Page:The Novels of Ivan Turgenev (volume V).djvu/72

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expose ourselves to such tests? You say yourself that at first the result was monstrous! Well, what if that monstrous product had persisted? Indeed it has persisted, as you know yourself.'

'Only not in the language — and that means a great deal! And it is our people, not I, who have done it; I am not to blame because they have elected to go through a discipline of this kind. "The Germans have developed in a normal way," cry the Slavophils, "let us too have a normal development!" But how are you to get it when the very first historical step taken by our race — the summoning of a prince from over the sea to rule over them — is an irregularity, an abnormality, which is repeated in every one of us down to the present day; each of us, at least once in his life, has certainly said to something foreign, not Russian: "Come, rule and reign over us!" I am ready, of course, to agree that when we put a foreign substance into our own body we cannot tell for certain what it is we are putting there, bread or poison; yet it is a well-known thing that you can never get from bad to good through what is better, but always through a worse state of transition, and poison too is useful in medicine. It is only fit for fools or knaves to point with triumph to the poverty of the peasants after the