WHITE NIGHTS BY FYODOR DOSTOYEVSKY PDF
Free PDF, epub, Kindle ebook. By Fyodor Dostoevsky. A collection of 7 short stories: White Nights; Notes From Underground; A Faint Heart; A Christmas Tree . White Nights. English. In categories: Russian literature, Fyodor Dostoyevsky collection. Book ID: White Nights. Book cover may not be accurate (+). ersity of)uthern Regio ibrary Facilit WHITE NIGHTS AND OTHER STORIES THE NOVELS OF FYODOR DOSTOEVSKY VOLUME X NOVELS BY FYODOR.
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White Nights. A Sentimental Story from the Diary of a Dreamer. Fyodor Dostoyevsky. Translated by Constance Garnett. This web edition published by. White Nights And Other Stories By Fyodor Dostoevsky. This edition created and published by Global Grey Downloaded from cittadelmonte.info Free kindle book and epub digitized and proofread by Project Gutenberg.
The sky was so starry, so bright that, looking at it, one could not help asking oneself whether ill-humoured and capricious people could live under such a sky. That is a youthful question too, dear reader, very youthful, but may the Lord put it more frequently into your heart! Speaking of capricious and ill-humoured people, I cannot help recalling my moral condition all that day. From early morning I had been oppressed by a strange despondency. It suddenly seemed to me that I was lonely, that every one was forsaking me and going away from me. Of course, any one is entitled to ask who "every one" was.
I know you as though we had been friends for twenty years You won't deceive me, will you? Good-night, and remember that I have trusted you already. But you exclaimed so nicely just now, 'Surely one can't be held responsible for every feeling, even for brotherly sympathy! Meanwhile, let that be a secret. So much the better for you; it will give it a faint flavour of romance. Perhaps I will tell you to-morrow, and perhaps not I will talk to you a little more beforehand; we will get to know each other better But what has happened?
It is as though a miracle had befallen me My God, where am I? Come, tell me aren't you glad that you were not angry and did not drive me away at the first moment, as any other woman would have done?
In two minutes you have made me happy for ever. Yes, happy; who knows, perhaps, you have reconciled me with myself, solved my doubts! Perhaps such moments come upon me But there I will tell you all about it to-morrow, you shall know everything, everything And we parted. I walked about all night; I could not make up my mind to go home. I was so happy But to business. Do you know why I have come? Not to talk nonsense, as I did yesterday.
I tell you what, we must behave more sensibly in future. I thought a great deal about it last night. I am ready for my part; but, really, nothing more sensible has happened to me in my life than this, now. In the first place, I beg you not to squeeze my hands so; secondly, I must tell you that I spent a long time thinking about you and feeling doubtful to-day. The upshot of it is that we must begin all over again, because the conclusion I reached to-day was that I don't know you at all; that I behaved like a baby last night, like a little girl; and, of course, the fact of it is, that it's my soft heart that is to blame—that is, I sang my own praises, as one always does in the end when one analyses one's conduct.
And therefore to correct my mistake, I've made up my mind to find out all about you minutely. But as I have no one from whom I can find out anything, you must tell me everything fully yourself.
Well, what sort of man are you? Come, make haste—begin—tell me your whole history. But who has told you I have a history? I have no history I have lived, as they say, keeping myself to myself, that is, utterly alone—alone, entirely alone. Do you know what it means to be alone? Explain yourself! Stay, I guess: She is blind and will never let me go anywhere, so that I have almost forgotten how to talk; and when I played some pranks two years ago, and she saw there was no holding me in, she called me up and pinned my dress to hers, and ever since we sit like that for days together; she knits a stocking, though she's blind, and I sit beside her, sew or read aloud to her—it's such a queer habit, here for two years I've been pinned to her What sort of type?
Look, here's a seat, let us sit down. No one is passing here, no one will hear us, and—begin your history. For it's no good your telling me, I know you have a history; only you are concealing it.
To begin with, what is a type?
A type is an original, it's an absurd person! Listen; do you know what is meant by a dreamer? Indeed I should think I do know. I am a dreamer myself. Sometimes, as I sit by grandmother, all sorts of things come into my head. Why, when one begins dreaming one lets one's fancy run away with one—why, I marry a Chinese Prince!
Though sometimes it is a good thing to dream! But, goodness knows! Especially when one has something to think of apart from dreams," added the girl, this time rather seriously.
If you have been married to a Chinese Emperor, you will quite understand me. Come, listen But one minute, I don't know your name yet. On the contrary, it's a great deal, a very great deal, Nastenka; you kind girl, if you are Nastenka for me from the first. I sat down beside her, assumed a pedantically serious attitude, and began as though reading from a manuscript: It seems as though the same sun as shines for all Petersburg people does not peep into those spots, but some other different new one, bespoken expressly for those nooks, and it throws a different light on everything.
In these corners, dear Nastenka, quite a different life is lived, quite unlike the life that is surging round us, but such as perhaps exists in some unknown realm, not among us in our serious, over-serious, time. Well, that life is a mixture of something purely fantastic, fervently ideal, with something alas! Nastenka dingily prosaic and ordinary, not to say incredibly vulgar. It seems to me I shall never be tired of calling you Nastenka.
Let me tell you that in these corners live strange people—dreamers. The dreamer—if you want an exact definition—is not a human being, but a creature of an intermediate sort.
For the most part he settles in some inaccessible corner, as though hiding from the light of day; once he slips into his corner, he grows to it like a snail, or, anyway, he is in that respect very much like that remarkable creature, which is an animal and a house both at once, and is called a tortoise. Why do you suppose he is so fond of his four walls, which are invariably painted green, grimy, dismal and reeking unpardonably of tobacco smoke?
Why is it that when this absurd gentleman is visited by one of his few acquaintances and he ends by getting rid of all his friends , why does this absurd person meet him with such embarrassment, changing countenance and overcome with confusion, as though he had only just committed some crime within his four walls; as though he had been forging counterfeit notes, or as though he were writing verses to be sent to a journal with an anonymous letter, in which he states that the real poet is dead, and that his friend thinks it his sacred duty to publish his things?
Why, tell me, Nastenka, why is it conversation is not easy between the two friends? Why is there no laughter? Why does no lively word fly from the tongue of the perplexed newcomer, who at other times may be very fond of laughter, lively words, conversation about the fair sex, and other cheerful subjects?
