The first, as usual, the news of the return Lavretzky brought in the house of the Kalitins Gedeonovsky. Maria Dmitrievna, the widow of the former provincial prosecutor, who, in her fifty years, preserved a certain pleasantness in her features, favors him, and her house is from the most pleasant in the city of O… But Marfa Timofeevna Pestova, seventy-year-old sister of Maria Dmitrievna’s father, does not favor Gedeonovsky for his inclination suck and talkative. Yes, take – Popovich, although state counselor.
However, Marfa Timofeevna is generally difficult to please. That’s why she does not like Panshin – a general favorite, an enviable groom, the first gentleman. Vladimir Nikolayevich plays the piano, composes romances for his own words, draws well, recites. He is quite a secular man, educated and clever. In general, he is a Petersburg official on special assignments, a chamber-cadet who arrived in O… with some task. At the Kalitins he happens for Lisa, the nineteen-year-old daughter of Maria Dmitrievna. And, it seems, his intentions are serious. But Marfa Timofeevna is sure: her husband is not that kind of husband. Panshina and Lizin, a music teacher, Christopher Fedorovich Lemm, who is not a young, unattractive and not very lucky German, secretly in love with his pupil, is putting Panshina and Lizin low.
The arrival from abroad of Fyodor Ivanovich Lavretsky – an event for the city notable. His story goes from mouth to mouth. In Paris, he accidentally caught his wife in treason. Moreover, after the break, the beautiful Varvara Pavlovna got scandalous European fame.
Inhabitants of the Kalitinsky house, however, did not seem that he looks like a victim. From it still breathes steppe health, durable strength. Only in the eyes you see fatigue.
Actually Fedor Ivanovich strong breed. His great-grandfather was a tough, daring, clever and crafty man. The great-grandmother, the quick-tempered, vengeful gypsy, was in no way inferior to her husband. Grandfather Peter, however, was already a simple steppe master. His son, Ivan, was brought up, however, by a Frenchman, a fan of Jean Jacques Rousseau: this was the order of the aunt from whom he lived. Wisdom of the XVIII century. the mentor poured into his head entirely, where she remained, not mixing with blood, without penetrating into the soul.
Upon returning to his parents, Ivan seemed dirty and wild in his home. This did not prevent him from paying attention to the maid of Malanya, a very pretty, intelligent and gentle girl. A scandal broke out: Ivan was deprived of his inheritance by his father, and ordered the girl to be sent to a distant village. Ivan Petrovich beat off Malanya on the way and married with her. Having attached a young wife to the relatives of the Pestovs, Dmitri Timofeevich and Marfa Timofeevna, he himself went to Petersburg, and then went abroad. In the village of Pestov and was born August 20, 1807, Fedor. It took almost a year before Malanya Sergeyevna could appear with her son at the Lavretsky. And that’s why only because Ivan’s mother asked for his son and daughter-in-law of severe Pyotr Andreyevich before his death.
The happy father of the baby finally returned to Russia only after twelve years. Malanya Sergeyevna by this time died, and the boy was brought up by her aunt Glafira Andreevna, ugly, envious, ungainly and domineering. Fedya was taken away from her mother and transferred to Glafira during her lifetime. He saw his mother not every day and loved her passionately, but dimly felt that there was an unbreakable barrier between him and her. Fedya’s aunt was afraid, did not dare to speak out with her.
Returning, Ivan Petrovich himself started raising his son. He dressed him in Scotch and hired a doorman. Gymnastics, natural sciences, international law, mathematics, carpentry and heraldry were the core of the educational system. The boy woke at four in the morning; with cold water, they made me run around a pole on a rope; they were fed once a day; taught to ride and shoot from a crossbow. When Fedya was sixteen years old, his father began to educate him in contempt for women.
A few years later, after burying his father, Lavretsky went to Moscow and entered the university at twenty-three. Strange upbringing has borne fruit. He did not know how to get along with people, not a single woman dared look into the eyes. He only met with Mikhalevich, an enthusiast and poet. This and that Mikhalevich introduced him to the family of the beautiful Varvara Pavlovna Korobyina. Twenty-six-year-old child only now realized what it is worth living for. Varenka was charming, intelligent and decently educated, she could talk about the theater, she played the piano.
