Fathers and Sons

by Ivan S. Turgenev

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Chapter XXVII

Bazarov's old parents were all the more overjoyed by their son's arrival, as it was quite unexpected. Arina Vlasyevna was greatly excited, and kept running backwards and forwards in the house, so that Vassily Ivanovitch compared her to a 'hen partridge'; the short tail of her abbreviated jacket did, in fact, give her something of a birdlike appearance. He himself merely growled and gnawed the amber mouthpiece of his pipe, or, clutching his neck with his fingers, turned his head round, as though he were trying whether it were properly screwed on, then all at once he opened his wide mouth and went off into a perfectly noiseless chuckle.

'I've come to you for six whole weeks, governor,' Bazarov said to him. 'I want to work, so please don't hinder me now.'

'You shall forget my face completely, if you call that hindering you!' answered Vassily Ivanovitch.

He kept his promise. After installing his son as before in his study, he almost hid himself away from him, and he kept his wife from all superfluous demonstrations of tenderness. 'On Enyusha's first visit, my dear soul,' he said to her, 'we bothered him a little; we must be wiser this time.' Arina Vlasyevna agreed with her husband, but that was small compensation since she saw her son only at meals, and was now absolutely afraid to address him. 'Enyushenka,' she would say sometimes—and before he had time to look round, she was nervously fingering the tassels of her reticule and faltering, 'Never mind, never mind, I only——' and afterwards she would go to Vassily Ivanovitch and, her cheek in her hand, would consult him: 'If you could only find out, darling, which Enyusha would like for dinner to-day—cabbage-broth or beetroot-soup?'—'But why didn't you ask him yourself?'—'Oh, he will get sick of me!' Bazarov, however, soon ceased to shut himself up; the fever of work fell away, and was replaced by dreary boredom or vague restlessness. A strange weariness began to show itself in all his movements; even his walk, firm, bold and strenuous, was changed. He gave up walking in solitude, and began to seek society; he drank tea in the drawing-room, strolled about the kitchen-garden with Vassily Ivanovitch, and smoked with him in silence; once even asked after Father Alexey. Vassily Ivanovitch at first rejoiced at this change, but his joy was not long-lived. 'Enyusha's breaking my heart,' he complained in secret to his wife; 'it's not that he's discontented or angry—that would be nothing; he's sad, he's sorrowful—that's what's so terrible. He's always silent. If he'd only abuse us; he's growing thin, he's lost his colour.'—'Mercy on us, mercy on us!' whispered the old woman; 'I would put an amulet on his neck, but, of course, he won't allow it.' Vassily Ivanovitch several times attempted in the most circumspect manner to question Bazarov about his work, about 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 conversation, he said to him in a tone of vexation: 'Why do you always seem to be walking round me on tiptoe? That way's worse than the old one.'—'There, there, I meant nothing!' poor Vassily Ivanovitch answered hurriedly. So his diplomatic hints remained fruitless. He hoped to awaken his son's sympathy one day by beginning à propos of the approaching emancipation of the peasantry, to talk about progress; but the latter responded indifferently: 'Yesterday I was walking under the fence, and I heard the peasant boys here, instead of some old ballad, bawling a street song. That's what progress is.'

Sometimes Bazarov went into the village, and in his usual bantering tone entered into conversation with some peasant: 'Come,' he would say to him, 'expound your views on life to me, brother; you see, they say all the strength and future of Russia lies in your hands, a new epoch in history will be started by you—you give us our real language and our laws.'

The peasant either made no reply, or articulated a few words of this sort, 'Well, we'll try ... because, you see, to be sure....'

'You explain to me what your mir is,' Bazarov interrupted; 'and is it the same mir that is said to rest on three fishes?'

'That, little father, is the earth that rests on three fishes,' the peasant would declare soothingly, in a kind of patriarchal, simple-hearted sing-song; 'and over against ours, that's to say, the mir, we know there's the master's will; wherefore you are our fathers. And the stricter the master's rule, the better for the peasant.'

After listening to such a reply one day, Bazarov shrugged his shoulders contemptuously and turned away, while the peasant sauntered slowly homewards.

'What was he talking about?' inquired another peasant of middle age and surly aspect, who at a distance from the door of his hut had been following his conversation with Bazarov.—'Arrears? eh?'

'Arrears, no indeed, mate!' answered the first peasant, and now there was no trace of patriarchal singsong in his voice; on the contrary, there was a certain scornful gruffness to be heard in it: 'Oh, he clacked away about something or other; wanted to stretch his tongue a bit. Of course, he's a gentleman; what does he understand?'

