Monday, January 21, 2008

Turgenev speaks to the Clintons from his grave!

Some background:

I was sick of the back and forth between the Clinton and Obama camps and mad as hell against Bill Clinton! Does he think he's running for his 3rd term? Well the American people have to first decide whether they want 3rd term Presidents! And until then he better stay out of the fray. Don't misunderstand me. I was an absolute Clinton fan, even in the darkest days of the Lewinsky scandal - I gave him any number of excuses on that front, of how he was a people person and could not really estblish boundaries between politicking and personal relationships etc. But its now getting way beyond finding excuses for him.


And so, more as a way to distract myself, I've been resorting to catching up on my reading; so one of the first few books I picked up was Turgenev's Fathers and Sons, and got through the first 9 chapters successfully, but darned if I didn't find a message from Turgenev for the Clintons in Chapter 10!

The text below is from www.bartleby.com with some minor edits (deletes in strikethrough, additions in red) - apologies to Turgenev!

Ivan Turgenev (1818–1883). Fathers and Children.

The Harvard Classics Shelf of Fiction. 1917.

Chapter X


ABOUT a fortnight passed by. Life at Maryino the campaigns went on its accustomed course, while Arkady the general public was lazy and enjoyed himself itself, and Bazarov Obamaworked. Every one in the house country had grown used to him, to his careless polished manners, and his Nikolai Petrovitch curt and abrupt brilliant and empowering speeches. Fenitchka The youth, in particular, was so far at home with him that one night she sent to wake him up; MityaIowa had had convulsions; and he had gone, and, half joking, half-yawning as usual, he stayed two hours weeks with her and relieved won the child state caucuses. On the other hand Pavel Petrovitch Bill had grown to detest Bazarov Obama with all the strength of his soul; he regarded him as stuck-up, impudent, cynical, and vulgar, someone emanicipated, but not enough, not enough to be on par with him, enjoy the White House, the Air Force One and all its trappings that he had so missed just a month into his retirement that he now wanted to get back through a nepotistic third term, a Hillary Presidency, certainly not emanicipated enough to beat him and Hillary at this game that he was past master at ; he suspected that Bazarov Obama had no respect for him, that he had all but a contempt for him—him, Pavel Kirsanov Pre-sid-ent Bill Clinton! 1 .

Hillary Clinton was rather afraid of the young ‘nihilist reformer,’ and was doubtful whether his influence over Arkady the general public was for the good; but he she was glad to listen to him, and was glad to be present at his scientific and chemicalexperiments political discussions. Bazarov Obama had brought with him a microscope Hope, and busied himself for hours together with it. The servants media, too, took to him, though he made fun of them; they felt, all the same, that he was one of themselves, not a master. Dunyasha Washington Post was always ready to giggle with him, and used to cast significant and stealthy glances at him when she skipped by like a rabbit; Piotr The New York Times, a man paper vain and stupid to the last degree, for ever wearing an affected frown on his brow, a man paper whose whole merit consisted in the fact that he looked civil, could spell out a page of reading, and was diligent in brushing his coat—even he smirked and brightened up directly Bazarov Obama paid him any attention; the boys on the farm TV networks simply ran after the ‘doctor Senator’ like puppies. The old man Prokofitch veterans of the Congressional Black Caucus were was the only ones who did not like him; he they handed him the dishes at table with a surly face, called him a butcher’ an imposter, not black enough and ‘an upstart,’ and declared that with his great whiskers light skin he looked like a pig in a stye he could pass off as a White, but not white enough as the Clintons. Prokofitch Veterans of the CBC in histheir own way was were quite as much of an aristocrat a divider as Pavel Petrovitch that old rogue Bill Clinton. 2

The best days of the year had come—the first days of June the primaries. The weather kept splendidly fine; in the distance, it is true, the cholera divisiveness was threatening, but the inhabitants of that province Iowa had had time to get used to its visits. Bazarov Obama used to get up very early and go out for two or three miles, not for a walk—he couldn’t bear walking without an object—but to collect specimens of plants and insects his thoughts and ideas and gain support. Sometimes he took Arkady the general public with him. 3