And why does this friend, probably a new friend and on his first visit—for there will hardly be a second, and the friend will never come again—why is the friend himself so confused, so tongue-tied, in spite of his wit if he has any , as he looks at the downcast face of his host, who in his turn becomes utterly helpless and at his wits' end after gigantic but fruitless efforts to smooth things over and enliven the conversation, to show his knowledge of polite society, to talk, too, of the fair sex, and by such humble endeavour, to please the poor man, who like a fish out of water has mistakenly come to visit him?
Why does the gentleman, all at once remembering some very necessary business which never existed, suddenly seize his hat and hurriedly make off, snatching away his hand from the warm grip of his host, who was trying his utmost to show his regret and retrieve the lost position?
Why does the friend chuckle as he goes out of the door, and swear never to come and see this queer creature again, though the queer creature is really a very good fellow, and at the same time he cannot refuse his imagination the little diversion of comparing the queer fellow's countenance during their conversation with the expression of an unhappy kitten treacherously captured, roughly handled, frightened and subjected to all sorts of indignities by children, till, utterly crestfallen, it hides away from them under a chair in the dark, and there must needs at its leisure bristle up, spit, and wash its insulted face with both paws, and long afterwards look angrily at life and nature, and even at the bits saved from the master's dinner for it by the sympathetic housekeeper?
You want to know why I lost my head and was upset for the whole day by the unexpected visit of a friend? You want to know why I was so startled, why I blushed when the door of my room was opened, why I was not able to entertain my visitor, and why I was crushed under the weight of my own hospitality? You describe it all splendidly, but couldn't you perhaps describe it a little less splendidly? You talk as though you were reading it out of a book.
At this moment, dear Nastenka, at this moment I am like the spirit of King Solomon when, after lying a thousand years under seven seals in his urn, those seven seals were at last taken off. At this moment, Nastenka, when we have met at last after such a long separation—for I have known you for ages, Nastenka, because I have been looking for some one for ages, and that is a sign that it was you I was looking for, and it was ordained that we should meet now—at this moment a thousand valves have opened in my head, and I must let myself flow in a river of words, or I shall choke.
And so I beg you not to interrupt me, Nastenka, but listen humbly and obediently, or I will be silent. There is, my friend Nastenka, one hour in my day which I like extremely. That is the hour when almost all business, work and duties are over, and every one is hurrying home to dinner, to lie down, to rest, and on the way all are cogitating on other more cheerful subjects relating to their evenings, their nights, and all the rest of their free time.
At that hour our hero—for allow me, Nastenka, to tell my story in the third person, for one feels awfully ashamed to tell it in the first person—and so at that hour our hero, who had his work too, was pacing along after the others. But a strange feeling of pleasure set his pale, rather crumpled-looking face working. He looked not with indifference on the evening glow which was slowly fading on the cold Petersburg sky.
When I say he looked, I am lying: He was pleased because till next day he was released from business irksome to him, and happy as a schoolboy let out from the class-room to his games and mischief. Take a look at him, Nastenka; you will see at once that joyful emotion has already had an effect on his weak nerves and morbidly excited fancy. You see he is thinking of something Of dinner, do you imagine? Of the evening? What is he looking at like that? Is it at that gentleman of dignified appearance who is bowing so picturesquely to the lady who rolls by in a carriage drawn by prancing horses?
No, Nastenka; what are all those trivialities to him now! He is rich now with his own individual life; he has suddenly become rich, and it is not for nothing that the fading sunset sheds its farewell gleams so gaily before him, and calls forth a swarm of impressions from his warmed heart. Now he hardly notices the road, on which the tiniest details at other times would strike him. Now 'the Goddess of Fancy' if you have read Zhukovsky, dear Nastenka has already with fantastic hand spun her golden warp and begun weaving upon it patterns of marvellous magic life—and who knows, maybe, her fantastic hand has borne him to the seventh crystal heaven far from the excellent granite pavement on which he was walking his way?
Try stopping him now, ask him suddenly where he is standing now, through what streets he is going—he will, probably remember nothing, neither where he is going nor where he is standing now, and flushing with vexation he will certainly tell some lie to save appearances. That is why he starts, almost cries out, and looks round with horror when a respectable old lady stops him politely in the middle of the pavement and asks her way.
Frowning with vexation he strides on, scarcely noticing that more than one passer-by smiles and turns round to look after him, and that a little girl, moving out of his way in alarm, laughs aloud, gazing open-eyed at his broad meditative smile and gesticulations. But fancy catches up in its playful flight the old woman, the curious passers-by, and the laughing child, and the peasants spending their nights in their barges on Fontanka our hero, let us suppose, is walking along the canal-side at that moment , and capriciously weaves every one and everything into the canvas like a fly in a spider's web.
And it is only after the queer fellow has returned to his comfortable den with fresh stores for his mind to work on, has sat down and finished his dinner, that he comes to himself, when Matrona who waits upon him—always thoughtful and depressed—clears the table and gives him his pipe; he comes to himself then and recalls with surprise that he has dined, though he has absolutely no notion how it has happened.
It has grown dark in the room; his soul is sad and empty; the whole kingdom of fancies drops to pieces about him, drops to pieces without a trace, without a sound, floats away like a dream, and he cannot himself remember what he was dreaming. But a vague sensation faintly stirs his heart and sets it aching, some new desire temptingly tickles and excites his fancy, and imperceptibly evokes a swarm of fresh phantoms.
Stillness reigns in the little room; imagination is fostered by solitude and idleness; it is faintly smouldering, faintly simmering, like the water with which old Matrona is making her coffee as she moves quietly about in the kitchen close by. Now it breaks out spasmodically; and the book, picked up aimlessly and at random, drops from my dreamer's hand before he has reached the third page.
His imagination is again stirred and at work, and again a new world, a new fascinating life opens vistas before him. A fresh dream—fresh happiness! A fresh rush of delicate, voluptuous poison! What is real life to him! To his corrupted eyes we live, you and I, Nastenka, so torpidly, slowly, insipidly; in his eyes we are all so dissatisfied with our fate, so exhausted by our life! And, truly, see how at first sight everything is cold, morose, as though ill-humoured among us Poor things!
And it is no wonder that he thinks it! Look at these magic phantasms, which so enchantingly, so whimsically, so carelessly and freely group before him in such a magic, animated picture, in which the most prominent figure in the foreground is of course himself, our dreamer, in his precious person. See what varied adventures, what an endless swarm of ecstatic dreams. You ask, perhaps, what he is dreaming of. Why ask that? Bartholomew's Night, of Diana Vernon, of playing the hero at the taking of Kazan by Ivan Vassilyevitch, of Clara Mowbray, of Effie Deans, of the council of the prelates and Huss before them, of the rising of the dead in 'Robert the Devil' do you remember the music, it smells of the churchyard!
