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August 11th

  • O Barbara Alexievna, I am undone—we are both of us undone! Both of us are lost
  • beyond recall! Everything is ruined—my reputation, my self-respect, all that I
  • have in the world! And you as much as I. Never shall we retrieve what we have
  • lost. I— I have brought you to this pass, for I have become an outcast, my
  • darling. Everywhere I am laughed at and despised. Even my landlady has taken
  • to abusing me. Today she overwhelmed me with shrill reproaches, and abased me
  • to the level of a hearth-brush. And last night, when I was in Rataziaev's
  • rooms, one of his friends began to read a scribbled note which I had written
  • to you, and then inadvertently pulled out of my pocket. Oh beloved, what
  • laughter there arose at the recital! How those scoundrels mocked and derided
  • you and myself! I walked up to them and accused Rataziaev of breaking faith. I
  • said that he had played the traitor. But he only replied that I had been the
  • betrayer in the case, by indulging in various amours. "You have kept them very
  • dark though, Mr. Lovelace!" said he— and now I am known everywhere by this
  • name of "Lovelace." They know EVERYTHING about us, my darling, EVERYTHING—both
  • about you and your affairs and about myself; and when today I was for sending
  • Phaldoni to the bakeshop for something or other, he refused to go, saying that
  • it was not his business. "But you MUST go," said I. "I will not," he replied.
  • "You have not paid my mistress what you owe her, so I am not bound to run your
  • errands." At such an insult from a raw peasant I lost my temper, and called
  • him a fool; to which he retorted in a similar vein. Upon this I thought that
  • he must be drunk, and told him so; whereupon he replied: "WHAT say you that I
  • am? Suppose you yourself go and sober up, for I know that the other day you
  • went to visit a woman, and that you got drunk with her on two grivenniks." To
  • such a pass have things come! I feel ashamed to be seen alive. I am, as it
  • were, a man proclaimed; I am in a worse plight even than a tramp who has lost
  • his passport. How misfortunes are heaping themselves upon me! I am lost—I am
  • lost for ever!
  • M. D.