Page:The Novels of Ivan Turgenev (volume V).djvu/55

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SMOKE

for ten minutes together, and all were content and understood. The conversation lasted till after midnight, and was as usual distinguished by the number and variety of the subjects discussed. Madame Suhantchikov talked about Garibaldi, about a certain Karl Ivanovitch, who had been flogged by the serfs of his own household, about Napoleon III., about women's work, about a merchant, Pleskatchov, who had designedly caused the death of twelve work-women, and had received a medal for it with the inscription 'for public services'; about the proletariat, about the Georgian Prince Tchuktcheulidzov, who had shot his wife with a cannon, and about the future of Russia. Pishtchalkin, too, talked of the future of Russia, and of the spirit monopoly, and of the significance of nationalities, and of how he hated above everything what was vulgar. There was an outburst all of a sudden from Voroshilov; in a single breath, almost choking himself, he mentioned Draper, Virchow, Shelgunov, Bichat, Helmholtz, Star, St. Raymund, Johann Müller the physiologist, and Johann Müller the historian — obviously confounding them — Taine, Renan, Shtchapov; and then Thomas Nash, Peele, Greene. . . . 'What sort of queer fish may they be?' Bambaev muttered bewildered, Shakespeare's predecessors having the same relation

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