Two landlords, honorable people, well-intentioned, respected.
One of them was retired Major-General Vyacheslav Illarionovich Khvalynsky. A tall, once slender, he is a little aged and flabby, but still “stands briskly, laughs sonorous, jingles his spurs, twists his mustache.”
He has some oddities. Talking “with the nobles not rich or not,” he somehow looks at them in a special way, somehow pronounces the words. Can not communicate with them, as with equals. And with people “standing on the lower levels of society, it is even more strange: they do not look at them at all, but” with the governor or some official person “is very nice:” and he smiles and nods his head, and in eyes, then they look – honey from him and bears… “.
During the war the general did not attend, he served as a “adjutant to a significant person” in his younger years and, as you can see, did. In addition, stingy, “lived
terrible” and “terrible hunter to the fair sex.” He lives alone, is still considered a bridegroom, but his housekeeper is prominent, well-dressed, about 35 years old. He reads little, “does not possess the gift of speech” and avoids long conversations. “In front of the higher persons, Khvalynsky mostly remains silent, but to the lower people, whom he apparently despises, keeps his words jerky and harsh”: “this, however, you are saying” or “you must, however, to know with whom you are dealing “…
From the rank of the leader of the nobility “for stinginess” refuses. He explains this by saying that he “decided to devote his leisure time to solitude.” In general, apparently, the type, to put it mildly, is not very sympathetic: a pharisee, a boor, a tramp, and so on.
The second landowner, Mardary Apollonich Stepunov – an old man short, plump, bald, with a double chin, soft handles and a decent belly. He is a great hospodar and a joker; lives, as they say, in his pleasure; winter and summer walks in a striped
dressing gown on cotton wool. In one he only got along with General Khvalynsky: he’s also a bachelor. “
He is engaged in “his own name is rather superficial.” With the serfs, he turns unceremoniously, “in the old way”. His main principle: “if the master is so gentleman, and if the peasant is so a man”.
He was sitting on the balcony with a guest, the author of Notes, drinking tea, but suddenly stopped, listened: “the sound of measured and frequent strikes” was heard “in the direction of the stables.” Patriarchal old man “with a kind smile:” Chuky-chuky-chyuk! Chucky-cheek! Chucky-cheek! “
“What’s that?” I asked in amazement.
“And there, on my orders, they’re punishing the little naughty boy… Washuu, do you want to know the bartender?”
“Yes, that was the last time we ate dinner.”
“As I was passing through the village, I saw a barman, Vasya, walking along the street and eating nuts, I ordered the coachman to stop the horses and called him.
“What, brother, did you get punished today?” I asked him.
– How do you know? answered Vasya.
“Your master told me.”
“Why did he order you to be punished?”
“And it’s for good, dear father, it’s served right.” We are not punished for nothing; We do not have such an institution – no-no. Our master is not like that; we have a gentleman… you will not find such a master in the whole province. Our master is not like that; we have a gentleman… you will not find such a master in the whole province.
– Come on! I said to the coachman. “Here it is, the old Russia!” – I thought on the way back. “
Any form of slavery for a long time, for centuries corrupts the souls of slaves and gentlemen. For a long time, for centuries Vaska barman and his (already more free) descendants will idolize their idols, bow before false prophets, trustfully repeat the false ideas inspired by someone, slowly and painfully parting with them.
And it’s not only in Russia. As it can not be fenced off from the rest, enough of a terrible world, the Kingdom of God can not be built in one single country. “The kingdom of God does not come in a significant way – it is within us.”