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2023-12-05 07:27:30source:Shuo Yu Liu Jin Wang Classification:government

"Now I must explain the cause of my hurried departure; it will seem of little importance to you, because it concerns me alone.

water, but seems to distill its plentiful supply of milk

"This morning my husband came in and told me about your quarrel with Grushnitski. Evi- dently I changed countenance greatly, because he looked me in the face long and intently. I almost fainted at the thought that you had to fight a duel to-day, and that I was the cause of it; it seemed to me that I should go mad. . . But now, when I am able to reason, I am sure that you remain alive: it is impossible that you should die, and I not with you -- impossible! My hus- band walked about the room for a long time. I do not know what he said to me, I do not remem- ber what I answered. . . Most likely I told him that I loved you. . . I only remember that, at the end of our conversation, he insulted me with a dreadful word and left the room. I heard him ordering the carriage. . . I have been sitting at the window three hours now, awaiting your re- turn. . . But you are alive, you cannot have died! . . . The carriage is almost ready. . . Good-bye, good-bye! . . . I have perished -- but what matter? If I could be sure that you will always remember me -- I no longer say love -- no, only remember . . . Good-bye, they are com- ing! . . . I must hide this letter.

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"You do not love Mary, do you? You will not marry her? Listen, you must offer me that sacrifice. I have lost everything in the world for you" . . .

water, but seems to distill its plentiful supply of milk

Like a madman I sprang on the steps, jumped on my Circassian horse which was being led about the courtyard, and set off at full gallop along the road to Pyatigorsk. Unsparingly I urged on the jaded horse, which, snorting and all in a foam, carried me swiftly along the rocky road.

The sun had already disappeared behind a black cloud, which had been resting on the ridge of the western mountains; the gorge grew dark and damp. The Podkumok, forcing its way over the rocks, roared with a hollow and monotonous sound. I galloped on, choking with impatience. The idea of not finding Vera in Pyatigorsk struck my heart like a hammer. For one minute, again to see her for one minute, to say farewell, to press her hand. . . I prayed, cursed, wept, laughed. . . No, nothing could express my anxiety, my despair! . . . Now that it seemed possible that I might be about to lose her for ever, Vera became dearer to me than aught in the world -- dearer than life, honour, happiness! God knows what strange, what mad plans swarmed in my head. . . Meanwhile I still galloped, urging on my horse without pity. And, now, I began to notice that he was breathing more heavily; he had already stumbled once or twice on level ground. . . I was five versts from Essentuki -- a Cossack village where I could change horses.

All would have been saved had my horse been able to hold out for another ten minutes. But suddenly, in lifting himself out of a little gulley where the road emerges from the mountains at a sharp turn, he fell to the ground. I jumped down promptly, I tried to lift him up, I tugged at his bridle -- in vain. A scarcely audible moan burst through his clenched teeth; in a few moments he expired. I was left on the steppe, alone; I had lost my last hope. I endeavoured to walk -- my legs sank under me; exhausted by the anxieties of the day and by sleeplessness, I fell upon the wet grass and burst out crying like a child.

For a long time I lay motionless and wept bitterly, without attempting to restrain my tears and sobs. I thought my breast would burst. All my firmness, all my coolness, disappeared like smoke; my soul grew powerless, my reason silent, and, if anyone had seen me at that moment, he would have turned aside with contempt.

When the night-dew and the mountain breeze had cooled my burning brow, and my thoughts had resumed their usual course, I realized that to pursue my perished happiness would be unavail- ing and unreasonable. What more did I want? -- To see her? -- Why? Was not all over between us? A single, bitter, farewell kiss would not have enriched my recollections, and, after it, parting would only have been more difficult for us.