Page:The Novels of Ivan Turgenev (volume V).djvu/130

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SMOKE

opinion avec Orphée aux enfers le progres a dit son dernier mot.'

'Vous dites toujours des bêtises', giggled the lady from Arzamass.

The general looked dignified.

'Je ne suis jamais plus sérieux, madame, que quand je dis des bêtises!'

'Monsieur Verdier has uttered that very phrase several times already,' observed Irina in a loud voice.

'De la poigne et des formes,' cried the stout general, 'de la poigne surtout. And to translate into Russian: be civil but don't spare your fists.'

'Ah, you 're a rascal, an incorrigible rascal,' interposed the condescending general. 'Mesdames, don't listen to him, please. A barking dog does not bite. He cares for nothing but flirtation.'

'That's not right, though, Boris,' began Ratmirov, after exchanging a glance with his wife, 'it 's all very well to be mischievous, but that's going too far. Progress is a phenomenon of social life, and this is what we must not forget; it 's a symptom. It 's what we must watch.'

'All right, I say,' observed the stout general, wrinkling up his nose; 'we all know you are aiming at the ministry.'

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