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67 Works of Ivan Turgenev

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Translated by Constance Garnett ONE EVENING I went with the huntsman Yermolai "stand-shooting. " … But perhaps all my readers may not know what "stand-shooting" is. I will tell you. A quarter of an hour before sunset in springtime you go out into the woods with your gun, but without your dog. You seek out […]

Somewhere, sometime, long, long ago, I read a poem. It was soon forgotten … but the first line has stuck in my memory– ‘How fair, how fresh were the roses …‘ Now is winter; the frost has iced over the window-panes; in the dark room burns a solitary candle. I sit huddled up in a […]

What shall I think when I come to die, if only I am in a condition to think anything then? Shall I think how little use I have made of my life, how I have slumbered, dozed through it, how little I have known how to enjoy its gifts? ‘What? is this death? So soon? […]

‘Hang Him!’

Story type: Poetry

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‘It happened in 1803,’ began my old acquaintance, ‘not long before Austerlitz. The regiment in which I was an officer was quartered in Moravia. ‘We had strict orders not to molest or annoy the inhabitants; as it was, they regarded us very dubiously, though we were supposed to be allies. ‘I had a servant, formerly […]

How empty, dull, and useless is almost every day when it is spent! How few the traces it leaves behind it! How meaningless, how foolish those hours as they coursed by one after another! And yet it is man’s wish to exist; he prizes life, he rests hopes on it, on himself, on the future…. […]

What an insignificant trifle may sometimes transform the whole man! Full of melancholy thought, I walked one day along the highroad. My heart was oppressed by a weight of gloomy apprehension; I was overwhelmed by dejection. I raised my head…. Before me, between two rows of tall poplars, the road darted like an arrow into […]

The Monk

Story type: Poetry

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I used to know a monk, a hermit, a saint. He lived only for the sweetness of prayer; and steeping himself in it, he would stand so long on the cold floor of the church that his legs below the knees grew numb and senseless as blocks of wood. He did not feel them; he […]

Stay!

Story type: Poetry

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Stay! as I see thee now, abide for ever in my memory! From thy lips the last inspired note has broken. No light, no flash is in thy eyes; they are dim, weighed down by the load of happiness, of the blissful sense of the beauty, it has been thy glad lot to express–the beauty, […]

N.N.

Story type: Poetry

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Calmly and gracefully thou movest along the path of life, tearless andsmileless, and scarce a heedless glance of indifferent attention rufflesthy calm. Thou art good and wise … and all things are remote from thee, and of noone hast thou need. Thou art fair, and no one can say, whether thou prizest thy beauty or […]

On The Sea

Story type: Poetry

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I was going from Hamburg to London in a small steamer. We were two passengers; I and a little female monkey, whom a Hamburg merchant was sending as a present to his English partner. She was fastened by a light chain to one of the seats on deck, and was moving restlessly and whining in […]

The Russian Tongue

Story type: Literature

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In days of doubt, in days of dreary musings on my country’s fate, thou alone art my stay and support, mighty, true, free Russian speech! But for thee, how not fall into despair, seeing all that is done at home? But who can think that such a tongue is not the gift of a great […]

The Beggar Man

Story type: Poetry

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Translated From The RussianBy Isabel Hapgood I was passing along the street when a beggar, a decrepit old man, stopped me. Swollen, tearful eyes, blue lips, bristling rags, unclean sores…. Oh, how horribly had poverty gnawed that unhappy being! He stretched out to me a red, bloated, dirty hand…. He moaned, he bellowed for help. […]

The Rivau

Story type: Poetry

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Translated From The Russian By Isabel Hapgood I had a comrade-rival; not in our studies, not in the service or in love; but our views did not agree on any point, and every time we met, interminable arguments sprang up. We argued about art, religion, science, about the life of earth and matters beyond the […]

The Old Woman

Story type: Poetry

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Translated From The RussianBy Isabel Hapgood I was walking across a spacious field, alone. And suddenly I thought I heard light, cautious footsteps behind my back…. Some one was following me. I glanced round and beheld a tiny, bent old woman, all enveloped in grey rags. The old woman’s face was visible from beneath them: […]

