Oh, devil take them all! An outer show elaborated through centuries, and nothing but charlatanism and nonsense underneath, flashed through Miüsovs mind.
Heres the hermitage. Weve arrived, cried Fyodor Pavlovitch. The gates are shut.
And he repeatedly made the sign of the cross to the saints painted above and on the sides of the gates.
When you go to Rome you must do as the Romans do. Here in this hermitage there are twenty-five saints being saved. They look at one another, and eat cabbages. And not one woman goes in at this gate. Thats what is remarkable. And that really is so. But I did hear that the elder receives ladies, he remarked suddenly to the monk.
Women of the people are here too now, lying in the portico there waiting. But for ladies of higher rank two rooms have been built adjoining the portico, but outside the precinctsyou can see the windowsand the elder goes out to them by an inner passage when he is well enough. They are always outside the precincts. There is a Harkov lady, Madame Hohlakov, waiting there now with her sick daughter. Probably he has promised to come out to her, though of late he has been so weak that he has hardly shown himself even to the people.
So then there are loopholes, after all, to creep out of the hermitage to the ladies. Dont suppose, holy father, that I mean any harm. But do you know that at Athos not only the visits of women are not allowed, but no creature of the female sexno hens, nor turkey-hens, nor cows.
Fyodor Pavlovitch, I warn you I shall go back and leave you here. Theyll turn you out when Im gone.
But Im not interfering with you. Pyotr Alexandrovitch. Look, he cried suddenly, stepping within the precincts, what a vale of roses they live in!
Though there were no roses now, there were numbers of rare and beautiful autumn flowers growing wherever there was space for them, and evidently tended by a skilful hand; there were flower-beds round the church, and between the tombs; and the one-storied wooden house where the elder lived was also surrounded with flowers.
And was it like this in the time of the last elder, Varsonofy? He didnt care for such elegance. They say he used to jump up and thrash even ladies with a stick, observed Fyodor Pavlovitch, as he went up the steps.
The elder Varsonofy did sometimes seem rather strange, but a great deal thats told is foolishness. He never thrashed any one, answered the monk. Now, gentlemen, if you will wait a minute I will announce you.
Fyodor Pavlovitch, for the last time, your compact, do you hear? Behave properly or I will pay you out! Miüsov had time to mutter again.
I cant think why you are so agitated. Fyodor Pavlovitch observed sarcastically. Are you uneasy about your sins? They say he can tell by ones eyes what one has come about. And what a lot you think of their opinion! you, a Parisian, and so advanced. Im surprised at you.
But Miüsov had no time to reply to this sarcasm. They were asked to come in. He walked in, somewhat irritated.
Now, I know myself, I am annoyed, I shall lose my temper and begin to quarreland lower myself and my ideas, he reflected.
|Copyright: All texts on Bibliomania are © Bibliomania.com Ltd, and may not be reproduced in any form without our written permission. See our FAQ for more details.|