The Possessed PDF In English

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THERE was another being in the world to whom Varvara Petrovna was as much attached as she was to Stepan Trofimovitch, her only son, Nikolay Vayevolodovitch Stavrogin.

It was to undertake his education that Stepan Trofimovitch had been engaged.

The boy was at that time eight years old, and his frivolous father, General Stavrogin, was already living apart from Varvara Petrovna so the child grew up entirely in his mother’s care.

To do Stepan Trofimovitch justice, he knew how to win his pupil’s heart. The whole secret of this lay in the fact that he was a child himself.

I was not there in those days, and he continually felt the want of a real friend. He did not hesitate to make a friend of this little creature as soon as he had grown a little older.

It somehow came to pass quite naturally that there seemed to be no discrepancy of age between them.

More than once he awoke his ten- or eleven-year-old friend at night, simply to pour out his wounded feelings and weep before him, or to tell him some family secret, without realizing that this was an outrageous proceeding.

They threw themselves into each other’s arms and wept. The boy knew that his mother loved him very much, but I doubt whether he cared much for her.

She talked little to him and did not often interfere with him, but he was always morbidly conscious of her intent, searching eyes fixed upon him.

Yet the mother confided his whole instruction and moral education to Stepan Trofimovitch. At that time her faith in him was unshaken.

One can’t help believing that the tutor had rather a bad influence on his pupil’s nerves.

When at sixteen he was taken to a lyceum he was fragile-looking and pale, strangely quiet and dreamy. (Later on, he was distinguished by great physical strength.)

One must assume too that the friends went on weeping at night, throwing themselves in each other’s arms, though their tears were not always due to domestic difficulties.

Stepan Trofimovitch succeeded in reaching the deepest chords in his pupil’s heart and had aroused in him a first vague sensation of that eternal,

sacred yearning which some elect souls can never give up for cheap gratification when once they have tasted and known it.

(There are some connoisseurs who prize this yearning more than the most complete satisfaction of it if such were possible.)

But in any case, it was just as well that the pupil and the preceptor were, though none too soon, parted.

AuthorFyodor Dostoevsky
Language English
No. of Pages385
PDF Size37.1 MB

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