A Conversation

Story type: Poetry

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Translated From The RussianBy Isabel Hapgood “Never yet has human foot trod eitherthe Jungfrau or the Finsteraarhorn.” The summits of the Alps…. A whole chain of steep cliffs…. The very heart of the mountains. Overhead a bright, mute, pale-green sky. A hard, cruel frost; firm, sparkling snow; from beneath the snow project grim blocks of […]

The Village

Story type: Poetry

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Translated From The RussianBy Isabel Hapgood The last day of July; for a thousand versts round about lies Russia, the fatherland. The whole sky is suffused with an even azure; there is only one little cloud in it, which is half floating, half melting. There is no wind, it is warm … the air is […]

Masha

Story type: Poetry

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Translated From The Russian By Isabel Hapgood When I was living in Petersburg,–many years ago,–whenever I had occasion to hire a public cabman I entered into conversation with him. I was specially fond of conversing with the night cabmen,–poor peasants of the suburbs, who have come to town with their ochre-tinted little sledges and miserable […]

Translated From The Russian By Isabel Hapgood It seems to me as though I am somewhere in Russia, in the wilds, in a plain country house. The chamber is large, low-ceiled, with three windows; the walls are smeared with white paint; there is no furniture. In front of the house is a bare plain; gradually […]

The Rule Of Life

Story type: Poetry

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Translated From The RussianBy Isabel Hapgood “If you desire thoroughly to mortify and even to injure an opponent,” said an old swindler to me, “reproach him with the very defect or vice of which you feel conscious in yourself.–Fly into a rage … and reproach him! “In the first place, that makes other people think […]

The Contented Man

Story type: Poetry

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Translated From The Russian By Isabel Hapgood Along a street of the capital is skipping a man who is still young.–His movements are cheerful, alert; his eyes are beaming, his lips are smiling, his sensitive face is pleasantly rosy…. He is all contentment and joy. What has happened to him? Has he come into an […]

Translated From The RussianBy Isabel Hapgood “THOU SHALT HEAR THE JUDGMENT OF THE DULLARD….”Pushkin “Thou shalt hear the judgment of the dullard….” Thou hast always spoken the truth, thou great writer of ours; thou hast spoken it this time, also. “The judgment of the dullard and the laughter of the crowd.”… Who is there that […]

The Skulls

Story type: Poetry

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Translated From The RussianBy Isabel Hapgood A sumptuous, luxuriously illuminated ball-room; a multitude of cavaliers and ladies. All faces are animated, all speeches are brisk…. A rattling conversation is in progress about a well-known songstress. The people are lauding her as divine, immortal…. Oh, how finely she had executed her last trill that evening! And […]

Translated From The Russian By Isabel Hapgood There existed once a city whose inhabitants were so passionately fond of poetry that if several weeks passed and no beautiful new verses had made their appearance they regarded that poetical dearth as a public calamity. At such times they donned their worst garments, sprinkled ashes on their […]

Translated From The Russian By Isabel Hapgood Who in Bagdad does not know the great Giaffar, the sun of the universe? One day, many years ago, when he was still a young man, Giaffar was strolling in the suburbs of Bagdad. Suddenly there fell upon his ear a hoarse cry: some one was calling desperately […]

The Fool

Story type: Poetry

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Translated From The RussianBy Isabel Hapgood Once upon a time a fool lived in the world. For a long time he lived in clover; but gradually rumours began to reach him to the effect that he bore the reputation everywhere of a brainless ninny. The fool was disconcerted and began to fret over the question […]

Translated From The RussianBy Isabel Hapgood A BAS-RELIEF A tall, bony old woman with an iron face and a dull, impassive gaze is walking along with great strides, and pushing before her, with her hand as harsh as a stick, another woman. This woman, of vast size, powerful, corpulent, with the muscles of a Hercules, […]

The Last Meeting

Story type: Poetry

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Translated From The RussianBy Isabel Hapgood We were once close, intimate friends…. But there came an evil moment and we parted like enemies. Many years passed…. And lo! on entering the town where he lived I learned that he was hopelessly ill, and wished to see me. I went to him, I entered his chamber…. […]

Translated From The RussianBy Isabel Hapgood In the mire, on damp, stinking straw, under the pent-house of an old carriage-house which had been hastily converted into a field military hospital in a ruined Bulgarian hamlet, she had been for more than a fortnight dying of typhus fever. She was unconscious–and not a single physician had […]