No, Nastenka, what is there, what is there for him, voluptuous sluggard, in this life, for which you and I have such a longing? He thinks that this is a poor pitiful life, not foreseeing that for him too, maybe, sometime the mournful hour may strike, when for one day of that pitiful life he would give all his years of phantasy, and would give them not only for joy and for happiness, but without caring to make distinctions in that hour of sadness, remorse and unchecked grief.
But so far that threatening has not arrived—he desires nothing, because he is superior to all desire, because he has everything, because he is satiated, because he is the artist of his own life, and creates it for himself every hour to suit his latest whim.
And you know this fantastic world of fairyland is so easily, so naturally created! As though it were not a delusion! Indeed, he is ready to believe at some moments that all this life is not suggested by feeling, is not mirage, not a delusion of the imagination, but that it is concrete, real, substantial!
Why is it, Nastenka, why is it at such moments one holds one's breath? Why, by what sorcery, through what incomprehensible caprice, is the pulse quickened, does a tear start from the dreamer's eye, while his pale moist cheeks glow, while his whole being is suffused with an inexpressible sense of consolation?
Why is it that whole sleepless nights pass like a flash in inexhaustible gladness and happiness, and when the dawn gleams rosy at the window and daybreak floods the gloomy room with uncertain, fantastic light, as in Petersburg, our dreamer, worn out and exhausted, flings himself on his bed and drops asleep with thrills of delight in his morbidly overwrought spirit, and with a weary sweet ache in his heart? Yes, Nastenka, one deceives oneself and unconsciously believes that real true passion is stirring one's soul; one unconsciously believes that there is something living, tangible in one's immaterial dreams!
And is it delusion? Here love, for instance, is bound up with all its fathomless joy, all its torturing agonies in his bosom Only look at him, and you will be convinced! Would you believe, looking at him, dear Nastenka, that he has never known her whom he loves in his ecstatic dreams?
Can it be that he has only seen her in seductive visions, and that this passion has been nothing but a dream? Surely they must have spent years hand in hand together—alone the two of them, casting off all the world and each uniting his or her life with the other's? Surely when the hour of parting came she must have lain sobbing and grieving on his bosom, heedless of the tempest raging under the sullen sky, heedless of the wind which snatches and bears away the tears from her black eyelashes?
Can all of that have been a dream—and that garden, dejected, forsaken, run wild, with its little moss-grown paths, solitary, gloomy, where they used to walk so happily together, where they hoped, grieved, loved, loved each other so long, "so long and so fondly?
What torments they suffered, what agonies of terror, how innocent, how pure was their love, and how I need hardly say, Nastenka malicious people were! And, good Heavens! Oh, Nastenka, you must admit that one would start, betray confusion, and blush like a schoolboy who has just stuffed in his pocket an apple stolen from a neighbour's garden, when your uninvited visitor, some stalwart, lanky fellow, a festive soul fond of a joke, opens your door and shouts out as though nothing were happening: Finishing my pathetic appeal, I paused pathetically.
I remembered that I had an intense desire to force myself to laugh, for I was already feeling that a malignant demon was stirring within me, that there was a lump in my throat, that my chin was beginning to twitch, and that my eyes were growing more and more moist. I expected Nastenka, who listened to me opening her clever eyes, would break into her childish, irrepressible laugh; and I was already regretting that I had gone so far, that I had unnecessarily described what had long been simmering in my heart, about which I could speak as though from a written account of it, because I had long ago passed judgment on myself and now could not resist reading it, making my confession, without expecting to be understood; but to my surprise she was silent, waiting a little, then she faintly pressed my hand and with timid sympathy asked—.
Do you know, it is not at all good to live like that? And now I know it and feel it more painfully from recognizing that God has sent me you, my good angel, to tell me that and show it.
Now that I sit beside you and talk to you it is strange for me to think of the future, for in the future—there is loneliness again, again this musty, useless life; and what shall I have to dream of when I have been so happy in reality beside you!
Oh, may you be blessed, dear girl, for not having repulsed me at first, for enabling me to say that for two evenings, at least, I have lived. Do you know how far you have reconciled me to myself? Do you know now that I shall not think so ill of myself, as I have at some moments? Do you know that, maybe, I shall leave off grieving over the crime and sin of my life? And do not imagine that I have been exaggerating anything—for goodness' sake don't think that, Nastenka: Because it begins to seem to me at such times that I am incapable of beginning a life in real life, because it has seemed to me that I have lost all touch, all instinct for the actual, the real; because at last I have cursed myself; because after my fantastic nights I have moments of returning sobriety, which are awful!
Meanwhile, you hear the whirl and roar of the crowd in the vortex of life around you; you hear, you see, men living in reality; you see that life for them is not forbidden, that their life does not float away like a dream, like a vision; that their life is being eternally renewed, eternally youthful, and not one hour of it is the same as another; while fancy is so spiritless, monotonous to vulgarity and easily scared, the slave of shadows, of the idea, the slave of the first cloud that shrouds the sun, and overcasts with depression the true Petersburg heart so devoted to the sun—and what is fancy in depression!
One feels that this inexhaustible fancy is weary at last and worn out with continual exercise, because one is growing into manhood, outgrowing one's old ideals: And meanwhile the soul longs and craves for something else! And in vain the dreamer rakes over his old dreams, as though seeking a spark among the embers, to fan them into flame, to warm his chilled heart by the rekindled fire, and to rouse up in it again all that was so sweet, that touched his heart, that set his blood boiling, drew tears from his eyes, and so luxuriously deceived him!
Do you know, Nastenka, the point I have reached? Do you know that I am forced now to celebrate the anniversary of my own sensations, the anniversary of that which was once so sweet, which never existed in reality—for this anniversary is kept in memory of those same foolish, shadowy dreams—and to do this because those foolish dreams are no more, because I have nothing to earn them with; you know even dreams do not come for nothing!
Do you know that I love now to recall and visit at certain dates the places where I was once happy in my own way? I love to build up my present in harmony with the irrevocable past, and I often wander like a shadow, aimless, sad and dejected, about the streets and crooked lanes of Petersburg. What memories they are! To remember, for instance, that here just a year ago, just at this time, at this hour, on this pavement, I wandered just as lonely, just as dejected as to-day.
