hind feet
of his horse ran, in a motley, wavering mass, the hounds,
in close pack. It was a pity to see what fate befell
the unfortunate hound that took it into his head to drop
behind. In order to do so, he had to pull his companion
with all his might, and whenever he accomplished it, one
of the dog-keepers who rode behind struck him with his
hunting-whip, calling out, Back to the pack!" When
he rode out of the gate, papa ordered the hunters and us
to ride on the road, but he himself turned into the rye-
The harvesting was in full blast. The immeasurable,
bright yellow field was closed in only on one side by
a tall, bluish forest which then appeared to me as a most
distant and mysterious place, beyond which either the
world came to an end, or uninhabitable countries began.
The whole field was filled with sheaves and men. Here
and there, in the high, thick rye, could be seen, in a
reaped swath, the bent form of a reaping woman, the
swinging of the ears as she drew them through her
fingers; a woman in the shade, bending over a cradle;
and scattered stacks in the stubble-field that was over-
grown with bluebottles. Elsewhere peasants in nothing
but shirts, standing on carts, were loading the sheaves,
and raising the dust on the dry, heated field. The village
elder, in boots and with a camel-hair coat over his
shoulders, and notched sticks in his hand, having noticed
us in the distance, doffed his lambskin cap, wiped off his
red-haired head and beard with a towel, and called out
loud to the women. The sorrel horse on which papa was
riding went at a light, playful canter, now and then drop-
ping his head to his breast, drawing out his reins, and
switching off with his heavy tail the horseflies and gnats
that eagerly clung to him.
Two greyhounds, bending their tails tensely in the
shape of a sickle and lifting their legs high, gracefully
leaped over the high stubble, behind the feet of the horse;
Milka ran in front and, bending her head, waited to be
fed. The conversation of the people, the tramp of the
horses, the rattle of the carts, the merry piping of
the quails, the buzzing of the insects that hovered in the
air in immovable clouds, the odour of wormwood, of straw,
and of horses' sweat, thousands of various flowers and of
shadows which the burning sun spread over the light-
yellow stubble-field, over the blue distance of the forest,
and over the light, lilac clouds, the white cobwebs that
were borne in the air or that lodged upon the stubbles, -
all that I saw, heard, and felt.
When we reached the Viburnum Forest, we found the
carriage there and, above all expectation, another one-
horse vehicle, in the midst of which sat the butler.
Through the hay peeped a samovir, a pail with an ice-
cream freezer, and a few attractive bundles and boxes.
There was no mistaking; we were to have tea, ice-cream,
and fruit in the open. At the sight of the vehicle we
expressed a noisy delight, because it was regarded as a
great pleasure to drink tea in the woods, on the grass,
and, in general, in a spot where no one ever drank tea.
Ttrka rode up to the grove, stopped, attentively lis-
tened to papa's minute instructions as to where to line
up and where to come out (however, he never complied
with these instructions, but did as he thought best),
unloosed the dogs, fixed the braces, mounted his horse,
and, whistling, disappeared behind the young birch-trees.
The loosed hounds first expressed their pleasure by
wagging their tails, then shook themselves, straightened
themselves, and, scenting their way and shaking their
tails, ran in different directions.
Have you a handkerchief ?" asked papa.
I took it out of my pocket and showed it to him.
"Well, so, take this gray dog on your handkerchief."
Zhiran ?" said I, with the look of a connoisseur.
Yes! and run along the road. When you come to
a clearing, stop. And look out; do not come back to me
without a hare !"
I tied my handkerchief around Zhirin's shaggy neck,
and ran headlong to the place indicated. Papa laughed
and cried after me:
"Hurry up, hurry up, or you will be late!"
Zhiran kept stopping all the time, pricking his ears,
and listening to the calls of the hunters. I did not have
enough strength to pull him off, and I began to cry,
"Atui atu !" Then Zhiran tugged so hard that I barely
could hold him back and fell down several times before
I could reach the place. Having found a shady, level
spot at the foot of a tall oak-tree, I lay down in the
grass, placed ZhirLn near me, and began to wait. My
imagination, as generally happens under such circum-
stances, far outran the actual facts; I imagined that I was
baiting the third hare, whereas it was only the first
hound that was heard in the woods. Tirka's voice was
heard through the forest ever louder and more animated;
the hound whimpered, and his voice was heard more fre-
quently; a second, bass voice joined it, then a third, a
fourth. These voices now grew silent, now interrupted
each other. The sounds grew in volume and became less
irregular, and finally ran together into one hollow, long-
drawn tone. The grove was rich in echoes, and the
hounds bayed incessantly.
When I heard that, I remained as if petrified in my
place. Fixing my eyes on the clearing, I smiled meaning-
lessly; the perspiration coursed down my face in a stream,
and, though its drops, running over my cheek, tickled me,
I did not wipe them off. It seemed to me that there
could be nothing more decisive than this moment. The
strain of this intent feeling was too great to last long.
The hounds now bayed at the very clearing, now kept
on receding from me. There was no hare. I began
to look around me. The same mood seemed to possess
Zhirin; at first he tugged to get away and whimpered;
then he lay down near me, placed his snout on my knees,
and grew quiet.
Near the bared roots of that oak-tree, under which I
was sitting, ants were swarming over the gray, dry earth,
between the dry oak leaves, acorns, dried up, lichen-
covered sticks, yellowish green moss and the thin blades
of grass that peeped through here and there. They were
hastening, one after the other, along the foot-paths which
they had laid out: some of them went with burdens,
others without burdens. I took a stick in my hand and
barred their way. It was a sight to see how some of
them, despising the danger, crawled under the obstacle,
while others crept over it; and some, especially those that
were with burdens, were completely lost, and did not
know what to do: they stopped, looked for a way round,
or turned back, or climbing over the stick reached my
hand and, it seemed, were trying to get in the sleeve
of my blouse. I was distracted from these interesting
observations by a butterfly with yellow wings that entic-
ingly circled about me. The moment I directed my
attention to it, it flew away some two steps from me,
hovered above an almost withered white flower of wild
clover, and alighted upon it. I do not know whether the
sun warmed the butterfly, or whether it was drinking the
juice of that flower,-in any case, it was evidently
happy there. It now and then flapped its wings and
pressed [close to the flower; finally it remained perfectly
quiet. I put my head on both my hands, and looked
with delight at the butterfly.
Suddenly ZhirAn began to whine, and he tugged with
such strength that I almost fell down. I looked around.
At the edge of the forest leaped a hare, one of his ears
lying flat and the other standing erect. The blood rushed
to my head and I, forgetting myself for the moment, cried
something in an unnatural voice, let the dog go, and
started to run myself. No sooner had I done that, than
I began to feel remorse; the hare squatted, took a leap,
and I never saw him again.
But what was my shame when Tirka appeared from
behind a bush, in the wake of the hounds that with one
voice made for the open! He had seen my mistake
(which was that I did not hold out), and, looking con-
temptuously at me, he said only: "Ah, master!" But
you should have heard how he said it I should have
felt better if he had hung me from his saddle like a hare.
I stood long in the same spot in great despair, did not
call the dog back, and only kept on repeating, striking my
0 Lord, what have I done !"
I heard the hounds coursing away; I heard them
beating at the other end of the grove, and driving the
hare, and Tdrka blowing his huge horn and calling the
dogs, but I did not budge.
THE hunt was ended. A rug was spread in the shade
of young birch-trees, and the whole company seated
themselves on it. Butler Gavrflo had stamped down the
juicy green grass around him, and was wiping the plates
and taking out of a box plums and peaches that were
wrapped in leaves. The sun shone through the green
branches of the birches, and cast round, quivering bits of
light on the patterns of the rug, on my feet, and even on
the bald, perspiring head of Gavrilo. A light breeze that
blew through the leafage of the trees, and over my hair
and perspiring face, greatly refreshed me.