Two Rich Men

Story type: Poetry

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Translated From The RussianBy Isabel Hapgood When men in my presence extol Rothschild, who out of his vast revenues allots whole thousands for the education of children, the cure of the sick, the care of the aged, I laud and melt in admiration. But while I laud and melt I cannot refrain from recalling a […]

Translated From The RussianBy Isabel Hapgood A CONVERSATION THE TOILER Why dost thou bother us? What dost thou want? Thou art not one of us…. Go away! THE LAZY MAN[71] FOOTNOTE: [71] “The white-handed man” would be the literal translation.–TRANSLATOR. I am one of you, brethren! THE TOILER Nothing of the sort; thou art not […]

The Azure Realm

Story type: Poetry

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Translated From The RussianBy Isabel Hapgood O azure realm! O realm of azure, light, youth, and happiness! I have beheld thee … in my dreams. There were several of us in a beautiful, decorated boat. Like the breast of a swan the white sail towered aloft beneath fluttering pennants. I did not know who my […]

Cabbage-Soup

Story type: Poetry

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Translated From The RussianBy Isabel Hapgood The son of a widowed peasant-woman died–a young fellow aged twenty, the best labourer in the village. The lady-proprietor of that village, on learning of the peasant-woman’s affliction, went to call upon her on the very day of the funeral. She found her at home. Standing in the middle […]

The Insect

Story type: Poetry

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Translated From The RussianBy Isabel Hapgood I dreamed that a score of us were sitting in a large room with open windows. Among us were women, children, old men…. We were all talking about some very unfamiliar subject–talking noisily and unintelligibly. Suddenly, with a harsh clatter, a huge insect, about three inches and a half […]

Translated From The Russian By Isabel Hapgood One day the Supreme Being took it into his head to give a great feast in his azure palace. He invited all the virtues as guests. Only the virtues … he invited no men … only ladies. Very many of them assembled, great and small. The petty virtues […]

The Egoist

Story type: Poetry

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Translated From The Russian By Isabel Hapgood He possessed everything which was requisite to make him the scourge of his family. He had been born healthy, he had been born rich–and during the whole course of his long life he had remained rich and healthy; he had never committed a single crime; he had never […]

Two Brothers

Story type: Poetry

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Translated From The RussianBy Isabel Hapgood It was a vision…. Two angels presented themselves before me … two spirits. I say angels … spirits, because neither of them had any garments on their naked bodies, and from the shoulders of both sprang long, powerful wings. Both are youths. One is rather plump, smooth of skin, […]

The Correspondent

Story type: Poetry

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Translated From The Russian By Isabel Hapgood Two friends are sitting at a table and drinking tea. A sudden noise has arisen in the street. Plaintive moans, violent oaths, outbursts of malicious laughter have become audible. “Some one is being beaten,” remarked one of the friends, after having cast a glance out of the window. […]

Christ

Story type: Poetry

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Translated From The RussianBy Isabel Hapgood I saw myself as a youth, almost a little boy, in a low-ceiled country church.–Slender wax tapers burned like red spots in front of the ancient holy pictures. An aureole of rainbow hues encircled each tiny flame.–It was dark and dim in the church…. But a mass of people […]

Enemy And Friend

Story type: Poetry

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Translated From The Russian By Isabel Hapgood A captive condemned to perpetual incarceration broke out of prison and started to run at a headlong pace…. After him, on his very heels, darted the pursuit. He ran with all his might…. His pursuers began to fall behind. But lo! in front of him was a river […]

Nymphs

Story type: Poetry

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Translated From The Russian By Isabel Hapgood I was standing in front of a chain of beautiful mountains spread out in a semi-circle; the young, verdant forest clothed them from summit to base. The southern sky hung transparently blue above us; on high the sun beamed radiantly; below, half hidden in the grass, nimble brooks […]

A Sea Voyage

Story type: Poetry

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Translated From The RussianBy Isabel Hapgood I sailed from Hamburg to London on a small steamer. There were two of us passengers: I and a tiny monkey, a female of the ouistiti breed, which a Hamburg merchant was sending as a gift to his English partner. She was attached by a slender chain to one […]

