- "Lived"! - spoke Rogozhin. “What do you know?” Immediately, he continued to the prince, he found out about everything, and Zalezhev went to talk to everyone he met. A parent took me, and locked upstairs, and taught for an hour. “It’s just me, he says, that I am preparing you, but I’ll come with you for the night to say goodbye.” What do you think? The gray-haired went to Nastasya Filippovna, bowed to her on the earth, begged and cried; She finally brought him a box, flipped it: “Here, he says, you old beard, your earrings, and now they are ten times more expensive to me, if Parten got them from under such a thunderstorm. Bow, says, and thank Parfyon Semyonitch. " Well, at that time, by mother’s blessing, I got twenty rubles from Seryozha Protushin and went to Pskov by car and set off, but arrived in a fever; the old women began to read me out as holies, and I sat drunk, and then went to the taverns for the last, and in insensibility spent the whole night on the street and lounged, but in the morning there was a fever, and meanwhile the dogs nibbled overnight. I woke up violently.
- Well, well, now, Nastasya Filippovna will sing with us! - rubbing his hands, the official giggled, - now, sir, what a suspension! Now we will reward such pendants ...
“And the fact that if you ever say a word about Nastasya Filippovna, then, God bless you, I’ll carve you for nothing that you and Likhachev went,” cried Rogozhin, grabbing his arm tightly.
“And if you carve, then you won’t reject it!” Seki! Carved, and thus captured ... And here we are!
Spring has come. It was necessary to go to draft, then to sow spring and clover. It was sad, but already in the spring: I wanted to put up with the loss. While working in the field and listening to the larks, I asked myself: would I immediately end this question of personal happiness, would I marry a simple peasant girl without any idea? Suddenly, in the midst of work, I receive a letter with an Italian stamp. And the clover, and the apiary, and the calves, and the peasant girl - everything shattered like smoke. This time Ariadne wrote that she was deeply, infinitely unhappy. She reproached me that I did not extend a helping hand to her, but looked at her from the height of my virtue and left her in a moment of danger. All this was written in large nervous handwriting, with blots and blots, and it was evident that she was in a hurry to write and suffered. In conclusion, she begged me to come and save her.
Again, it dropped me from the anchor and suffered. Ariadne lived in Rome. I arrived at her late in the evening and, when she saw me, I sobbed and threw herself on my neck. Over the winter, she did not change at all and was still young and charming. We had dinner together and then roamed around Rome until dawn, and all the time she told me about her life. I asked where Lubkov is.
“Don't remind me of this thing!” She shouted. “He is disgusting and disgusting to me!”
“But you seem to have loved him,” I said.
Indeed, drove into the voxal. Although Rogozhin said that he had left quietly, several people were already waiting for him. They shouted and waved their hats to him.
- Look, and Zalezhev is here! Muttered Rogozhin, looking at them with a triumphant and even as if vicious smile, and suddenly turned to the prince. “Prince, I don’t know why I fell in love with you.” Maybe because I met him at that moment, but I did meet him (he pointed to Lebedev), but I didn’t love him. Come to me, prince. We’ll take these pins off of you, I’ll put you in the first fur coat, I will sew the first coat for you, a white vest or whatever you like, I’ll fill my pockets with money, and ... we’ll go to Nastasya Filippovna! Will you come or not?
- Listen, Prince Lev Nikolaevich! - Lebedev grasped impressively and solemnly. - Oh, don't miss out! Oh, don't miss out! ..
Prince Myshkin stood up, politely extended his hand to Rogozhin and kindly said to him:
“I will come with great pleasure and thank you very much for having loved me.” Even maybe I’ll come today if I have time. Therefore, I’ll tell you frankly, I really liked you myself, and especially when they talked about diamond pendants. I liked the pendants even before, although you have a gloomy face. I thank you too for the dresses promised to me and for the fur coat, because I really need a dress and a fur coat soon. At the present moment I have almost no money.
- There will be money, by evening, come!
“They will, they will,” the official said, “by evening, before dawn, they will!”
“And to the female, you prince, a big hunter?” Say it earlier!
- I, nn-no! I ... You, maybe, you don’t know, because I don’t even know women due to my natural illness.
“Well, if so,” exclaimed Rogozhin, “you are the prince, you go out holy fool, and God loves people like you!”
“And God loves such,” the official said.
“And you follow me, line,” said Rogozhin to Lebedev, and everyone got out of the car.
Lebedev ended up achieving his goal. Soon the noisy gang departed towards Voznesensky Prospekt. The prince had to turn to Liteiny. It was damp and wet; the prince asked passers-by - there were three versts to the end of the path ahead of him, and he decided to take a cab.
General Yepanchin lived in his own house, somewhat away from the Foundry, to the Transfiguration Savior. In addition to this (excellent) house, five sixth of which were rented out, General Yepanchin also had a huge house on Sadovaya, which also brought extraordinary income. In addition to these two houses, he had a very profitable and significant estate near St. Petersburg; there was still some kind of factory in Petersburg district. In the old days, General Yepanchin, as everyone knew, participated in the farms. Now he participated and had a very significant voice in some reputable joint-stock companies. He was known as a man with big money, with great pursuits and with great connections. In other places, he managed to become absolutely necessary, by the way, and in his service. Meanwhile, it was also known that Ivan Fedorovich Yepanchin is a man without education and comes from soldiers' children; the latter, no doubt, could only relate to his honor, but the general, although intelligent was a man, was also not without small, very excusable weaknesses and did not like other hints. But an intelligent and dexterous person, he was indisputable. For example, he had a system not to exhibit, where it was necessary to brush up, and many appreciated it precisely for its simplicity, precisely because he always knew his place. But meanwhile, if only these judges knew what happened sometimes in the soul of Ivan Fedorovich, who knew his place so well! Although he really had both practice, and experience in everyday affairs, and some very remarkable abilities, but he liked to make himself more a performer of someone else’s idea than with his king in his head, a man “without devotion,” and - where does the century go? - even Russian and cordial. In the latter respect, even some funny jokes happened to him; but the general never lost heart, even with the most amusing anecdotes; besides, he was lucky, even in the cards, and he played extremely large and even with the intention of not only not wanting to hide his little seemingly weakness for the cards, which was so essential to him in many cases, but also putting it out. Society he was mixed, of course, in any case, "ace." But everything was ahead, time endured, time endured everything, and everything had to come with time and its course. And for years, General Yepanchin was still, as they say, in the juice itself, that is, fifty-six years old and nothing more, which in any case amounts to blooming age, the age from which, truly, true life begins. Health, complexion, strong, although black, teeth, stocky, dense build, a worried expression of physiognomy in the morning at work, a cheerful evening on the cards or at His Grace - all contributed to the present and future successes and strewn the life of His Excellency with roses.
