Fathers and Sons, part three


Sequence of Action:


Bazarov’s Reunion with his Parents (Chapter 20)
Bazarov Breaks with his Parents (Chapter 21)
Return to Marino (Chapter 22)
The Kiss (Chapter 23)
The Duel (Chapter 24)
Arkady and Katya’s Courtship (Chapter 25)
Arkady and Katya’s Betrothal (Chapter 26)
Bazarov’s Death (Chapter 27)
The Double Wedding (Chapter 28)


Turgenev’s point of view?  His judgment of Bazarov?


Perhaps the nihilist is the true romantic while those who dance the social dance with all its absurdities are the true realists.


After being rejected by Odintsova, Bazarov determines to leave Nikolskoe and go home to visit his parents, sixty miles away.  While riding there with Arkady, he tries to master his emotions:


I'll tell you this; to my mind it's better to break stones on the road than to let a woman get the mastery of even the end of one's little finger. That's all . . . ," Bazarov was about to utter his favorite word "romanticism," but checked himself and said "rubbish." (Chapter 19) (170)


"Ugh! I can see, Arkady Nikolaich, that you regard love like all modern young men; cluck, cluck, cluck, you call to the hen, and the moment the hen comes near, off you run! I'm not like that. But enough of it all. It's a shame to talk about what can't be helped." (Chapter 21) (193)


Bazarov’s Reunion with his Parents (Chapter 20)


How do Bazarov’s parents welcome him home (after an absence of three years)?

Compare Bazarov’s father’s estate with Nikolskoe and Marino.  How does Vassily Ivanich run things? What political philosophy does he practice?


… you mustn't expect anything grand: we live very simply here, like military people. (176)




I, for instance, at the cost of quite considerable sacrifices to myself, have put my peasants on the rent system and have given up my land to them in return for half the proceeds. I considered it my duty; common sense alone demands that it should be done, though other landowners don't even think about doing it. But I speak now of the sciences, of education. (178)




"What am I? A retired army doctor, voila too; and now farming has fallen to my lot. I served in your grandfather's brigade," he addressed himself to Arkady again. (179)



See the little garden I've got now. I planted every tree myself. I have fruit, raspberries and all kinds of medicinal herbs. . . . I've retired from practice, as you know, but at least twice a week something happens to bring me back to my old work. They come for advice-- I can't drive them away-- and sometimes the poor people need help. Indeed there are no doctors here at all. One of the neighbors here, a retired major, just imagine it, he doctors the people too. I ask the question: 'Has he studied medicine?' They answer: 'No, he hasn't studied, he does it more from philanthropy' . . .  ha! ha! (180)


… he had one of his rent-paying peasants flogged the other day and quite rightly too-- yes, yes, don't look at me in such horror-- he did right because that peasant is a frightful thief and drunkard; only my father had no idea that I, as they say, became aware of the facts. He was very much embarrassed (203)


What should we make of this couple and their home?


His whole house consisted of six tiny rooms. One of these-- the one into which he led our friends-- was called the study. A thick-legged table, littered with papers blackened by an ancient accumulation of dust as if they had been smoked, occupied the whole space between the two windows; on the walls hung Turkish firearms, whips, a saber, two maps, some anatomical diagrams, a portrait of Hufeland, a monogram woven out of hair in a blackened frame, and a diploma under glass; a leather sofa, torn and worn hollow in places, stood between two huge cupboards of Karelian birchwood; on the shelves, books, little boxes, stuffed birds, jars and phials were crowded together in confusion; in one corner lay a broken electric battery. (176)


