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people, and the iniquitous administration he says, “to remain on the same level of of the autocratic government. It was from existence with what I detested; to be able that circle that Hertzen, Bakunin, Lavrof, to do that I probably had not sufficient and others were to come forward, to be patience. I had not sufficient firmness of come the teachers and leaders of genera- character to wait. It was necessary for me tions, to found a free Russian press on the to retreat from my enemy, that from a discontinent of Europe, and to leave their tance I might be able to make a more vigindelible imprint upon the revolutionary orous attack upon him. To my eyes that movements of the world in the character- enemy had a distinctive image, a notorious istic saying : “ Die Zerstürende Lust ist die name, the system of serfdom. Under Schaffende Lust,” “The triumph of de- that designation I collected and concenstruction is the triumph of creation !" trated all, against whom I resolved to wage
In the forties, social and intellectual life a war to the end, with whom I swore never in Russia was fully awake. The voices of to conclude peace, never to grant a truce Pushkin, Lermontof, and Gogol, the voices to. This was my Hannibal oath.” of the critics of the time, had not spoken The Russian reading public were then in vain; they roused in the breasts of watchfully alive to the artistic production those who heard them the consciousness of their writers. In the realism founded of the great evil of the existing state of by their novelists they sought not only things, the consciousness of outrage on the truthful reflection of national life, of the dignity of the human personality, and national character, but under its form they indignation and hatred against the condi- watched for the words of struggle against tions which permitted the physical and the regime of meanness and social degrapersonal subjection and bondage of millions dation. The forces of an independent, critof people, people of one blood, of one ical, and protesting personality rose then race, of one country, professing the same against falsehood, against everything that faith, speaking the same language. Tour- had fraudulently been legalized, against genief, who had already attracted consid- everything that usurped the authority of erable notice as a rising literary man, was command, and irrationally claimed the keenly alive to all these ills, and was reso- subjection of the individual. About that lute to battle against them. “All that I time Gogol, the leader of the Realistic saw then," he says, “excited in me a sense school, the unconscious revolutionizer of of alarm, a feeling of indignation, of abso- Russian. thought, published his Correlute aversion.” For all those who felt like spondence, in which he showed such inconhim there were but two means of action,- sistency of personal belief with his writings either to submit quietly and tolerate indif- as almost to constitute a departure. The ferently all the evils which they detested, public soon turned away from their idol. or to turn round and declare an uncom- Gogol himself failed to comprehend the promising war against them. There was storm of discontent his Correspondence no via media between these two alterna- provoked; he maintained that he had tives; and Ivan Sergeiyevitsh, who felt all professed throughout the same creed, the the evils, who saw all the outrages, but who same opinions; and Tourgenief writes : could not resort to the same means and “I remember the conversation broached measures to which a great number of his the subject of the necessity of maintaining contemporaries, more impatient of reme- the old order of things, and the strict and dies and alleviation, resorted, left his own unconditional subjection to the authorities country and from the beautiful distance," on high. “There now,' said Gogol, 'I have when oppressed with the feeling of love always maintained the same doctrines, I for native land, the feeling of sympathy have always thought so, and enunciated with his people who were oppressed and the same convictions as I do now. Why brutalized, wrote those famous tales, The then reproach me with treason, with faithReminiscences of a Sportsman, in which lessness?' And this was said by the author he depicted so gracefully, so feelingly, with of the Revisor, one of the most thorough such wondrous beauty and truth, the life negation comedies ever presented on the of the peasantry and the condition of serf- stage.” Gogol also defended the institudom under which they labored. “I was tion of the press censorship as beneficial unable to breathe the same atmosphere," for the developing the best powers of an artist, the best virtues of a citizen, and as with a desire for intellectual activity, with the guardian of its children, in' whom it indefinite longings for action and progress, inoculated the virtue of patience and other without knowing where to move, where to Christian attributes. “To prove the ne- advance, how to go onward. This was a cessity of censorship !” exclaims Ivan Ser- time when all these longings, all these vague geiyevitsh; “ does not this amount to the ideas, attracted those youths together to praising and lauding the wisdom and talk, -- to talk of everything that came to beneficence of slavery? "
