Page:The Novels of Ivan Turgenev (volume V).djvu/287

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thing precious to me, would be too little; I live wholly in that love; that love is my whole being; in it are my future, my career, my vocation, my country! You know me, Irina; you know that fine talk of any sort is foreign to my nature, hateful to me, and however strong the words in which I try to express my feelings, you will have no doubts of their sincerity, you will not suppose them exaggerated. I 'm not a boy, in the impulse of momentary ecstasy, lisping unreflecting vows to you, but a man of matured age—simply and plainly, almost with terror, telling you what he has recognised for unmistakable truth. Yes, your love has replaced everything for me—everything, everything! Judge for yourself: can I leave this my all in the hands of another? can I let him dispose of you? You—you will belong to him, my whole being, my heart's blood will belong to him—while I myself . . . where am I? what am I? An outsider—an onlooker . . . looking on at my own life! No, that's impossible, impossible! To share, to share in secret that without which it 's useless, impossible to live . . . that 's deceit and death. I know how great a sacrifice I am asking of you, without any sort of right to it; indeed, what can give one a right to sacrifice? But I am not acting thus from egoism: an egoist would find it easier