Arina Vlasyevna was a genuine Russian lady of olden times; she ought to have lived two centuries before, in the ancient Moscow days. She was very devout and emotional; she believed in fortunetelling, charms, dreams and omens of every conceivable kind; she believed in the prophecies of crazy people, in house spirits, in wood spirits, in unlucky meetings, in the evil eye, in popular remedies; she ate specially prepared salt on Holy Thursday and believed that the end of the world was close at hand; she believed that if on Easter Sunday the candles did not go out at Vespers, then there would be a good crop of buckwheat, and that a mushroom will not grow after a human eye has seen it; she believed that the devil likes to be where there is water, and that every Jew has a blood-stained spot on his breast; she was afraid of mice, of snakes, of frogs, of sparrows, of leeches, of thunder, of cold water, of draughts, of horses, of goats, of red-haired people and of black cats; she regarded crickets and dogs as unclean animals; she never ate veal, pigeons, crayfish, cheese, asparagus, Jerusalem artichokes, hares, or watermelons because a cut watermelon suggested the head of John the Baptist; she could not speak of oysters without a shudder; she enjoyed eating--but strictly observed fasts; she slept ten hours out of the twenty-four--and never went to bed at all if Vassily Ivanovich had so much as a headache; she had never read a single book except Alexis or the Cottage in the Forest; she wrote one or at most two letters in a year, but she was an expert housewife, knew all about preserving and jam making, though she touched nothing with her own hands and was usually reluctant to move from her place. Arina Vlasyevna was very kindhearted and in her own way far from stupid. She knew that the world is divided into masters whose duty it is to command, and simple people whose duty it is to serve--and so she felt no disgust for servile behavior or bowing to the ground; but she treated affectionately and gently those in subjection to her, never let a single beggar go away empty-handed, and never spoke ill of anyone, though she was fond of gossip. In her youth she had been very pretty, had played the clavichord and spoken a little French; but in the course of many years of wandering with her husband, whom she had married against her will, she had grown stout and forgotten both music and French. Her son she loved and feared unutterably; she had handed over the management of her little estate to Vassily Ivanovich--and she no longer took any part in it; she would groan, wave her handkerchief and raise her eyebrows higher and higher in horror directly her old husband began to discuss impending land reforms and his own plans. She was apprehensive, always expecting some great calamity, and would weep at once whenever she remembered anything sad . . . Nowadays such women have almost ceased to exist. God knows whether this should be a cause for rejoicing! (183-85)


Describe the dinners that Bazarov’s mother prepares for him.


The dinner, though hastily prepared, was very good and even abundant; only the wine was not quite up to the mark; it was sherry, almost black, bought by Timofeich in the town from a well-known merchant, and it had a flavor of copper or resin; the flies also were a nuisance. (181)

The next day she invites the local priest to come and perform a service of thanksgiving.

(There is no need to say what dinner was like that day; Timofeich in person had galloped off at dawn to procure some special Circassian beef; the bailiff had gone off in another direction for turbot, perch and crayfish; for mushrooms alone the peasant woman had been paid forty-two kopeks in copper) (201-02)



Vasily Ivanovich in his Garden


And here I am, as you see, like some Cincinnatus, preparing a bed for late turnips. The time has come now--and thank God for it!--when everyone should secure his sustenance by the work of his own hands: it is useless to rely on others; one must labor oneself. So it turns out that Jean Jacques Rousseau is right. Half an hour ago, my dear young sir, you could have seen me in an entirely different position. One peasant woman, who complained of looseness--that's how they express it, but in our language, dysentery--I--how shall I express it? I injected her with opium; and for another I extracted a tooth. I offered her an anesthetic, but she refused. I do all that gratis-- anamatyer. (187-88)


On his son:

Vassily Ivanovich listened and listened, blew his nose, rolled his handkerchief up into a ball with both hands, cleared his throat, ruffled up his hair--and at length could contain himself no longer; he bent down to Arkady and kissed him on the shoulder. "You have made me perfectly happy," he said... (189)


The Break with Arkady: (191-98)


"Ah, Arkady, do me a favor, let's quarrel properly for once, to the bitter end, to the point of destruction." (198)


Bazarov on his parents’ unconsciousness:

When one gets a side view from a distance of the dumb life our 'fathers' lead here, one thinks: what could be better? You eat and drink and know you are acting in the most righteous and sensible way. If not, you're devoured by the tedium of it. (193)


Bazarov on politics:

“A real man is not meant to be thought about, but is someone who must be either obeyed or hated….. When I meet a man who can hold his own beside me then I'll change my opinion of myself…” (195)


Bazarov on ‘ideals’:

