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Chapter 10 Filibusters. A Fatal Morning.

  • the adventure that befell us on the way was also a surprising one. But I mus_ell the story in due order. An hour before Stepan Trofimovitch and I came ou_nto the street, a crowd of people, the hands from Shpigulins' factory, seventy or more in number, had been marching through the town, and had been a_bject of curiosity to many spectators. They walked intentionally in goo_rder and almost in silence. Afterwards it was asserted that these seventy ha_een elected out of the whole number of factory hands, amounting to about nin_undred, to go to the governor and to try and get from him, in the absence o_heir employer, a just settlement of their grievances against the manager, who, in closing the factory and dismissing the workmen, had cheated them al_n an impudent waya fact which has since been proved conclusively. Some peopl_till deny that there was any election of delegates, maintaining that sevent_as too large a number to elect, and that the crowd simply consisted of thos_ho had been most unfairly treated, and that they only came to ask for help i_heir own case, so that the general "mutiny" of the factory workers, abou_hich there was such an uproar later on, had never existed at all. Other_iercely maintained that these seventy men were not simple strikers bu_evolutionists, that is, not merely that they were the most turbulent, bu_hat they must have been worked upon by seditious manifestoes. The fact is, i_s still uncertain whether there had been any outside influence or incitemen_t work or not. My private opinion is that the workmen had not read th_editious manifestoes at all, and if they had read them, would not hav_nderstood one word, for one reason because the authors of such literatur_rite very obscurely in spite of the boldness of their style. But as th_orkmen really were in a difficult plight and the police to whom they appeale_ould not enter into their grievances, what could be more natural than thei_dea of going in a body to "the general himself" if possible, with th_etition at their head, forming up in an orderly way before his door, and a_oon as he showed himself, all falling on their knees and crying out to him a_o providence itself? To my mind there is no need to see in this a mutiny o_ven a deputation, for it's a traditional, historical mode of action; th_ussian people have always loved to parley with "the general himself" for th_ere satisfaction of doing so, regardless of how the conversation may end.
  • And so I am quite convinced that, even though Pyotr Stepanovitch, Liputin, an_erhaps some othersperhaps even Fedka toohad been flitting about among th_orkpeople talking to them (and there is fairly good evidence of this), the_ad only approached two, three, five at the most, trying to sound them, an_othing had come of their conversation. As for the mutiny they advocated, i_he factory-workers did understand anything of their propaganda, they woul_ave left off listening to it at once as to something stupid that had nothin_o do with them. Fedka was a different matter: he had more success, I believe, than Pyotr Stepanovitch. Two workmen are now known for a fact to have assiste_edka in causing the fire in the town which occurred three days afterwards, and a month later three men who had worked in the factory were arrested fo_obbery and arson in the province. But if in these cases Fedka did lure the_o direct and immediate action, he could only have succeeded with these five, for we heard of nothing of the sort being done by others.
  • Be that as it may, the whole crowd of workpeople had at last reached the ope_pace in front of the governor's house and were drawn up there in silence an_ood order. Then, gaping open-mouthed at the front door, they waited. I a_old that as soon as they halted they took off their caps, that is, a goo_alf-hour before the appearance of the governor, who, as ill-luck would hav_t, was not at home at the moment. The police made their appearance at once, at first individual policemen and then as large a contingent of them as coul_e gathered together; they began, of course, by being menacing, ordering the_o break up. But the workmen remained obstinately, like a flock of sheep at _ence, and replied laconically that they had come to see "the genera_imself"; it was evident that they were firmly determined. The unnatura_houting of the police ceased, and was quickly succeeded by deliberations, mysterious whispered instructions, and stern, fussy perplexity, which wrinkle_he brows of the police officers. The head of the police preferred to awai_he arrival of the "governor himself." It was not true that he galloped to th_pot with three horses at full speed, and began hitting out right and lef_efore he alighted from his carriage. It's true that he used to dash about an_as fond of dashing about at full speed in a carriage with a yellow back, an_hile his trace-horses, who were so trained to carry their heads that the_ooked "positively perverted," galloped more and more frantically, rousing th_nthusiasm of all the shopkeepers in the bazaar, he would rise up in th_arriage, stand erect, holding on by a strap which had been fixed on purpos_t the side, and with his right arm extended into space like a figure on _onument, survey the town majestically. But in the present case he did not us_is fists, and though as he got out of the carriage he could not refrain fro_ forcible expression, this was simply done to keep up his popularity. Ther_s a still more absurd story that soldiers were brought up with bayonets, an_hat a telegram was sent for artillery and Cossacks; those are legends whic_re not believed now even by those who invented them. It's an absurd story, too, that barrels of water were brought from the fire brigade, and that peopl_ere drenched with water from them. The simple fact is that Ilya Ilyitc_houted in his heat that he wouldn't let one of them come dry out of th_ater; probably this was the foundation of the barrel legend which got int_he columns of the Petersburg and Moscow newspapers. Probably the mos_ccurate version was that at first all the available police formed a cordo_ound the crowd, and a messenger was sent for Lembke, a police superintendent, who dashed off in the carriage belonging to the head of the police on the wa_o Skvoreshniki, knowing that Lembke had gone there in his carriage half a_our before.
  • But I must confess that I am still unable to answer the question how the_ould at first sight, from the first moment, have transformed a_nsignificant, that is to say an ordinary, crowd of petitioners, even thoug_here were several of them, into a rebellion which threatened to shake th_oundations of the state. Why did Lembke himself rush at that idea when h_rrived twenty minutes after the messenger? I imagine (but again it's only m_rivate opinion) that it was to the interest of Ilya Ilyitch, who was a cron_f the factory manager's, to represent the crowd in this light to Lembke, i_rder to prevent him from going into the case; and Lembke himself had put th_dea into his head. In the course of the last two days, he had had two unusua_nd mysterious conversations with Mm. It is true they were exceedingl_bscure, but Ilya Ilyitch was able to gather from them that the governor ha_horoughly made up his mind that there were political manifestoes, and tha_hpigulins' factory hands were being incited to a Socialist rising, and tha_e was so persuaded of it that he would perhaps have regretted it if the stor_ad turned out to be nonsense. "He wants to get distinction in Petersburg,"
  • our wily Ilya Ilyitch thought to himself as he left Von Lembke; "well, tha_ust suits me."
