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Page:Pushkin - Russian Romance (King, 1875).djvu/22

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10
RUSSIAN ROMANCE.

birth tasted anything stronger than kvass.[1] And whose fault is it all? That d——d Monssié. I fancy I see him now, running to Antipíevna; 'Madame, je vous prie, vodka.' There is je vous prie for you! There is no denying it; he has taught thee some nice things—that son of a dog. And what was the use of engaging a heathen for thy tutor, as if our master had not enough of his own people about him to choose from?"

I felt ashamed of myself; I turned to the wall, and said to him—"Go away, Savelitch, I do not want any tea."

But it was difficult to stop Savelitch when he had once begun to lecture.

"There, Piotr Andrevitch, thou seest what comes of tippling; one has a headache—one cannot eat anything. A man who drinks is perfectly useless. Take a little cucumber juice, with honey, or what is better still, half a glass of spirits as a refresher. What sayest thou to it?"

At that moment a boy entered and handed me a note from Zourine. I opened it and read the following lines:—

 

"My dear Piotr Andrevitch,

"Please send me, by my boy, the hundred roubles which thou lostest yesterday. I stand in great need of money.

"Ready, and at thy service,

"Ivan Zourine."

 

There was no help for it; I tried to look unconcerned and turning to Savelitch, who kept my money and

  1. A fermented liquor made from barley malt, wheat, rye, wheat flour, and buck wheat.—Tr.