Principles don't exist in general--you haven't yet managed to understand even that much!--but there are sensations. Everything depends on them. (195-96)


Bazarov on the peasants for whom he has dedicated his life:

You said, for instance, today as we passed the cottage of our bailiff Philip--the one that's so neat and clean--well, you said, Russia will achieve perfection when the poorest peasant has a house like that, and every one of us ought to help to bring it about . . . And I felt such a hatred for this poorest peasant, this Philip or Sidor, for whom I have to be ready to sacrifice my skin and who won't even thank me for it--and why should he thank me? Well, suppose he lives in a clean house, while weeds grow out of me--so, what next?" (195)


And Bazarov crushes his parents by leaving again, two days after he arrived.

(Vassily Ivanovich did not even mention that every morning the moment it was light he consulted with Timofeich, and standing with his bare feet in slippers, pulling out with trembling fingers one crumpled ruble note after another, entrusted him with various purchases, particularly of good things to eat, and of red wine, which, as far as he could observe, the young men liked extremely.) (204-05)

Bazarov and Arkady left on the following day. From early morning the house was filled with gloom; Anfisushka let the dishes slip out of her hand; even Fedka became bewildered and at length took off his boots. Vassily Ivanovich fussed more than ever; obviously he was trying to make the best of it, talked loudly and stamped his feet, but his face looked haggard and he continually avoided looking his son in the eyes. Arina Vlasyevna wept quietly; she would have broken down and lost all control of herself if her husband had not spent two whole hours exhorting her early that morning. When Bazarov, after repeated promises to come back within a month at the latest, tore himself at last from the embraces detaining him, and took his seat in the tarantass, when the horses started, the bell rang and the wheels were moving--and when it was no longer any use gazing after them, when the dust had settled down, and Timofeich, all bent and tottering as he walked, had crept back to his little room; when the old people were left alone in the house, which also seemed to have suddenly shrunk and grown decrepit--Vassily Ivanovich, who a few moments before had been heartily waving his handkerchief on the steps, sank into a chair and his head fell on his breast.

"He has abandoned us, cast us off!" he muttered. "Abandoned us, he only feels bored with us now. Alone, all alone, like a solitary finger," he repeated several times, stretching out his hand with the forefinger standing out from the others.

Then Arina Vlasyevna came up to him and leaning her grey head against his grey head, she said: "What can we do, Vasya? A son is a piece broken off. He's like a falcon that flies home and flies away again when it wants; but you and I are like mushrooms growing in the hollow of a tree, we sit side by side without moving from the same place. Only I will never change for you, and you will always be the same for me."

Vassily Ivanovich took his hands from his face and embraced his wife, his friend, more warmly than he had ever embraced her in his youth; she comforted him in his sorrow. (205-06)

How does Bazarov’s behavior here fit into Turgenev’s overall purpose?



Flying Visit to Nikolskoe (Chapter 22)

Bazarov: “What sort of stupidity is this?”


Return to Marino (Chapter 22)


The farm has deteriorated, and Nikolai cannot get the peasants to work because he refuses to flog them

Every day difficulties arose on the farm--senseless, distressing difficulties. The troubles with the hired laborers had become intolerable. Some gave notice or asked for higher wages, while others walked off with wages they had received in advance; the horses fell sick; the harness was damaged as though it had been burnt; the work was carelessly done; a threshing machine ordered from Moscow turned out to be unusable because it was too heavy; another winnowing machine was ruined the very first time it was used; half the cattle sheds were burned down because a blind old woman on the farm went with a blazing firebrand in windy weather to fumigate her cow . . . of course, the old woman maintained that the whole mishap was due to the master's plan of introducing new-fangled cheeses and dairy products. The bailiff suddenly turned lazy and began to grow fat as every Russian grows fat when he gets an easy living. When he caught sight of Nikolai Petrovich in the distance, he would try to demonstrate his zeal by throwing a stick at a passing pig, or by threatening some half-naked ragamuffin, but for the rest of the time he was generally asleep. The peasants who had been put on the rent system did not pay in time and stole wood from the forest; almost every night the watchmen caught peasants' horses in the farm meadows and sometimes removed them after a scrimmage. Nikolai Petrovich would fix a money fine for damages, but the matter usually ended by the horses being returned to their owners after they had been kept for a day or two on the master's forage. On top of all this the peasants began to quarrel among themselves; brothers asked for their property to be divided, their wives could not get on together in one house; suddenly a quarrel would flare up, they would all rise to their feet, as though at a given signal, would run to the porch of the estate office, and crawl in front of the master, often in a drunken state with battered faces, demanding justice and retribution; an uproar and clamor would ensue, the shrill screams of the women mingling with the curses of the men. The contending parties had to be examined, and one had to shout oneself hoarse, knowing in advance that it was in any case quite impossible to reach a just settlement. There were not enough hands for the harvest; a neighboring yeoman, in the most benevolent manner, contracted to supply him with reapers for a commission of two rubles per acre--and cheated him in the most shameless way; his peasant women demanded exorbitant prices, and meanwhile the corn got spoiled; the harvest was not in the common ownership, but at the same time the Council of Guardians issued threats and demanded immediate and full payment of interest due . . .