And one remembers that then one's dreams were sad, and though the past was no better one feels as though it had somehow been better, and that life was more peaceful, that one was free from the black thoughts that haunt one now; that one was free from the gnawing of conscience—the gloomy, sullen gnawing which now gives me no rest by day or by night. And one asks oneself where are one's dreams.
And one shakes one's head and says how rapidly the years fly by! And again one asks oneself what has one done with one's years. Where have you buried your best days? Have you lived or not? Look, one says to oneself, look how cold the world is growing. Some more years will pass, and after them will come gloomy solitude; then will come old age trembling on its crutch, and after it misery and desolation. Your fantastic world will grow pale, your dreams will fade and die and will fall like the yellow leaves from the trees Oh, Nastenka!
Now we shall be two together. Now, whatever happens to me, we will never part. Listen; I am a simple girl, I have not had much education, though grandmother did get a teacher for me, but truly I understand you, for all that you have described I have been through myself, when grandmother pinned me to her dress.
Of course, I should not have described it so well as you have; I am not educated," she added timidly, for she was still feeling a sort of respect for my pathetic eloquence and lofty style; "but I am very glad that you have been quite open with me.
Now I know you thoroughly, all of you. And do you know what? I want to tell you my history too, all without concealment, and after that you must give me advice. You are a very clever man; will you promise to give me advice? Well, my pretty Nastenka, what sort of advice do you want? Tell me frankly; at this moment I am so gay and happy, so bold and sensible, that it won't be difficult for me to find words.
First of all you must agree not to interrupt me, or else, perhaps I shall get in a muddle! Come, listen quietly. I came into her hands when I was quite a little girl, for my father and mother are dead. It must be supposed that grandmother was once richer, for now she recalls better days. She taught me French, and then got a teacher for me. When I was fifteen and now I am seventeen we gave up having lessons.
It was at that time that I got into mischief; what I did I won't tell you; it's enough to say that it wasn't very important.
But grandmother called me to her one morning and said that as she was blind she could not look after me; she took a pin and pinned my dress to hers, and said that we should sit like that for the rest of our lives if, of course, I did not become a better girl. In fact, at first it was impossible to get away from her: I had to work, to read and to study all beside grandmother.
I tried to deceive her once, and persuaded Fekla to sit in my place. Fekla is our charwoman, she is deaf. Fekla sat there instead of me; grandmother was asleep in her armchair at the time, and I went off to see a friend close by. Well, it ended in trouble. Grandmother woke up while I was out, and asked some questions; she thought I was still sitting quietly in my place. Fekla saw that grandmother was asking her something, but could not tell what it was; she wondered what to do, undid the pin and ran away I laugh because it's funny What can I do, since grandmother is like that; but yet I am fond of her in a way.
Oh, well, I did catch it that time. I had to sit down in my place at once, and after that I was not allowed to stir. In fact, he hardly ever used his tongue at all. He was a dumb, blind, lame, dried-up little old man, so that at last he could not go on living, he died; so then we had to find a new lodger, for we could not live without a lodger—the rent, together with grandmother's pension, is almost all we have. But the new lodger, as luck would have it, was a young man, a stranger not of these parts.
As he did not haggle over the rent, grandmother accepted him, and only afterwards she asked me: And grandmother said: I tell you this, grandchild, that you may not be looking after him. What times these are! Why a paltry lodger like this, and he must be pleasant looking too; it was very different in the old days! I would sit still and hold my tongue and think to myself: Why did she ask whether the lodger was young and good-looking?
But that was all, I just thought it, began counting my stitches again, went on knitting my stocking, and forgot all about it. One thing led to another. Grandmother was talkative, and she said: When I saw that the lodger knew all about me now, I blushed, stood still as though I had been shot, and suddenly began to cry—I felt so ashamed and miserable at that minute, that I didn't know where to look!
Grandmother called out, 'What are you waiting for? When the lodger saw, saw that I was ashamed on his account, he bowed and went away at once! But it always turned out not to be, he never came. A fortnight passed; the lodger sent word through Fyokla that he had a great number of French books, and that they were all good books that I might read, so would not grandmother like me to read them that I might not be dull?
Grandmother agreed with gratitude, but kept asking if they were moral books, for if the books were immoral it would be out of the question, one would learn evil from them. I read a great many books,' said grandmother, 'and it is all so well described that one sits up all night and reads them on the sly.
So mind you don't read them, Nastenka,' said she. But stay, isn't there some trick about it? Look, hasn't he stuck a love-letter among them? Then he sent us more and more. He sent us Pushkin, too; so that at last I could not get on without a book and left off dreaming of how fine it would be to marry a Chinese Prince. Grandmother had sent me to fetch something. He stopped, I blushed and he blushed; he laughed, though, said good-morning to me, asked after grandmother, and said, 'Well, have you read the books?
I said, 'Ivanhoe, and Pushkin best of all,' and so our talk ended for that time. That time grandmother had not sent me, I wanted to get something for myself. It was past two, and the lodger used to come home at that time.
I said good-afternoon, too. I wanted to go away without answering, but I hadn't the strength. Excuse my speaking to you like that, but I assure you that I wish for your welfare quite as much as your grandmother.
Have you no friends that you could go and visit? My friends meant to go, but afterwards refused, so the ticket is left on my hands. I saw what it meant and turned crimson, and my heart began throbbing with suspense. And my Nastenka here has never been to the theatre.
We got ready at once, put on our best clothes, and set off. Though grandmother was blind, still she wanted to hear the music; besides, she is a kind old soul, what she cared most for was to amuse me, we should never have gone of ourselves. Well, it was joy! I went to bed so proud, so gay, my heart beat so that I was a little feverish, and all night I was raving about The Barber of Seville. He almost entirely gave up coming.
He would just come in about once a month, and then only to invite us to the theatre. We went twice again. Only I wasn't at all pleased with that; I saw that he was simply sorry for me because I was so hardly treated by grandmother, and that was all.
As time went on, I grew more and more restless, I couldn't sit still, I couldn't read, I couldn't work; sometimes I laughed and did something to annoy grandmother, at another time I would cry.
At last I grew thin and was very nearly ill. The opera season was over, and our lodger had quite given up coming to see us; whenever we met—always on the same staircase, of course—he would bow so silently, so gravely, as though he did not want to speak, and go down to the front door, while I went on standing in the middle of the stairs, as red as a cherry, for all the blood rushed to my head at the sight of him.