'What should he understand!' answered the other peasant, and jerking back their caps and pushing down their belts, they proceeded to deliberate upon their work and their wants. Alas! Bazarov, shrugging his shoulders contemptuously, Bazarov, who knew how to talk to peasants (as he had boasted in his dispute with Pavel Petrovitch), did not in his self-confidence even suspect that in their eyes he was all the while something of the nature of a buffooning clown.

He found employment for himself at last, however. One day Vassily Ivanovitch bound up a peasant's wounded leg before him, but the old man's hands trembled, and he could not manage the bandages; his son helped him, and from time to time began to take a share in his practice, though at the same time he was constantly sneering both at the remedies he himself advised and at his father, who hastened to make use of them. But Bazarov's jeers did not in the least perturb Vassily Ivanovitch; they were positively a comfort to him. Holding his greasy dressing-gown across his stomach with two fingers, and smoking his pipe, he used to listen with enjoyment to Bazarov; and the more malicious his sallies, the more good-humouredly did his delighted father chuckle, showing every one of his black teeth. He used even to repeat these sometimes flat or pointless retorts, and would, for instance, for several days constantly without rhyme or reason, reiterate, 'Not a matter of the first importance!' simply because his son, on hearing he was going to matins, had made use of that expression. 'Thank God! he has got over his melancholy!' he whispered to his wife; 'how he gave it to me to-day, it was splendid!' Moreover, the idea of having such an assistant excited him to ecstasy, filled him with pride. 'Yes, yes,' he would say to some peasant woman in a man's cloak, and a cap shaped like a horn, as he handed her a bottle of Goulard's extract or a box of white ointment, 'you ought to be thanking God, my good woman, every minute that my son is staying with me; you will be treated now by the most scientific, most modern method. Do you know what that means? The Emperor of the French, Napoleon, even, has no better doctor.' And the peasant woman, who had come to complain that she felt so sort of queer all over (the exact meaning of these words she was not able, however, herself to explain), merely bowed low and rummaged in her bosom, where four eggs lay tied up in the corner of a towel.

Bazarov once even pulled out a tooth for a passing pedlar of cloth; and though this tooth was an average specimen, Vassily Ivanovitch preserved it as a curiosity, and incessantly repeated, as he showed it to Father Alexey, 'Just look, what a fang! The force Yevgeny has! The pedlar seemed to leap into the air. If it had been an oak, he'd have rooted it up!'

'Most promising!' Father Alexey would comment at last, not knowing what answer to make, and how to get rid of the ecstatic old man.

One day a peasant from a neighbouring village brought his brother to Vassily Ivanovitch, ill 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 Ivanovitch expressed his regret that no one had taken steps to procure medical aid sooner, and declared there was no hope. And, in fact, the peasant did not get his brother home again; he died in the cart.

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

'Yes; what do you want it for?'

'I must have some ... to burn a cut.'

'For whom?'

'For myself.'

'What, yourself? Why is that? What sort of a cut? Where is it?'

'Look here, on my finger. I went to-day to the village, you know, where they brought that peasant with typhus fever. They were just going to open the body for some reason or other, and I've had no practice of that sort for a long while.'


'Well, so I asked the district doctor about it; and so I dissected it.'

Vassily Ivanovitch all at once turned quite white, and, without uttering a word, rushed to his study, from which he returned at once with a bit of caustic in his hand. Bazarov was about to take it and go away.

'For mercy's sake,' said Vassily Ivanovitch, 'let me do it myself.'

Bazarov smiled. 'What a devoted practitioner!'

'Don't laugh, please. Show me your finger. The cut is not a large one. Do I hurt?'

'Press harder; don't be afraid.'

Vassily Ivanovitch stopped. 'What do you think, Yevgeny; wouldn't it be better to burn it with hot iron?'

'That ought to have been done sooner; the caustic even is useless, really, now. If I've taken the infection, it's too late now.'

'How ... too late ...' Vassily Ivanovitch could scarcely articulate the words.

'I should think so! It's more than four hours ago.'

Vassily Ivanovitch burnt the cut a little more. 'But had the district doctor no caustic?'


'How was that, good Heavens? A doctor not have such an indispensable thing as that!'

'You should have seen his lancets,' observed Bazarov as he walked away.

