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73 Works of Anton Chekhov

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The Grasshopper

Story type: Literature

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Translated by Constance Garnett I ALL Olga Ivanovna’s friends and acquaintances were at her wedding. “Look at him; isn’t it true that there is something in him?” she said to her friends, with a nod towards her husband, as though she wanted to explain why she was marrying a simple, very ordinary, and in no […]

About Love

Story type: Literature

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Translated by Constance Garnett AT lunch next day there were very nice pies, crayfish, and mutton cutlets; and while we were eating, Nikanor, the cook, came up to ask what the visitors would like for dinner. He was a man of medium height, with a puffy face and little eyes; he was close-shaven, and it […]

Anna on the Neck

Story type: Literature

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Translated by Constance Garnett I AFTER the wedding they had not even light refreshments; the happy pair simply drank a glass of champagne, changed into their travelling things, and drove to the station. Instead of a gay wedding ball and supper, instead of music and dancing, they went on a journey to pray at a […]

Gooseberries

Story type: Literature

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Translated by Constance Garnett THE whole sky had been overcast with rain-clouds from early morning; it was a still day, not hot, but heavy, as it is in grey dull weather when the clouds have been hanging over the country for a long while, when one expects rain and it does not come. Ivan Ivanovitch, […]

Gusev

Story type: Literature

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Translated by Constance Garnett I IT was getting dark; it would soon be night. Gusev, a discharged soldier, sat up in his hammock and said in an undertone: “I say, Pavel Ivanitch. A soldier at Sutchan told me: while they were sailing a big fish came into collision with their ship and stove a hole […]

The Huntsman

Story type: Literature

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Translated by Constance Garnett A SULTRY, stifling midday. Not a cloudlet in the sky…. The sun-baked grass had a disconsolate, hopeless look: even if there were rain it could never be green again…. The forest stood silent, motionless, as though it were looking at something with its tree-tops or expecting something. At the edge of […]

The Kiss

Story type: Literature

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Translated by Constance Garnett AT eight o’clock on the evening of the twentieth of May all the six batteries of the N—- Reserve Artillery Brigade halted for the night in the village of Myestetchki on their way to camp. When the general commotion was at its height, while some officers were busily occupied around the […]

The Lady with the Dog

Story type: Literature

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Translated by Constance Garnett I It was said that a new person had appeared on the sea-front: a lady with a little dog. Dmitri Dmitritch Gurov, who had by then been a fortnight at Yalta, and so was fairly at home there, had begun to take an interest in new arrivals. Sitting in Verney’s pavilion, […]

Translated by Constance Garnett I THERE was the thud of horses’ hoofs on the wooden floor; they brought out of the stable the black horse, Count Nulin ; then the white, Giant; then his sister Maika. They were all magnificent, expensive horses. Old Shelestov saddled Giant and said, addressing his daughter Masha: “Well, Marie Godefroi […]

Vanka

Story type: Literature

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Translated by Constance Garnett VANKA ZHUKOV, a boy of nine, who had been for three months apprenticed to Alyahin the shoemaker, was sitting up on Christmas Eve. Waiting till his master and mistress and their workmen had gone to the midnight service, he took out of his master’s cupboard a bottle of ink and a […]

The Man in a Case

Story type: Literature

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Translated by Constance Garnett AT the furthest end of the village of Mironositskoe some belated sportsmen lodged for the night in the elder Prokofy’s barn. There were two of them, the veterinary surgeon Ivan Ivanovitch and the schoolmaster Burkin. Ivan Ivanovitch had a rather strange double-barrelled surname — Tchimsha-Himalaisky — which did not suit him […]

Misery

Story type: Literature

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THE twilight of evening. Big flakes of wet snow are whirling lazily about the street lamps, which have just been lighted, and lying in a thin soft layer on roofs, horses’ backs, shoulders, caps. Iona Potapov, the sledge-driver, is all white likea ghost. He sits on the box without stirring, bent as double as the […]

