I felt sorry for him. He stood pale before me, his lip trembled more and more violently, and two tears came out upon his cheeks. But he would not let me go. His head was resting on my knees, his lips were kissing my still trembling hands, and his tears were wetting them. Five minutes later Sonya was rushing upstairs to Katya and proclaiming all over the house that Masha intended to marry Sergey Mikhaylych. There were no reasons for putting off our wedding, and neither he nor I wished for delay. Katya, it is true, thought we ought to go to Moscow, to buy and order wedding clothes; and his mother tried to insist that, before the wedding, he must set up a new carriage, but new furniture, and repaper the whole house.
But we two together carried our point, that all these things, if they were really indispensable, should be done afterwards, and that we should be married within a fortnight after my birthday, quietly, without wedding clothes, with a party, without best men and supper and champagne, and all the other conventional features of a wedding. He told me how dissatisfied his mother was that there should be no band, no mountain of luggage, no renovation of the whole house — so unlike her own marriage which had cost thirty thousand rubles; and he told of the solemn and secret confabulations which she held in her store room with her housekeeper, Maryushka, rummaging the chests and discussing carpets, curtains, and salvers as indispensable conditions of our happiness.
At our house Katya did just the same with my old nurse, Kuzminichna. It was impossible to treat the matter lightly with Katya. She was firmly convinced that he and I, when discussing our future, were merely talking the sentimental nonsense natural to people in our position; and that our real future happiness depended on the hemming of table cloths and napkins and the proper cutting out and stitching of underclothing. Several times a day secret information passed between the two houses, to communicate what was going forward in each; and though the external relations between Katya and his mother were most affectionate, yet a slightly hostile though very subtle diplomacy was already perceptible in their dealings.
I now became more intimate with Tatyana Semyonovna, the mother of Sergey Mikhaylych, an old-fashioned lady, strict and formal in the management of her household. Her son loved her, and not merely because she was his mother: he thought her the best, cleverest, kindest, and most affectionate woman in the world. She was always kind to us and to me especially, and was glad that her son should be getting married; but when I was with her after our engagement, I always felt that she wished me to understand that, in her opinion, her son might have looked higher, and that it would be as well for me to keep that in mind.
I understood her meaning perfectly and thought her quite right. During that fortnight he and I met every day. He came to dinner regularly and stayed on till midnight. But though he said — and I knew he was speaking the truth — that he had no life apart from me, yet he never spent the whole day with me, and tried to go on with his ordinary occupations.
It was as if he feared to yield to the harmful excess of tenderness he felt. And how simple was every feature of his character, and how congenial to my own! Even his plans for our future life together were just my plans, only more clearly and better expressed in his words. The weather was bad just then, and we spent most of our time indoors. The corner between the piano and the window was the scene of our best intimate talks. The candle light was reflected on the blackness of the window near us; from time to time drops struck the glistening pane and rolled down.
The rain pattered on the roof; the water splashed in a puddle under the spout; it felt damp near the window; but our corner seemed all the brighter and warmer and happier for that. I was very near destroying my happiness by my own act. You saved me. When I began then, I meant to argue. After all my disappointments and mistakes in life, I told myself firmly when I came to the country this year, that love was no more for me, and that all I had to do was to grow old decently.
So for a long time, I was unable to clear up my feeling towards you, or to make out where it might lead me. But after that evening, you remember when we walked in the garden at night, I got alarmed: the present happiness seemed too great to be real. What if I allowed myself to hope and then failed? But of course I was thinking only of myself, for I am disgustingly selfish.
It was possible and right for me to have fears. I take so much from you and can give so little. You are still a child, a bud that has yet to open; you have never been in love before, and I. No, never before — nothing a t all like what I feel now. Well, was I not bound to think twice before saying that I loved you? What do I give you?
I often lie awake at night from happiness, and all the time I think of our future life together. I have lived through much, and now I think I have found what is needed for happiness. And then, on the top of all that, you for a mate, and children perhaps — what more can the hear of man desire? Life is still before you, and you will perhaps seek happiness, and perhaps find it, in something different. You think now that this is happiness, because you love me.