When we had received our shares of ice-cream and
fruit, there was nothing else to do on the rug, and we
arose, in spite of the burning, oblique rays of the sun, and
went away to play.
"Well, what shall it be ?" said Lyubochka, blinking
from the sun and hopping about on the grass. Let us
No, that is tiresome," said Vol6dya, lazily throwing
himself on the grass and chewing at some leaves, "that
everlasting Robinson! If you want to play something,
let us rather build an arbour."
Vol6dya evidently was playing the great gentleman:
he, no doubt, was proud of having come on a hunter's
horse, and he pretended he was very tired. But, on the
other hand, he may have had too much common sense
and too little imagination to take complete enjoyment in
the game of Robinson. The game consisted in perform-
ing scenes from the Swiss Family Robinson," which we
had lately read.
Well, why, pray, do you not want to give us that
pleasure ?" insisted the girls. You may be Charles, or
Ernest, or the father, whichever you wish," said Ka-
tenka, trying to raise him from the ground by the sleeve
of his blouse.
Really, I don't feel like it, it is tiresome!" said
Vol6dya, stretching himself and at the same time smiling
"I should have preferred to stay at home, if nobody
wants to play," said Lyibochka, through tears.
She was a great blubberer.
"Well, let us have it; only, please, stop weeping,- I
can't bear it! "
Vol6dya's condescension gave us very little pleasure;
on the contrary, his lazy and weary look destroyed all the
charm of the game. When we seated ourselves on the
ground and, imagining that wewere rowing out to catch fish,
began to row with all our might, Volddya sat down with
crossed arms and in a pose which had nothing in common
with the attitude of a fisherman. I told him so; but he
answered that we should gain nothing from swinging our
arms more or less, and that we should not get far away
anyhow. I involuntarily agreed with him. When I
imagined that, holding a stick over my shoulder, I was
going into the woods to hunt, Vol6dya lay flat on his
back, with his hands behind his head, and told me that
he was going there too. Such actions and words cooled
our zest for the game, and were extremely unpleasant,
the more so since, in reality, we could not help admitting
that Vol6dya acted wisely.
I know myself that with a stick it is not possible to
kill a bird, or even to shoot at all. That is only a game.
But if one were to judge that way, it would not even
be possible to ride on chairs; and yet, Volddya him-
self remembers, I think, how in the long winter even-
ings we used to cover an armchair with a cloth, and
make a carriage of it; one took the coachman's seat,
another the lackey's, the girls were in the middle,
three stools were the three horses, and we started off
on the road. And what different kinds of accidents used
to happen on that road, and how merrily and swiftly
those winter evenings passed away! To judge by what
was going on now, there would be no game. And if there
were to be no game, what, then, would be left?
SOMETHING LIKE FIRST LOVE
As Lyuibochka represented that she was plucking some
American fruit from a tree, she pulled down, together
with a leaf, an immense worm; she threw it away in
terror, lifted up her hands, and jumped aside, as if afraid
that something might burst from it. The game stopped,
we all fell to the ground, touching our heads, to get
a glimpse of that peculiar thing.
I was looking over Kstenka's shoulder, who was trying
to lift the worm on a leaf which she placed in its way.
I had noticed that many girls were in the habit of
shrugging their shoulders, whenever they tried to restore
the low-necked dress to its proper place. I remember
how Mimi used to get angry at that motion, saying:
"C'est un geste de femme de chambre." As Kitenka
was bending over the worm, she made that very motion,
and at the same time the wind raised her little braid from
her white neck. Her shoulder was, during that motion
of hers, about two feet from my lips. I was no longer
looking at the worm, but right straight at her shoulder,
which I gave a smacking kiss. She did not turn round,
but I noticed that her neck and ears were blushing.
Vol6dya did not raise his head, but said, contemptuously :
What tenderness !"
There were tears in my eyes.
I did not take my eyes away from Kitenka. I had
long been used to her fresh, fair face, and I always loved
SOMETHING LIKE FIRST LOVE 37
it; but now I began to look more closely at it, and
loved it even more. When we walked up to the grown
people, papa announced to our great delight that, at
mother's request, our departure was postponed till the
We rode back together with the carriage. Vol6dya
and I, desirous to surpass each other in the art of horse-
back riding and in daring, made all kinds of evolutions
near it. My shadow was now longer than before, and,
judging by it, I supposed that I had the appearance of a
fine-looking rider; but the feeling of self-satisfaction
which I was experiencing was soon shattered by the fol-
lowing incident. Wishing to gain the final applause of
all those who were seated in the carriage, I lagged a little
behind, then, with the aid of whip and legs, put the horse
to a gallop, assumed a carelessly graceful attitude, and
attempted to pass in a whirl on the side of the carriage,
where KAtenka was sitting. The only thing I did not
know was whether to pass by in silence, or with a shout.
But the miserable horse stopped so suddenly the moment it
came in a line with the carriage horses, in spite of all my
efforts to the contrary, that I flew over the saddle upon
its neck, and came very near rolling off.
THE KIND OF A MAN MY FATHER WAS
HE was a man of the past age, and had the indefinable
character, common to the youths of that time, a compound
of chivalry, daring, self-confidence, amiability and merri-
ment. He looked contemptuously at the people of the
present generation, which view originated as much in his
inborn haughtiness, as in the secret annoyance because in
our age he could have neither that influence, nor those
successes, which he had enjoyed in his. His two chief
passions in life were cards and women; he had won
several millions in the course of his life, and he had
liaisons with an endless number of women of all classes of
A tall, stately stature, a strange, mincing gait, a habit
of shrugging his shoulder, small, eternally smiling eyes, a
large, aquiline nose, irregular lips that were folded rather
awkwardly, but pleasantly, a defective enunciation, he
lisped,- and a head entirely bald: such was the exterior
of my father ever since I can remember him, an
exterior with which he managed not only to pass for a
man & bones fortunes, and he really was such, but
even to be in favour with people of all conditions of life,
especially with those whom he wished to please.
He knew how to get the best out of his relations with
everybody. Although he had never been a man of very
fashionable society, he always cultivated the acquaintance
of people of that circle, and he did this in such a manner
THE KIND OF A MAN MY FATHER WAS 39
as to be respected. He was possessed of that extreme
measure of pride and self-confidence which, without
offending others, raised him in the opinion of the world.
He was original, though not always so, and he used this
originality as a means of social advancement which in
some cases took the place of worldliness and wealth.
Nothing in the world could rouse in him a feeling of sur-
prise: in whatever brilliant position he happened to be,
he always seemed to have been born for it. He knew so
well how to hide from others and remove from himself the
dark side of life which is filled with petty annoyances
and grief, that it was impossible not to envy him. He
was a connoisseur in all things that furnish comfort and
enjoyment, and he knew how to use them.
His hobby was his brilliant connections, which he pos-
sessed partly through my mother's family relations, partly
through the companions of his youth. But at them he
was angered in his heart, because they had far advanced
in rank, while he for ever remained a Lieutenant of the
Guard, out of service. Like all former military men, he
did not know how to dress fashionably; but he dressed
originally and with taste. He always wore ample light
raiment, beautiful linen, large turned-back cuffs and col-
lars. And everything was well adapted to his tall stature,
strong frame, bald head, and quiet, self-confident motions.
