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indebted for nothing else. I am, if I may venture so to express myself, of most reverend stock. And as for your doubts about my patience, they are quite groundless: I am very patient. I served for twenty-two years under the authority of my own uncle, an actual councillor of state, Irinarh Potugin. You don't know him?'


'I congratulate you. No, I am patient. "But let us return to our first head," as my esteemed colleague, who was burned alive some centuries ago, the protopope Avvakum, used to say. I am amazed, my dear sir, at my fellow-countrymen. They are all depressed, they all walk with down-cast heads, and at the same time they are all filled with hope, and on the smallest excuse they lose their heads and fly off into ecstasies. Look at the Slavophils even, among whom Mr. Gubaryov reckons himself: they are most excellent people, but there is the same mixture of despair and exultation, they too live in the future tense. Everything will be, will be, if you please. In reality there is nothing done, and Russia for ten whole centuries has created nothing of its own, either in government, in law, in science, in art, or even in handicraft. . . . But wait a little, have patience; it is all coming. And why is it coming give us leave to inquire? Why,