And you only say just what I have thought. I did not reply and involuntarily looked into his eyes. Suddenly a strange thing happened to me: first I ceased to see what was around me; then his face seemed to vanish till only the eyes were left, shining over against mine; next the eyes seemed to be in my own head, and then all became confused — I could see nothing and was forced to shut my eyes, in order to break loose from the feeling of pleasure and fear which his gaze was producing in me. The day before our wedding day, the weather cleared up towards evening.
The rains which had begun in summer gave place to clear weather, and we had our first autumn evening, bright and cold. It was a wet, cold, shining world, and the garden showed for the first time the spaciousness and color and bareness of autumn. I went to bed happy in the thought that tomorrow, our wedding day, would be fine. I awoke with the sun, and the thought that this very day. I went out into the garden. The path was strewn with rustling leaves, clusters of mountain ash berries hung red and wrinkled on the boughs, with a sprinkling of frost-bitten crumpled leaves; the dahlias were black and wrinkled.
In the clear cold sky there was not, and could not be, a single cloud. Is it possible that I shall never again wait for his coming and meet him, and sit up late with Katya to talk about him? Shall I never sit with him beside the piano in our drawing room? I believed for a moment that it was all real, and then doubted again. Shall I never again teach Sonya and play with her and knock through the wall to her in the morning and hear her hearty laugh? Shall I become from today someone that I myself do not know? He cam early, and it required his presence to convince me that I should really be his wife that very day, and the prospect ceased to frighten me.
During the service, while I pressed my forehead against the cold stone of the chapel floor, I called up my father so vividly; I was so convinced that he understood me and approved my choice, that I felt as if his spirit were still hovering over us and blessing me. And my recollections and hopes, my joy and sadness, made up one solemn and satisfied feeling which was in harmony with the fresh still air, the silence, the bare fields and pale sky, from which the bright but powerless rays, trying in vain to burn my cheek, fell over all the landscape.
My companion seemed to understand and share my feeling. He walked slowly and silently; and his face, at which I glanced from time to time, expressed the same serious mood between joy and sorrow which I shared with nature.
Suddenly he turned to me, and I saw that he intended to speak. But he began to speak of my father and did not even name him. I used to call you Masha then. We went on along the foot path over the beaten and trampled stubble; our voices and footsteps were the only sounds. On one side the brownish stubble stretched over a hollow to a distant leafless wood; across it at some distance a peasant was noiselessly ploughing a black strip which grew wider and wider. A drove of horses scattered under the hill seemed close to us.
On the other side, as far as the garden and our house peeping through the trees, a field of winter corn, thawed by the sun, showed black with occasional patches of green. When we spoke, the sound of our voices hung in the motionless air above us, as if we two were alone in the whole world — alone under that azure vault, in which the beams of the winter sun played and flashed without scorching. At home we found that his mother and the inevitable guests had arrived already, and I was never alone with him again till we came out of church to drive to Nikolskoe.
The church was nearly empty: I just caught a glimpse of his mother standing up straight on a mat by the choir and of Katya wearing a cap with purple ribbons and with tears on her cheeks, and of two or three of our servants looking curiously at me. I did not look at him, but felt his presence there beside me. I attended to the words of the prayers and repeated them, but they found no echo in my heart. I only felt that something strange was being done to me. But I was only frightened and disappointed: all was over, but nothing extraordinary, nothing worthy of the Sacrament I had just received, had taken place in myself.
He and I exchanged kisses, but the kiss seemed strange and not expressive of our feeling. We went out of church, the sound of wheels reverberated under the vaulted roof, the fresh air blew on my face, he put on his hat and handed me into the carriage. Through the window I could see a frosty moon with a halo round it. He sat down beside me and shut the door after him. I felt a sudden pang. The assurance of his proceedings seemed to me insulting. Katya called out that I should put something on my head; the wheels rumbled on the stone and then moved along the soft road, and we were off.
