THE NEXT morning Bazarov woke up earlier than any one and went out of the house. Oh, my! he thought, looking about him, the little place isnt much to boast of! When Nikolai Petrovitch had divided the land with his peasants, he had had to build his new manor-house on four acres of perfectly flat and barren land. He had built a house, offices, and farm buildings, laid out a garden, dug a pond, and sunk two wells; but the young trees had not done well, very little water had collected in the pond, and that in the wells tasted brackish. Only one arbour of lilac and acacia had grown fairly well; they sometimes had tea and dinner in it. In a few minutes Bazarov had traversed all the little paths of the garden; he went into the cattle-yard and the stable, routed out two farm-boys, with whom he made friends at once, and set off with them to a small swamp about a mile from the house to look for frogs.
Ill tell you what for, answered Bazarov, who possessed the special faculty of inspiring confidence in people of a lower class, though he never tried to win them, and behaved very casually with them; I shall cut the frog open, and see whats going on in his inside, and then, as you and I are much the same as frogs, only that we walk on legs, I shall know whats going on inside us too.
Meanwhile Nikolai Petrovitch too had waked up, and gone in to see Arkady, whom he found dressed. The father and son went out on to the terrace under the shelter of the awning; near the balustrade, on the table, among great bunches of lilacs, the samovar was already boiling. A little girl came up, the same who had been the first to meet them at the steps on their arrival the evening before. In a shrill voice she said
She has no need to be ashamed. In the first place, you are aware of my views (it was very sweet to Arkady to utter that word); and secondly, could I be willing to hamper your life, your habits in the least thing? Besides, I am sure you could not make a bad choice; if you have allowed her to live under the same roof with you, she must be worthy of it; in any case, a son cannot judge his father,least of all, I, and least of all such a father who, like you, has never hampered my liberty in anything.
Arkadys voice had been shaky at the beginning; he felt himself magnanimous, though at the same time he realised he was delivering something of the nature of a lecture to his father; but the sound of ones own voice has a powerful effect on any man, and Arkady brought out his last words resolutely, even with emphasis.
Thanks, Arkasha, said Nikolai Petrovitch thickly, and his fingers again strayed over his eyebrows and forehead. Your suppositions are just in fact. Of course, if this girl had not deserved. It is not a frivolous caprice. Its not easy for me to talk to you about this; but you will understand that it is difficult for her to come here, in your presence, especially the first day of your return.
But Arkady did not listen to him, and ran off the terrace. Nikolai Petrovitch looked after him, and sank into his chair overcome by confusion. His heart began to throb. Did he at that moment realise the inevitable strangeness of the future relations between him and his son? Was he conscious that Arkady would perhaps have shown him more respect if he had never touched on this subject at all? Did he reproach himself for weakness?it is hard to say; all these feelings were within him, but in the state of sensationsand vague sensationswhile the flush did not leave his face, and his heart throbbed.
There was the sound of hurrying footsteps, and Arkady came on to the terrace. We have made friends, dad! he cried, with an expression of a kind of affectionate and good-natured triumph on his face. Fedosya Nikolaevna is not quite well to-day really, and she will come a little later. But why didnt you tell me I had a brother? I should have kissed him last night, as I have kissed him just now.
Arkady went up to his uncle, and again felt his cheeks caressed by his perfumed moustache. Pavel Petrovitch sat down to the table. He wore an elegant morning suit in the English style, and a gay little fez on his head. This fez and the carelessly tied little cravat carried a suggestion of the freedom of country life, but the stiff collars of his shirtnot white, it is true, but striped, as is correct in morning dressstood up as inexorably as ever against his well-shaved chin.
Indeed. Well, I see its not in our line. We are old-fashioned people; we imagine that without principles, taken as you say on faith, theres no taking a step, no breathing. Vous avez changé tout cela. God give you good health and the rank of a general, while we will be content to look on and admire, worthy what was it?
Nikolai Petrovitch rang the bell and called, Dunyasha! But instead of Dunyasha, Fenitchka herself came on to the terrace. She was a young woman about three-and-twenty, with a white soft skin, dark hair and eyes, red, childishly-pouting lips, and little delicate hands. She wore a neat print dress; a new blue kerchief lay lightly on her plump shoulders. She carried a large cup of cocoa, and setting it down before Pavel Petrovitch, she was overwhelmed with confusion; the hot blood rushed in a wave of crimson over the delicate skin of her pretty face. She dropped her eyes, and stood at the table, leaning a little on the very tips of her fingers. It seemed as though she were ashamed of having come in, and at the same time felt that she had a right to come.
Good morning, she replied in a voice not loud but resonant, and with a sidelong glance at Arkady, who gave her a friendly smile, she went gently away. She walked with a slightly rolling gait, but even that suited her.
Bazarov was in fact approaching through the garden, stepping over the flower-beds. His linen coat and trousers were besmeared with mud; clinging marsh weed was twined round the crown of his old round hat; in his right hand he held a small bag; in the bag something alive was moving. He quickly drew near the terrace, and said with a nod, Good morning, gentlemen; sorry I was late for tea; Ill be back directly; I must just put these captives away.
Arkady looked compassionately at his uncle; Nikolai Petrovitch shrugged his shoulders stealthily. Pavel Petrovitch himself felt that his epigram was unsuccessful, and began to talk about husbandry and the new bailiff, who had come to him the evening before to complain that a labourer, Foma, was deboshed, and quite unmanageable. Hes such an Æsop, he said among other things; in all places he has protested himself a worthless fellow; hes not a man to keep his place; hell walk off in a huff like a fool.