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Fathers and Sons, Ivan Turgenev, 1861



Chapter 27


BAZAROV'S OLD PARENTS WERE ALL THE MORE OVERJOYED BY their son's sudden arrival on account of its complete unexpectedness. Arina Vlasyevna was so agitated, continually bustling about all over the house, that Vassily Ivanovich said she was like a partridge; the short flat tail of her little jacket certainly gave her a birdlike look. He himself made noises and bit the amber mouthpiece of his pipe, or, clutching his neck with his fingers, turned his head round, as though he were trying to find out if it was properly screwed on, then suddenly opened his wide mouth and laughed noiselessly.

"I've come to stay with you for six whole weeks, old man," Bazarov said to him. "I want to work, so please don't interrupt me."

"You will forget what my face looks like, that's how I will interrupt you!" answered Vassily Ivanovich.

He kept his promise. After installing his son in his study as before, he almost hid himself away from him and he restrained his wife from any kind of superfluous demonstration of affection. "Last time Enyushka visited us, little mother, we bored him a little; we must be wiser this time." Arina Vlasyevna agreed with her husband, but she gained nothing thereby, since she saw her son only at meals and was in the end afraid to say a word to him.

"Enyushenka," she would sometimes start to say--but before he had time to look round she would nervously finger the tassels of her handbag and murmur, "Never mind, I only . . . ." and afterwards she would go to Vassily Ivanovich and ask him, her cheek leaning on her hand, "If only you could find out, darling, what Enyusha would like best for dinner today, beet-root soup or cabbage broth?" "But why didn't you ask him yourself?" "Oh, he'll get tired of me!" Bazarov, however, soon ceased to shut himself up; his fever for work abated and was replaced by painful boredom and a vague restlessness. A strange weariness began to show itself in all his movements; even his walk, once so firm, bold and impetuous, was changed. He gave up his solitary rambles and began to seek company; he drank tea in the drawing room, strolled about the kitchen garden with Vassily Ivanovich, smoked a pipe with him in silence and once even inquired after Father Alexei. At first Vassily Ivanovich rejoiced at this change, but his joy was short-lived.

"Enyusha is breaking my heart," he plaintively confided to his wife. "It's not that he's dissatisfied or angry--that would be almost nothing; but he's distressed, he's downcast--and that is terrible. He's always silent; if only he would start to scold us; he's growing thin, and he's lost all the color in his face."

"Lord have mercy on us!" whispered the old woman. "I would hang a charm round his neck, but of course he won't allow it."

Vassily Ivanovich tried several times in a very tactful manner to question Bazarov about his work, his health, and about Arkady . . . But Bazarov's replies were reluctant and casual, and once, noticing that his father was trying gradually to lead up to something in the conversation, he remarked in a vexed tone, "Why do you always seem to be following me about on tiptoe? That way is even worse than the old one."

"Well, well, I didn't mean anything!" hurriedly answered poor Vassily Ivanovich. So his diplomatic hints remained fruitless.

One day, talking about the approaching liberation of the serfs, he hoped to arouse his son's sympathy by making some remarks about progress; but Bazarov only answered indifferently, "Yesterday I was walking along the fence and heard our peasant boys, instead of singing an old folk song, bawling some street ditty about 'the time has come for love' . . . that's what your progress amounts to."

Sometimes Bazarov went into the village and in his usual bantering tone got into conversation with some peasant. "Well," he would say to him, "expound your views on life to me, brother; after all, they say the whole strength and future of Russia lies in your hands, that a new era in history will be started by you--that you will give us our real language and our laws." The peasant either answered nothing, or pronounced a few words like these, "Oh, we'll try . . . also, because, you see, in our position . . ."

"You explain to me what your world is," Bazarov interrupted, "and is it the same world which is said to rest on three fishes?"

"No, batyushka, it's the land that rests on three fishes," the peasant explained soothingly in a good-natured patriarchal sing-song voice; "and over against our 'world' we know there's the master's will, because you are our fathers. And the stricter the master's rule, the better it is for the peasant."