Huddling in a corner, I looked out at the distant fields and the road flying past in the cold glitter of the moon. Without looking at him, I felt his presence beside me. I turned to him, intending to speak; but the words would not come, as if my love had vanished, giving place to a feeling of mortification and alarm. But at that moment my heart began to beat faster, my hand trembled and pressed his, I grew hot, my eyes sought his in the half darkness, and all at once I felt that I did not fear him, that this fear was love — a new love still more tender and stronger than the old.
I felt that I was wholly his, and that I was happy in his power over me. Days, weeks, two whole months of seclusion in the country slipped by unnoticed, as we thought then; and yet those two months comprised feelings, emotions, and happiness, sufficient for a lifetime. Our plans for the regulation of our life in the country were not carried out at all in the way that we expected; but the reality was not inferior to our ideal. There was none of that hard work, performance of duty, self-sacrifice, and life for others, which I had pictured to myself before our marriage; there was, on the contrary, merely a selfish feeling of love for one another, a wish to be loved, a constant causeless gaiety and entire oblivion of all the world.
It is true that my husband sometimes went to his study to work, or drove to town on business, or walked about attending to the management of the estate; but I saw what it cost him to tear himself away from me. He confessed later that every occupation, in my absence, seemed to him mere nonsense in which it was impossible to take any interest.
It was just the same with me. If I read, or played the piano, or passed my time with his mother, or taught in the school, I did so only because each of these occupations was connected with him and won his approval; but whenever the thought of him was not associated with any duty, my hands fell by my sides and it seemed to me absurd to think that any thing existed apart from him. Perhaps it was a wrong and selfish feeling, but it gave me happiness and lifted me high above all the world.
He alone existed on earth for me, and I considered him the best and most faultless man in the world; so that I could not live for anything else than for him, and my one object was to realize his conception of me. And in his eyes I was the first and most excellent woman in the world, the possessor of all possible virtues; and I strove to be that woman in the opinion of the first and best of men.
He came to my room one day while I was praying. I looked round at him and went on with my prayers. Not wishing to interrupt me, he sat down at a table and opened a book. But I thought he was looking at me and looked round myself. He smiled, I laughed, and had to stop my prayers. Occasionally he turned towards me, seeking signs of approval and aid in my face. Our house was one of those old-fashioned country houses in which several generations have passed their lives together under one roof, respecting and loving one another.
It was all redolent of good sound family traditions, which as soon as I entered it seemed to become mine too. The management of the household was carried on by Tatyana Semyonovna, my mother-inlaw, on old-fashioned lines. Of grace and beauty there was not much; but, from the servants down to the furniture and food, there was abundance of everything, and a general cleanliness, solidity, and order, which inspired respect. The drawing room furniture was arranged symmetrically; there were portraits on the walls, and the floor was covered with home-made carpets and mats.
In the morning-room there was an old piano, with chiffoniers of two different patterns, sofas, and little carved tables with bronze ornaments. My sitting room, specially arranged by Tatyana Semyonovna, contained the best furniture in the house, of many styles and periods, including an old pierglass, which I was frightened to look into at first, but came to value as an old friend.
The number of servants was far too large they all wore soft boots with no heels, because Tatyana Semyonovna had an intense dislike for stamping heels and creaking soles ; but they all seemed proud of their calling, trembled before their old mistress, treated my husband and me with an affectionate air of patronage, and performed their duties, to all appearance, with extreme satisfaction. My husband took no part in the household management, he attended only to the farm-work and the laborers, and gave much time to this.
Even in winter he got up so early that I often woke to find him gone. I often made him tell me what he had been doing in the morning, and he gave such absurd accounts that we both laughed till we cried. Sometimes I insisted on a serious account, and he gave it, restraining a smile. I watched his eyes and moving lips and took nothing in: the sight of him and the sound of his voice was pleasure enough. But I could repeat nothing. It seemed so absurd that he should talk to me of any other subject than ourselves. As if it mattered in the least what went on in the world outside!