Six months later, the young arrived in Lavriki. The university was abandoned, and a happy life began. Glafira was removed, and General Korobin, Papa Varvara Pavlovna, came to the governor’s place; and the couple flew to St. Petersburg, where they had a son, soon died. On the advice of doctors, they went abroad and settled in Paris. Varvara Pavlovna instantly settled here and began to shine in society. Soon, however, a love note came to Lavretsky’s hands, addressed to his wife, whom he so blindly trusted. At first he was seized with rage, a desire to kill both, but then, having ordered a letter about his annual financial maintenance to his wife and about the departure of General Korobin from his estate, he went to Italy. Newspapers replicated bad rumors about his wife. I learned from them that he had a daughter. There was indifference to everything. And yet in four years I wanted to go home,
Liza from the very first meeting attracted his attention. He noticed about her and Panshin. Maria Dmitrievna did not hide the fact that the camera-cadet was crazy about her daughter. Martha Timofeevna, however, still believed that Lisa could not be behind Panshin.
In Vasilievsky Lavretzky examined the house, the garden with a pond: the manor had time to run wild. The silence of the unhurried, solitary life surrounded him. And what strength, what health was in this inactive silence. The days were monotonous, but he was not bored: he was engaged in farming, riding a horse, reading.
Three weeks later I went to O… to the Kalitins. Found them with Lemma. In the evening, after going to see him, he stayed with him. The old man was touched and confessed that he wrote music, played something and sang.
In Vasilievsky, the conversation about poetry and music passed unnoticed into the conversation about Lisa and Panshin. Lemm was categorical: she does not like him, she just listens to her mother. Lisa can love one beautiful, but he is not perfect, that is, his soul is not beautiful
Liza and Lavretsky more and more trusted each other. Not without hesitation, she once asked about the reasons for his separation from his wife: how can you tear apart what God has joined? You must forgive. She is sure that we must forgive and obey. This was taught in her childhood by her nurse Agafia, who told about the life of a pure virgin, the lives of saints... and hermits, who led to the church. Her own example brought up obedience, gentleness and a sense of duty.
Suddenly Mikhalevich appeared in Vasilievsky. He grew old, it was evident that he did not succeed, but spoke as hotly as in his youth, reading his own verses: “… And I burned everything I worshiped / I bowed to everything that I burned.”
Then the friends argued for a long time and loudly, worried about continued to visit Lemma. One can not wish only happiness in life. It means building on the sand. Need faith, and without it Lavretsky – a miserable Voltairean. There is no faith – there is no revelation, no understanding what to do. We need a pure, unearthly being that will pluck it out of apathy.
After Mikhalevich arrived in the Vasilyevskoe Kalitiny. The days passed happily and carefree. “I’m talking to her, like I’m not an obsolete person,” thought Lavretsky about Lisa. While escorting their carriage, he asked: “Are we friends now? ..” She nodded in response.
The next evening, looking through French magazines and newspapers, Fyodor Ivanovich came across a message about the sudden death of the Queen of fashionable Parisian salons, Madame Lavretzka. The next morning he was with the Kalitins. “What’s wrong with you?” asked Liza. He handed her the text of the message. Now he is free. “You do not have to think about this now, but about forgiveness…” – she protested and at the end of the conversation she repaid with the same confidence: Panshin asks for her hands. She is not at all in love with him, but she is ready to obey Mama. Lavretzky asked Lisa to think about not marrying without love, because of a sense of duty. The same evening Lisa asked Panshin not to rush her with an answer and told Lavretsky about it. The next few days she felt a secret alarm, she seemed to have avoided Lavretzko. And he was also alarmed by the lack of evidence of his wife’s death. Yes, and Lisa to the question whether she decided to give an answer to Panshin, said that she did not know anything. She does not know herself.
