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Page:Complete Works of Count Tolstoy - 02.djvu/102

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84
THE COSSACKS

is the use of speaking? I have blundered and blundered in my life. But now all is ended, you are right. And I feel that a new life is to begin."

"In which you will blunder again," said the one who was lying on the sofa and playing with his watch-key; but the departing man did not hear him.

"I am both sad and happy to leave," he continued. "Why sad? I do not know."

And the departing man began to speak of himself, without noticing that the others were not as much interested in this as he. Man is never such an egotist as in the moment of sentimental transport. It seems to him then that there is nothing in the world more beautiful and interesting than he himself.

"Dmítri Andréevich, the driver refuses to wait!" said, upon entering, a young manorial servant, in a fur coat, and wrapped in a scarf. "The horses have been standing since twelve o'clock, and now it is four."

Dmítri Andréevich looked at his Vanyúsha. In his scarf, felt boots, and sleepy face he heard the voice of another life which called him,—a life of labour, privation, and activity.

"That is so, good-bye!" he said, searching for the unhooked eye of his fur coat.

In spite of the advice of his friends to give the driver a pourboire, he donned his cap, and stood in the middle of the room. They kissed once, twice, then stopped, and kissed for the third time. The one who was in the short fur coat walked up to the table, emptied a beaker that was standing upon it, took the hand of the short, homely fellow, and blushed.

"No, I will say it—I ought to be and can be frank with you, because I love you—You love her? I always thought so—yes?"

"Yes," answered his friend, smiling more gently still.

"And maybe—"