  • But I am convinced that poor Andrey Antonovitch would not have desired _ebellion even for the sake of distinguishing himself. He was a mos_onscientious official, who had lived in a state of innocence up to the tim_f his marriage. And was it his fault that, instead of an innocent allowanc_f wood from the government and an equally innocent Minnchen, a princess o_orty summers had raised him to her level? I know almost for certain that th_nmistakable symptoms of the mental condition which brought poor Andre_ntonovitch to a well-known establishment in Switzerland, where, I am told, h_s now regaining his energies, were first apparent on that fatal morning. Bu_nce we admit that unmistakable signs of something were visible that morning, it may well be allowed that similar symptoms .may have been evident the da_efore, though not so clearly. I happen to know from the most private sources (well, you may assume that Yulia Mihailovna later on, not in triumph bu_lmost in remorsefor a woman is incapable of complete remorserevealed part o_t to me herself) that Andrey Antonovitch had gone into his wife's room in th_iddle of the previous night, past two o'clock in the morning, had waked he_p, and had insisted on her listening to his "ultimatum.'' He demanded it s_nsistently that she was obliged to get up from her bed in indignation an_url-papers, and, sitting down on a couch, she had to listen, though wit_arcastic disdain. Only then she grasped for the first time how far gone he_ndrey Antonovitch was, and was secretly horrified. She ought to have though_hat she was about and have been softened, but she concealed her horror an_as more obstinate than ever. Like every wife she had her own method o_reating Andrey Antonovitch, which she had tried more than once already an_ith it driven him to frenzy. Yulia Mihailovna's method was that o_ontemptuous silence, for one hour, two, a whole day. and almost for thre_ays and nightssilence whatever happened, whatever he said, whatever he did, even if he had clambered up to throw himself out of a three-story window_ethod unendurable for a sensitive man! Whether Yulia Mihailovna meant t_unish her husband for his blunders of the last few days and the jealous env_e, as the chief authority in the town, felt for her administrative abilities; whether she was indignant at his criticism of her behaviour with the youn_eople and local society generally, and lack of comprehension of her subtl_nd far-sighted political aims; or was angry with his stupid and senseles_ealousy of Pyotr Stepanovitchhowever that may have been, she made up her min_ot to be softened even now, in spite of its being three o'clock at night, an_hough Andrey Antonovitch was in a state of emotion such as she had never see_im in before.
  • Pacing up and down in all directions over the rugs of her boudoir, besid_imself, he poured out everything, everything, quite disconnectedly, it'_rue, but everything that had been rankling in his heart, for" it wa_utrageous." He began by saying that he was a laughing-stock to every one and
  • "was being led by the nose."
  • "Curse the expression," he squealed, at once catching her smile, "let i_tand, it's true… . No, madam, the time has come; let me tell you it's not _ime for laughter and feminine arts now. We are not in the boudoir of _incing lady, but like two abstract creatures in a balloon who have met t_peak the truth." (He was no doubt confused and could not find the right word_or his ideas, however just they were.) "It is you, madam, you who hav_estroyed my happy past. I took up this post simply for your sake, for th_ake of your ambition… . You smile sarcastically? Don't triumph, don't be in _urry. Let me tell you, madam, let me tell you that I should have been equa_o this position, and not only this position but a dozen positions like it, for I have abilities; but with you, madam, with youit's impossible, for wit_ou here I have no abilities. There cannot be two centres, and you hav_reated twoone of mine and one in your boudoirtwo centres of power, madam, bu_ won't allow it, I won't allow it! In the service, as in marriage, there mus_e one centre, two are impossible… . How have you repaid me?" he went on. "Ou_arriage has been nothing but your proving to me all the time, every hour, that I am a nonentity, a fool, and even a rascal, and I have been all th_ime, every hour, forced in a degrading way to prove to you that I am not _onentity, not a fool at all, and that I impress every one with my honourabl_haracter. Isn't that degrading for both sides?"
  • At this point he began rapidly stamping with both feet on the carpet, so tha_ulia Mihailovna was obliged to get up with stern dignity. He subside_uickly, but passed to being pathetic and began sobbing (yes, sobbing!), beating himself on the breast almost for five minutes, getting more and mor_rantic at Yulia Mihailovna's profound silence. At last he made a fata_lunder, and let slip that he was jealous of Pyotr Stepanovitch. Realisin_hat he had made an utter fool of himself, he became savagely furious, an_houted that he "would not allow them to deny God "and that he would" send he_alon of irresponsible infidels packing," that the governor of a province wa_ound to believe in God "and so his wife was too," that he wouldn't put u_ith these young men; that "you, madam, for the sake of your own dignity, ought to have thought of your husband and to have stood up for hi_ntelligence even if he were a man of poor abilities (and I'm by no means _an of poor abilities!), and yet it's your doing that every one here despise_e, it was you put them all up to it!" He shouted that he would annihilate th_oman question, that he would eradicate every trace of it, that to-morrow h_ould forbid and break up their silly fete for the benefit of the governesses (damn them!), that the first governess he came across to-morrow morning h_ould drive out of the province "with a Cossack! I'll make a point of it!" h_hrieked. "Do you know," he screamed, "do you know that your rascals ar_nciting men at the factory, and that I know it? Let me tell you, I know th_ames of four of these rascals and that I am going out of my mind, hopelessly, hopelessly! … "
  • But at this point Yulia Mihailovna suddenly broke her silence and sternl_nnounced that she had long been aware of these criminal designs, and that i_as all foolishness, and that he had taken it too seriously, and that as fo_hese mischievous fellows, she knew not only those four but all of them (i_as a lie); but that she had not the faintest intention of going out of he_ind on account of it, but, on the contrary, had all the more confidence i_er intelligence and hoped to bring it all to a harmonious conclusion: t_ncourage the young people, to bring them to reason, to show them suddenly an_nexpectedly that their designs were known, and then to point out to them ne_ims for rational and more noble activity.
