Leo Tolstoy Childhood translations
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Childhood
1852
Leo Tolstoy


Детство
1852
Лев Толсто́й

12-го августа 18..., ровно в третий день после дня моего рождения, в который мне минуло десять лет и в который я получил такие чудесные подарки, в семь часов утра Карл Иваныч разбудил меня, ударив над самой моей головой хлопушкой — из сахарной бумаги на палке — по мухе. Он сделал это так неловко, что задел образок моего ангела, висевший на дубовой спинке кровати, и что убитая муха упала мне прямо на голову. Я высунул нос из-под одеяла, остановил рукою образок, который продолжал качаться, скинул убитую муху на пол и хотя заспанными, но сердитыми глазами окинул Карла Иваныча. Он же, в пестром ваточном халате, подпоясанном поясом из той же материи, в красной вязаной ермолке с кисточкой и в мягких козловых сапогах, продолжал ходить около стен, прицеливаться и хлопать.
«Положим, — думал я, — я маленький, но зачем он тревожит меня? Отчего он не бьет мух около Володиной постели? вон их сколько! Нет, Володя старше меня; а я меньше всех: оттого он меня и мучит. Только о том и думает всю жизнь, — прошептал я, — как бы мне делать неприятности. Он очень хорошо видит, что разбудил и испугал меня, но выказывает, как будто не замечает... противный человек! И халат, и шапочка, и кисточка — какие противные!»
В то время как я таким образом мысленно выражал свою досаду на Карла Иваныча, он подошел к своей кровати, взглянул на часы, которые висели над нею в шитом бисерном башмачке, повесил хлопушку на гвоздик и, как заметно было, в самом приятном расположении духа повернулся к нам.
— Auf, Kinder, auf!.. s'ist Zeit. Die Mutter ist schon im Saal 1, — крикнул он добрым немецким голосом, потом подошел ко мне, сел у ног и достал из кармана табакерку. Я притворился, будто сплю. Карл Иваныч сначала понюхал, утер нос, щелкнул пальцами и тогда только принялся за меня. Он, посмеиваясь, начал щекотать мои пятки. — Nu, nun, Faulenzer! 2 — говорил он.
Как я ни боялся щекотки, я не вскочил с постели и не отвечал ему, а только глубже запрятал голову под подушки, изо всех сил брыкал ногами и употреблял все старания удержаться от смеха.
«Какой он добрый и как нас любит, а я мог так дурно о нем думать!»
Мне было досадно и на самого себя, и на Карла Иваныча, хотелось смеяться и хотелось плакать: нервы были расстроены.
— Ach, lassen Sie 3, Карл Иваныч! — закричал я со слезами на глазах, высовывая голову из-под подушек.
Карл Иваныч удивился, оставил в покое мои подошвы и с беспокойством стал спрашивать меня: о чем я? не видел ли я чего дурного во сне?.. Его доброе немецкое лицо, участие, с которым он старался угадать причину моих слез, заставляли их течь еще обильнее: мне было совестно, и я не понимал, как за минуту перед тем я мог не любить Карла Иваныча и находить противными его халат, шапочку и кисточку; теперь, напротив, все это казалось мне чрезвычайно милым, и даже кисточка казалась явным доказательством его доброты. Я сказал ему, что плачу оттого, что видел дурной сон — будто maman умерла и ее несут хоронить. Все это я выдумал, потому что решительно не помнил, что мне снилось в эту ночь; но когда Карл Иваныч, тронутый моим рассказом, стал утешать и успокаивать меня, мне казалось, что я точно видел этот страшный сон, и слезы полились уже от другой причины.
