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Knock, Knock, Knock: читать книгу на английском
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We all settled down in a circle and our good friend Alexandr Vassilyevitch Ridel (his surname was German but he was Russian to the marrow of his bones) began as follows:
I am going to tell you a story, friends, of something that happened to me in the 'thirties ... forty years ago as you see. I will be brief — and don't you interrupt me.
I was living at the time in Petersburg and had only just left the University. My brother was a lieutenant in the horse-guard artillery. His battery was stationed at Krasnoe Selo — it was summer time. My brother lodged not at Krasnoe Selo itself but in one of the neighbouring villages; I stayed with him more than once and made the acquaintance of all his comrades. He was living in a fairly decent cottage, together with another officer of his battery, whose name was Ilya Stepanitch Tyeglev. I became particularly friendly with him.
Marlinsky is out of date now — no one reads him — and even his name is jeered at; but in the 'thirties his fame was above everyone's — and in the opinion of the young people of the day Pushkin could not hold candle to him. He not only enjoyed the reputation of being the foremost Russian writer; but — something much more difficult and more rarely met with — he did to some extent leave his mark on his generation. One came across heroes à la Marlinsky everywhere, especially in the provinces and especially among infantry and artillery men; they talked and corresponded in his language; behaved with gloomy reserve in society — "with tempest in the soul and flame in the blood" like Lieutenant Byelosov in the "Frigate Hope." Women's hearts were "devoured" by them. The adjective applied to them in those days was "fatal." The type, as we all know, survived for many years, to the days of Petchorin. All sorts of elements were mingled in that type. Byronism, romanticism, reminiscences of the French Revolution, of the Dekabrists — and the worship of Napoleon; faith in destiny, in one's star, in strength of will; pose and fine phrases — and a miserable sense of the emptiness of life; uneasy pangs of petty vanity — and genuine strength and daring; generous impulses — and defective education, ignorance; aristocratic airs — and delight in trivial foppery.... But enough of these general reflections. I promised to tell you the story.
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