After hearing such a reply one day, Bazarov shrugged his shoulders contemptuously and turned away, while the peasant walked homewards.

"What was he talking about?" inquired another peasant, a surly middle-aged man who from the door of his hut had witnessed at a distance the conversation with Bazarov. "Was it about arrears of taxes?"

"Arrears? No fear of that, brother," answered the first peasant, and his voice had lost every trace of the patriarchal sing-song; on the contrary, a note of scornful severity could be detected in it. "He was just chattering about something, felt like exercising his tongue. Of course, he's a gentleman. What can he understand?"

"How could he understand!" answered the other peasant, and pushing back their caps and loosening their belts they both started discussing their affairs and their needs. Alas! Bazarov, shrugging his shoulders contemptuously, he who knew how to talk to the peasants (as he had boasted in his dispute with Pavel Petrovich), the self-confident Bazarov did not for a moment suspect that in their eyes he was all the same a kind of buffoon . . . .

However, he found an occupation for himself at last. One day Vassily Ivanovich was bandaging a peasant's injured leg in his presence, but the old man's hands trembled and he could not manage the bandages; his son helped him and from that time regularly took part in his father's practice, though without ceasing to joke both about the remedies he himself advised and about his father, who immediately applied them. But Bazarov's gibes did not upset Vassily Ivanovich in the least; they even comforted him. Holding his greasy dressing gown with two fingers over his stomach and smoking his pipe, he listened to Bazarov with enjoyment, and the more malicious his sallies, the more good-humoredly did his delighted father chuckle, showing all his discolored black teeth. He even used to repeat these often blunt or pointless witticisms, and for instance, with no reason at all, went on saying for several days, "Well, that's a far away business," simply because his son, on hearing that he was going to the early church service, had used that expression. "Thank God, he has got over his melancholy," he whispered to his wife. "How he went for me today, it was marvelous!" Besides, the idea of having such an assistant filled him with enthusiasm and pride. "Yes, yes," he said to a peasant woman wearing a man's cloak and a horn-shaped hood, as he handed her a bottle of Goulard's extract or a pot of white ointment, "you, my dear, ought to be thanking God every minute that my son is staying with me; you will be treated now by the most up-to-date scientific methods; do you know what that means? The Emperor of the French, Napoleon, even he has no better doctor." But the peasant woman, who had come to complain that she felt queer all over (though she was unable to explain what she meant by these words), only bowed low and fumbled in her bosom where she had four eggs tied up in the corner of a towel.

Once Bazarov pulled out a tooth for a traveling pedlar of cloth, and although this tooth was quite an ordinary specimen, Vassily Ivanovich preserved it like some rare object and incessantly repeated, as he showed it to Father Alexei, "Only look, what roots! The strength Evgeny has! That pedlar was just lifted up in the air . . . even if it had been an oak, he would have rooted it up!"

"Admirable!" Father Alexei would comment at last, not knowing what to answer or how to get rid of the ecstatic old man.


One day a peasant from a neighboring village brought over to Vassily Ivanovich his brother, who was stricken with typhus. The unhappy man, lying flat on a truss of straw, was dying; his body was covered with dark patches, he had long ago lost consciousness. Vassily Ivanovich expressed his regret that no one had taken any steps to secure medical aid earlier and said it was impossible to save the man. In fact the peasant never got his brother home again; he died as he was, lying in the cart.

Three days later Bazarov came into his father's room and asked him if he had any silver nitrate.

"Yes; what do you want it for?"

"I want it . . . to burn out a cut."

"For whom?"

"For myself."

"How for yourself? What is that? What sort of a cut? Where is it?"

"Here, on my finger. I went today to the village where they brought that peasant with typhus, you know. They wanted to open the body for some reason, and I've had no practice at that sort of thing for a long time."

"Well?"

"Well, so I asked the district doctor to help; and so I cut myself."