Когда Карл Иваныч оставил меня и я, приподнявшись на постели, стал натягивать чулки на свои маленькие ноги, слезы немного унялись, но мрачные мысли о выдуманном сне не оставляли меня. Вошел дядька Николай — маленький, чистенький человечек, всегда серьезный, аккуратный, почтительный и большой приятель Карла Иваныча. Он нес наши платья и обувь: Володе сапоги, а мне покуда еще несносные башмаки с бантиками. При нем мне было бы совестно плакать; притом утреннее солнышко весело светило в окна, а Володя, передразнивая Марью Ивановну (гувернантку сестры), так весело и звучно смеялся, стоя над умывальником, что даже серьезный Николай, с полотенцем на плече, с мылом в одной руке и с рукомойником в другой, улыбаясь, говорил:
— Будет вам, Владимир Петрович, извольте умываться.
Я совсем развеселился.
— Sind Sie bald fertig? 4 — послышался из классной голос Карла Иваныча.
Голос его был строг и не имел уже того выражения доброты, которое тронуло меня до слез. В классной Карл Иваныч был совсем другой человек: он был наставник. Я живо оделся, умылся и, еще с щеткой в руке, приглаживая мокрые волосы, явился на его зов.
Карл Иваныч, с очками на носу и книгой в руке, сидел на своем обычном месте, между дверью и окошком. Налево от двери были две полочки: одна — наша, детская, другая — Карла Иваныча, собственная. На нашей были всех сортов книги — учебные и неучебные: одни стояли, другие лежали. Только два больших тома «Histoire des voyages»2, в красных переплетах, чинно упирались в стену; а потом и пошли, длинные, толстые, большие и маленькие книги, — корочки без книг и книги без корочек; все туда же, бывало, нажмешь и всунешь, когда прикажут перед рекреацией привести в порядок библиотеку, как громко называл Карл Иваныч эту полочку. Коллекция книг на собственной если не была так велика, как на нашей, то была еще разнообразнее. Я помню из них три: немецкую брошюру об унавоживании огородов под капусту — без переплета, один том истории Семилетней войны — в пергаменте, прожженном с одного угла, и полный курс гидростатики. Карл Иваныч бо́льшую часть своего времени проводил за чтением, даже испортил им свое зрение; но, кроме этих книг и «Северной пчелы», он ничего не читал.
В числе предметов, лежавших на полочке Карла Иваныча, был один, который больше всего мне его напоминает. Это — кружок из картона, вставленный в деревянную ножку, в которой кружок этот подвигался посредством шпеньков. На кружке была наклеена картинка, представляющая карикатуры какой-то барыни и парикмахера. Карл Иваныч очень хорошо клеил и кружок этот сам изобрел и сделал для того, чтобы защищать свои слабые глаза от яркого света.
Как теперь вижу я перед собой длинную фигуру в ваточном халате и в красной шапочке, из-под которой виднеются редкие седые волосы. Он сидит подле столика, на котором стоит кружок с парикмахером, бросавшим тень на его лицо; в одной руке он держит книгу, другая покоится на ручке кресел; подле него лежат часы с нарисованным егерем на циферблате, клетчатый платок, черная круглая табакерка, зеленый футляр для очков, щипцы на лоточке. Все это так чинно, аккуратно лежит на своем месте, что по одному этому порядку можно заключить, что у Карла Иваныча совесть чиста и душа покойна.