The Party

Story type: Literature

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Translated by Constance Garnett I AFTER the festive dinner with its eight courses and its endless conversation, Olga Mihalovna, whose husband’s name-day was being celebrated, went out into the garden. The duty of smiling and talking incessantly, the clatter of the crockery, the stupidity of the servants, the long intervals between the courses, and the […]

Peasants

Story type: Literature

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Translated by Constance Garnett I NIKOLAY TCHIKILDYEEV, a waiter in the Moscow hotel, Slavyansky Bazaar, was taken ill. His legs went numb and his gait was affected, so that on one occasion, as he was going along the corridor, he tumbled and fell down with a tray full of ham and peas. He had to […]

Oh! the Public

Story type: Literature

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Translated by Constance Garnett “HERE goes, I’ve done with drinking! Nothing… n-o-thing shall tempt me to it. It’s time to take myself in hand; I must buck up and work… You’re glad to get your salary, so you must do your work honestly, heartily, conscientiously, regardless of sleep and comfort. Chuck taking it easy. You’ve […]

In the Ravine

Story type: Literature

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Translated by Constance Garnett I THE village of Ukleevo lay in a ravine so that only the belfry and the chimneys of the printed cottons factories could be seen from the high road and the railway-station. When visitors asked what village this was, they were told: “That’s the village where the deacon ate all the […]

Sleepy

Story type: Literature

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Translated by Constance Garnett NIGHT. Varka, the little nurse, a girl of thirteen, is rocking the cradle in which the baby is lying, and humming hardly audibly: “Hush-a-bye, my baby wee,While I sing a song for thee.” A little green lamp is burning before the ikon; there is a string stretched from one end of […]

Small Fry

Story type: Literature

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Translated by Constance Garnett “HONORED Sir, Father and Benefactor!” a petty clerk called Nevyrazimov was writing a rough copy of an Easter congratulatory letter.”I trust that you may spend this Holy Day even as many more to come, in good health and prosperity. And to your family also I …” The lamp, in which the […]

The Student

Story type: Literature

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Translated by Constance Garnett At first the weather was fine and still. The thrushes were calling, and in the swamps close by something alive droned pitifully with a sound like blowing into an empty bottle. A snipe flew by, and the shot aimed at it rang out with a gay, resounding note in the spring […]

The Darling

Story type: Literature

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Translated by Constance Garnett OLENKA, the daughter of the retired collegiate assessor, Plemyanniakov, was sitting in her back porch, lost in thought. It was hot, the flies were persistent and teasing, and it was pleasant to reflect that it would soon be evening. Dark rainclouds were gathering from the east, and bringing from time to […]

Ward No. 6

Story type: Literature

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Translated by Constance Garnett I In the hospital yard there stands a small lodge surrounded by a perfect forest of burdocks, nettles, and wild hemp. Its roof is rusty, the chimney is tumbling down, the steps at the front-door are rotting away and overgrown with grass, and there are only traces left of the stucco. […]

The Witch

Story type: Literature

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IT was approaching nightfall. The sexton, Savely Gykin, was lying in his huge bed in the hut adjoining the church. He was not asleep, though it was his habit to go to sleep at the same time as the hens. His coarse red hair peeped from under one end of the greasy patchwork quilt, made […]

The Post

Story type: Literature

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IT was three o’clock in the night. The postman, ready to set off, in his cap and his coat, with a rusty sword in his hand, was standing near the door, waiting for the driver to finish putting the mail bags into the cart which had just been brought round with three horses. The sleepy […]

Peasant Wives

Story type: Literature

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IN the village of Reybuzh, just facing the church, stands a two-storeyed house with a stone foundation and an iron roof. In the lower storey the owner himself, Filip Ivanov Kashin, nicknamed Dyudya, lives with his family, and on the upper floor, where it is apt to be very hot in summer and very cold […]

The New Villa

Story type: Literature

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I Two miles from the village of Obrutchanovo a huge bridge was being built. From the village, which stood up high on the steep river-bank, its trellis-like skeleton could be seen, and in foggy weather and on still winter days, when its delicate iron girders and all the scaffolding around was covered with hoar frost, […]