Just a year ago, in May, the lodger came to us and said to grandmother that he had finished his business here, and that he must go back to Moscow for a year. When I heard that, I sank into a chair half dead; grandmother did not notice anything; and having informed us that he should be leaving us, he bowed and went away. I thought and thought and fretted and fretted, and at last I made up my mind. Next day he was to go away, and I made up my mind to end it all that evening when grandmother went to bed.
And so it happened. I made up all my clothes in a parcel—all the linen I needed—and with the parcel in my hand, more dead than alive, went upstairs to our lodger. I believe I must have stayed an hour on the staircase. When I opened his door he cried out as he looked at me. He thought I was a ghost, and rushed to give me some water, for I could hardly stand up. My heart beat so violently that my head ached, and I did not know what I was doing. When I recovered I began by laying my parcel on his bed, sat down beside it, hid my face in my hands and went into floods of tears.
I think he understood it all at once, and looked at me so sadly that my heart was torn. How could we live, if I were to marry you? Shame and pride and love were all clamouring in me at once, and I fell on the bed almost in convulsions, I was so afraid of a refusal.
I assure you that now you are the only one who could make me happy. Listen, I am going to Moscow and shall be there just a year; I hope to establish my position. When I come back, if you still love me, I swear that we will be happy. Now it is impossible, I am not able, I have not the right to promise anything. Well, I repeat, if it is not within a year it will certainly be some time; that is, of course, if you do not prefer any one else, for I cannot and dare not bind you by any sort of promise.
We agreed together not to say a word to grandmother: Well, my history is nearly finished now. Just a year has past. He has arrived; he has been here three days, and, and.
Here she stopped, paused for a minute, bent her head, and covering her face with her hands broke into such sobs that it sent a pang to my heart to hear them. For goodness' sake don't cry! How do you know? Perhaps he is not here yet We made an agreement at the time, that evening, before he went away: It was ten o'clock; we sat on this seat.
I was not crying then; it was sweet to me to hear what he said And he said that he would come to us directly he arrived, and if I did not refuse him, then we would tell grandmother about it all. Now he is here, I know it, and yet he does not come! Ah, Nastenka, I am right; trust to me, trust to me, I will not give you bad advice.
It can all be arranged! You took the first step—why not now? Besides, I can see from everything that he is a man of delicate feeling; that he behaved very well," I went on, more and more carried away by the logic of my own arguments and convictions.
He bound himself by a promise: Under such circumstances you may take the first step; you have the right; you are in the privileged position—if, for instance, you wanted to free him from his promise Write simply: Forgive me my impatience; but I have been happy for a whole year in hope; am I to blame for being unable to endure a day of doubt now? Now that you have come, perhaps you have changed your mind.
If so, this letter is to tell you that I do not repine, nor blame you. I do not blame you because I have no power over your heart, such is my fate! You will not smile or be vexed at these impatient lines. Remember they are written by a poor girl; that she is alone; that she has no one to direct her, no one to advise her, and that she herself could never control her heart.
But forgive me that a doubt has stolen—if only for one instant—into my heart. You are not capable of insulting, even in thought, her who so loved and so loves you. God has sent you to me! Thank you, thank you! What for? For God's sending me? Why, one thanks some people for being alive at the same time with one; I thank you for having met me, for my being able to remember you all my life!
But now I tell you what, listen: I know he has arrived already; but now it's the third day, and there's no sign of him and no letter. It's impossible for me to get away from grandmother in the morning. Give my letter to-morrow to those kind people I spoke to you about: You see, you must write the letter first! So perhaps it must all be the day after to-morrow. But she did not finish.
At first she turned her little face away from me, flushed like a rose, and suddenly I felt in my hand a letter which had evidently been written long before, all ready and sealed up. A familiar sweet and charming reminiscence floated through my mind. Good-bye now," she said speaking rapidly. Good-bye, till we meet again! Till to-morrow! She pressed both my hands warmly, nodded her head, and flew like an arrow down her side street. I stood still for a long time following her with my eyes. To-day was a gloomy, rainy day without a glimmer of sunlight, like the old age before me.
I am oppressed by such strange thoughts, such gloomy sensations; questions still so obscure to me are crowding into my brain—and I seem to have neither power nor will to settle them. It's not for me to settle all this! To-day we shall not meet. Yesterday, when we said good-bye, the clouds began gathering over the sky and a mist rose. I said that to-morrow it would be a bad day; she made no answer, she did not want to speak against her wishes; for her that day was bright and clear, not one cloud should obscure her happiness.
But how fine joy and happiness makes any one! How brimming over with love the heart is! One seems longing to pour out one's whole heart; one wants everything to be gay, everything to be laughing. And how infectious that joy is! There was such a softness in her words, such a kindly feeling in her heart towards me yesterday How solicitous and friendly she was; how tenderly she tried to give me courage!
Oh, the coquetry of happiness! While I I took it all for the genuine thing, I thought that she But, my God, how could I have thought it? How could I have been so blind, when everything had been taken by another already, when nothing was mine; when, in fact, her very tenderness to me, her anxiety, her love When he did not come, when we waited in vain, she frowned, she grew timid and discouraged. Her movements, her words, were no longer so light, so playful, so gay; and, strange to say, she redoubled her attentiveness to me, as though instinctively desiring to lavish on me what she desired for herself so anxiously, if her wishes were not accomplished.
My Nastenka was so downcast, so dismayed, that I think she realized at last that I loved her, and was sorry for my poor love. So when we are unhappy we feel the unhappiness of others more; feeling is not destroyed but concentrated I went to meet her with a full heart, and was all impatience. I had no presentiment that I should feel as I do now, that it would not all end happily.
She was beaming with pleasure; she was expecting an answer. The answer was himself. He was to come, to run at her call.
White Nights and Other Stories by Fyodor Dostoyevsky
She arrived a whole hour before I did. At first she giggled at everything, laughed at every word I said. I began talking, but relapsed into silence. You know that some men in your place would have been pestering and worrying me, would have been sighing and miserable, while you are so nice!
What would have happened to me if you had not been with me now? How disinterested you are! How truly you care for me! When I am married we will be great friends, more than brother and sister; I shall care almost as I do for him However, you have made me think and have given me a lot to think about; but I shall think later, and now I will own that you are right. Yes, I am somehow not myself; I am all suspense, and feel everything as it were too lightly.
But hush! At that moment we heard footsteps, and in the darkness we saw a figure coming towards us. We both started; she almost cried out; I dropped her hand and made a movement as though to walk away.