He was sensitive and even given to weeping. Fre-
quently, when in reading aloud he reached a pathetic
passage, his voice would falter, and tears appear, and he
would angrily put down the book. He loved music and
sang, accompanying himself at the piano, the ditties of his
friend A- gipsy songs and some arias from operas;
but he did not like "scientific" music and, disregarding
the commonly accepted opinion, openly said that Beet-
hoven's sonatas made him sleepy and tired, and that he
knew nothing better than "Wake me not, while I am
young," as Madam Seminov used to sing it, and "Not
alone," as the gipsy maiden Tanydsha sang it. His nature
was one of those which for a good deed need a public.
God knows whether he had any moral convictions. His
life was so full of distractions of all kinds that he had
had no time to form them, and he was so fortunate in his
life that he saw no need for them.
In his old age he formed settled opinions and invari-
able rules for everything, but they were all based exclu-
sively on a practical basis. Those acts and that conduct
of life which caused him happiness and pleasure he
regarded as good, and he considered that all people ought
at all times to act likewise. He spoke with great enthu-
siasm, and that ability, it seemed to me, increased the
flexibility of his rules: he was .ut able to speak of
the same deed as a very pleasant jest and as an act
of low rascality.
OCCUPATIONS IN THE CABINET AND IN THE SITTING-
IT was getting dark when we reached home. Mamma
seated herself at the piano, and we children brought
paper, pencils, and paint, and took up positions at the
round table. I had only some blue paint; yet I began to
picture the hunt with that alone. Having very vividly
represented a blue boy astride on a blue horse, and blue
dogs, I was not quite sure whether it was proper to paint
a blue hare, and so I ran into papa's cabinet to take coun-
sel with him. Papa was reading something, and to my
question, Are there any blue hares ?" he answered, with-
out raising his head, There are, my dear, there are." I
returned to the round table and painted a blue hare; but
I found it necessary later to change the blue hare into a
bush. The bush did not please me either; I made a tree
of it, and of the tree I made a hay rick, and of the rick a
cloud, and finally I so smeared the whole paper over with
the blue paint, that I tore it up in anger, and dozed off in
Mamma was playing the second concert of Field, her
teacher. I was dozing, and in my imagination rose some
light, bright and transparent recollections. She began to
play a pathetic sonata of Beethoven, and something sad,
heavy and gloomy overcast my mind. Mamma often
played these two pieces. I very well remember, there-
fore, the feeling which they evoked in me. That feeling
resembled recollections, but recollections of what? It
seemed to me that I was recalling something that had
Opposite me was the door to the cabinet, and I saw
Y6kov and some other people in caftans and beards enter-
ing through it. The door was at once closed after them.
" Well, now the occupation has begun !" thought I. It
seemed to me there was nothing more important in the
whole world than the affairs which were transacted in the
cabinet. I was strengthened in this belief because people
generally walked up to the door of the cabinet whispering
and on tiptoe, while from it was heard papa's loud voice,
and was borne the odour of a cigar which, for some reason,
always attracted me. In my waking moments I was sud-
denly struck by a familiar creaking of boots in the offi-
ciating room. Karl Ivinovich walked up on tiptoe, but
with a gloomy and firm face, holding some kind of notes
in his hand, and lightly knocked at the door. He was
admitted, and the door was again closed.
"I wonder whether some misfortune has happened,"
thought I. Karl Ivanovich is angry, and he is capable of
doing almost anything."
I again fell asleep.
There was, however, no misfortune. An hour later the
same creaking boots awoke me. Karl Ivdnovich, with his
handkerchief wiping off the tears which I had noticed on
his cheeks, issued from the door, and mumbling something
to himself, went up-stairs. Papa came out after him, and
entered the sitting-room.
"Do you know what I have just decided ?" said he in
a happy voice, placing his hand on mamma's shoulder.
What, my dear?"
"I shall take Karl Ivanovich along with the children.
They are used to him, and he, it seems, is really attached
to them. Seven hundred roubles a year does not amount
to much, et puis au fond c'est un trees bon diable."
OCCUPATIONS IN CABINET AND SITTING ROOM 43
I could not at all grasp why papa was scolding Karl
I am very glad," said mamma, both for the children
and for him; he is an excellent old man."
You ought to have seen how touched he was when I
told him that he should leave the five hundred roubles as
a present for the children! But what is most amusing is
the bill which he brought me. It is worth looking at,"
added he, with a smile, as he gave her the note which had
been written by Karl Ivanovich's hand. It is fine !"
Here are the contents of the note.
For the children two fishing-rod 70 kopek.
"Coloured paper, gold border, glew and form for boxs,
as presents-- 6 roubles 55 kopek.
A book and bow, presents to children 8 roubles 16
Pantaloon to Nikolyy 4 rouble.
Promised by Peter AleksAntrofich from Moscow in the
year 18- gold watch at 140 roubles.
Sum total due to Karl Mauer outside of salary 159
roubles 79 kopek."
Reading this note, in which Karl Ivanovich demanded
payment for all his expenditures for presents, and even
for a present which he had been promised, everybody
will conclude that Karl Ivanovich was nothing more
than an unfeeling and avaricious egoist, but that is a
When he entered the cabinet with the notes in his hand
and with a ready speech in his head, he had intended to
expatiate to papa on all the injustice which he had suf-
fered in our house, but when he began to speak in the
same touching voice and the same touching intonations in
which he generally dictated to us, his eloquence acted most
powerfully upon himself, so that when he reached the
place where he said, "However sad it will be for me to
part from the children," he completely lost himself, his
voice began to tremble, and he was compelled to get his
checkered handkerchief out of his pocket.
Yes, Peter Aleksindrych," said he through tears (that
passage was not at all in his prepared speech), "I am so
accustomed to the children that I do not know what I am
going to do without them. I should prefer to serve you
without pay," he added, with one hand wiping his tears,
and with the other handing in his bill.
I am absolutely sure that Karl Ivdnovich was that
moment speaking sincerely, because I know his good
heart; but it remains a mystery to me how his bill har-
monized with his words.
If the parting is sad for you, it is still sadder for me,"
said papa, tapping his shoulder. I have now changed my
Shortly before supper, Grisha entered the room. He
had not ceased sobbing and weeping from the time he had
come to our home, which, in the opinion of those who
believed in his ability to predict, foreboded some misfor-
tune for our house. He began to take leave, and said that
the next morning he would wander on. I beckoned to
Volddya, and went out-of-doors.
"If you want to see Grfsha's chains, let us go up-stairs,
to the apartments of the male servants. Grnsha sleeps
there in the second room, and we can see everything from
the lumber-room, and we shall see everything -- "
"Superb! Wait here awhile; I will call the girls."
The girls came out, and we proceeded up-stairs. After
some dispute as to who should be the first to go into the
dark lumber-room, we seated ourselves, and began to wait.
WE felt ill at ease in the darkness. We pressed close
to each other, and did not say a word. Almost right after
us Grisha entered with slow steps. In one hand he held
his staff, in the other a tallow dip in a brass candlestick.
We did not dare to breathe.
Lord Jesus Christ! Holy Mother of God! To the
Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost," repeated he, breath-
ing heavily, with all kinds of intonations and abbrevia-
tions which are peculiar only to those who often repeat
Having, with a prayer, placed his staff in the corner,
and surveying his bed, he began to undress. Ungirding
his old black belt, he slowly took off his torn nankeen
frock, carefully folded it, and hung it over the back of the
chair. His face did not now express, as usually, dulness
and haste; on the contrary, he was quiet, pensive, and
even majestic. His motions were slow and thoughtful.
When he was left in the linen, he softly let himself
down on his bed, made the sign of the cross over it on
all sides, and, as could easily be seen, with an effort (he
was frowning) rearranged the chains under his shirt.