Up till late that evening, and all the following day, Vassily Ivanovitch kept catching at every possible excuse to go into his son's room; and though far from referring to the cut—he even tried to talk about the most irrelevant subjects—he looked so persistently into his face, and watched him in such trepidation, that Bazarov lost patience and threatened to go away. Vassily Ivanovitch gave him a promise not to bother him, the more readily as Arina Vlasyevna, from whom, of course, he kept it all secret, was beginning to worry him as to why he did not sleep, and what had come over him. For two whole days he held himself in, though he did not at all like the look of his son, whom he kept watching stealthily, ... but on the third day, at dinner, he could bear it no longer. Bazarov sat with downcast looks, and had not touched a single dish.

'Why don't you eat, Yevgeny?' he inquired, putting on an expression of the most perfect carelessness. 'The food, I think, is very nicely cooked.'

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

'Have you no appetite? And your head?' he added timidly; 'does it ache?'

'Yes. Of course, it aches.'

Arina Vlasyevna sat up and was all alert.

'Don't be angry, please, Yevgeny,' continued Vassily Ivanovitch; 'won't you let me feel your pulse?'

Bazarov got up. 'I can tell you without feeling my pulse; I'm feverish.'

'Has there been any shivering?'

'Yes, there has been shivering too. I'll go and lie down, and you can send me some lime-flower tea. I must have caught cold.'

'To be sure, I heard you coughing last night,' observed Arina Vlasyevna.

'I've caught cold,' repeated Bazarov, and he went away.

Arina Vlasyevna busied herself about the preparation of the decoction of lime-flowers, while Vassily Ivanovitch went into the next room and clutched at his hair in silent desperation.

Bazarov did not get up again that day, and passed the whole night in heavy, half-unconscious torpor. 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 begged his pardon, but he quickly came back on tiptoe, and half-hidden by the cupboard door, he gazed persistently at his son. Arina Vlasyevna did not go to bed either, and leaving the study door just open a very little, she kept coming up to it to listen 'how Enyusha was breathing,' and to look at Vassily Ivanovitch. She could see nothing but his motionless bent back, but even that afforded her some faint consolation. In the morning Bazarov tried to get up; he was seized with giddiness, his nose began to bleed; he lay down again. Vassily Ivanovitch waited on him in silence; Arina Vlasyevna went in to him and asked him how he was feeling. He answered, 'Better,' and turned to the wall. Vassily Ivanovitch gesticulated at his wife with both hands; she bit her lips so as not to cry, and went away. The whole house seemed suddenly darkened; every one looked gloomy; there was a strange hush; a shrill cock was carried away from the yard to the village, unable to comprehend why he should be treated so. Bazarov still lay, turned to the wall. Vassily Ivanovitch tried to address him with various questions, but they fatigued Bazarov, and the old man sank into his armchair, motionless, only cracking his finger-joints now and then. He went for a few minutes into the garden, stood there like a statue, as though overwhelmed with unutterable bewilderment (the expression of amazement never left his face all through), and went back again to his son, trying to avoid his wife's questions. She caught him by the arm at last and passionately, almost menacingly, said, 'What is wrong with him?' Then he came to himself, and forced himself to smile at her in reply; but to his own horror, instead of a smile, he found himself taken somehow by a fit of laughter. He had sent at daybreak for a doctor. He thought it necessary to inform his son of this, for fear he should be angry. Bazarov suddenly turned over on the sofa, bent a fixed dull look on his father, and asked for drink.

Vassily Ivanovitch gave him some water, and as he did so felt his forehead. It seemed on fire.

'Governor,' began Bazarov, in a slow, drowsy voice; 'I'm in a bad way; I've got the infection, and in a few days you'll have to bury me.'

Vassily Ivanovitch staggered back, as though some one had aimed a blow at his legs.

'Yevgeny!' he faltered; 'what do you mean!... God have mercy on you! You've caught cold!'

'Hush!' Bazarov interposed deliberately. 'A doctor can't be allowed to talk like that. There's every symptom of infection; you know yourself.'

'Where are the symptoms ... of infection Yevgeny?... Good Heavens!'

'What's this?' said Bazarov, and, pulling up his shirtsleeve, he showed his father the ominous red patches coming out on his arm.

Vassily Ivanovitch was shaking and chill with terror.

'Supposing,' he said at last, 'even supposing ... if even there's something like ... infection ...'

'Pyæmia,' put in his son.

'Well, well ... something of the epidemic ...'

'Pyæmia,' Bazarov repeated sharply and distinctly; 'have you forgotten your text-books?'

'Well, well—as you like.... Anyway, we will cure you!'