The general had a flowering family. True, there weren’t all roses here, but there were a lot of things on which the main hopes and goals of His Excellency had already begun to be seriously and cordially focused. Yes, and what, what purpose in life is more important and holier than the goals of parents? Why attach yourself if not to the family? The general's family consisted of a wife and three adult daughters. The general married a very long time ago, while still in the rank of lieutenant, on a girl of almost the same age as him, possessing neither beauty nor education, for which he took only fifty souls, though, and served as the basis for his further fortune. But the general never grumbled subsequently on his early marriage, never harassed him as a hobby for an unruly youth and respected his spouse before and sometimes was afraid of her that he even loved her. The general was from the princely family of the Myshkins, though not brilliant, but very ancient, and respected herself for her origin. Some of the influential people of that time, one of those patrons for whom the protection, however, does not cost anything, agreed to become interested in the marriage of the young princess. He opened the gate to the young officer and pushed him into the move, and he didn’t even push, but only one glance was necessary - he wouldn’t be in vain! With few exceptions, the couple lived all the time of their long anniversary according to. Even in her very young years, the general was able to find herself, as a nee princess and the last of her kind, and maybe by personal qualities, some very high patrons. Subsequently, with the richness and official significance of her spouse, she began even a little in this higher circle to become comfortable.
The gray-haired valet sat dozing and listening to the snoring of the prince in a huge office. From the far side of the house, due to the shutter doors, twenty times repeated difficult passages of the Düssek Sonata were heard.
At this time, the carriage and the chaise drove up to the porch, and Prince Andrey stepped out of the carriage, dropped off his little wife and let her go forward. Gray-haired Tikhon, in a wig, leaning out of the waiter’s door, whispered in a whisper that the prince was resting, and hurriedly shut the door. Tikhon knew that neither the arrival of his son nor any unusual events should disturb the order of the day. Prince Andrew, apparently, knew this as well as Tikhon; he looked at his watch, as if to believe that his father’s habits had not changed during the time in which he had not seen him, and making sure that they had not changed, he turned to his wife.
“In twenty minutes he will get up.” Let's go to Princess Marya, ”he said.
The little princess grew fat during this time, but her eyes and a short sponge with a mustache and a smile rose as cheerfully and sweetly when she spoke.
“Mais c'est un palais,” she said to her husband, looking around, with that expression with which praise to the owner of the ball is spoken. - Allons, vite, vite! .. 1 - She looked around and smiled at Tikhon, and her husband, and the waiter who accompanied them.
- C'est Marie qui s'exerce? Allons doucement, il faut la surprendre 2.
Prince Andrey followed her with a courteous and sad expression.
“You have grown old, Tikhon,” he said, passing, to the old man kissing his hand.
In front of the room in which the clavichords were heard, a pretty blond Frenchwoman jumped out of the side door. M-lle Bourienne seemed distraught with delight.
Never! At first it seemed original and aroused pity - that was all. He is impudent, takes a woman by an attack, l it is attractive. But we will not talk about him. This is the sad page of my life. He went to Russia for money - the road is there too! I said that he did not dare to return.
She no longer lived in a hotel, but in a private apartment of two rooms, which she cleaned to her taste, coldly and luxuriously. After Lubkov left, she owed her acquaintances about five thousand francs, and my visit was indeed her salvation. I expected to take her to the village, but I did not succeed. She missed her homeland, but the memories of her poverty, her shortcomings, and the rusty roof on her brother’s house aroused disgust, trembling in her, and when I offered her to go home, she clasped her hands frantically and said:
- No no! I will die there with longing!
Then my love entered its last phase, in its last quarter.
“Be the former dusya, love me a little,” Ariadne said, leaning toward me. - You are gloomy and reasonable, afraid to surrender to the impulse and all think about the consequences, and this is boring. Well, I beg you, I beg you, be affectionate! .. My pure, my saint, my dear, I love you so much!
In these last years, all three general's daughters have grown up and matured - Alexander, Adelaide and Aglaya. True, all three were only Yepanchins, but by their mother’s princely family, with a considerable dowry, with a parent who later claimed, perhaps, a very high place, and, which is also quite important, all three were remarkably good-looking, not excluding and the eldest, Alexandra, who is already twenty-five years old. The average was twenty-three years, and the youngest, Aglaya, had just turned twenty. This youngest was even quite beautiful and began to attract a lot of attention in the light. But that was not all: all three were distinguished by education, intelligence and talents. It was known that they remarkably loved each other and supported one another. It was even mentioned some kind of donations of two elders in favor of a common domestic idol - the youngest. In society, they not only did not like to exhibit, but were even too modest. No one could reproach them with arrogance and arrogance, but meanwhile they knew that they understand themselves and are proud of the price. The eldest was a musician, the middle was a wonderful painter; but almost no one knew about this for many years, and this was revealed only in the very recent time, and even then by accident. In a word, extremely commendable things were said about them. But there were ill-wishers. With horror it was said about how many books they read. They were not in a hurry to get married; Although they were valued by the well-known circle of society, they were still not very valuable. This was all the more remarkable because everyone knew the direction, character, goals and desires of their parent.
