Page:The Novels of Ivan Turgenev (volume V).djvu/69

This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.

because we, to be sure, the cultured classes are all worthless; but the people . . . Oh, the great people! You see that peasant's smock ? That is the source that everything is to come from. All the other idols have broken down; let us have faith in the smock-frock. Well, but suppose the smock-frock fails us? No, it will not fail. Read Kohanovsky, and cast your eyes up to heaven! Really, if I were a painter, I would paint a picture of this sort: a cultivated man standing before a peasant, doing him homage: heal me, dear master-peasant, I am perishing of disease; and a peasant doing homage in his turn to the cultivated man: teach me, dear master-gentleman, I am perishing from ignorance. Well, and of course, both are standing still. But what we ought to do is to feel really humble for a little — not only in words — and to borrow from our elder brothers what they have invented already before us and better than us! Waiter, noch ein Gläschen Kirsch! You mustn't think I 'm a drunkard, but alcohol loosens my tongue.'

'After what you have just said,' observed Litvinov with a smile, 'I need not even inquire to which party you belong, and what is your opinion about Europe. But let me make one observation to you. You say that we ought to borrow from our elder brothers: but how can