Vassily Ivanovich suddenly turned completely white, and without saying a word rushed into his study and returned at once with a piece of silver nitrate in his hand. Bazarov was about to take it and go away.

"For God's sake," muttered Vassily Ivanovich, "let me do it myself."

Bazarov smiled.

"What a devoted practitioner you are!"

"Don't laugh, please. Show me your finger. It's a small cut. Am I hurting you?"

"Press harder; don't be afraid."

Vassily Ivanovich stopped.

"What do you think, Evgeny; wouldn't it be better to burn it with a hot iron?"

"That ought to have been done sooner, now really even the silver nitrate is useless. If I've caught the infection, it's too late now."

"How . . . too late . . . ?" murmured Vassily Ivanovich almost inaudibly.

"I should think so! It's over four hours ago."

Vassily Ivanovich burned the cut a little more.

"But hadn't the district doctor got any caustic?"

"No."

"How can that be, good heavens! A doctor who is without such an indispensable thing!"

"You should have seen his lancets," remarked Bazarov, and went out.

Till late that evening and all the following day Vassily Ivanovich kept seizing on every possible pretext to go into his son's room, and though, far from mentioning the cut, he even tried to talk about the most irrelevant subjects, he looked so persistently into his son's face and watched him with so much anxiety that Bazarov lost patience and threatened to leave the house. Vassily Ivanovich then promised not to bother him, and he did this the more readily since Arina Vlasyevna, from whom, of course, he had kept it all secret, was beginning to worry him about why he did not sleep and what trouble had come over him. For two whole days he held firm, though he did not at all like the look of his son, whom he kept watching on the sly . . . but on the third day at dinner he could bear it no longer. Bazarov was sitting with downcast eyes and had not touched a single dish.

"Why don't you eat, Evgeny?" he inquired, putting on a perfectly carefree expression. "The food, I think, is very well prepared."

"I don't want anything, so I don't eat."

"You have no appetite? And your head," he added timidly, "does it ache?"

"Yes, of course it aches."

Arina Vlasyevna sat bolt upright and became very alert.

"Please don't be angry, Evgeny," went on Vassily Ivanovich, "but won't you let me feel your pulse?"

Bazarov got up.

"I can tell you without feeling my pulse, I'm feverish."

"And have you been shivering?"

"Yes, I've been shivering. I'll go and lie down; and you can send me in some lime-flower tea. I must have caught cold."

"Of course, I heard you coughing last night," murmured Arina Vlasyevna.

"I've caught cold," repeated Bazarov, and left the room.

Arina Vlasyevna busied herself with the preparation of the lime-flower tea, while Vassily Ivanovich went into the next room and desperately clutched at his hair in silence.

Bazarov did not get up again that day and passed the whole night in heavy half-conscious slumber. At one o'clock in the morning, opening his eyes with an effort, he saw by the light of a lamp his father's pale face bending over him, and told him to go away; the old man obeyed, but immediately returned on tiptoe, and half-hidden behind the cupboard door he gazed persistently at his son. Arina Vlasyevna did not go to bed either, and leaving the study door a little open, she kept coming up to it to listen "how Enyusha was breathing," and to look at Vassily Ivanovich. She could see only his motionless bent back, but even that have her some kind of consolation. In the morning Bazarov tried to get up; he was seized with giddiness, and his nose began to bleed; he lay down again. Vassily Ivanovich waited on him in silence; Arina Vlasyevna went up to him and asked him how he felt. He answered, "Better," and turned his face to the wall. Vassily Ivanovich made a gesture to his wife with both hands; she bit her lip to stop herself from crying and left the room. The whole house seemed to have suddenly darkened; every person had a drawn face and a strange stillness reigned; the servants carried off from the courtyard into the village a loudly crowing cock, who for a long time was unable to grasp what they were doing with him. Bazarov continued to lie with his face to the wall. Vassily Ivanovich tried to ask him various questions, but they wearied Bazarov, and the old man sank back in his chair, only occasionally cracking the joints of his fingers. He went into the garden for a few minutes, stood there like a stone idol, as though overwhelmed with unutterable amazement (a bewildered expression never left his face), then went back again to his son, trying to avoid his wife's questions. At last she caught him by the arm, and convulsively, almost threateningly, asked, "What is wrong with him?" Then he collected his thoughts and forced himself to smile at her in reply, but to his own horror, instead of smiling, he suddenly started to laugh. He had sent for a doctor at daybreak. He thought it necessary to warn his son about this, in case he might be angry.