I became her lover. For at least a month I was like a madman, experiencing one delight. To hold a young, beautiful body in your arms, to enjoy it, to feel its warmth every time you wake up from a dream, and to remember that it is there, it, my Ariadne, - oh, this is not easy to get used to! But I still got used to it and gradually began to relate to my new position consciously. First of all, I realized that Ariadne, as before, did not love me. But she wanted to love seriously, she was afraid of loneliness, and most importantly, I was young, healthy, strong, she was sensual, like all cold people in general - and we both pretended to agree on mutual passionate love. Then I realized something else.
We lived in Rome, in Naples, in Florence; We went to Paris, but it seemed cold there, and we returned to Italy. Everywhere we were recommended by husband and wife, wealthy landowners, we were eagerly acquainted with us, and Ariadne was a great success. Since she took painting lessons, she was called an artist and, imagine, it was very moving towards her, although there was not the slightest talent. She slept every day for up to two, up to three hours; I drank coffee and had breakfast in bed. At dinner, she ate soup, spiny lobster, fish, meat, asparagus, game, and then, when I went to bed, I served her something like roast beef, and she ate it with a sad, worried expression, and woke up at night and ate it apples and oranges.
They went to the door of the sofa, from which one could hear again and again the repeated passage. Prince Andrei stopped and grimaced, as if expecting something unpleasant.
The princess came in. The passage broke off in the middle; there was a scream, the heavy feet of Princess Mary and the sounds of kisses. When Prince Andrei entered, Princess and Princess, who only briefly saw each other during the wedding of Prince Andrei, clasping their hands, pressed their lips firmly to the places where they had fallen in the first minute. M-lle Bourienne stood beside them, clasping her hands to her heart and smiling devoutly, apparently as much ready to cry as to laugh. Prince Andrew shrugged and grimaced as music lovers frown upon hearing a fake note. Both women let each other go; then again, as if afraid of being late, they grabbed each other's hands, began to kiss and tear off their hands, and then again began to kiss each other in the face, and quite unexpectedly for Prince Andrei, both cried and again began to kiss. M-lle Bourienne also cried. Prince Andrew was obviously embarrassed; but for the two women it seemed so natural that they were crying; they did not seem to suggest that this meeting could otherwise have taken place.
- Ah! chère! .. Ah Marie! .. - suddenly both women spoke and laughed. - J'ai rêvé cette nuit ... - Vous ne nous attendiez donc pas? .. Ah! Marie, vous avez maigri ... - Et vous avez repris ... 5
“J'ai tout de suite reconnu madame la princesse 6,” m-lle Burien put in.
“Et moi qui ne me doutais pas! ..” exclaimed Princess Mary. - Ah! André, je ne vous voyais pas 7.
The main, so to speak, the main property of this woman was amazing craftiness. She cunningly constantly, every minute, apparently, without any need, but as if by instinct, by the same promptings as the sparrow was tweeting or the cockroach was stirring a mustache. She cunning with me, with lackeys, with the receptionist, with the merchants in the shops, with friends; Not a single conversation, not a single meeting could do without twisting and breaking. It was necessary for a man to enter our room — whoever he was, a garrison or a baron — how she changed her look, expression, voice, and even the contours of her figure changed. If you had seen her then at least once, you would have said that there are no more secular and richer people than us in all of Italy. She did not miss a single artist and musician, so as not to lie to him all nonsense about his wonderful talent.
“You are such a talent!” She said in a sweetly melodious voice. “It’s even scary with you.” I think you should see right through people.
And all this in order to please, be successful, be charming! She woke up every morning with the only thought: “to like me!” And that was the purpose and meaning of her life. If I told her that on such a street in such a house there lives a person who does not like her, then this would make her seriously suffer. Every day she had to charm, captivate, drive crazy. The fact that I was in her power and turned into utter insignificance before her charms gave her the very pleasure that the winners had once experienced in tournaments. My humiliation was not enough, and she still lounged at night, like a tigress, not sheltered - she always felt hot, - read the letters that Lubkov sent her; he begged her to return to Russia, otherwise he vowed to rob someone or kill, only to get money and come to her. She hated him, but his passionate, slavish letters worried her. Of her spell she had an extraordinary opinion; it seemed to her that if somewhere in a crowded meeting they saw how well-built she was and what color her skin was, she would have defeated all of Italy, the whole world. These conversations about addition, about skin color offended me, and when she noticed this, when she was angry to annoy me, she spoke all sorts of vulgarities and teased me, and even reached the point that once at the dacha of one lady she got angry and said to me:
“If you don’t stop bothering me with your teachings, then I will undress and lay naked on these flowers!”
Often, watching how she sleeps or eats, or tries to give her look a naive expression, I thought: why was this extraordinary beauty, grace, mind given to her by God? Is it really just to wallow in bed, eat and lie, lie endlessly? And was she smart? She was afraid of three candles, on the thirteenth, she was horrified by the evil eye and bad dreams, talked about free love and freedom in general, like an old praying mantis, asserted that Boleslav Markovich is better than Turgenev. But she was devilishly cunning and witty, and in society she knew how to seem a very educated, advanced person.
It cost her nothing even in a merry moment to offend the servant, kill the insect; she loved bullfights, she loved to read about the killings and was angry when the defendants were acquitted.
It was already about eleven o'clock when the prince called the general’s apartment. The general lived on the second floor and occupied a room as modest as possible, albeit proportional to its significance. The livery servant opened the prince, and for a long time he needed to communicate with this man, who had looked suspiciously at him and at his bundle from the very beginning. Finally, to the repeated and accurate statement that he was really Prince Myshkin and that he certainly needed to see the general on a necessary business, a perplexed person took him next to him, to the small front hall, in front of the reception room, and handed him over to another person, who was on duty in the mornings in this front hall and reporting to the general about visitors. This other man was in a tailcoat, had forty years of age and a worried physiognomy, and was a special cabinet servant and reporter of His Excellency, as a result of which he knew his worth.
“Wait in the waiting room, and leave the bundle here,” he said, slowly and importantly sitting down in his chair and looking with stern surprise at the prince, who was right there next to him in a chair, with his bundle in his hands.