It was at a much later time that I began to some extent to understand and take an interest in his occupations. Tatyana Semyonovna never appeared before dinner: she breakfasted alone and said good morning to us by deputy. Tatyana Semyonovna sailed out of her own room, and certain poor and pious maiden ladies, of whom there were always two or three living in the house, made their appearance also.
She also presided at dinner, where the conversation, if rather solemn, was polite and sensible. The commonplace talk between my husband and me was a pleasant interruption to the formality of those entertainments. Sometimes there were squabbles between mother and son and they bantered one another; and I especially enjoyed the scenes, because they were the best proof of the strong and tender love which united the two. We read much together at this time, but music was our favorite and best enjoyment, always evoking fresh chords in our hearts and as it were revealing each afresh to the other.
While I played his favorite pieces, he sat on a distant sofa where I could hardly see him. He was ashamed to betray the impression produced on him by the music; but often, when he was not expecting it, I rose from the piano, went up to him, and tried to detect on his face signs of emotion — the unnatural brightness and moistness of the eyes, which he tried in vain to conceal.
Tatyana Semyonovna, though she often wanted to take a look at us there, was also anxious to put no constraint upon us. So she always passed through the room with an air of indifference and a pretence of being busy; but I knew that she had no real reason for going to her room and returning so soon. In the evening I poured out tea in the large drawing room, and all the household met again.
This solemn ceremony of distributing cups and glasses before the solemnly shining samovar made me nervous for a long time. Just like a grown-up person! After tea Tatyana Semyonovna played patience or listened to Marya Minichna telling fortunes by the cards. Then she kissed us both and signed us with the cross, and we went off to our own rooms. But we generally sat up together till midnight, and that was our best and pleasantest time.
He told me stories of his past life; we made plans and sometimes even talked philosophy; but we tried always to speak low, for fear we should be heard upstairs and reported to Tatyana Semyonovna, who insisted on our going to bed early. Sometimes we grew hungry; and then we stole off to the pantry, secured a cold supper by the good offices of Nikita, and ate it in my sitting room by the light of one candle. He and I lived like strangers in that big old house, where the uncompromising spirit of the past and of Tatyana Semyonovna ruled supreme.
Not she only, but the servants, the old ladies, the furniture, even the pictures, inspired me with respect and a little alarm, and made me feel that he and I were a little out of place in that house and must always be very careful and cautious in our doings. Thinking it over now, I see that many things — the pressure of that unvarying routine, and that crowd of idle and inquisitive servants — were uncomfortable and oppressive; but at the time that very constraint made our love for one another still keener.
Not I only, but he also, never grumbled openly at anything; on the contrary he shut his eyes to what was amiss. Then, when Dmitriy Sidorov had gone away without having seen us, in his joy that all had passed off successfully, he declared as he did on every other occasion that I was a darling, and kissed me. At times his calm connivance and apparent indifference to everything annoyed me, and I took it for weakness, never noticing that I acted in the same way myself. Better to give way myself than to put compulsion on others; of that I have long been convinced.
There is no condition in which one cannot be happy; but our life is such bliss! I simply cannot be angry; to me now nothing seems bad, but only pitiful and amusing. Life must go on, something may change; and nothing can be better than the present. I believed him but did not understand him. I was happy; but I took that as a matter of course, the invariable experience of people in our position, and believed that there was somewhere, I knew not where, a different happiness, not greater but different. So two months went by and winter came with its cold and snow; and, in spite of his company, I began to feel lonely, that life was repeating itself, that there was nothing new either in him or in myself, and that we were merely going back to what had been before.
He began to give more time to business which kept him away from me, and my old feeling returned, that there was a special department of his mind into which he was unwilling to admit me. His unbroken calmness provoked me. I loved him as much as ever and was as happy as ever in his love; but my love, instead of increasing, stood still; and another new and disquieting sensation began to creep into my heart.