One summer evenings in the living room, Panshin began to reproach the new generation, saying that Russia was lagging behind Europe. He spoke beautifully, but with secret anger. Lavretzky suddenly began to object and defeated the enemy, proving the impossibility of leaps and haughty alterations, demanded the recognition of people’s truth and humility before it. Riley Panshin exclaimed; what is he going to do? Plow the land and try to plow it as best as possible.
Liza all the time was on the side of Lavretsky. The contempt of a secular official against Russia offended her. Both of them realized that they loved and did not like the same things, but only one thing was different, but Lisa secretly hoped to bring him to God. The embarrassment of the last days has disappeared.
All gradually separated, and Lavretsky quietly went out into the night garden and sat down on a bench. Light appeared in the lower windows. It was Lisa who was carrying the candle in her hand. He quietly called her and, setting him under the limes, said: “… I was brought here… I love you.”
Returning through the asleep streets, full of joyful feelings, he heard the wonderful sounds of music. He turned to where they were coming from, and called: Lemm! The old man appeared in the window and, recognizing him, threw the key. For a long time Lavretsky had never heard anything like it. He walked over and hugged the old man. He paused, then smiled and cried: “I did it, because I’m a great musician.”
The next day Lavretsky went to Vasilievsky and returned to the city in the evening. In the front he was greeted by the smell of strong spirits, immediately there were trunks. Crossing the threshold of the living room, he saw his wife. Inconsistently and verbose she begged to forgive her, at least for the sake of a daughter not guilty before him: Ada, ask your father with me. He invited her to settle in Lavrik, but never expect to resume relations. Varvara Pavlovna was obedient, but on the same day she visited the Kalitins. There was already a final explanation of Lisa and Panshin. Maria Dmitrievna was in despair. Varvara Pavlovna managed to occupy, and then to dispose of it in her favor, hinted that Fyodor Ivanovich did not deprive her of its “presence”. Lisa received a note from Lavretsky, and the meeting with his wife was not a surprise for her.
Panshin appeared. Varvara Pavlovna immediately found a tone with him. She sang a romance, talked about literature, about Paris, took half-light, half-artistic chatter. Parting, Maria Dmitrievna expressed her readiness to try to reconcile her with her husband.
Lavretzky again appeared in the Kalitinsky house, when he received a note from Lisa with an invitation to visit them. He immediately went up to Marfa Timofeevna. She found an excuse to leave them alone with Lisa. The girl came to say that they have to fulfill their duty. Fyodor Ivanovich must make peace with his wife. Does not he now see himself: happiness does not depend on people, but on God.
When Lavretsky went down, the footman invited him to Marya Dmitrievna. She talked about the repentance of his wife, asked to forgive her, and then, offering to take it from hand to hand, she led Varvara Pavlovna out of the screen. Requests and already familiar scenes were repeated. Lavretsky finally promised that he would live with her under one roof, but he would find the agreement broken if she allowed herself to leave Lavrik.
The next morning he took his wife and daughter to Lavriki and a week later went to Moscow. And a day later Varvara Pavlovna was visited by Panshin and left three days.
A year later Lavretsky heard the news that Lisa had tonsured in a monastery, in one of the remote regions of Russia. After some time he visited this monastery. Lisa walked close to him – and did not look, only her eyelashes quivered slightly and her fingers, holding the rosary, clenched even more.
And Varvara Pavlovna very soon moved to Petersburg, then – to Paris. A new admirer appeared next to her, a guard of an extraordinary fortress of build. She never invites him to her fashionable evenings, but otherwise he enjoys her location quite.
Eight years passed. Lavretzky again visited O… The older inhabitants of the Kalitin house had already died, and here reigned the youth: the younger sister of Lisa, Lenochka, and her fiance. It was fun and noisy. Fyodor Ivanovich walked through all the rooms. In the living room stood the same piano, at the window stood the same hoop as before. Only the wallpaper was different.
In the garden he saw the same bench and walked along the same avenue. His sadness was tiring, although in him the fracture was already taking place, without which one can not remain a decent man: he ceased to think about his own happiness.