“If you will,” said the prince, “I would rather wait here with you, and then what am I alone?”
- In the front you can’t stand, because you are a visitor, otherwise a guest. You to the general himself?
The footman, apparently, could not come to terms with the idea of letting such a visitor in and once again decided to ask him.
With the life that I and Ariadne led, we needed a lot of money. The poor father sent me his pension, all his incomes, borrowed for me wherever he could, and when he once answered me “non habeo” 5, I sent him a desperate telegram in which I begged to lay down the estate. A little later, I asked him to take somewhere money for a second mortgage. He performed both of them meekly and sent me all the money to the penny. But Ariadne despised the practice of life, she did not care about all this, and when I, throwing thousands of francs to satisfy her crazy desires, grunted like an old tree, she hummed Addio, bella Napoli with a light soul 6. Little- little by little I got cold to her and became ashamed of our connection. I do not like pregnancy and childbirth, but now I sometimes dreamed of a child, who would be at least a formal justification for our life. In order not to oppose myself completely, I began to visit museums and galleries and read books, ate little and stopped drinking. That way you drive yourself on the cord from morning to evening, it is as if it’s easier on the soul.
I'm tired of Ariadne. By the way, the people with whom she was successful were all average people, there were still no messengers and a salon, there was not enough money, and this offended her and made her sob, and she finally announced to me that perhaps she was not averse to Russia. And here we go. In the last months before her departure, she had been e-mailing correspondence with her brother, she obviously had some secret plans, and some of which were good news. I'm already tired of delving into her tricks. But we are not going to the village, but to Yalta, then from Yalta to the Caucasus. Now she can only live in resorts, and if you knew the extent to which I hate all these resorts, how I feel stuffy and ashamed in them. I would now be in the village! I would now work, get bread in the sweat of my face, atone for my mistakes. Now I feel in myself an excess of strength, and it seems to me that, straining these forces, I would redeem the estate in five years. But here, as you see, is a complication. It is not abroad, but Russia, mother, I have to think about a legal marriage. Of course, the hobby has already passed, there is no trace of the former love, but, be that as it may, I am obliged to marry her.
Shamokhin, excited by his story, and I went downstairs and continued to talk about women. It was too late. It turned out that he and I were in the same cabin.
“So far, only in the villages does a woman keep up with a man,” said Shamokhin, “there she thinks, feels, and struggles with nature as hard in the name of culture as a man.” The urban, bourgeois, intelligent woman has long lagged behind and is returning to her pristine state, by half she is already a man-beast, and thanks to her, much that has been won by human genius has already been lost; a woman gradually disappears, a primitive female sits in her place. This backwardness of an intelligent woman threatens culture with a serious danger; in her regressive movement, she tries to captivate the man behind her and delays his forward movement. This is certain.
I asked: why generalize, why judge all women by one Ariadne? The mere desire of women for education and gender equality, which I understand as the desire for justice, in itself excludes any assumption of a regressive movement. But Shamokhin barely listened to me and smiled incredulously. He was already a passionate, convinced woman hater, and it was impossible to convince him.
Yes, I have a business ... - began the prince.
“I am not asking you what kind of business it is — my business is only to report on you.” And without a secretary, I said, I won’t go to report on you.
This man's suspicion seemed to increase more and more; too prince did not fit the category of daily visitors, and although the general quite often, almost daily, at a certain time had to receive, especially on business, sometimes even very diverse guests, but, despite the habit and instructions, quite broad, the valet was in big doubt; secretary mediation for the report was necessary.
“Are you sure ... from abroad?” - somehow involuntarily he asked finally - and went astray; maybe he wanted to ask: “Are you surely Prince Myshkin?”
- Yes, now only from the car. It seems to me that you wanted to ask: am I Prince Myshkin exactly? Yes, they did not ask out of politeness.
“Um ...” growled the surprised footman.
“I assure you that I did not lie to you, and you will not be responsible for me.” And what am I in this form and with a knot, then there is nothing to be surprised at: at present my circumstances are plain.
- Um. I fear not that you see. I am obliged to report, and the secretary will come to you, okromya if you ... Here it is that okromya. You do not ask for poverty from the general, dare, if possible, find out?
“Oh no, be absolutely sure of that.” I have another thing.
- Excuse me, but I asked you looking. Wait for the secretary; he is now busy with the colonel, and then the secretary will come ... convivial.
- So, if you wait a long time, then I would ask you: is it possible to smoke somewhere here? I have a pipe and tobacco with me.
The princess spoke incessantly. The short upper sponge with antennae flew down for a moment, touched the ruddy lower sponge, where necessary, and the smile shining with teeth and eyes reopened. The princess told the incident that was with them on Spasskaya Mountain, which threatened her with a danger in her position, and immediately after that she reported that she had left all her dresses in St. Petersburg and that God would walk around here and that Andrei had completely changed, and that Kitty Odintsova married an old man, and that there is a groom for Princess Mary pour tout de bon 9, but we will talk about this later. Princess Mary was still silently looking at her brother, and in her beautiful eyes there was love and sadness. It was evident that her own train of thought was now established in her, independent of the speeches of her daughter-in-law. She in the middle of her story about the last holiday in St. Petersburg turned to her brother.
“And you are decisively going to war, André?” She said with a sigh.
Lise sighed too.
“Even tomorrow,” the brother answered.
- Il m'abandonne ici, et Dieu sait pourquoi, quand il aurait pu avoir de l'avancement ... 10
Princess Marya didn’t listen and, continuing the thread of her thoughts, turned to the daughter-in-law, with tender eyes pointing to her belly?
- Probably? - she said.
The face of the princess has changed. She sighed.
“Yes, probably,” she said. - Ah! It's very scary...
Lisa's lips fell. She brought her face closer to her sister-in-law's face and again suddenly burst into tears.