Dreams

Story type: Literature

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Two peasant constables — one a stubby, black-bearded individual with such exceptionally short legs that if you looked at him from behind it seemed as though his legs began much lower down than in other people; the other, long, thin, and straight as a stick, with a scanty beard of dark reddish colour — were […]

At Christmas Time

Story type: Literature

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I “WHAT shall I write?” said Yegor, and he dipped his pen in the ink. Vasilisa had not seen her daughter for four years. Her daughter Yefimya had gone after her wedding to Petersburg, had sent them two letters, and since then seemed to vanish out of their lives; there had been no sight nor […]

Agafya

Story type: Literature

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DURING my stay in the district of S. I often used to go to see the watchman Savva Stukatch, or simply Savka, in the kitchen gardens of Dubovo. These kitchen gardens were my favorite resort for so-called “mixed” fishing, when one goes out without knowing what day or hour one may return, taking with one […]

The Pipe

Story type: Literature

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MELITON SHISHKIN, a bailiff from the Dementyev farm, exhausted by the sultry heat of the fir-wood and covered with spiders’ webs and pine-needles, made his way with his gun to the edge of the wood. His Damka — a mongrel between a yard dog and a setter — an extremely thin bitch heavy with young, […]

A Male factor

Story type: Literature

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AN exceedingly lean little peasant, in a striped hempen shirt and patched drawers, stands facing the investigating magistrate. His face overgrown with hair and pitted with smallpox, and his eyes scarcely visible under thick, overhanging eyebrows have an expression of sullen moroseness. On his head there is a perfect mop of tangled, unkempt hair, which […]

Happiness

Story type: Literature

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A FLOCK of sheep was spending the night on the broad steppe road that is called the great highway. Two shepherds were guarding it. One, a toothless old man of eighty, with a tremulous face, was lying on his stomach at the very edge of the road, leaning his elbows on the dusty leaves of […]

The Schoolmistress

Story type: Literature

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AT half-past eight they drove out of the town. The highroad was dry, a lovely April sun was shining warmly, but the snow was still lying in the ditches and in the woods. Winter, dark, long, and spiteful, was hardly over; spring had come all of a sudden. But neither the warmth nor the languid […]

A Nervous Breakdown

Story type: Literature

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A MEDICAL student called Mayer, and a pupil of the Moscow School of Painting, Sculpture, and Architecture called Rybnikov, went one evening to see their friend Vassilyev, a law student, and suggested that he should go with them to S. Street. For a long time Vassilyev would not consent to go, but in the end […]

Champagne

Story type: Literature

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A WAYFARER’S STORY IN the year in which my story begins I had a job at a little station on one of our southwestern railways. Whether I had a gay or a dull life at the station you can judge from the fact that for fifteen miles round there was not one human habitation, not […]

The Cattle-Dealers

Story type: Literature

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THE long goods train has been standing for hours in the little station. The engine is as silent as though its fire had gone out; there is not a soul near the train or in the station yard. A pale streak of light comes from one of the vans and glides over the rails of […]

In Exile

Story type: Literature

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OLD SEMYON, nicknamed Canny, and a young Tatar, whom no one knew by name, were sitting on the river-bank by the camp-fire; the other three ferrymen were in the hut. Semyon, an old man of sixty, lean and toothless, but broad shouldered and still healthy-looking, was drunk; he would have gone in to sleep long […]

After The Theatre

Story type: Literature

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NADYA ZELENIN had just come back with her mamma from the theatre where she had seen a performance of “Yevgeny Onyegin.” As soon as she reached her own room she threw off her dress, let down her hair, and in her petticoat and white dressing-jacket hastily sat down to the table to write a letter […]

Sorrow

Story type: Literature

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THE turner, Grigory Petrov, who had been known for years past as a splendid craftsman, and at the same time as the most senseless peasant in the Galtchinskoy district, was taking his old woman to the hospital. He had to drive over twenty miles, and it was an awful road. A government post driver could […]