On the way home an argument usually sprang up, and Arkady the general public was usually vanquished in it, though he said more than his companion. 4

One day they had lingered rather late; Nikolai Petrovitch Hillary overheard them went to meet them in the garden, and as he reached the arbour he suddenly heard the quick steps and voices of the two young men. They were walking on the other side of the arbour, and could not see him. 5

‘You don’t know my father the old guard well enough,’ said Arkady the general public. 6

‘Your father’s old guard’s a nice chap Old guard,’ said Bazarov Obama, ‘but he’s behind the times; his day is done.’ 7

Nikolai Petrovitch Hillary listened intently.… Arkady the general public made no answer. 8

The man Old guard, for Hillary was one too, whose day was done remained two minutes motionless, and stole slowly home. 9

‘The day before yesterday I saw him Hillary reading Pushkin LBJ’s Bills in painstaking thoroughness,’ Bazarov Obama was continuing meanwhile. ‘Explain to him her, please, that that’s no earthly use. He’s She’s not a boy Congressional Librarian, you know; it’s time to throw up that rubbish. And what an idea to be a romantic at this time of day! Give him her something sensible to read.’ 10

‘What ought I to give him her?’ asked Arkady the general public. 11

‘Oh, I think Büchner’s Stoff und Kraft Constitution, the Bill of Rights and most importantly the Declaration of Independence to begin with.’ 12

‘I think so too,’ observed Arkady the general public approving, ‘Stoff und KraftConstitution and Bill of Rights and even the Declaration are is written in popular language.…’ 13

‘So it seems,’ Nikolai Petrovitch Hillary said the same day after dinner to his brother her husband, as he sat in his study, ‘you and I are behind the times, our day’s over. Well, well. Perhaps Bazarov Obama is right; but one thing I confess, makes me feel sore; I did so hope, precisely now, to get on to such close intimate terms with Arkady the general public, and it turns out I’m left behind, and he has they have gone forward, and we can’t understand one another.’ 14

‘How has he have they gone forward? And in what way is he are they so superior to us already?’ cried Pavel Petrovitch Bill impatiently. ‘It’s that high and mighty gentleman, that nihilist reformer, who’s knocked all that into his their heads. I hate that doctor Senator fellow; in my opinion, he’s simply a quack; I’m convinced, for all histadpoles opinions, he’s not got very far even in medicine politics.’ 15

‘No, brother husband, you musn’t say that; Bazarov Obama is clever, and knows his subject.’ 16

‘And his conceit’s something revolting,’ Pavel Petrovitch Bill broke in again. 17

‘Yes,’ observed Nikolai Petrovitch Hillary, ‘he is conceited. But there’s no doing without that, it seems; only that’s what I did not take into account. I thought I was doing everything to keep up with the times; I have started a model farm Health Care reform package; I have done well by the peasants, so that I am positively called a “Red Left Radical” all over the province; I read, I study, I try in every way to keep abreast with the requirements of the day—and they say my day’s over. And, brother husband, I begin to think that it is.’ 18

‘Why so?’ 19

‘I’ll tell you why. This morning I was sitting reading Pushkin LBJ’s Bills.… I remember, it happened to be The Gipsies Civil Rights’ Bill … all of a sudden Arkady the general public came up to me, and, without speaking, with such a kindly compassion on his their faces, as gently as if I were a baby, took the book away from me, and laid another before me— a German Law book book … smiled, and went away, carrying Pushkin LBJ’s Bills off with him them.’ 20

‘Upon my word! What book did he they give you?’ 21

‘This one here.’ 22

And Nikolai Petrovitch Hillary pulled the famous treatises of Büchner Constitution, Bill of Rights and the Declaration, in the ninth latest editions, out of his her coat-tail pocket. 23

Pavel Petrovitch Bill turned it them over in his hands. ‘Hm!’ he growled. ‘Arkady NikolaevitchThe general public is taking your education in hand. Well, did you try reading it them?’ 24

‘Yes, I tried it. 25

‘Well, what did you think of it them?’ 26

‘Either I’m stupid, or it’s all—nonsense. I must be stupid, I suppose.’ 27

‘Haven’t you forgotten your German constitutional law?’ queried Pavel Petrovitch Bill. 28