"It's beyond my power!" exclaimed Nikolai Petrovich several times in despair. "I can't flog them myself; to send for the police--is against my principles, but without the fear of punishment you can do absolutely nothing with them!" (209-11)

Bazarov refuses to comment. Instead he busies himself with his experiments on frogs.

Meanwhile, Arkady pines for Katya until one day he just impulsively goes to Nikolskoe and discovers that Katya is delighted to see him. He, too, is delighted to see her.


The Kiss (Chapter 23)


Turgenev contrives to trap Bazarov in the middle of a typical 19thc. romantic novel.  Turgenev uses obvious literary artifices like stolen kisses, overheard conversations and, ultimately, duels to further humiliate his materialist hero. Bazarov is trapped in the wrong novel.


"It smacks too much of a French novel, a bit unreal." (Chapter 24)


"What the devil-- How fine and how stupid! A pretty farce we've been acting; like trained dogs dancing on their hind legs. But it was out of the question to refuse; I really believe he would have struck me, and then . . ." (Bazarov turned pale at the very thought; all his pride stood up on end.) "I might have had to strangle him like a kitten." (228-29)


Bazarov went to bed late, and all night long he was oppressed by disordered dreams . . . Madame Odintsov kept on appearing in them; now she was his mother and she was followed by a kitten with black whiskers, and this kitten was really Fenichka; then Pavel Petrovich took the shape of a great forest, with which he had still to fight. (229-30)


"What a piece of idiocy!"


Cholera began to break out in some places in the neighborhood, and even "carried off" two people from Maryino itself.

Bazarov went on working obstinately and grimly . . . and meanwhile there was in Nikolai Petrovich's house one person to whom, if he did not open his heart, he was at least glad to talk . . . that person was Fenichka.


He used to meet her chiefly in the early morning, in the garden or the farmyard; he never went to see her in her room and she had only once come to his door to inquire--should she give Mitya his bath or not? She not only had confidence in him and was not afraid of him, she felt freer and more at ease with him than she did with Nikolai Petrovich himself. It is hard to say how this came about; perhaps because unconsciously she felt in Bazarov the absence of anything aristocratic, of all that superiority which at once attracts and overawes. In her eyes he was both an excellent doctor and a simple man. She attended to her baby in his presence without any embarrassment, and once when she was suddenly overcome by giddiness and headache she took a spoonful of medicine from his hands. (217)


Fenichka liked Bazarov, and he liked her also. His face was even transformed when he talked to her; it took on an open kindly expression, and his habitual nonchalance was modified by a kind of jocular attentiveness. Fenichka was growing prettier every day. There is a period in the life of young women when they suddenly begin to expand and blossom like summer roses; such a time had come for Fenichka. (217)


One day at seven o'clock in the morning, Bazarov was returning from a walk and encountered Fenichka in the lilac arbor, which had long ceased to flower but was still thick with green leaves…. (218)


Fenichka stretched her little neck forward and put her face close to the flower, . . . The kerchief slipped from her hair on to her shoulders, disclosing a soft mass of black shining and slightly ruffled hair. 

