", "But you are talking of physical love. ', "'Yes, he is bound to take her for his mistress,' said I to myself again; 'and besides, she is not dangerous.'. Though it has been found that to contract marriages through the agency of match-makers is humiliating, it is nevertheless a thousand times preferable to our system. Then her own irritation is launched forth in a flood of insults, in charges of imaginary crimes and all carried to the highest degree by sobs, tears, and retreats through the house to the most improbable spots. 'There,' she says, 'here are your shirts and drawers. There was something tender and timid about it. She began to devote herself passionately to the piano, which had formerly stood forgotten in the corner. It is not to a hospital filled with syphilitic patients that I would take a young man to deprive him of the desire for women, but into my soul, to show him the demon which tore it. Now the object of Humanity cannot be to avoid sufferings by annihilation, since suffering is the result of activity. I did not understand that debauchery does not consist simply in physical acts, that no matter what physical ignominy does not yet constitute debauchery, and that real debauchery consists in freedom from the moral bonds toward a woman with whom one enters into carnal relations, and I regarded THIS FREEDOM as a merit. It only costs a franc!' "I see that you have no love for the doctors," said I, having noticed Posdnicheff's extraordinarily spiteful expression of face and tone of voice whenever he spoke of them. The principal cause of my subjection was the children. Fear seizes me. They have existed, and they do exist, for people who have seen, and do see, in marriage something sacramental, a sacrament that is binding before God. A mass is sung; I receive the sacrament, and again the music is finished. Whatever she might say, I was sure in advance to hold a contrary opinion; and she the same. "I tried to calm her. In the first room slept the little boy. In the name of his love he kills half the human race. . "This tone, and the way in which she said 'we' in speaking of herself and of him, revolted me. Never had I heard from my elders that what I thus did was bad. . "Suppose she were to do, or had already done, something. There is no necessity of having conscience before the criminal code, or of fearing it: low girls, soldiers' wives who throw their children into ponds or wells, these certainly must be put in prison. . I am too proud not to detest such thoughts. A heavy smell of iodoform filled the room. Not to wake the children, I ran lightly through the hall into my study. Not only did I recall it, but I again entered into the same bestial state. By carriage it was a very pleasant journey. Where had I put the bag? "You imagine that I am wandering from my story. Even the lady felt crushed, but she did not surrender. She will awaken, she will be glad, and in her words and looks I shall see that nothing has happened, that all this is vain. The third day they took me to the house." The tarantass was comfortable. She already understands things. We did not understand that this love and this hatred were two opposite faces of the same animal feeling. On the table an empty opium phial. . We talked of our impressions in a general way, and we were nearer together and more friendly than we had been for a long time.". As she, Eve, the woman, was taken from man's ribs, so she will remain unto the end of the world," said the old man, shaking his head so triumphantly and so severely that the clerk, deciding that the victory was on his side, burst into a loud laugh. I felt, in the first place, that I, a man, who, according to my ideas, ought to be the master, wore the petticoats, and that I could not get rid of them. But in my study I did not rest. A woman cannot look upon a child otherwise than as a pleasure. From infancy garments, ornaments, cleanliness, grace, dances, music, reading of poetry, novels, singing, the theatre, the concert, for use within and without, according as women listen, or practice themselves. by what? With this request I shall now endeavor to comply. "Where? "It was a good thing for me. Yes, children, maternal love, it is a painful thing. But rage took possession of my whole being. We have no conscience left, except, so to speak, the conscience of public opinion and of the criminal code. Woman well knows her influence there. "The periods of what we call love arrived as often as formerly. If they had faith they would know that scarlatina, diphtheria, etc., are not so terrible, since they cannot disturb that which man can and should love,âthe soul. But the animal has neither imagination, nor foresight, nor reason, nor a doctor. Not long afterward the music began. Oh, its hiccough! ", "For how long? But children are born and become an embarrassment. "'Go to her?' I remember then how they looked at each other, and cast a glance at their auditors who were taking their seats. And Gregor? Ð¢Ð¾Ð»ÑÑÐ¾ . . ", "And before Humanity carries out the law? I remember the air with which he said that, with a tone that was intended to give me pleasure, and dissipate my doubts. But any other music provokes an excitement, and this excitement is not accompanied by the thing that needs properly to be done, and that is why music is so dangerous, and sometimes acts so frightfully. After a few minutes, having recovered his calmness, he resumed: "I began to understand only when I saw her in the coffin." But I had faith, and was determined to have them, cost what they might. Three persons, however, remained, bound, like myself, for the farthest station: a lady neither young nor pretty, smoking cigarettes, with a thin face, a cap on her head, and wearing a semi-masculine outer garment; then her companion, a very loquacious gentleman of about forty years, with â¦ I really do not know why all think it necessary to conceal it. "Yes, I was a wretch, convinced that I was an angel. Only one thing annoys me,âthat any one could have thought him dangerous. ", "Then, according to you, to man everything is permissible?". "I was on the point of sobbing, but straightway the demon whispered in my ear: 'Weep and be sentimental, and they will separate quietly, and there will be no proofs, and all your life you will doubt