Page:The Novels of Ivan Turgenev (volume V).djvu/12

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is not a complete picture of the Young Russia of the day; it was not yet time for that picture; and that being so, Turgenev did the next best thing in attacking the windbags, the charlatans and their crowd of shallow, chattering followers, as well as the empty formulas of the laissez-faire party. It was inevitable that the attack should bring on him the anger of all young enthusiasts working for 'the Cause'; it was inevitable that 'the Cause' of reform in Russia should be mixed up with the Gubaryovs, just as reforms in France a few years ago were mixed up with Boulanger ; and that Turgenev's waning popularity for the last twenty years of his life should be directly caused by his honesty and clear-sightedness in regard to Russian Liberalism, was inevitable also. To be crucified by those you have benefited is the cross of honour of all great, single-hearted men.

But though the bitterness of political life flavours Smoke, although its points of departure and arrival are wrapped in the atmosphere of Russia's dark and insoluble problems, nevertheless the two central figures of the book, Litvinov and Irina, are not political figures. Luckily for them, in Gubaryovs words, they