Bazarov abruptly turned round on the sofa, looked fixedly with dim eyes at his father and asked for something to drink.

Vassily Ivanovich gave him some water and in so doing felt his forehead; it was burning.

"Listen, old man," began Bazarov in a slow husky voice, "I'm in a bad way. I've caught the infection and in a few days you'll have to bury me."

Vassily Ivanovich staggered as though someone had knocked his legs from under him.

"Evgeny," he muttered, "what are you saying? God have mercy on you! You've caught cold . . ."

"Stop that," interrupted Bazarov in the same slow, deliberate voice; "a doctor has no right to talk like that. I've all the symptoms of infection, you can see for yourself."

"What symptoms . . . of infection, Evgeny? . . . Good heavens!"

"Well, what's this?" said Bazarov, and pulling up his shirt sleeve he showed his father the ominous red patches coming out on his arm.

Vassily Ivanovich trembled and turned cold from fear.

"Supposing," he said at last, "supposing . . . even supposing . . . there is something like an infection . . ."

"Blood poisoning," repeated Bazarov severely and distinctly; "have you forgotten your textbooks?"

"Well, yes, yes, as you like . . . all the same we shall cure you!"

"Oh, that's rubbish. And it's not the point. I never expected to die so soon; it's a chance, a very unpleasant one, to tell the truth. You and mother must now take advantage of your strong religious faith; here's an opportunity of putting it to the test." He drank a little more water. "But I want to ask you one thing--while my brain is still under control. Tomorrow or ,the day after, you know, my brain will cease to function. I'm not quite certain even now, if I'm expressing myself clearly. While I was lying here I kept on imagining that red dogs were running round me, and you made them point at me, as if I were a blackcock. I thought I was drunk. Do you understand me all right?"

"Of course, Evgeny, you talk perfectly clearly."

"So much the better. You told me you'd sent for the doctor . . . you did that to console yourself . . . now console me too; send a messenger . . ."

"To Arkady Nikolaich?" interposed the old man.

"Who's Arkady Nikolaich?" said Bazarov with some hesitation . . . "Oh, yes, that little fledgeling! No, leave him alone, he's turned into a jackdaw now. Don't look surprised, I'm not raving yet. But you send a messenger to Madame Odintsov, Anna Sergeyevna, she's a landowner near by--do you know?" (Vassily Ivanovich nodded his head.) "Say 'Evgeny Bazarov sends his greetings, and sent to say he is dying.' Will you do that?"

"I will . . . But is it a possible thing, that you should die, you, Evgeny . . . judge for yourself. Where would divine justice be after that?"

"I don't know; only you send the messenger."

"I'll send him this minute, and I'll write a letter myself."

"No, why? Say, I send my greetings, and nothing more is necessary. And now I'll go back to my dogs. How strange! I want to fix my thoughts on death, and nothing comes of it. I see a kind of patch . . . and nothing more."

He turned over heavily towards the wall; and Vassily Ivanovich went out of the study and, struggling as far as his wife's bedroom, collapsed on his knees in front of the sacred images.

"Pray, Arina, pray to God!" he groaned. "Our son is dying."


The doctor, that same district doctor who had been without any caustic, arrived, and after examining the patient, advised them to persevere with a cooling treatment and threw in a few words about the possibility of recovery.

"Have you ever seen people in my state not setting off for the Elysian fields?" asked Bazarov, and suddenly snatching the leg of a heavy table standing near his sofa, he swung it round and pushed it away.

