Page:The Novels of Ivan Turgenev (volume V).djvu/181

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Russian, you should turn up our ballads, our legends. To say nothing of the fact that love is always presented as the result of witchcraft, of sorcery, and produced by some philtre, to say nothing of our so-called epic literature being the only one among all the European and Asiatic literatures — the only one, observe, which does not present any typical pair of lovers—unless you reckon Vanka-Tanka as such; and of the Holy Russian knight always beginning his acquaintance with his destined bride by beating her "most pitilessly" on her white body, because "the race of women is puffed up"! all that I pass over ; but I should like to call your attention to the artistic form of the young hero, the jeune premier, as he was depicted by the imagination of the primitive, uncivilised Slav. Just fancy him a minute; the jeune premier enters; a cloak he has worked himself of sable, back-stitched along every seam, a sash of seven-fold silk girt close about his armpits, his fingers hidden away under his hanging sleevelets, the collar of his coat raised high above his head, from before, his rosy face no man can see, nor, from behind, his little white neck; his cap is on one ear, while on his feet are boots of morocco, with points as sharp as a cobbler's awl, and the heels peaked like nails. Round the points an egg can be rolled, and a sparrow