This summer morning in the village of Grachi began unusually: with the dawn, all the inhabitants of the house of the poor landowner Anna Pavlovna Adueva were already on their feet. Only the culprit of this fuss, the son of Aduyeva, Alexander, slept, “how to properly sleep a twenty-year-old boy, a heroic dream.” The turmoil reigned in Rooks because Alexander was going to St. Petersburg for service: the knowledge he had received at the university, according to the youth, it is necessary to apply the services of the Fatherland in practice.
Anna Pavlovna’s grief, parting with her only son, is akin to the sorrow of the “first minister in the household” of the landowner Agrafena-together with Alexander, his valet Evsey,
Yes, and Alexander himself is sorry to part with the usual way of life. If high goals and a sense of purpose did not push him on a long journey, he would, of course, stay in Rooks, with his mother and sister, the old maid, Maria Gorbatova, infinitely loving, among hospitable and hospitable neighbors, next to her first love. But ambitious dreams drive a young man to the capital, closer to glory.
In St. Petersburg, Alexander immediately goes to his relative, Peter Ivanovich Aduev, who at one time, like Alexander, “was sent to St. Petersburg for twenty years as his eldest brother, Alexander’s father, and lived there seventeen years without leaving.” Without keeping in touch with those who remained after his brother’s death in Grachy by his widow and son, Peter Ivanovich was greatly surprised and annoyed by the appearance
From the very first meeting, Pyotr Ivanovich, a man of austere and businesslike, begins the education of his enthusiastic nephew: he takes Alexandra’s apartment in the same house where he lives himself, advises where and how to eat, with whom to communicate. Later he finds him a very concrete matter: the service and – for the soul! – Translation of articles devoted to the problems of agriculture. Mocking, sometimes cruelly, Alexander’s predilection for everything “unearthly,” exalted, Pyotr Ivanovich is gradually trying to destroy that fictional world in which his romantic nephew lives. So two years pass.
After this time, we meet Alexander already partly accustomed to the complexities of Petersburg life. And – without a memory in love with Nadia Lyubetskaya. During this time, Alexander managed to advance in the service, achieved and certain successes in translations. Now he became quite an important person in the magazine: “he was engaged in both choice and translation, and correction of other people’s articles, he wrote various theoretical views about agriculture.” He continued to write poetry and prose. But falling in love with Nadia Lyubetskaya seems to be closing the whole world in front of Alexander Aduyev – now he lives from meeting to meeting, stupefied by the “sweet, unhappy, angry Peter Ivanovich”.
She is in love with Alexander and Nadenka, but, perhaps, only with that “little love in expectation of the big one”, which Alexander himself experienced to Sofya, whom he had now forgotten. Alexander’s happiness is fragile – on the way to eternal bliss rises Count Novinsky, neighbor Lyubetskikh in the country.
Pyotr Ivanovich can not cure Alexander of the raging passions: Aduyev, Jr. is ready to summon the Count to a duel, to take revenge on the ungrateful girl, who is not able to appreciate his high feelings, he sobs and flares with anger… To the aid of a distraught young man is the wife of Peter Ivanovich, Lizaveta Alexandrovna; she comes to Alexander when Peter Ivanovich turns out to be powerless, and we do not know what exactly, what words, what kind of participation the young woman succeeds in what her clever, reasonable husband failed to do. “An hour later he (Alexander) came out thoughtfully, but with a smile, and fell asleep for the first time in peace after many sleepless nights.”
And another year flashed from that memorable night. From the dismal despair that managed to melt Lizaveta Alexandrovna, Aduyev, Jr. went to despondency and indifference. “He somehow liked to play the role of the sufferer.” He was silent, important, vague, like a man who, according to him, stood the blow of fate… “And the blow did not hesitate to repeat: an unexpected meeting with an old friend Pospelov on Nevsky Prospekt, a meeting, the more fortuitous that Alexander did not even know about the move of his soul mate to the capital, – brings confusion to the already worried heart of Aduyev, Jr.. A friend turns out to be quite different from what he is remembered in the years spent at the university: he is strikingly similar to Pyotr Ivanovich Aduyev – he does not appreciate the wounds of the heart experienced by Alexander, talks about a career, about money, welcomes an old friend in his house,
It is almost impossible to heal the sensitive Alexander from this blow – and who knows what our hero would have reached this time, do not apply to him an uncle “extreme measure”! .. Arguing with Alexander about the bonds of love and friendship, Peter Ivanovich cruelly reproaches Alexander in that he locked himself only in his own feelings, not knowing how to appreciate someone who is loyal to him. He does not consider his friends as uncles and aunts, he has not written to his mother for a long time, living only with thoughts of his only son. This “medicine” is effective – Alexander again turns to literary creativity. This time he writes a story and reads it to Pyotr Ivanovich and Lizaveta Alexandrovna. Aduyev Sr. invites Alexander to send the story to the magazine in order to find out the true value of the nephew’s work. Pyotr Ivanovich does this under his own name, that this will be the fairest trial and better for the fate of the work. The answer was not slow to appear – it puts the last point in the hopes of the ambitious Aduyev, the younger…
And just at this time Peter Ivanovich needed the service of his nephew: his partner in the plant Surkov unexpectedly falls in love with the young widow of former friend Peter Ivanovich Yulia Pavlovna Tafaeva and completely abandons affairs. Above all else, valuing the case, Peter Ivanovich asks Alexander to “fall in love with” Tafaeva, displacing Surkov from her house and heart. As a reward, Peter Ivanovich offers Alexander two vases, which Aduyev, the youngest, liked so much.