To love him was not enough for me after the happiness I had felt in falling in love. I wanted movement and not a calm course of existence. I wanted excitement and danger and the chance to sacrifice myself for my love. I felt in myself a superabundance of energy which found no outlet in our quiet life. I had fits of depression which I was ashamed of and tried to conceal from him, and fits of excessive tenderness and high spirits which alarmed him.
He realized my state of mind before I did, and proposed a visit to Petersburg; but I begged him to give this up and not to change our manner of life or spoil our happiness. Happy indeed I was; but I was tormented by the thought that this happiness cost me no effort and no sacrifice, though I was even painfully conscious of my power to fact both.
I loved him and saw that I was all in all to him; but I wanted everyone to see our love; I wanted to love him in spite of obstacles. My mind, and even my senses, were fully occupied; but there was another feeling of youth and craving for movement, which found no satisfaction in our quiet life. What made him say that, whenever I liked, we could go to town? Had he not said so I might have realized that my uncomfortable feelings were my own fault and dangerous nonsense, and that the sacrifice I desired was there before me, in the task of overcoming these feelings.
I was haunted by the thought that I could escape from depression by a mere change from the country; and at the same time I felt ashamed and sorry to tear him away, out of selfish motives, from all he cared for. So time went on, the snow grew deeper, and there we remained together, all alone and just the same as before, while outside I knew there was noise and glitter and excitement, and hosts of people suffering or rejoicing without one thought of us and our remote existence. I suffered most from the feeling that custom was daily petrifying our lives into one fixed shape, that our minds were losing their freedom and becoming enslaved to the steady passionless course of time.
The morning always found us cheerful; we were polite at dinner, and affectionate in the evening. This state of feeling even affected my health, and I began to suffer from nerves. One morning I was worse than usual. He had come beck from the estate office out of sorts, which was a rare thing with him.
I noticed it at once and asked what was the matter. He would not tell me and said it was of no importance. I found out afterwards that the police inspector, out of spite against my husband, was summoning our peasants, making illegal demands on them, and using threats to them.
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He was provoked, and therefore unwilling to speak of it to me. But it seemed to me that he did not wish to speak to about it because he considered me a mere child, incapable of understanding his concerns. I turned from him and said no more. I then told the servant to ask Marya Minichna, who was staying in the house, to join us at breakfast.
I ate my breakfast very fast and took her to the morning room where I began to talk loudly to her about some trifle which did not interest me in he least. He walked about the room, glancing at us from time to time. This made me more and more inclined to talk and even to laugh; all that I said myself, and all that Marya Minichna said, seemed to me laughable. Without a word to me he went off to his study and shut the door behind him.
When I ceased to hear him, all my high spirits vanished at once; indeed Marya Minichna was surprised and asked what was the matter. I sat down on a sofa without answering, and felt ready to cry. I want to move forward, to have some new experience every day and every hour, whereas he wants to stand still and to keep me standing beside him. And how easy it would be for him to gratify me! He need not take me to town; he need only be like me and not put compulsion on himself and regulate his feelings, but live simply.
That is the advice he gives me, but he is not simple himself. That is what is the matter. I felt the tears rising and knew that I was irritated with him. My irritation frightened me, and I went to his study. He was sitting at the table, writing. Hearing my step, he looked up for a moment and then went on writing; he seemed calm and unconcerned. His look vexed me: instead of going up to him, I stood beside his writing table, opened a book, and began to look at it.
He broke off his writing again and looked at me. Two of our serfs went off to the town. You not only help me in everything I do, but you do it yourself. I am pleased with things, only because you are there, because I need you. I did want to hear the story, but I found it so pleasant to break down his composure. His face, which reflected every feeling so quickly and so vividly, now expressed pain and intense attention.
He was silent for a moment. My life consists of my love for you; so you should not make life impossible for me. I was vexed again by his calmness and coolness while I was conscious of annoyance and some feeling akin to penitence. Take time before you answer, and tell me all that is in your mind.
You are dissatisfied with me: and you are, no doubt, right; but let me understand what I have done wrong. But how could I put my feeling into words? That he understood me at once, that I again stood before him like a child, that I could do nothing without his understanding and foreseeing it — all this only increased my agitation.