Do you want to smoke? - with contemptuous perplexity looked up at him the valet, as if still not believing his ears, - smoke? No, you should not smoke here, and besides, you are ashamed to keep it in your thoughts. Heh ... wonderful, sir!
“Oh, I didn’t ask in this room; I know; but I’d go somewhere wherever you point, because I’m used to it, but I haven’t smoked for three hours. However, as you wish, and, you know, there is a saying: to someone else’s monastery ...
“Well, how will I report such a thing about you?” Muttered the valet almost involuntarily. - The first thing is that you shouldn’t be here, but sit in the reception, because you yourself are on the visitor’s line, otherwise the guest will be asked from me ... Are you going to live with us? - he added, once again squinting at the knot of the prince, obviously not giving him rest.
- No I do not think so. Even if I had been invited, I won’t stay that way. I just met just arrived, and nothing more.
- How? Become acquainted? - with surprise and tripled suspicion asked the valet. “How did you first say that in the case?”
- Oh, almost out of business! That is, if you want, and there is one thing, just ask for advice, but I, most importantly, to recommend myself, because I am Prince Myshkin, and General Yepanchina is also the last of the Princesses of the Myshkins, and, besides me, there are no more Myshkins .
I heard nothing more, as I fell asleep. The next morning, when we approached Sevastopol, there was unpleasant damp weather. Swayed. Shamokhin sat with me in the wheelhouse, thought about something and was silent. Men with raised collars and ladies with pale, sleepy faces, when they called for tea, began to go down. One lady, young and very beautiful, the one who was angry at customs officials in Volochisk, stopped in front of Shamokhin and told him with an expression of a capricious, spoiled child:
- Jean, your little bird is sick of!
Then, while living in Yalta, I saw how this beautiful lady was racing on a pacer, and some two officers barely kept up with her, and how one morning, in a Phrygian cap and apron, she painted paints in a sketch sitting on the embankment, and a large crowd stood at a distance and admired it. I met her too. She shook my hand tightly and, looking at me with admiration, thanked her with a sweet-singing voice for the pleasure that I give her with my compositions.
She needs to rest, ”said Prince Andrei, grimacing. - Is not it, Lisa? Bring her to me, and I'll go to the priest. What is he all the same?
- The same, the same; I don’t know how your eyes are, ”answered the princess joyfully.
- And the same hours and walks along the alleys? Machine? - Asked Prince Andrew with a slightly noticeable smile, showing that, despite all his love and respect for his father, he understood his weaknesses.
“The same watch and machine, also mathematics and my geometry lessons,” Princess Mary answered joyfully, as if her lessons in geometry were one of the most joyful impressions of her life.
When those twenty minutes that were needed for the term of rising of the old prince passed, Tikhon came to call the young prince to his father. The old man made an exception in his lifestyle in honor of the arrival of his son: he ordered him to be allowed into his half while dressing before dinner. The prince walked in the old fashion, in a caftan and powder. And while Prince Andrey (not with that grim expression and manners that he pretended to be in the living rooms, but with that lively face that he had when he talked with Pierre) went to his father, the old man was sitting in the restroom on a wide, morocco upholstered armchair, in a powder, giving his head to Tikhon's hands.
So are you also a relative? - startled the almost completely frightened footman.
“And it's almost none.” However, if you pull, of course, relatives, but so far distant that, in fact, you can’t even be considered. Once I turned to the general from abroad with a letter, but she did not answer me. I nevertheless considered it necessary to establish relations upon return. Now I’m explaining all this to you so that you don’t doubt, because I see that you are still worried: report that Prince Myshkin, and in the report itself the reason for my visit will be visible. They will accept - well, they will not accept - also, perhaps, very well. They just can't seem to refuse to accept: the general, of course, wants to see the eldest and only representative of her kind, and she really appreciates her breed, as I heard about her exactly.
It would seem that the conversation of the prince was the simplest; but the simpler it was, the more ridiculous it became in the present case, and the experienced valet could not help but feel something that was completely decent for a person with a person and completely indecent for a guest with a person. And since people are much smarter than their gentlemen usually think about them, it came to the valet’s head that there were two things: either the prince, some kind of fool and certainly came to poverty to ask, or the prince simply doesn’t have a fool and ambition because the clever prince would not have sat in the front room and talked about his own affairs with a footman, and therefore would not have had to answer for him in either case?
“Nevertheless, you are welcome to the waiting room,” he remarked as insistently as possible.
The old man was in a good mood after an afternoon nap. (He said that after dinner it was a silver dream, and before dinner it was a golden dream.) He joyfully squinted at his son from beneath his thick overhanging eyebrows. Prince Andrei came up and kissed his father at the place indicated by him. He did not respond to his father’s favorite topic of conversation - making fun of the current military people, and especially Bonaparte.
“Yes, I’ve come to you, father, and with my pregnant wife,” said Prince Andrei, watching with lively and respectful eyes the movement of every feature of his father’s face. - How is your health?
- Unhealthy, brother, there are only fools and lecherous people, but you know me: busy from morning till night, restrained, well, well.
“Thank God,” said the son, smiling.
“God has nothing to do with it.” Well, tell me, ”he continued, returning to his beloved skate,“ how the Germans and Bonaparte have taught you how to fight in your new science, called a strategy. ”
Prince Andrew smiled.
“Let me come to my senses, father,” he said with a smile, showing that his father’s weaknesses did not prevent him from respecting and loving him. - After all, I have not yet accommodated myself.
“You're lying, you're lying,” the old man shouted, shaking the pigtail to try to see if it was tightly braided, and grabbing his son's hand. “The house is ready for your wife.” Princess Mary will bring her together and show her and talk from three boxes. This is their Indian business. I am glad of her. Sit, tell me. Michelson’s army, I understand, Tolstoy too ... a one-time landing ... What will the Southern Army do? Prussia, neutrality ... I know that. Austria what? He said, getting up from his chair and walking around the room with Tikhon, who was running and serving parts of his clothes. - Sweden what? How will Pomerania go?