  • Oh, how can I describe the effect of this on Andrey Antonovitch! Hearing tha_yotr Stepanovitch had duped him again and had made a fool of him so coarsely, that he had told her much more than he had told him, and sooner than him, an_hat perhaps Pyotr Stepanovitch was the chief instigator of all these crimina_esignshe flew into a frenzy. "Senseless but malignant woman," he cried, snapping his bonds at one blow, "let me tell you, I shall arrest you_orthless lover at once, I shall put him in fetters and send him to th_ortress, orI shall jump out of window before your eyes this minute!"
  • Yulia Mihailovna, turning green with anger, greeted this tirade at once with _urst of prolonged, ringing laughter, going off into peals such as one hear_t the French theatre when a Parisian actress, imported for a fee of a hundre_housand to play a coquette, laughs in her husband's face for daring to b_ealous of her.
  • Von Lembke rushed to the window, but suddenly stopped as though rooted to th_pot, folded his arms across his chest, and, white as a corpse, looked with _inister gaze at the laughing lady. "Do you know, Yulia, do you know," he sai_n a gasping and suppliant voice, "do you know that even I can do something?"
  • But at the renewed and even louder laughter that followed his last words h_lenched his ,teeth, groaned, and suddenly rushed, not towards the window, bu_t his spouse, with his fist raised! He did not bring it downno, I repea_gain and again, no; but it was the last straw. He ran to his own room, no_nowing what he was doing, flung himself, dressed as he was, face downwards o_is bed, wrapped himself convulsively, head and all, in the sheet, and lay s_or two hours incapable of sleep, incapable of thought, with a load on hi_eart and blank, immovable despair in his soul. Now and then he shivered al_ver with an agonising, feverish tremor. Disconnected and irrelevant thing_ept coming into his mind: at one minute he thought of the old clock whic_sed to hang on his wall fifteen years ago in Petersburg and had lost th_inute-hand; at another of the cheerful clerk, Millebois, and how they ha_nce caught a sparrow together in Alexandrovsky Park and had laughed so tha_hey could be heard all over the park, remembering that one of them wa_lready a college assessor. I imagine that about seven in the morning he mus_ave fallen asleep without being aware of it himself, and must have slept wit_njoyment, with agreeable dreams.
  • Waking about ten o'clock, he jumped wildly out of bed remembered everything a_nce, and slapped himself on the head; he refused his breakfast, and would se_either Blum nor the chief of the police nor the clerk who came to remind hi_hat he was expected to preside over a meeting that morning; he would liste_o nothing, and did not want to understand. He ran like one possessed to Yuli_ihailovna's part of the house. There Sofya Antropovna, an old lady of goo_amily who had lived for years with Yulia Mihailovna, explained to him tha_is wife had set off at ten o'clock that morning with a large company in thre_arriages to Varvara Petrovna Stavrogin's, to Skvoreshniki, to look over th_lace with a view to the second fete which was planned for a fortnight later, and that the visit to-day had been arranged with Varvara Petrovna three day_efore. Overwhelmed with this news, Andrey Antonovitch returned to his stud_nd impulsively ordered the horses. He could hardly wait for them to be go_eady. His soul was hungering for Yulia Mihailovnato look at her, to be nea_er for five minutes; perhaps she would glance at him, notice him, would smil_s before, forgive him … 0-oh!" Aren't the horses ready?" Mechanically h_pened a thick book lying on the table. (He sometimes used to try his fortun_n this way with a book, opening it at random and reading the three lines a_he top of the right-hand page.) What turned up was: "Tout est pour le mieu_ans le meilleur des mondes possibles." Voltaire, Candide. He uttered a_jaculation of contempt and ran to get into the carriage. "Skvoreshniki!"
  • The coachman said afterwards that his master urged him on all the way, but a_oon as they were getting near the mansion he suddenly told him to turn an_rive back to the town, bidding him "Drive fast; please drive fast!" Befor_hey reached the town wall "master told me to stop again, got out of th_arriage, and went across the road into the field; I thought he felt ill bu_e stopped and began looking at the flowers, and so he stood for a time. I_as strange, really; I began to feel quite uneasy." This was the coachman'_estimony. I remember the weather that morning: it was a cold, clear, bu_indy September day; before Andrey Antonovitch stretched a forbiddin_andscape of bare fields from which the crop had long been harvested; ther_ere a few dying yellow flowers, pitiful relics blown about by the howlin_ind. Did he want to compare himself and his fate with those wretched flower_attered by the autumn and the frost? I don't think so; in fact I feel sure i_as not so, and that he realised nothing about the flowers in spite of th_vidence of the coachman and of the police superintendent, who drove up a_hat moment and asserted afterwards that he found the governor with a bunch o_ellow flowers in his hand. This police superintendent, Flibusterov by name, was an ardent champion of authority who had only recently come to our town bu_ad already distinguished himself and become famous by his inordinate zeal, b_ certain vehemence in the execution of his duties, and his inveterat_nebriety. Jumping out of the carriage, and not the least disconcerted at th_ight of what the governor was doing, he blurted out all in one breath, with _rantic expression, yet with an air of conviction, that "There's an upset i_he town."
  • "Eh? What?" said Andrey Antonovitch, turning to him with a stern face, bu_ithout a trace of surprise or any recollection of his carriage and hi_oachman, as though he had been in his own study.
  • "Police-superintendent Flibusterov, your Excellency. There's a riot in th_own."
  • "Filibusters?" Andrey Antonovitch said thoughtfully.
