Under Western Eyes eBook

Joseph M. Carey
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 425 pages of information about Under Western Eyes.

“...  The most trustful eyes in the world—­your brother said of you when he was as well as a dead man already.  And when you stood before me with your hand extended, I remembered the very sound of his voice, and I looked into your eyes—­and that was enough.  I knew that something had happened, but I did not know then what....  But don’t be deceived, Natalia Victorovna.  I believed that I had in my breast nothing but an inexhaustible fund of anger and hate for you both.  I remembered that he had looked to you for the perpetuation of his visionary soul.  He, this man who had robbed me of my hard-working, purposeful existence.  I, too, had my guiding idea; and remember that, amongst us, it is more difficult to lead a life of toil and self-denial than to go out in the street and kill from conviction.  But enough of that.  Hate or no hate, I felt at once that, while shunning the sight of you, I could never succeed in driving away your image.  I would say, addressing that dead man, ’Is this the way you are going to haunt me?’ It is only later on that I understood—­only to-day, only a few hours ago.  What could I have known of what was tearing me to pieces and dragging the secret for ever to my lips?  You were appointed to undo the evil by making me betray myself back into truth and peace.  You!  And you have done it in the same way, too, in which he ruined me:  by forcing upon me your confidence.  Only what I detested him for, in you ended by appearing noble and exalted.  But, I repeat, be not deceived.  I was given up to evil.  I exulted in having induced that silly innocent fool to steal his father’s money.  He was a fool, but not a thief.  I made him one.  It was necessary.  I had to confirm myself in my contempt and hate for what I betrayed.  I have suffered from as many vipers in my heart as any social democrat of them all—­vanity, ambitions, jealousies, shameful desires, evil passions of envy and revenge.  I had my security stolen from me, years of good work, my best hopes.  Listen—­now comes the true confession.  The other was nothing.  To save me, your trustful eyes had to entice my thought to the very edge of the blackest treachery.  I could see them constantly looking at me with the confidence of your pure heart which had not been touched by evil things.  Victor Haldin had stolen the truth of my life from me, who had nothing else in the world, and he boasted of living on through you on this earth where I had no place to lay my head on.  She will marry some day, he had said—­and your eyes were trustful.  And do you know what I said to myself?  I shall steal his sister’s soul from her.  When we met that first morning in the gardens, and you spoke to me confidingly in the generosity of your spirit, I was thinking, ’Yes, he himself by talking of her trustful eyes has delivered her into my hands!’ If you could have looked then into my heart, you would have cried out aloud with terror and disgust.

Project Gutenberg
Under Western Eyes from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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