Doves

Story type: Poetry

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Translated From The Russian By Isabel Hapgood I was standing on the crest of a sloping hill; in front of me lay outspread, and motley of hue, the ripe rye, now like a golden, again like a silvery sea. But no surge was coursing across this sea; no sultry breeze was blowing; a great thunder-storm […]

The Stone

Story type: Poetry

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Translated From The RussianBy Isabel Hapgood Have you seen an old, old stone on the seashore, when the brisk waves are beating upon it from all sides, at high tide, on a sunny spring day–beating and sparkling and caressing it, and drenching its mossy head with crumbling pearls of glittering foam? The stone remains the […]

A Reckless Character

Story type: Literature

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Translated From The RussianBy Isabel Hapgood (1881) I There were eight of us in the room, and we were discussing contemporary matters and persons, “I do not understand these gentlemen!” remarked A.–“They are fellows of a reckless sort…. Really, desperate…. There has never been anything of the kind before.” “Yes, there has,” put in P., […]

The Dream

Story type: Literature

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Translated From The RussianBy Isabel Hapgood I I was living with my mother at the time, in a small seaport town. I was just turned seventeen, and my mother was only thirty-five; she had married very young. When my father died I was only seven years old; but I remembered him well. My mother was […]

Translated From The RussianBy Isabel Hapgood (1877) Twenty years ago I was obliged–in my capacity of private inspector–to make the circuit of all my aunt’s rather numerous estates. The parish priests, with whom I regarded it as my duty to make acquaintance, proved to be individuals of pretty much one pattern, and made after one […]

Translated From The RussianBy Isabel Hapgood (1881) MDXLIIDEDICATED TO THE MEMORY OF GUSTAVE FLAUBERT Wage du zu irren und zu traeumen!SCHILLER. The following is what I read in an Italian manuscript: I About the middle of the sixteenth century there dwelt in Ferrara–(it was then flourishing under the sceptre of its magnificent dukes, the patrons […]

Translated From The RussianBy Isabel Hapgood I In the spring of 1878 there lived in Moscow, in a small wooden house on Shabolovka Street, a young man five-and-twenty years of age, Yakoff Aratoff by name. With him lived his aunt, an old maid, over fifty years of age, his father’s sister, Platonida Ivanovna. She managed […]

Translated from the RussianBy Constance Garnett I That evening Kuzma Vassilyevitch Yergunov told us his story again. He used to repeat it punctually once a month and we heard it every time with fresh satisfaction though we knew it almost by heart, in all its details. Those details overgrew, if one may so express it, […]

The Watch

Story type: Literature

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Translated from the Russian By Constance Garnett AN OLD MAN’S STORY I I will tell you my adventures with a watch. It is a curious story. It happened at the very beginning of this century, in 1801. I had just reached my sixteenth year. I was living at Ryazan in a little wooden house not […]

Knock, Knock, Knock

Story type: Literature

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Translated From The RussianBy Constance Garnett A STUDY I We all settled down in a circle and our good friend Alexandr Vassilyevitch Ridel (his surname was German but he was Russian to the marrow of his bones) began as follows: I am going to tell you a story, friends, of something that happened to me […]

The Duellist

Story type: Literature

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Translated from the RussianBy Constance Garnett I A regiment of cuirassiers was quartered in 1829 in the village of Kirilovo, in the K— province. That village, with its huts and hay-stacks, its green hemp-patches, and gaunt willows, looked from a distance like an island in a boundless sea of ploughed, black-earth fields. In the middle […]

The Jew

Story type: Literature

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Translated from the RussianBy Constance Garnett …’Tell us a story, colonel,’ we said at last to Nikolai Ilyitch. The colonel smiled, puffed out a coil of tobacco smoke between his moustaches, passed his hand over his grey hair, looked at us and considered. We all had the greatest liking and respect for Nikolai Ilyitch, for […]

An Unhappy Girl

Story type: Literature

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Translated from the Russian By Constance Garnett Yes, yes, began Piotr Gavrilovitch; those were painful days… and I would rather not recall them…. But I have made you a promise; I shall have to tell you the whole story. Listen. I I was living at that time (the winter of 1835) in Moscow, in the […]