and suffer.' I was to go the following week to an assembly of the Zemstvo, in a neighboring locality. Toward nightfall all was ready, and I started off again. First, it was with the book-keeper. "The first thing that I did was to take off my boots, and now, having only stockings on, I advanced toward the wall, over the sofa, where firearms and daggers were hanging, and I took down a curved Damascus blade, which I had never used, and which was very sharp. Either, with the aid of the rascally doctors, she will try to prevent conception, and descend, not to the level of an animal, but to the level of a thing; or she will be what she is in the great majority of cases,âsick, hysterical, wretched, without hope of spiritual progress." The frightful part was that I recognized in myself an indisputable right to the body of my wife, as if her body were entirely mine. And so, strange though they may appear to many, opposed as they undoubtedly are to the trend and tenor of our lives, and incompatible though they may prove with what I have heretofore thought and uttered, I have no choice but to accept them. said he. We went toward my wife's room. I would force these priests to fulfil the function of these women, who, in their opinion, are necessary to man. "Strange in what? "All of us, men and women, are brought up in these aberrations of feeling that we call love. "Thus I spoke to my soul as I listened to that music. I asked myself, without answering. "Now one must care for himself, or care for such or such a little one, now it is the professor, the private tutor, the governesses, . And why? I had become what is called a voluptuary; and to be a voluptuary is a physical condition like the condition of a victim of the morphine habit, of a drunkard, and of a smoker. And from that time there is nothing to be done; the doctors must be summoned. Some give up their seats to her, pick up her handkerchief; others recognize in her a right to fill all offices, participate in government, etc., but, in spite of all that, the essential point remains the same. But at that moment, from under her corset, the blood gushed forth. . I did not sleep. "'What is the matter with you? ", "The question of the nature of this special being, organized otherwise than man, and how this being and man ought to view the wife. A more rational mode of life should be adopted which would include abstinence from all alcoholic drinks, from excess in eating and from flesh meat, on the one hand, and recourse to physical labor on the other. said the second voice. I go to look for her. "People have become too learned," repeated the last, looking at the lady with contempt, and leaving her question unanswered. "'What time is it? . Besides, it makes no difference. But we, when we have a few children, have no need of any more. I said. But man, in our society, not only does not recognize this, but, on the contrary, always looks upon her from the height of his grandeur, despising what she does. What is the matter with you? Then I rose and entered my own compartment. And I could not tear myself out of this condition. ', "And she did not lie. The women with whom I had relations did not belong to me alone, and I asked of them nothing but the pleasure of the moment. But on the other hand, I said to myself: 'Why should it not happen?'. She notices it, she knows not what to do, and how assume an air of indifferent animation? "Women, especially those who have passed through the school of marriage, know very well that conversations upon elevated subjects are only conversations, and that man seeks and desires the body and all that ornaments the body. That had made her glad. Who pervert young people by laying down such rules of hygiene? We men sin through ignorance, and a determination not to learn. ", "But that happens only in novels. Was it so serious because I thought it so? If the young people who dream of the honeymoon only knew what a disillusion it is, and always a disillusion! How my heart leaped! After going half a verst my feet began to feel cold, and I remembered that in the car I had taken off my woollen socks, and had put them in my travelling bag. The doctor must be sent for, Lise has a sore throat.'. "What matters it, however?" The next morning, when, after the reconciliation, I confessed to her that I was jealous of Troukhatchevsky, she was not at all embarrassed, and began to laugh in the most natural way, so strange did the possibility of being led astray by such a man appear to her. And I was happy when I so forgot myself. It seemed to me on that beautiful evening that she understood all that I thought and felt, and I thought and felt the most elevating things. And an unexpected torture,âthe children! Write him that I am indisposed, and that will end the matter. Neither suggestion nor bromide would have been effective in working our cure. "Thus we lived in a perpetual fog, in which we did not distinguish our condition. Nine out of ten are tortured intolerably during the first period of maturity, and afterward provided they do not marry at the age of twenty. Here again the doctor interferes. This is my fourth contention. "Then," resumed the lawyer, continuing his remarks. - Première éd., Berlin, sans postface de l'auteur puis la même année avec cette postface. But especially was I jealous because, having seen with what facility she had thrown off her moral duties as a mother, I concluded rightly, though unconsciously, that she would throw off as easily her conjugal duties, feeling all the surer of this because she was in perfect health, as was shown by the fact that, in spite of the prohibition of the dear doctors, she nursed her following children, and even very well.". She clutched at the dagger with her hands, and cut herself with it, but could not restrain the blow. Vodka before meals, and during meals two glasses of wine, so that a perpetual mist concealed the turmoil of existence. At the first glance I saw that he was a filthy debauche. And pity for myself gave me such a pang that I could not keep the tears back. "Formerly, when the maiden arrived at a favorable age, her marriage was arranged by her parents. "But of that which I considered essential, of her fault, of her treason, one would have said that she did not think it necessary to say