their minds with all the serious consciousThe June days were drawing near ; ness of significance of the newly wakened Belinsky died, — of whom he speaks as a youthful mind. They came together and man who in the name of his ideal denied talked “while the night soars onward, still and destroyed everything — leaving in and smooth, as on wings.” Rudin stands in his last speech an appeal to the Russian the middle of a dusky room and expatiates nation for progress and advancement. about philosophy and truth, so eloquently Tourgenief, who lived abroad at the beautiful, that he appears almost like a time, soon beheld the tragedy grow out "young Demosthenes before the tumultuof the comedy which had begun on the ous sea. ... Already the morning dawns, Parisian boulevard. He had not to fight when we depart, lively and elated, honest “either on this or that side of the bar- and sober (we had no mention of wine, ricade,” but he heard “the shooting of then), with something like an agreeable the insurgents,” and saw that “simple man weariness on our souls.... Ah, that was an in the blouse, of unconscious and majestic excellent time, and I don't want to believe simplicity," whom he left for generations it to have passed away uselessly.” These to behold in his story of Ours have sent assemblies were mostly constituted of boys, me! Gogol died. · Death that recon- of unlearned boys. “Philosophy, science, ciles all living enmities” awakened in every art, life itself -- all these were mere words Russian heart the deepest notes of regret. to us. I will admit, if you like, they were Ivan Sergeiyevitsh, who perhaps more than notions, - very beautiful and alluring noall appreciated the heavy loss of the great tions, but they were all disjointed and artist, gave vent to his feelings in a touch- scattered notions. There was no common ing and simple letter, in which he mourned centre to these notions, that we were conthe untimely bereavement of the nation. scious of, there was no general mundane “ Envy and malice remain silent before the law that we acknowledged, that we felt, most insignificant of graves; they will not though we talked of it, and endeavored to speak over the grave of Gogol . . . and give ourselves an account of it. ... In we are certain that nobody will hesitate to listening to Rudin, it appeared to us for repeat with us : Peace to his ashes, eternal the first time that we had grasped that memory to his life, and everlasting glory thread which bound them all together, that to his name !"
we had raised at last the veil from it.” The At that time the conditions of the outcome of these very same circles, who censor were particularly strict. “Similar became the leader of these coteries for a crescendoes transpired very frequently, and time, was the same Rudin, a man who had to the bystander they seemed as inexpli- read much, heard much, thought little, but cable as the sudden increase of the death- always spoke. The sense of duty has berate in epidemics." For his harmless article come the most paramount consideration on Gogol, he experienced the brutal hand to his understanding, who out of a sense of of the Nicholas government, and after im- duty interferes with everybody and everyprisonment for a fortnight, he went to his thing, teaches everybody everything, makes estate, where he remained in forced exile people fall in love with one another, makes for nearly four years.
them separate, makes them rave about In his exile he wrote Rudin. This was notions they can hardly comprehend, who written in the fifties, when Russia was al- out of a sense of duty makes himself ridicready fully awake to a new intellectual and ulous, pitiable, refuses the love of a girl moral life, and when the youth of the time, who had the strength and courage to reswayed by the charms and mysticisms of nounce everything and follow him implicGerman and European philosophy, felt an itly and faithfully; a man who was in impulse to move somewhere, were agitated reality empty and remarkable, and who
succeeded at the time in giving rise in the same year, where Tourgenief makes the minds of the youth to a veritable chaos. hero say, “In my youth I was bent upon "Simply everything whirled and revolved, conquering the heavens ... then I began and appeared as if in a camera obscura : to dream of the welfare of humanity, of white appeared black ; black, white; false- the welfare of my country; then that phase hood, truth; fantasy, duty.” A man whose also passed away; I began to think only dream is always to be useful and service- how best to construct for myself a quiet, able to society, who speaks sincerely of domestic life, ... when I stumbled over an the "felicity of action,” and who does ants' nest, fell to the ground, and towards nothing but talk and talk. “Words were my grave. ... We Russians are masters his ruin,” says Lejenev ; "his tongue is his at finishing up, that way.” enemy.... But it is his servant also " ; who Rudin was a type and outcome of his speaks and advocates simplicity, and who times; but Ivan Sergeiyevitsh saw that could not button his coat, otherwise than these times produced not only such men “as if it were a holy duty”; who knows as Rudin, but men like Pokorsky, in himself to a detail, all his defects and whom he represented his friend Stankeshortcomings, and who cannot find the vitsh, Russia's “ hope and pride," who means, the power of mending and improv- spoke less than Rudin, but who excited ing. “Nature has given me many gifts, his hearers to more definite action, to but I shall die without having done any- more definite virtues, and more tangible thing worthy of my talent, without leaving resolutions. He also saw the type of the behind me any beneficial results.... I appreciative and practical man whom he shall end by sacrificing myself for some represented in Lejenev. The greatest sernonsense, in which I have not faith, vice rendered by such men as Rudin even”; who could preach words of wis- who are always striving towards a higher dom, words of ethical and moral advice, and higher ideal, who at least are able to and yet who failed to apply those very conceive it, though they do not act and counsels to his own conduct, to his own advance towards it — is by generating the life, and the pity of which is, that he knows same ideas, by disseminating them amongst he will remain “the same unfinished be- men, who will believe in it, who will ading" that he has been hitherto.