A FIRST-CLASS passenger who had just dined at the station and drunk a little too much lay down on the velvet-covered seat, stretched himself out luxuriously, and sank into a doze. After a nap of no more than five minutes, he looked with oily eyes at his vis-a-vis, gave a smirk, and said: “My father […]

A Tragic Actor

Story type: Literature

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IT was the benefit night of Fenogenov, the tragic actor. They were acting “Prince Serebryany.” The tragedian himself was playing Vyazemsky; Limonadov, the stage manager, was playing Morozov; Madame Beobahtov, Elena. The performance was a grand success. The tragedian accomplished wonders indeed. When he was carrying off Elena, he held her in one hand above […]

On Official Duty

Story type: Literature

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THE deputy examining magistrate and the district doctor were going to an inquest in the village of Syrnya. On the road they were overtaken by a snowstorm; they spent a long time going round and round, and arrived, not at midday, as they had intended, but in the evening when it was dark. They put […]

Panic Fears

Story type: Literature

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DURING all the years I have been living in this world I have only three times been terrified. The first real terror, which made my hair stand on end and made shivers run all over me, was caused by a trivial but strange phenomenon. It happened that, having nothing to do one July evening, I […]

In The Coach-House

Story type: Literature

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IT was between nine and ten o’clock in the evening. Stepan the coachman, Mihailo the house-porter, Alyoshka the coachman’s grandson, who had come up from the village to stay with his grandfather, and Nikandr, an old man of seventy, who used to come into the yard every evening to sell salt herrings, were sitting round […]

The Requiem

Story type: Literature

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IN the village church of Verhny Zaprudy mass was just over. The people had begun moving and were trooping out of church. The only one who did not move was Andrey Andreyitch, a shopkeeper and old inhabitant of Verhny Zaprudy. He stood waiting, with his elbows on the railing of the right choir. His fat […]

A Transgression

Story type: Literature

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A COLLEGIATE assessor called Miguev stopped at a telegraph-post in the course of his evening walk and heaved a deep sigh. A week before, as he was returning home from his evening walk, he had been overtaken at that very spot by his former housemaid, Agnia, who said to him viciously: “Wait a bit! I’ll […]

The Bet

Story type: Literature

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IT WAS a dark autumn night. The old banker was walking up and down his study and remembering how, fifteen years before, he had given a party one autumn evening. There had been many clever men there, and there had been interesting conversations. Among other things they had talked of capital punishment. The majority of […]

A SALE of flowers was taking place in Count N.’s greenhouses. The purchasers were few in number — a landowner who was a neighbor of mine, a young timber-merchant, and myself. While the workmen were carrying out our magnificent purchases and packing them into the carts, we sat at the entry of the greenhouse and […]

The Beauties

Story type: Literature

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I I REMEMBER, when I was a high school boy in the fifth or sixth class, I was driving with my grandfather from the village of Bolshoe Kryepkoe in the Don region to Rostov-on-the-Don. It was a sultry, languidly dreary day of August. Our eyes were glued together, and our mouths were parched from the […]

IT was Christmas Eve. Marya had long been snoring on the stove; all the paraffin in the little lamp had burnt out, but Fyodor Nilov still sat at work. He would long ago have flung aside his work and gone out into the street, but a customer from Kolokolny Lane, who had a fortnight before […]

Swan Song

Story type: Literature

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CHARACTERS VASILI SVIETLOVIDOFF, a comedian, 68 years old NIKITA IVANITCH, a prompter, an old man The Swan Song The scene is laid on the stage of a country theatre, at night, after the play. To the right a row of rough, unpainted doors leading into the dressing-rooms. To the left and in the background the […]

(A PAINTER’S STORY) It happened nigh on seven years ago, when I was living in one of the districts of the J. province, on the estate of Bielokurov, a landowner, a young man who used to get up early, dress himself in a long overcoat, drink beer in the evenings, and all the while complain […]

Goussiev

Story type: Literature

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It was already dark and would soon be night. Goussiev, a private on long leave, raised himself a little in his hammock and said in a whisper: “Can you hear me, Pavel Ivanich? A soldier at Souchan told me that their boat ran into an enormous fish and knocked a hole in her bottom.” The […]