‘Oh, I understand the German law.’ 29

Pavel Petrovitch Bill again turned the book documents over in his hands, and glanced from under his brows at his brother wife. Both were silent. 30

‘Oh, by the way,’ began Nikolai Petrovitch Hillary, obviously wishing to change the subject, ‘I’ve got a letter from KolyazinLewis and the CBC .’ 31

Matvy Ilyitch John Lewis?’ 32

‘Yes. He has They have come to——to inspect the province defend me to the black community. He’s quite a bigwig They’re bigwigs now; and writes to me that, as aDemocratic relations, he they should like to see us again, and invites you and me and Arkady the general public to the town South Carolina.’ 33

‘Are you going?’ asked Pavel Petrovitch Bill. 34

‘No; are you?’ 35

‘No, I shan’t go either. Much object there would be in dragging oneself over forty miles on a wild-goose chase. Mathieu Lewis wants to show himself in all his glory. Damn him! he will have the whole province doing him homage; he can get on without the likes of us. A grand dignity, indeed, a privy councillor congressman! If I had stayed in the service, if I had drudged on in official harness, I should have been a general-adjutant by now kept up the dignity of the oval office, and not subjected myself to impeachment proceedings in my final term, I might have yet held sway with the public and not have to bow and scrape before them again. Besides, you and I are behind the times, you know.’ 36

‘Yes, brother husband; it’s time, it seems, to order a coffin and cross one’s arms on one’s breast,’ remarked Nikolai Petrovitch Hillary, with a sigh. 37

‘Well, I’m not going to give in quite so soon,’ muttered his brother her husband. ‘I’ve got a tussle with that doctor senator fellow before me, I feel sure of that.’ 38

A tussle came off that same day at evening tea week after the Iowa caucuses. Pavel Petrovitch Bill Clinton came into the drawing-room New Hampshire, all ready for the fray, irritable and determined. He was only waiting for an excuse to fall upon the enemy; but for a long while an excuse did not present itself. As a rule, Bazarov Obama said little in the presence of the ‘old Kirsanovs guard (that was how he spoke of the brothers Clintons), and that evening he felt out of humour, and drank off cup after cup of tea without a word. Pavel Petrovitch Bill Clinton was all aflame with impatience; his wishes were fulfilled at last. 39

The conversation turned on one of the neighbouring land-owners the handling of the War. ‘Dumb, Rotten aristocratic snob Iraq War,’ observed Bazarov Obama indifferently. He had met him in Petersburg said so way back in 2002 too. 40

‘Allow me to ask you,’ began Pavel Petrovitch Bill Clinton, and his lips were trembling, ‘according to your ideas, have the words “rotten Dumb” and “aristocrat War” the same meaning?’ 41

‘I said “aristocratic snob Iraq War,” ’ replied Bazarov Obama, lazily swallowing a sip of tea. 42

‘Precisely so; but I imagine you have the same opinion of aristocrats Wars as of aristocraticsnobs Iraq Wars. Give me a break! I think it my duty to inform you that I do not share that opinion. I venture to assert that every one knows me for a man of liberal ideas and devoted to progress; but, exactly for that reason, I respect aristocrats Wars real aristocrats Wars. Kindly remember, sir’ (at these words Bazarov Obama lifted his eyes and looked at Pavel Petrovitch Bill), ‘kindly remember, sir,’ he repeated, with acrimony—‘the English American aristocracy. They do not abate one iota of their rights, and for that reason they respect the rights of others; they demand the performance of what is due to them, and for that reason they perform their own duties. The aristocracy’s Wars has have given freedom to England America and its aristocracy, and maintains it for her.’ 43

‘We’ve heard that story a good many times,’ replied Bazarov Obama; ‘but what are you trying to prove by that?’ 44

