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Page:Pushkin - Russian Romance (King, 1875).djvu/146

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RUSSIAN ROMANCE.

"All well enough; one thing only is not well; why the devil dost thou want to marry? I am an honest man, I do not wish to deceive thee; believe me when I tell thee that marriage is all nonsense. What dost thou want to drag a wife about for, and nurse brats? Spit upon such a notion. Listen to me: break with the captain's daughter. The road to Simbirsk has been cleared by me, and is now safe. Send her alone to-morrow to thy parents; and remain in my detachment. There is no necessity for thee to return to Orenburg. If thou wert to fall again into the hands of the rebels, thou wouldst hardly get away. Thus this amorous trash will wear itself out, and all will be well."

Although I did not quite agree with all he said, still I felt that honour and duty required my presence in her majesty's army. I decided upon following Zourine's advice; to send Maria Ivanovna to my parents, and to remain with the detachment.

Savelitch came to assist me to undress. I desired him to be prepared the next day to accompany Maria Ivanovna. He was about to rebel.

"What dost thou say, sir? How am I to leave thee? Who is to look after thee? What will thy parents say?"

Well aware of his obstinate disposition, I resolved upon winning him over with kind and confidential words.

"My good friend, Arhipp Savelitch!" said I, "do not refuse to be a benefactor to me; I shall not need a servant, but I shall be uneasy if Maria Ivanovna were to leave without thee. In serving her, thou shalt serve me