watches, why, I 'd have those watches set up in the pillory, and say: see, good people, this is the way not to do it. Kulibin 's not to blame for it, but his work 's rubbish. To admire Telushkin's boldness and cleverness because he climbed on to the Admiralty spire is well enough; why not admire him? But there 's no need to shout that he's made the German architects look foolish, that they 're no good, except at making money. . . . He 's not made them look foolish in the least; they had to put a scaffolding round the spire afterwards, and repair it in the usual way. For mercy's sake, never encourage the idea in Russia that anything can be done without training. No; you may have the brain of a Solomon, but you must study, study from the A B C. Or else hold your tongue, and sit still, and be humble! Phoo! it makes one hot all over!'
Potugin took off his hat and began fanning himself with his handkerchief.
'Russian art,' he began again. 'Russian art, indeed ! . . . Russian impotence and conceit, I know, and Russian feebleness too, but Russian art, begging your pardon, I 've never come across. For twenty years on end they 've been doing homage to that bloated nonentity Bryullov, and fancying that we have founded a school of our own, and even that it will be