But we were mistaken, it was not he. Why did you let go of my hand? We will meet him together; I want him to see how fond we are of each other. Such fondness at certain moments makes the heart cold and the soul heavy. Your hand is cold, mine burns like fire. How blind you are, Nastenka! Oh, how unbearable a happy person is sometimes!
But I could not be angry with you! I don't know what happened to me. I came to tell you all about it, feeling as though time were standing still, feeling as though one sensation, one feeling must remain with me from that time for ever; feeling as though one minute must go on for all eternity, and as though all life had come to a standstill for me When I woke up it seemed as though some musical motive long familiar, heard somewhere in the past, forgotten and voluptuously sweet, had come back to me now.
It seemed to me that it had been clamouring at my heart all my life, and only now I don't understand a word. Suddenly she became extraordinarily talkative, gay, mischievous; she took my arm, laughed, wanted me to laugh too, and every confused word I uttered evoked from her prolonged ringing laughter I began to feel angry, she had suddenly begun flirting.
There's no understanding human nature! But all the same, Mr. Unapproachable, you cannot blame me for being so simple; I tell you everything, everything, whatever foolish thought comes into my head. That's eleven, I believe," I said as the slow chime of a bell rang out from a distant tower.
She suddenly stopped, left off laughing and began to count. I regretted at once that I had frightened her, making her count the strokes, and I cursed myself for my spiteful impulse; I felt sorry for her, and did not know how to atone for what I had done.
I began comforting her, seeking for reasons for his not coming, advancing various arguments, proofs. No one could have been easier to deceive than she was at that moment; and, indeed, any one at such a moment listens gladly to any consolation, whatever it may be, and is overjoyed if a shadow of excuse can be found.
Only think: I will go for it as soon as it's light to-morrow and let you know at once. Consider, there are thousands of possibilities; perhaps he was not at home when the letter came, and may not have read it even now! Anything may happen, you know. Of course anything may happen? You know where I live, don't you? Then she suddenly became so tender, so solicitous with me. She seemed to listen attentively to what I told her; but when I asked her some question she was silent, was confused, and turned her head away.
I looked into her eyes—yes, she was crying. How can you? Oh, what a baby you are! Come, come! She tried to smile, to calm herself, but her chin was quivering and her bosom was still heaving. Do you know what has occurred to me now? I was comparing you two. Why isn't he you? Why isn't he like you? He is not as good as you, though I love him more than you. You know I was always as it were afraid of him; he was always so grave, as it were so proud. Of course I know it's only that he seems like that, I know there is more tenderness in his heart than in mine I remember how he looked at me when I went in to him—do you remember?
Only I am not talking about him now, but speaking generally; all this came into my mind some time ago. Tell me, how is it that we can't all be like brothers together? Why is it that even the best of men always seem to hide something from other people and to keep something back? Why not say straight out what is in one's heart, when one knows that one is not speaking idly? As it is every one seems harsher than he really is, as though all were afraid of doing injustice to their feelings, by being too quick to express them.
I really don't know how to tell you what I feel; but it seems to me that you, for instance I have seen very little of life, and I really sometimes don't know how to say things," she added in a voice that quivered with some hidden feeling, while she tried to smile; "but I only wanted to tell you that I am grateful, that I feel it all too Oh, may God give you happiness for it! What you told me about your dreamer is quite untrue now—that is, I mean, it's not true of you. You are recovering, you are quite a different man from what you described.
If you ever fall in love with some one, God give you happiness with her! I won't wish anything for her, for she will be happy with you. I know, I am a woman myself, so you must believe me when I tell you so. She ceased speaking, and pressed my hand warmly. I too could not speak without emotion. Some minutes passed. Well, good-bye, till to-morrow. If it rains perhaps I shall not come. But the day after to-morrow, I shall come. I shall come for certain, whatever happens; be sure to be here, I want to see you, I will tell you everything.
And then when we parted she gave me her hand and said, looking at me candidly: As soon as it struck nine o'clock I could not stay indoors, but put on my things, and went out in spite of the weather. I was there, sitting on our seat. I went to her street, but I felt ashamed, and turned back without looking at their windows, when I was two steps from her door.
I went home more depressed than I had ever been before. What a damp, dreary day! If it had been fine I should have walked about all night But to-morrow, to-morrow! To-morrow she will tell me everything. The letter has not come to-day, however. But that was to be expected. They are together by now My God, how it has all ended!
What it has all ended in! I arrived at nine o'clock. She was already there. I noticed her a good way off; she was standing as she had been that first time, with her elbows on the railing, and she did not hear me coming up to her. Have you brought the letter? I had shattered her last hope. She dropped her eyes, then tried to look at me and could not. For several minutes she was struggling with her emotion. All at once she turned away, leaning her elbows against the railing and burst into tears.
What for—what for? Can there have been something in my letter, that unlucky letter? He might at least have written that he does not want me, that he rejects me—but not a line for three days! Perhaps I will tell you to-morrow.. I consent. I will talk to you a little more beforehand. My God. But there I will tell you all about it to-morrow.
Perhaps such moments come upon me.. I will tell you all about myself to-morrow! But what has happened? It is as though a miracle had befallen me. You won't deceive me. But you exclaimed so nicely just now. What is it? But as I have no one from whom I can find out anything. The upshot of it is that we must begin all over again. I thought a great deal about it last night. I was so happy..
In the first place. Do you know why I have come? Not to talk nonsense. I know. But to business. I beg you not to squeeze my hands so. I could not make up my mind to go home. I must tell you that I spent a long time thinking about you and feeling doubtful to-day.. I am ready for my part. I've made up my mind to find out all about you minutely. I walked about all night. I sang my own praises. And we parted. And therefore to correct my mistake. She is blind and will never let me go anywhere.
But who has told you I have a history? I have no history. Do you know what it means to be alone? Do you mean you never saw any one? I guess: I have lived. But no. I haven't a grandmother like that. Explain yourself! I see people.. I felt quite happy as it was. Especially when one has something to think of apart from dreams.
Indeed I should think I do know.. I am a type! No one is passing here I know you have a history. A type is an original. If you have been married to a Chinese Emperor. For it's no good your telling me. I don't know your name yet. What sort of type? I marry a Chinese Prince!.. It never entered my head. I am a dreamer myself.. Though sometimes it is a good thing to dream!
But one minute. You have been in no hurry to think of it! It seems as though the same sun as shines for all Petersburg people does not peep into those spots.