CHARACTERS TIHON EVSTIGNEYEV, the proprietor of a inn on the main roadSEMYON SERGEYEVITCH BORTSOV, a ruined landownerMARIA EGOROVNA, his wifeSAVVA, an aged pilgrimNAZAROVNA and EFIMOVNA, women pilgrimsFEDYA, a labourerEGOR MERIK, a trampKUSMA, a driverPOSTMANBORTSOV’S WIFE’S COACHMANPILGRIMS, CATTLE-DEALERS, ETC. ————————RUSSIAN WEIGHTS AND MEASURES AND MONEY EMPLOYED IN THE PLAYS, WITH ENGLISH EQUIVALENTS 1 verst = 3600 […]

The Anniversary

Story type: Theater

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CHARACTERS ANDREY ANDREYEVITCH SHIPUCHIN, Chairman of the N—- Joint StockBank, a middle-aged man, with a monocleTATIANA ALEXEYEVNA, his wife, aged 25KUSMA NICOLAIEVITCH KHIRIN, the bank’s aged book-keeperNASTASYA FYODOROVNA MERCHUTKINA, an old woman wearing an old-fashioned cloakDIRECTORS OF THE BANKEMPLOYEES OF THE BANK The action takes place at the Bank. RUSSIAN WEIGHTS AND MEASURES AND MONEY […]

CHARACTERS IVAN IVANOVITCH TOLKACHOV, the father of a familyALEXEY ALEXEYEVITCH MURASHKIN, his friend The scene is laid in St. Petersburg, in MURASHKIN’S flat ———————–RUSSIAN WEIGHTS AND MEASURES AND MONEY EMPLOYED IN THE PLAYS, WITH ENGLISH EQUIVALENTS 1 verst = 3600 feet = 2/3 mile (almost)1 arshin = 28 inches1 dessiatin = 2.7 acres1 copeck = […]

The Proposal

Story type: Theater

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Translated by Julius West. CHARACTERS STEPAN STEPANOVITCH CHUBUKOV, a landownerNATALYA STEPANOVNA, his daughter, twenty-five years oldIVAN VASSILEVITCH LOMOV, a neighbour of Chubukov, a large andhearty, but very suspicious landowner ——————————————–RUSSIAN WEIGHTS AND MEASURES AND MONEY EMPLOYED IN THE PLAYS, WITH ENGLISH EQUIVALENTS 1 verst = 3600 feet = 2/3 mile (almost)1 arshin = 28 inches1 […]

A Dreary Story

Story type: Literature

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FROM THE NOTEBOOK OF AN OLD MAN I THERE is in Russia an emeritus Professor Nikolay Stepanovitch, a chevalier and privy councillor; he has so many Russian and foreign decorations that when he has occasion to put them on the students nickname him “The Ikonstand.” His acquaintances are of the most aristocratic; for the last […]

Shrove Tuesday

Story type: Literature

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“PAVEL VASSILITCH!” cries Pelageya Ivanovna, waking her husband. “Pavel Vassilitch! You might go and help Styopa with his lessons, he is sitting crying over his book. He can’t understand something again!” Pavel Vassilitch gets up, makes the sign of the cross over his mouth as he yawns, and says softly: “In a minute, my love!” […]

Boys

Story type: Literature

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“VOLODYA’S come!” someone shouted in the yard. “Master Volodya’s here!” bawled Natalya the cook, running into the dining-room. “Oh, my goodness!” The whole Korolyov family, who had been expecting their Volodya from hour to hour, rushed to the windows. At the front door stood a wide sledge, with three white horses in a cloud of […]

A Day in the Country

Story type: Literature

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BETWEEN eight and nine o’clock in the morning. A dark leaden-coloured mass is creeping over the sky towards the sun. Red zigzags of lightning gleam here and there across it. There is a sound of far-away rumbling. A warm wind frolics over the grass, bends the trees, and stirs up the dust. In a minute […]

