Page:The Novels of Ivan Turgenev (volume V).djvu/179

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"man is nothing but a carnivorous animal." "And predatory?" I added. "And predatory," he declared. "Well said," I observed. " Well, then I am surprised you 've never noticed that such animals live in monogamy." The "new young man" started. "How so?" "Why, it is so. Think of the lion, the wolf, the fox, the vulture, the kite; and, indeed, would you condescend to suggest how they could do otherwise. It's hard work enough for the two together to get a living for their offspring." My "new young man" grew thoughtful. "Well," says he, "in that case the animal is not a rule for man." Thereupon I called him an idealist, and wasn't he hurt at that! He almost cried. I had to comfort him by promising not to tell of him to his friends. To deserve to be called an idealist is no laughing matter! The main point in which our latter-day young people are out in their reckoning is this. They fancy that the time for the old, obscure, underground work is over, that it was all very well for their old-fashioned fathers to burrow like moles, but that's too humiliating a part for us, we will take action in the light of day, we will take action . . . Poor darlings! why your children even won't take action; and don't you care to go back to burrowing, burrowing underground again in the old tracks?'