The narrative is conducted on behalf of a certain N. N. He was then at the age of 25, he had just “broken free” and went abroad not so much to continue his education as to see the world. Traveling without a goal and plan, he observed people, made acquaintances, not including the need to visit well-known sights and monuments, since they were of little interest to him. Eventually, NN stops in a small town on the left bank of the Rhine, where he sighs and lonely about the fact that his recent love for a young widow, whom he met on the waters, ended in “treacherous betrayal”, she preferred him “to one red-cheeked Bavarian lieutenant. ” The town was quite quiet, full of vineyards and narrow winding streets. On the other side of the Rhine was another town, a
Asking the passing old man what it is, NN learns that these students came to the “Kommersh”. Deciding to look at this “commerce”, NN finds a carrier and goes to the other side. “Kommersh” is a holiday of students of one land or brotherhood. NN observes the holiday, suddenly a Russian speech comes to him: someone speaks to a girl named Leia. NN gets acquainted with a young man, Gagin, and his, as he introduced it, his sister Leia. Despite the fact that NN avoided Russians abroad, since he did not like the manner in which they kept themselves here, he liked Gagia. The girl whom Gaggi called her sister, also seemed very pretty to him. Gagnon and his sister invite NN to his place. They come to a small house located outside the city, with a magnificent view of the Rhine. Leia was a very mobile girl, she “did not sit still for a single moment, but got up, ran away into the house and resorted again, humming in a low voice, often laughing and strangely, she seemed to laugh not at what she heard, but to the different thoughts that came to her to the head”. After sitting at his new acquaintances for two hours, NN goes home, Leia and Gagin escort him, helping to find the carrier. Leia admires the night, he says, when NN leaves: “You entered the lunar column, you broke
The next morning he again goes to Gagin, sees Leia there, she again awakens in him memories of Russia. Then they go with Gagin to sketches, again they start an intelligent and completely useless argument about art. Coming back, they find Asya for quite ordinary occupations. Neither the shadow of coquetry or eccentricity of NN is found in it at this time and can not reproach it for its unnaturalness. Returning home, he reflects on what kind of chameleon this girl is, and also over whether she is sister to Gagina or not. It takes three weeks. NN visits Hagin daily. Asya, it seems, avoids him and does not allow himself those pranks that surprised NN in the first two days of their acquaintance. Gradually NN understands that this behavior was caused precisely by shyness. He learns that before leaving Asya for a long time lived in the village. Once he finds her reading a French novel, and Asya is very keen on reading. One evening NN and Gagin read aloud “Herman and Dorothea,” a moralizing book of a romantic plan. Asya, passing several times, eventually settles down and begins to listen carefully. Such changes make NN think of Ace as a mysterious creature, his interest is also fueled by the fact that Gagin treats her clearly not as a sister: too affectionate, too lenient, but at the same time somewhat coerced. One day N. N. becomes an occasional witness of the scene between Asya and Gagin: passing by the arbor, he hears Asya say that she wants to love only Gagin, forever, for the rest of her life. She hugs him and kisses him. N. N. is removed, finally confirmed in his suspicions, at the same time not understanding, why was it so carefully concealed their relationship. The next day, N. N. goes to the mountain, where he wanders, enjoying nature for several days.