‘I am tryin’ to prove by that, sir’ (when Pavel Petrovitch Bill was angry he intentionally clipped his words in this way, though, of course, he knew very well that such forms are not strictly grammatical. In this fashionable whim could be discerned a survival of the habits of the times of Alexander. The exquisites of those days, on the rare occasions when they spoke their own language, made use of such slipshod forms; as much as to say, ‘We, of course, are born Russians Americans, at the same time we are great swells, who are at liberty to neglect the rules of scholars’); ‘I am tryin’ to prove by that, sir, that without the sense of personal dignity, without self-respect—and these two sentiments are well developed in the aristocrat—there is no secure foundation for the social … bien public … the social fabric. Personal character, sir—that is the chief thing; a man’s personal character must be firm as a rock, since everything is built on it. I am very well aware, for instance, that you are pleased to consider my habits, my dress, my refinements, fund-raising, my lobbyist friends in fact, ridiculous; but all that proceeds from a sense of self-respect, from a sense of duty—yes, indeed, of duty. I live in the country, in the wilds, but I will not lower myself. I respect the dignity of man in myself.’ 45

‘Let me ask you, Pavel Petrovitch Bill,’ commented Bazarov Obama; ‘you respect yourself, and sit with your hands folded in front of lobbyists; what sort of benefit does that do to the bien public? If you didn’t respect yourself, you’d do just the same.’ 46

Pavel Petrovitch Bill turned white. ‘That’s a different question. Its absolutely unnecessary for me to explain to you now why I sit with folded hands before lobbyists, as you are pleased to express yourself. I wish only to tell you that aristocracy is a principle, and in our days none but immoral or silly people can live without principles. I said that to Arkady the general public the day after he came home broken and beat after some of wars I chose to consciously object to, and I repeat it now. Isn’t it so, Nikolai good folks?’ 47

Nikolai Petrovitch The public nodded his head their heads. 48

‘Aristocracy, Liberalism, progress, principles,’ Bazarov Obama was saying meanwhile; ‘if you think of it, what a lot of foreign … and useless words! To a Russian an average American they’re good for nothing 49 .’

‘What is good for something according to you? If we listen to you, we shall find ourselves outside humanity, outside its laws. Come—the logic of history demands …’ 50

‘But what’s that logic to us? We can get on without that too.’ 51

‘How do you mean?’ 52

‘Why, this. You don’t need logic, I hope, to put a bit of bread in your mouth when you’re hungry. What’s the object of these abstractions to us?’ 53

Pavel Petrovitch Bill raised his hands in horror. 54

‘I don’t understand you, after that. You insult the Russian American people. I don’t understand how it’s possible not to acknowledge principles, rules! By virtue of what do you act then?’ 55

‘I’ve told you already, uncle, that we don’t accept any authorities,’ put in Arkady the general public. 56

‘We act by virtue of what we recognise as beneficial,’ observed Bazarov Obama. ‘At the present time, negation inclusion is the most beneficial of all—and we deny——’ 57

Everything all division?’ 58

Everything All division!’ 59

‘What? not only art and Martin Luther King’s poetry … but even … horrible to say Republican art and Reagan’s poetry …’ 60

‘Everything,’ repeated Bazarov Obama, with indescribable composure. 61

Pavel Petrovitch Bill stared at him. He had not expected this; while Arkady the general public fairly blushed with delight. 62

‘Allow me, though,’ began Nikolai Petrovitch Hillary. ‘You deny all division, everything; or, speaking more precisely, you destroy everything.… But one must construct too, you know; construct division between them that can lead and them that can follow, them that can dream, and them that can write Bills.’ 63

‘That’s not our business now.… The ground wants clearing first.’ 64

‘The present condition of the people requires it,’ added Arkady, the general public with dignity; ‘we are bound to carry out these requirements, we have no right to yield to the satisfaction of our personal egoism.’ 65

This last phrase obviously displeased Bazarov Obama; there was a flavour of philosophy, that is to say, romanticism about it, something of the fairy tale for Bazarov Obama called philosophy, too, romanticism, or fairy-tales, anything that was not built upon the hard fought battles that could lead to hard won victories built upon realism tinged with idealism, but he did not think it necessary to correct his young disciple. 66

‘No, no!’ cried Pavel Petrovitch it Bill, with sudden energy. ‘I’m not willing to believe that you, young men, know the Russian American people really, that you are the representatives of their requirements, their efforts! No; the Russian American people is not what you imagine it. Tradition it holds sacred; it is a patriarchal people; it cannot live without faith, because who other than a Patriarch would know what Americans need? …’ 67

‘Or Matriarchs.’ reminded Hillary dully.