Having remained for a minute in a sitting posture, and
carefully examining the linen which had been torn in
places, he arose, with a prayer raised the candle on a
level with the holy shrine, in which were a few images,
made the sign of the cross toward them, and turned the
candle upside down. It went out with a crackling
The almost full moon burst through the windows that
looked out upon the forest. The long, white figure of
the fool was, on the one side, illuminated by the pale,
silvery beams of the moon, and, on the other, it fell as a
black shadow, together with the shadows from the frames,
upon the floor and the walls, and reached up to the ceil-
ing. In the yard the watchman was beating his brass
Crossing his enormous hands on his breast, dropping
his head, and continually drawing deep breaths, Grisha
stood silently before the images, then with difficulty let
himself down on his knees and began to pray.
At first he softly said familiar prayers, accentuating
certain words, then he repeated them, but louder and
with more animation. He began to use his own words,
with perceptible effort trying to express himself in Church-
Slavic. His words were incorrect, but touching. He
prayed for all his benefactors (thus he called all who re-
ceived him), among them for my mother, and for us; he
prayed for himself, and asked the Lord to forgive him his
heavy sins, and repeated, "0 Lord, forgive mine ene-
mies! He arose with groans, still repeating the same
words, prostrated himself upon the ground, and again
arose, in spite of the weight of the chains that emitted a
grating, penetrating sound as they struck the ground.
Vol6dya pinched my leg very painfully, but I did not
even turn round. I only rubbed the place with my hand
and continued, with a feeling of childish wonder, pity,
and awe, to follow all the movements and words of
Instead of merriment and laughter, which I had ex-
pected upon entering the lumber-room, I now experienced
a chill and anguish of soul.
Grisha was for a long time in that attitude of religious
ecstasy, and he improvised prayers. Now he repeated
several times in succession, The Lord have mercy upon
me," but every time with new strength and expression;
now, again, he said, "Forgive me, O Lord, instruct me
what to do, instruct me what to do, O Lord!" with an
expression, as if he expected an immediate answer to his
prayer; now, again, were heard only pitiful sobs. He
rose on his knees, crossed his arms on his breast, and
I softly put my head out of the door, and did not
breathe. Grisha did not move; deep sighs escaped from
his breast; in the dim pupil of his blind eye, which
was illuminated by the moon, stopped a tear.
Thy will be done!" he suddenly exclaimed with an
inimitable expression, knocked his brow against the floor,
and began to sob like an infant.
Much water has flowed since then, many memories of
the past have lost all meaning for me and have become
dim recollections, and pilgrim Grisha has long ago ended
his last pilgrimage; but the impression which he pro-
duced on me, and the feeling which he evoked, will
never die in my memory.
0 great Christian Grisha! Your faith was so strong
that you felt the nearness of God; your love was so great
that words flowed of their own will from your lips, and
you did not verify them by reason. And what high
praise you gave to His majesty, when, not finding any
words, you prostrated yourself on the ground!
The feeling of contrition with which I listened to
Grisha could not last long; in the first place, because my
curiosity was satisfied, and, in the second, because my
feet had fallen asleep from sitting so long in one posture,
and I wanted to join in the general whispering and con-
sultation which was taking place behind me in the dark
lumber-room. Somebody touched my hand, and said in
a whisper, "Whose hand is it ?" It was very dark in
the lumber-room, but, by the mere touch and by the
voice that was whispering right over my ear, I imme-
diately recognized Kdtenka.
Quite unconsciously I seized her short-gloved arm at
the elbow, and pressed my lips against it. K6tenka, it
seems, was surprised at this action, and drew her hand
back; in doing so, she knocked down a broken chair
which was standing in the lumber-room. Grisha raised
his head, quietly looked around and, saying his prayer,
began to make the sign of the cross in all the corners.
We ran out of the lumber-room noisily.
IN the middle of the last century there used to run
about the yards of the village Khabirovka, in a dress of
ticking, the barefoot, but merry, fat, and red-cheeked
girl, Natashka. On account of the deserts, and at the
request of her father, the clarinet-player Sdvva, my grand-
father took her "up-stairs," to be among the female
servants of grandmother. Chambermaid Natashka distin-
guished herself in that capacity, both by her meekness
of manner and by her zeal. When mother was born, and
a nurse was needed, this duty fell on Natishka. In that
new field she earned praises and rewards for her activity,
faithfulness, and attachment to the young miss. But
the powdered head and the buckled stockings of young,
,dapper, officious F6ka, who had frequent relations with
her during his duties, charmed her coarse, but loving
heart. She had even made up her own mind to go to
grandfather to ask his permission to marry F6ka. Grand-
father received her wish as a sign of her ingratitude,
grew angry, and sent poor Natalya, as a punishment,
into the cattle-yard in a village of the steppes. Six
months later, however, since there was no one who could
take her place, she was brought back to the estate, and
restored to her old position. As she returned from ban-
ishment in her ticking garments, she appeared before
grandfather, fell down before his feet, and asked him to
restore her to his former favour and kindness, and to for-
get her old infatuation which, she swore, would never
again return. And, indeed, she kept her word.
Since then NatUshka became Natalya Savishna, and
donned a cap; all the abundance of love which she treas-
ured she transferred to her young lady.
When a governess took her place with my mother, she
received the keys of the larder, and all the linen and the
provisions were placed in her hands. She executed her
new duties with the same zeal and love. She lived only
for the good of her masters, and seeing in everything loss,
ruin, and misappropriation, tried in all ways to counteract
When mamma married, she wished to show her appre-
ciation of Natalya Savishna's twenty years' labour and
faithfulness; so she sent for her, and expressing in the
most flattering words all her gratefulness and love for
her, handed her a sheet of paper with a revenue stamp
upon it, on which was written Natalya S6vishna's eman-
cipation, adding that, no matter whether she continued to
serve in our house or not, she would receive a yearly pen-
sion of three hundred roubles. Natalya listened to all
that in silence, then, taking the document in her hands,
angrily looked upon it, mumbled something between her
teeth, and ran out of the room, slamming the door behind
her. Mamma did not understand the cause of her strange
act, so, waiting a few minutes, she went into Natdlya
Savishna's room. She was sitting with tearful eyes upon
her coffer, fingering her handkerchief, and was looking
fixedly at the bits of the torn emancipation document
that were lying near her feet.
"What is the matter with you, my dear Natalya?"
asked mamma, as she took her hand.
Nothing, motherkin," answered she. "Evidently I
have in some way displeased you, that you are chasing
me from the estate. Well, I shall go."
She tore her hand away and, scarcely restraining her
tears, wanted to rush out of the room. Mamma kept
her back, embraced her, and they both melted into tears.
As far back as I can remember myself, I remember
Natflya SAvishna, her love and her favours; but it is only
now that I am able to estimate them,- for then it never
occurred to me what a rare and remarkable being that old
woman was. She not only never spoke, but, it seems,
she never even thought of herself; all her life consisted
of love and self-sacrifice. I was so accustomed to her
unselfish, tender love for us that I did not imagine it
could have been otherwise, in no way was grateful to her,
and never asked myself whether she was happy or satisfied.
At times I would run into her chamber, under the pre-
text of some absolute necessity, and would sit down and
begin to think aloud, not being in the least troubled by
her presence. She was always busy with something: she
either knitted some stockings or rummaged through the
coffers with which her chamber was crowded, or took a
list of the linen, and, listening to all the nonsense which
I was talking, how, "when I shall be a general, I will
marry a famous beauty, will buy me a red horse, will
build me a glass house, and will send for Karl Iv6novich's
relatives in Saxony," and so forth, she would say, Yes,
my dear, yes." Generally, when I got up to go, she
opened a blue coffer, on the lid of which were pasted, on
the inside, I remember it as if it happened to-day, a
coloured reproduction of a hussar, a picture with a poma-
tum can, and a drawing by Vol6dya, took out of that
box some incense, lighted it, and, fanning, said:
"This, my dear one, is incense from Ochdkov. When
your deceased grandfather the kingdom of heaven be
his !i- went against the Turks, he brought it back from
there. There is only this last piece left," she added
with a sigh.