In these corners. For the most part he settles in some inaccessible corner. On the contrary. And nothing else? Nastenka dingily prosaic and ordinary. Let me tell you that in these corners live strange people— dreamers. The dreamer—if you want an exact definition—is not a human being. What a preface! What do I hear?
White Nights by Fyodor Dostoevsky
It seems to me I shall never be tired of calling you Nastenka. Why do you suppose he is so fond of his four walls. Why does the gentleman. Why is there no laughter?
Why does no lively word fly from the tongue of the perplexed newcomer. Why is it that when this absurd gentleman is visited by one of his few acquaintances and he ends by getting rid of all his friends.
Why does the friend chuckle as he goes out of the door. And why does this friend. You talk as though you were reading it out of a book. I know I describe splendidly. You want to know why I lost my head and was upset for the whole day by the unexpected visit of a friend? You want to know why I was so startled. You describe it all splendidly. I don't know in the least why it happened and why you ask me such absurd questions.
At this moment. I don't know how else to do it. When I say he looked. Of dinner. Go on! I won't say a word!
Take a look at him. He was pleased because till next day he was released from business irksome to him. Of the evening? What is he looking at like that? Is it at that gentleman of dignified appearance who is bowing so picturesquely to.
I am lying: And so I beg you not to interrupt me. At that hour our hero—for allow me. You see he is thinking of something.. But a strange feeling of pleasure set his pale. He looked not with indifference on the evening glow which was slowly fading on the cold Petersburg sky.
That is the hour when almost all business. There is. Not at all. Try stopping him now. Now 'the Goddess of Fancy' if you have read Zhukovsky. It has grown. But fancy catches up in its playful flight the old woman. And it is only after the queer fellow has returned to his comfortable den with fresh stores for his mind to work on. He is rich now with his own individual life. Now he hardly notices the road.
Frowning with vexation he strides on. That is why he starts. But a vague sensation faintly stirs his heart and sets it aching. Poor things! Stillness reigns in the little room.
A fresh dream—fresh happiness! A fresh rush of delicate. His imagination is again stirred and at work. Bartholomew's Night. What is real life to him! To his corrupted eyes we live. See what varied adventures. And it is no wonder that he thinks it! Look at these magic phantasms.. You ask. Now it breaks out spasmodically. Why ask that? But so far that threatening has not arrived—he desires nothing.
And is it delusion? Here love. He thinks that this is a poor pitiful life. And you know this fantastic world of fairyland is so easily. Why is it that whole sleepless nights pass like a flash in inexhaustible gladness and happiness.
Why is it. As though it were not a delusion! Would you believe. Can all of that have been a dream—and that garden What torments they suffered. Can it be that he has only seen her in seductive visions.
Only look at him. Surely when the hour of parting came she must have lain sobbing and grieving on his bosom. Surely they must have spent years hand in hand together—alone the two of them. Nastenka malicious people were! I expected Nastenka.
I have this minute come from Pavlovsk. I know! I shall spend all my life beside grandmother. I paused pathetically.
Do you know. I remembered that I had an intense desire to force myself to laugh. Because it begins to seem to me at such times that I am incapable of beginning a life in real life. Now that I sit beside you and talk to you it is strange for me to think of the future.
I shall leave off grieving over the crime and sin of my life? And now I know it and feel it more painfully from recognizing that God has sent me you. One feels that this inexhaustible fancy is weary at last and worn out with continual.
Do you know how far you have reconciled me to myself? Do you know now that I shall not think so ill of myself. And do not imagine that I have been exaggerating anything —for goodness' sake don't think that.
Do you know that. And one asks oneself where are one's dreams. Do you know that I am forced now to celebrate the anniversary of my own sensations. Where have you buried your best days? Have you lived or not? And one remembers that then one's dreams were sad. What memories they are! To remember. I wandered just as lonely.
And one shakes one's head and says how rapidly the years fly by! And again one asks oneself what has one done with one's years. Some more years will pass. And meanwhile the soul longs and craves for something else! And in vain the dreamer rakes over his old dreams. Do you know that I love now to recall and visit at certain dates the places where I was once happy in my own way? I love to build up my present in harmony with the irrevocable past.
I am not educated. And do you know what? I want to tell you my history too. Your fantastic world will grow pale. I should not have described it so well as you have. I have not had much education. You are a very clever man. I am a simple girl. I want warm brotherly advice. Now we shall be two together. Now I know you thoroughly. I tried to deceive her once. But grandmother called me to her one morning and said that as she was blind she could not look after me..
It must be supposed that grandmother was once richer. First of all you must agree not to interrupt me. I couldn't have been fonder of you than I am now. When I was fifteen and now I am seventeen we gave up having lessons. I did not become a better girl. She taught me French. I came into her hands when I was quite a little girl.
I had to work. In fact. It was at that time that I got into mischief. Fekla is our charwoman. Fekla sat there instead of me. I laughed with her. I had to sit down in my place at once.
She left off at once. He was a dumb.. Grandmother woke up while I was out. But the new lodger. I forgot to tell you that our house belongs to us. Fekla saw that grandmother was asking her something. I laugh because it's funny. I did catch it that time. What can I do. As he did not haggle over the rent.. What times these are! Why a paltry lodger like this. I don't know why. When I saw that the lodger knew all about me now.
Grandmother was talkative. But it always turned out not to be. I tell you this. A fortnight passed. I stealthily undid the pin in case. And grandmother said: When the lodger saw. I blushed all over. Grandmother called out. I blushed. One thing led to another. I would sit still and hold my tongue and think to myself: Why did she ask whether the lodger was young and good- looking?
But that was all.
I just thought it. So mind you don't read them. Grandmother agreed with gratitude. He sent us Pushkin. I read a great many books.
But stay. What is there written in them? Then he sent us more and more. That time grandmother had not sent me. Grandmother had sent me to fetch something. I wanted to get something for myself. Excuse my speaking to you like that. I blushed and he blushed. What about grandmother? I said good-afternoon. He stopped. I wanted to go away without answering.
It was past two. Have you no friends that you could go and visit? I felt ashamed. I said. He would just come in about once a month. He almost entirely gave up coming. We went twice again. And my Nastenka here has never been to the theatre. I took the part of Rosina myself in old days. I know it. Only I wasn't at all pleased with that. We got ready at once. I went to bed so proud. I saw what it meant and turned crimson. My friends meant to go.