Uh, fullness! He interrupted. - Since a woman sees in me not a man who is not equal to herself, but a male and his whole life bothers only to like me, that is, to take possession of me, can there be any talk of full right? Oh, do not believe them, they are very, very cunning! We men are bothering about their freedom, but they do not want this freedom at all and only pretend they want. Terribly cunning, terribly cunning!
I was already bored of arguing and wanted to sleep. I turned to face the wall.
“Yes, sir,” I heard, falling asleep. - Yes, sir. And all the fault is our upbringing, my friend. In cities, all the upbringing and education of a woman in her main essence comes down to developing a human beast out of her, that is, to like her a male and to know how to defeat this male. Yes, - Shamokhin sighed. - It is necessary that the girls are brought up and studied with the boys, so that both are always together. It is necessary to educate a woman so that she can, like a man, be aware of her wrong, otherwise she, in her opinion, is always right. Inspire the girl from the swaddling clothes that the man, first of all, is not a gentleman or a groom, but her neighbor, who is equal to her in everything. Teach her to think logically, to generalize and do not assure her that her brain weighs less than the male and that therefore she may be indifferent to the sciences, the arts, and generally cultural tasks. The apprentice boy, a shoemaker or painter, also has a smaller brain than an adult man, but he also participates in the general struggle for existence, works, and suffers. It is also necessary to quit this manner of referring to physiology, pregnancy and childbirth, since, firstly, a woman will not give birth every month; secondly, not all women will give birth and, thirdly, a normal village woman works in the field on the eve of childbirth - and nothing is done with her. Then there should be complete equality in everyday life. If a man gives a lady a chair or raises a dropped handkerchief, then let her pay him the same. I will have nothing against if a girl from a good family helps me put on a coat or give me a glass of water ...
Prince Andrew, seeing the urgency of his father’s demands, at first reluctantly, but then more and more animated and involuntarily in the middle of the story, out of habit, having switched from Russian to French, he began to set out the operational plan for the proposed campaign. He told how the ninety-thousandth army had to threaten Prussia in order to remove it from neutrality and draw it into the war, how some of these troops had to unite with the Swedish troops in Stralsund, like two hundred twenty thousand Austrians, in conjunction with one hundred thousand Russians, had to act in Italy and on the Rhine, and how fifty thousand Russians and fifty thousand British landed in Naples, and how, as a result, the five hundred thousand army had to attack the French from different sides. The old prince did not show the slightest interest in the story, as if he had not listened, and, while continuing to dress, he interrupted him three times unexpectedly. Once he stopped him and cried out:
- White! white!
This meant that Tikhon did not give him the vest he wanted. Another time he stopped, asked:
- And soon she will give birth? - and, with a reproach, shaking his head, he said: - Not good! Go on, go on.
The third time, when Prince Andrey was finishing the description, the old man sang in a fake and senile voice: “Malbrough s'en va-t-en guerre. Dieu sait quand reviendra "11.
The son just smiled.
Why, I would sit there, so I wouldn’t explain everything to you, ”the prince laughed merrily,“ and, therefore, you would still be worried when you looked at my cloak and bundle. ” And now, maybe you have nothing to wait for the secretary, but you should go and report yourself.
- I can’t report a visitor like you without a secretary, and besides, I myself, especially recently, ordered them not to be disturbed for anyone while the colonel was there, and Gavrila Ardalionych was coming without a report.
- An official?
- Gavrila Ardalionych? Not. He serves in the Company on his own. Set the knot at least over here.
- I already thought about it; if you will allow. And, you know, I’ll take off my coat too?
“Of course, it’s not in the cloak to enter him.”
The prince got up, hastily took off his coat and remained in a pretty decent and deftly stitched, albeit worn, jacket. A steel chain walked along the vest. The Geneva silver watch was on the chain.
Although the prince was a fool, - the footman had already decided, - but still the general valet seemed indecent at all to continue a longer conversation from himself with the visitor, despite the fact that he somehow liked the prince, of a kind, of course. But, from another point of view, he aroused in him resolute and gross indignation.
- And when does the general take? The prince asked, sitting down again in his former place.
“That's none of my business, sir.” Accepted pink, judging by the face. The modiste will admit at eleven. Gavril Ardalionych is also allowed earlier than others, even admitted to an early breakfast.
Here in your rooms it’s warmer than abroad in winter, the prince remarked, but here it’s warmer than ours in the streets, and in the houses in winter it’s impossible for a Russian person to live out of habit.
- Do not drown?
- Yes, and the houses are arranged differently, that is, stoves and windows.
- Um! How long have you deigned to ride?
- Yes, four years. However, I was all sitting on one almost place, in the village.
- Weaned from ours?
- And it is true. Believe me, I wonder at myself; I have not forgotten how to speak Russian. I’m talking to you now, but I’m thinking to myself: “But I speak well.” Maybe that's why I say so much. Really, since yesterday I want to speak everything in Russian.
- Um! Heh! Did you live in Petersburg before? (No matter how the footman was fastening, it was impossible not to maintain such a courteous and polite conversation).
- In Petersburg? Almost none at all, only passing through. And before, I didn’t know anything here, but now there’s so much, you hear, new that, they say, who knew something, it’s so often re-learned. There is much talk about the courts here.
- Um! .. Courts. Courts it is true that the courts. And what, as there, is fairer in court or not?
- I do not know. I heard a lot of good things about ours. Here, again, we do not have the death penalty.
- Are they executed there?
- Yes. I saw in France, in Lyon. Schneider took me with him.
- No, in France all heads are chopped.
- Well, screaming?
- Where! In an instant. They put a man, and a sort of wide knife falls, it’s hard and strong in a car, it’s called a guillotine ... The head will bounce so that you don't even have time to blink an eye. The preparations are heavy. That's when they pronounce the verdict, equip, knit, cock on the scaffold, here it is awful! People are running away, even women, even though they don’t like women to look.
“Not their business.”
