“Above the Neman” Ozheshko in brief summary

“Above the Neman” Ozheshko in brief summary


The action takes place in the vicinity of the cities of Vilna and Grodno, in estates and villages located above the Neman. Recently, in 1863, the January uprising was suppressed. The tsarist government seeks to deprive the Poles of the possibility of considering these lands their own. The estates of large landowners were confiscated into the state treasury; according to the legislation of that time the Poles had no right to acquire lands on the eastern outskirts of the former Poland. The land on which the Pole could not resist turned into Russian hands. Therefore, inept treatment of the land was viewed by patriots as a betrayal of national interests.

The novel opens with a picture of a summer holiday. “Everything in the world was shining, flowered, smelled and sang.” Together with other women from the church, Justina and Marta return. They go on foot to the estate Korchin. Martha is under fifty, she is the cousin of the owner of the estate and in the house is acting as housekeeper. Justine is about twenty, her mother, the master’s sister, has died, Justina lives as a poor relative in the estate with her father. He is a musician: a composer and violinist, and at the same time a glutton and voluptuary who sees nothing further than his violin. On their way they overtake a wagon bound for the estate: the neighbor of Kirlo is traveling with her new acquaintance, the rich landowner Theophil Ruzhic, who has just returned from abroad, where he has squandered most of the fortune and became a morphine. The beauty of Justina makes a strong impression on him. Then the cart goes by, where girls are sitting in smart clothes – horses are run by Yanek Bogatyrovich, a landless gentry; he sings very well. Jan also admires the beauty of Justin.

The estate Korchin belongs to Benedikt Korchinsky. He persistently endorses his right to live and be happy in his native land, over the Neman. The house in the estate surrounding his garden – everything keeps a memory of national traditions. Pani Emilia, the wife of Korchinsky, does not sympathize with her husband in any way and does not help him. She despises him for his manners and occupations, “low”, by her definition. Children learn in the city, she feels always weak, unhealthy, not understood by her husband, alone in her desire for grace.

Marta and Justin, returning home, immediately accepted for farming. Children from the city are about to arrive – vacations



begin, local landowners Kirlo and Ruzhits arrived by lunch. Theophile Ružiţi strenuously gives attention to Justine – she does not like it. She recently experienced an unhappy love for Zygmunt Korchinsky – the son of the elder brother of Pan Benedict, Andrzej, who died in the January uprising. Buried Andrzej in a mass grave in the forest, which the surrounding residents call it – Mogilny. Andrzej Korczynski was all loved, he was the inspiration and leader of the liberation struggle. The middle brother Korchinsky became a Russian dignitary, rose to the secret counselor, lives in Petersburg, is rich. He occasionally sends his younger brother letters, inviting him to become a Russian citizen and have a comfortable and carefree life.

After a short time, the name-day of Pani Emilia Korchinskaya is taking place, her arrogant noble family is coming to the estate. The widow of Andrzej Korczynski comes with his son and daughter-in-law. Young recently returned from abroad. Meeting with them is a difficult experience for Justina. Among the others comes the neighbor Korchinsky Pani Kirlova with her five children. Pan Benedict very much respects this thirty-three-year-old woman of pleasant appearance – she herself manages the estate, since her husband is a frank loafer. The ladies of her circle are accustomed to discuss the styles of dresses, the French novels, the fashionable furnishings of the rooms – and she also understands the sale of merino wool grown in her own estate, and earns money from the sale of dairy products in the city, delves into all household affairs in the house, cares about their health. At the same time, Mrs. Kirlova is charming,

On the name day, Justina meets Zigmunt’s wife Clotilda for the first time. She immediately becomes clear that the young woman passionately loves her husband. And Zygmunt is cold to his wife, but to Justine shows increased attention. Clotilde suffers from jealousy. Deeply afflicted by the selfishness of secular seducers, from the cold contempt of rich relatives, Justin is looking for solitude, wandering around the fields. Only nature softens the pain of her heart. Quite unexpectedly she meets Yana Bogatyrovych, gets to know him, his uncle, sister, neighbors – these people treat her with sympathy and love. Visiting the house of Yana Bogatyrovich opens a new page in the life of Justina. For the aristocrats of the Korchinskys, Jan, who cultivates the land with his own hands, differs little from the peasant. Justin for him is a panna from a rich house. Father Yan fought for independence with Andrzej Korczynski and is buried in the same mass grave. It was Jan and his uncle Anselm who guarded the traditions on this earth. Together they put a new cross on the grave of Jan and Cecilia – the first Poles who came to this land in the 16th century. It is Anselm and Yanek who do not forget about the grave of the rebels of 1861-1863. Jan acquaints Justin with these monuments of national history, under the influence of his stories, a sense of dignity awakens in her. She begins to realize that the love of a worthy person can be the happiness of her life. She knows that she is waiting for work, but is not afraid of it. It is Anselm and Yanek who do not forget about the grave of the rebels of 1861-1863. Jan acquaints Justin with these monuments of national history, under the influence of his stories, a sense of dignity awakens in her. She begins to realize that the love of a worthy person can be the happiness of her life. She knows that she is waiting for work, but is not afraid of it. It is Anselm and Yanek who do not forget about the grave of the rebels of 1861-1863. Jan acquaints Justin with these monuments of national history, under the influence of his stories, a sense of dignity awakens in her. She begins to realize that the love of a worthy person can be the happiness of her life. She knows that she is waiting for work, but is not afraid of it.

