9780404019020 / 0404019021

A house of gentlefolk; a novel (His Novels, v. 2)


Publisher:AMS Press



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Excerpt: ...he turned away. Towards evening the whole party went out to fish. In the pond behind the garden there were plenty of carp and groundlings. Marya Dmitrievna was put in an arm-chair near the banks, in the shade, with a rug under her feet and the best line was given to her. Anton as an old experienced angler offered her his services. He zealously put on the worms, and clapped his hand on them, spat on them and even threw in the line with a graceful forward swing of his whole body. Marya Dmitrievna spoke of him the same day to Fedor Ivanitch in the following phrase, in boarding-school French: "Il n'y a plus maintenant de ces gens comme ca, comme autrefois." Lemm with the two little girls went off further to the dam of the pond; Lavretsky took up his position near Lisa. The fish were continually biting, the carp were constantly flashing in the air with golden and silvery sides as they were drawn in; the cries of pleasure of the little girls were incessant, even Marya Dmitrievna uttered a little feminine shriek on two occasions. The fewest fish were caught by Lavretsky and Lisa; probably this was because they paid less attention than the others to the angling, and allowed their floats to swim back right up to the bank. The high reddish reeds rustled quietly around, the still water shone quietly before them, and quietly too they talked together. Lisa was standing on a small raft; Lavretsky sat on the inclined trunk of a willow; Lisa wore a white gown, tied round the waist with a broad ribbon, also white; her straw hat was hanging on one hand, and in the other with some effort she held up the crooked rod. Lavretsky gazed at her pure, somewhat severe profile, at her hair drawn back behind her ears, at her soft cheeks, which glowed like a little child's, and thought, "Oh, how sweet you are, bending over my pond!" Lisa did not turn to him, but looked at the water, half frowning, to keep the sun out of her eyes, half smiling. The shade of the lime-tree near...

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