Бывало, как досыта набегаешься внизу по зале, на цыпочках прокрадешься на верх, в классную, смотришь — Карл Иваныч сидит себе один на своем кресле и с спокойно-величавым выражением читает какую-нибудь из своих любимых книг. Иногда я заставал его и в такие минуты, когда он не читал: очки спускались ниже на большом орлином носу, голубые полузакрытые глаза смотрели с каким-то особенным выражением, а губы грустно улыбались. В комнате тихо; только слышно его равномерное дыхание и бой часов с егерем.
Бывало, он меня не замечает, а я стою у двери и думаю: «Бедный, бедный старик! Нас много, мы играем, нам весело, а он — один-одинешенек, и никто-то его не приласкает. Правду он говорит, что он сирота. И история его жизни какая ужасная! Я помню, как он рассказывал ее Николаю — ужасно быть в его положении!» И так жалко станет, что, бывало, подойдешь к нему, возьмешь за руку и скажешь: «Lieber 5 Карл Иваныч!» Он любил, когда я ему говорил так; всегда приласкает, и видно, что растроган.
На другой стене висели ландкарты, все почти изорванные, но искусно подклеенные рукою Карла Иваныча. На третьей стене, в середине которой была дверь вниз, с одной стороны висели две линейки: одна — изрезанная, наша, другая — новенькая, собственная, употребляемая им более для поощрения, чем для линевания; с другой — черная доска, на которой кружками отмечались наши большие проступки и крестиками — маленькие. Налево от доски был угол, в который нас ставили на колени.
Как мне памятен этот угол! Помню заслонку в печи, отдушник в этой заслонке и шум, который он производил, когда его поворачивали. Бывало, стоишь, стоишь в углу, так что колени и спина заболят, и думаешь: «Забыл про меня Карл Иваныч: ему, должно быть, покойно сидеть на мягком кресле и читать свою гидростатику, — а каково мне?» — и начнешь, чтобы напомнить о себе, потихоньку отворять и затворять заслонку или ковырять штукатурку со стены; но если вдруг упадет с шумом слишком большой кусок на землю — право, один страх хуже всякого наказания. Оглянешься на Карла Иваныча, — а он стоит себе с книгой в руке и как будто ничего не замечает.
В середине комнаты стоял стол, покрытый оборванной черной клеенкой, из-под которой во многих местах виднелись края, изрезанные перочинными ножами. Кругом стола было несколько некрашеных, но от долгого употребления залакированных табуретов. Последняя стена была занята тремя окошками. Вот какой был вид из них: прямо под окнами дорога, на которой каждая выбоина, каждый камешек, каждая колея давно знакомы и милы мне; за дорогой — стриженая липовая аллея, из-за которой кое-где виднеется плетеный частокол; через аллею виден луг, с одной стороны которого гумно, а напротив лес; далеко в лесу видна избушка сторожа. Из окна направо видна часть террасы, на которой сиживали обыкновенно большие до обеда. Бывало, покуда поправляет Карл Иваныч лист с диктовкой, выглянешь в ту сторону, видишь черную головку матушки, чью-нибудь спину и смутно слышишь оттуда говор и смех; так сделается досадно, что нельзя там быть, и думаешь: «Когда же я буду большой, перестану учиться и всегда буду сидеть не за диалогами, а с теми, кого я люблю?» Досада перейдет в грусть, и, Бог знает отчего и о чем, так задумаешься, что и не слышишь, как Карл Иваныч сердится за ошибки.
Карл Иваныч снял халат, надел синий фрак с возвышениями и сборками на плечах, оправил перед зеркалом свой галстук и повел нас вниз — здороваться с матушкой.

