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Full Online Book HomeLong StoriesOn The Eve: A Novel - Chapter 31
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On The Eve: A Novel - Chapter 31 Post by :Gedagger Category :Long Stories Author :Ivan Turgenev Date :May 2012 Read :2230

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On The Eve: A Novel - Chapter 31

Chapter XXXI

Shubin had spoken truly. The unexpected news of Elena's marriage nearly
killed Anna Vassilyevna. She took to her bed. Nikolai Artemyevitch
insisted on her not admitting her daughter to her presence; he seemed to
be enjoying the opportunity of showing himself in the fullest sense the
master of the house, with all the authority of the head of the family;
he made an incessant uproar in the household, storming at the servants,
and constantly saying: 'I will show you who I am, I will let you
know--you wait a little!' While he was in the house, Anna Vassilyevna
did not see Elena, and had to be content with Zoya, who waited on
her very devotedly, but kept thinking to herself: '_Diesen Insarof
vorziehen--und wem?_' But directly Nikolai Artemyevitch went out--and
that happened pretty often, Augustina Christianovna had come back in
sober earnest--Elena went to her mother, and a long time her mother
gazed at her in silence and in tears.

This dumb reproach, more deeply than any other, cut Elena to the heart;
at such moments she felt, not remorse, but a deep, boundless pity akin
to remorse.

'Mamma, dear mamma!' she would repeat, kissing her hands; 'what was I to
do? I'm not to blame, I loved him, I could not have acted differently.
Throw the blame on fate for throwing me with a man whom papa doesn't
like, and who is taking me away from you.'

'Ah!' Anna Vassilyevna cut her short, 'don't remind me of that. When I
think where you mean to go, my heart is ready to burst!'

'Dear mamma,' answered Elena, 'be comforted; at least, it might have
been worse; I might have died.'

'But, as it is, I don't expect to see you again. Either you will end
your days there in a tent somewhere'--Anna Vassilyevna pictured Bulgaria
as something after the nature of the Siberian swamps,--'or I shall not
survive the separation----'

'Don't say that, mamma dearest, we shall see each other again, please
God. There are towns in Bulgaria just as there are here.'

'Fine towns there, indeed! There is war going on there now; wherever
you go, I suppose they are firing cannons off all the while... Are you
meaning to set off soon?'

'Soon... if only papa. He means to appeal to the authorities; he
threatens to separate us.'

Anna Vassilyevna turned her eyes heavenwards.

'No, Lenotchka, he will not do that. I would not myself have consented
to this marriage. I would have died first; but what's done can't be
undone, and I will not let my daughter be disgraced.'

So passed a few days. At last Anna Vassilyevna plucked up her courage,
and one evening she shut herself up alone with her husband in her room.
The whole house was hushed to catch every sound. At first nothing was
to be heard; then Nikolai Artemyevitch's voice began to tune up, then
a quarrel broke out, shouts were raised, even groans were discerned....
Already Shubin was plotting with the maids and Zoya to rush in to the
rescue; but the uproar in the bedroom began by degrees to grow less,
passed into quiet talk, and ceased. Only from time to time a faint sob
was to be heard, and then those, too, were still. There was the jingling
of keys, the creak of a bureau being unfastened.... The door was opened,
and Nikolai Artemyevitch appeared. He looked surlily at every one who
met him, and went out to the club; while Anna Vassilyevna sent for
Elena, embraced her warmly, and, with bitter tears flowing down her
cheeks, she said:

'Everything is settled, he will not make a scandal, and there is nothing
now to hinder you from going--from abandoning us.'

'You will let Dmitri come to thank you?' Elena begged her mother, as
soon as the latter had been restored a little.

'Wait a little, my darling, I cannot bear yet to see the man who has
come between us. We shall have time before you go.'

'Before we go,' repeated Elena mournfully.

Nikolai Artemyevitch had consented 'not to make a scandal,' but Anna
Vassilyevna did not tell her daughter what a price he had put on his
consent. She did not tell her that she had promised to pay all his
debts, and had given him a thousand roubles down on the spot. Moreover,
he had declared decisively to Anna Vassilyevna that he had no wish to
meet Insarov, whom he persisted in calling 'the Montenegrin vagrant,'
and when he got to the club, he began, quite without occasion, talking
of Elena's marriage, to his partner at cards, a retired general of
engineers. 'You have heard,' he observed with a show of carelessness,
'my daughter, through the higher education, has gone and married a
student.' The general looked at him through his spectacles, muttered,
'H'm!' and asked him what stakes would he play for.

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On The Eve: A Novel - Chapter 32 On The Eve: A Novel - Chapter 32

On The Eve: A Novel - Chapter 32
Chapter XXXIIThe day of departure drew near. November was already over; the latestdate for starting had come. Insarov had long ago made his preparations,and was burning with anxiety to get out of Moscow as soon as possible.And the doctor was urging him on. 'You need a warm climate,' he toldhim; 'you will not get well here.' Elena, too, was fretting withimpatience; she was worried by Insarov's pallor, and his emaciation. Sheoften looked with involuntary terror at his changed face. Her positionin her parents' house had become insupportable. Her mother mourned overher, as over the dead, while her father treated her with

On The Eve: A Novel - Chapter 30 On The Eve: A Novel - Chapter 30

On The Eve: A Novel - Chapter 30
Chapter XXXMeanwhile the storm gathering in the East was breaking. Turkey haddeclared war on Russia; the time fixed for the evacuation of thePrincipalities had already expired, the day of the disaster of Sinopewas not far off. The last letters received by Insarov summoned himurgently to his country. His health was not yet restored; he coughed,suffered from weakness and slight attacks of fever, but he was scarcelyever at home. His heart was fired, he no longer thought of his illness.He was for ever rushing about Moscow, having secret interviews withvarious persons, writing for whole nights, disappearing for whole days;he had informed his