For her example is the Pan Kirlov. The writer introduces us to the usual day on the estate. The hostess – in a print dress and in a sheepskin coat – from drafts – looks after both washing clothes in the kitchen and kneading the dough in the kitchen; leaves the kiln with the already curdled sour milk, brings from the porch still cold, setting them to the fire. Her thirteen-year-old daughter has just brought vegetables and herbs from the garden in a large basket and cleans them on the porch. And she, who is only four, persistently follows her mother, holding on to her skirt; the girl always unties the shoelaces, and she falls at the same time. At some point, the mother splashes her hands and exclaims: “Armor, well, sit at least a minute!”, To which the little one answers: “Mom, but I really want to eat!” – and Kirlova spreads a piece of rye bread with honey. At this time, one of her sons was locked up in the living room to teach lessons – he is learning reluctantly, and he has a re-examination. Now he is trying to run away from home, smashing a pot of fuchsia on the window, but at the gate he was intercepted by a courtyard girl and returned to his mother. An angry woman tied her son with a rope to the sofa in the living room so that he could not tear himself away from the book. And at that time her son, capable of teaching, ran off to play on the street with a sore throat. The eldest daughter – she is sixteen – is looking after the weeding of the garden. She is the son of the son of Benedikt Korczynski, Vitold. Young people conduct long conversations – about another, new, more reasonable arrangement of life. Maryna watches over the village children, whose mothers came to weed the beds. The usual schedule of the day is disturbed by the arrival of cousin Pani Kirlova – Teofil Ruzhitsa. In conversation with his cousin, he reveals himself as a man who is intelligent, delicate, gentle, and, moreover, unhappy. Morphine ruins his health. He must marry – then his rich estate can be put in order. Theophile talks about his passion for Justina. Pani Kirlova offers a completely unexpected outcome for Ruzyca – to marry a poor pupil. The thought of marrying a girl who speaks French badly disgusts the high-society master. However, Mrs. Kirlova convinces him that marriage will help him reborn, help overcome the addiction to morphine. The very word “morphine” makes her so disgusted that she does not use it in speech. Touched by a family affection, Ruzhits decides to pay a fee for the gymnasium training of the boys of the Kirlova family. He must marry – then his rich estate can be put in order. Theophile talks about his passion for Justina. Pani Kirlova offers a completely unexpected outcome for Ruzyca – to marry a poor pupil. The thought of marrying a girl who speaks French badly disgusts the high-society master. However, Mrs. Kirlova convinces him that marriage will help him reborn, help overcome the addiction to morphine. The very word “morphine” makes her so disgusted that she does not use it in speech. Touched by a family affection, Ruzhits decides to pay a fee for the gymnasium training of the boys of the Kirlova family. He must marry – then his rich estate can be put in order. Theophile talks about his passion for Justina. Pani Kirlova offers a completely unexpected outcome for Ruzyca – to marry a poor pupil. The thought of marrying a girl who speaks French badly disgusts the high-society master. However, Mrs. Kirlova convinces him that marriage will help him reborn, help overcome the addiction to morphine. The very word “morphine” makes her so disgusted that she does not use it in speech. Touched by a family affection, Ruzhits decides to pay a fee for the gymnasium training of the boys of the Kirlova family. The thought of marrying a girl who speaks French badly disgusts the high-society master. However, Mrs. Kirlova convinces him that marriage will help him reborn, help overcome the addiction to morphine. The very word “morphine” makes her so disgusted that she does not use it in speech. Touched by a family affection, Ruzhits decides to pay a fee for the gymnasium training of the boys of the Kirlova family. The thought of marrying a girl who speaks French badly disgusts the high-society master. However, Mrs. Kirlova convinces him that marriage will help him reborn, help overcome the addiction to morphine. The very word “morphine” makes her so disgusted that she does not use it in speech. Touched by a family affection, Ruzhits decides to pay a fee for the gymnasium training of the boys of the Kirlova family.

Young Witold Korczynski seeks a new, originally pure and honest life. He constantly communicates with Bogatyrovichi – with people who cultivate the land with their own hands, discusses with them the project of building a public mill or digging a well closer to their houses so that they do not have to walk with buckets uphill. Witold loves Marynna Kirlovna; he does not try to seduce her, young people in joint walks discuss plans for the future. He is friends with Justina, who spends more and more time with Bogatyrovich and their neighbors, participates in the harvest, all together play the wedding of a neighbor.

Zygmunt Korchinsky seeks to enchant Justin. He does it with egoism and elegance peculiar to him: he sends the book to A. Musset, in expensive cover, with gilded initials of 3. K., which they once read together. In the book he put a letter in which he invites her to remember everything, to resurrect himself, to let him talk with her face to face, “to guess the riddle of his broken life” and the like. Justin opens the book, her eyes stop on the lines, underlined in blue pencil: “… all my pride bends knees before you…”, after several pages – again stressed: “… to love is to doubt someone else and in myself, to see myself as being despised, then left… ” Justin sharply closes the book and rises abruptly – and then suddenly she suddenly senses a strong fragrance of wildflowers – a huge bouquet gathered for Justina Yana Bogatyrovich. She looks at the flowers and remembers how she and Jan walked on the border, collected and examined plants, admired the beauty, diversity and power of nature. And now Justina smiles at her memories, takes out the flower “girl’s happiness” from the bouquet, weaves it into the braid, and the letter tears into small scraps and throws it out the window. In the final of the novel, Justin and Ian are engaged. weaves into a scythe, and the letter tears into small scraps and throws it out the window. In the final of the novel, Justin and Ian are engaged. weaves into a scythe, and the letter tears into small scraps and throws it out the window. In the final of the novel, Justin and Ian are engaged.



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“Above the Neman” Ozheshko in brief summary