Judson Rosengrant
2012


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On the 12th of August 18**, exactly three days after my tenth birthday when I received such wonderful presents, Karl Ivanych woke me at seven in the morning by hitting a fly right over my head with a swatter made of sugar-bag paper on a stick. He did it so clumsily that he grazed the little icon of my patron saint hanging on the oak headboard of my bed, and the fly fell on my head. I poked my nose out from under the blanket, steadied the swaying icon with my hand, flicked the dead fly onto the floor and glanced over at Karl Ivanych with sleepy, angry eyes. But he, in a multicoloured quilted dressing gown wrapped with a belt of the same material, a knitted red skullcap with a tassel, and soft kidskin boots, continued to patrol the walls, aiming and swatting.
‘Perhaps I am little,’ I thought, ‘but why is he bothering me? Why isn’t he killing the flies by Volodya’s bed? There are so many over there! No, Volodya’s older than I am. I’m the youngest; that’s why he’s tormenting me. All he’s thought about his whole life is doing nasty things to me,’ I murmured. ‘He saw very well that he woke and startled me, but he acts as if he didn’t. What a horrible man he is! And his dressing gown and cap and tassel are horrible too!’
As I was thus mentally expressing my vexation with Karl Ivanych, he went over to his bed, looked at the watch suspended above it in a beaded slipper, hung the swatter on a nail and then turned to us, clearly in the best of moods.
'Auf, Kinder, auf! ’S ist Zeit. Die Mutter ist schon im Saal!' he boomed in his kind German voice, and then he came over to me, sat down at the foot of my bed and removed his snuffbox from his pocket. I pretended to be asleep. Karl Ivanych took some snuff, wiped his nose, flicked his fingers and only then got after me. With a chuckle, he started to tickle my heels. ‘Nu, nun, Faulenzer!’ he said.
Ticklish as I was, I didn’t jump out of bed or answer, but only stuck my head deeper under the pillows and kicked with all my might, trying as hard as I could not to laugh.
‘What a kind person he is and how fond of us, and yet I could think such bad things about him!’
I was vexed both with myself and with Karl Ivanych, and felt like laughing and crying — my nerves were all in a jumble.
Ach, lassen Sie, Karl Ivanych!’ I yelled with tears in my eyes as I pulled my head out from under the pillows.
Karl Ivanych was taken aback, and leaving my soles alone he anxiously started to ask what the matter was. Had I had a bad dream? His kind German face and the concern with which he tried to guess the reason for my tears made them flow even faster. I was ashamed and didn’t understand how only a moment before I could have disliked Karl Ivanych and found his gown and cap and tassel so horrible, for now on the contrary they all seemed extraordinarily nice to me, and even the tassel struck me as clear proof of his goodness. I told him that itwas a bad dream that had made me cry, that maman had died and was being taken for burial. I made it all up, since I had absolutely no idea what I had dreamed that night, but when Karl Ivanych, touched by my story, began to comfort and console me, it seemed to me that I really had dreamed that frightening dream, and I started to cry again for a different reason.
After Karl Ivanych left me and I sat up in bed and began to pull my stockings on my little feet, my tears started to recede, although dark thoughts about the made-up dream remained.Then our servant Nikolay came in, a tidy little man, always serious, correct and respectful, and a great friend of Karl Ivanych’s. He had our clothes and footwear with him - boots for Volodya and insufferable pumps with bows for me. I would have been ashamed to cry in front of Nikolay, and anyway the morning sun was gaily shining through the windows and Volodya, mimicking Marya Ivanovna (our sister’s French governess), was laughing so loudly and merrily at the washstand that even the serious Nikolay, a towel over his shoulder and soap in one hand and a ewer in the other, said with a grin, ‘That will do, Vladimir Petrovich, now please get on with your washing.’


Dora O
2010


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On 12th August, 18**, exactly three days after my tenth birthday, when I had received such wonderful presents, Karl Ivanych woke me up at seven o’clock in the morning by swatting a fly right above my head with a fly—swatter made of sugar paper on a stick. He did this so clumsily that he brushed against the small icon of my guardian angel hanging on the oak headboard of my bed and the dead fly fell straight on my head. I stuck my nose out from beneath the blanket, steadied the small icon, which was still rocking, with my hand, flicked the dead fly onto the floor and with grumpy if still-sleepy eyes glanced over at Karl Ivanych. He, however, wearing his colourful quilted dressing gown tied with a belt of the same material, his red knitted skullcap with a tassel and his soft goatskin boots, continued to move close to the walls, tak- ing aim and swatting flies.
"I may only be little," I thought, “but why must he disturb me? Why doesn’t he hit flies around Volodya’s bed? There are plenty over there! No, Volodya is older than me; I am the youngest of the lot, which is why he torments me. That’s all he thinks about in life,” I whispered, “how to create trouble for me. He sees perfectly well that he woke me up and scared me, but he acts as if he hasn’t noticed... repulsive man! And his dressing gown, and his cap and his tassel — how repulsive they are!”
While I was mentally expressing my annoyance with Karl Ivanych this way, he went over to his bed, glanced at his watch, which was hanging above it in a small beaded slipper, hung the fly-swatter on a nail and turned to us, clearly in a most happy frame of mind.
Auf Kinder, auf... s’ist Zeit. Die Mutter ist sclaon im Saal,” he called out in his kind German voice. He then came over to me, sat by my feet and took his snuffbox out of his pocket. I pretended to be asleep. Karl Ivanych first took a pinch of snuff, wiped his nose and snapped his fingers and only then did he pay attention to me. Chuckling, he began to tickle my heels. “Nu, num, Faulenzer!”’ he said.
Much as I feared being tickled, I still did not leap out of bed or answer him, but just hid my head deeper under the pillow and kicked as hard as I could with my legs, trying my utmost not to laugh.
“How kind he is and how he loves us; how could I have thought so badly of him!” I was annoyed with myself and with Karl Ivanych. I felt like laughing and crying all at once: my nerves were on edge.
"Ach, lassen sie, Karl Ivanych!" I cried out with tears in my eyes, poking my head out from under the pillow.
Karl Ivanych looked surprised, let go of the soles of my feet and began asking me anxiously what all that was about? Had I perhaps had a bad dream? His kind German face and the concern he showed, trying to guess the reason for my tears, made them flow even more profusely: I felt ashamed and could not understand how a moment before I could have disliked Karl Ivanych and found his dressing gown, cap and tassel repulsive. Now, on the contrary, they all seemed particularly endearing and even the tassel seemed to be a clear proof of his goodness. I told him that I was crying because I had had a

