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Page:Complete Works of Count Tolstoy - 02.djvu/108

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THE COSSACKS

begin, in which there would be none of those blunders, and no remorse, and in which he certainly would be happy.

When one sets out for a long journey, the imagination at the first two stages remains in the place whence one has set out; then, suddenly, on the first morning which one passes on the road, one is transferred to the goal of the journey, and there builds castles of the future. The same happened to Olénin.

As he drove out of the city, and gazed at the snow-covered fields, he rejoiced at being all alone in their midst, wrapped himself in his fur coat, let himself down in the bed of the sleigh, became calm, and dozed off. His leave-taking with his friends unstrung him, and he recalled his whole last winter which he had passed in Moscow; and pictures of that past, interrupted by indistinct thoughts and reproaches, began to rise unbidden before his imagination.

He recalled the friend who had seen him off, and his relations with the maiden of whom they had been speaking. That girl was rich. "How could he have loved her, when he knew that she was in love with me?" he thought, and evil suspicions rose in his mind. "When you come to think of it, there is much dishonesty in people. But why have I not yet loved?" the question occurred to him. "Everybody tells me that I have not yet loved. Am I really a moral monster?"

And he began to recall the subjects of his temporary transports. He recalled the first experience of his worldly life, and the sister of one of his friends, with whom he used to pass evenings at the table with a lamp upon it that cast a light upon her slender fingers at work, and upon the lower part of her fair oval face, and he remembered those conversations that dragged along like a child's game called "the fox is alive," and the general awkwardness, and the embarrassment, and the continuous