Three Portraits

Story type: Literature

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Translated from the RussianBy Constance Garnett ‘Neighbours’ constitute one of the most serious drawbacks of life in the country. I knew a country gentleman of the Vologodsky district, who used on every suitable occasion to repeat the following words, ‘Thank God, I have no neighbours,’ and I confess I could not help envying that happy […]

Enough

Story type: Literature

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Translated from the Russian By Constance Garnett A FRAGMENT FROM THE NOTE-BOOK OF A DEAD ARTIST I II III ‘Enough,’ I said to myself as I moved with lagging steps over the steep mountainside down to the quiet little brook. ‘Enough,’ I said again, as I drank in the resinous fragrance of the pinewood, strong […]

Andrei Kolosov

Story type: Literature

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In a small, decently furnished room several young men were sitting before the fire. The winter evening was only just beginning; the samovar was boiling on the table, the conversation had hardly taken a definite turn, but passed lightly from one subject to another. They began discussing exceptional people, and in what way they differed […]

A Correspondence

Story type: Literature

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A few years ago I was in Dresden. I was staying at an hotel. From early morning till late evening I strolled about the town, and did not think it necessary to make acquaintance with my neighbours; at last it reached my ears in some chance way that there was a Russian in the hotel–lying […]

VILLAGE OF SHEEP’S SPRINGS, March 20, 18–. The doctor has just left me. At last I have got at something definite! For all his cunning, he had to speak out at last. Yes, I am soon, very soon, to die. The frozen rivers will break up, and with the last snow I shall, most likely, […]

A Tour In The Forest

Story type: Literature

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FIRST DAY The sight of the vast pinewood, embracing the whole horizon, the sight of the ‘Forest,’ recalls the sight of the ocean. And the sensations it arouses are the same; the same primaeval untouched force lies outstretched in its breadth and majesty before the eyes of the spectator. From the heart of the eternal […]

The District Doctor

Story type: Literature

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One day in autumn on my way back from a remote part of the country I caught cold and fell ill. Fortunately the fever attacked me in the district town at the inn; I sent for the doctor. In half-an-hour the district doctor appeared, a thin, dark-haired man of middle height. He prescribed me the […]

A Desperate Character

Story type: Literature

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Translated from the Russian By CONSTANCE GARNETT I … We were a party of eight in the room, and we were talking of contemporary affairs and men. ‘I don’t understand these men!’ observed A.: ‘they’re such desperate fellows…. Really desperate…. There has never been anything like it before.’ ‘Yes, there has,’ put in P., a […]

Pyetushkov

Story type: Literature

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Translated from the Russian By CONSTANCE GARNETT I In the year 182- … there was living in the town of O—- the lieutenant Ivan Afanasiitch Pyetushkov. He was born of poor parents, was left an orphan at five years old, and came into the charge of a guardian. Thanks to this guardian, he found himself […]

The Brigadier

Story type: Literature

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Translated from the Russian By CONSTANCE GARNETT I Reader, do you know those little homesteads of country gentlefolks, which were plentiful in our Great Russian Oukraine twenty-five or thirty years ago? Now one rarely comes across them, and in another ten years the last of them will, I suppose, have disappeared for ever. The running […]

Old Portraits

Story type: Literature

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Translated from the Russian By CONSTANCE GARNETT About thirty miles from our village there lived, many years ago, a distant cousin of my mother’s, a retired officer of the Guards, and rather wealthy landowner, Alexey Sergeitch Teliegin. He lived on his estate and birth-place, Suhodol, did not go out anywhere, and so did not visit […]

Punin And Baburin

Story type: Literature

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Translated from the Russian By CONSTANCE GARNETT PIOTR PETROVITCH’S STORY … I am old and ill now, and my thoughts brood oftenest upon death, every day coming nearer; rarely I think of the past, rarely I turn the eyes of my soul behind me. Only from time to time–in winter, as I sit motionless before […]

A Strange Story

Story type: Literature

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Translated from the Russian By CONSTANCE GARNETT Fifteen years ago–began H.–official duties compelled me to spend a few days in the principal town of the province of T—-. I stopped at a very fair hotel, which had been established six months before my arrival by a Jewish tailor, who had grown rich. I am told […]