"Wait a moment; I want to smell it with you," said Bazarov; he bent down and kissed her vigorously on her parted lips.

She shuddered, pushed him back with both her hands on his breast, but pushed weakly, so that he was able to renew and prolong his kiss.

A dry cough made itself heard behind the lilac bushes.(222)



The Duel (Chapter 24)


"I don't quite agree with that," said Bazarov. "It smacks too much of a French novel, a bit unreal." (227)


Bazarov moved slowly forward and Pavel Petrovich walked towards him, his left hand thrust in his pocket, gradually raising the muzzle of his pistol . . . "He's aiming straight at my nose," thought Bazarov, "and how carefully he screws up his eyes, the scoundrel! Not an agreeable sensation. I'd better look at his watch-chain Something whizzed by sharply close to Bazarov's ear, and a shot rang out at that moment. "I heard it, so it must be all right," managed to flash through Bazarov's brain. He took one more step, and without taking aim, pressed the trigger.

Pavel Petrovich swayed slightly and clutched at his thigh. A thin stream of blood began to trickle down his white trousers.

Bazarov threw his pistol aside and went up to his antagonist. "Are you wounded?" he asked. (232-33)


Now I'm no longer a duelist but a doctor, and first of all I must have a look at your wound. (233)


Pyotr dashed off, and while he was running for a droshky, the two antagonists sat on the ground in silence. Pavel Petrovich tried not to look at Bazarov; he did not want to be reconciled to him in any case; he felt ashamed of his own arrogance, of his failure; he was ashamed of the whole affair he had arranged even though he realized it could not have ended more auspiciously. "At least he won't go on hanging around here," he consoled himself by thinking: "one should be thankful even for that." The prolonged silence was oppressive and awkward. Both of them felt ill at ease; each was conscious that the other understood him. For friends such a feeling is agreeable, but for those who are not friends it is most unpleasant, especially when it is impossible either to come to an understanding or to separate. (234-35)


Bazarov on peasants:

"Who knows him!" answered Bazarov.  The Russian peasant is that mysterious unknown person about whom Mrs. Radcliffe used to say so much. Who can understand him? He doesn't understand himself."



Bazarov sat the whole day in his room, looking yellow and angry, and only went in to the invalid for as brief a visit as possible; twice he happened to meet Fenichka, but she shrank away from him in horror.


Bazarov came to see him on the following day at eight o'clock. He had already managed to pack and had set free all his frogs, insects and birds.

"You have come to say good-by to me?" said Nikolai Petrovich, getting up to meet him.



… when, three miles further on at a bend in the road, he saw for the last time the Kirsanovs' farmstead and its new manor house standing together on the sky line, he merely spat and muttering, "Damned noblemen," wrapped himself more tightly in his cloak. (239)


Brother, do your duty, the duty of an honest and generous man, put an end to the scandal and the bad example you are setting--you, the best of men!"

"What do you mean, Pavel?"

"Marry Fenichka . . . she loves you; she is--the mother of your son."  (243)

Arkady and Katya’s Courtship (Chapter 25)

"But, you see, I am not rich."

Arkady was surprised and did not at once understand Katya. "Why, as a matter of fact, the property is all her sister's!" struck him suddenly; the thought was not disagreeable to him.

"How nicely you said that," he remarked.


"Lovely little feet," she thought, as she slowly and lightly mounted the stone steps of the terrace which were burning from the heat of the sun. "Lovely little feet, you call them . . . Well, he shall be at my feet."


To Arkady:

"Hm! A new story," remarked Bazarov under his breath, "but you needn't get agitated about it, for it's a matter of complete indifference to me. A romantic would say: I feel that our roads are beginning to branch out in different directions, but I will simply say that we're tired of each other."

"Evgeny . . ."

"There's no harm in that, my good soul; one gets tired of plenty of other things in the world! And now I think we had better say good-by. Ever since I've been here I've felt so disgusting, just as if I'd been reading Gogol's letters to the wife of the Governor of Kaluga. By the way, I didn't tell them to unharness the horses."