"There's strength enough," he murmured. "It's all there still, and I must die . . . An old man has time at least to outgrow the habit of living, but I . . . well, let me try to deny death. It will deny me, and that's the end of it! Who's crying there?" he added after a pause. "Mother? Poor mother! Whom will she feed now with her wonderful cabbage soup? And I believe you're whimpering too, Vassily Ivanovich! Why, if Christianity doesn't help you, be a philosopher, a Stoic, and that sort of thing! Surely you prided yourself on being a philosopher?"

"What kind of philosopher am I!" sobbed Vassily Ivanovich, and the tears streamed down his cheeks.


Bazarov got worse with every hour; the disease progressed rapidly, as usually happens in cases of surgical poisoning. He had not yet lost consciousness and understood what was said to him; he still struggled. "I don't want to start raving," he muttered, clenching his fists; "what rubbish it all is!" And then he said abruptly, "Come, take ten from eight, what remains?" Vassily Ivanovich wandered about like one possessed, proposing first one remedy, then another, and ended by doing nothing except cover up his son's feet. "Try wrapping up in cold sheets . . . emetic . . . mustard plasters on the stomach . . . bleeding," he said with an effort. The doctor, whom he had begged to stay, agreed with everything he said, gave the patient lemonade to drink, and for himself asked for a pipe and for something "warming and strengthening"--meaning vodka. Arina Vlasyevna sat on a low stool near the door and only went out from time to time to pray. A few days previously, a little mirror had slipped out of her hands and broken, and she had always considered this as a bad omen; even Anfisushka was unable to say anything to her. Timofeich had gone off to Madame Odintsov's place.

The night passed badly for Bazarov . . . High fever tortured him. Towards the morning he felt a little easier. He asked Arina Vlasyevna to comb his hair, kissed her hand and swallowed a few sips of tea. Vassily Ivanovich revived a little.

"Thank God!" he repeated, "the crisis is near . . . the crisis is coming."

"There, think of that!" muttered Bazarov. "What a lot a word can do! He's found one; he said 'crisis' and is comforted. It's an astounding thing how human beings have faith in words. You tell a man, for instance, that he's a fool, and even if you don't thrash him he'll be miserable; call him a clever fellow, and he'll be delighted even if you go off without paying him."

This little speech of Bazarov's, recalling his old sallies, greatly moved Vassily Ivanovich.

"Bravo! splendidly said, splendid!" he exclaimed, making as though to clap his hands.

Bazarov smiled ruefully.

"Well, so do you think the crisis is over or approaching?"

"You're better, that's what I see, that's what rejoices me.

"Very well; there's never any harm in rejoicing. And, do you remember, did you send the message to her?"

"Of course I did."


The change for the better did not last long. The disease resumed its onslaughts. Vassily Ivanovich was sitting close to Bazarov. The old man seemed to be tormented by some particular anguish. He tried several times to speak--but could not.

"Evgeny!" he ejaculated at last, "My son, my dear, beloved son!"

This unexpected outburst produced an effect on Bazarov . . . He turned his head a little, evidently trying to fight against the load of oblivion weighing down on him, and said, "What is it, father?"

"Evgeny," went on Vassily Ivanovich, and fell on his knees in front of his son, who had not opened his eyes and could not see him. "You're better now; please God, you will recover; but make good use of this interval, comfort your mother and me, fulfill your duty as a Christian! How hard it is for me to say this to you--how terrible; but still more terrible would be . . . forever and ever, Evgeny . . . just think what . . ."

The old man's voice broke and a strange look passed over his son's face, though he still lay with his eyes closed.

"I won't refuse, if it's going to bring any comfort to you, he muttered at last; "but it seems to me there's no need to hurry about it. You say yourself, I'm better."

"Yes, Evgeny, you're better, certainly, but who knows, all that is in God's hands, and in fulfilling your duty . ."

"No, I'll wait a bit," interrupted Bazarov. "I agree with you that the crisis has come. But if we're mistaken, what then? Surely they give the sacrament to people who are already unconscious."