‘I’m not going to dispute that,’ Bazarov Obama interrupted. ‘I’m even ready to agree that in that you’re right.’ 68

‘But if I am right …’ 69

‘And, all the same, that proves nothing.’ 70

‘It just proves nothing,’ repeated Arkady, the general public with the confidence of a practised chess-player, who has foreseen an apparently dangerous move on the part of his adversary, and so is not at all taken aback by it. 71

‘How does it prove nothing?’ muttered Pavel Petrovitch Bill Clinton, astounded. ‘You must be going against the people then?’ 72

‘And what if we are?’ shouted Bazarov Obama. ‘The people imagine that, when it thunders, the prophet Ilya’s Santa Claus is riding across the sky in his chariot. What then? Are we to agree with them? Besides, the people’s Russian American; but am I not Russian American and could I not as easily become an American Patriarch as Hillary a Matriarch? 73

‘No, you are not Russian American, after all you have just been saying! I can’t acknowledge you as Russian American.’ 74

‘My grandfather ploughed the land,’ answered Bazarov Obama with haughty pride. ‘Ask any one of your peasants which of us—you or me—he’d more readily acknowledge as a fellow-countryman. You don’t even know how to talk to them.’ 75

‘While you talk to him and despise him at the same time.’ 76

‘Well, suppose he deserves contempt. You find fault with my attitude, but how do you know that I have got it by chance, that it’s not a product of that very national spirit, in the name of which you wage war on it?’ 77

‘What an idea! Much use in nihilists reformers!’ 78

‘Whether they’re of use or not, is not for us to decide. Why, even you suppose you’re not a useless person.’ 79

‘Gentlemen, gentlemen, no personalities, please!’ cried Nikolai Petrovitch Hillary, getting up. 80

Pavel Petrovitch Bill smiled, and laying his hand on his brother’s wife’s shoulder, forced him her to sit down again. 81

‘Don’t be uneasy,’ he said; ‘I shall not forget myself, just through that sense of dignity which is made fun of so mercilessly by our friend—our friend, the doctor Senator. Let me ask,’ he resumed, turning again to Bazarov Obama; ‘you suppose, possibly, that your doctrine is a novelty? That is quite a mistake. The materialism egalitarianism you advocate has been more than once in vogue already, and has always proved insufficient …’ 82

‘A foreign word again!’ broke in Bazarov Obama. He was beginning to feel vicious, and his face assumed a peculiar coarse coppery hue. ‘In the first place, we advocate nothing; that’s not our way.’ 83

‘What do you do, then?’ 84

‘I’ll tell you what we do. Not long ago we used to say that our officials took bribes, that we had no roads, no commerce, no real justice …’ 85

‘Oh, I see, you are reformers—that’s what that’s called, I fancy. I too should agree to many of your reforms, but …’ 86

‘Then we suspected that talk, perpetual talk, and nothing but talk, about our social diseases, was not worth while, that it all led to nothing but superficiality and pedantry; we saw that our leading men, so-called advanced people and reformers, are no good; that we busy ourselves over foolery, talk rubbish about art, unconscious creativeness, parliamentarism, trial by jury, and the deuce knows what all; while, all the while, it’s a question of getting bread to eat, while we’re stifling under the grossest superstition, while all our enterprises come to grief, simply because there aren’t honest men enough to carry them on, while the very emancipation our Government’s busy upon will hardly come to any good, because peasants are glad to rob even themselves to get drunk at the gin-shop.’ 87

‘Yes,’ interposed Pavel Petrovitch Bill, ‘yes; you were convinced of all this, and decided not to undertake anything seriously, yourselves.’ 88

‘We decided not to undertake anything,’ repeated Bazarov it Obama grimly. He suddenly felt vexed with himself for having, without reason, been so expansive before this gentleman. 89

