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53
THE CAPTAIN'S DAUGHTER.

no help for it; Piotr Andrevitch, may you at least be happy . . . ."

"It shall not be," exclaimed I, seizing her hand; "thou lovest me; I am prepared for everything. Let us go; let us kneel before thy parents; they are simple people, and not hardhearted and proud. . . . They will bless us, and we shall marry. . . . And then, in time, we shall, I feel certain, bend my father's will. My mother will be on our side—he will forgive me. . . ."

"No, Piotr Andrevitch," replied Masha, "I shall not marry thee without thy parents' blessing. Without thy parents' blessing, thou shalt have no happiness. Let us submit to God's will. Should'st thou find a bride, should'st thou love another—God be with thee, Piotr Andrevitch, and I shall pray for thee both. . . ."

Here she burst into tears and left me; I was about to follow her into the house, but felt that I was unable to master my emotion, so I returned home.

I sat in deep meditation, which was suddenly interrupted by Savelitch.

"Here, sir," said he, giving me a written sheet of paper; "see how I denounce my master, and how I try to set the father against the son."

I took the paper from his hand—it was Savelitch's answer to the letter he had received. Here it is, word for word:—

 

"Andrey Petrovitch, sir, our merciful father,

"I received your gracious writing, in which you deign to reproach me, your slave, for that I ought to be