"For heaven's sake, Evgeny, . ."

"I'll wait, I want to sleep now. Don't disturb me."

And he laid his head back on the pillow. The old man rose from his knees, sat down on a chair and clutching at his chin began to bite his fingers. . . ."


The sound of a carriage on springs, a sound so remarkably distinguishable in the depths of the country, suddenly struck upon his hearing. The light wheels rolled nearer and nearer; the snorting of the horses was already audible. . . . Vassily Ivanovich jumped up and ran to the window. A two-seated carriage harnessed with four horses was driving into the courtyard of his little house. Without stopping to consider what this could mean, feeling a kind of senseless outburst of joy, he ran out into the porch . . . A livened groom was opening the carriage door; a lady in a black shawl, her face covered with a black veil, stepped out of it . . .

"I am Madame Odintsov," she murmured. "Is Evgeny Vassilich still alive? Are you his father? I have brought a doctor with me."

"Benefactress!" exclaimed Vassily Ivanovich, and seizing her hand, he pressed it convulsively to his lips, while the doctor brought by Anna Sergeyevna, a little man in spectacles, with a German face, climbed very deliberately out of the carriage. "He's still alive, my Evgeny is alive and now he will be saved! Wife! Wife! An angel from heaven has come to us . . ."

"What is this, my God!" stammered the old woman, running out of the drawing room, and understanding nothing, she fell on the spot in the hall at Anna Sergeyevna's feet and began kissing her skirt like a mad woman.

"What are you doing?" protested Anna Sergeyevna; but Arina Vlasyevna did not heed her and Vassily Ivanovich could only repeat, "An angel! An angel!"

"Wo ist der Kranke? Where is the patient?" said the doctor at last in some indignation.

Vassily Ivanovich came to his senses.

"Here, this way, please follow me, werthester Herr Kollege," he added, remembering his old habits.

"Ah!" said the German with a sour grin.

Vassily Ivanovich led him into the study.

"A doctor from Anna Sergeyevna Odintsov," he said, bending right down to his son's ear, "and she herself is here."

Bazarov suddenly opened his eyes.

"What did you say?"

"I tell you that Anna Sergeyevna is here and has brought this gentleman, a doctor, with her."

Bazarov's eyes looked round the room.

"She is here . . . I want to see her."

"You will see her, Evgeny; but first we must have a talk with the doctor. I will tell him the whole history of your illness, as Sidor Sidorich (this was the district doctor's name) has gone, and we will have a little consultation."

Bazarov glanced at the German.

"Well, talk away quickly, only not in Latin; you see I know the meaning of 'jam moritur.'"

"Der Herr scheint des Deutschen mächtig zu sein," began the new disciple of Aesculapius, turning to Vassily Ivanovich."

"Ich . . . gabe . . . We had better speak Russian," said the old man.

"Ah! so that's how it is . . . by all means . . ." And the consultation began.


Half an hour later Anna Sergeyevna, accompanied by Vassily Ivanovich, entered the study. The doctor managed to whisper to her that it was hopeless even to think that the patient might recover.

She looked at Bazarov, and stopped short in the doorway--so abruptly was she struck by his inflamed and at the same time deathlike face and by his dim eyes fixed on her. She felt a pang of sheer terror, a cold and exhausting terror; the thought that she would not have felt like this if she had really loved him--flashed for a moment through her mind.

"Thank you," he said in a strained voice; "I never expected this. It is a good deed. So we see each other once more, as you promised."

"Anna Sergeyevna was so good . . ." began Vassily Ivanovich.

"Father, leave us alone . . . Anna Sergeyevna, you will allow it, I think, now . . ." With a motion of his head he indicated his prostrate helpless body.

Vassily Ivanovich went out.

"Well, thank you," repeated Bazarov. "This is royally done. They say that emperors also visit the dying."

"Evgeny Vassilich, I hope . . ."