  • "Just so, your Excellency. The Shpigulin men are making a riot."
  • "The Shpigulin men! … "
  • The name "Shpigulin" seemed to remind him of something. He started and put hi_inger to his forehead: "The Shpigulin men!" In silence, and still plunged i_hought, he walked without haste to the carriage, took his seat, and told th_oachman to drive to the town. The police-superintendent followed in th_roshky.
  • I imagine that he had vague impressions of many interesting things of al_orts on the way, but I doubt whether he had any definite idea or any settle_ntention as he drove into the open space in front of his house. But no soone_id he see the resolute and orderly ranks of "the rioters," the cordon o_olice, the helpless (and perhaps purposely helpless) chief of police, and th_eneral expectation of which he was the object, than all the blood rushed t_is heart. With a pale face he stepped out of his carriage.
  • "Caps off!" he said breathlessly and hardly audibly. "On your knees!" h_quealed, to the surprise of every one, to his own surprise too, and perhap_he very unexpectedness of the position was the explanation of what followed.
  • Can a sledge on a switchback at carnival stop short as it flies down the hill?
  • What made it worse, Andrey Antonovitch had been all his life serene i_haracter, and never shouted or stamped at anyone; and such people are alway_he most dangerous if it once happens that something sets their sledge slidin_ownhill. Everything was whirling before his eyes.
  • "Filibusters!" he yelled still more shrilly and absurdly, and his voice broke.
  • He stood, not knowing what he was going to do, but knowing and feeling in hi_hole being that he certainly would do something directly.
  • "Lord!" was heard from the crowd. A lad began crossing himself; three or fou_en actually did try to kneel down, but the whole mass moved three step_orward, and suddenly all began talking at once: "Your Excellency … we wer_ired for a term … the manager … you mustn't say," and so on and so on. It wa_mpossible to distinguish anything.
  • Alas! Andrey Antonovitch could distinguish nothing: the flowers were still i_is hands. The riot was as real to him as the prison carts were to Stepa_rofimovitch. And flitting to and fro in the crowd of "rioters" who gaze_pen-eyed at him, he seemed to see Pyotr Stepanovitch, who had egged them o_yotr Stepanovitch, whom he hated and whose image had never left him sinc_esterday.
  • "Rods!" he cried even more unexpectedly. A dead silence followed.
  • From the facts I have learnt and those I have conjectured, this must have bee_hat happened at the beginning; but I have no such exact information for wha_ollowed, nor can I conjecture it so easily. There are some facts, however.
  • In the first place, rods were brought on the scene with strange rapidity; the_ad evidently been got ready beforehand in expectation by the intelligen_hief of the police. Not more than two, or at most three, were actuall_logged, however; that fact I wish to lay stress on. It's an absolut_abrication to say that the whole crowd of rioters, or at least half of them, were punished. It is a nonsensical story, too, that a poor but respectabl_ady was caught as she passed by and promptly thrashed; yet I read myself a_ccount of this incident afterwards among the provincial items of a Petersbur_ewspaper. Many people in the town talked of an old woman called Avdoty_etrovna Tarapygin who lived in the almshouse by the cemetery. She, was said, on her way home from visiting a friend, to have forced her way into the crow_f spectators through natural curiosity. Seeing what was going on, she crie_ut, "What a shame!" and spat on the ground. For this it was said she had bee_eized and flogged too. This story not only appeared in print, but in ou_xcitement we positively got up a subscription for her benefit. I subscribe_wenty kopecks myself. And would you believe it? It appears now that there wa_o old woman called Tarapygin living in the almshouse at all! I went t_nquire at the almshouse by the cemetery myself; they had never heard o_nyone called Tarapygin there, and, what's more, they were quite offended whe_ told them the story that was going round. I mention this fabulous Avdoty_etrovna because what happened to her (if she really had existed) very nearl_appened to Stepan Trofimovitch. Possibly, indeed, his adventure may have bee_t the bottom of the ridiculous tale about the old woman, that is, as th_ossip went on growing he was transformed into this old dame.
  • What I find most difficult to understand is how he came to slip away from m_s soon as he got into the square. As I had a misgiving of something ver_npleasant, I wanted to take him round the square straight to the entrance t_he governor's, but my own curiosity was roused, and I stopped only for on_inute to question the first person I came across, and suddenly I looked roun_nd found Stepan Trofimovitch no longer at my side. Instinctively I darted of_o look for him in the most dangerous place; something made me feel that hi_ledge, too, was flying downhill. And I did, as a fact, find him in the ver_entre of things. I remember I seized him by the arm; but he looked quietl_nd proudly at me with an air of immense authority.
  • "Cher," he pronounced in a voice which quivered on a breaking note, "if the_re dealing with people so unceremoniously before us, in an open square, wha_s to be expected from that man, for instance … if he happens to act on hi_wn authority?"
  • And shaking with indignation and with an intense desire to defy them, h_ointed a menacing, accusing finger at Flibusterov, who was gazing at us open- eyed two paces away.
  • "That man!" cried the latter, blind with rage. "What man? And who are you?" H_tepped up to him, clenching his fist. "Who are you?" he roared ferociously, hysterically, and desperately. (I must mention that he knew Stepa_rofimovitch perfectly well by sight.) Another moment and he would hav_ertainly seized him by the collar; but luckily, hearing him shout, Lembk_urned his head. He gazed intensely but with perplexity at Stepa_rofimovitch, seeming to consider something, and suddenly he shook his han_mpatiently. Flibusterov was checked. I drew Stepan Trofimovitch out of th_rowd, though perhaps he may have wished to retreat himself.
  • "Home, home," I insisted; "it was certainly thanks to Lembke that we were no_eaten."
  • "Go, my friend; I am to blame for exposing you to this. You have a future an_ career of a sort before you, while Iman heure est sonnee."
  • He resolutely mounted the governor's steps. The hall-porter knew me; I sai_hat we both wanted to see Yulia Mihailovna.
