Page:The Novels of Ivan Turgenev (volume V).djvu/65

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are badly off for that commodity, and we grovel before it. It is Mr. Gubaryov's will to be a ruler, and every one has recognised him as a ruler. What would you have? The government has forced us from the dependence of serfdom — and many thanks to it! but the habits of slavery are too deeply ingrained in us; we cannot easily be rid of them. We want a master in everything and everywhere; as a rule this master is a living subject, sometimes it is some so-called tendency which gains authority over us. . . . At present, for instance, we are all the bondslaves of natural science. . . . Why, owing to what causes, we take this bondage upon us, that is a matter difficult to see into; but such seemingly is our nature. But the great thing is, that we should have a master. Well, here he is amongst us; that means he is ours, and we can afford to despise everything else! Simply slaves! And our pride is slavish, and slavish too is our humility. If a new master arises — it 's all over with the old one. Then it was Yakov, and now it is Sidor ; we box Yakov's ears and kneel to Sidor! Call to mind how many tricks of that sort have been played amongst us! We talk of scepticism as our special characteristic; but even in our scepticism we are not like a free man fighting with a sword, but like a lackey hitting out with his fist, and