vance towards it, and who will realize “Yes, friend," he began, “I could now it. They know both the faults and virtues say with Koltsof, “To what end, youth of their teachers; they appreciate the enmine, hast thou brought me, hast thou led tire goodness that is in them; and the me, that now I cannot make a step in evil influences to which they have been advance?' And yet was I really so utterly subjected they generally throw off with the useless for anything, was there really no facility native to a virtuous understanding. occupation for me on the face of this Tourgenief saw that the times were proearth? I have frequently put the same ducing men who are not contented with question to myself, and no matter how mere all-comprehending ideas of beauty much I endeavored to lower myself in my and goodness and righteousness; but who, own eyes, I could not help being conscious under all these grand terms, under all of a presence of energy and force in me, these abstractions, sought a limited ideal of which many people are destitute. ... I towards which they could come near, a am wholly and entirely a well-intentioned concrete fact which they could grasp, man ; I get easily reconciled, and wish to struggle for, and conquer. In a time when adapt myself to circumstances; I want to everybody had become “ intolerably reareach at a near object, to bring but the least sonable, indifferent, and slow," when everyuse to the world. ... No! and I can't do body had “frozen up and fallen asleep," it it!... Why is it that I can't live and act was a thing to be grateful for to any one as others do?... Words, words, nothing who could wake them up, and stir them up but words!... Phrases have been my utter to life and action. If Rudin cannot do ruin. ... And I have ruined my life, and anything himself, nobody has a right to did not serve ideas as I ought to have reproach him with being useless. done !” The same psychologic tragedy of has a right to say that his words, his good Rudin's nature is characterized in a small words, have not taken root in the hearts story, The Correspondence, written in the and souls of many young men whom nature
endowed with the powers of useful action, of constitutional rights and liberties. The and the capacities for realizing their own struggle against the regime of oppression ideas.” Rudin's great misfortune consists and meanness was fermenting in the realms in the fact of his ignorance of Russia ; and of critical and imaginative literature ; and this really is a great misfortune indeed! the apparent conquests, the apparent sucRussia could very well get on without every cess, raised men's hopes high then, not in one of us; but none of us could get on “ legal” Russia alone, but even among the very well without her. Cosmopolitanism Revolutionary emigres. “Thou hast conis nonsense ! a cosmopolitan is a nought; quered, 0 Galilean," Hertzen wrote from worse than a nought. Apart from national- abroad. “We have to deal, not with ism there is no art, no truth, no life; there an accidental successor of Nicholas, but is nothing. There is no ideal face without with a powerful worker, framing a new era a physiognomy. It would take us too long for Russia. ... He works with us for her to discover the causes why we have Rudins great future. ... From hence, Alexander in Russia. But the fact remains, neverthe- II.'s name belongs to history.” And a few less, a fact. Rudins were, then, in our years later, he added, on the event of the country; he was a prominent type of his liberation of serfs, “ From the distance of times; he brought use by his words, by our exile we congratulate him, ... with the the preaching of his ideals, by the wak- name of liberator !” ening in those who listened to him re- Ivan Sergeiyevitsh was also infatuated flections and thoughts of self and their with that movement, and shared the unisurroundings. “Yes, even to Rudin we versal exultation. In 1857, when he was owe much.”
in Rome with a few of the leading men of But words alone do not suffice; an ex- Russia, he even prepared a plan of a new ample is necessary. True men and women system of local administration which would are necessary, who, embodying their pre- honestly endeavor to elevate the life of cepts in their lives, shall go forth, and the peasant," and he spoke of “the secret by their action excite emulation, and pro- and open resistance which the nobles” voke the desire of imitation and following. make to such a scheme. “We go to the Martyrs are necessary. The action of their government,” he added, “not because it is lives is sanctified by their faithful death; a ruling power, but because it desires truth the legend of their ideas, of their achieve and the welfare of the people.” ments, weaves, gradually, an aureole round In the same epoch of hopes and their their lives, which becomes the fascinating destructions, Tourgenief delivered his fanucleus, the stimulating signal for advance- mous lecture on “Don Quixote and Hamment, and inspires thousands rather to die let," and completed his great novel, On a thousand deaths than submit to con- the Eve, which was destined to have such ditions incompatible with the dignity of an influence on the life of the Russian human life, moral or intellectual. And youth. In his lecture he speaks of Hammen of such resolution, of such ideas, were lets as “ solitary, fruitless, and useless to now more necessary than ever.