The case, however, takes an unexpected turn: Alexander falls in love with a young widow and causes her reciprocal feeling. And the feeling is so strong, so romantic and sublime that the “culprit” himself is unable to withstand the impulses of passion and jealousy that Tafaev brings down on him. Brought up on romance novels, marrying too early a rich and unloved person, Julia Pavlovna, meeting with Alexander, as if in a whirlpool rushes: everything that was read and dreamed, now falls on her chosen one. And Alexander does not stand the test…
After Pyotr Ivanovich, unknown to us arguments succeeded in bringing in Tafaeva, another three months passed, in which the life of Alexander after the experience of the shock is unknown to us. We meet with him again, when he, disappointed in everything, than he lived before, “plays with oddballs in checkers or fish.” His apathy is deep and inexhaustible, nothing seems to be able to take Aduyev, the youngest out of stupid indifference. Neither in love nor in friendship, Alexander no longer believes. He begins to travel to Kostikov, who was once written in a letter to Pyotr Ivanovich by a neighbor in Grach Zaizhalov, wanting to acquaint Aduyev the elder with his old friend. This man turned out to be very useful for Alexander: he could not awaken a soulful emotion in a young man. “
And one day on the beach, where they were fishing, unexpected spectators appeared – an old man and a pretty young girl. They appeared more often. Lisa (the girl’s name) began to try various women’s tricks to captivate the yearning Alexander. Part of the girl does it, but on a date in the gazebo instead comes an insulted father. After explaining to him, Alexander is left with nothing else but to change the place of fishing. However, he does not remember Liza for long…
Still wanting to awaken Alexander from the soul’s sleep, his aunt asks him to accompany her to the concert: “some artist, a European celebrity, has come.” The shock experienced by Alexander from the meeting with beautiful music strengthens the ripe decision to throw everything back and return to his mother, in Rook. Alexander Fedorovich Aduyev leaves the capital along the same road that several years ago he moved to Petersburg, intending to conquer him with his talents and high appointment…
And in the village life seemed to have stopped its run: the same hospitable neighbors, only aged, the same loving mother without limit, Anna Pavlovna; only married, not waiting for her Sasha, Sophia, but still recalls her aunt’s yellow flower, Marya Gorbatova. Shocked by the changes that have occurred to her son, Anna Pavlovna longly tries to find out from Evsei how Alexander lived in Petersburg, and concludes that life itself in the capital is so unhealthy that it made her son grow old and dull his feelings. Days go by days, Anna Pavlovna hopes that Alexander will again grow his hair and shine his eyes, and he thinks about how to return to St. Petersburg, where so much is experienced and irretrievably lost.
The death of the mother relieves Alexander of the pain of conscience that does not allow Anna Pavlovna to admit that he again planned an escape from the village, and after writing off to Peter Ivanovich, Alexander Aduyev again goes to Petersburg…
It takes four years after Alexander’s return to the capital. Many changes occurred with the main characters of the novel. Lizaveta Alexandrovna was tired of fighting the coldness of her husband and turned into a calm, reasonable woman, devoid of any desire or desire. Pyotr Ivanovich, disappointed by the change in the nature of his wife and suspecting her of a dangerous disease, is ready to abandon the career of an outward counselor and resign to take Lizaveta Alexandrovna at least for a while from Petersburg. But Alexander Fyodorovich reached the high places that his uncle once dreamed of him: “collegiate adviser, good state maintenance, extraneous works “earns considerable money and is also preparing to marry, taking three hundred thousand and five hundred souls for the bride…
On this we part with the heroes of the novel. What, in fact, is an ordinary story! ..