The Lady with the Dog and Other Stories eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 216 pages of information about The Lady with the Dog and Other Stories.

He laughed aloud, sang, and danced the mazurka; he was in high spirits, and all of them, the visitors and Tanya, thought he had a peculiar look, radiant and inspired, and that he was very interesting.

III

After supper, when the visitors had gone, he went to his room and lay down on the sofa:  he wanted to think about the monk.  But a minute later Tanya came in.

“Here, Andryusha; read father’s articles,” she said, giving him a bundle of pamphlets and proofs.  “They are splendid articles.  He writes capitally.”

“Capitally, indeed!” said Yegor Semyonitch, following her and smiling constrainedly; he was ashamed.  “Don’t listen to her, please; don’t read them!  Though, if you want to go to sleep, read them by all means; they are a fine soporific.”

“I think they are splendid articles,” said Tanya, with deep conviction.  “You read them, Andryusha, and persuade father to write oftener.  He could write a complete manual of horticulture.”

Yegor Semyonitch gave a forced laugh, blushed, and began uttering the phrases usually made us of by an embarrassed author.  At last he began to give way.

“In that case, begin with Gaucher’s article and these Russian articles,” he muttered, turning over the pamphlets with a trembling hand, “or else you won’t understand.  Before you read my objections, you must know what I am objecting to.  But it’s all nonsense . . . tiresome stuff.  Besides, I believe it’s bedtime.”

Tanya went away.  Yegor Semyonitch sat down on the sofa by Kovrin and heaved a deep sigh.

“Yes, my boy . . .” he began after a pause.  “That’s how it is, my dear lecturer.  Here I write articles, and take part in exhibitions, and receive medals. . . .  Pesotsky, they say, has apples the size of a head, and Pesotsky, they say, has made his fortune with his garden.  In short, ‘Kotcheby is rich and glorious.’  But one asks oneself:  what is it all for?  The garden is certainly fine, a model.  It’s not really a garden, but a regular institution, which is of the greatest public importance because it marks, so to say, a new era in Russian agriculture and Russian industry.  But, what’s it for?  What’s the object of it?”

“The fact speaks for itself.”

“I do not mean in that sense.  I meant to ask:  what will happen to the garden when I die?  In the condition in which you see it now, it would not be maintained for one month without me.  The whole secret of success lies not in its being a big garden or a great number of labourers being employed in it, but in the fact that I love the work.  Do you understand?  I love it perhaps more than myself.  Look at me; I do everything myself.  I work from morning to night:  I do all the grafting myself, the pruning myself, the planting myself.  I do it all myself:  when any one helps me I am jealous and irritable till I am rude.  The whole secret lies in loving it—­ that is, in the

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The Lady with the Dog and Other Stories from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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