Though grandmother was blind. I couldn't read. I made up all my clothes in a parcel—all the linen I needed—and with the parcel in my hand. And so it happened. I saw that he was simply sorry for me because I was so hardly treated by grandmother. I couldn't work. At last I grew thin and was very nearly ill. I thought and thought and fretted and fretted. Next day he was to go away. I grew more and more restless. I am a poor. I sank into a chair half dead. I think he understood it all at once.
I believe I must have stayed an hour on the staircase. My heart beat so violently that my head ached. As time went on. I couldn't sit still. Just a year ago.
He thought I was a ghost. I can't do anything. When I recovered I began by laying my parcel on his bed. When I opened his door he cried out as he looked at me. When I heard that. The opera season was over. I swear to you that if I am ever in a position to marry. I repeat. We agreed together not to say a word to grandmother: I have not the right to promise anything. Shame and pride and love were all clamouring in me at once.
I swear that we will be happy. I said I could not go on living with grandmother. When I come back. I am going to Moscow and shall be there just a year. I was so afraid of a refusal.
How could we live. He has arrived. Just a year has past. I am not able. I had not in the least expected such a. Now it is impossible. I hope to establish my position. I assure you that now you are the only one who could make me happy. It was ten o'clock. I was not crying then. I can't do that. Now he is here. For goodness' sake don't cry!
How do you know? Perhaps he is not here yet. We made an agreement at the time. And he said that he would come to us directly he arrived. I will not give you bad advice.. I am right. It can all be arranged! You took the first step—why not now? He bound himself by a promise: I can see from everything that he is a man of delicate feeling. I can't! It would seem as though I were forcing myself on him.. Under such circumstances you may take the first step..
God has sent you to me! Thank you. But forgive me that a doubt has stolen—if only for one instant—into my heart. Now that you have come. Forgive me my impatience. I do not blame you because I have no power over your heart. Remember they are written by a poor girl. You will not smile or be vexed at these impatient lines.
What for? For God's sending me? If so. I don't know. I imagine. You are not capable of insulting. Write simply: Good-bye now. I know he has arrived already. A familiar sweet and charming reminiscence floated through my mind.. Till to-morrow! At first she turned her little face away from me.
I thank you for having met me. So perhaps it must all be the day after to-morrow.. Give my letter to-morrow to those kind people I spoke to you about: It's impossible for me to get away from grandmother in the morning. But now I tell you what. I almost embracing her with delight. Yesterday was our third interview. I said that to- morrow it would be a bad day..
It's not for me to settle all this! To-day we shall not meet. But how fine joy and happiness makes any one! How brimming over with love the heart is! One seems longing to pour out one's whole heart. And how infectious that joy is! There was such a softness in her words.
I am oppressed by such strange thoughts. She pressed both my hands warmly. I stood still for a long time following her with my eyes. So when we are unhappy we feel the unhappiness of others more. I went to meet her with a full heart.
I had no presentiment that I should feel as I do now. She was beaming with pleasure. At first she giggled at everything. I began talking. You know that.
How could I have been so blind She arrived a whole hour before I did.. The answer was himself. When he did not come. Her movements. My Nastenka was so downcast. I thought that she.. While I. I took it all for the genuine thing.
He was to come. How solicitous and friendly she was But hush! I am all suspense. I shall care almost as I do for him. We both started. She laughed. I dropped her hand and made a movement as though to walk away. Why did you let go of my hand?
Your hand. I am somehow not myself But we were mistaken. Such fondness at certain moments makes the heart cold and the soul heavy. I want him to see how fond we are of each other. I believe I should cry at your lack of faith. What would have happened to me if you had not been with me now? How disinterested you are! How truly you care for me! When I am married we will be great friends. We will meet him together.
I came to tell you all about it.. But I could not be angry with you! Tell me quickly! Why have you said nothing all this time? I don't know what happened to me.. It seemed to me that it had been clamouring at my heart all my life.
When I woke up it seemed as though some musical motive long familiar. I wanted somehow to convey to you that strange impression. I had not been asleep.. How blind you are. I don't understand a word. That's eleven. I will. Only think: No one could have been easier to deceive than she was at that moment. I regretted at once that I had frightened her. I began comforting her. I believe.. There's no understanding human nature! But all the same.
Suddenly she became extraordinarily talkative. I began to feel angry. I tell you everything. She suddenly stopped.
White Nights And Other Stories
I felt sorry for her. Of course I know it's only that he seems like that. She seemed to listen attentively to what I told her. Why isn't he you? Why isn't he like you? He is not as good as you. Then she suddenly became so tender.
Anything may happen. You know where I live. How can you? You know I was always as it were afraid of him. I looked into her eyes—yes. Of course anything may happen? Do you know what has occurred to me now? I was comparing you two. She seemed to expect me to say something.
If you ever fall in love with some one. Why is it that even the best of men always seem to hide something from other people and to keep something back? Why not say straight out what is in one's heart. As it is every one seems harsher than he really is.. I am a simple girl you know. I really don't know how to tell you what I feel.
You are recovering. I mean. What you told me about your dreamer is quite untrue now—that is. Tell me. God give you happiness with her! Only I am not talking about him now.. I have seen very little of life. I remember how he looked at me when I went in to him—do you remember?
To-morrow she will tell me everything. I will tell you everything. If it rains perhaps I shall not come.. But to-morrow. What a damp. But the day after to- morrow. But that was to be expected. I shall come. I went home more depressed than I had ever been before. I too could not speak without emotion.
I want to see you. I went to her street. They are together by now. I shall come for certain. Some minutes passed. The letter has not come to-day. If only you knew how lonely I am now! As soon as it struck nine o'clock I could not stay indoors. I am a woman myself.
If it had been fine I should have walked about all night. I was there. She was already there. I had shattered her last hope. Have you brought the letter? She turned to me quickly. What for—what for? Can there have been. For several minutes she was struggling with her emotion. Make haste! God be with him. I noticed her a good way off. All at once she turned away. What it has all ended in!
I arrived at nine o'clock. Either you are mistaken or I. When I think that I was the first to go to him. I can't understand it—how could any one behave with such barbarous coarseness as he has behaved to me? Not one word! I don't love him any. I don't know him.. Perhaps he has heard something. Don't say no. I will make him respect your action. Perhaps he still knows nothing about it? How could any one—judge for yourself.
How easy it is for him to wound. It can't be so. I shall go to him to-morrow in your name. He might at least have written that he does not want me. Not another word. I will tell him everything. You would have taken care of her?
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