Page:The Novels of Ivan Turgenev (volume V).djvu/50

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knitting his brows; and, turning to Litvinov, whose head began to swim from the medley of unfamiliar names, and the frenzy of backbiting, he asked him what subjects he was interested in.

Litvinov satisfied his curiosity.

'Ah! to be sure, the natural sciences. That is useful, as training; as training, not as an end in itself. The end at present should be . . . mm. . . . should be . . . different. Allow me to ask what views do you hold?'

'What views?'

'Yes, that is, more accurately speaking, what are your political views?'

Litvinov smiled.

'Strictly speaking, I have no political views.'

The broad-shouldered man sitting in the corner raised his head quickly at these words and looked attentively at Litvinov.

'How is that?' observed Gubaryov with peculiar gentleness. 'Have you not yet reflected on the subject, or have you grown weary of it?'

'How shall I say? It seems to me that for us Russians, it is too early yet to have political views or to imagine that we have them. Observe that I attribute to the word "political" the meaning which belongs to it by right, and that——'