'Come, that's humbug. But that's not the point. I didn't expect to die so soon; it's a most unpleasant incident, to tell the truth. You and mother ought to make the most of your strong religious belief; now's the time to put it to the test.' He drank off a little water. 'I want to ask you about one thing ... while my head is still under my control. To-morrow or next day my brain, you know, will send in its resignation. I'm not quite certain even now whether I'm expressing myself clearly. While I've been lying here, I've kept fancying red dogs were running round me, while you were making them point at me, as if I were a woodcock. Just as if I were drunk. Do you understand me all right?'

'I assure you, Yevgeny, you are talking perfectly correctly.'

'All the better. You told me you'd sent for the doctor. You did that to comfort yourself ... comfort me too; send a messenger ...'

'To Arkady Nikolaitch?' put in the old man.

'Who's Arkady Nikolaitch?' said Bazarov, as though in doubt.... 'Oh, yes! that chicken! No, let him alone; he's turned jackdaw now. Don't be surprised; that's not delirium yet. You send a messenger to Madame Odintsov, Anna Sergyevna; she's a lady with an estate.... Do you know?' (Vassily Ivanovitch nodded.) 'Yevgeny Bazarov, say, sends his greetings, and sends word he is dying. Will you do that?'

'Yes, I will do it.... But is it a possible thing for you to die, Yevgeny?... Think only! Where would divine justice be after that?'

'I know nothing about that; only you send the messenger.'

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

'No, why? Say I sent greetings; nothing more is necessary. And now I'll go back to my dogs. Strange! I want to fix my thoughts on death, and nothing comes of it. I see a kind of blur ... and nothing more.'

He turned painfully back to the wall again; while Vassily Ivanovitch went out of the study, and struggling as far as his wife's bedroom, simply dropped down on to his knees before the holy pictures.

'Pray, Arina, pray for us!' he moaned; 'our son is dying.'

The doctor, the same district doctor who had had no caustic, arrived, and after looking at the patient, advised them to persevere with a cooling treatment, and at that point said a few words of the chance of recovery.

'Have you ever chanced to see people in my state not set off for Elysium?' asked Bazarov, and suddenly snatching the leg of a heavy table that stood near his sofa, he swung it round, and pushed it away. 'There's strength, there's strength,' he murmured; 'everything's here still, and I must die!... An old man at least has time to be weaned from life, but I ... Well, go and try to disprove death. Death will disprove you, and that's all! Who's crying there?' he added, after a short pause—'Mother? Poor thing! Whom will she feed now with her exquisite beetroot-soup? You, Vassily Ivanovitch, whimpering too, I do believe! Why, if Christianity's no help to you, be a philosopher, a Stoic, or what not! Why, didn't you boast you were a philosopher?'

'Me a philosopher!' wailed Vassily Ivanovitch, while the tears fairly streamed down his cheeks.

Bazarov got worse every hour; the progress of the disease was rapid, as is usually the way in cases of surgical poisoning. He still had not lost consciousness, and understood what was said to him; he was still struggling. 'I don't want to lose my wits,' he muttered, clenching his fists; 'what rot it all is!' And at once he would say, 'Come, take ten from eight, what remains?' Vassily Ivanovitch wandered about like one possessed, proposed first one remedy, then another, and ended by doing nothing but cover up his son's feet. 'Try cold pack ... emetic ... mustard plasters on the stomach ... bleeding,' he would murmur with an effort. The doctor, whom he had entreated to remain, agreed with him, ordered the patient lemonade to drink, and for himself asked for a pipe and something 'warming and strengthening'—that's to say, brandy. Arina Vlasyevna sat on a low stool near the door, and only went out from time to time to pray. A few days before, a looking-glass had slipped out of her hands and been broken, and this she had always considered an omen of evil; even Anfisushka could say nothing to her. Timofeitch had gone off to Madame Odintsov's.

The night passed badly for Bazarov.... He was in the agonies of high fever. Towards morning he was a little easier. He asked for Arina Vlasyevna to comb his hair, kissed her hand, and swallowed two gulps of tea. Vassily Ivanovitch revived a little.

'Thank God!' he kept declaring; 'the crisis is coming, the crisis is at hand!'

'There, to think now!' murmured Bazarov; 'what a word can do! He's found it; he's said "crisis," and is comforted. It's an astounding thing how man believes in words. If he's told he's a fool, for instance, though he's not thrashed, he'll be wretched; call him a clever fellow, and he'll be delighted if you go off without paying him.'