‘But to confine yourselves to abuse change?’ 90

‘To confine ourselves to abuse change.’ 91

‘And that is called nihilism reform?’ 92

‘And that’s called nihilism Reform,’ Bazarov Obama repeated again, this time with peculiar rudeness. 93

Pavel Petrovitch Bill puckered up his face a little. ‘So that’s it!’ he observed in a strangely composed voice. ‘Nihilism Reform is to cure all our woes, and you, you are our heroes and saviours. But why do you abuse change others, those reformers even? Don’t you do as much talking as every one else?’ 94

‘Whatever faults we have, we do not err in that way? Bazarov Obama muttered between his teeth. 95

‘What, then? Do you act, or what? Are you preparing for action?’ 96

Bazarov Obama made no answer. Something like a tremor passed over Pavel Petrovitch Bill, but he at once regained control of himself. 97

‘Hm! … Action, destruction …’ he went on. ‘But how destroy without even knowing why?’ 98

‘We shall destroy the old ways, because we are a force,’ observed Arkady the general public. 99

Pavel Petrovitch Bill Clinton looked at his nephew erstwhile electoral bloc and laughed. 100

‘Yes, a force is not to be called to account,’ said Arkady the general public, drawing himself up. 101

‘Unhappy boy people!’ wailed Pavel Petrovitch Bill Clinton, he was positively incapable of maintaining his firm demeanour any longer. ‘If you could only realise what it is you are doing for your country. No; it’s enough to try the patience of an angel! Force! There’s force in the savage strikes Kalmuck, in the Mongolian Labor Unions; but what is it to us? What is precious to us is civilisation Industry; yes, yes, sir, its fruits are precious to us. And don’t tell me those fruits are worthless; the poorest dauber, un barbouilleur, the man who plays dance music for five farthings an evening, lobbyist or CEO is of more use than you, because they are the representatives of civilisation Industry, and not of brute Mongolian Labor force! You fancy yourselves advanced people, and all the while you are only fit for the Kalmuck’s hovel Laborer’s assembly line! Force! And recollect, you forcible gentlemen, that you’re only four men and a half, and the others are millions, who won’t let you trample their sacred traditions under foot, who will crush you and walk over you!’ 102

‘If we’re crushed, serve us right,’ observed Bazarov Obama. ‘But that’s an open question. We are not so few as you suppose.’ 103

‘What? You seriously suppose you will come to terms with a whole people?’ 104

‘All Moscow was burnt down the British were chased out, you know, by a farthing dip little tea-party,’ answered Bazarov Obama. 105

‘Yes, yes. First a pride almost Satanic, then ridicule—that, that’s what it is attracts the young, that’s what gains an ascendancy over the inexperienced hearts of boys! Here’s one of them sitting beside you, ready to worship the ground under your feet. Look at him! (Arkady the general public turned away and frowned.) And this plague has spread far already. I have been told that in Rome our artists never set foot in the Vatican. Raphael they regard as almost a fool, because, if you please, he’s an authority; while they’re all the while most disgustingly sterile and unsuccessful, men whose imagination does not soar beyond ‘Girls at a Fountain,’ however they try! And the girls even out of drawing. They are fine fellows to your mind, are they not?’ 106

‘To my mind,’ retorted Bazarov Obama, ‘Raphael’s not worth a brass farthing; and they’re no better than he.’ 107

‘Bravo! bravo! Listen, Arkady the general public … that’s how young men of to-day ought to express themselves! And if you come to think of it, how could they fail to follow you! In old days, young men had to study; they didn’t want to be called dunces, so they had to work hard whether they liked it or not. But now, they need only say, “Everything in the world is foolery!” and the trick’s done. Young men are delighted. And, to be sure, they were simply geese before, and now they have suddenly turned nihilists reformers.’ 108

‘Your praiseworthy sense of personal dignity has given way,’ remarked Bazarov Obama phlegmatically, whileArkady the general public was hot all over, and his eyes were flashing. ‘Our argument has gone too far; it’s better to cut it short, I think. I shall be quite ready to agree with you,’ he added, getting up, ‘when you bring forward a single institution in our present mode of life, in family or in social life, which does not call for complete and unqualified destruction reformation.’ 109