  • We sat down in the waiting-room and waited. I was unwilling to leave m_riend, but I thought it unnecessary to say anything more to him. He had th_ir of a man who had consecrated himself to certain death for the sake of hi_ountry. We sat down, not side by side, but in different cornersI nearer t_he entrance, he at some distance facing me, with his head bent in thought, leaning lightly on his stick. He held his wide-brimmed hat in his left hand.
  • We sat like that for ten minutes.
  • Lembke suddenly came in with rapid steps, accompanied by the chief of police, looked absent-mindedly at us and, taking no notice of us, was about to pas_nto his study on the right, but Stepan Trofimovitch stood before him blockin_is way. The tall figure of Stepan Trofimovitch, so unlike other people, mad_n impression. Lembke stopped.
  • "Who is this?" he muttered, puzzled, as if he were questioning the chief o_olice, though he did not turn his head towards him, and was all the tim_azing at Stepan Trofimovitch.
  • "Retired college assessor, Stepan Trofimovitch Verhovensky, your Excellency,"
  • answered Stepan Trofimovitch, bowing majestically. His Excellency went o_taring at him with a very blank expression, however.
  • "What is it?" And with the curtness of a great official he turned his ear t_tepan Trofimovitch with disdainful impatience, taking him for an ordinar_erson with a written petition of some sort.
  • "I was visited and my house was searched to-day by an official acting in you_xcellency's name; therefore I am desirous … "
  • "Name? Name?" Lembke asked impatiently, seeming suddenly to have an inkling o_omething. Stepan Trofimovitch repeated his name still more majestically.
  • "A-a-ah! It's … that hotbed … You have shown yourself, sir, in such a light… .
  • Are you a professor? a professor?"
  • "I once had the honour of giving some lectures to the young men of the _niversity."
  • "The young men!" Lembke seemed to start, though I am ready to bet that h_rasped very little of what was going on or even, perhaps, did not know wit_hom he was talking.
  • "That, sir, I won't allow," he cried, suddenly getting terribly angry. "_on't allow young men! It's all these manifestoes? It's an assault on society, sir, a piratical attack, filibustering… . What is your request?"
  • "On the contrary, your wife requested me to read something to-morrow at he_ete. I've not come to make a request but to ask for my rights… ."
  • "At the fete? There'll be no fete. I won't allow your fete. A lecture? _ecture?" he screamed furiously.
  • "I should be very glad if you would speak to me rather more politely, you_xcellency, without stamping or shouting at me' as though I were a boy."
  • "Perhaps you understand whom you are speaking to?" said Lembke, turnin_rimson.
  • "Perfectly, your Excellency."
  • "I am protecting society while you are destroying it! … You … I remember abou_ou, though: you used to be a tutor in the house of Madame Stavrogin?"
  • "Yes, I was in the position … of tutor … in the house of Madame Stavrogin."
  • "And have been for twenty years the hotbed of all that has now accumulated … all the fruits… . I believe I saw you just now in the square. You'd bette_ook out, sir, you'd better look out; your way of thinking is well known. Yo_ay be sure that I keep my eye on you. I cannot allow your lectures, sir, _annot. Don't come with such requests to me."
  • He would have passed on again.
  • "I repeat that your Excellency is mistaken; it was your wife who asked me t_ive, not a lecture, but a literary reading at the fete to-morrow. But _ecline to do so in any case now. I humbly request that you will explain to m_f possible how, why, and for what reason I was subjected to an officia_earch to-day? Some of my books and papers, private letters to me, were take_rom me and wheeled through the town in a barrow."
  • "Who searched you?" said Lembke, starting and returning to full consciousnes_f the position. He suddenly flushed all over. He turned quickly to the chie_f police. At that moment the long, stooping, and awkward figure of Blu_ppeared in the doorway.
  • "Why, this official here," said Stepan Trofimovitch, indicating Mm. Blum cam_orward with a face that admitted his responsibility but showed no contrition.
  • "Vous ne faites que des beatises," Lembke threw at him in a tone of vexatio_nd anger, and suddenly he was transformed and completely himself again.
  • "Excuse me," he muttered, utterly disconcerted and turning absolutely crimson,
  • "all this … all this was probably a mere blunder, a misunderstanding … nothin_ut a misunderstanding."
  • "Your Excellency," observed Stepan Trofimovitch, "once when I was young I sa_ characteristic incident. In the corridor of a theatre a man ran up t_nother and gave him a sounding smack in the face before the whole public.
  • Perceiving at once that his victim was not the person whom he had intended t_hastise but some one quite different who only slightly resembled him, h_ronounced angrily, with the haste of one whose moments are preciousas you_xcellency did just now "I've made a mistake … excuse me, it was _isunderstanding, nothing but a misunderstanding.' And when the offended ma_emained resentful and cried out, he observed to him, with extreme annoyance:
  • 'Why, I tell you it was a misunderstanding. What are you crying out about?'"
  • "That's … that's very amusing, of course"Lembke gave a wry smile" but … bu_an't you see how unhappy I am myself?"
  • He almost screamed, and seemed about to hide his face in .his hands.
  • This unexpected and piteous exclamation, almost a sob, was almost more tha_ne could bear. It was probably the first moment since the previous day tha_e had full, vivid consciousness of all that had happenedand it was followe_y complete, humiliating despair that could not be disguisedwho knows, i_nother minute he might have sobbed aloud. For the first moment Stepa_rofimovitch looked wildly at him; then he suddenly bowed his head and in _oice pregnant with feeling pronounced:
  • "Your Excellency, don't trouble yourself with my petulant complaint, and onl_ive orders for my books and letters to be restored to me… ."
  • He was interrupted. At that very instant Yulia Mihailovna returned and entere_oisily with all the party which had accompanied her. But at this point _hould like to tell my story in as much detail as possible.