I looked at him as I spoke. I had gained my object: his calmness had disappeared, and I read fear and pain in his face. Please hear me out without answering. Words are useless; of course you are right. I burst out crying and felt relieved. He sat down beside me and said nothing. I felt sorry for him, ashamed of myself, and annoyed at what I had done. I avoided looking at him. I felt that any look from him at that moment must express severity or perplexity. At last I looked up and saw his eyes: they were fixed on me with a tender gentle expression that seemed to ask for pardon.
I caught his hand and said,. That evening I played to him for a long time, while he walked about the room. He had a habit of muttering to himself; and when I asked him what he was muttering, he always thought for a moment and then told me exactly what it was. It was generally verse, and sometimes mere nonsense, but I could always judge of his mood by it. When I asked him now, he stood still, thought an instant, and then repeated two lines from Lermontov:. And then a sudden fit of merriment came over us both: our eyes laughed, we took longer and longer steps, and rose higher and higher on tiptoe.
Prancing in this manner, to the profound dissatisfaction of the butler and astonishment of my mother-inlaw, who was playing patience in the parlor, we proceeded through the house till we reached the dining room; there we stopped, looked at one another, and burst out laughing. It was all so new, various, and delightful, so warmly and brightly lighted up by his presence and his live, that our quiet life in the country seemed to me something very remote and unimportant. I had expected to find people in society proud and cold; but to my great surprise, I was received everywhere with unfeigned cordiality and pleasure, not only by relations, but also by strangers.
I seemed to be the one object of their thoughts, and my arrival the one thing they wanted, to complete their happiness. I was surprised too to discover in what seemed to me the very best society a number of people acquainted with my husband, though he had never spoken of them to me; and I often felt it odd and disagreeable to hear him now speak disapprovingly of some of these people who seemed to me so kind. I could not understand his coolness towards them or his endeavors to avoid many acquaintances that seemed to me flattering. Surely, the more kind people one knows, the better; and here everyone was kind.
So we must not stay after Easter, or go into society, or we shall get into difficulties. For your sake too I should not wish it.
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But these plans were forgotten the moment we got the Petersburg. I found myself at once in such a new and delightful world, surrounded by so many pleasures and confronted by such novel interests, that I instantly, though unconsciously, turned my back on my past life and its plans. And there is the future too! The restlessness and symptoms of depression which had troubled me at home vanished at once and entirely, as if by magic.
My love for my husband grew calmer, and I ceased to wonder whether he loved me less. Indeed I could not doubt his love: every thought of mine was understood at once, every feeling shared, and every wish gratified by him. His composure, if it still existed, no longer provoked me.
I also began to realize that he not only loved me but was proud of me. Where does she get that charming graceful self-confidence and ease, such social gifts with such simplicity and charm and kindliness? Everybody is delighted with her. In my joy and pride I felt that I love him more than before. My success with all our new acquaintances was a complete surprise to me. I heard on all sides, how this uncle had taken a special fancy for me, and that aunt was raving about me; I was told by one admirer that I had no rival among the Petersburg ladies, and assured by another, a lady, that I might, if I cared, lead the fashion in society.
The first time that she invited me to a ball and spoke to my husband about it, he turned to me and asked if I wished to go; I could just detect a sly smile on his face. I nodded assent and felt that I was blushing. We must certainly accept, and we will. So we went, and my delight exceeded all my expectations. It seemed to me, more than ever, that I was the center round which everything revolved, that for my sake alone this great room was lighted up and the band played, and that this crowd of people had assembled to admire me.
The general verdict formed at the ball about me and reported by my cousin, came to this: I was quite unlike the other women and had a rural simplicity and charm of my own. He agreed readily; and he went with me at first with obvious satisfaction. He took pleasure in my success, and seemed to have quite forgotten his former warning or to have changed his opinion. But a time came when he was evidently bored and wearied by the life we were leading. I was too busy, however, to think about that. Even if I sometimes noticed his eyes fixed questioningly on me with a serious attentive gaze, I did not realize its meaning.