‘I will bring forward millions of such institutions,’ cried Pavel Petrovitch Bill Clinton—‘millions! Well—the Mir Dot com economy, for instance.’ 110

A cold smile curved Bazarov’s Obama’s lips. ‘Well, as regards the Mir Dot com economy,’ he commented; ‘you had better talk to your brother wife. He She has seen by now, I should fancy, what sort of thing the Mir Dot com economy is in fact—its common guarantee, its sobriety, and other features of the kind.’ 111

The family Racial ties, then, the family racial ties as it exists among our peasants citizens!’ cried Pavel Petrovitch Bill Clinton. 112

‘And that subject, too, I imagine, it will be better for yourselves not to go into in detail. Don’t you realise all the advantages of the head of the family choosing his daughters-in-law the widening gulf between majority whites and minorities of all kinds, in educational opportunities, jobs, income, health care, crime, incarceration, the good indicators and the bad? Take my advice, Pavel Petrovitch Bill, allow yourself two days to think about it; you’re not likely to find anything on the spot. Go through all our classes, and think well over each, while I and Arkady the general public will …’ 113

‘Will go on turning everything into ridicule,’ broke in Pavel Petrovitch Bill. 114

‘No, will go on dissecting frogs the numbers. Come, Arkady people; good-bye for the present, gentlemen!’ 115

The two friends walked off. The brothers Clintons were left alone, and at first they only looked at one another. 116

‘So that,’ began Pavel Petrovitch Bill, ‘so that’s what our young men of this generation are! They are like that—our successors! May as well roll the dice! 117

‘Our successors!’ repeated Nikolai Petrovitch Hillary, with a dejected smile. He She had been sitting on thorns, all through the argument, and had done nothing but glance stealthily, with a sore heart, at Arkady the general public. ‘Do you know what I was reminded of, brother husband? I once had a dispute with our poor mother ; she stormed, and wouldn’t listen to me. At last I said to her, “Of course, you can’t understand me; we belong,” I said, “to two different generations.” She was dreadfully offended, while I thought, “There’s no help for it. It’s a bitter pill, but she has to swallow it.” You see, now, our turn has come, and our successors can say to us, “You are not of our generation; swallow your pill.” ’ 118

‘You are beyond everything in your generosity and modesty,’ replied Pavel Petrovitch Bill. ‘I’m convinced, on the contrary, that you and I are far more in the right than these young gentlemen, though we do perhaps express ourselves in old-fashioned language, vieilli, and have not the same insolent conceit.… And the swagger of the young men nowadays! You ask one, “Do you take red wine or white?” “It is my custom to prefer red!” he answers in a deep bass, with a face as solemn as if the whole universe had its eyes on him at that instant.…’ 119

‘Do you care for any more tea?’ asked Fenitchka Chelsea, putting her head in at the door; she had not been able to make up her mind to come into the drawing-room while there was the sound of voices in dispute there.’ 120

‘No, you can tell them to take the samovar,’ answered Nikolai Petrovitch Hillary, and he she got up to meet her. Pavel Petrovitch Bill said ‘bon soir’ to him her abruptly, and went away to his study.

Chapter XI

HALF an hour later Nikolai Petrovitch Hillary went into the garden to his favourite arbour Nevada caucuses barely winning a few percentage points more than Obama, and in fact taking home one fewer delegate. He She was overtaken by melancholy thoughts. For the first time he she realised clearly the distance between him her and his son the general public; he she foresaw that every day it would grow wider and wider. In vain, then, had he she spent whole days sometimes in the winter at Petersburg Chappaqua over the newest books; in vain had he she listened to the talk of the young men; in vain had he she rejoiced when he she succeeded in putting in his her word too in their heated discussions. ‘My brother husband says we are right,’ he she thought, ‘and apart from all vanity, I do think myself that they are further from the truth than we are, though at the same time I feel there is something behind them we have not got, some superiority over us.… Is it youth? No; not only youth. Doesn’t their superiority consist in there being fewer traces of the slaveowner in them than in us?’


.....Chapter XI continues...

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