mankind,” though they have an irreconcilIt was the new reign then; Alexander able "enmity with falsehood and injusII. ascended the throne, and the new tice"; their “scepticism is not indifferentepoch that succeeded was one of transi- ism,” but they doubt, hesitate, waver, and tory reforms, in which Russian intelligence accomplish nothing, for “ who knows that indulged much sanguine hope. Tcher- the very ground is really under our feet?” nishevsky, the author of “What's to be In Don Quixote, on the contrary, he saw done?” who has since then expiated the the type of man who solely devotes himcrime of wishing for reforms by a long self to the service of goodness, who and dreary incarceration in Siberia, was wholly gives himself up to the service of then the editor of the Sovremenik (the mankind, who is “all self-sacrifice !” What Contemporary), and had Dobroloufoff, the matter that he fights windmills? He thinks great critic and radical, as his chief con- that he is encountering the might of giants, tributor. Katkof, the late reactionist, the he is battling evil and oppression. What friend and protector of every retrogressive matter that he attacks a harmless flock of movement and measure of Russian politi- sheep? “A certain element of the ridicucal and social life, was then the advocate lous always, inevitably, attaches itself to the
conduct of those men who are called forth one.” Insarov has neither a great intellect for a great action. ... The mass of the nor much poetry in him ; he is all devoted people ends by following, in implicit belief, to one cause, and that is the redemption
, those whom it scoffed at, those whom it of his country, Bulgaria, of his own people, cursed and persecuted, but who, fearless of the Bulgarians, whom the Turks are opcurses and persecutions, heedless of ridi- pressing, taking away their churches, cule, go unheedingly and unwavering on- driving them from their homes, insulting, wards. ... Their spiritual gaze resting on mutilating, killing them." For that cause their goal before them, they go, they seek, he is ready to do everything in his power, they stumble, they fall, they rise and find at to sacrifice all - his very life; the smallest last. ... To be trampled on by swine is fact connected with it is of as much imporalways essential in the lives of Don Quix- tance with him as the greatest. otes; it is the last tribute they pay to rough over such a little sum, over such trifles, accident, to ignorant misconception; ... it you walked such a distance, you went to is the blow of the Pharisee. ... After that, such "trouble?' asks Elena. These are they can die, ... immortality is unveiled be- not trifles,' replies Insarov, 'where one's fore them.” But Tourgenief saw that for the countrymen are concerned. To refuse in forthcoming struggle and transition there such an instance is a positive sin. ... Our were not so much necessary any great and time doesn't belong to ourselves.' transcendent heroes, nor even any “spe- “Whom, then, does it belong to?' cially great talents and minds — nothing “«To all who are in need of it.' Who stupendous, obtrusive, and too individu- could answer, when he is asked whether alistic." What was necessary was
he loves his country, «• That is not known capacity of self-sacrifice, without display yet. When we die for our country, it is or glamour; it is necessary to be able to then that we could say we have loved her. reconcile one's self to all the small things ... Do I love my own country? What of life, to all, everyday, dark labors; ... to else could one love on this earth? What teach the peasant to read, to help him, to else is there that is always faithful, never found hospitals, to found schools, to assist changes, that is above all doubts, that him in every way.... Of what avail is talent one could not help believing in, next to or learning here? The heart alone is what God? And especially when that fatherland is wanted, - the heart that is capable of is in need of you. Mark this, Elena Nikrenouncing her egoism. ... The sense of olayevna : the last peasant, the last beggar duty, the glorious sense of patriotism, in the in Bulgaria, and myself, we all want one right comprehension of the word, — that and the same thing, we all aim at the one is all that is necessary!” And this he end !'" endeavored to embody in On the Eve. If the artist saw at the time that as The hero, Insarov, almost recalls to us the yet “there were no heroes in Russia " ; devoted faith of Don Quixote. Of course if Elenas, who were eager for action, eager he is not altogether like him, for, as Tour- to do something good, something useful, genief himself says, “Nature, fortunately, had only to content themselves by asking, never produces complete Hamlets or com- “ What is to be done in Russia ?". he plete Don Quixotes”: and Ivan Sergeiye- yet felt that the great need in Russia was vitsh is a social artist, not a creator of that of men, who could, like Insarov, conideal types. “Elena (the heroine], then sciously devote themselves “to a difficult only a new type in Russian life," was in undertaking” and resolve to subject themclear relief in his mind ; “but there was selves, if need be, “not only to dangers not a hero to whom Elena, with all her alone, but even to deprivations, degradamisty, though powerful, eagerness for lib- tions
tions" also ; and he hopefully predicted, erty, should entrust herself.... Amongst with true instinct, “Give them time! they Russians of the time there was not such a will come !"