Page:The Novels of Ivan Turgenev (volume V).djvu/178

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'But turn the conversation with the same political economist,' pursued Potugin, 'on the most abstruse problems of social science, keeping to theory, without facts . . .! —he takes flight like a bird, a perfect eagle. I did once succeed, though, in catching one of those birds. I used a pretty snare, though an obvious one, as you shall see if you please. I was talking with one of our latter-day "new young men" about various questions, as they call them. Well, he got very hot, as they always do. Marriage among other things he attacked with really childish exasperation. I brought forward one argument after another ... I might as well have talked to a stone wall! I saw I should never get round him like that. And then I had a happy thought! "Allow me to submit to you," I began,—one must always talk very respectfully to these "new young men" —"I am really surprised at you, my dear sir; you are studying natural science, and your attention has never up till now been caught by the fact that all carnivorous and predatory animals—wild beasts and birds—all who have to go out in search of prey, and to exert themselves to obtain animal food for themselves and their young . . . and I suppose you would include man in the category of such animals?" "Of course, I should," said the " new young man,"