- Of course! Of course! A sort of flour! .. The criminal was a smart, fearless, strong man, in his years, Legro by name. Well, I’m telling you, believe it, do not believe it; I’ve come up to the scaffold - I cried, as white as paper. Is it possible? Isn't it horror? Well, who is crying with fear? I didn’t even think that from fear it would be possible to cry not for a child, a person who never cried, a person in his forty-five years old. What is being done to the soul at this moment, to what convulsions it is brought? Abuse of the soul, nothing more! It is said: “Do not kill”, so for the fact that he killed, and kill him? No, it is impossible. So I already saw it a month ago, and still I have it right before my eyes. I dreamed about five times.
Do not believe, - Shamokhin whispered to me, - she didn’t read anything of yours.
One evening, when I was walking along the promenade, I met Shamokhin; in his hands were large bundles of snacks and fruit.
“Prince Maktuev is here!” He said joyfully. - Yesterday I arrived with her brother-spirit. Now I understand what she then corresponded with him! Lord, ”he continued, looking at the sky and clutching the bundles to his chest,“ if she’s getting along with the prince, then this means freedom, then I can go to the village, to my father! ”
And he ran on.
- I'm starting to believe in spirits! He shouted to me, looking around. “The spirit of Grandfather Hilarion seems to have prophesied the truth!” Oh, if only!
The day after this meeting, I left Yalta, and I don’t know how Shamokhin’s novel ended.
To the hut of Maxim Zhurkin, rustling and rustling on the dried, dusty grass, a carriage pulled by a pair of pretty Vyatka horses rolled up. The lady Elena Egorovna Strelkova and her manager Felix Adamovich Rzhevetsky sat in a carriage. The manager deftly jumped out of the stroller, went to the hut and tapped the glass with his index finger. A light flashed in the hut.
- Who's there? Asked the old woman's voice, and the head of Maxim's wife appeared in the window.
- Go out, grandmother, to the street! - the lady shouted.
A minute later, Maxim and his wife came out of the hut. They stopped at the gate and silently bowed to the lady, and then to the steward.
“Tell me,” Elena Yegorovna turned to the old man, “what does all this mean?”
- What is it, sir?
- Like what? Don't you know? Is Stepan home?
“Not at all.” He left for the mill.
- What is he building out of himself? I strongly do not understand this man! Why did he leave me?
“We don't know, lady.” Nothing do we know?
“It is awfully ugly of him!” He left me without a coachman! By his grace, Felix Adamovich himself had to harness the horses and rule. Terribly stupid! You understand that this is finally stupid! Salary seemed to him a little, or what?
- And Christ knows him! - answered the old man, squinting at the manager, who looked out the windows. “He doesn’t tell us, but you won’t get into his head.” He’s gone, he says, and the Sabbath! Own will! Probably, the salary seemed a little!
- And who is lying under the images on the bench? Asked Felix Adamovich, looking out the window.
- Semyon, father! But there is no Stepan.
- Cheeky of him! - continued the lady, lighting a cigarette. - Monsieur Rzhevetsky, how much did he receive our salary?
- Ten rubles a month.
The prince even animated himself by saying, a light paint appeared in his pale face, although his speech was still quiet. The valet watched him with sympathetic interest, so it seemed he didn’t want to tear himself away; maybe there was also a man with imagination and an attempt at thought.
“It’s good that there is little flour,” he remarked, “when the head flies off.”
“Do you know what?” - the prince snapped hotly. “Well, you noticed this, and they all notice exactly the same as you, and the machine was invented for that, the guillotine.” And then one thought occurred to me: what if this is even worse? This is funny to you, it seems wild to you, and with some imagination even such an idea will jump into your head. Think: if, for example, torture; at the same time suffering and wounds, bodily torment, and, therefore, all this distracts from mental suffering, so that wounds alone are tormented until you die. But the main, most severe pain, maybe not in the wounds, but what you probably know is that after an hour, then after ten minutes, then after half a minute, then now, now, now - the soul will fly out of the body, and that man already you won’t be anymore, and that’s probably it; the main thing is that probably. This is how you put your head under the knife itself and hear how it slips over your head, these quarter of a second are the worst. Do you know that this is not my fantasy, but what so many have said? I believe so far that I’ll tell you my opinion directly. Killing for murder is a disproportionately greater punishment than the crime itself. Murder by sentence is disproportionately worse than murder by a robber. The one who is killed by the bandits is slaughtered at night, in the forest, or somehow, by all means still hoping that he will be saved, until the very last moment. There were examples that the throat was cut, and he still hopes, or runs, or asks. And here all this last hope, with which it is ten times easier to die, is probably taken away; here is the verdict, and that you probably won’t escape, all the terrible flour sits, and there is no stronger flour in the world. Bring and put the soldier against the gun itself in the battle and shoot him, he will still hope everything, but read the sentence to this soldier himself, probably, and he will lose his mind or cry. Who said that human nature is able to endure it without madness? Why such a curse, ugly, unnecessary, in vain? Maybe there is such a person to whom the sentence was read, given to torment, and then said: "Go, they forgive you." Here is a sort of person, maybe he could tell. Christ spoke of this torment and horror. No, you can’t do this to a person!
The valet, although he could not have expressed it all like a prince, but, of course, although not everything, but most importantly he understood that it was evident even from his tender face.
f it seemed to him a little ten, then I could give fifteen! He did not say a word and left! Is it honest? In good faith?
- After all, I said that you should never stand on ceremony with these people! - spoke Rzhevetsky, engraving each syllable and trying not to stress the penultimate syllable. “You spoiled these parasites!” You should never give an entire salary at a time! What is it for? And why do you want to add a salary? And so it will come! He agreed, hired! Tell him, ”said the Pole to Maxim,“ that he is a pig and nothing more. ”
- Finissez donc! one
- Do you hear, man? Engaged - and serve, and do not leave when you want, damn! Let it not come tomorrow! I will show him not to obey! And you will get it! Do you hear, old woman?
- Finissez, Rzhevetsky!