bad dream — Maman had died and they were carrying her away to be buried. I made all this up because I certainly did not remember what I had dreamt that night, but when Karl Ivanych, touched by my story, began to comfort and reassure me, I really felt as if I had had that horrible dream and now my tears were pouring down for a different reason.
When Karl Ivanych left me and I, sitting up in bed, began to pull my stockings up my little legs, my tears dried up somewhat, but sad thoughts about my made—up dream would not leave me. Dyadka Nikolai came in — a neat little man, always serious, precise and respectful and a great friend of Karl Ivanych. He brought in our clothes and footwear: boots for Volodya and for me still those detestable shoes with bows. I would have felt ashamed to cry in front of him, and besides, the morning sun was shining merrily through the window and Volodya, mimicking Mimi (our sister’s governess), was laughing so loudly and happily as he stood at the washbasin that even the usually serious Nikolai, a towel over his shoulder and with soap in one hand and a water jug in the other, smiled and said:
“That’l1 do, Vladimir Petrovich. Please get washed.”
I had completely cheered up.


Rosemary Edmonds
1964


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On the 12th of August 18-, exactly three days after my tenth birthday, for which I had received such wonderful presents, Karl Ivanych woke me at seven in the morning by hitting at a fly just over my head with a flap made of sugar-bag paper fastened to a stick. His action was so clumsy that he caught the little ikon of my patron-saint, which hung on the headboard of my oak bedstead, and the dead fly fell right on my head. I put my nose out from under the bedclothes, steadied with my hand the ikon which was still wobbling, flicked the dead fly on to the floor, and looked at Karl Ivanych with wrathful if sleepy eyes. He, however, in his bright-coloured quilted dressing-gown, with a belt of the same material round the waist, a red knitted skull—cap with a tassel on his head and soft goat-skin boots on his feet, continued to walk round the room, taking aim and smacking at the flies on the walls.
‘Of course I am only a small boy,’ I thought, ‘but still he ought not to disturb me. Wliy doesn't he go killing flies round Volodya's bed? There are heaps of them there. But no, Volodya is older than me: I am the youngest of all — that is why I am tormented. All he thinks of every day of his life is how to be nasty to me,’ I muttered. ‘He is perfectly well aware that he woke me up and startled me, but he pretends not to notice it . . . disgusting man! And his dressing-gown and the skull- cap and the tassel too - they're all disgusting!’
While I was thus mentally expressing my vexation with Karl Ivanych he went up to his own bed, looked at his watch which was suspended above it in a little shoe embroidered with glass beads, hung the fly-swat on a nail and turned to us, obviously in the best of moods.
Auf, Kinder, auf! ...'s ist Zeit. Die Mutter ist schon im Saal!(1) he cried in his kindly German voice. Then he came over to me, sat down at the foot of my bed and took his snuff-box from his pocket. I pretended to be asleep.’ Karl lvanych first took a pinch of snuff, wiped his nose,snapped his fingers, and only then began on me. With a chuckle he started tickling my heels. ‘Nun, nun, Faulenzer!'(2)
Much as I dreaded being tickled, I did not jump out of bed or answer him but merely hid my head deeper under the pillow and kicked out with all my might, doing my utmost to keep from laughing.
‘How nice he is, and how fond of us !' I said to myself. ‘How could I have had such horrid thoughts about him just now?’.
I was annoyed with myself and with Karl Ivanych; I wanted to laugh and cry at the same time. I was all upset.
Ach, Iassen Sie,(1) ‘Karl Ivanych!' I cried with tears in my eyes, thrusting my head from under the pillows.