In the coffers that filled the room there was absolutely
everything. No matter what was needed, they used to
say, "We ought to ask Natalya Savishna," and, indeed,
after rummaging awhile, she would find the necessary
article and declare, "Luckily I have put it away." In
these coffers there were thousands of such articles of
which nobody in the house knew anything, and for which
no one cared, except she.
Once I was angry with her. It happened like this.
At dinner, as I was pouring out a glass of kvas, I
dropped the bottle and spoiled the table-cloth.
"Call Natdlya Sivishna to see what her darling child
has done," said mamma.
Natalya Sivishna entered, and, seeing the puddle which
I had made, shook her head; then mamma said some-
thing in her ear, and she went out threatening me with
After dinner I went into the parlour, leaping about in
the happiest frame of mind, when suddenly Nat6lya
Savishna jumped from behind the door, with the table-
cloth in her hands, caught me, and began to wipe my face
with the wet part of it, all the time saying: Don't soil
table-cloths, don't soil table-cloths!" That so incensed
me, that I bawled from anger.
"What!" said I to myself, as I walked about the par-
lour and choked with tears, "Natalya Savishna, simple
Natalya, says 'thou' to me, and strikes my face with a
wet table-cloth, as if I were a common village boy. No,
that is terrible!"
When Natalya Savishna saw that I was blubbering,
she ran away, but I continued to strut about and to con-
sider how to repay insolent Natalya for the insult which
she had offered me.
A few minutes later Nat6lya Savishna returned, timidly
accosted me, and began to console me.
Do stop, my dear one, stop weeping forgive me,
foolish woman I have done wrong you will forgive
me, my darling here is something for you."
NATALYA SAVISHNA 53
She took from her handkerchief a cornet, in which
were two pieces of'caramels and one fig, and with a trem-
bling hand gave them to me. I did not have enough
strength to look into the face of the good old woman; I
turned away, as I accepted the present, and my tears
began to flow more copiously, this time not from anger,
but from love and shame.
ON the day following the incidents described by me, at
the twelfth hour, a carriage and a calash stood at the
entrance. Nikoldy was dressed in travelling fashion; that
is, his trousers were tucked into his boots and his coat
was tightly girded by a belt. He was standing in the
calash and arranging the ulsters and pillows on the seats;
if they seemed too much puffed, he seated himself on the
pillows, and, leaping up and down, pressed them into
"For the Lord's sake, do us the favour, NikolAy Dmit-
trich, to see whether you can't put in the master's strong
box," said papa's valet, breathlessly, as he stuck his head
out of the carriage; "it is a small affair."
"You ought to have said so before, Mikh4y Ivanych,"
answered Nikolay hastily and in anger, throwing with
all his might a bundle into the bottom of the calash.
" Upon my word, my head is in a whirl as it is, and
there you are bothering me with your strong boxes," he
added, raising his cap, and wiping off large drops of per-
spiration from his sun-browned face.
The manorial peasants, in coats, caftans, and shirts,
and without hats, the women in ticking skirts and striped
kerchiefs, with babes in their arms, and the boys barefoot,
stood around the veranda, examined the vehicles, and
conversed with each other. One of the drivers, a stoop-
ing old man in a winter cap and a camel-hair coat, held
in his hand the shaft of the carriage, moved it to and fro,
and thoughtfully looked at the wheels; another, a fine-
looking young lad, clad only in a white shirt with red
Bukhara cotton gussets, and wearing a black lambskin
cap shaped like a cylindrical buckwheat cake, which he,
scratching his blond locks, poised now on one ear, now
on the other, put his camel-hair coat on the coachman's
box, threw the reins there also and, snapping his plaited
whip, looked now at his boots, now at the coachmen who
were greasing the calash. One of them, straining him-
self, was holding a jack; another, bending over the wheel,
was carefully greasing the axle and the axle-box, and,
not to lose the last bit of grease left on the brush, smeared
it on the lower part of the rim.
Variously coloured, weak-kneed post-horses stood at the
picket fence and switched the flies off with their tails.
Some of them, spreading their shaggy, swollen legs,
blinked their eyes and were dozing; others rubbed each
other, from ennui, or nibbled at leaves or stalks of rough,
dark-green ferns that grew near the veranda. A few
greyhounds either breathed heavily, lying in the sun, or
walked about in the shade under the carriage and calash,
and licked the grease which oozed out of the axles. There
was a dusty mist in the air, and the horizon was of gray-
ish olive hue; but there was not a cloud to be seen in the
whole sky. A strong westerly wind raised columns of dust
from the roads and fields, bent the tops of the tall linden-
trees and birches of the garden, and carried far away
the falling yellow leaves. I was sitting near the window,
and impatiently was waiting for the end of all the prepa-
When all had gathered in the sitting-room near the
round table, in order to pass a few minutes together, for
the last time, it did not occur to me what a sad moment
awaited us. The most trifling thoughts were crossing my
brain. I asked myself: which coachman will ride in the
calash, and which one in the carriage? Who will travel
with papa, and who with Karl Ivdnovich? and why do
they insist in wrapping me in a shawl and a wadded
"I am not as tender as that. Don't be afraid, I shall
not freeze. If only there will soon be an end to it all!
If we just could get seated, and be off !"
To whom will you order me to give a note about the
children's linen ?" said Natilya Savishna, who had entered
with tearful eyes and carrying a note in her hand, as she
turned to mamma.
Give it to NikolAy, and then come to tell the children
The old woman wanted to say something, but suddenly
stopped, covered her face with her handkerchief, and,
motioning with her hand, left the room. My heart was
pinched when I saw her motion; but my impatience to
travel was greater than my sympathy, and I continued
to listen with complete indifference to the conversation
between father and mother. They were evidently speak-
ing about things that interested neither the one nor the
other: what it was necessary to buy for the house; what
to say to Princess Sophie and Madame Julie; and whether
the road would be good.
F6ka entered, and in the same voice in which he
announced "Dinner is served," he said, as he stopped
on the threshold, The horses are ready." I noticed how
mamma shuddered and grew pale at this bit of news, as
if it had been something unforeseen by her.
F6ka was ordered to close all the doors in the house.
That amused me very much, as if everybody were hiding
When all seated themselves, F6ka, too, sat down on
the edge of a chair, -but the moment he did that, the
door creaked, and everybody looked round. Nat6lya
rapidly entered the room, and, without raising her eyes,
seated herself at the door on the same chair with F6ka.
I see clearly the bald, wrinkled face of F6ka and the
bent, kindly figure in the cap, underneath which gray
hair peeped out. They are both pressing together on one
chair, and they both feel uncomfortable.
I continued to be careless and impatient. The ten
seconds during which we sat with closed doors appeared
to me a whole hour. Finally all arose, made the sign of
the cross, and began to take leave. Papa embraced
mamma, and kissed her several times.
"That will do, my dear!" said papa; "we are not
departing for an age."
"It is sad, nevertheless!" said mamma, in a voice
trembling with tears.
When I heard that voice and saw her quivering lips
and eyes full of tears, I forgot everything, and I felt so
sad, so pained, and so utterly wretched, that I wanted
rather to run away than to bid her farewell. I under-
stood at that moment that when she embraced father,
she really was bidding us farewell.
She began so many times to kiss Volodya and to make
the sign of the cross over him that, supposing she was
going to turn to me, I pushed myself forward, but she
again and again blessed him and pressed him to her
breast. At last, I embraced her and, clinging to her, wept
and wept, thinking of nothing but my sorrow.