I was utterly blinded by this sudden affection which I seemed to evoke in all our new acquaintances, and confused by the unfamiliar atmosphere of luxury, refinement, and novelty. It pleased me so much to find myself in these surroundings not merely his equal but his superior, and yet to love him better and more independently than before, that I could not understand what he could object to for me in society life.
I had a new sense of pride and self-satisfaction when my entry at a ball attracted all eyes, while he, as if ashamed to confess his ownership of me in public, made haste to leave my side and efface himself in the crowd of black coats. Then you will see and understand for whose sake I try to be beautiful and brilliant, and what it is I love in all that surrounds me this evening!
One danger I recognized as possible — that I might be carried away by a fancy for some new acquaintance, and that my husband might grow jealous. But he trusted me so absolutely, and seemed so undisturbed and indifferent, and all the young men were so inferior to him, that I was not alarmed by this one danger. Yet the attention of so many people in society gave me satisfaction, flattered my vanity, and made me think that there was some merit in my love for my husband. Thus I became more offhand and self-confident in my behavior to him. Oh, I saw you this evening carrying on a most animated conversation with Mme N.
He had really been talking to this lady, who was a well-known figure in Petersburg society. He was more silent and depressed than usual, and I said this to rouse him up. Pretence of that sort may spoil the true relation between us, which I still hope may come back. But he only spoke like this once — in general he seemed as satisfied as I was, and I was so gay and so happy! If the relation between us has become a little different, everything will be the same again in summer, when we shall be alone in our house at Nikolskoye with Tatyana Semyonovna.
So the winter slipped by, and we stayed on, in spite of our plans, over Easter in Petersburg. A week later we were preparing to start; our packing was all done; my husband who had bought things — plants for the garden and presents for people at Nikolskoye, was in a specially cheerful and affectionate mood. Just then Princess D. The countess was very anxious to secure me, because a foreign prince, who was visiting Petersburg and had seen me already at a ball, wished to make my acquaintance; indeed this was his motive for attending the reception, and he declared that I was the most beautiful woman in Russia.
All the world was to be there; and, in a word, it would really be too bad, if I did not go too. Our eyes met, and he turned away at once. The Countess was so anxious to have her. I saw that he was much disturbed, and this pained me. I gave no positive promise. And then, on top of all that, you for a mate, and children perhaps—what more can the heart of man desire? Another passage is also quoted in the book Into the Wild :.
The last page of the story is also quoted in full in the Philip Roth novel The Counterlife. Theater Atelier Piotr Fomenko in Moscow adapted the novella to the stage. The play premiered in September and remains part of the theater's repertoire.
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13 Tips to Increase Your Family’s Happiness and Health
Wikisource has original text related to this article: Family Happiness. This article about an s novel is a stub. I have launched a business, which never would have happened had I not given birth. The thing that actually is sad is that it has taken me 14 months to realize this. Fourteen months of denying the unavoidable and undeniable truth that becoming a mother has changed me. And while not all of that change is immediately positive, being able to accept it, and even welcome it, makes me much happier. And I encourage all new moms to try and find the courage to do the same.
You don't just "have a baby," you become a mother. A new role. A new challenge. A new identity. And despite what society might have you believe, it doesn't happen overnight. It takes time. It's taken me a year. And just like the hungry caterpillar, I have had to learn to use my new wings before realizing their beauty. There's a lot of work that happens behind the scenes of Motherly's heartwarming videos and emotional essays—and an incredible team who brings Motherly's magic to life each day.
Our remote team of almost 40 come from all over the country and Portugal! This week, we're in New York City reflecting on our growth from the past year and celebrating what's to come—all to ensure we're meeting TeamMotherly exactly where you need us. Known as the most packable backpack ever seriously, it zips completely flat! Those who flew in for summit especially appreciated it to bring back all of their extra goodies. Added bonus: The wash kit can hold all of your toiletries and cosmetics.