  • In the first place, the whole company who had filled three carriages crowde_nto the waiting-room. There was a special entrance to Yulia Mihailovna'_partments on the left as one entered the house; but on this occasion they al_ent through the waiting-roomand I imagine just because Stepan Trofimovitc_as there, and because all that had happened to him as well as the Shpiguli_ffair had reached Yulia Mihailovna's ears as she drove into the town.
  • Lyamshin, who for some misdemeanour had not been invited to join the party an_o knew all that had been happening in the town before anyone else, brough_er the news. With spiteful glee he hired a wretched Cossack nag and hastene_n the way to Skvoreshniki to meet the returning cavalcade with the divertin_ntelligence. I fancy that, in spite of her lofty determination, Yuli_ihailovna was a little disconcerted on hearing such surprising news, bu_robably only for an instant. The political aspect of the affair, fo_nstance, could not cause her uneasiness; Pyotr Stepanovitch had impresse_pon her three or four times that the Shpigulin ruffians ought to be flogged, and Pyotr Stepanovitch certainly had for some time past been a great authorit_n her eyes. "But … anyway, I shall make him pay for it," she doubtles_eflected, the "he," of course, referring to her spouse. I must observe i_assing that on this occasion, as though purposely, Pyotr Stepanovitch ha_aken no part in the expedition, and no one had seen him all day. I mus_ention too, by the way, that Varvara Petrovna had come back to the town wit_er guests (hi the same carriage with Yulia Mihailovna) in order to be presen_t the last meeting of the committee which was arranging the fete for the nex_ay. She too must have been interested, and perhaps even agitated, by the new_bout Stepan Trofimovitch communicated by Lyamshin.
  • The hour of reckoning for Andrey Antonovitch followed at once. Alas! he fel_hat from the first glance at his admirable wife. With an open air and a_nchanting smile she went quickly up to Stepan Trofimovitch, held out he_xquisitely gloved hand, and greeted him with a perfect shower of natterin_hrases as though the only thing she cared about that morning was to mak_aste to be charming to Stepan Trofimovitch because at last she saw him in he_ouse. There was not one hint of the search that morning; it was as though sh_new nothing of it. There was not one word to her husband, not one glance i_is directionas though he had not been in the room. What's more, she promptl_onfiscated Stepan Trofimovitch and carried him off to the drawing-rooma_hough he had had no interview with Lembke, or as though it was not wort_rolonging if he had. I repeat again, I think that in this, Yulia Mihailovna, in spite of her aristocratic tone, made another great mistake. And Karmazino_articularly did much to aggravate this. (He had taken part in the expeditio_t Yulia Mihailovna's special request, and in that way had, incidentally, pai_is visit to Varvara Petrovna, and she was so poor-spirited as to be perfectl_elighted at it.) On seeing Stepan Trofimovitch, he called out from th_oorway (he came in behind the rest) and pressed forward to embrace him, eve_nterrupting Yulia Mihailovna.
  • "What years, what ages! At last … excellent ami."
  • He made as though to kiss him, offering his cheek, of course, and Stepa_rofimovitch was so fluttered that he could not avoid saluting it.
  • "Cher," he said to me that evening, recalling all the events of that day, "_ondered at that moment which of us was the most contemptible: he, embracin_e only to humiliate me, or I, despising him and his face and kissing it o_he spot, though I might have turned away… . Poo!"
  • "Come, tell me about yourself, tell me everything," Karmazinov drawled an_isped, as though it were possible for him on the spur of the moment to giv_n account of twenty-five years of his life. But this foolish trifling was th_eight of "chic."
  • "Remember that the last time we met was at the Granovsky dinner in Moscow, an_hat twenty-four years have passed since then … " Stepan Trofimovitch bega_ery reasonably (and consequently not at all in the same "chic" style).
  • "Ce cher homme," Karmazinov interrupted with shrill familiarity, squeezing hi_houlder with exaggerated friendliness. "Make haste and take us to your room, Yulia Mihailovna; there he'll sit down and tell us everything."
  • "And yet I was never at all intimate with that peevish old woman," Stepa_rofimovitch went on complaining to me that same evening, shaking with anger;
  • "we were almost boys, and I'd begun to detest him even then … just as he ha_e, of course."
  • Yulia Mihailovna's drawing-room filled up quickly. Varvara Petrovna wa_articularly excited, though she tried to appear indifferent, but I caught he_nce or twice glancing with hatred at Karmazinov and with wrath at Stepa_rofimovitchthe wrath of anticipation, the wrath of jealousy and love: i_tepan Trofimovitch had blundered this time and had let Karmazinov make hi_ook small before every one, I believe she would have leapt up and beaten him.
  • I have forgotten to say that Liza too was there, and I had never seen her mor_adiant, carelessly light-hearted, and happy. Mavriky Nikolaevitch was ther_oo, of course. In the crowd of young ladies and rather vulgar young men wh_ade up Yulia Mihailovna's usual retinue, and among whom this vulgarity wa_aken for sprightliness, and cheap cynicism for wit, I noticed two or thre_ew faces: a very obsequious Pole who was on a visit in the town; a Germa_octor, a sturdy old fellow who kept loudly laughing with great zest at hi_wn wit; and lastly, a very young princeling from Petersburg like an automato_igure, with the deportment of a state dignitary and a fearfully high collar.
  • But it was evident that Yulia Mihailovna had a very high opinion of thi_isitor, and was even a little anxious of the impression her salon was makin_n him.
  • "Cher M. Karmazinov," said Stepan Trofimovitch, sitting in a picturesque pos_n the sofa and suddenly beginning to lisp as daintily as Karmazinov himself,
  • "cher M. Karmazinov, the life of a man of our time and of certain convictions, even after an interval of twenty-five years, is bound to seem monotonous … "
  • The German went off into a loud abrupt guffaw like a neigh, evidentl_magining that Stepan Trofimovitch had said something exceedingly funny. Th_atter gazed at him with studied amazement but produced no effect on hi_hatever. The prince, too, looked at the German, turning head, collar and all, towards him and putting up his pince-nez, though without the slightes_uriosity.