This little speech of Bazarov's, recalling his old retorts, moved Vassily Ivanovitch greatly.

'Bravo! well said, very good!' he cried, making as though he were clapping his hands.

Bazarov smiled mournfully.

'So what do you think,' he said; 'is the crisis over, or coming?'

'You are better, that's what I see, that's what rejoices me,' answered Vassily Ivanovitch.

'Well, that's good; rejoicings never come amiss. And to her, do you remember? did you send?'

'To be sure I did.'

The change for the better did not last long. The disease resumed its onslaughts. Vassily Ivanovitch was sitting by Bazarov. It seemed as though the old man were tormented by some special anguish. He was several times on the point of speaking—and could not.

'Yevgeny!' he brought out at last; 'my son, my one, dear son!'

This unfamiliar mode of address produced an effect on Bazarov. He turned his head a little, and, obviously trying to fight against the load of oblivion weighing upon him, he articulated: 'What is it, father?'

'Yevgeny,' Vassily Ivanovitch went on, and he fell on his knees before Bazarov, though the latter had closed his eyes and could not see him. 'Yevgeny, you are better now; please God, you will get well, but make use of this time, comfort your mother and me, perform the duty of a Christian! What it means for me to say this to you, it's awful; but still more awful ... for ever and ever, Yevgeny ... think a little, what ...'

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

'I won't refuse, if that can be any comfort to you,' he brought out at last; 'but it seems to me there's no need to be in a hurry. You say yourself I am better.'

'Oh, yes, Yevgeny, better certainly; but who knows, it is all in God's hands, and in doing the duty ...'

'No, I will wait a bit,' broke in Bazarov. 'I agree with you that the crisis has come. And if we're mistaken, well! they give the sacrament to men who're unconscious, you know.'

'Yevgeny, I beg.'

'I'll wait a little. And now I want to go to sleep. Don't disturb me.' And he laid his head back on the pillow.

The old man rose from his knees, sat down in the armchair, and, clutching his beard, began biting his own fingers ...

The sound of a light carriage on springs, that sound which is peculiarly impressive in the wilds of the country, suddenly struck upon his hearing. Nearer and nearer rolled the light wheels; now even the neighing of the horses could be heard.... Vassily Ivanovitch jumped up and ran to the little window. There drove into the courtyard of his little house a carriage with seats for two, with four horses harnessed abreast. Without stopping to consider what it could mean, with a rush of a sort of senseless joy, he ran out on to the steps.... A groom in livery was opening the carriage doors; a lady in a black veil and a black mantle was getting out of it ...

'I am Madame Odintsov,' she said. 'Yevgeny Vassilvitch is still living? You are his father? I have a doctor with me.'

'Benefactress!' cried Vassily Ivanovitch, and snatching her hand, he pressed it convulsively to his lips, while the doctor brought by Anna Sergyevna, a little man in spectacles, of German physiognomy, stepped very deliberately out of the carriage. 'Still living, my Yevgeny is living, and now he will be saved! Wife! wife!... An angel from heaven has come to us....'

'What does it mean, good Lord!' faltered the old woman, running out of the drawing-room; and, comprehending nothing, she fell on the spot in the passage at Anna Sergyevna's feet, and began kissing her garments like a mad woman.

'What are you doing!' protested Anna Sergyevna; but Arina Vlasyevna did not heed her, while Vassily Ivanovitch could only repeat, 'An angel! an angel!'

'Wo ist der Kranke? and where is the patient?' said the doctor at last, with some impatience.

Vassily Ivanovitch recovered himself. 'Here, here, follow me, würdigster Herr Collega,' he added through old associations.

'Ah!' articulated the German, grinning sourly.

Vassily Ivanovitch led him into the study. 'The doctor from Anna Sergyevna Odintsov,' he said, bending down quite to his son's ear, 'and she herself is here.'

Bazarov suddenly opened his eyes. 'What did you say?'

'I say that Anna Sergyevna is here, and has brought this gentleman, a doctor, to you.'

Bazarov moved his eyes about him. 'She is here.... I want to see her.'

'You shall see her, Yevgeny; but first we must have a little talk with the doctor. I will tell him the whole history of your illness since Sidor Sidoritch' (this was the name of the district doctor) '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 follower of Æsculapius, turning to Vassily Ivanovitch.

'ich ... gabe ... We had better speak Russian,' said the old man.

'Ah, ah! so that's how it is.... To be sure ...' And the consultation began.

