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Page:Pushkin - Russian Romance (King, 1875).djvu/159

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and her anguish, and was incessantly devising means for obtaining my deliverance.

One evening my father sat on the sofa turning over the leaves of the "Court Calendar," but his thoughts were far away, and the perusal did not produce its wonted effects. He whistled an old march. My mother was silently knitting a woollen jacket, an occasional tear dropping on it. Maria Ivanovna, who was at her work by their side, informed them, without any preface, that she was under the necessity of going to Petersburg, and begged they would furnish her with the requisite means for the journey. My mother felt much grieved.

"Why dost thou want to go to Petersburgh?" said she. "Is it possible, Maria Ivanovna, that thou wishest to abandon us?"

Maria Ivanovna answered that her future depended upon the journey; that she was going to seek the protection and assistance of people of influence, as the daughter of a man who had suffered for his loyalty.

My father drooped his head; he was pained at every word that reminded him of his son's imputed crime, and felt it as a poignant reproach to himself.

"Go," said he, with a sigh. "We do not wish to stand in the way of thy happiness. May God grant thee a good man for thy husband, in the place of a sullied traitor!"

He rose, and left the room.

Alone with my mother, Maria Ivanovna partly disclosed her intentions. My mother embraced her with tears, praying to God for a happy issue to the precon-