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Page:Pushkin - Russian Romance (King, 1875).djvu/52

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RUSSIAN ROMANCE.

following morning at six o'clock. We were to all appearances conversing so amicably, that the overjoyed Ivan Ignatitch almost betrayed himself. "That's how it ought to have been long ago," said he to me with a pleased countenance; "defective peace is better than a good row; if it is not honourable, at least it is attended with safety."

"What is it you are saying, Ivan Ignatitch?" said the commandant's wife, who was playing at cards in a corner. "I did not quite hear it."

Ivan Ignatitch, perceiving that I was displeased, and recollecting his promise, became confused and scarcely knew what reply to make. Shvabrine hastened to the rescue.

"Ivan Ignatitch," said he, "approves of our peace-making."

"And who did'st thou fall out with, my little father?"

"We had all but a serious row, Piotr Andrevitch and I."

"What about?"

"About a mere nothing; a song, Vassilissa Yegorovna."

"Could you find nothing better to quarrel about? a song! . . . . how did it happen?"

"In this way; Piotr Andrevitch has lately composed a song, which he sang to me to-day, and I replied by humming my favourite:

 

"'Captain's Daughter,
Do not take thy walk at midnight.'

 

Discord was the result. Piotr Andrevitch got quite angry, but upon reflection, he admitted that everybody was free to sing what he pleases; thus the affair ended."