Half-an-hour later Anna Sergyevna, conducted by Vassily Ivanovitch, came into the study. The doctor had had time to whisper to her that it was hopeless even to think of the patient's recovery.

She looked at Bazarov ... and stood still in the doorway, so greatly was she impressed by the inflamed, and at the same time deathly face, with its dim eyes fastened upon her. She felt simply dismayed, with a sort of cold and suffocating dismay; the thought that she would not have felt like that if she had really loved him flashed instantaneously through her brain.

'Thanks,' he said painfully, 'I did not expect this. It's a deed of mercy. So we have seen each other again, as you promised.'

'Anna Sergyevna has been so kind,' began Vassily Ivanovitch ...

'Father, leave us alone. Anna Sergyevna, you will allow it, I fancy, now?'

With a motion of his head, he indicated his prostrate helpless frame.

Vassily Ivanovitch went out.

'Well, thanks,' repeated Bazarov. 'This is royally done. Monarchs, they say, visit the dying too.'

'Yevgeny Vassilyitch, I hope——'

'Ah, Anna Sergyevna, let us speak the truth. It's all over with me. I'm under the wheel. So it turns out that it was useless to think of the future. Death's an old joke, but it comes fresh to every one. So far I'm not afraid ... but there, senselessness is coming, and then it's all up!——' he waved his hand feebly. 'Well, what had I to say to you ... I loved you! there was no sense in that even before, and less than ever now. Love is a form, and my own form is already breaking up. Better say how lovely you are! And now here you stand, so beautiful ...'

Anna Sergyevna gave an involuntary shudder.

'Never mind, don't be uneasy.... Sit down there.... Don't come close to me; you know, my illness is catching.'

Anna Sergyevna swiftly crossed 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, and fresh, and pure ... in this loathsome room!... Well, good-bye! live long, that's the best of all, and make the most of it while there is time. You see what a hideous spectacle; the worm half-crushed, but writhing still. And, you see, I thought too: I'd break down so many things, I wouldn't die, why should I! there were problems to solve, and I was a giant! And now all the problem for the giant is how to die decently, though that makes no difference to any one either.... Never mind; I'm not going to turn tail.'

Bazarov was silent, and began feeling with his hand for the glass. Anna Sergyevna gave him some drink, not taking off her glove, and drawing her breath timorously.

'You will forget me,' he began again; 'the dead's no companion for the living. My father will tell you what a man Russia is losing.... That's nonsense, but don't contradict the old man. Whatever toy will comfort the child ... you know. And be kind to mother. People like them aren't to be found in your great world if you look by daylight with a candle.... I was needed by Russia.... No, it's clear, I wasn't needed. And who is needed? The shoemaker's needed, the tailor's needed, the butcher ... gives us meat ... the butcher ... wait a little, I'm getting mixed.... There's a forest here ...'

Bazarov put his hand to his brow.

Anna Sergyevna bent down to him. 'Yevgeny Vassilyitch, I am here ...'

He at once took his hand away, and raised himself.

'Good-bye,' he said with sudden force, and his eyes gleamed with their last light. 'Good-bye.... Listen ... you know I didn't kiss you then.... Breathe on the dying lamp, and let it go out ...'

Anna Sergyevna put her lips to his forehead.

'Enough!' he murmured, and dropped back on to the pillow. 'Now ... darkness ...'

Anna Sergyevna went softly out. 'Well?' Vassily Ivanovitch asked her in a whisper.

'He has fallen asleep,' she answered, hardly audibly. Bazarov was not fated to awaken. Towards evening he sank into complete unconsciousness, and the following day he died. Father Alexey performed the last rites of religion over him. When they anointed him with the last unction, when the holy oil touched his breast, one eye opened, and it seemed as though at the sight of the priest in his vestments, the smoking censers, the light before the image, something like a shudder of horror passed over the death-stricken face. When at last he had breathed his last, and there arose a universal lamentation in the house, Vassily Ivanovitch was seized by a sudden frenzy. 'I said I should rebel,' he shrieked hoarsely, with his face inflamed and distorted, shaking his fist in the air, as though threatening some one; 'and I rebel, I rebel!' But Arina Vlasyevna, all in tears, hung upon his neck, and both fell on their faces together. 'Side by side,' Anfisushka related afterwards in the servants' room, 'they dropped their poor heads like lambs at noonday ...'

But the heat of noonday passes, and evening comes and night, and then, too, the return to the kindly refuge, where sleep is sweet for the weary and heavy laden....


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