Karl Ivanych was taken aback. He stopped tickling my feet and began to ask anxiously what was the matter with me? Had I had a bad dream? His kind German face and the solicitude with which he tried to discover the cause of my tears made them How all the faster. I felt ashamed and could not understand how only a moment before I had hated Karl Ivanych and thought his dressing-gown, skull-cap and the tassel repulsive. Now, on the contrary, I liked them all very much indeed and even the tassel seemed to be a clear testimony to his goodness. I told him I was crying because of a bad dream: I had dreamt that mamma was dead and they were taking her away to bury her. I invented all this, for I really could not remember what I had been dreaming that night; but when Karl Ivanych, affected by my story, tried to comfort and soothe me it seemed to me that I actually had dreamt that awful dream and I now shed tears for a different reason.
When Karl Ivanych left me and sitting up in bed I began pulling my stockings on my little legs my tears ceased somewhat but the melancholy thoughts occasioned by the dream I had invented still haunted me. Presently Nikolai, who looked after us children, came in, a neat little man, always grave, conscientious and respectful, and a great friend of Karl Ivanych. He brought our clothes and foot-wear: boots for Volodya, but I still wore those detestable shoes with bows. I would have been ashamed to let him see me cry; besides, the morning sun was shining cheerfully in at the windows and Volodya was mimicking Marya Ivanovna (our sister's governess) and laughing so gaily and loudly as he stood at the wash-stand that even the sober- minded Nikolai, a towel over his shoulder, soap in one hand and a basin in the other, smiled and said:
‘That's enough, Vladimir Petrovich. Please wash now.’


C.J. Hogarth
1912


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On the 12th of August, 18— (just three days after my tenth birthday, when I had been given such wonderful presents), I was awakened at seven o'clock in the morning by Karl Ivanitch slapping the wall close to my head with a fly-flap made of sugar paper and a stick. He did this so roughly that he hit the image of my patron saint suspended to the oaken back of my bed, and the dead fly fell down on my curls. I peeped out from under the coverlet, steadied the still shaking image with my hand, flicked the dead fly on to the floor, and gazed at Karl Ivanitch with sleepy, wrathful eyes. He, in a parti-coloured wadded dressing-gown fastened about the waist with a wide belt of the same material, a red knitted cap adorned with a tassel, and soft slippers of goat skin, went on walking round the walls and taking aim at, and slapping, flies.

"Suppose," I thought to myself, "that I am only a small boy, yet why should he disturb me? Why does he not go killing flies around Woloda's bed? No; Woloda is older than I, and I am the youngest of the family, so he torments me. That is what he thinks of all day long—how to tease me. He knows very well that he has woken me up and frightened me, but he pretends not to notice it. Disgusting brute! And his dressing-gown and cap and tassel too—they are all of them disgusting."

While I was thus inwardly venting my wrath upon Karl Ivanitch, he had passed to his own bedstead, looked at his watch (which hung suspended in a little shoe sewn with bugles), and deposited the fly-flap on a nail, then, evidently in the most cheerful mood possible, he turned round to us.