Returning home, he finds a note from Gagin, in which he complains about his sudden departure, and also that he did not take him with him, Gagin meets NI pogryatelski, Asya, on the contrary, again behaves unnaturally, laughs and immediately escapes. During the conversation, during which NN tells Gagnu the details of his journey to the mountains, Asya then runs in, then again runs away, so in the end NN, referring to urgent matters, is going to go home. Gagin is called to conduct it. Crossing the Rhine, the friends resume dialogue, and suddenly Gagin inquires what II. N. opinion on Ace and whether he finds her behavior a little strange. NN honestly admits that he finds. Then Gagin is called to tell her story to explain these oddities. Father Gagiaa was a kind, intelligent, educated man, but at the same time unhappy. His wife died when his son was six months old, and his father brought him up himself. However, his brother began to persuade Father Gagin to give the boy to be raised for him, since the boy, in his opinion, was harmful to live in complete seclusion. Over time, the father agreed, and Gagin moved to his uncle. He graduated from the Junker school, from which he entered the Guards regiment. Every year he came to his father, but every year found him more and more sad and more profound in himself. In one of these visits, Gagin in his father’s house first meets with a thin black-eyed girl of 10 years, Leia. The father says that this is an orphan taken by him for feeding. The girl was “wild, agile and silent,” and Gagin paid no particular attention to her. During the 34 years that followed, he was not with his father, who, in letters, if he mentioned Asya, then only in passing. Suddenly Gagin received a letter from the clerk, in which he reported the mortal illness of his father and begged him to come as soon as possible. Dying, his father ordered Asya to come to his house and took the word from Gagin that he would keep his last request. He entrusts Asya to the care of his son and admits that this is his daughter. Details Gagin later learned from his father’s valet. Asya was the daughter of his father and former maid of his mother, Tatyana. My father met with her some time after the death of Gagin’s mother and even wanted to marry her, but Tatyana refused, motivating her refusal by saying “what kind of lady is she?”. She refused to move into his house and preferred to live with Asya with her sister. But when Tatiana died, her father took Asya to herself. Asya began to be treated like the daughter of a master, “to put on silk, kiss her hands,
Gagin gradually becomes attached to her. He brings her to St. Petersburg. However, despite the fact that Asya also has time to become attached to him, Gagin places her in one of the boarding schools, because the duties of the service do not allow him to live with her. Leia, although she understands the need for separation, is very worried about her, even sick, but then she spends four years at the boarding school. In the boarding house she was often complained about, her girlfriends practically did not exist, relations with others were complicated. Asya reaches the age after which it can not be kept in the hostel. Gagin decides to resign and leave for two years with Leia abroad, which he does, settling in this town on the banks of the Rhine. Gagpin mentions that suddenly the other day Asya began to tell him that he began to treat her more coldly, that she wants to love only him, etc. He refers to that scene, which NN was an unwitting witness. To NN’s question whether Leia had any hobbies, since she lived in Petersburg and met quite young people, Gagin answers that all these young people did not like her and that Asya would rather have come up with some unusual person or “a picturesque shepherd in the mountain gorge. ” N. N. says that he does not want to go home, and suggests again to return to Gagin. They return, Asya affectionately meets NN, says that he is glad of his return. NN talks with Leia, she expresses thoughts in which she feels a romantic view of the world: she likes fairy tales about Lorelei, she wants to go “far away, to prayer, to a difficult feat,” to live by chance. She asks N. N. to read from “Onegin”, speaks about how it would be good if people had wings and so on. Returning home, they dance to the music of the waltz. Returning home, NN asked the carrier to let the boat down the Rhine. He fancies that the sky with the stars, and the water in which the sky reflects, are alive, that all this moves her and has her soul. The next day, when N. N. comes to Gagin, he finds Asya in a somewhat thoughtful mood. When asked about the reasons for this, Asya replies that she thought very much that when she was brought up from her mother, she did not study anything and that now she had to catch up, that she needed to be re-educated, because she was ill-mannered, that she did not know how to play on the piano, that she sews badly and that those around her, apparently, are very bored. She is interested in NN, whether it is necessary to be a clever woman, and also what men appreciate in women most. NN