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The Correspondent
by [?]

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.

“A criminal? A murderer?” inquired the other.–“See here, no matter who it is, such chastisement without trial is not to be tolerated. Let us go and defend him.”

“But it is not a murderer who is being beaten.”

“Not a murderer? A thief, then? Never mind, let us go, let us rescue him from the mob.”

“It is not a thief, either.”

“Not a thief? Is it, then, a cashier, a railway employee, an army contractor, a Russian Maecenas, a lawyer, a well-intentioned editor, a public philanthropist?… At any rate, let us go, let us aid him!”

“No … they are thrashing a correspondent.”

“A correspondent?–Well, see here now, let’s drink a glass of tea first.”

July, 1878.