Arkady and Katya’s Betrothal (Chapter 26)




a building in the style of a Greek temple, made of Russian brick. Along the windowless back wall of this temple or gallery were placed six niches for statues, which Odintsov proceeded to order from abroad. These statues were intended to represent Solitude, Silence, Meditation, Melancholy, Modesty and Sensibility. One of them, the Goddess of Silence, with her finger on her lips, had been delivered and placed in position; but on the very same day some of the farm boys knocked off her nose, and although the neighboring plasterer undertook to make her a new nose, "twice as good as the previous one,"



After listening to Bazarov and Odintsova put each other off:

"Katerina Sergeyevna," he said; his voice shook and he clenched his hands; "I love you--forever and irrevocably, and I love no one except you. I wanted to tell you this, to find out what you will say and to ask you to marry me, because, of course, I'm not rich and I feel ready for any kind of sacrifice . . . You don't answer? You don't believe me? Do you think I'm talking lightly? But remember these last days! Surely you must be convinced by now that everything else--you understand me--absolutely everything else has vanished long ago and left no trace? Look at me, say one word to me . . . I love . . . I love you . . . believe me."

Katya turned her eyes to Arkady with a grave and radiant look, and after a long reflective pause, she murmured, smiling slightly, "Yes."

Bazarov’s Farewell to Arkady

Many a young lady is called intelligent simply because she can sigh intelligently; but yours can hold her own, and indeed she'll hold it so well that she'll have you under her thumb--well, and that's quite as it should be.


"And now I say again, farewell . . . because it's useless to deceive ourselves; we are parting forever, and you know it yourself . . . you acted sensibly; you were not made for our bitter, rough, lonely existence. There's no daring in you, no hatred, though you've got youthful dash and youthful fervor; that's not enough for our business. Your sort, the nobility, can never go farther than noble resignation or noble indignation, but those things are trifles. For instance, you won't fight--and yet you fancy yourselves as brave fellows--but we want to fight. So there! Our dust would get into your eyes, our mud would soil you, but you're not up to our standard, you unconsciously admire yourselves and you enjoy finding fault with yourselves; but we're fed up with all that--we want something else! We want to smash people! You're a fine fellow, but all the same you're a mild little liberal gentleman--ay volatoo, as my parent would say.”

Bazarov’s Death (Chapter 27)        


Bazarov, however, soon ceased to shut himself up; his fever for work abated and was replaced by painful boredom and a vague restlessness. A strange weariness began to show itself in all his movements; even his walk, once so firm, bold and impetuous, was changed.



One day, talking about the approaching liberation of the serfs, he hoped to arouse his son's sympathy by making some remarks about progress; but Bazarov only answered indifferently, "Yesterday I was walking along the fence and heard our peasant boys, instead of singing an old folk song, bawling some street ditty about 'the time has come for love' . . . that's what your progress amounts to."


The Peasants on Bazarov:


"How could he understand!" answered the other peasant, and pushing back their caps and loosening their belts they both started discussing their affairs and their needs. Alas! Bazarov, shrugging his shoulders contemptuously, he who knew how to talk to the peasants (as he had boasted in his dispute with Pavel Petrovich), the self-confident Bazarov did not for a moment suspect that in their eyes he was all the same a kind of buffoon . . . .



Bazarov’s Injury:

One day a peasant from a neighboring village brought over to Vassily Ivanovich his brother, who was stricken with typhus. The unhappy man, lying flat on a truss of straw, was dying; his body was covered with dark patches, he had long ago lost consciousness. Vassily Ivanovich expressed his regret that no one had taken any steps to secure medical aid earlier and said it was impossible to save the man. In fact the peasant never got his brother home again; he died as he was, lying in the cart.

Three days later Bazarov came into his father's room and asked him if he had any silver nitrate.

"Yes; what do you want it for?"

"I want it . . . to burn out a cut."

"For whom?"

"For myself."

"How for yourself? What is that? What sort of a cut? Where is it?"

"Here, on my finger. I went today to the village where they brought that peasant with typhus, you know. They wanted to open the body for some reason, and I've had no practice at that sort of thing for a long time."


"Well, so I asked the district doctor to help; and so I cut myself."