When we went out to seat ourselves in the vehicles,
the annoying manorial servants followed to bid us good-
bye. Their Please, your hand, sir," their smacking kisses
on the shoulder, and the odour of lard from their heads
provoked in me a feeling very much akin to disgust.
Under the influence of that feeling I very coldly kissed
Natllya S6vishna's cap, while she, all in tears, bade me
It is strange, but I see all the faces of the servants as
if it had happened to-day, and I could paint them with
their minutest details, but mamma's face and location
have absolutely escaped from my imagination, perhaps,
because at that time I could not gather courage to take
one good look at her. It then seemed to me that if I
were to do so, my grief and hers would reach impossible
I rushed before the others to the carriage and seated
myself in the back seat. As the top was raised, I could
not see anything, but a certain instinct told me that
mamma was still there.
Shall I take one more glance at her, or not? Vell,
for the last time !" said I to myself, and put my head out
of the carriage toward the veranda. Just at that time,
mamma, with the same thought, had come up from the
opposite side to the carriage, and was calling me by name.
When I heard her voice behind me, I turned toward her,
but did it so rapidly that we knocked our heads together:
she smiled sadly, and for the last time gave me a tight
embrace and a kiss.
When we had moved away a few fathoms, I decided
to look at her. The wind had raised the blue kerchief
with which her head was tied; dropping her head and
covering her face with her hands, she slowly walked up
the veranda. F6ka was sustaining her.
Papa was seated by my side, but he did not say any-
thing. I choked with tears, and something so compressed
my throat that I was afraid I would strangle. When we
drove out on the highway, we saw a white handkerchief
which some one on the balcony was waving. I began to
wave mine, and this motion calmed me a little. I con-
tinued to sob, and the thought that my tears were a proof
of my sensitiveness gave me pleasure and joy.
When we had travelled about a verst, I sat down more
calmly, and I began to look with stubborn attention at
the nearest object before my eyes, the hind part of the
side horse that ran on my side. I watched that dappled
horse flapping his tail, and striking one leg against another,
which made the driver crack his plaited whip at him, and
then his legs began to move more evenly. I saw the
harness leaping about, and the rings upon it, and I kept
on looking at the harness until it became lathered at the
tail. I began to look around me: at the waving fields of
ripe rye; at the dark fallow field on which here and there
a plow, a peasant, and a mare with her colt could be seen;
at the verst posts, and even at the coachman's box, in or-
der to see who the driver was. My face was not yet dry
from its tears, when my thoughts were far away from my
mother, whom I had left, perhaps, for ever. But every
reminiscence led my thoughts to her. I recalled the
mushroom which I had found the day before in the avenue
of birches; I recalled how Lyubochka and Katenka dis-
puted who was to pluck it, and I recalled how they wept
when they bade us farewell.
I am sorry to leave them, and I am sorry for NatAlya
Sivishna, and for the birch avenue, and for F6ka I am
sorry to leave even growling Mimi. I am sorry for
everything, for everything! And poor mamma! And
tears again stood in my eyes, but not for long.
HAPPY, happy, irretrievable period of childhood How
can one help loving and cherishing its memories ? These
memories refresh and elevate my soul and serve me as a
source of my best enjoyments.
I remember how, having frisked about until tired, I sat at
the tea table in my high chair. It was late. I had long
ago drunk my cup of milk and sugar; sleep closed my
eyes, but I did not budge from the place, and remained
there and listened. How could I help listening ? Mamma
was speaking to somebody, and the sounds of her voice
were so sweet and so charming. Those sounds alone
spoke so eloquently to my heart! With eyes dimmed by
sleepiness I looked fixedly at her face, and suddenly she
grew so small, so very small, her face was not larger
than a button, but I saw it just as plainly. I saw her
looking at me and smiling. I liked to see her so tiny. I
blinked my eyes even more, and she became not larger
than those little men one sees in the pupil of the eye. I
moved, and the whole charm was broken. I squinted,
turned around, and in every manner possible tried to re-
new it,- it was all in vain.
I rose, scampered away, and comfortably lodged myself
in an armchair.
"You will fall asleep again, Nik6lenka !" said mamma:
" you had better go up-stairs."
I do not want to sleep, mamma," I answered her, and
indistinct, though sweet, dreams filled my imagination. A
healthy childish sleep closed my eyelids, and a few min-
utes later I lost consciousness and slept until I was awak-
ened. In my waking moments I felt somebody's hand
touching me: by the touch alone I could tell her, even
in my sleep, and I involuntarily caught that hand and
pressed it hard, very hard to my lips.
Everybody had left; one candle was burning in the
sitting-room; mamma had said that she would wake me
herself. It was she who seated herself on the chair upon
which I was asleep, and with her lovely, tender hand
patted my hair. Over my ear was heard the familiar
"Get up, my darling, it is time to go to bed."
No indifferent looks embarrassed her: she was not
afraid to pour out all her tenderness and love on me. I
did not stir, but kissed her hand even harder.
Do get up, my angel 1 "
She touched my neck with her other hand, and her
soft fingers moved about and tickled me. It was quiet
and half-dark in the room; my nerves were aroused by
the tickling and by the waking. Mamma was sitting
close to me; she touched me; I scented her odour, and
heard her voice. All that caused me to leap up, to em-
brace her neck with both my hands, to press my head to
her breast, and, breathing heavily, to say :
Oh, my dear, dear mother, how I love you !"
She smiled a sad, bewitching smile, took my head into
both her hands, kissed my brow, and placed me upon her
So you love me very much ?" She was silent for a
moment, then she said: "Remember, you must always
love me; you must never forget me You will not for-
get your mamma when she is no more? You will not,
She kissed me more tenderly yet.
"Stop, don't say that, my darling, my sweetheart!" I
called out, kissing her knees, and tears ran in streams
from my eyes, tears of love and ecstasy.
When, after such a scene, I came up-stairs and stood
in my wadded cloak before the holy images, what a won-
derful feeling I experienced at the words, "Preserve, 0
Lord, father and mother!" When, in such moments, I
repeated the prayers which my childish lips for the first
time lisped after my beloved mother, my love for her and
my love for God were strangely mingled in one feeling.
After the prayer I rolled myself into my coverlet, and
my heart felt light and cheerful. One dream chased
another, but what were they about ? They were in-
tangible, but filled with pure love and hope for bright
happiness. I thought of Karl IvAnovich and his bitter
fate, of the only man whom I knew to be unhappy, and
I felt so sorry for him, and so loved him, that the tears
gushed from my eyes, and I thought: God grant him hap-
piness, and me an opportunity of helping him, and allevi-
ating his sorrow; I was ready to sacrifice everything for
him. Then I stuck my favourite china toy, -a hare or
a dog, into the corner of the down pillow, and I was
happy seeing how comfortable and snug the toy was
there. I also prayed the Lord that He would give happi-
ness to everybody, and that all should be satisfied, and
that to-morrow should be good weather for the outing,
and then I turned on my other side, my thoughts and
dreams became mixed and disturbed, and I fell softly,
quietly asleep, my face wet with tears.
Will that freshness, carelessness, need of love, and
strength of faith, which one possesses in childhood, ever
return ? What time can be better than that when all the
best virtues, innocent merriment and limitless need of
love, are the only incitements in life ?
Where are all those ardent prayers, where is the best
gift those tears of contrition ? The consoling angel
came on his pinions, with a smile wiped off those tears,
and fanned sweet dreams to the uncorrupted imagination
of the child.
Is it possible life has left such heavy traces in my
heart that these tears and that ecstasy have for ever gone
from me ? Is it possible, nothing but memories are left ?