While our incredible operations manager had our coffee orders ready to go, these were a lifesaver. With most of our team being working mamas and many flying red eyes from the West coast these made our eyes a little less puffy and a little more brighter. Goodbye, dark circles! Yeah, we can't remember either. Enter: This bralette. We adore the flirty lace and delicate straps, and loved wearing this under our ThisIsMotherhood tee shirts during long days.
Since most of our team flew in, this cozy sleepshirt was the perfect piece to lounge in at the hotel. Did we mention it's made from Cool Nights fabric that keeps your body at an ideal temperature all night long? We're big fans of any product that plumps our skin and decreases the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles—and this cream does all that and more. After all, we needed a little extra hydration after drinking all of the coffee and tea. Our team loves these bags because they're plastic-free, dishwasher and microwave safe and keep all of our things in one place.
Some tossed in extra phone cords, others stored their snacks for the plane in them. Life gets messy literally and since most of us have littles running around, having these wipes around is a game changer. They're free of bleach and phosphates so we can rest easy cleaning up all of the messes, toys and countertops.
Motherly is your daily momlife manual; we are here to help you easily find the best, most beautiful products for your life that actually work. We share what we love—and we may receive a commission if you choose to buy. You've got this. Jalen Ramsey is a football player in the NFL and he's also about to become a father for the second time. And this time he's decided to take paternity leave.
This week, ESPN published a column with this opening line: "Jalen Ramsey has left the Jaguars because of the impending birth of his second child, and the team has no idea when he will return. As Fatherly points out, the validity of Ramsey's parental leave was also hotly debated on Twitter, and it's good to see that his employer, Jaguars owner Tony Khan came to his defense even if they don't agree about his future with the team. When a sportswriter took to Twitter, wondering if paternity leave was just a "convenient excuse" for Ramsey to quit playing for the Jaguars, Khan clapped back, calling the tweet appalling.
You have no business questioning someone's family," he tweeted. A man who is about to welcome his second child has decided to take parental leave to support his partner during her birth and postpartum recovery. That's his right and it should be respected. End of story.
Dads want to be involved fathers. Our society needs to stop questioning them when they stand up and do that. They say pregnancy can be contagious among friends seriously, it's science and a mini baby boom at California fire department is some pretty compelling—and seriously cute—proof. As Today reports, nine firefighters in Cucamonga, California welcomed nine babies in just four months!
Of course, they had to celebrate with a photoshoot and of course it's going viral. Gabrielle Costello is married to one of the firefighters, Logan Costello, and their daughter Charlotte was the eighth of the nine babies. Her mom posted the photos online and can't believe how they've spread. Link in bio for more of the cuteness! This is not the first case of a fire hall baby boom going viral.
FAMILY HAPPINESS by Laurie Colwin | Kirkus Reviews
Back in May seven firefighters in Glenpool, Oklahoma welcomed babies within 15 months, and when their wives decided to take Jovie, Cohen, Saylor, Henley, Kadance, Bodie and Gracie down to the station for a Pinterest-inspired photo shoot, a viral sensation was also born. Avery Dykes. Avery Dykes is a school teacher, fire station wife and the part-time photographer behind the incredibly adorable pictures that thanks to the power of Facebook were featured everywhere from Good Morning America, to Fox News, Yahoo and here on Motherly.
She's also little Jovie's mama. According to Dykes, the fire station baby boom has been an incredible experience, and she's glad the world is seeing the special bond her husband, Kendall, has with his coworkers, and how it connects the babies and mamas, too.
You have to be because your husbands are gone a third of the time and they live with these other men at the fire station a third of their lives.
We lead a very unique life," she tells Motherly. According to Dykes, the idea for the photo shoot started with Allysa Shanks, Saylor's mom, who saw a similar photo shoot on Pinterest awhile back. Shanks explained the genesis of the photoshoot to Motherly via Facebook messenger, noting she was on Pinterest looking at baby things for a reason many mamas can relate to. My husband and I tried for two long years to get pregnant.