Vassily Ivanovich suddenly turned completely white, and without saying a word rushed into his study and returned at once with a piece of silver nitrate in his hand. Bazarov was about to take it and go away.

"For God's sake," muttered Vassily Ivanovich, "let me do it myself."


Bazarov abruptly turned round on the sofa, looked fixedly with dim eyes at his father and asked for something to drink.

Vassily Ivanovich gave him some water and in so doing felt his forehead; it was burning.

"Listen, old man," began Bazarov in a slow husky voice, "I'm in a bad way. I've caught the infection and in a few days you'll have to bury me."

Vassily Ivanovich staggered as though someone had knocked his legs from under him.

"Evgeny," he muttered, "what are you saying? God have mercy on you! You've caught cold . . ."

"Stop that," interrupted Bazarov in the same slow, deliberate voice; "a doctor has no right to talk like that. I've all the symptoms of infection, you can see for yourself."

"What symptoms . . . of infection, Evgeny? . . . Good heavens!"

"Well, what's this?" said Bazarov, and pulling up his shirt sleeve he showed his father the ominous red patches coming out on his arm.

Farewell To Odintsova:

"Well, what have I to say to you . . . I loved you? That had no sense even before, and less than ever now. Love is a form, but my own form is already dissolving. Better for me to say--how wonderful you are! And now you stand there, so beautiful. . ."

Anna Sergeyevna involuntarily shuddered.

"Never mind, don't be agitated . . . Sit down over there . . . Don't come close to me; you know my disease is infectious."

Anna Sergeyevna walked quickly across the room and sat down in the armchair near the sofa on which Bazarov was lying.


Anna Sergeyevna gave him some water to drink, without taking off her glove


Towards evening he sank into a complete coma, and the following day he died. Father Alexei performed the last rites of religion over him. When they anointed him, and the holy oil touched his breast, one of his eyes opened, and it seemed as though, at the sight of the priest in his vestments, of the smoking censer, of the candle burning in front of the image, something like a shudder of horror passed through his death-stricken face.


The Double Wedding (Chapter 28)


Anna Sergeyevna has recently married again, not for love but out of reasonable conviction, a man who may be one of the future leaders of Russia, a very clever lawyer with vigorous practical sense, a strong will and a remarkable gift of eloquence--still young, good-natured, and cold as ice. They live very harmoniously together and may live to the point of attaining happiness . . . perhaps even love.


Katerina Sergeyevna has a son, Kolya, and Mitya already runs about fearlessly, and talks a lot. Fenichka, Fedosya Nikolaevna, after her husband and Mitya, adores no one so much as her daughter-in-law, and when Katerina plays the piano, she would gladly spend the whole day at her side.



The Final Paragraph: At Bazarov’s Grave


There is a small village graveyard in one of the remote corners of Russia. Like almost all our graveyards, it has a melancholy look; the ditches surrounding it have long been overgrown; grey wooden crosses have fallen askew and rotted under their once painted gables; the gravestones are all out of position, just as if someone had pushed them from below; two or three bare trees hardly provide some meager shade; the sheep wander unchecked among the tombs . . . But among them is one grave untouched by human beings and not trampled on by any animal; only the birds perch on it and sing at daybreak. An iron railing surrounds it and two young fir trees have been planted there, one at each end; Evgeny Bazarov is buried in this tomb. Often from the near-by village two frail old people come to visit it--a husband and wife. Supporting one another, they walk with heavy steps; they go up to the iron railing, fall on their knees and weep long and bitterly, and gaze intently at the silent stone under which their son lies buried; they exchange a few words, wipe away the dust from the stone or tidy up some branches of a fir tree, then start to pray again and cannot tear themselves away from that place where they seem to be nearer to their son, to their memories of him . . . Can it be that their prayers and their tears are fruitless? Can it be that love, sacred devoted love, is not all powerful? Oh, no! However passionate, sinful or rebellious the heart hidden in the tomb, the flowers growing over it peep at us serenely with their innocent eyes; they tell us not only of eternal peace, of that great peace of "indifferent" nature; they tell us also of eternal reconciliation and of life without end.