- Everyone will get it! Do not come to my office then, old dog! Ceremonial with you ?! Are you people? Do you understand good words? You only then understand if you are beaten on the neck and made you in trouble
If it’s so desirable for you, ”he said,“ to smoke, then it is probably possible if only as soon as possible. ” Therefore, he suddenly asks, but you are not. Here, under the ladder, see, the door. Enter the door, to the right of the closet: there you can, only dissolve the window, because it is not order ...
But the prince did not have time to go smoke. Suddenly a young man came in with a paper in his hands. The valet began to take off his fur coat. The young man squinted at the prince.
“This, Gavrila Ardalionych,” the valet began privately and almost familiarly, “is reported that Prince Myshkin and the mistress are a relative, arrived with a train from abroad, and the bundle in his hand, only ...
The prince did not hear further, because the valet began to whisper. Gavrila Ardalionovich listened attentively and looked at the prince with great curiosity, finally stopped listening and impatiently approached him.
“Are you Prince Myshkin?” He asked extremely kindly and politely. He was a very handsome young man, also about twenty-eight years old, a slender blond, of medium-tall stature, with a small, Napoleonic beard, with a smart and very handsome face. Only his smile, for all its courtesy, was something too subtle; while the teeth were exposed at the same time something too pearl-even; his gaze, in spite of all its gaiety and the apparent simplicity of it, was something too intense and experienced.
“He must have, when alone, not at all looked like that and maybe never laughs,” the prince felt somehow.
The prince explained everything that he could, hastily, almost the same thing that he had previously explained to the valet and even earlier Rogozhin. Gavrila Ardalionovich, meanwhile, seemed to recall something.
At the appointed hour, powdered and shaved, the prince went into the dining room, where his daughter-in-law, Princess Mary, m-lle Bourienne and the prince's architect, who, by a strange whim, was allowed to the table, were waiting for him, although by his position this insignificant person could not count on such honour. The prince, who was firmly stuck in the life of the difference in conditions and rarely allowed even important provincial officials to the table, suddenly on the architect Mikhail Ivanovich, blowing his nose in a checkered shawl in the corner, argued that all people were equal, and more than once inspired his daughter that Mikhail Ivanovich worse than you and me. At the table, the prince most often turned to the wordless Mikhail Ivanovich.
I'll tell him. Why not say? You can say ...
“Tell him that I am adding him a salary,” said Elena Yegorovna. “I can't be without a coachman.” When I find another, then let him go, if he pleases. Tomorrow morning to be with me again! Tell him that I am deeply offended by his impolite act! And you, grandmother, tell me! I hope that he will be with me and will not force me to send for myself. Come here, grandmother! On you, honey! Is it hard to deal with such big children? Take it, honey!
The lady took out a pretty cigarette-case from her pocket, pulled a yellow piece of paper from under the cigarette and handed it to the old woman.
“If he doesn’t come,” the lady added, “we will have to quarrel, which would be extremely undesirable.” But I hope ... You will advise him. Come on, Felix Adamych! Farewell!
Rzhevetsky jumped into the carriage, picked up the reins, and the carriage rolled along the soft road.
- How much did you give? The old man asked.
In the dining room, enormously high, like all the rooms in the house, the prince was waited by the house and the waiters who stood behind each chair; the butler, with a napkin in his hand, looked around the table, blinking to the lackeys and constantly ran a restless gaze from the wall clock to the door from which the prince was supposed to appear. Prince Andrei was looking at a huge, new for him, golden frame with the image of the family tree of the Princes Bolkonsky, hanging opposite the same huge frame with a badly made (apparently, by the hand of a home painter) image of the sovereign prince in the crown, which was supposed to come from Rurik and be the ancestor kind of Bolkonsky. Prince Andrey looked at this family tree, shaking his head, and chuckled with the look with which they looked at a portrait that was ridiculously funny.
“How do I recognize him all here!” He said to Princess Mary, who approached him.
Princess Mary looked at her brother in surprise. She did not understand why he was smiling.
- Give it to me!
The old man took the ruble, stroked it with both palms, carefully folded it and put it in his pocket.
- Stepan, left! He said, entering the hut. “I told her that you went to the mill.” Passion was awakened like! ..
As soon as the carriage drove off and disappeared from view, Stepan appeared in the window. Pale as death, trembling, he crawled out half of the window and threatened with his big fist to the dark garden in the distance. The garden was lordly. Threatening about six times, he grumbled something, reached back into the hut and lowered the frame.
Half an hour after the lady left, they had dinner in the hut of Zhurkin. In the kitchen near the stove itself, Zhurkin and his wife were sitting at the greasy table. Opposite them sat Maxim's eldest son - Semyon, temporarily vacation, with a red drunken face, long pockmarked nose and oily eyes. Semyon looked like his father, he was not only gray-haired, bald and did not have such cunning, gypsy eyes, which his father possessed. Next to Semyon sat the second son of Maxim, Stepan. Stepan did not eat, but, propping his beautiful blond head with his fist, he looked at the smoked ceiling and thought hard about something. Dinner was served by Stepan's wife, Marya. Cabbage soup was eaten silently.
- Take it! - said Maxim, when cabbage soup was eaten. Mary took an empty cup from the table, but did not bring it safely to the stove, although she was close to the stove. She stumbled and fell onto the bench. The cup fell out of her hands and crawled from her knees to the floor. There were sobs.
Aren't you, ”he asked,“ deigned to send a letter a year ago or even closer, it seems from Switzerland, to Elizabeth Prokofievna? ”
- So they know you here and probably remember. Are you to His Excellency? Now I will report ... He will be free now. Only you would ... you are welcome to the reception room ... Why are they here? - He turned sternly to the valet.
- I say they themselves did not want to ...
At this time, the door from the office suddenly opened and some military man, with a briefcase in his hand, loudly speaking and taking his leave, went out of there.
“Are you here, Ganya?” - shouted a voice from the office, - but perhaps here!
Gavrila Ardalionovich nodded to the prince and hastily walked into the office.
About two minutes later, the door opened again and the sonorous voice of Gavrila Ardalionovich was heard:
- Prince, please!