even a word. So nothing is seen in it but what is praiseworthy. Their conversation not interesting me, I left the car to stretch my legs. "Two or three days later I was entering my house, in conversation with a friend, when in the hall I suddenly felt something as heavy as a stone weighing on my heart, and I could not account for it. xxiii. The maidens wait and think, but do not dare to say: 'Take me, young man, me and not her. "Oh, I am afraid, I am afraid of railway carriages. "You say that the women of our society live for a different interest from that which actuates fallen women. They suffered horribly from this, the poor things, but we, in our perpetual hubbub, were not clear-headed enough to think of them. I only remember that, in answer to some remark that I made, she insinuated that it was my intention to rule her by means of money, and that it was upon money that I based my sole right over her. As for her, she is dragging in the depths. Only one thing suppresses or interrupts these tendencies for a time,ânamely, children,âand then only when the woman is not a monster,âthat is, when she nurses her own children. "If it were only that! . In the district there was always much to be done. He had come. "'How glad I am that you have come! I do not remember what words either of us uttered, but a discussion began, reproaches, leaps from one subject to another. asked the lawyer of the two merchants, evidently trying to drag them into the conversation. "At the trial the affair was so represented that everything seemed attributable to jealousy. Adagio Sostenuto, Presto 0:00 2. I asked myself; and immediately I made answer to myself that I ought to go, that probably that was the thing that is usually done when a husband like myself kills his wife, that it was absolutely necessary that I should go and see her. My sister-in-law would not listen to this idea, and went away without having gained anything. My relations with Troukhatchevsky the first day, at the first hour, were such as they might still have been after all that has happened. I made a presence of approving everything, this time also, thanks to that strange feeling that forced me to treat him the more amiably in proportion as his presence was more painful to me. . The merchant wanted to make some reply, but the lady interrupted him. "When I had asked Gregor who was there, and he had named Troukhatchevsky, I inquired whether there were other visitors. Was it not clear that between them not only there were no more obstacles, but that bothâespecially sheâfelt a certain shame after what had happened at the piano? Did she not tell me that the very idea that I could be jealous of her because of him was humiliating to her?' ", "But what is to be done?" The doctors, who cynically undressed her and felt of her everywhere, and whom I had to thank and pay for these acts,âthese dear doctors decided that she ought not to nurse her child, and she was temporarily deprived of the only remedy for coquetry. Do not lie!' This is the right way to live!'. Does not the government guard against it? "Have you read how he killed his wife through jealousy?". The clerk began to laugh noisily. "So it was with my wife. I suffer! Even among the moujiks this fashion has become acclimated. It was for this last reason, for that matter, that I felt the necessity of communicating these memoirs to her. It was an hour past midnight. He looks at her with a smile, and, as it seems to me, he surveys her body. The tarantass, though new, broke down, and had to be repaired. This hostility is nothing but a protest of human nature against the beast that enslaves it. But in that case it is not necessary to procreate together (excuse my brutality). Help! Man does not wish to know the law of nature,âchildren. Is not that the idea that you intended to convey?" "Why? The children of human beings should not be brought up as if they were animals; and we should set up as the object and strive to maintain as the result of our labors something better and nobler than a well-dressed body. The ordinary wife in our society is a very commonplace person or worse, selfish, gossiping, whimsical, whereas the ordinary young girl, until the age of twenty, is a charming being, ready for everything that is beautiful and lofty. Beside me stood a Jew, drinking also. "Yes, so it is; and that went farther and farther with all sorts of variations. In the city the wretched feel less sad. And yet the first rule for the wife should be fear.". But what does that matter to her! She had fallen on the long easy chair, and, covering her face at the spot where I had struck her, she looked at me. Thus was I. "The second bell is about to ring.". Then the pain stops, without any necessity of stifling it. Without faith in God, they love only physically, and all their energy is concentrated upon the preservation of life, which cannot be preserved, and which the doctors promise the fools of both sexes to save. Then began the usual phrases: 'She is in a terrible state. "As soon as a young man advances toward a woman, directly he falls under the influence of this opium, and loses his head. And vice versa. Regular life does not exist for them. Everybody was silent. "Only now have they become a part of our habits. Fear was the only sentiment that could be read with certainty in his face. thought I, 'love is the unity of souls, and here she hates me? 'Do this, take a carriage, and go at once for my baggage. What could there be more natural? And my hatred increases tenfold, but I do not dare to give it free force, because at the bottom of my soul I know that there are no real reasons for it, and I remain in my seat, feigning indifference, and exaggerating my attention and courtesy to HIM. 'What could be more natural than what she has written?' If she wishes to torment any one, let her torment herself first. If the light of truth dawns upon a Christian when he is already married, or if, being a Christian, from weakness he enters into marital relations with the ceremonies of the church, or without them, he has no other alternative than to abide with his wife (and the wife with her husband, if it is she who is a Christian) and to aspire together with her to free themselves of their sin.
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