"Get up, children! It is quite time, and your mother is already in the drawing-room," he exclaimed in his strong German accent. Then he crossed over to me, sat down at my feet, and took his snuff-box out of his pocket. I pretended to be asleep. Karl Ivanitch sneezed, wiped his nose, flicked his fingers, and began amusing himself by teasing me and tickling my toes as he said with a smile, "Well, well, little lazy one!"

For all my dread of being tickled, I determined not to get out of bed or to answer him, but hid my head deeper in the pillow, kicked out with all my strength, and strained every nerve to keep from laughing.

"How kind he is, and how fond of us!" I thought to myself. "Yet to think that I could be hating him so just now!"

I felt angry, both with myself and with Karl Ivanitch, I wanted to laugh and to cry at the same time, for my nerves were all on edge.

"Leave me alone, Karl!" I exclaimed at length, with tears in my eyes, as I raised my head from beneath the bed-clothes.

Karl Ivanitch was taken aback. He left off tickling my feet, and asked me kindly what the matter was. Had I had a disagreeable dream? His good German face and the sympathy with which he sought to know the cause of my tears made them flow the faster. I felt conscience-stricken, and could not understand how, only a minute ago, I had been hating Karl, and thinking his dressing-gown and cap and tassel disgusting. On the contrary, they looked eminently lovable now. Even the tassel seemed another token of his goodness. I replied that I was crying because I had had a bad dream, and had seen Mamma dead and being buried. Of course it was a mere invention, since I did not remember having dreamt anything at all that night, but the truth was that Karl's sympathy as he tried to comfort and reassure me had gradually made me believe that I HAD dreamt such a horrible dream, and so weep the more—though from a different cause to the one he imagined.

When Karl Ivanitch had left me, I sat up in bed and proceeded to draw my stockings over my little feet. The tears had quite dried now, yet the mournful thought of the invented dream was still haunting me a little. Presently Uncle [This term is often applied by children to old servants in Russia] Nicola came in—a neat little man who was always grave, methodical, and respectful, as well as a great friend of Karl's. He brought with him our clothes and boots—at least, boots for Woloda, and for myself the old detestable, be-ribanded shoes. In his presence I felt ashamed to cry, and, moreover, the morning sun was shining so gaily through the window, and Woloda, standing at the washstand as he mimicked Maria Ivanovna (my sister's governess), was laughing so loud and so long, that even the serious Nicola—a towel over his shoulder, the soap in one hand, and the basin in the other—could not help smiling as he said, "Will you please let me wash you, Vladimir Petrovitch?" I had cheered up completely.

"Are you nearly ready?" came Karl's voice from the schoolroom. The tone of that voice sounded stern now, and had nothing in it of the kindness which had just touched me so much. In fact, in the schoolroom Karl was altogether a different man from what he was at other times. There he was the tutor. I washed and dressed myself hurriedly, and, a brush still in my hand as I smoothed my wet hair, answered to his call. Karl, with spectacles on nose and a book in his hand, was sitting, as usual, between the door and one of the windows. To the left of the door were two shelves—one of them the children's (that is to say, ours), and the other one Karl's own. Upon ours were heaped all sorts of books—lesson books and play books—some standing up and some lying down. The only two standing decorously against the wall were two large volumes of a Histoire des Voyages, in red binding. On that shelf could be seen books thick and thin and books large and small, as well as covers without books and books without covers, since everything got crammed up together anyhow when play time arrived and we were told to put the "library" (as Karl called these shelves) in order. The collection of books on his own shelf was, if not so numerous as ours, at least more varied. Three of them in particular I remember, namely, a German pamphlet (minus a cover) on Manuring Cabbages in Kitchen-Gardens, a History of the Seven Years' War (bound in parchment and burnt at one corner), and a Course of Hydrostatics. Though Karl passed so much of his time in reading that he had injured his sight by doing so, he never read anything beyond these books and The Northern Bee.