"Ah, Anna Sergeyevna, let's speak the truth. It's all over with me. I've fallen under the wheel. So it turns out that there was no point in thinking about the future. Death is an old joke, but it comes like new to everyone. So far I'm not afraid . . . but soon I'll lose consciousness and that's the end!" (He waved his hand feebly.) "Well, what have I to say to you . . . I loved you? That had no sense even before, and less than ever now. Love is a form, but my own form is already dissolving. Better for me to say--how wonderful you are! And now you stand there, so beautiful. . ."

Anna Sergeyevna involuntarily shuddered.

"Never mind, don't be agitated . . . Sit down over there . . . Don't come close to me; you know my disease is infectious."

Anna Sergeyevna walked quickly across the room and sat down in the armchair near the sofa on which Bazarov was lying.

"Noble-hearted," he whispered. "Oh, how near, and how young, fresh and pure . . . in this disgusting room! Well, good-by! Live long, that's best of all, and made the most of it while there is time. You see, what a hideous spectacle, a worm, half-crushed, but writhing still. Of course I also thought, I'll break down so many things, I won't die, why should I? There are problems for me to solve, and I'm a giant! And now the only problem of this giant is how to die decently, though that too makes no difference to anyone . . . Never mind; I'm not going to wag my tail."

Barazov fell silent and began feeling with his hand for the glass. Anna Sergeyevna gave him some water to drink, without taking off her glove and breathing apprehensively.

"You will forget me," he began again. "The dead is no companion for the living. My father will tell you what a man Russia has lost in me . . . That's nonsense, but don't disillusion the old man. Whatever toy comforts the child . . . you know. And be kind to my mother. People like them can't be found in your great world even if you search for them by day with a torch . . . Russia needed me . . . no, clearly I wasn't needed. And who is needed? The shoemaker's needed, the tailor's needed, the butcher . . . sells meat . . . the butcher--wait a bit, I'm getting mixed up . . . there's a forest here . . ."

Bazarov put his hand on his forehead.

Anna Sergeyevna bent over him. "Evgeny Vassilich, I am here . . ."

He at once took his hand away and raised himself.

"Good-by," he said with sudden force, and his eyes flashed with a parting gleam. "Good-by . . . Listen . . . you know I never kissed you then . . . Breathe on the dying lamp and let it go out."

Anna Sergeyevna touched his forehead with her lips.

"Enough," he murmured, and fell back on the pillow. "And now . . . darkness . . ."

Anna Sergeyevna slipped softly out.

"Well?" Vassily Ivanovich asked her in a whisper.

"He has fallen asleep," she answered, almost inaudibly.

Bazarov was not destined to awaken again. Towards evening he sank into a complete coma, and the following day he died. Father Alexei performed the last rites of religion over him. When they anointed him, and the holy oil touched his breast, one of his eyes opened, and it seemed as though, at the sight of the priest in his vestments, of the smoking censer, of the candle burning in front of the image, something like a shudder of horror passed through his death-stricken face. When at last he had stopped breathing and a general lamentation arose in the house, Vassily Ivanovich was seized by a sudden fit of frenzy.

"I said I should rebel!" he shouted hoarsely, his face red and distorted, and shaking his fist in the air as if he were threatening someone. "And I rebel, I rebel!"

But Arina Vlasyevna, all in tears, flung her arms round his neck and both fell on their knees together. "So side by side," related Anfisushka afterwards in the servants' room, "they bowed their poor heads like lambs in the heat of noon-day. . ."

But the heat of noonday passes and is followed by evening and night, and there comes the return to a quiet refuge where sleep is sweet for the tormented and weary . . .






Notes



"world": In the Russian text the peasant used the word mir, which means "world," but also, as in this case, "village community." [R.H.] Russian legends say the world is supported by three fish. Of course, "Mir" is the name of the Russian space station.

'jam moritur.': Latin, dying.

"Der Herr scheint des Deutschen mächtig zu sein,": German, The doctor seems to have mastered German.


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