ALMOST a month after we had settled in Moscow,
I was sitting at a large table up-stairs, in grandmother's
house, and writing. Our teacher of drawing sat opposite
me, and gave a final touch to the head of a turbaned
Turk, drawn with a black crayon. Vol6dya, standing be-
hind the teacher, craned his neck and looked over his
shoulder. This head was Vol6dya's first production in
black crayon, and it was that very day to be presented to
grandmother, it being her name day.
And won't you throw some shadows here ?" said
Vol6dya to the teacher, rising on tiptoes, and pointing to
the Turk's neck.
No, it is not necessary," said the teacher, putting away
the crayons and the drawing-pen in a box with a sliding
lid. It is all right this way, and don't touch it again.
Well, and you, Nik6lenka," he added, rising, and still
looking sidewise at the Turk, tell us, at last, your secret;
what are you going to offer to grandmother ? Really, it
would be well if you, too, gave her a head. Good-bye,
young gentlemen!" He took his hat and a ticket, and
That moment I thought myself that a head would be bet-
ter than what I was working on. When we were told that
grandmother's name day would come soon, and that we
ought to prepare some presents for that day,it occurred tome
to write verses for the occasion, and I immediately picked
out two lines with a rhyme, and hoped shortly to find
the rest. I absolutely cannot remember how such a
strange idea, for a child, could have got into my head,
but I recall that it gave me pleasure, and that to all ques-
tions about the matter, I answered that I should not fail
to offer grandmother a present, but that I should not tell
anybody what it was.
Contrary to my expectation, it soon appeared that, in
spite of all my efforts, I was not able to find any other
verses except the two lines which I had made up on the
spur of the moment. I began to read the poems that
were in our readers, but neither Dmitriev, nor Derzhivin
helped me at all! On the contrary, they only convinced
me of my incapacity. As I knew that Karl Ivinovich
was fond of copying poems, I began quietly to rum-
mage through his papers, and among his German poems
found one Russian lyric, which, no doubt, belonged to his
To Madam L. .. Petrovski, 1828, 3 juni.
Remember me near,
Remember me far,
Even from now up to ever,
Remember me to my grave,
How faithful I can love.
This poem, written in a beautiful, round hand, on thin
letter-paper, took my fancy on account of the stirring
feeling which pervaded it. I immediately learned it by
rote, and decided to take it for my model. Things now
went much easier. On the name day my greeting, con-
sisting of twelve lines, was ready, and, seating myself at
the table in the class-room, I copied it on vellum paper.
Two sheets of paper were already spoiled, not that I
wished to change something, the verses seemed perfect to
me, but beginning with the third line, the ends of the
verses began to turn upwards more and more, so that one
could see, even from a distance, that they were written
crooked, and that they were not good for anything.
The third sheet was just as crooked as the other two,
but I decided not to copy it again. In my poem I con-
gratulated grandmother, and wished her to live long, and
finished as follows:
We will try never to bother,
And will love you like our own mother.
It did not look so bad, after all, only the last verse
strangely offended my ear.
And will love you like our own mother," mumbled I.
" What other rhyme could I get for mother? other?
smother ? Oh, well, it will pass anyway; it is not worse
than the verses of Karl Iv6novich."
I wrote down the last verse. Then I read aloud my
production, with feeling and expression, in the sleeping-
room. There were lines without any measure, and that
did not disconcert me; but the last verse struck me more
unpleasantly still. I sat down on my bed, and fell to
Why did I write like our own mother? She was
not here, so I ought not even to have mentioned her. It
is true, I love grandmother, and I respect her, but still,
it is not the same why did I write that, why did I
lie? To be sure this was a poem, still I ought not to
have done so."
Just then the tailor entered, and brought the new half-
Well, it will have to remain that way!" said I, in
great impatience, as I angrily shoved the poem under the
pillow, and ran away to try on the Moscow clothes.
The Moscow clothes turned out to be a fine affair: the
cinnamon-coloured half-frocks, with their brass buttons,
were closely fitting, not as they used to make them in
the country for us, by sizes; the black trousers, tightly
fitting, too, wonderfully showed the muscles, and hung
over the boots.
"At last I myself have pantaloons with foot straps,
and real ones!" I thought and, beside myself with
pleasure, examined my legs on all sides. Although the
trousers were dreadfully tight, and I felt uncomfortable
in my new suit, I did not mention it to anybody, but, on
the contrary, said that I felt quite at ease, and, if there
was any fault in the suit, it was, that it was too loose.
After that I stood for a long time before the looking-
glass, combing my copiously waxed hair. No matter
how much I tried, I could not smooth down the tufts on
my crown: the moment I wanted to experiment on their
docility, and stopped pressing them down with the brush,
they rose and towered in all directions, giving my face an
exceedingly funny expression.
Karl Ivanovich was dressing in the next room, and
they carried through the class-room a blue dress coat to
him, and with it some white appurtenances. At the door
that led down-stairs was heard the voice of one of grand-
mother's chambermaids: I went out to discover what she
wanted. She was holding in her hand a stiffly ironed
shirt-front, and told me that she had brought it for Karl
Ivanovich, and that she had not slept that night, in order
to get it washed in time. I undertook to hand him the
shirt-front, and asked whether grandmother had risen.
"Indeed, sir! She has already had her coffee, and the
protopope has come. How fine you look!" she added,
smiling, and surveying my new garments.
This remark made me blush. I turned around on one
foot, clicked my fingers, and leaped up, to let her feel
that she did not know yet what a fine fellow I really
When I brought the shirt-front to Karl Ivanovich, he
did not need it any longer: he had put on another, and,
bending over a small looking-glass, which stood on a
table, was holding the superb tie of his cravat in his
hands, and trying whether his smoothly shaven chin
would freely go into it and come out again. Having
pulled our garments into shape, and having asked NikolAy
to do the same for him, he took us to grandmother. I
have to laugh when I think how strongly all three of us
smelled of porhatum, as we descended the staircase.
Karl Ivinovich had in his hands a small box of his
own make; Vol6dya had the drawing, and I the poem.
We all had on our tongue a greeting with which we were
to offer our presents. Just as Karl IvAnovich opened the
door of the parlour, the clergyman was putting on his
vestments, and the first sounds of the mass were heard.
Grandmother was in the parlour already: bending and
leaning over the arm of a chair, she was standing at the
wall and praying fervently. Papa stood near her. She
turned around to us and smiled, when she noticed that
we were hiding behind our backs the presents which we
were to offer, and that we had stopped at the door, in our
desire not to observed. All the effect of surprise, on
which we had been counting, was lost.
When the blessing with the cross began, I suddenly
felt that I was under the oppressive influence of an incon-
querable, stupefying timidity, and, feeling that I should
never have enough courage to make my offering to her,
I hid behind Karl IvAnovich's back. He congratulated
grandmother in the choicest of expressions, and, trans-
ferring the box from his right hand to his left, handed it
to her, and walked off a few steps, in order to give Vol6dya
a chance. Grandmother, so it seemed, was delighted with
the box, which was bordered with gold paper, and ex-
pressed her thanks to him with a most gracious smile.
It was, however, evident that she did not know where to
place the box, and, probably for that reason, asked papa
to see with what remarkable skill it was made.
Having satisfied his curiosity, papa handed it to the
protopope who, it seemed, took a liking to the thing: he
shook his head, and now looked at the box, and now at
the master who had managed to produce such a beautiful
object. Vol6dya offered his Turk, and he also was the
recipient of the most flattering praise on all sides. Then
came my turn: grandmother turned to me with a smile
Those who have experienced bashfulness, know that
the feeling increases in direct proportion with time, and
that decision diminishes in the same proportion; that is,
the longer that condition lasts, the harder it is to over-
come the bashfulness, and the less there is left of decision.