Another article on Karl's shelf I remember well. This was a round piece of cardboard fastened by a screw to a wooden stand, with a sort of comic picture of a lady and a hairdresser glued to the cardboard. Karl was very clever at fixing pieces of cardboard together, and had devised this contrivance for shielding his weak eyes from any very strong light.

I can see him before me now—the tall figure in its wadded dressing-gown and red cap (a few grey hairs visible beneath the latter) sitting beside the table; the screen with the hairdresser shading his face; one hand holding a book, and the other one resting on the arm of the chair. Before him lie his watch, with a huntsman painted on the dial, a check cotton handkerchief, a round black snuff-box, and a green spectacle-case. The neatness and orderliness of all these articles show clearly that Karl Ivanitch has a clear conscience and a quiet mind.

Sometimes, when tired of running about the salon downstairs, I would steal on tiptoe to the schoolroom and find Karl sitting alone in his armchair as, with a grave and quiet expression on his face, he perused one of his favourite books. Yet sometimes, also, there were moments when he was not reading, and when the spectacles had slipped down his large aquiline nose, and the blue, half-closed eyes and faintly smiling lips seemed to be gazing before them with a curious expression. All would be quiet in the room—not a sound being audible save his regular breathing and the ticking of the watch with the hunter painted on the dial. He would not see me, and I would stand at the door and think: "Poor, poor old man! There are many of us, and we can play together and be happy, but he sits there all alone, and has nobody to be fond of him. Surely he speaks truth when he says that he is an orphan. And the story of his life, too—how terrible it is! I remember him telling it to Nicola. How dreadful to be in his position!" Then I would feel so sorry for him that I would go to him, and take his hand, and say, "Dear Karl Ivanitch!" and he would be visibly delighted whenever I spoke to him like this, and would look much brighter.

On the second wall of the schoolroom hung some maps—mostly torn, but glued together again by Karl's hand. On the third wall (in the middle of which stood the door) hung, on one side of the door, a couple of rulers (one of them ours—much bescratched, and the other one his—quite a new one), with, on the further side of the door, a blackboard on which our more serious faults were marked by circles and our lesser faults by crosses. To the left of the blackboard was the corner in which we had to kneel when naughty. How well I remember that corner—the shutter on the stove, the ventilator above it, and the noise which it made when turned! Sometimes I would be made to stay in that corner till my back and knees were aching all over, and I would think to myself. "Has Karl Ivanitch forgotten me? He goes on sitting quietly in his arm-chair and reading his Hydrostatics, while I—!" Then, to remind him of my presence, I would begin gently turning the ventilator round. Or scratching some plaster off the wall; but if by chance an extra large piece fell upon the floor, the fright of it was worse than any punishment. I would glance round at Karl, but he would still be sitting there quietly, book in hand, and pretending that he had noticed nothing.

In the middle of the room stood a table, covered with a torn black oilcloth so much cut about with penknives that the edge of the table showed through. Round the table stood unpainted chairs which, through use, had attained a high degree of polish. The fourth and last wall contained three windows, from the first of which the view was as follows. Immediately beneath it there ran a high road on which every irregularity, every pebble, every rut was known and dear to me. Beside the road stretched a row of lime-trees, through which glimpses could be caught of a wattled fence, with a meadow with farm buildings on one side of it and a wood on the other—the whole bounded by the keeper's hut at the further end of the meadow. The next window to the right overlooked the part of the terrace where the "grownups" of the family used to sit before luncheon. Sometimes, when Karl was correcting our exercises, I would look out of that window and see Mamma's dark hair and the backs of some persons with her, and hear the murmur of their talking and laughter. Then I would feel vexed that I could not be there too, and think to myself, "When am I going to be grown up, and to have no more lessons, but sit with the people whom I love instead of with these horrid dialogues in my hand?" Then my anger would change to sadness, and I would fall into such a reverie that I never heard Karl when he scolded me for my mistakes.

At last, on the morning of which I am speaking, Karl Ivanitch took off his dressing-gown, put on his blue frockcoat with its creased and crumpled shoulders, adjusted his tie before the looking-glass, and took us down to greet Mamma.


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