  • "… Is bound to seem monotonous," Stepan Trofimovitch intentionally repeated, drawling each word as deliberately and nonchalantly as possible. "And so m_ife has been throughout this quarter of a century, et comme on trouve partou_lus de moines que de raison, and as I am entirely of this opinion, it ha_ome to pass that throughout this quarter of a century I … "
  • "C'est charmant, les moines," whispered Yulia Mihailovna, turning to Varvar_etrovna, who was sitting beside her.
  • Varvara Petrovna responded with a look of pride. But Karmazinov could no_tomach the success of the French phrase, and quickly and shrilly interrupte_tepan Trofimovitch.
  • "As for me, I am quite at rest on that score, and for the past seven year_'ve been settled at Karlsruhe. And last year, when it was proposed by th_own council to lay down a new water-pipe, I felt in my heart that thi_uestion of water-pipes in Karlsruhe was dearer and closer to my heart tha_ll the questions of my precious Fatherland … in this period of so-calle_eform."
  • "I can't help sympathising, though it goes against the grain," sighed Stepa_rofimovitch, bowing his head significantly.
  • Yulia Mihailovna was triumphant: the conversation was becoming profound an_aking a political turn.
  • "A drain-pipe?" the doctor inquired in a loud voice.
  • "A water-pipe, doctor, a water-pipe, and I positively assisted them in drawin_p the plan."
  • The doctor went off into a deafening guffaw. Many people followed his example, laughing in the face of the doctor, who remained unconscious of it and wa_ighly delighted that every one was laughing.
  • "You must allow me to differ from you, Karmazinov," Yulia Mihailovna hastene_o interpose. "Karlsruhe is all very well, but you are fond of mystifyin_eople, and this time we don't believe you. What Russian writer has presente_o many modern types, has brought forward so many contemporary problems, ha_ut his finger on the most vital modern points which make up the type of th_odern man of action? You, only you, and no one else. It's no use you_ssuring us of your coldness towards your own country and your ardent interes_n the water-pipes of Karlsruhe. Ha ha!"
  • "Yes, no doubt," lisped Karmazinov. "I have portrayed in the character o_ogozhev all the failings of the Slavophils and in the character of Nikodimo_ll the failings of the Westerners… ."
  • "I say, hardly all!" Lyamshin whispered slyly. "But I do this by the way, simply to while away the tedious hours and to satisfy the persistent demand_f my fellow-countrymen."
  • "You are probably aware, Stepan Trofimovitch," Yulia Mihailovna went o_nthusiastically, "that to-morrow we shall have the delight of hearing th_harming lines … one of the last of Semyon Yakovlevitch's exquisite literar_nspirations it's called Merci. He announces in this piece that he will writ_o more, that nothing in the world will induce him to, if angels from Heave_r, what's more, all the best society were to implore him to change his mind.
  • In fact he is laying down the pen for good, and this graceful Merci i_ddressed to the public in grateful acknowledgment of the constant enthusias_ith which it has for so many years greeted his unswerving loyalty to tru_ussian thought."
  • Yulia Mihailovna was at the acme of bliss. "Yes, I shall make my farewell; _hall say my Merci and depart and there … in Karlsruhe … I shall close m_yes." Karmazinov was gradually becoming maudlin.
  • like many of our great writers (and there are numbers of them amongst us), h_ould not resist praise, and began to be limp at once, in spite of hi_enetrating wit. But I consider this is pardonable. They say that one of ou_hakespeares positively blurted out in private conversation that "we great me_an't do otherwise," and so on, and, what's more, was unaware of it.
  • "There in Karlsruhe I shall close my eyes. When we have done our duty, al_hat's left for us great men is to make haste to close our eyes withou_eeking a reward. I shall do so too."
  • "Give me the address and I shall come to Karlsruhe to visit your tomb," sai_he German, laughing immoderately.
  • "They send corpses by rail nowadays,'' one of the less important young me_aid unexpectedly.
  • Lyamshin positively shrieked with delight. Yulia Mihailovna frowned. Nikola_tavrogin walked in.
  • "Why, I was told that you were locked up?" he said aloud, addressing Stepa_rofimovitch before every one else.
  • "No, it was a case of unlocking," jested Stepan Trofimovitch.
  • "But I hope that what's happened will have no influence on what I asked you t_o," Yulia Mihailovna put in again. "I trust that you will not let thi_nfortunate annoyance, of which I had no idea, lead you to disappoint ou_ager expectations and deprive us of the enjoyment of hearing your reading a_ur literary matinee."
  • "I don't know, I … now … "
  • "Really, I am so unlucky, Varvara Petrovna … and only fancy, just when I wa_o longing to make the personal acquaintance of one of the most remarkable an_ndependent intellects of Russiaand here Stepan Trofimovitch suddenly talks o_eserting us."
  • "Your compliment is uttered so audibly that I ought to pretend not to hea_t," Stepan Trofimovitch said neatly, "but I cannot believe that m_nsignificant presence is so indispensable at your fete to-morrow. However, I … "
  • "Why, you'll spoil him!" cried Pyotr Stepanovitch, bursting into the room.
  • "I've only just got him in handand in one morning he has been searched, arrested, taken by the collar by a policeman, and here ladies are cooing t_im in the governor's drawing-room. Every bone in his body is aching wit_apture; in his wildest dreams he had never hoped for such good fortune. No_e'll begin informing against the Socialists after this!"
  • "Impossible, Pyotr Stepanovitch! Socialism is too grand an idea to b_nrecognised by Stepan Trofimovitch." Yulia Mihailovna took up the gauntle_ith energy.
  • "It's a great idea but its exponents are not always great men, et brisons-id, mon cher," Stepan Trofimovitch ended, addressing his son and rising gracefull_rom his seat.
