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Часть текста: I did, indeed, go about here and there, and, as before, brought him various items of news, without which he could not exist. I need hardly say that there were rumours of the most varied kind going about the town in regard to the blow that Stavrogin had received, Lizaveta Nikolaevna's fainting fit, and all that happened on that Sunday. But what we wondered was, through whom the story had got about so quickly and so accurately. Not one of the persons present had any need to give away the secret of what had happened, or interest to serve by doing so. The servants had not been present. Lebyadkinwas the only one who might have chattered, not so much from spite, for he had gone out in great alarm (and fear of an enemy destroys spite against him), but simply from incontinence of speech-But Lebyadkin and his sister had disappeared next day, and nothing could be heard of them. There was no trace of them at Filipov's house, they had moved, no one knew where, and seemed to have vanished. Shatov, of whom I wanted to inquire about Marya Timofyevna, would not open his door, and I believe sat locked up in his room for the whole of those eight days, even discontinuing his work in the town. He would not see me. I went to see him on Tuesday and knocked at his door. I got no answer, but being convinced by unmistakable evidence that he was at home, I knocked a second time. Then, jumping up, apparently from his bed, he strode to the door and shouted at the top of his voice: “Shatov is not at home!” With that I went away. Stepan Trofimovitch and I, not without dismay at the boldness of the supposition, though we tried to encourage one another, reached at last a conclusion: we made up our mind that the only person who could be responsible for spreading these rumours was Pyotr Stepanovitch, though he himself not long after assured his father that he had found the story...
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Часть текста: Chapter V. The subtle serpent CHAPTER V. THE SUBTLE SERPENT VARVARA PETROVNA rang the bell and threw herself into an easy chair by the window. “Sit here, my dear.” She motioned Marya Timofyevna to a seat in the middle of the room, by a large round table. “Stepan Trofimovitch, what is the meaning of this? See, see, look at this woman, what is the meaning of it?” “I... I...” faltered Stepan Trofimovitch. But a footman came in. “A cup of coffee at once, we must have it as quickly as possible! Keep the horses!” “ Mais, chere et excellente amie, dans quelle inquietude. . .” Stepan Trofimovitch exclaimed in a dying voice. “Ach! French! French! I can see at once that it's the highest society,” cried Marya Timofyevna, clapping her hands, ecstatically preparing herself to listen to a conversation in French. Varvara Petrovna stared at her almost in dismay. We all sat in silence, waiting to see how it would end. Shatov did not lift up his head, and Stepan Trofimovitch was overwhelmed with confusion as though it were all his fault; the perspiration stood out on his temples. I glanced at Liza (she was sitting in the corner almost beside Shatov). Her eyes darted keenly from Varvara Petrovna to the cripple and back again; her lips were drawn into a smile, but not a pleasant one....
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Часть текста: He positively would not go out to take his constitutional till well after dusk, when it was quite dark. A week passed and he still did not know whether he were betrothed or not, and could not find out for a fact, however much he tried. He had not yet seen his future bride, and did not know whether she was to be his bride or not; did not, in fact, know whether there was anything serious in it at all. Varvara Petrovna, for some reason, resolutely refused to admit him to her presence. In answer to one of his first letters to her (and he wrote a great number of them) she begged him plainly to spare her all communications with him for a time, because she was very busy, and having a great deal of the utmost importance to communicate to him she was waiting for a more free moment to do so, and that she would let him know in time when he could come to see her. She declared she would send back his letters unopened, as they were “simple self-indulgence.” I read that letter myself—he showed it me. Yet all this harshness and indefiniteness were nothing compared with his chief anxiety. That anxiety tormented him to the utmost and without ceasing. He grew thin and dispirited through it. It was something of which he was more ashamed than of anything else, and of which he would not on any account speak, even to me; on the contrary, he lied on occasion, and shuffled before me like a little boy; and at the same time he sent for me himself every day, could not stay two hours without me, needing me as much as air or water. Such conduct rather wounded my vanity. I need hardly say that I had long ago privately guessed this great secret of his, and saw through it completely. It was my firmest conviction at the time that the revelation of this secret, this chief anxiety of Stepan Trofimovitch's would not have redounded to his credit, and, therefore, as I was still young, I was rather indignant at the coarseness of his feelings and...
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Часть текста: desperation in his feelings softened at first the terrible sensation of sudden solitude in which he at once found himself as soon as he had left Nastasya, and the corner in which he had been warm and snug for twenty years. But it made no difference; even with the clearest recognition of all the horrors awaiting him he would have gone out to the high road and walked along it! There was something proud in the undertaking which allured him in spite of everything. Oh, he might have accepted Varvara Petrovna's luxurious provision and have remained living on her charity, “ comme un humble dependent.” But he had not accepted her charity and was not remaining! And here he was leaving her of himself, and holding aloft the “standard of a great idea, and going to die for it on the open road.” That is how he must have been feeling; that's how his action must have appeared to him. Another question presented itself to me more than once. Why did he run away, that is, literally run away on foot, rather than simply drive away? I put it down at first to the impracticability of fifty years and the...
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Часть текста: Liza, her mother, and Mavriky Nikolaevitch, sitting in the big drawing-room, arguing. The mother was asking Liza to play some waltz on the piano, and as soon as Liza began to play the piece asked for, declared it was not the right one. Mavriky Nikolaevitch in the simplicity of his heart took Liza's part, maintaining that it was the right waltz. The elder lady was so angry that she began to cry. She was ill and walked with difficulty. Her legs were swollen, and for the last few days she had been continually fractious, quarrelling with every one, though she always stood rather in awe of Liza. They were pleased to see us. Liza flushed with pleasure, and saying “ merci ” to me, on Shatov's account of course, went to meet him, looking at him with interest. Shatov stopped awkwardly in the doorway. Thanking him for coming she led him up to her mother. “This is Mr. Shatov, of whom I have told you, and this is Mr. G——v, a great friend of mine and of Stepan Trofimovitch's. Mavriky Nikolaevitch made his acquaintance...