An Incident

Story type: Literature

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MORNING. Brilliant sunshine is piercing through the frozen lacework on the window-panes into the nursery. Vanya, a boy of six, with a cropped head and a nose like a button, and his sister Nina, a short, chubby, curly-headed girl of four, wake up and look crossly at each other through the bars of their cots. […]

Oysters

Story type: Literature

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I NEED no great effort of memory to recall, in every detail, the rainy autumn evening when I stood with my father in one of the more frequented streets of Moscow, and felt that I was gradually being overcome by a strange illness. I had no pain at all, but my legs were giving way […]

Grisha

Story type: Literature

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GRISHA, a chubby little boy, born two years and eight months ago, is walking on the boulevard with his nurse. He is wearing a long, wadded pelisse, a scarf, a big cap with a fluffy pom-pom, and warm over-boots. He feels hot and stifled, and now, too, the rollicking April sunshine is beating straight in […]

Runaway

Story type: Literature

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IT had been a long business. At first Pashka had walked with his mother in the rain, at one time across a mown field, then by forest paths, where the yellow leaves stuck to his boots; he had walked until it was daylight. Then he had stood for two hours in the dark passage, waiting […]

The Cook’s Wedding

Story type: Literature

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GRISHA, a fat, solemn little person of seven, was standing by the kitchen door listening and peeping through the keyhole. In the kitchen something extraordinary, and in his opinion never seen before, was taking place. A big, thick-set, red-haired peasant, with a beard, and a drop of perspiration on his nose, wearing a cabman’s full […]

The Husband

Story type: Literature

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IN the course of the maneuvres the N—- cavalry regiment halted for a night at the district town of K—-. Such an event as the visit of officers always has the most exciting and inspiring effect on the inhabitants of provincial towns. The shopkeepers dream of getting rid of the rusty sausages and “best brand” […]

Volodya

Story type: Literature

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AT five o’clock one Sunday afternoon in summer, Volodya, a plain, shy, sickly-looking lad of seventeen, was sitting in the arbour of the Shumihins’ country villa, feeling dreary. His despondent thought flowed in three directions. In the first place, he had next day, Monday, an examination in mathematics; he knew that if he did not […]

The Black Monk

Story type: Literature

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I ANDREY VASSILITCH KOVRIN, who held a master’s degree at the University, had exhausted himself, and had upset his nerves. He did not send for a doctor, but casually, over a bottle of wine, he spoke to a friend who was a doctor, and the latter advised him to spend the spring and summer in […]

The Head of the Family

Story type: Literature

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IT is, as a rule, after losing heavily at cards or after a drinking-bout when an attack of dyspepsia is setting in that Stepan Stepanitch Zhilin wakes up in an exceptionally gloomy frame of mind. He looks sour, rumpled, and dishevelled; there is an expression of displeasure on his grey face, as though he were […]

Ionitch

Story type: Literature

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I WHEN visitors to the provincial town S—- complained of the dreariness and monotony of life, the inhabitants of the town, as though defending themselves, declared that it was very nice in S—-, that there was a library, a theatre, a club; that they had balls; and, finally, that there were clever, agreeable, and interesting […]

An Upheaval

Story type: Literature

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MASHENKA PAVLETSKY, a young girl who had only just finished her studies at a boarding school, returning from a walk to the house of the Kushkins, with whom she was living as a governess, found the household in a terrible turmoil. Mihailo, the porter who opened the door to her, was excited and red as […]

A Doctor’s Visit

Story type: Literature

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THE Professor received a telegram from the Lyalikovs’ factory; he was asked to come as quickly as possible. The daughter of some Madame Lyalikov, apparently the owner of the factory, was ill, and that was all that one could make out of the long, incoherent telegram. And the Professor did not go himself, but sent […]

The Safety Match

Story type: Literature

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I On the morning of October 6, 1885, in the office of the Inspector of Police of the second division of S—- District, there appeared a respectably dressed young man, who announced that his master, Marcus Ivanovitch Klausoff, a retired officer of the Horse Guards, separated from his wife, had been murdered. While making this […]