My last courage and decision left me when Karl IvAno-
vich and Vol6dya made their offerings, and my bashful-
ness reached its extreme limits: I felt my heart-blood
continually coursing to my head, my face alternately
changing colour, and large drops of perspiration oozing on
my forehead and nose. My ears were burning; I felt a
chill and a perspiration over my whole body; I stood now
on one foot, now on another, and I did not budge from
Well, do show us, Nik6lenka! What is it you have,
a box or a drawing ?" said papa to me. There was noth-
ing to be done; with a trembling hand I gave her the
crushed, fatal roll; but my voice refused to serve me, and
I stopped silent before grandmother. I was beside myself,
thinking that, instead of the expected drawing, they would
read aloud my worthless poem and the words like my
own mother which would be a clear proof that I had
never loved her, and that I had forgotten her. How am
I to tell the agony through which I passed, when grand-
mother began to read aloud my poem; when, unable to
make it out, she stopped in the middle of the verse, in
order to look at papa with a smile, which then seemed to
me to be one of mockery; when she pronounced it differ-
ently from what I had intended it; and when, her eyes
being weak, she did not finish reading it, but handed it
to papa and asked him to read it from the beginning ? It
seemed to me that she did so because she was tired of
reading such horrible and badly scrawled verses, and be-
cause she wanted papa to read the last line, which was
such an evident proof of my heartlessness. I was waiting
for him to snap my nose with the poem, and to say:
"Naughty boy! Do not forget your mother! Take this
for it !" But nothing of the kind happened; on the con-
trary, after it had been read, grandmother said: Char-
mant!" and kissed my brow.
The box, the drawing, and the poem were put, by the
side of two batiste handkerchiefs and a snuff-box with
mamma's portrait, on a sort of extension table connected
with the armchair in which grandmother always sat.
Princess VArvara Ilinichna," announced one of the
two huge lackeys who stood in the back of grandmother's
Grandmother was deep in thought over the portrait,
which was fastened to the shell snuff-box, and did not
Does your Grace command to ask her in ?" repeated
"Asx her in," said grandmother, seating herself deeper
in the chair.
The princess was a woman about forty-five years of
.age, small of stature, sickly, lean, and bilious, with grayish
green, disagreeable little eyes, the expression of which
clearly contradicted the unnaturally sweet curves of her
mouth. Underneath a velvet hat with an ostrich feather
could be seen her bright red hair; her eyebrows and eye-
lashes appeared even brighter and redder on the sickly
colour of her face. In spite of all this, she gave a gen-
eral impression of generosity and energy, thanks to her
unaffected movements, her tiny hands, and the peculiar
leanness of all her features.
The princess talked a great deal, and by reason of her
talkativeness belonged to that class of people who are
always speaking as though some one were contradicting
them, although not a word is said. She now raised her
voice, now gradually lowered it in order to burst forth
with new vivacity, and glanced at her silent listeners, as
if trying to strengthen herself by that glance.
Though the princess had kissed grandmother's hand,
and continually called her ma bonne tante, I noticed that
grandmother was not satisfied with her; she raised her
brows in a peculiar manner, as she listened to the reason
why Prince Mikhaylo was absolutely unable to come to
congratulate grandmother, though he wished very much
to do so, and, answering in Russian to the French speech
of the princess, she said, dwelling with emphasis on h.-r
"I thank you very much, my dear, for your attentic .
but as to Prince Mikhaylo not being able to come, what
is the use mentioning it ? He has always a great deal to
do. And what pleasure could it be for him to sit dov.wn
with an old woman ?"
And, not giving the princess a chance to contradict
her words, she continued:
"Tell me, how are your children, my dear ?"
"The Lord be praised, ma tante, they are growing,
studying, and having a good time especially Etienne,
the eldest, is getting to be so mischievous that there is
no getting on with him; but he is bright, un garcon
qui promet. Just imagine, mon cousin," she continued,
turning exclusively to papa, because grandmother, who
was not in the least interested in the children of the
princess, but wanted to praise her own grandchildren,
carefully took my poem from under the box, and began
to unfold the paper: "Just imagine, mon cousin, what
he did a few days ago-"
The princess leaned over to papa, and began to tell
him something with great animation. Having finished
her story, which I did not hear, she burst out laughing
and, looking interrogatively at papa, said:
"What do you think of that boy, mon cousin ? He
deserved a whipping; but that trick of his was so bright
and amusing, that I forgave him, mon cousin."
And the princess fixed her eyes upon grandmother,
and continued to smile, without saying anything.
"Do you beat your children, my dear ?" asked grand-
mother, significantly raising her eyebrows, and emphasi-
zing the word beat.
Oh, ma bonne tante," answered the princess in a kind
voice, casting a rapid glance upon papa, "I know your
opinion in regard to this matter, but permit me to dis-
agree with you in this only: however much I have
thought, or read, or consulted about the question, my ex-
perience has brought me to the conviction that it is nec-
essary to act upon children through fear. To make
anything of a child, you need fear am I not right, mon
cousin? And what is it, je vous demand un peu, chil-
dren fear more than the rod ?"
Saying this, she looked interrogatively at us, and, I
must confess, I felt very ill at ease during that moment.
Say what you may, a boy up to twelve and even
fourteen years of age is a child. With girls it is a differ-
"Yes, that is very nice, my dear," said grandmother,
folding my poem and replacing it under the box, as if
she did not regard the princess, after these words, worthy
of hearing such a production. That is very nice, only,
please, tell me, what refined feelings can you after that
expect of your children ?"
And, regarding this argument as incontrovertible, grand-
mother added, in order to break off the conversation:
However, everybody has his own opinion upon that
The princess did not answer, and only smiled conde-
scendingly, wishing thus to say that she forgave this
queer prejudice in a person whom she respected so much.
"Ah, introduce me to your young people," said she,
looking at us and smiling politely.
We rose, and, fixing our eyes upon the face of the
princess, did not know in the least what to do in order
to prove that we had become acquainted.
Kiss the hand of the princess," said papa.
I ask you to love your old aunt," said she, kissing
Vol6dya's hair. Though I am but distantly related to
you, I count not by degrees of relationship, but by ties of
friendship," she added, speaking more especially to grand-
mother, but grandmother was still dissatisfied with her,
Ah, my dear, do we nowadays count such relatiou-
This one will be a worldly young man," said paita,
pointing to Vol6dya, "and this one a poet," he added,
while I was kissing the small dry hand of the prince&-,
and with extraordinary distinctness imagined a switch i
that hand, and under the switch a bench, and so forth.
Which one ?" asked the princess, keeping hold of my
"This one, the little fellow with the locks," answered
papa, smiling merrily.
What have my locks done to him ? Has he nothing
else to talk about ?" thought I, and went into the corner.
I had the oddest conceptions of beauty,-I even
regarded Karl Iv6novich as the first beau in the world;
but I knew full well that I was not good-looking, and in
this opinion was not mistaken. Therefore, every reference
to my looks was offensive to me.
I remember very well how once at dinner, I was then
six years old, they were speaking of my exterior, and
mamma was trying to find something comely in my face.
She said that I had bright eyes and a pleasant smile, and,
finally, yielding to father's proofs and to evidence, was
compelled to admit that I was homely. Later, when I
thanked her for the dinner, she patted my cheek, and
Know this much, Nik6lenka, no one will love you for
your face, so you must try and be a good and clever boy."
These words not only convinced me that I was not
handsome, but also that I must try by all means to be a
good and clever boy.
In spite of this, moments of despair frequently came
over me. I imagined that there was no happiness in the
world for a man with such a broad nose, fat lips, and