  • But at this point an utterly unexpected circumstance occurred. Von Lembke ha_een in the room for some time but seemed unnoticed by anyone, though ever_ne had seen him come in. In accordance with her former plan, Yulia Mihailovn_ent on ignoring him. He took up his position near the door and with a ster_ace listened gloomily to the conversation. Hearing an allusion to the event_f the morning, he began fidgeting uneasily, stared at the prince, obviousl_truck by his stiffly starched, prominent collar; then suddenly he seemed t_tart on hearing the voice of Pyotr Stepanovitch and seeing him burst in; an_o sooner had Stepan Trofimovitch uttered his phrase about Socialists tha_embke went up to him, pushing against Lyamshin, who at once skipped out o_he way with an affected gesture of surprise, rubbing his shoulder an_retending that he had been terribly bruised.
  • "Enough!" said Von Lembke to Stepan Trofimovitch, vigorously gripping the han_f the dismayed gentleman and squeezing it with all his might in both of his.
  • "Enough! The filibusters of our day are unmasked. Not another word. Measure_ave been taken… ."
  • He spoke loudly enough to be heard by all the room, and concluded with energy.
  • The impression he produced was poignant. Everybody felt that something wa_rong. I saw Yulia Mihailovna turn pale. The effect was heightened by _rivial accident. After announcing that measures had been taken, Lembke turne_harply and walked quickly towards the door, but he had hardly taken two step_hen he stumbled over a rug, swerved forward, and almost fell. For a moment h_tood still, looked at the rug at which he had stumbled, and, uttering aloud
  • "Change it!" went out of the room. Yulia Mihailovna ran after him. Her exi_as followed by an uproar, in which it was difficult to distinguish anything.
  • Some said he was "deranged," others that he was "liable to attacks"; other_ut their fingers to their forehead; Lyamshin, in the corner, put his. tw_ingers above his forehead. People hinted at some domestic difficultiesin _hisper, of course. No one took up his hat; all were waiting. I don't kno_hat Yulia Mihailovna managed to do, but five minutes later she came back, doing her utmost to appear composed. She replied evasively that Andre_ntonovitch was rather excited, but that it meant nothing, that he had bee_ike that from a child, that she knew "much better," and that the fete nex_ay would certainly cheer him up. Then followed a few flattering words t_tepan Trofimovitch simply from civility, and a loud invitation to the member_f the committee to open the meeting now, at once. Only then, all who were no_embers of the committee prepared to go home; but the painful incidents o_his fatal day were not yet over.
  • I noticed at the moment when Nikolay Stavrogin came in that Liza looke_uickly and intently at him and was for a long time unable to take her eye_ff himso much so that at last it attracted attention. I saw Mavrik_ikolaevitch bend over her from behind; he seemed to mean to whisper somethin_o her, but evidently changed his intention and drew himself up quickly, looking round at every one with a guilty air. Mkolay Vsyevolodovitch to_xcited curiosity; his face was paler than usual and there was a strangel_bsent-minded look in his eyes. After flinging his question at Stepa_rofimovitch he seemed to forget about him altogether, and I really believe h_ven forgot to speak to his hostess. He did not once look at Lizanot becaus_e did not want to, but I am certain because he did not notice her either. An_uddenly, after the brief silence that followed Yulia Mihailovna's invitatio_o open the meeting without loss of time, Liza's musical voice, intentionall_oud, was heard. She called to Stavrogin.
  • "Nikolay Vsyevolodovitch, a captain who calls himself a relation of yours, th_rother of your wife, and whose name is Lebyadkin, keeps writing impertinen_etters to me, complaining of you and offering to tell me some secrets abou_ou. If he really is a connection of yours, please tell him not to annoy me, and save me from this unpleasantness."
  • There was a note of desperate challenge in these wordsevery one realised it.
  • The accusation was unmistakable, though perhaps it was a surprise to herself.
  • She was like a man who shuts his eyes and throws himself from the roof.
  • But Nikolay Stavrogin's answer was even more astounding.
  • To begin with, it was strange that he was not in the least surprised an_istened to Liza with unruffled attention. There was no trace of eithe_onfusion or anger in his face. Simply, firmly, even with an air of perfec_eadiness, he answered the fatal question:
  • "Yes, I have the misfortune to be connected with that man. I have been th_usband of his sister for nearly five years. You may be sure I will give hi_our message as soon as possible, and I'll answer for it that he shan't anno_ou again."
  • I shall never forget the horror that was reflected on the face of Varvar_etrovna. With a distracted air she got up from her seat, lifting up her righ_and as though to ward off a blow. Mkolay Vsyevolodovitch looked at her, looked at Liza, at the spectators, and suddenly smiled with infinite disdain; he walked deliberately out of the room. Every one saw how Liza leapt up fro_he sofa as soon as he turned to go and unmistakably made a movement to ru_fter him. But she controlled herself and did not run after him; she wen_uietly out of the room without saying a word or even looking at anyone, accompanied, of course, by Mavriky Nikolaevitch, who rushed after her.
  • The uproar and the gossip that night in the town I will not attempt t_escribe. Varvara Petrovna shut herself up in her town house and Nikola_syevolodovitch, it was said, went straight to Skvoreshniki without seeing hi_other. Stepan Trofimovitch sent me that evening to cette chere amie t_mplore her to allow him to come to her, but she would not see me. He wa_erribly overwhelmed; he shed tears. "Such a marriage! Such a marriage! Suc_n awful thing in the family!" he kept repeating. He remembered Karmazinov, however, and abused him terribly. He set to work vigorously to prepare for th_eading too andthe artistic temperament!rehearsed before the looking-glass an_ent over all the jokes and witticisms uttered in the course of his life whic_e had written down in a separate notebook, to insert into his reading nex_ay.
  • "My dear, I do this for the sake of a great idea," he said to me, obviousl_ustifying himself. "Cher ami, I have been stationary for twenty-five year_nd suddenly I've begun to movewhither, I know notbut I've begun to move… ."