tries to calm her down, But at this moment Gagin asks him for advice on his sketches, and Leah leaves. After an hour Leia returns and asks a question, it would be II. M. it is a pity if she suddenly died. NM is surprised at this question, but the girl asks NN to be always and in everything with her openly. Then he adds, in the course of yesterday’s conversation, that her wings have grown, “yes, there is nowhere to fly.” On the objections of Y. N., that she has all the ways open, she responds that he has a bad opinion of her. Ratin, noticing the unhappy disposition of the spirit of Leah, suggests, “like yesterday” to play a waltz. She exclaims: “No, no! Today is for nothing!” II. II. returns home, wondering if Asya likes it or not, but the next day sees Leah only in passing, because she does not feel important. He wanders around the city. Suddenly a boy stops him and passes a note from Leah, in which she writes that she must certainly see NN Assigning him a date near the stone chapel. NN through the boy says that he will. He returns home, Gagip comes to him and informs her friends that Leia seems to be in love with NN, then she says that the day before she fevered with her, that she asked Gagin to immediately take her away from here if he wants oma to stay alive. Then she confessed to Gagipa that she was in love with NN and that she fell in love at first sight. Gagin adds that Asya took the promise to leave the city the next day. Gagin asks if he likes his sister. N. N. answers in the affirmative, but adds that he can not immediately marry her, since their relationship with Leia has not yet given cause. N. N. shows Gagina a note from Leah. He thanks him, and together they decide that NN should go on a date and honestly explain with Leia. NN tormented, but ultimately decides that “marry a seventeen-year-old girl, with her temper, as it is possible.” After going on a date, NN again meets the boy’s messenger, who tells him that Asya has appointed Frau Louise’s other place of meeting. NN comes to the room where Asya is, and, despite the decision, still lends itself to her charm, embraces her, and kisses her. Then he suddenly remembers Gagin and informs Ace that her brother knows everything, reproaches her for what she herself told him about everything. Asya says that she called NN to say goodbye. N. N. reproaches her for the fact that she did not let the feeling develop, “which began to ripen, she herself broke off their connection. “NN is thus playing a role in order to educate the girl.” Asya begins to cry, falls to her knees, NN raises her, the girl suddenly escapes and runs away. “N. leaves the city, wanders on the fields, annoyed with himself for this behavior, regretting that he played a stupid role, that he lost such a wonderful girl. “N night NN goes to the house of the Gagins and learns that Asya has not yet returned. Together with Gagin they go to look for her and they diverge in different directions: NN is looking for Asya, running along the shore, and it seems to him that in He wakes up with the “what she has done to herself”, “where she went,” feels desperate, and after running barrenly along the shore, he returns to the house of the Gagins and learns that Asya has returned. NN wants to ask his hand for Gagin sisters, but because of that, which is already quite late, postpones his proposal until tomorrow. He says goodbye and leaves. In anticipation of happiness, he stops by the road near the tree on which the nightingale sings.
The next morning he comes to Gagin and sees that all the windows of the house are open, and the inhabitants have left. NN send a letter from Gagin, in which he apologizes and bids farewell to him. Learning that the Gagins sailed down the Rhine, taking tickets to Cologne, NN returns to his place and begins to pack things, intending to follow. However, passing by the house of Frau Louise, NN hears someone calling him. Frau Louise gives him a small note from Asya, in which she says goodbye to him, says that they will not see more, writes that if yesterday, when she was crying in front of him, he only said one word, she would have stayed, but so as he did not say, it’s best for her to leave. NN tormented, reproaches himself that he missed such a tender, sensitive girl who loved him, that he “lost love.” Returning, he takes things and goes for the Gagins to Cologne. But there he learns that they left for London. In London, he also fails to find them. More than NN with the Gagins did not meet, only once, several years later, he glimpsed abroad saw a woman in the railway car, which reminded him of “unforgettable features.” But this was only an outward resemblance. Asya for him was forever a young girl, whom she appeared before him on the banks of the Rhine. However, he did not long long for it, and even later thought that fate had well disposed of, not connecting it with Asya, since he would hardly be happy with such a wife. However, this acute sense of love, which arose in NN during his short novel with Asya, was never repeated. He never married, and only keeps, as a shrine, her notes and a dried twig of geraniums,